I had the good fortune of working with Howard during my time at SHOWCO back in 1994 and then again in 2012 on a symphonic show in Lancaster Pennsylvania (right down the road from Clair’s headquarters). Howard is a SMAART user and I got to assist him in tuning an entire sound system in about an hour. Priceless experience.
Howard is Clair Global’s Senior Design Engineer.
Jands Celebrates 40 years
Quote from http://www.jands.com.au/company/about_us/company_history/jands_celebrates_40_years:
Howard Page – The Denim Legend
Howard was a radio station panel operator but was infatuated with live audio. I recall that Harry Miller was opening Hair and Howard became the audio engineer. Howard was single minded in his desire to make Jands a world class audio company. He designed consoles, speaker cabinets, cross-overs all with the purpose of keeping Jands ahead of the field. He eventually took this drive to Show Co and then Clair Bros in America as director of engineering. But one thing always remains the same – blue jeans and big belt buckle – The Denim Legend.
Mixonline article – Mixing Sting and Royal Philharmonic Orchestr Tour
FOH Online – Howard Page: Keeping it All in Balance
TPI Magazine – Sting: Back To Bass
Time to Shelf The Low End – Why Your Subs Are Ruining Your Live Mix
Mariah Carey archives – Tour Profile
Quote from http://www.tpimagazine.com/production-profiles/1324060/sting_back_to_bass.html:
A 30-YEAR PARTNERSHIP
It would be accurate to say that Howard Page isn’t your typical FOH Engineer. Or rather, his working life at this point was never intended
to revolve around touring. Page is on the engineering staff at Clair Global, based in Lititz, Pennsylvania, USA, and by his own admission
he doesn’t usually tour these days and calls his presence on the Back To Bass tour somewhat of an “anomaly”. Meaning there is, of course,
just one musician who can get Page on a tour bus these days.
Said Page: “I worked on the Symphonicity tour with an orchestra and small band for 14 months, as Sting needed someone with a lot of experience – a total understanding of dynamics and live orchestral balance because if you don’t go into a tour like that without total control of all those elements, it will never be as good as it could be. We came along and solved that, working closely with Sting to totally control those elements to achieve some pretty stunning results.”
Sting has many facets these days; semi acoustic; rock ‘n’ roll and with Back To Bass, an arguably unique set of musicians using violins
and rhythm guitars to recreate songs from the artist’s catalogue in never before heard arrangements.
Page continued: “Basically, the man is a genius, so if I have to come out on the road again with anyone, he would be the only artist I could imagine being with. He’s the nicest guy in the world, and is just beyond creative. He comes up with things and you sit back and think ‘but how is that going to work?’ and it comes together, every time.”
To say the staff at Clair is passionate about
one of their longstanding clients (Sting has been with the company since the very first time The Police toured America) is an understatement. Catching up with the tour as it neared its end and having the audio engineers talk with an infectious enthusiasm as discussions about what makes mixing Sting the very environment in which they want to be in every day is quite charming, but it’s their combined expertise which also puts Sting in the very best position on the road.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time and all my career have been dedicated to always strive for perfection,” Page explained. “I’m involved
with the final design process of all of the Clair systems, tuning and commissioning how they actually sound. We have a lot of very clever
people in our office, who deal with all of the design theory, but it still has to work in the real world and that’s where my 36 years of practical
experience comes in. I’ve mixed everything over the years, from AC/DC in Sydney when I was a kid, to operas and orchestras alike.”
Australian-born Page started off in radio, gained a Technical Engineering degree and built his career around it. “I imported the first Ampex 4Track recorder into Australia and built a recording studio to make jingles for radio stations. I then went to a recording studio and
we built consoles, pretty much from scratch. My specialty is design of live mixing consoles. You find something that you enjoy and that you’re good at, and then you virtually dedicate your whole career to it. I’ve only worked for four companies in my whole life, always doing the same thing, and it is very rewarding.”