Melissa Etheridge is one of rock music’s great singer/songwriters. With 21 albums and a slew of ongoing projects as well as her Etheridge Island Festival, she seems to stay busy even when she’s “not busy.” During the height of COVID-19 when it seemed the music world was shut down, Etheridge went livestream with her highly successful “Lockdown Concerts.”
When concert touring once again became feasible, she hit the road with her “One Way Out Tour.” The tour, promoting her newest album of the same name, brings to light previously written songs that Etheridge had penned in the 1980s and 90s. The shows feature her as well as bandmembers David Santos (bass and vocals), Eric Gardner (drums) and Max Hart (keys, guitar, steel guitar and vocals). The tour began in March in the U.S. with stops mostly at casinos and theaters, including the historic Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in New Hampshire, and heads to Europe before returning for a final U.S. run, wrapping up in October.
For this tour Etheridge has again teamed with long-time FOH mixer, Jim Roese, who is carrying a pair of Midas Heritage HD96 consoles – house and monitor – provided by Sound Image. Because the tour relies on each venue’s in-house PA system, the control and consistency that is needed for the show makes the console choice critical. Roese comments, “It’s hard to explain how awesome the Midas Heritage HD96-24 is. It’s got a wide spatial image, but is completely cohesive when the instruments sum. It’s the same great Midas Pro Series sound but on steroids. The workflow is super dialed. You can put anything anywhere and the touch screen GUI is very intuitive. Any move that I make while mixing requires only minimal time looking away from the stage or the artist.” Two Lake LM44 processors are also in Roese’s kit which allow him to better cope with the “PA du jour” scenario. “I actually enjoy the challenges of dealing with a new system in each venue. It keeps me on my toes. Having the Lake processors is crucial for consistency day to day.” says Roese.
Roese’s company, RPM Dynamics, has used and sold Midas consoles for over a decade. “We put Midas consoles in the vast majority of our design-build installations and on every tour that we are involved with. In early 2021, AVL Media Group became the distributor for North America which coincided with the re-launch, if you will, and availability of the HD96. Needless to say, I’m a fan.”
Monitor mixer Ozzy Giron, who had previously mixed Etheridge on a Midas Pro X, admits that it took a nudge from Jim Roese for him to change to the HD96. “With a little hesitation I agreed and it was a decision I do not regret whatsoever. From the moment I first touched the desk it was very comfortable. I give stereo mixes to each of the band members as well as a live stream mix for our Etheridge TV live mix and am simply amazed at the sonic quality of the Midas HD96. The first thing Melissa said was how great it sounded which is exactly what you want to hear from the boss.”