Leading sound company Clair is providing live sound reinforcement for Carrie Underwoodâ€™s current North American tour, with a Studer Vista 5 SR digital console handling front-of-house duties. A previous winner of American Idol, Underwood is one of country musicâ€™s biggest stars and recently earned Entertainer of the Year honors from the Academy of Country Music for the second year in a row–the only woman to ever accomplish that feat.
Underwoodâ€™s current production is elaborate, to say the least, with 12 tractor-trailer trucks alone transporting the tourâ€™s equipment. When it comes to mixing each show, however, front-of-house engineer Randy Lane says his responsibilities are relatively straightforward, though challenging all the same. â€œI like to make sure that Carrieâ€™s vocal is the focal point, but Iâ€™m also trying to make sure that what the band plays on stage is conveyed accurately to the audience,â€? he says. â€œShe has a top-notch
band with her and Iâ€™m trying to capture exactly what they play and just stay out of the way.â€?
As is often the case, Laneâ€™s familiarity with the Studer Vista family of consoles is rooted in broadcast. â€œA lot of television studios in Los Angeles use Vista 8 consoles and I had listened to some of those,â€? he says. â€œI was very impressed with how creative you could be without having to rely on plug-ins. Just having the front end of the console sounding right is a huge step.â€?
In addition, Lane notes that while the Vista 5 SR has reinforced his opinion of Vista consoles, it has also made him a convert in other ways. â€œHonestly, before using the Vista 5SR, I still preferred analog consoles, because I never felt that the microphone preamp and EQ stages of digital consoles were of as high quality,â€? Lane says. â€œThe Vista 5 SR has totally changed my view on that.â€?
With unrivaled technology supporting a massive collection of talent, Carrie Underwoodâ€™s tour has been an overwhelming success to date. â€œThe crowds have been fantastic,â€? Lane adds. â€œThe first few shows were in smaller venues and in the fall, the tour plans to move to the larger arenas.
â€œCarrie is absolutely one of the best vocalists Iâ€™ve worked with,â€? Lane adds. â€œShe comes in for every sound check completely prepared. Every day at rehearsal, she was 100 percent ready for what she was doing with each song. Itâ€™s an absolute pleasure to see that level of professionalism and it certainly doesnâ€™t hurt that she can belt it out.â€?
Lane also credits his colleagues for the tourâ€™s success, including: Bret Stec, Audio Crew Chief; Ben Rothstein, Audio Technician; and Ariel Gendler, Audio Technician.
For more information on Clair, please visit www.clairglobal.com
Studer is a unit of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (www.harman.com). Harman International designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets, and maintains a strong presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia, employing more than 11,000 people worldwide. The Harman International family of brands includes AKGÂ®, BeckerÂ®, BSSÂ®, CrownÂ®, dbxÂ®, DigiTechÂ®, Harman KardonÂ®, InfinityÂ®, JBLÂ®, LexiconÂ®, Mark LevinsonÂ®, RevelÂ®, SoundcraftÂ® and StuderÂ®. Harman Internationalâ€™s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol â€œNYSE: HAR.â€?
Artist Photo Credit: Richard Simon