Thousands of women are expected to meet this year in over 29 cities across the U.S. for dual one-of-a-kind events as part of the ‘Women of Faith’ tours.
‘Over the Top’ and ‘Imagine” tours are both two-day weekend events focusing on music and uplifting presentations, to be held at arenas and coliseums nationwide throughout the year.
This is the first time that two ‘Women of Faith’ tours will take place simultaneously. East Coast ‘Over the Top’ dates include musical performances by Sandi Patty, Mandisa, Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman. ‘Imagine’ West Coast tour dates will feature Mary Mary and Natalie Grant.
This year and for the past 10 years, audio production will be provided by CTS Audio of Franklin, TN, with Mike Taylor, Director of Performance Audio, tasked with putting together two separate EtherSound rigs that will move from venue to venue across the U.S.
The systems include dual Yamaha DM2000v2 digital consoles, two Yamaha SB168-ES stage boxes, and Yamaha AD8HR mic preamps.
CTS will staff both tours. ‘Over the Top’ crew include Ed Crippen – front of house engineer, Tim Olson – monitor engineer, and system tech Peter Streiff. ‘Imagine’ crew support is provided by front of house engineer Jon Schwarz, monitor engineer Weston Smith, and system tech Dave McMullin.
“Back in 2001, we decided to go all-digital as a company,” states Taylor. “Our crew became very familiar with the Yamaha DM2000 since it was one of the first consoles that could provide the functionality we needed at its size for the first ‘Women of Faith’ tour. We have come to rely on its flexibility through the years, and our ability to get around on the console quickly is very important in a live show. Its reliability is unmatched in the market.
“By the time we started our second ‘Women of Faith’ tour, we already owned quite a few DM2000s so it made sense to replicate the existing system in case artists flipped to other cities, we would have consistency for them and the engineers.”
Taylor says that the production package for the ‘Women of Faith’ tours make the Yamaha consoles very favorable in terms of how CTS packs the truck. “We are able to get an arena in the round packed into 40 feet of truck space. Nobody else is doing that. Our crew is able to load in the complete set up in eight hours.”
The decision to use Yamaha Stage Boxes is their ability to get 16 inputs and 8 outputs per stage box, notes Taylor.
“Since our system is in the round, and unlike most touring systems, our front of house and monitor mixing consoles are in one location,” he states. “We are able to put our SB-168ES at the stage and run one cat5 cable to front of house as our snake. We then utilize Yamaha MY16-ES64 and MY1EX-CA cards to split the signal to the two consoles. The stage boxes interface with the DM2000 consoles so easily and make a digital snaking system a cost effective solution.”
Both tours are using Shure wireless microphones and Sennheiser wireless for in-ear monitors. Crown amplifiers and JBL line arrays are also part of both rigs.