For the US legs of the tour, Livonia, Mich.-based Thunder Audio provided a Meyer Sound system comprised of 24 MILO and 16 MICA line array loudspeakers; eight 700-HP subwoofers; eight UPJ-1P VariOâ„¢ loudspeakers; 18 MJF-212A stage monitors; and a Galileo® loudspeaker management system. In Europe, equipment support came from Major Tom Ltd, while Coda Audio Services is supplying Meyer Sound equipment for the Australian concerts. A Countryman ISOMAX headset microphone is provided for Parton in all of her shows.
Systems Engineer Patrick Johnston describes Parton's performance, as “somewhere between concert and theatre. There's a lot of monologue and interaction with the crowd. Making the spoken word sound natural in larger venues can be a daunting task.”
To that end, Meyer Sound was essential, says Fechner, who mixes the show on a Midas PRO6 console. “I can't say enough about Meyer Sound. It's very high fidelity, and for this show, where a good portion is speaking and storytelling, the vocal intelligibility, especially with a headset, is critical and has been quite a challenge over the years. MILO is smooth in the midrange, and it's perfect for this artist.”
Glass, mixing monitors on a Midas PRO9 console, agrees. “The set ranges from energetic pop to bluegrass to light ballads,” he explains. “The MJF-212A gives me all the punch and power I could ever need for a pop number. Then we go into a very light, quiet acoustic number, and all the sparkle you'd want from acoustic and bluegrass instruments, which—at any volume—projects perfectly to the artist. And then we jump right back into a high-energy number, and punch right through all the crowd cheering, with perfect fidelity.”
Johnston summarizes: “Dolly's voice has to be pristine from the front row to the nosebleed seats. This is one of the only rigs that I feel is up to that task.”