BUENA PARK, Calif.â”€The summer tour season may have officially ended but was quite successful in terms of audio used by many of the national and regional sound companies who took Yamaha and NEXO products along for the ride.
Clair Bros. used a multitude of PM1D, PM5D, M7CL, PM5K and PM4Ks on many of its tours including Alicia Keys, The Police, Carrie Underwood, Travis Tritt, Elton John and Peter Frampton. PM1Ds and PM5D consoles can be heard on Panic at the Disco, Daughtry, Alter Bridge, Maroon 5, Alan Jackson, Sara Evans, Little Big Town, Terri Clark and Feist. PM5000 consoles are being used on Elton John, The Police, Luis Miguel, Dierks Bentley, and Alan Jackson. M7CL consoles can be found on Talking with Dinosaurs, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, and Terri Clark. And, for those 4K fans, this Yamaha console is being used on Elvis Costello and Miranda Lambert tours.
Clair staff engineer, Bob Bussiere, who mixes monitors for Sara Evans and also front of house for NBC's â€˜Nashville Star' live TV show, says the PM5D is his console of choice. “The PM5D as a monitor desk has taken over as my â€˜sharpest tool in the shed.' Of all the digital consoles on the market the 5D, is in my opinion, the top. I have been using it since it first hit the market and have never had a single problem with it. The layout and options you have are unbelievable, no more outboard racks; day-day set-up is so simple. Fly dates with rental equipment used to be dreadful, and now I just load my card and off we go. This desk has become the new standard for audio engineers worldwide. Yamaha has really delivered the goods.”
For the past nine years, ClairShowco (Nashville) has supplied sound and production support for the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, both for the night-time LP Field (home of the NFL's Nashville Titans) performances and the Greased Lightning® Daytime Stages at Riverfront Park, on and directly across the Cumberland River from LP Field. Front of house mixing, as well as monitors, for both venues was dominated by Yamaha consoles: for LP Field FOH, two PM5D-RH's and two PM5000 48-channel analog consoles, plus two PM5D-RH's and two PM1D's for monitors; and for Daytime Stages FOH, two PM5D-RH's and a DM2000, plus two PM5D-RH's for monitors. Additionally, two Yamaha DSP5D Expanders were on hand to supplement the 48-channel PM5D's for LP Field.
“Engineers are so familiar with the PM5D,” says Clair/Showco Account Manager, Robert â€˜Koz' Kosloskie, “that it's now become the logical choice for both FOH and monitors.”
Neil Diamond is on tour in support of his latest CD â€˜Home Before Dark' which has already hit #1 in the U.S. and U.K., a first for the singer. Stan Miller, front of house engineer and Bernie Becker, monitor and recording engineer for Neil Diamond had a huge challenge for this tour in that the new set design has the musicians on four moving â€˜pods' (platforms). They needed to come up with a way to cable all of the musicians back to front of house, monitors and recording/playback systems. The design team at Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems determined that by using EtherSound networked audio in place of standard â€˜digital cabling' to connect the system would enable amazing results. The tour is also using a Yamaha PM5D at front of house and a second at monitors.
Eighth Day Sound VP Jack Boessneck notes that Yamaha consoles are being used on the following festival and tours: Lollapalooza Festival - (2) PM5Ds; Virgin Festival - (4) PM5Ds; American Eagle Festival - (3) PM5Ds; 311 Tour - a PM5D support desk, the True Colors Tour – a PM5D; Death Cab For Cutie Tour – a PM5D; OAR – a PM5D; Tom Jones Tour - (2) PM5Ds; Bonnaroo Festival - (4) PM5Ds; Earth Wind & Fire Tour – a PM5D; Foo Fighters - PM1D. “I don't think there is a tour sound engineer out there who does not have a PM5D file on their computer or in their pocket,” says Boessneck.
The Atlantic City Hilton recently purchased a Yamaha PM5D console from ACIR Pro of Egg Harbor Township, N.J. for use at front of house in their theater. “We chose PM5Ds for a variety of reasons: the flexibility, reliability and sound make the console a pleasure to work on,” states Lead Audio Technician, Kevin Kelly. “More importantly, the console is usually on every rider so most of the incoming engineers have their show on a card. If they don't, it doesn't take that long to set it up.”
The new MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort & Casino (CT) also installed two PM5D consoles in their new 4,000 seat theater. “The console choices were made primarily by Foxwoods Entertainment based on their experience with what tools they need in their â€˜toolbox' to support the multitude of visiting acts and in selecting devices they could rely on both electronically and sonically,” states Jeff Mele, President, North American Theatrix. “The Yamaha PM5D is a popular console and is requested on many riders we deal with, so we bought two,” adds Jeff Nelson, Audio Supervisor, MGM Grand Theater.
