Big Mick

Last updated

Mick Hughes
Big Mick.jpg
Born
Mick Hughes

1960 (age 5859)
Birmingham, England
Occupation Audio Engineer
Years active1984 – Present

"Big" Mick Hughes (born 1960) is the live audio engineer for Metallica, a position he has held since 1984.

Audio engineer engineer who operates recording, mixing, sound reproduction equipment

An audio engineer helps to produce a recording or a live performance, balancing and adjusting sound sources using equalization and audio effects, mixing, reproduction, and reinforcement of sound. Audio engineers work on the "...technical aspect of recording—the placing of microphones, pre-amp knobs, the setting of levels. The physical recording of any project is done by an engineer ... the nuts and bolts." It's a creative hobby and profession where musical instruments and technology are used to produce sound for film, radio, television, music, and video games. Audio engineers also set up, sound check and do live sound mixing using a mixing console and a sound reinforcement system for music concerts, theatre, sports games and corporate events.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

He was born in 1960 and grew up in Birmingham, England. While an apprentice at British Steel Corporation, he studied electronics at a local technical college and also gained experience on the thriving Midlands music scene including working as a roadie for Judas Priest. [1] In the early 1980s, working for the PA company Techserve he engineered for bands including UB40, Dennis Brown, Yellowman, and Jungle Man before becoming the touring sound engineer for The Armoury Show, who featured ex The Skids singer Richard Jobson and ex Siouxsie and the Banshees guitarist John McGeoch.

Birmingham City in the English Midlands, 2nd highest population of UK cities

Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, and the most populous city in the English Midlands. With an estimated population of 1,137,100 as of 2017, Birmingham is the cultural, social, financial and commercial centre of the Midlands. It is the main centre of the West Midlands conurbation, which is the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population in 2011 of 2,440,986. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 3.7 million. Birmingham is frequently referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city".

Judas Priest British heavy metal band

Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969. The band has sold over 50 million copies of their albums to date. They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s, the band struggled with indifferent record production and lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, which helped shoot them to rock superstar status.

UB40 British reggae/pop band

UB40 are an English reggae and pop band, formed in December 1978 in Birmingham, England. The band has had more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and has also achieved considerable international success. They have been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album four times, and in 1984 were nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group. UB40 have sold over 70 million records worldwide. The ethnic make-up of the band's original line-up was diverse, with musicians of English, Welsh, Irish, Jamaican, Scottish and Yemeni parentage.

The Armoury Show's management company QPrime then asked Mick to engineer a band they had just signed called Metallica (prompting Mick to ask "What's heavy metal?" when told the genre of music they played [2] ) starting a relationship that has lasted more than 30 years.

Big Mick has mixed Metallica at every one of the more than 1500 shows they have performed since their November 1984 tour of Europe, with one exception: On the Poor Re-Touring Me Tour, Big Mick was hospitalised with heart palpitations. Michael J "Geese" Graphix, Audio System Engineer for Electrotec and mix engineer for such acts as Guns N' Roses and Nine Inch Nails, stepped in and mixed FOH for two shows: 24 July 1998 in Antioch, Tennessee and 25 July 1998 in Noblesville, Indiana. Big Mick recovered and continued his reign at the Metallica helm. His contract with Metallica supposedly states that he has to be called by his moniker, although amongst the band themselves he is known as Full Roar. [3]

The Poor Re-Touring Me Tour was a 1997 to 1999 concert tour by the band Metallica. It had two legs, one in the Far East, Australia and New Zealand, and the other in the US and Canada. Jerry Cantrell and Days of the New opened for the US portion of the tour. The name comes from the title of the song "Poor Twisted Me" from the album Load. The double CD/DVD S&M was recorded at Berkeley, April 21–22 with maestro Michael Kamen and the San Francisco Symphony.

Antioch is a neighborhood in southeastern Davidson County, Tennessee governed by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. The area is assigned to postal Zip Code 37013.

Noblesville, Indiana City in Indiana, United States

Noblesville is a city in and the county seat of Hamilton County, Indiana, United States, just north of Indianapolis. The population was 51,969 at the 2010 census making it the state's 14th largest city/town, up from 19th in 2007. As of 2017 the estimated population was 61,882. The city is part of Delaware, Fall Creek, Noblesville, and Wayne townships.

The live mixing technique he is often credited with is adding a high mid "click" to the bass drum, which evolved early on with Metallica as a means of lifting Lars Ulrich's bass drums out of the bottom heavy sound. [4] A more recent crusade is to encourage engineers to start soundchecks with ambient microphones (such as vocal microphones) working through to close-miked or gated instruments such as drums. This is in direct opposition to the usual soundcheck which starts with the kick drum and ends with the vocals, but actually makes a lot of sense since the final sound of any instrument is going to be the combination of the ambient and close microphones it can be heard through.

