(Daly City, CA - February 6, 2007) Emmy Award-winning sound engineer and concert sound legend Bruce Jackson has worked with some of the biggest single-moniker names in the music business, including Elvis in the ’70s and Springsteen in the ’80s. These days he’s the choice engineer for Barbra Streisand, and has worked with the mega artist since the early ’90s. To handle the sound production on her latest world tour (with Italian pop/opera quartet Il Divo), Jackson and Clair Brothers Audio chose the Digidesign® VENUE live sound environment after getting recommendations from Streisand’s orchestra mixers, Chris Carlton and Kevin Kilpatrick, who were both familiar with the system.
The tour currently employs three VENUE systems--one at FOH (front of house) to handle all audio for the show, and two for mixing the orchestra. From the beginning, Jackson was impressed with the VENUE system’s sound quality and reliability. What also won him over was the large number of high-quality plug-ins available for VENUE--an aspect that was instrumental in the decision to replace the ever-expanding analog setup. As a result, the tour regained a substantial number of seats for audience members at each event due to the reduced footprint of the VENUE systems--a significant benefit, given the price and demand for tickets to the sold-out shows.
“I had two [Midas] XL4s and racks of analog gear standing by in rehearsal in case the VENUE didn’t work out,” Jackson recalls. “In the end, it was the integrated effects and reduced footprint that won the day, and the Midas with the racks of gear remained in storage.”
Carlton agrees. “I love the plug-ins and the footprint. At $750 per seat at FOH, footprint is very important!”
Each VENUE system is set up for 96 inputs. “We have about 160 inputs going five different ways,” Carlton explains. “Kevin Kilpatrick is mixing the orchestra and sending stems to FOH and the two monitor mix locations. I have drums, percussion, horns, reeds, brass, and Il Divo’s second drum kit on the auxiliary desk. Kevin and I send stems to the main desk where Bruce Jackson combines these with vocals and rhythm section inputs. The end result is very clear and consistent.”
Kilpatrick also agrees and adds, “It’s very reliable [VENUE]--quite a stable platform, extremely fast, easily understood--even for a non-computer guy, old school, like me! I have one Sidecar connected and a Pro Tools|HD® rig. I am currently at 91 inputs with 84 assigned to Pro Tools, split close to 50/50. I am sending 12–16 stereo stems to all three other console positions--FOH and two monitors--and the Pro Tools rig.”
Overall, the Streisand camp has been extremely pleased with the VENUE system’s performance and sound quality. “It sounds clean, but not as cold as some other digital desks I’ve used,” says Carlton. “I’ve used mine outdoors in Florida in July and at RFK Stadium in November. The console was not affected by temperature extremes as much as the operator was!”
“The sound quality is very good, as is the reliability,” adds Jackson. “I love the plug-ins, too.”
Kilpatrick is also sold on the plug-ins, and contemplates his favorites: “I really love TrooTrace… all of the Eventide gear—especially the Omnipressor. Imagine an Omnipressor that works and is actually quiet! Also the 1969 EMT, Abbey Road Compressor/Limiter, and the TL Space stereo reverb. Actually, there have been very few that I have not liked!”
In addition, Jackson, Carlton, and Kilpatrick have integrated three Pro Tools|HD® 3 systems with VENUE, which are set up to record Streisand’s live performances--including dates in New York and Washington, DC--on 128 tracks for a forthcoming double CD. The Pro Tools systems will also be used to augment tracks recorded by Effanel’s location recording truck for a Streisand television special.
For more information about Barbra Streisand, her upcoming CD, and her current tour, visit http://www.barbrastreisand.com
Digidesign’s VENUE live sound environment aims to revolutionize the art and profession of live sound mixing with DSP effects processing plug-ins, and direct connectivity to Pro Tools® recording and playback systems. For more information about VENUE, visit http://www.digidesign.com/venue
Digidesign, a division of Avid Technology, Inc., is the world’s leading manufacturer of digital audio production systems and the winner of the 2001 Technical Grammy® Award and 2003 Academy Award® of Merit (Oscar® statuette) for the design, development, and implementation of the Pro Tools digital audio workstation. Digidesign provides the professional music, film, video, multimedia, and radio broadcast industries with tools for digital recording, MIDI sequencing, editing, signal processing, and surround mixing. Digidesign products are marketed in more than 40 countries worldwide through a distribution network of value-added dealers, distributors, and OEM relationships. M-Audio, a leading provider of digital audio and MIDI solutions for electronic musicians and audio professionals, is a business unit of Digidesign. For more information, visit http://www.digidesign.com