Dave Sinko
Photo is of Dave Sinko

APB ProRack Brings the Punch

November 1, 2011

"This mixer is perfect for us." So says Dave Sinko, sound engineer for the Punch Brothers, a progressive bluegrass band, who in recent years have become increasingly visible —Elton John is a big fan—based in part on their energetic live shows and superb musicianship. The mixer in question is the APB-DynaSonics ProRack rack mount monitor board and it has become an indispensible part of the Punch Brothers live sound rig.

The Punch Brothers are comprised of Chris Thile (mandolin and vocals), Gabe Witcher (fiddle), Paul Kowert (string bass), Chris Eldridge (guitar), and Noam Pikelny (banjo), and all are virtuosos on their respective instruments. Sinko, referred to as "the sixth Punch Brother" on the bands Web site, has become known for an organic approach to sound recording and mixing, both in the studio and in live sound. Artists such as Yo Yo Ma, Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, and Sam Bush have all benefitted from his unobtrusive techniques and easygoing attitude. His equipment choices reflect this experience and make use of high quality, yet workable and practical gear.

All of band members are using JH Audio JH13 ear buds fed from the Sennehiser G3monitoring system. Controlling this is the APB ProRack, from which the players can hear a variety of mixes, cues, and feeds. The mixer is placed on stage giving the band access to adjust their individual mixes. Five of the ProRack’s eight stereo outputs are used for the in-ear monitors, leaving the remaining outputs for a unique tuning set-up that Dave designed. Via foot switches, the instrument in each mix can be muted while the performer tunes on stage.

Sinko continues, "Sonically the APB is impressive and it is one of the only rack mount mixers that can provide the capabilities for the stereo in-ear mixes that I need. And it is very reliable. We did a show in Central Park and during load-in the APB fell from the vehicle that was driving gear to the stage. It tumbled in its case end over end but still worked perfectly."

The Punch Brothers begin a run of shows with Paul Simon in November before heading off to Europe. For more information about APB-DynaSonics, please visit their Web site at http://www.APB-DynaSonics.com.