Ringo Starr & the All Starr's are using a PM5D and new Yamaha T5n amps at the monitor position. “We did several listening tests comparing other manufacturers' amplifiers to the T5n,” states Mario Leccese, VP of Operations for Audio Analysts. “We found that the low end was tighter and the high frequency was more present and â€˜in your face' than any other amplifiers we have tested through the years.” Monitor engineer Aaron Goldstein is using a Yamaha PM5D at monitors based on Audio Analyst's previous experience with the band and their requirements. “Basically, this package makes the monitor rig light, compact, feature-packed and very reliable,” notes Leccese.
Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution Tour, Judas Priest, Heaven and Hell (featuring Ronnie James Dio), and Kool & The Gang are using PM5Ds for monitors. UltraSound (CA) also has a PM5D out for monitors on Micky Hart's tour with an M7CL-48 at front of house. “I was first attracted to the PM5D because it is a stand-alone unit, no extra stage racks are needed,” states Kevin “Tater” McCarthy, monitor engineer for Linkin Park. “I'm also using the new DSP5D Expander for an extra 28 inputs and two extra outputs that Linkin Park requires for their summer tour.”
“I have found the desk to be very friendly to analog leviathans such as myself,” states Doug Short, monitor engineer for Judas Priest who recently used the 5D at Mohegan Sun. “The small footprint is handy as well.” Heaven and Hell monitor engineer Lorenzo Banda says “I love the console immensely.”
“One of the best things I like about the PM5D console is its Recall capabilities,” states Alfred â€˜Al-Tee' Williams, monitor engineer for Kool & The Gang. “Routing my outputs and inputs is wonderful, plus the latest software allows me to use 24 GEQs on my mixes.”
The Pat Benatar tour is using a PM5000 at front of house and a PM5D-RH digital console at monitors. “This was my first time carrying a PM5000 on tour, and I was immediately impressed with the warmth of the head amps,” states front of house engineer Rick Reith. “The separation and panning of individual inputs really stands out in the mix and, as with all Yamaha consoles, it's a snap to get around. 12 VCAs, complete fader/mute automation, and digital recall! This is not your father's PM series mixing console. The difference on the first night of the concert was so apparent that even our lighting guy noticed. Both Yamaha consoles have served the tour well.”
The Rock the Bells Festival, the major hip-hop event of the summer featuring Nas, Mos Def, De La Soul, Method Man and many more are using two PM5D consoles, one at front of house and one for monitors. “We have about 12 headlining acts on the same stage during the festival, so it is paramount for me to be able to store all the acts and pull them up on the fly” states Billy Flores, sound crew chief and front of house engineer. ”Without the PM5D, mixing the shows would not be nearly the ultimate experience it has been for me this summer. Since we are doing the tour â€˜festival-style,' no one sound checks and most of the artists don't even arrive on site until 1:00 pm or so and the grounds open up at 11:00 am to about 10-15,000 concertgoers so with the settings stored on a 5D card, I'm up and running in no time.”
Known to most Midwest concert promoters as â€˜the NEXO guys' Gand Concert Sound of Glenview IL has had a record utilization of their expansive NEXO speaker inventory supplying over 140 NEXO GEO T Boxes in June alone for such tours as Dickey Betts, Jo Dee Mesina, Pat Benetar, Merle Haggard, Charlie Daniels, 38 Special, Shooter Jennings, Blue Truth, Gavin DeGraw, Frankie Valli, REO Speedwagon, Sawyer Brown, Wayne Newton, Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, Muddy Waters Blues Fest, and Herbie Hancock.
The last weekend of June propelled the company to a new plateau. “We had over 100 NEXO speakers out the last weekend of June which gave us a chance to mop our warehouse floors,” said President Gary Gand. The company took delivery of another full GEO T system in March of this year including 24 NEXO GEO T tangent array cabinets, 12 CD18 subwoofers and thirty Yamaha PC9501N amps along with NEXO 242 processors, some Alpha boxes for side fills and more PS series cabinets for stage monitors and front fill. Infrastructure was added to support the new systems including new snakes, power distribution from Motion Labs, and rigging. Tim Swan Gand Vice President said “We purchased two additional GEO T stackers to allow us to provide GEO T rigs in venues without rigging such as outdoor parks and small theaters. The Gand staff developed a rolling stacker which allows six GEO T speakers to literally roll off the truck and onto a stage, pre-aimed and ready to rock.”
Special Event Audio in San Diego also has a stable of NEXO boxes used for regional gigs and events. Mitch Grant recently supplied a GEO T rig for one of two annual fundraisers held for the San Diego Zoo.
A NEXO GEO T rig was also used at SummerFest in Milwaukee along with two Yamaha PM5000 consoles at front of house, provided by Clearwing Productions.
In early September, Edge Audio Services (Northbrook IL) provided a NEXO GEO-S8 system for the band Chicago's stop at Red Bull FlugTag 2008.
For more information on Yamaha and NEXO touring products, visit www.yamahaca.com.
About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. offers a complete line of integrated professional audio products for the commercial recording, production, broadcast, live sound, and sound reinforcement markets. The company has a dedicated dealer network, intensive field training, and 24-7 tech support in the U.S. and Canada.