Lars Ulrich Danish musician

Lars Ulrich is a Danish musician, songwriter, actor, and record producer. He is best known as the drummer and co-founder of the American heavy metal band Metallica. The son of tennis player Torben Ulrich and grandson of tennis player Einer Ulrich, he also played tennis in his youth and moved to Los Angeles at age 16 to train professionally. However, rather than playing tennis, Ulrich began playing drums. After publishing an advertisement in The Recycler, Ulrich met vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield and formed Metallica.

When not busy with Metallica, he has also worked with Halford, Ozzy Osbourne, Def Leppard, Queens of the Stone Age and Steve Vai. He produced the album World Service for the rock band Radio Moscow in 1991. [5] He managed The Wildhearts in the 1990s and has worked with them live [6] [7] [8] and in the studio [9] since their reunion in 2002. After Metallica, the band he is most strongly associated with is Slipknot, [10] who he has worked with between Metallica tours since 2001. He has even done sound for a Slipknot tribute act, Slip-not. [11]

Halford (band) American band

Halford is an American heavy metal band formed in 1999 by British singer Rob Halford, who is best known as the lead vocalist for Judas Priest. Halford formed the band to return to his heavy metal roots. His two previous projects were a "street metal"-style band called Fight and the industrial metal band 2wo.

Ozzy Osbourne English heavy metal vocalist and songwriter

John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne, also known as The Prince of Darkness, is an English vocalist, songwriter, actor and reality television star who rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He was fired from the band in 1979 due to alcohol and drug problems, but went on to have a successful solo career, releasing eleven studio albums, the first seven of which were all awarded multi-platinum certifications in the United States. Osbourne has since reunited with Black Sabbath on several occasions. He rejoined the band in 1997 and recorded the group’s final studio album 13 (2013) before they embarked on a farewell tour which culminated in a final performance in their home city Birmingham, England in February 2017. His longevity and success have earned him the informal title of "Godfather of Heavy Metal".

Def Leppard British band

Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. Since 1992, the band has consisted of Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell. This is the band's longest lasting line-up.

In 2007, he was asked to mix the FOH sound for the Led Zeppelin reunion concert [12] at London's O2 Arena in conjunction with Robert Plant's personal vocal mixer Roy Williams. They used the facilities of the Midas XL8 digital mixing console to allow them to do this on a single desk. [13] He consciously did not use the clicky Metallica bass drum sound, preferring instead to update Jason Bonham's ambient and reverberant drum sound by using a mix of close and ambient drum microphones on his kit, [14] brought into phase using a 3 or 4ms delay, [15] and finished with a small amount of digital reverb.

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Slipknot (band) American heavy metal band

Slipknot is an American heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa. The band was founded in 1995 by percussionist Shawn Crahan, drummer Joey Jordison and bassist Paul Gray. After several lineup changes in its early years, the band settled on nine members for more than a decade: Shawn Crahan, Joey Jordison, Paul Gray, Corey Taylor, Mick Thomson, Jim Root, Craig Jones, Sid Wilson, and Chris Fehn. Gray died on May 24, 2010, and was replaced during 2011–2014 by guitarist Donnie Steele. Jordison left the band due to illness on December 12, 2013. Steele left during the recording sessions for .5: The Gray Chapter. The band found replacements in Alessandro Venturella on bass and Jay Weinberg on drums. After the departure of Jordison, as of December 2013 the only founding member in the current lineup is percussionist Crahan.

<i>...And Justice for All</i> (album) 1988 studio album by Metallica

...And Justice for All is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on August 25, 1988, through Elektra Records. It is the first Metallica studio album to feature bassist Jason Newsted after the death of Cliff Burton in 1986.

Road crew support personnel who travel with a band on tour

The road crew are the technicians or support personnel who travel with a band on tour, usually in sleeper buses, and handle every part of the concert productions except actually performing the music with the musicians. This catch-all term covers many people: tour managers, production managers, stage managers, front of house and monitor engineers, lighting directors, lighting designers, lighting techs, guitar techs, bass techs, drum techs, keyboard techs, pyrotechnicians, security/bodyguards, truck drivers, merchandise crew, and caterers, among others.

