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Photo Caption Website Homepage Photo caption: Unauthorized use, alteration or reproduction of this photograph is strictly prohibited. We make our way down to the close-in South lot by a bend in the Cuyahoga River where Good Charlotte and Simple Plan are gearing up for a Noise to the World tour performance. Their hopes for an autograph are paying off: Giant gargoyles and other gothic props backstage look improbably tame in the clear light of one of the first warm May afternoons Cleveland has seen in the cold spring of I strain to catch every word, but the wall that separates us from the stage is no match for the still-formidable sound check.
Some gaps in my notes are inevitable. A-T gave me an STD. The show begins in darkness. When silhouettes of the band emerge against the blackness, the crowd roars. Ferenchak could not be accused of exaggerating when he told us earlier: Keeping the SPL manageable, he packs phenomenal intensity in every decibel.
Twenty minutes into the concert, looking completely relaxed at the helm of this acoustic largeness, Ferenchak turns, grins and holds out a pack of candy. We nod no, and Ferenchak turns back to a sea of knobs and the stage, the picture of a man at home with his work.
How did you get this job? Good Charlotte was in the studio finishing up their first record, and their manager asked the Electric Factory people if they knew anyone . So it all came full circle. How did you get involved in sound in the first place? I just fell into it.
So I start sticking my nose in. I just observed, got behind the mixer and did it. Eventually I got the job.
These people I knew bought a bar and asked me to put the PA in. It was a small club. Smashing Pumpkins, Helmet before they became big, the Sugarcubes.
I blew some stuff up. Then I figured out why I blew some stuff up. I've been having a great time with them all. The wireless is incredible. And I love the You have your two different sounds. Our vocalists are not real loud. The that Benji sings through is cranked really loud and it never feeds back; it maintains a really rich sound. I use the handheld wireless mic with the Series receiver straight into the system, which comes out to me at front of house.
I insert a dbx x compressor, and that's it. Normally I run it pretty flat. Sometimes I will tweak EQ depending on how the mic is held. Are there any particular pieces of gear that you feel are indispensable to your sound? The Lexicon reverb. It's a studio unit. You don't usually find them live. Also, I sub-mix my drums through a stereo sub-mix compressor and boost outputs on that and send them to the mains, squash it, even it out and crank up the output.
It gives you the ability to turn entire drum mix up more than you would if you had to allow for the really hard hits. I'm in love with the Midas XL4 console. It's a fantastic system, extremely versatile, really tiny. You can put sound in an arena with half a semi full of gear. I think it's 27 feet of truck space for PA and monitors. How do you maintain the health of your ears?
I'm a little careful.
If I have to be out there I put in earplugs. I do notice a difference in my hearing. In an arena setting, I try to keep the mix at db at 80 feet. I'm thinking about people standing 30 feet in front of the PA. Your mixes sound louder because of the way you compress. What would you say is the biggest challenge in mixing Good Charlotte? You can actually hear individual syllables that were lost before.
Since the stage volume tends to be quite loud, I position the microphones on the guitar amps to avoid leakage from the bass amp and drums. Billy uses a watt Mesa dual rectifier with four 4X12 cabinets for his dirty sound. I use an AE for that. His clean sound is a Fender Twin 65 with two AT mics. I mic that with the AE No clean amp for him. Do you try to make the live performance sound live or recreate the studio feel?
I don't try to create a studio feel in live performance; things work live that won't work in on the record and vise versa. It makes the mix somewhat aggressive. What is your compression philosophy during a live show? I tend to use a lot of compression on a lot of stuff. How much influence do the artists have on the mix? They leave it to me. Being with them for so long, we've developed a lot of trust.
Do you find the touring schedule hard work? What do you do between tours? I like working on cars. I have an old mustang, several motorcycles, a 4X4 pickup truck. In Hammonton, New Jersey, the blueberry capital of the world.
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From the hood to the trailer parks State of course to the F for trading in our american flags For all black rags, 'cause today we ain't shit The welfare niggas and poor white trash Dear America the fact is this You're a soldier behind your back You ain't jack but spit Yeah massive, also gotta rap for chicks Know we outside the white house for bags of sticks This is more than rhyming, this is mothers crying And the fist of free country, why is war designing?