Rocking Red Rocks: A Day in the Life of Drummer Todd Sucherman
The career of Audix drummer Todd Sucherman is the thing of legends-from his present tenure as drummer for prog rock icons Styx; to his work with Brian Wilson, Spinal Tap, Peter Cetera, and many others; to his highly successful Methods and Mechanics instructional DVD series. Sucherman recently took the stage with Styx, along with a live symphony orchestra, for an epic performance at the world-renowned Colorado venue, Red Rocks.
Todd's view of the crowd, seen through the D2 drum microphones over his toms, is a snapshot of every drummer's dream gig. "We've done several symphony shows before," says Todd, "but this was obviously very special. Not only is the Colorado Symphony a world class orchestra but to play with them in the magical setting that is Red Rocks really made for an evening that none of us will ever forget."
Sucherman has been using Audix for close to a decade, with a setup that includes the i5 dynamic instrument microphone, ADX51 studio condenser microphone, D2, D4, D6 drum microphones and SCX25A studio condenser microphones. "I couldn't be happier," says Todd. "I think the unsung all stars are the SCX25A overheads. I get compliments on my cymbal sound very often, and it's pretty rare when you're playing arenas and big outdoor shows that other people comment on how lovely the cymbals sound!"
He also describes creating the perfect mix in his monitor, and how that helps him throughout the entire show. "What I hear in my monitor mix is the dream drum sound-melodic, punchy, toneful toms; the snare drum (which I've been playing a little looser in recent years for a little fatter sound) is just the perfect mix of a cream pie with a little bit of high end crack, and a gut punch. That combo is absolutely lovely. The mics consistently give me what I need to hear every night, and the feedback I get from my guests after the show are stellar compliments on the overall sound and the sound of the drums."
When asked about his most memorable gig, Todd is at a loss for a while, thinking over many unforgettable events in the course of his work. "I'm so fortunate to have had so many wonderful experiences in the studio and on stage," he explains. After a quick pause, he adds, "But there's always going to be something special about the night I played Carnegie Hall with Brian Wilson and Sting and Billy Joel and James Taylor, with an all-star band-Will Lee, Hiram Bullock, Larry Carlton, Tom ‘Bones' Malone. That was one of those experiences of-‘Oh my gosh, I can't believe this is happening!'"
What advice would the award-winning educator give to young musicians? "Be persistent. Put yourself in the pathway of opportunity, listen to older musicians, take direction, take their advice. Record yourself. And keep at it."