Front-of-house engineer Tim Harding, who has worked with such artists as The Winery Dogs, Metal Church, Living Colour, Michael Schenker, Sanctuary — and currently out on the road with Queensrÿche — recently mixed one of the band’s shows on a Bose Professional ShowMatch line array system.
He has a rich career in the pro audio, starting out as a teenager working for Morgan Sound of Lynwood, WA, where he began his journey learning how to solder and fix cables, stack PA boxes, troubleshoot ground loops, set up the stage and microphone placement, and eventually monitor mixing.
“Working at Morgan Sound, I really cut my teeth and pretty much learned all the various aspects of sound reinforcement,” he says. “That experience and the knowledge I gained really set the stage for my future.”
He began working with Queensrÿche in 2017 handling a variety of jobs, and then in December of last year took on the dual role of tour manager and FOH engineer. The current leg of the band’s tour, which began in early January 2020, the band is playing a variety of venues in the U.S., with special guest John 5 at select shows.
According to Harding, for these types of shows, Queensrÿche is pretty much self-contained. “For our console, my friend Robert Scovill recommended that I use the Avid VENUE|S3L-X System with three Stage 16 Remote I/Os all tied together via Ethernet — this is the console setup that I’m carrying with us and mixing on. Additionally, we bring our own mics and in-ears, and we use Kemper amps at back line, a small bass processing rack and short splitter snake.”
Recalling the Bose ShowMatch system, Harding states: “I had known that Bose made sound reinforcement PAs, but I had never mixed a show on one. Last month in Dallas after I got the stage set, I headed out to front of house, called up Smaart, did a couple of traces and I was ready to go. During sound check, I played my usual reference track (Seal’s ]Crazy’), then I listened to the music and walked around the room, and I was pretty amazed at the coverage. I was also really struck by the low end of the ShowMatch system and how that felt as I was walking across the barricade and zigzagging through the house. I didn’t notice any weird nulls or hot spots.
I had the ShowMatch PA set pretty flat, and it covered the hall really well. I then walked upstairs, and the subwoofers were getting up there nicely with a defined low end. I found consistency across the sound plane. My only issue that day was with a system tech that understated how the environment of the hall would change with people in the building – I had sound checked pretty loud, but the system had lots of headroom left, and we were easily able to turn the system up to compensate for the crowd. And the PA sounded smooth – not harsh like some others when you crank them.
“By the way, the system integration in that room was done really well, and the coverage is very nice (including the subs). At some point with each show I pretty much stop tweaking stuff and just trust my show file and then go mix the show. And that night the system and the band sounded great. I feel that the system really showcased the power and detail of Queensrÿche’s music. I’d be thrilled to mix on this PA anytime.”