Little Big Town performs at Irving Plaza in New York City on February 12, 2013.
Photo by Todd Berkowitz
Little Big Town is on the cusp right now, that magical place where 14 years of hard work on the road is about to pay off. You can feel the buzz. The CMA Award for Single of the Year, “Pontoon,” a track from the September 2012 release of Tornado, the Grammy last month for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for the same song. A Letterman appearance. Last summer opening for Rascall Flatts, this summer out with Keith Urban. It’s happening.
But right now they are in the midst of a five-month headline tour to support Tornado, playing 1,500 to 3,500-seat sold out venues. Mix caught up with them at Irving Plaza in New York City in early February.
“This is a vocal-based band, with real harmony blending, and that’s why I’m enjoying this run so much—my parents are both vocalists, and we would sing four part harmonies as a family,” says FOH mixer Josh Reynolds, who has been with the band since May 2012. “And besides the four principals, the three other backing band members played on the record. It’s a great band, and a great show.”
FOH mixer Josh Reynolds
Photo by Todd Berkowitz
The Clair-supported tour is carrying consoles, mics and stage package, switching this year to DiGiCo SD10s at FOH and monitors and loving them for the processing [16 effects engines, dynamic EQ, multiband dynamics] and routing flexibility. The four leads sing into Shure SM58s, through UHF-R wireless, then straight into the SD Rack. Reynolds says that he uses the snapshot automation primarily for mutes and effects scenes from song to song. Within a few weeks he will be trying out the new DiGiGrid Waves server. Mixing monitors is Production Manager Chris Diener, a fellow Belmont University alum.
“Because this band is all about the vocals, the biggest issues we face are build-ups in the low-mids and around 2k when four powerful vocals come together and get really loud,” Reynolds says. “I use the Lake LM44 processor inserted on the vocal group, then combine that with the band at the matrix level as it’s going out of the desk. I love having such a flexible EQ on that group as well as the outputs. The first couple of songs each night, I’m focusing on the vocal summing to make sure it’s filling the room clearly but not getting muddy, leaving space for the lead lines to punch through.”