If we're being perfectly honest with ourselves, you have to admit that you've seen some pretty rough sounding shows at the Crystal Ballroom. Mine was the New Pornographers after the release of Twin Cinema, a show that left the otherwise pristine pop group sounding muddy and fetid. But, just as often, they've dialed things in correctly, making big bands sound even bigger.
Well, brace yourselves, citizens, as the 100+ year old space is getting a well-deserved upgrade. Under the guidance of Mississippi Studios genius Jim Brunberg, the Ballroom will now boast (according to the press release sent out yesterday) "a brand new line XLC array by EV, powered by class-A Lab Gruppen amps, and mixed with industry-standard, cutting edge Avid SC48 and Midas Pro2 digital consoles." I don't know what any of that means, but it sounds—and surely will sound—awesome. Or to put it simply, as they did, "In other words, and more importantly, music sounds cleaner in the ballroom as a whole, no matter where the listener stands."
Brunberg, himself, dropped us a little note to talk about the new setup, saying, "The new system is going to do justice to the kinds of acts that enjoy playing the room. Eventually, I hope we can move the stage out of the corner, but there are quite a few logistical considerations to work through before we can do that; one thing I know for sure is that McMenamins is being very musician-friendly and is allowing for measurable improvements, and this new PA is a HUGE one!"