The large, dynamic ensemble features 14 musicians including three percussionists, a drummer, two guitarists, a bassist, two keyboardists, and a full horn section. Anthony and his four backing vocalists bring the total on-stage personnel to nineteen.
Anthony’s exciting live show keeps the audience on their feet – and monitor engineers Chris Fulton and Mikey Jiminez on their toes – with frequent changes of stage personnel and musical styles. In fact, the significant requirements of mixing stage monitors for the large tour necessitated the use of two ATI Paragon II monitor consoles, with Fulton and Jiminez each manning a desk.
The two monitor engineers divide their duties by type of performer, with Fulton mixing for the musicians and Jiminez mixing for the vocalists. “I’ve got Marc and the four background singers and all the Sennheiser evolution 300 series in ear systems on my Paragon II,” explains Jiminez, who has been with Marc Anthony for over twelve years. Jiminez first became interested in the ATI Paragon II during the second leg of Marc Anthony’s first tour. “During the first leg of the tour, we had a Yamaha 4000 that just couldn’t handle the dynamics of the mix,” continued Jiminez. “I knew the show and I knew how everything was supposed to sound – and as soon as I got the PII everything fell into place. The board has plenty of headroom and stereo mixes – two features I need for Marc’s tour.”
That leaves Fulton at his PII with the rest of the performers. “I’m doing separate mixes for 14 people on my ATI,” Fulton says, “and most are on wired Shure in-ears except the two guitarists, who are on Sennheiser wireless because they go downstage for some solos…and then there’s one old-school bass player on a wedge!”
In addition to the fourteen stereo monitor mixes, Fulton supplies drum submixes to Jiminez’ monitor console. “My board is maxed out – I’ve literally got one output left. That’s why we needed the second ATI.” Mixing such a large and diverse group of musicians using a variety of monitoring systems is certainly a tall order – one that Fulton says just wouldn’t be possible to fill with any board but the venerable ATI Paragon II monitor console.
“It’s a great console. Its routing flexibility and number of outputs is unmatched,” states Fulton. “And it has great compressors and gates in on every channel. It’s the industry standard.” In addition to the built-in dynamics processors, all Paragon II input channels feature ATI’s legendary mic preamps and four band parametric EQs. Add in the capability to generate any combination of up to 32 mono or 16 stereo monitor mixes, while simultaneously providing two mix busses, two stereo aux output buss sends and two direct outputs from each channel, it is easy to see how the ATI Paragon II monitor console earned its industry standard status.
The ATI Paragon II monitor consoles Jiminez and Fulton use on the Marc Anthony tour are from Clair Brothers Audio, who supply the rest of the tour’s sound reinforcement equipment. Clair also provides the tour with Fulton, a staff engineer who has been with Clair for an impressive 15 years.
Fulton’s dedication to live mixing dates back to his pre-Clair days as a club circuit engineer in Atlanta, where he was house mixer for a variety of regional venues. In addition to his house gigs, Fulton was able to pick up some band work, including club tours with a soon-to-be-superstar band: “I mixed monitors a lot for R.E.M. back in their club days, in the early Eighties. Those guys were great to work with – in fact they were very helpful in getting me started.”
The current Marc Anthony tour is in support of “Mended,” Anthony’s second English language offering since his eponymous triple platinum release in 1999. Anthony’s previous album was his Latin double platinum “Libre,” released in November 2001. The tour is scheduled through the end of September.
The ATI Group is the parent company of Audio Toys Incorporated, API Audio and Uptown Automation. Audio Toys manufactures the industry leading Paragon II monitor console, the newly introduced Paragon II production console and associated rack mount gear. Uptown Automation manufactures and installs moving fader and mute automation for analog mixing consoles. API remains the leader in analog recording gear, such as the famed Legacy console, the TEC award-winning 7600 channel strip, and the acclaimed 2500 stereo bus compressor.