In honor of Veteran’s Day 2014, PBS aired a USO Daughtry performance in Japan as part of their broadcast of “A Salute to the Troops: In Performance at The White House”. I was onsite at Yokota US Air Force Base in Japan for my usual duties as drum tech and playback engineer for the band. I also was given the task of mixing two songs from the multitrack recording of that show which would be submitted for the PBS broadcast. With a very tight deadline, I began mixing the songs with guidance from Daughtry’s Front of House engineer Reggie Griffith in hotel rooms across Okinawa, Osaka and Tokyo while we were still on the road. I did this not only on my laptop completely “in the box” but with my Universal Audio Apollo Twin using my custom molded JH Audio IEMs, Beyer Dynamic DT770s and internal MacBook Pro laptop speakers for monitoring.
Daughtry’s hit single “Home” made the cut for broadcast. Several UAD plugins played instrumental roles in the sound of my mix of this performance. The Cooper Time Cube, one of my favorite plugins, did a great job of providing some additional ambiance within the sparse guitar phrases in the verses. Neve 1081s and 31102s hit the spot on bass and drums. The Trident A-Range EQ smoothed out Chris Daughtry’s piezo signal coming off his signature Gibson semi-hollowbody guitar. The raw thickness and air of Chris’ voice cut through perfectly with assistance from the Helios EQ. Added dimension to compliment the ambience captured by the audience mics was attained via DreamVerb (another all-time favorite plugin) combined with the Precision K-Stereo ambience processor. To cap it off, an instance of the Shadow Hills Industries Mastering Compressor glued the whole mix together on the stereo bus.
I submitted the final mixes as we made our way from the hotel in Tokyo to the airport for our long trip back to the States. Chris Daughtry listened to them in the van on the way to the airport and gave his approval. It meant a lot to me to be able to work closely with Reggie Griffith in preparing these mixes. I am also honored that this work was presented to Barak Obama before broadcast and that I could play a small role in collectively honoring our troops with music.