Howard Heckers in , March 2016

Howard Heckers in , March 2016


Lots of people ask to me about the iPads, computers, and the plexiglas walls on stage, in the Roger's shows. -->

Howard Heckers, the sound man for Roger Hodgson and band, is answering all these questions for Interesting interview!


Interview Howard Heckers

Do you remember the first concert you ever did with Roger ?
Yes I remember very well, it was in Bochum Germany at a festival, it was just Roger solo on stage, I met Roger back-stage 2 hours before the show, I was a bit nervous doing the first show with Roger in front of 20.000 people


How long does it take to set up the stage ?
Normally we start setting up at noon, the band will come in at 3 pm and we have a 4 pm sound check.

 So roughly it takes about 4 hours to be ready for sound check

Our system is really quick for setting up by only 2 guys, when we tour in Europe we have all our own back-line and sound console with us.

This allows us to have a real easy smooth set-up


How long for the dismantling ?
Dismantling is about 1 hour, this includes the loading in the Bus Trailer


Does each musician has the exact same sound in his ears monitors ?
Each musician has an iPad on stage, the iPad is connected to a PIVITEC system, this system allows each musician to make their own mix

I’m sending them 32 channels, they have presets on the iPad, so they can basically change their mix however they like independent from my mix

(The Pivitec e32 is a 32-channel Personal Monitor Mixer with a high output headphone amp and wireless control from iPad or iPhone using Pivitec’s V2Mix Pro application for iOS)

Except for Roger, Roger gets a fixed mix from the FOH console, and I frequently check his mix on my inn-ears


Are you using a numeric mixing desk ?
Our set up is pretty complex, so therefor we can only use DiGiCo Consoles, either way a SD-7 / SD-10 / SD-8

I bring my show files on a USB stick, load my sessions and everything should be okay


Is it always the same set up for the mixing desk, or does it change with the venues ?
In Europe we mostly have our own sound console with us in the Bus Trailer

If we rent a mixing desk it always needs to be a DiGiCo, I would love to use other consoles however this would take me a few days to program, and we can take the risk that something goes wrong


In what the passage in the all-digital changed your job ?
Digital consoles have changed my life big time, the sound console what we use is pretty compact compared to the older analogue boards

I have the choice of using 96 channels and 96 outputs if I need, in the old analogue configurations you would need 3 analogue consoles with a lot of out board gear to do the same job

However I love the sound of the analogue boards, I carry a few analogue channel strips for Rogers vocals, so Roger Vocals stay Analogue while the rest is all digital


On the stage each musician has a little screen for set up ; what is it ?
See my answer in previous question, they all have a iPad for mixing their own Inn-Ears


Roger is using in ear monitoring ; can he hear the audience ?
I have 2 microphones on Left and Right facing the audience, I use them for my live recordings and to use in Rogers Inn-Ear mix


Roger’s keyboard sounds aren’t in the keyboard itself ? Are they in computers ?
Rogers Keyboard is a remote control to trigger the computer sounds, there’s no sound coming out of the keyboards onstage

All the sounds come from the computers using the Main stage program, this is the case for Roger, Aaron and Kevin, thats why they all have computers on stage


Roger has many pedals under his keyboard, what are they for ?
Sustain Pedal, Volume pedal, Switch pedal for switching deferent patches,


Which guitar effect is using Roger ?
Rogers Guitar set-up is also pretty complex, For his Electric guitar he uses the Line-6 pedal board

His 2 acoustics Soppy and Marie are going through deferent pedals, Eventide H-9 and a few others

I also ad 4 effects on the guitar from the inboard Digico console, using delays, Chorus, Revebs and Harmonising

We have presets for each song changing the effects


Brian is not any more behind the window in Plexiglas (which is cool) why ?
Bryan has been cured from his contagious disease (kidding you ahaha)

The plexiglas was always a compromise using acoustic pianos

The piano microphones pick up to much drum noise so thats why we decided to use the plexiglas

Later we switched over to Digital grand pianos so we didn’t need to use the plexi anymore


Why not using a grand piano as a Steinway 9 foot concert grand ?
The plexiglas was always a compromise using acoustic pianos

The piano microphones pick up to much drum noise so thats why we decided to use the plexiglas

Later we switched over to Digital grand pianos so we didn’t need to use the plexi anymore


Do you know if Roger still has the Stratocaster he was using with Supertramp ?

Yes Roger still has the old Stratocaster

He keeps all the older instruments in his studio in California, which has become a kind of museum ahahah





Photo: with Howard Hecker in Peralada, Girona, Spain



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