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Audio Pro International’s focus on the best of the industry’s young audio engineers continues this week with the latest addition to our Rising Stars section.
This week we chat to audio engineer Jamison ‘Jam’ Butcher…
API: Where did you study?
JAM: I was lucky enough to have a great hometown venue about 45 minutes outside of Chicago. They hosted regional-national acts in a 550 capacity room with a Yamaha 3K. One day I walked in and told them I was going to help in anyway they could use me. There were no openings, but I immediately fell in love with the engineering side. I worked there for over a year for free before I took over as their FOH engineer. When they shut down a couple years later I moved to my current 1100 cap room and started working with Chicago area production companies, churches and touring… I learn every single day and I hope I never stop. The evolution of this business is one of my favorite parts.
API: Which band/project are you currently working on?
JAM: I’m currently FOH and monitors for Parachute; a major label artist from Charlottesville, VA, about to release their third studio record with Mercury Records.
API: Where are you based/working at the moment?
JAM: I’m based in Chicago IL. While I’m not touring I work as FOH engineer and production manager at MoJoes Music Venue in Joliet, IL. We’re a 1100 cap room with an Xarray system, Soundcraft MH3, processed/powered by XTA and E3000s supplied by Soundworks Productions.
API: Which audio console are you currently using? And how many channels?
JAM: I’m currently using a Digico SD9 complemented by Lake processing (on tour), supporting Boys Like Girls and All American Rejects. Parachute is at 34 channels without FX returns and looking to expand while headlining this Spring! In this particular genre I’m a fan of the small footprint, high-powered, digital desks such as the Midas Pro2, SC48 and Digico SD9. The option of using little to no outboard gear, low latency plug-ins, the use of virtual sound check and recording every show to ProTools is unrivalled in my opinion. We live in an amazing era of audio.
API: What decision process was behind the choice of this console?
JAM: We are supporting this tour but I have fallen in love with the easy to use ‘analogue feel’ of the SD9. When we hit the road for headlining runs we will be taking either an SD9 or a Midas Pro2. Both are very ‘real’ sounding consoles. The onboard FX racks, EQ and dynamics all sounds amazing. I’ve told countless people that they do exactly what you want them to do and that your imagination is your only limitation. A big plus for me was not lugging around a giant snake; MADI and CAT cabling has forever changed our lives. I also constantly use virtual sound check to dial in FXs and build snapshots. The ability to take my time or experiment without the band is remarkable.
API: Do you use any outboard FX/EQ, if so, what are they used on and why?
JAM: I love using good quality outboard gear when I have the budget. For this run, I’m using a handful of EL8 Distressors. I use them very sparingly on vocals and a stereo drum bus to emulate classic sounds like Fairchild compressors or an 1176.
API: What is your console of choice?
JAM: There are so many great options on the market at the moment. I’ve had the pleasure of taking out the Digico SD10 and SD9. For our show, specifically, the SD9 works great. The footprint is tiny and it’s simple/quick to use. With that being said, I also love the Midas Pro 2 for all the same reasons… and they both sound fantastic.
API: If you could tour with any band/artist who would it be?
JAM: I hope this doesn’t come off obsequious but I love where I am right now. Parachute is a fantastic group of guys and amazing musicians. We work well together to create, sonically, the greatest show we can. 2013 is going to be a big year for us. I’m looking forward to growing together as artist.