When the Levee Breaks song by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie (1929), later covered by Led Zeppelin

"When the Levee Breaks" is a country blues song written and first recorded by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie in 1929. The lyrics reflect experiences during the upheaval caused by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

Kingdom Come is an American/German heavy metal/hard rock band formed in 1987. The band was originally fronted by Lenny Wolf, until their hiatus in 2016. While there have been no constant Kingdom Come members throughout the band's history, their most recent lineup features four original members who left the band in 1989 and returned in 2018. Wolf was replaced by Keith St John in 2018. The group's 1988 debut album, Kingdom Come, is to date their most internationally popular and biggest selling recording.

Sound reinforcement system combination of microphones, signal processors, amplifiers, and loudspeakers in enclosures all controlled by a mixing console that makes live or pre-recorded sounds louder and may also distribute those sounds to a larger or more distant audience

A sound reinforcement system is the combination of microphones, signal processors, amplifiers, and loudspeakers in enclosures all controlled by a mixing console that makes live or pre-recorded sounds louder and may also distribute those sounds to a larger or more distant audience. In many situations, a sound reinforcement system is also used to enhance or alter the sound of the sources on the stage, typically by using electronic effects, such as reverb, as opposed to simply amplifying the sources unaltered.

Murderdolls were an American horror punk and heavy metal band, founded during 2002 in Hollywood, California. The band line-up consisted of core members Wednesday 13 and Joey Jordison, while former members included Ben Graves, Acey Slade, Eric Griffin and Tripp Eisen.

Joey Jordison American musician

Nathan Jonas "Joey" Jordison, is an American musician, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his work as the former drummer and co-songwriter for the American heavy metal band Slipknot as well as guitarist in the American horror punk band Murderdolls. Jordison played in Slipknot since their formation in 1995 until his departure from the band in December 2013. He was the drummer and founder of the American heavy metal band Scar the Martyr which formed in 2013 and disbanded in 2016. He grew up in Waukee, Iowa with his parents and two sisters, and was given his first drum kit at the age of 8. He performed in several bands until joining in the summer of 1995 with the group The Pale Ones, which would later change their name to Slipknot. Of Slipknot's nine-member lineup which lasted from 1999–2010, Joey was the third to join the band.

Ramble On song

"Ramble On" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin from their 1969 album Led Zeppelin II. It was co-written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, and was recorded in 1969 at Juggy Sound Studio, New York City, during the band's second concert tour of North America. In 2010, the song was ranked number 440 on list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The Madly in Anger with the World Tour was a concert tour by American heavy metal band, Metallica. The tour supported the band's eighth studio album, St. Anger. The tour lasted over 12 months, beginning in the fall of 2003, performing over 100 shows.

Live sound mixing

Live sound mixing is the blending of multiple sound sources by an audio engineer using a mixing console or software. Sounds that are mixed include those from instruments and voices which are picked up by microphones and pre-recorded material, such as songs on CD or a digital audio player. Individual sources are typically equalised to adjust the bass and treble response and routed to effect processors to ultimately be amplified and reproduced via a loudspeaker system. The live sound engineer listens and balances the various audio sources in a way that best suits the needs of the event.

<i>All Hope Is Gone</i> 2008 studio album by Slipknot

All Hope Is Gone is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Slipknot. Released on August 20, 2008 by Roadrunner Records, the album was published in two versions: the standard album in a CD case and a special edition packaged in a six-fold digipak containing three bonus tracks, a 40 page booklet, and a bonus DVD with a documentary of the album's recording. Preparation for the album began in 2007, while recording started in February 2008 in the band's home state of Iowa. Before the album's launch, Slipknot released a series of promotional images and audio samples from the album through various websites. All Hope Is Gone is considered the band's most eclectic-sounding album, incorporating elements from their previous three. The album shows Slipknot completely abandoning the nu metal genre, moving to a groove metal style. Songs such as the opening track "Gematria " and the title track espouse the band's more brutal, death metal-influenced edge, reminiscent of songs such as "(sic)" from their debut self-titled album; slow burning, "trippy" elements such as "Gehenna", reminiscent of "Skin Ticket" from their second album Iowa; and more tragic, sentimental tracks such as "Dead Memories" and "Snuff".

Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert

The Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert was a benefit concert held in memory of music executive Ahmet Ertegün at the O2 Arena in London on 10 December 2007. The headline act was the English rock band Led Zeppelin, who performed their first full-length concert for almost three decades, since the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, in a one-off reunion. Bonham's son Jason Bonham played drums during the band's set, and also provided backing vocals on two songs.

<i>Live</i> (Roxy Music album) double live album by Roxy Music

Live is a double live album by English art rock band Roxy Music, released in 2003. Their fourth official live album, it contains performances from a variety of venues on their 2001 reunion world tour, and represents the entire set list from those concerts. Live was packaged in a Digipak case, with "Both Ends Burning" featured as an enhanced visual element.

