Barbra Streisand performed two shows in early August: one at Madison Square Garden in New York City and the second at the United Center in Chicago.
CLAIR Global (Lititz, PA) and Carlton Audio Services (Miami, FL) have provided audio production for Barbra Streisand for the past 13 years. “d&b audiotechnik became a part of the design in 2007 when the late Bruce Jackson asked me to provide a solution to the VIP seating on an outdoor European tour, and so I chose the best in d&b loudspeaker systems available at that time,” said sound designer and front of house engineer Christopher Carlton. “I chose the lightweight d&b Q1 system that was flown as center fill. To this day, we continue to use d&b V-Series for all delays and fill areas, including Barbra's side fill monitors.”
Carlton took over the reins full time as both sound designer and front of house engineer after the passing of Jackson, Streisand’s long-time front of house engineer, in 2011.
“We have used delay loudspeaker systems for every Barbra arena tour since 1994,” said Carlton. Recently, the production team asked if these could be eliminated because of logistics. With the development of the d&b SL-Series GSL system and the application of ArrayProcessing, all models showed very good coverage without the use of delay arrays. KM Productions of New York City provided the d&b GSL system for the two August shows. Carlton’s company, Carlton Audio Services, supplemented with d&b J-Series and V-Series for 180˚ and 270˚ systems, center fill, and side fill monitors.
The sound system configuration consisted of a combination of 16 GSL8 and GLS12 loudspeakers per side for main arrays, a combination of J8 and J12 for the side arrays (14 boxes per side) and V8 and V12 for the rear arrays (10 per side), 6 x Y10P point source loudspeakers for front fills, and V10P for corner outfills. d&b GSL SUBs were used as auxiliary cardioid subwoofers in a horizontal ground array. d&b D80 amplifiers powered the entire system, utilizing ArrayProcessing on all flown arrays.
CLAIR Global utilized DiGiCo SD10 consoles for front of house and monitor mixing in an Optocore loop, along with two SD-Racks with 32-bit I/O and a DiGiCo Orange Box to provide Dante to the Aviom monitor system for the band. The Clair stage monitors were custom designed by Bruce Jackson and Ron Borthwick of CLAIR Global. The 14-piece band, including drums, percussion, bass, guitar, sax/flute, three keyboardists, musical director/pianist, three violinists, viola, and cello all used personal Aviom mixers. Three background vocalists completed the legend’s ensemble.
“The proprietary stage monitors that were custom designed are still relevant as very hi-fi alternatives to the usual,” said Carlton. Crown amps power TAD 1601 LF, ATC soft dome midrange devices and Morrel tweeters. Ms. Streisand uses an Audio-Technica 5400 Artist Elite RF microphone system, and miniature DPA microphones are used on strings, piano, and acoustic bass with a wide assortment of mics covering the rest.
“The GSL is a very smooth and warm sounding system,” said Carlton. “Both shows went very well; Barbra was really happy with what she was hearing back on the stage. She doesn’t use in-ear monitors so the mix between stage monitors and what comes back off of the PA is very important for her.”
“I’m so appreciative of the new sound system Chris has that allowed me to have an easier time singing and hearing myself and being in tune,” said Streisand.