Berlin, CT (June 22, 2016) — Production manager and front-of-house engineer Eugene “Geno” Mulcahy was carrying his mixing console in his backpack when he and country music super-group The Frontmen of Country Music flew onto an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf on the band’s tour earlier this year. Armed with his QSC TouchMix compact digital mixer and a selection of microphones, Mulcahy was able to provide consistently great live sound and also archive every show during the tour, which visited U.S. Navy vessels and military installations in the Middle East and Europe.
“Space is extremely limited on military aircraft, so I had the monumental task of having to travel lightly but still have powerful audio tools to support my clients,” says Mulcahy, who has worked with The Frontmen since 2009. “I need the ability to archive every show and also produce a consistent sound from venue to venue and night after night. With space at a premium, carrying a regular console was out of the question. So I reached for my QSC TouchMix, my microphone package and my backpack, and away I went.”
Mulcahy also cautions that TouchMix should not be underestimated based on its compact size and reasonable price. “The TouchMix is small and priced under $1,500, but it’s a real pro mixer,” he says. “It (TouchMIx-16) has 10 auxes plus four effects engines, it does multitrack recording and mixing, and it has recall. Oh, and by the way—it sounds great.”
The lineup of The Frontmen of Country Music on this tour, which was sponsored by the U.S. military’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), comprised Richie McDonald, of the band Lonestar, Tim Rushlow, formerly of Little Texas, Larry Stewart of Restless Heart and Donnie Reis of The Donnie Reis Band. “It was an all-acoustic show with vocals, acoustic guitars and electric piano. It was 10 tracks: I used Telefunken Elektroakoustik M80 mics on the vocals, a pair of M60s for house mics and Radial DI boxes,” he says.
For Mulcahy, recording with TouchMix is as simple as directly attaching a hard drive to the console’s USB 3.0 port, arming the desired channels on the touch screen then pressing record. “The microphone preamplifiers on the unit are, in my opinion, some of the finest available today,” he says. “The TouchMix just sounds great. Plus, it does so much more than alternative recording interfaces, he notes: “I can mix a band with it.”
Using TouchMix, Mulcahy was able to achieve a consistent front-of-house sounds throughout the tour, he says, from Bahrain to Djibouti to Italy to Spain, in clubs, outdoor courtyards and ship hangar bays, and using a variety of loudspeaker systems, including QSC K Series.
“My soundcheck on day one was in the desert in Bahrain, hitting presets and renaming them. The presets are the biggest thing with this desk. People ask me, ‘Why does the desk sound good?’ I say, just use the presets; they really work. I also truly enjoyed the studio quality effects engines. Those processors produced the signature effects that are critical to my show. It didn’t matter where we were; I just plugged the TouchMix in, reset, recalled and we were ready.”
On the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) aircraft carrier, on active duty in the Persian Gulf, Mulcahy was approached by the ship’s band, Shark Bait. “They asked if they could plug in. I said yes, we can use my vocal mics and I’ve got a few extra channels. So I was able to mix the opening act on the same board. At the end of the show I gave them their cables back, put the TouchMix in my backpack and away I went.”
Mulcahy also uses his TouchMix-16 as a recording interface every Sunday at Vertical Church in Westhaven, Ct., where he is senior audio engineer and runs front-of-house. “We’re doing six channels of recording, and I have lots of volunteers that I work with. So it’s critical for me present them with a situation where they are going to be successful,” he adds. “I show them that with TouchMix that they just need to push a couple of buttons and the sound is working beautifully – that’s how volunteers get excited, and dig in deeper. I’ve been able to get a lot of the volunteers at church to be enthusiastic about audio and it’s been great.” In addition to the TouchMix mixer, Vertical Church is also equipped with QSC WideLine arrays powered by CX Series amplifiers as well as K Series loudspeakers.