Mike Prowda / Ingénieur en charge des moniteurs
Mike Prowda est arrivé dans l’équipe de tournée Radiohead en 2012, avec une grande expérience derrière lui. Il l’a fait partager au groupe en leur proposant le système Sensaphonics 3D.
Veteran monitor engineer Michael Prowda spent most of 2012 on tour with a new client, Radiohead. Being a big believer in matching equipment to the specific needs of the artist, he suggested the band consider the Sensaphonics 3D Active Ambient IEM System.
“They are a very talented band, technology-friendly and open to new ideas. At our first meeting in London, I presented the idea of the 3D as something that might be right for them,” says Prowda. “They understood the active ambient concept immediately and knew that they wanted it. They were very decisive, embraced the idea, and trusted me to make it happen for them. Very cool.”
Initially, three Radiohead band members – singer/songwriter Thom Yorke, guitarist Ed O’Brien and drummer Phil Selway – ordered the 3D Active Ambient. The systems arrived during rehearsals. “Sensaphonics really delivered for us. Absolutely no issues with fit, and the band loved the system from the get-go,” says Prowda. “They had experience with in-ears, and knew immediately that the 3D finally gave them what they wanted to hear on stage.”
The other two band members, brothers Johnny and Colin Greenwood, went another direction. “Johnny is strictly wedges, which is cool. Colin, the bass player, had never used in-ears before, so we started him with a pair of Sensaphonics 2MAX,” says Prowda. “He took to them right away and, by the time we had done the first few shows, he was ready to make the move to ambient ears. Once he settled into the 3D, you could tell he was into it. After a few shows, he told me his stage experience was transformed – that he had never experienced a live performance like that.”
Another band member who had a positive 3D experience was drummer Phil Selway. “He was just flipping out at how cool it was. Absolutely flipping out, because the 3D lets him hear his kit acoustically, just like it sounds at home. That’s something you can’t do with regular in-ears.”
Prowda went on to explain, “The thing about drums is, you can never get them to sound completely real when you’re closed off from them. Drums need to be in a space. The other thing is the isolation. Sound comes off all over each drum, not just the one point where you’re miking it. But the 3D gets past all that because you can listen to the full, natural sound of the drum kit by just listening to the ambient signal. It’s a powerful tool for drummers, or really any acoustic instrument.”
As the tour progressed, Prowda noticed how actively the band members utilized their 3D systems. “They were active participants, switching from Perform mode to Full Ambient, and even changing the ambience settings themselves, depending on the room” he reports. “If the room was really friendly, they would dial in a lot of ambience and really get into it.”