RYAN PICKETT

FOH ENGINEER,
MY MORNING JACKET


Durham, NC - USA

Ryan Pickett, FOH and live performance archive recording engineer for the band My Morning Jacket since 2003, uses VR1 and VR2 ribbons on guitars and drums, as well as guitaRF Reflexion Filters on guitar, bass, and keyboard amps.

 

“I initially chose the Voodoo ribbon mics for their size and price point,” reports Pickett. “I love the added air at the top end of the Voodoos; they deliver more high-end than traditional ribbons. The drum sounds have become very open and natural, and cymbals no longer hurt. I also find myself using less EQ on the overhead channel strip,” he says. “And the Voodoos are also low profile enough to allow me to get the right proximity without blocking the audience or drummer’s sight lines.”

“The sE microphones are very robust. That's what really sets them apart from other ribbons. I’ve had other ribbon mics that were too delicate to take on the road, but I've had no problems with the Voodoos. I really like the idea of being able to use studio mics in the live realm without having to worry about ribbon failure.”
 

Pickett was previously using several sE IRF2 Instrument Reflexion Filters on tour in order to control bleed between instruments on-stage, customizing the hardware on the filter screens so that they can be used with z-bars on the backline cabinets.

“The IRF2s reduce spillover for the recording as well as for front of house and monitors,” he says. “I put them on the guitar amps. The keyboardist plays a lot of Fender Rhodes [piano] through a Fender Twin, so I put one on his amp, as there's also a wedge blowing back into it. There’s another on the bass amp, because it's usually pretty close to the drummer's ride cymbal away by the nuance and girth coming from the VR1s on the guitar amps!”

Being an avid IRF2 user for live sound applications, Pickett was one of the FOH engineers consulted in the guitaRF's product development. Since its release, he has begun using the guitaRF for all on-stage amp cabinets.

 

"I notice the reduction of spillover the most when I’m mixing shows in post. I imagine if we were to A/B the filters on and off for MMJ,  it would dramatically change the frequencies in their ear mixes. I have not tried this, but the closest would be a late night promo show like Fallon or Colbert where as we use very little of our audio package and only backline. The outcome is usually subpar compared to what they've become accustomed to hearing in their in ears with our setup."

"The guitaRFs are versatile, compact and robust. I use fewer mic stands, mounts etc. - and I don’t have to worry about nasty reflections. The way I look at the guitaRFs, it’s not just for guitar amps. I like to get creative. I’m looking forward to trying one live in front of the drummers resonate head as well."

 
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