Type 10 DI direct box the ideal solution for stringed instrument console feeds
Menlo Park, CA – June 2010 Randy Lane, the front of house engineer for the “Play On” tour, is the guy responsible for ensuring great sound and glitch-free performances. To help ensure the best possible sound for a number of stringed instruments, Lane depends on the Type 10 DI from Countryman Associates.
Lane is a veteran FOH engineer. In addition to his current duties with Ms. Underwood, his credits include work with the Spin Doctors, Three Doors Down, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Julio Iglesias to name but a few. Working on Ms. Underwood’s “Play On Tour” in conjunction with monitor engineer Cam Beachley, Lane is responsible for all that the audience hears.
Long cable runs from the stage to the FOH mix position can wreak havoc with the quality of the signal—resulting in RF interference, hums, loss of fidelity, and several other less than desirable qualities. This was very much the case for a number of stringed instruments such as acoustic guitars, fiddle, and bouzouki used during Ms. Underwood’s concerts. Likewise, Underwood’s opening act, Sons of Sylvia, encountered similar issues with their instruments. The Countryman Type 10 DI resolved the issues, and Lane is very enthusiastic about its performance attributes.
Lane is equally enamored with the Type 10 DI’s build quality. “Countryman’s products are legendary for being rugged on the road,” he said. “The build quality of the Type 10 is no different and it has several features to ensure mishaps in wiring and switch positions are kept at a minimum. Other manufacturers have switches and buttons that are far too accessible and can be accidentally moved during performances, which can be catastrophic for artists using in ear monitoring systems. One wrong switch and nearly 30 times the level can be applied to an input—with devastating results. The Type 10 ensures that if the switches are moved, it was intentional.”
Lane discussed one specific challenge the Countryman Type 10 DI helped him resolve, “We have moving risers on this tour for the band members to change positions during the show. These risers are moved with large electric motors that generate intense RF fields and this noise was being picked up by several of the band’s inputs. Once we changed to the Countryman Type 10, the issue was eliminated.”
The rigors of the road place a variety of strains on both the performers and their equipment. For this very reason, quality customer/technical support services are essential. Here, too, Lane credits Countryman Associates with being a world-class operation. “In the touring industry,” Lane notes, “customer service is the lifeblood of what we do out here. Anyone can buy gear and send it out on the road. What happens, however, when something occurs that requires attention? Many times, this is the deciding factor on which products to use. Countryman has been 100% supportive. When we had questions, the company was very responsive and clearly understood what we were looking to accomplish. They helped us secure the exact product we needed to make these instruments shine! This is the mark of a professional company.”
As he turned his attention to more pressing matters, Lane offered this parting thought. “The change to the Countryman Type 10 was made in the middle of the tour and the results were stunning at first listen,” he enthused. “My console EQ went from creatively trying to place the instrument and make it sound real and believable to flat on the channel strip and absolutely sounding like the instrument itself—as if a straight connection to the instrument was what we had. I was no longer fighting for ‘space’ for the instrument to fit. With the Type 10 DI, it fit into the mix right away.”
For further information about Carrie Underwood’s “Play On Tour”, visit www.carrieunderwood.fm.