Professional Sound - August 2022 - Page 28

JAMES “ PUGS ” MCDERMOTT AT FOH ON AN AVID VENUE S6L-24C
SCOTT TATTER AT MONITORS ON AN AVID VENUE S6L-24D
time to waste with redoing the prediction . Other departments were waiting on audio to get floated so that the stage could roll in . Making decisions had to wait ,” McDermott explains . The team quickly assembled and verified the full system and floated at a height to allow others to work . “ Once the time-sensitive bits were complete , I could then readdress the changes and deploy a new set of values . Connecting to the devices on the network is an automated process that will collect and build all the arrays attached to the network via a sorting algorithm . This allows the users to hang any box anywhere , and there ’ s no need to replicate the hangs the same from day to day .”
He further explains that “ when the software registers all the modules and builds the arrays , the user then assigns the available ‘ online ’ arrays to the arrays built into the prediction in the ‘ workspace .’ The user is then prompted to assign the values from the prediction simulation or to ‘ reset all values ’ or use the values retained in the DSP
of the modules . With the simulation values now adopted , the vertical and horizontal movements can be made . All that is left is to raise the arrays to trim and use the software to calculate the site angle by reading the internal inclinometers .”
McDermott notes that as he is walking around a venue , if he realizes that changes are needed in the vertical or the horizontal , any changes made online with the system management functions will be represented on the prediction side of . dynamics . “ There ’ s a back and forth between prediction and online that is unheard of so far in this business ,” he adds . “ Normally , once you ’ ve figured out what your angles are going to be , and you write them down and give them to your people that are flying the stuff , predictions are done ; you don ’ t ever touch that stuff ever again .”
Scott Tatter is the monitors engineer on Dierks Bentley ’ s crew . Like McDermott , Tatter comes from a rock background , though he worked on some country tours earlier in his career ( notably with supergroup The Highwaymen , featuring Johnny Cash , Waylon Jennings , Kris Kristofferson , and Willie Nelson in the early ‘ 90s ). He ’ s been with Bentley for 11 years now , but his total career goes back 35 , and has seen him work with everyone from heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne , to ‘ 90s heavyweights Korn , to some of the biggest names in modern hip-hop , including Kanye West and Jay-Z . Eventually , Tatter got to a point where he wanted what he calls a “ cushy country gig ,” meaning he could be home three or four days a week and do shows mostly on weekends . On his first day of a planned year off , he got a call asking if he would be interested in coming to work for Bentley , whose name he didn ’ t recognize at all . Over a decade on , Tatter firmly owns the monitor role , and even after taking a break from touring during the pandemic , it hardly felt like the crew had spent a day apart .
“ It ’ s always fun to get the gang back together on a Dierks Bentley tour ,” Tatter says over the phone from Battle Creek , MI , where the crew just finished setting up for a show at the FireKeepers Casino . “ I always look forward to that . It ’ s just like , we never leave — we show up and off we go . So , it ’ s a very comfortable environment for a monitor guy to be in .”
Though the time off didn ’ t make Tatter and his colleagues feel rusty , there were still a few “ firsts ” with this tour , not only centered around the new technology being used for the sound system . Another major change was the addition of a new musician to Bentley ’ s touring lineup : Charlie Worsham , who is a successful country artist in his own right , and is spending the summer lending his skills as a utility player to Bentley . From a sound perspective , integrating Worsham wasn ’ t a small task , as he ’ s playing the banjo , mandolin , resonator guitar , and more , as well as singing .
“ He ’ s busy ; he plays a lot of instruments ,” Tatter says of Worsham . “ The transition of kind of trying to figure out what he should play that would be the most beneficial to add to the songs has taken a little bit of growing pains . But we ’ re there now and it ’ s fitting in real good . But that was the only real wrinkle — we ’ re pretty static as far as setup other than that .”
Tatter has a comfortable routine on tour these days . He now has an assistant who handles most of the heavy lifting for him , leaving him the time to go for a bike ride in the morning before returning to that night ’ s venue to finish setting up .
“ Once we ’ re set , I ’ ll come back and plug my board groups and do all the mics and stands and set the stage ,” he says , walking us through a typical show day . “ Then Pugs and
28 PROFESSIONAL SOUND