Tuesday, February 28, 2012

FOH Bob Mahoney on Popper's Rig (2002)

That Travelin' Sound
Mar 1, 2002 12:00 PM, BY CANDACE HORGAN

Though Popper's harmonicas are probably the least-expensive instruments to start with, the setup that Popper uses to get his amazing tonal coloration is anything but. “I split John's signal to five different places,” explains Mahoney. “He plays into a modified Shure SM58 microphone. The mic goes into a Behringer stereo mic preamp, just to split the signal and change the level from mic to line. John considers himself to be like a guitarist, so the Behringer lets me switch the impedance. One side from the Behringer I take a direct out into the Midas at FOH via an XLR. Then the ¼-inch output of that side of the pre goes into a Mesa Boogie amp switcher. From there, I send the first input to John's main two Mesa Boogie Heartbreaker 100-watt heads, the second input to the effects pedals Heartbreaker head, and I have a third send that goes to the little amp onstage he uses for feedback effects. John can play one and flip to the other. Out of the first main head, I go slave and that drives John's offstage Leslie cabinet, which I mike with a Shure SM57. That signal is brought back into his monitors. He has a volume knob on his mic so he can turn the send to that Leslie up or down, and he controls the speed of the Leslie from the mic as well. The other side of the Behringer goes into a rack of effects that we run offstage; he controls it with MIDI pedals and that goes back into his monitors. That way, I'm not stuck with one sound. He can have whatever he wants onstage, since everything is separate. The units he uses offstage are Mesa Boogie Tri/Axis models, which are MIDI-programmable preamps. I use that to control levels of each of his effect's sounds. He uses an Alesis Quadraverb, a DigiTech IP33 harmonizer and an Eventide H3000 harmonizer. I use the pre to control the effects there. From there, I take a stereo left-right to FOH, and I send those to John's monitors.”

Clone EH 4600 Full Chorus
Boss Fuzz FZ-3
Boss Octave OC-2
Guyatone WR-2 Wah Rocker
Boss Flanger BF-2
Boss Super Phaser PH-2
Electro-Harmonix Frequency Analyzer Ring Modulator EH 5000
Electro-Harmonix Micro-Synth
Two (2) Boss Digital Delay DD-3

Rack Effects:
Mesa Boogie Tri-Axis Pre-Amp
Behringer Ultragain Microphone Pre-Amp
Digitech IPS 33B Super Harmonizer
Alesis Quadraverb
Eventide H-3000 Ultra-Harmonizer

Two(2) Mesa Boogie Heartbreakers (harmonica)
Soldano (guitar)

Speaker Cabinets:
Mesa Boogie 4x12 (harmonica)
Mesa Boogie 1x12 or 4x12 (guitar)
Goff Leslie Cabinet (harmonica)

“I've got a panel on the back of his effects rack that
  splits all the inputs for his microphone, but for a while, I used to
  stand on the side of the stage and have an ulcer hoping it all would
  work! So it's a little more reliable than it used to be.
  I send the SM58 into a Behringer Dual preamp which I split and goes to
  an amplifier - like a regular guitar setup - a Mesa Boogie
  Tri-Rectifyer that goes into four 4x12's. One of the switches on the
  mic changes the channels in the head - there's a clean channel, a
  dirty channel... He's got a split from the preamp that goes to his
  effects rack that we send to the monitor console and it comes back
  into his monitors, which are controlled thru a MIDI controller.
  There's also a slave out of the head that goes to a Mini Goff Leslie
  cabinet that I run offstage. And he's got a volume pot which sends to
  the Leslie, is miked and returns to the monitor so he can control how
  much Leslie there is. I have another switch on the mic which is the
  speed switch for the Leslie, too!
  As far as harmonicas, John uses Hohner Special 20 Blues Harps - it's
  the only harp he feels comfortable with.
  Other miscellaneous stuff: D'Addario strings, Monster Cable, and a
  Modulus graphite gutiar and Taylor acoustic guitar 12-string that he
  uses on a few tunes.”
  -Bob Mahoney, FOH engineer and backline tech

“With effects pedals it seems to me that if the pedal,
especially the Twah. Isn't seeing enough signal it
won't react the way you want it. Also, you have dual
preamp., you could use both sides.With Johns stuff, I
separate His pedal effects and his mutli-effects
processing. this way it gives you more control over
the sound. It also give me at Front of house more
control. For Johns setup I also separate his pedal
effects, he has three amps., one with effects and one
with effects, and then three direct lines. One clean
from the preamp., stereo from his multi-effects
processor. I mike amp. 1(clean) and amp.2(with
effects), and amp.3(he just uses that for feedback)
and don't forget his Leslie. For a grand total of 7
harp inputs. So, If you feel like driving your local
sound guy crazy, well their you go. I hope this helps
some. Let me know and I'll talk to soon. And Good


1 comment:

  1. Love the blog Mike. I recently got photos of the. B Keeper rig at a show. I'm slowly having my guitarist help me set up a rig for myself. Keep it up. ;)