Mix engineer Trey Smith chose to utilise a main system headed by d&b audiotechnik V-Series loudspeakers for the recent U.S. tour by Sara Bareilles, supplied and supported by Spectrum Sound of Nashville.
Smith, who’s worked with Bareilles since 2008, notes that “in my early days as her sound engineer we were touring bus and trailer, so Spectrum might just provide a simple console package. They did that for a long time, starting with an (Avid) Profile, in-ear systems and a few d&b M4 wedges; it was six years till we carried full production on the 2014 Little Black Dress tour. But Spectrum has always cared for us really well.
“Bobby George, who is my contact at Spectrum, talked me into taking a d&b V-Series system for the tour,” he adds. “I made some calls of course, and spoke to a couple of sound engineer friends of mine to get some alternate opinions. Everyone just raved about the system. It proved perfect for the type of rooms we’d be playing, a mix of indoor theatres and outdoor sheds; anything from 4,000 to 10,000 people. In the bigger venues it was never lacking in horsepower.”
It was the first full production outing for Bareilles, with Smith noting that the smaller footprint of the system made carrying the rest of the production much easier.
Typically Smith flew left/right V8 arrays with the wider 120-degree (horizontal) V12 cabinets at the bottom. “At the biggest we flew six V-SUBs per side as well, and where possible had a 12-cabinet J-SUB array across the front of stage on the floor,” he adds. “Sara is not the Foo Fighters when it comes to low end, but she is dabbling in some tracks, an 808 drum sample for example, and I like to mix big and round so we do need that weight in the low end.
“Those cardioid subs are great,” he continues. “Sara likes to pull her ear buds in and out depending on how she’s feeling on stage and what song she is singing, that’s why we also have d&b M4 wedges at all her singing positions: not having that low end throwing back on stage is a big help. Plus the directivity we could achieve with the sub arc was amazing. At the Mann Centre in Philly we played the Skyline stage to 7,000 people on the lawn. The furthest audience was maybe 300 feet and the system threw way back.
System tech for the tour Chris Michaelessi of Spectrum Sound. “It was my first time working with him, and he did a first class job,” Smith states. “Whenever there were difficult situations we’d talk and he’d find a way to give me the platform I needed. And fast too, ArrayCalc to R1 Remote network, and then export all the settings right into the D80s (amplifiers) the moment they were switched on. I could be up and running in no time; that speed is a bonus when you encounter a tricky room.
“When you work with a vocal range as astonishing as Sara’s you want to reveal every detail, the voicing of the V-Series is so clear I was never struggling whatever the venue.” (Original article found here.)