Veteran engineer Greg Price, FOH on Ozzy Osbourne’s 2010 tour, shares a few of his live sound mixing techniques using Waves plugins on a Venue console. Greg talks about the challenges of mixing heavy metal, and explains the chain he uses for Ozzy’s vocal.
Ozzy Osbourne’s Vocals:
Ozzy's vocal has a wide range of level. The real challenge in the mic-pre level settings is the wide range of level from Ozzy during the performance. During a song or singing, the level is medium to low.
During talking, yelling, or shouting at the audience, the level can be near the top of the mic-pre range. During a verse or chorus, Ozzy will shout out to the crowd; this is where the incredible precision and response of Waves plugins are essential to my success.
The signal chain is as follows:
- Vocal mic is a Shure URD-4 wireless microphone with a Beta 58A capsule
- Avid Venue D-Show console
- Avid Venue D-Show mic-pre
No console EQ, gate, limiter, compression, or filters are used. The console only acts as a mic-pre and channel fader for the vocal in the mix. All vocal processing is done with Waves plugins.
The plugins that I use on the vocal are:
SSL G-Channel, C4 Multiband Compressor, Renaissance Vox, Doubler, TrueVerb, H-Delay, Ultra Pitch
- The Venue mic-pre is set at -30; I do not use any other features on the console's input strip.
- Next is the SSL G-Channel. I start with the CLA vocal preset, then I EQ for Ozzy’s vocal texture,
and soft gate and limit using the SSL G-Channel.
- The next plugin in line is the C4; I have been experimenting with the C6 as well. My use of the C4 on Ozzy’s vocal gives me frequency compression, and I am able to move the crossover points for texture and articulation.
- Finally, I polish off the whole thing with the Renaissance Vox. This plugin gives me great overall compression and smoothness, and is a great finish to the group of plugins.
- Doubler, TrueVerb, H-Delay, and UltraPitch are all effects that I use on Ozzy‘s vocal only. I like to build effects for specific things. With Ozzy’s vocal, the effects are for him and only him. I do not share these effects with any other vocals or inputs.