Stage monitor system

A stage monitor system is performer-facing loudspeakers known as monitor speakers or stage monitors on stage during live music performances in which a PA system or sound reinforcement system is used to amplify the performers' singing, music, speech and other sounds for the audience. In Britain the term foldback is often used to describe the system. Monitor speakers are useful when amplified instruments are used with acoustic instruments and voice. Monitor speakers often include a single full-range loudspeaker and a horn in a cabinet. Monitor speakers have numerous features which facilitate their transportation and protection, including handles, metal corner protectors, sturdy felt covering or paint and a metal grille to protect the speaker. There are two types of monitors: passive monitors consist of a loudspeaker and horn in a cabinet ; active monitors have a loudspeaker, horn and a power amplifier in a single cabinet, which means the signal from the mixing board can be plugged straight into the monitor speaker.

Bruce Jackson (audio engineer) audio engineer

Bruce Robert Jackson was an Australian audio engineer who co-founded JANDS, an Australian audio, lighting and staging company. He joined American touring audio engineer Roy Clair and mixed concert stage monitors for Elvis Presley in the 1970s. With Clair Brothers, a concert sound company, Jackson designed audio electronics including a custom mixing console. Beginning in 1978, Jackson toured as Bruce Springsteen's band engineer for a decade, using Clair Brothers sound systems. A business interest in Fairlight CMI in Sydney introduced Jackson to digital audio, and he subsequently founded the digital audio company Apogee Electronics in Santa Monica, California, where he lived at the time. After selling his share of Apogee, Jackson co-founded with Roy and Gene Clair a joint venture which produced the Clair iO, a loudspeaker management system for control of complex concert sound systems. Jackson turned the venture commercial with the help of Dave McGrath's Lake Technology. Dolby Laboratories bought the technology and formed Dolby Lake with Jackson as vice president, then in 2009 Lab.gruppen acquired the brand. Jackson was honoured with the Parnelli Innovator Award in 2005 for his inventive loudspeaker controller.

Antony King is a British live audio engineer for Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails. He has also worked as front of house engineer for The Cure, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Band of Horses, Zayn, Beck, Marilyn Manson, The Faces, and Simply Red.

Hanan Rubinstein is a New York City based multi-instrumentalist, vocal coach, producer and sound engineer. Hanan is currently the guitar player in the Alicia Keys band and the owner/chief engineer of Birdie Studios.

Yurii Barybin is a sound producer and mixing engineer, production manager, technical director, live sound engineer, audio systems engineer, personal in-ear monitor systems designer, recording and mastering engineer, author of the patented Diversity Source Monitor Audio Mixing Technique. Full member of Audio Engineer Society (AES) and member of Ukrainian Union of Audio Engineers, Grammy Recording Academy member.

References

  1. "ProSoundWeb – When "Big Mick" Talks, Sound Engineers Ought To Listen!". 11 August 2001. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  2. "A conversation with Big Mick Hughes, Front-of-House Engineer for Metallica". Audio-Technica. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  3. "James Hetfield interview – "We call him Full Roar for a reason. He turns those faders up and doesn't stop."". Archived from the original on 19 December 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  4. Big Mick discusses the evolution of the drum sound Archived 22 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine .
  5. "MusicMight :: Artists :: RADIO MOSCOW". 15 August 2016. Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  6. Really1980 (9 June 2007). "Roadies 2 – On The Road Again (The Wildhearts) [Part 1]" . Retrieved 20 August 2018 via YouTube.
  7. Really1980 (9 June 2007). "Roadies 2 – On The Road Again (The Wildhearts) [Part 2]" . Retrieved 20 August 2018 via YouTube.
  8. Really1980 (9 June 2007). "Roadies 2 – On The Road Again (The Wildhearts) [Part 3]" . Retrieved 20 August 2018 via YouTube.
  9. "The Wildhearts – Coupled With". Discogs. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  10. Bozza, Anthony (11 October 2001). "Slipknot: Highway to Hell". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  11. August 2006 entry on Viper Productions news page Archived 26 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine .
  12. Definitive article on the production of the Ahmet Ertegun tribute Archived 17 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine . from Total Production International magazine. Archived 21 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine .
  13. "MIDAS – MUSIC Tribe". www.midasconsoles.com. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  14. Details of microphones used at the Led Zeppelin reunion Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine .
  15. Article in the June 2008 issue of Performing Musician And Live Sound World magazine (not online)