On her first tour in more than a decade, Shania Twain bids farewell to her concert fans as she packs “A-level” arenas with a Meyer Sound LEO® linear large-scale sound reinforcement system. VER Tour Sound is providing the complete audio, video, and lighting package for the five-month, 59-city “Rock This Country” tour.
The man behind Shania’s concert sound is long-time FOH engineer Nigel Green, who has mixed all of the singer’s live shows and concert DVD soundtracks since 1998. Although a studio engineer for most of his eminent career—with credits ranging from Def Leppard and Britney Spears to Billy Ocean and the Backstreet Boys—Green has turned to LEO for a smooth transition from a controlled studio environment into cavernous sports arenas.
“One of the difficult things for me, coming out of the studio world, was that a lot of PAs had an identifiable ‘horn’ sound with midrange coloration,” says Green. “With LEO I get a much flatter, cleaner, and less colored sound, and it’s more musical as well.”
The Shania Twain tour presents a number of difficult challenges for coverage, throw, and gain-before-feedback. Seating is a full 270-degree wrap, and no house delays are used. Twain also ventures out in front of the main arrays on a deep thrust, then swings through the audience while pushed on a cart, and even soars out over the audience saddled on a cherry-picker.
“On earlier tours, I noticed some of those larger arenas sounded dark in the back corners, but with LEO the coverage is very even throughout,” reports Green. “Also, when Shania flies on her saddle right in front of the arrays, we run a separate voice matrix through the Galileo® Callisto™ processors which allows us to EQ every box individually as she passes in front of it—very difficult to do without a self-powered system.”
The system is anchored by main front arrays of 14 LEO-M and four LYON-W wide-coverage line array loudspeakers each, complemented by 24 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. Mid-side arrays are eight LEO-M and six LYON-M main line array loudspeakers each, and rear-side arrays comprise 12 LYON-W loudspeakers each. Eight MINA™ line array loudspeakers provide front fill, two UPA-1P loudspeakers cover rear fill, and a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with 10 Galileo Callisto 616 and two Galileo Callisto 616 AES array processors contributes drive and optimization.
Veteran tour production manager John “Bugzee” Hougdahl is pleased with the low stage profile of the LEO system. “I really appreciate the small footprint at the bottom of the cable drop,” he notes. “We have large racks for automation, video, and lighting on each side of the stage, and not having racks of amplifiers really helps.”
Green mixes Twain on an Avid VENUE D-Show digital console loaded with native, Waves, and Crane Song plug-ins. Twain sings through custom-colored Sennheiser SKM 5300 wireless microphones, with wired mics coming from Shure, Sennheiser, Royer, and Earthworks. System engineer and crew chief is Kenny Sellars and monitor engineer is Connie Fernstrom.
Although Twain has not toured in more than a decade, her “Still the One” resident production included 105 shows from 2012–2014 in The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, using an upgraded house Meyer Sound system originally installed for Celine Dion’s “A New Day…” show.