Nashville-based Sound Image engineers
Bill Chase (left) and Scott Ferguson
Fans traversing the parking lot on their way to the Brad Paisley H20 tour were treated to a two-hour pre-show concert at the “Water World Plaza Stage” outside the main venue on a portable stage setup, where up-and-coming artists Steel Magnolia, Easton Corbin and Josh Thompson performed. Audio provider Sound Image selected two Allen & Heath iLive-T 112 digital consoles for FOH and monitor duties. “With three bands and five-minute changeovers in between, there’s a lot of action,” says monitor engineer Scott Ferguson. “But Bill [Chase, FOH] and I both have our scenes set for the next band long before the stage is reset.” Ferguson is running stereo in-ears for all the bands, with an added sub wedge for the drummer.
According to Chase, “The order of the bands changes every day, so we have scenes for each console that only bring up the inputs we need. We keep the entire backline onstage for the full show, and all three bands share a drum kit, bass rig and mic package.” His output configuration includes stereo mains, a pair of front-fill outputs deployed via the console’s matrix and a dedicated subwoofer pair. “I really like the console’s dedicated sub preset because it’s differentiated from a regular aux send, and it’s always on the surface. Very cool design.”
After helping set up Paisley’s main P.A. in the morning, the two engineers move to the Water World Stage in the afternoon. Ferguson handles the mic placements, with Chase doing final tweaks before moving to FOH. “There’s no time for sound checks, so we use the same presets every day,” Ferguson says. “We might have to do a little tweaking, maybe due to traffic noise, or if we have to set up near a brick wall, but the EQ and effects on this desk make that pretty easy.”
The post-show procedure is equally streamlined. “We’re expected to get out by 8, including P.A., lights and stage,” Ferguson says. “The first thing I do is save my scenes. If I made any changes, I make a new scene. Then I go to my show file and archive the show. I do that for every show, save it to the console and then again to a memory stick. After that, it’s the physical tear-down.”