Nashville (June 22, 2006)–The CMA Music Festival, formerly known as Fan Fair, is always Nashville’s biggest country music concert; this year’s edition wrapped June 11 after four days of non-stop entertainment with hundreds of acts doing their thing live for scores of audiences. The main music stages–the Coliseum stage for evening performances and Riverfront stages for daytime performances–were covered by Clair Brothers Audio Nashville, which used Yamaha digital audio consoles for both front-of-house and monitoring.
Clair FOH engineer Andrew Baldwin (background) with David Wilkinson, FOH engineerfor Restless Heart, at the Riverstages stage during the CMA Music Festival.The broad use of Yamaha digital boards–PM5Ds, PM1Ds, PM5000s, PM4000s and a DM2000–helped standardize operations. In general, FOH mixing duties were presided over by each act’s touring engineer while Clair mixers stood bedside ready to assist. Five support personnel from Yamaha were also on hand at the Festival.
Mixing for the Coliseum stage and LP Field stage were handled by six PM5Ds, two PM1Ds, three PM5000s and two PM4000s, while the Riverfront stage was handled by two FOH PM5Ds used alternately. Since the Riverfront acts followed each other with almost no break, while an act’s FOH engineer mixed on console A, the following act’s engineer was getting set up on console B, configuring and waiting. Once it came time for a switch over, the process repeated again on console A.
Engineers for various acts, such as David Wilkinson (for Restless Heart at Riverfront) were able to bring their band’s presets on flash memory cards and, when their act was on, pop the cards into the PM5D. Wilkerson is currently on the Triple Threat Tour with Restless Heart, Little Texas and Blackhawk. “The only way we could handle three acts was with the Yamaha PM5D,” said Wilkinson. “We had it written into our contract that we had to have one.”
“All of the guys from Yamaha were knocked out by the opportunity to participate in the Festival,” said Daniel Craik, product manager, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. “It was gratifying to talk with the many engineers using our consoles, sharing mixing tips and tricks, and discussing ideas for future upgrades. There’s nothing like being able to do this in real time while great performances are taking place, one after the other, all around you.”
Yamaha Commercial Audio System