For BeBe and CeCe Winans's last tour together, the brother and sister duo showcased their contemporary gospel music using Meyer Sound MICA® line array loudspeakers, supplied by Blackhawk Audio of White House, Tenn. The Winans have been recording together since 1984, and won two 2010 Grammy Awards for “Best Gospel Performance” and “Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album.”
Touching down in six cities, the April leg of the tour started in the Winans's hometown of Detroit and closed at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Venue capacities ranged from 3,000 to 5,000, presenting a challenge for uniformly delivering the propulsive, urban contemporary sound of the Winans and their co-headliners on the bill, three-time Grammy winners Mary Mary.
“The MICAs really did their job,” says Rick Shimer, Blackhawk Audio's CEO and FOH mixer on the tour. “The R&B sound of today's gospel demands a lot of impact and sound pressure, and we had all that we needed.”
The twin arrays of 12 MICA loudspeakers each were supported by a dozen 700-HP subwoofers, with four UPA-1P loudspeakers as front fill. On stage, two CQ-2 and two MSL-4 loudspeakers, three more 700-HP subwoofers, and two MJF-212A stage monitors supplemented the Sennheiser in-ear systems (for the downstage vocalists) and Aviom systems (upstage for the band). The FOH setup was optimized by a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 processor.
“The Meyer systems afforded an amazing amount of power and clarity, but with a small footprint on stage and in the truck,” says Tim Wagoner, production manager for the tour, “Most of the theaters on this tour were built 80 or more years ago and heavy, amp rack-ridden systems would have been a real problem for stage space.”
Shimer engineered the FOH mix behind an Avid VENUE Profile console, while monitors were mixed with a Yamaha M7CL. Shure UR wireless systems with SM58 capsules were provided for the four headliners' vocals.
For Shimer, the power of the MICA-based system was complemented by its trademark transparency in the vocal range. “There's one number by Mary Mary that's almost acoustic, and it really highlights the power and subtlety of their vocals. It's a moment when you want the PA to just go away, so it's those two girls on stage singing straight to you. And the MICA system does just that.”
Become a fan of Meyer Sound on Facebook
Follow Meyer Sound on Twitter