Harmony In Action: Live Sound For The Band Perry Headline Tour

Audio for a group of seasoned musicians presenting a "modern throwback" style...

By PSW Staff January 21, 2014

The Band Perry in concert, with vocals captured by Shure KSM9/HS condensers on ULX wireless systems.

The Band Perry’s meteoric rise has officially hit warp speed, with the country group now in the midst of a headline tour of arenas following a stint as the opening act for Rascal Flatts in one of the top tours of 2013.

Siblings Kimberly Perry (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Reid Perry (bass guitar, background vocals), and Neil Perry (mandolin, drums, accordion, background vocals) are backed by a group of tight, seasoned musicians to present a “modern throwback” style combining classic country with rock, gospel and soul.

The “We Are Pioneers World Tour” launched in Sweden last November with new sound, set and lights, and then hit North America in early 2014, kicking off in Canada in early January before moving on to the U.S. through at least March, joined by opening acts Easton Corbin and newcomer Lindsey Ell.

Directing the sound reinforcement effort for The Band Perry are seasoned Nashville-based touring sound veterans Jon Garber (FOH) and Justin Beckstead (monitors), working with the Nashville division of Sound Image, headed up by Everett Lybolt.

The vocal harmony between Reid, Neil and big sister Kimberly is one of the keys to The Band Perry live, captured with Shure KSM9/HS condenser microphones on ULX wireless systems. The arrival at the KSM9/HS came after a journey lasting a couple of years that began with Kimberly on an SM86 and the brothers on Beta 58As, with an occasional appearance by Shure Super 55s for certain songs.

Jon Garber at his Studer Vista 5 SR at front of house.

“The KSM9s absolutely capture the full nuance of their voices while being very transparent in nature,” notes Garber. “Their supercardioid pattern also helps reject stage noise, particularly from the drums.”

Speaking of stage noise, it’s actually a relatively quiet space, with The Band Perry on Shure PSM 1000 personal monitoring systems and the rest of the musicians on PSM 900s, with all systems feeding custom Westone earpieces. There are no wedges and minimal fills, and that’s just the way Beckstead likes it from both sonic and mixing perspectives.

Justin “JB” Beckstead with wireless transmitters staged and ready to go.

“There are more challenges in mixing for ‘ears,’ but on the other hand, it allows me to deliver full mixes to everyone rather than just select parts, which was the case with wedges,” he notes. In addition, the CueMode function of the systems allows monitoring of up to 20 different channels on one bodypack, which comes in handy in monitoring the RF landscape.

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