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Tour Profile: Setting It Strait

Bringing out the “twang” and more in the round.

In One Place
The main 40- by 40-foot Total Structures stage is set up out of the way at one end of the arena, with instruments and mic’ing in place, while the main arrays are flown.

By about 2:30 pm, it’s rolled into place, with two 8-foot-wide bridged tunnels beneath that accommodate the LA-RAK power and processing racks.

The rule of in-the-round shows is for the cables to all drop in one place, and here, they come down at the corner of the stage where the monitor desks are tucked in.

Avid Profile digital consoles reside at both house and monitors, where they’re used for both Strait and Womack.

The LA-RAKs fit under the stage in tunnels.

Olsen applies Bomb Factory BF-2A compression on Strait’s vocal channel, along with McDSP ML4000 multi-band dynamic EQ and Crane Song Phoenix to emulate the unique properties of a magnetic tape machine.

The latter is also utilized for kick, snare, bass and the backing vocals.

Kaylor mixes Strait’s monitors, and another big part of his role is mic’ing the stage. Most of the mics are Audix, with a D6 (serial number 1, in fact) deployed for kick drum, i5s for snare and D2s for rack toms.

Floor toms also have D6s, also impressively routed to the subwoofers. Hi-hat is handled with Audix SCX1s, and SCX-25 “lollipop” mics for overhead.

Monitor engineer Josh Kaylor at his Profile console.

Wired & Wireless
A dozen Radial Engineering J48 active DIs are applied to keyboards, bass and acoustic instruments. Mike Daily’s classic Peavey Vegas 400 steel guitar amps are mic’ed with a pair of Audix CX112B large-format condensers, as are Benny McArthur and Rick McRae’s Fender Twins.

The Leslie cabinet under the stage is outfitted with a duo of an Audix D4 on the lows and an i5 on the highs.

The setup and mic’ing for the steel guitar rig.

Strait switched from an Audix OM5 dynamic mic to a VX10 “true condenser” years ago, prior to going into the round. He alternately sings at four different vocal positions, each at a corner of the diamond-shaped stage, while his backing singers use Audix VX5 condensers.

Most mics are hard-wired, with Shure UHF-R wireless systems for Strait’s Taylor acoustic guitars. Many players are outfitted with Sennheiser ew300 IEM G2 transmitters and Westone ES3 custom molds.

Wireless reception is bolstered through use of Professional Wireless Systems helical antennas and a PWS GX-8 combiner.

PWS helicals in the midst of the RF antenna jungle at the monitor position.

Clair 12AM wedges are added for bass player Terry Hale as well as Daily on steel guitar and guitarist Benny McArthur. Drummer Mike Kennedy and keyboard players Ronnie Huckabee and John Michael Wilby have hardwired Shure P6HW packs.

The team gets some variety with McIntyre and Womack also on the tour bill. McEntire is mixed on her own set of Clair-supplied D-Show Venue consoles by 25-year mix veteran Ricky Moeller, assisted by system engineer Matthew “Chance” Stahlhut, with Jon “JD” Ducrest mixing monitors, assisted on stage by Scott Evans.

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System tech Ernie Gonzales does the house for Womack, while Olsen moves over to mix her monitors.

The Twang tour finishes up this month in the Midwest.

Mark Frink is editorial director of Live Sound International.

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