Professional Sound - April 2017 - Page 37

no problems with intelligibility.” Butland adds that 90 per cent of the time, the mics he’s mixing on the traffi c desk are actually out in front of the PA. “Clarity is of the utmost importance,” he rein- forces, “and this PA has defi nitely delivered. If I have someone super quiet on the mic, or really plowing it with heavy speech, the response of the PA is really accommodating for full-bodied, accurate sound.” The icing on the cake as far as the entire team is concerned is how easy it is to rig. “We can set all of our angles, fl ip the boxes on, and away we go,” says Donin. “It’s fast going up and fast coming down.” He adds that many of the techs travelling with the high-profi le performing artists are happy to hear in advance that they’ll be working with Adamson products, which can instill con- fi dence for what’s otherwise a relatively unique engagement for many of them. “They tend to be very easy to work with when they come out, knowing who this event is for and what we’re doing,” Donin says about the various artists and their camps. “This isn’t a headlining show or some big awards gala; there are obviously requirements they have and we’ll work to ac- commodate them, but a lot of times, they’re open to collaborat- ing and fi nding a happy medium that lets us put on a great show and keep everyone happy.” Sometimes, those artists will perform stripped-down acoustic sets with bare-bones technical requirements; however, in other cases, the talent works with WE Day producers to develop a special, one-of-a-kind performance that can carry a heavier input count. As an example, Jordan Smith, the winner of the 2015 season of NBC’s The Voice, participated in a few WE Day dates and was accompanied by both a local choir and drumline. “So there are things like that they’ll put together before we’re even in the picture, but we have a good team and a package out with us that has enough mics and gear that we can handle pretty much any- thing they send our way.” Donin says if it’s a perfor- mance that’s “outside the norm,” the production team will consult with him and his crew about bringing it to fruition, though these days, “being told a choir will be joining someone is kind of the norm,” he says with a laugh. Another unique aspect of the event is that many members of the production team and those working behind the scenes with WE are young people who’ve come up as active members of the movement. MONITOR WORLD “So it’s a lot of people start- ing their careers in this world, whether it’s writing or producing or directing, and it’s nice seeing them at this early stage in their careers and being able to work with them and introduce them to a whole diff erent world and watch the progress they make,” Donin off ers. Adds Butland: “There’s a very good line of communication that runs through the whole event, so that makes a big diff erence. It also makes it easier for us to lend some help or advice when people want it for things like mic technique or helping someone communicate their audio needs.” With that model, there can be turnover from year to year, but even then, both Donin and Butland say they enjoy the odd update on where someone ends up after their time with WE Day. While the end result is a truly world-class spectacle, Butland says it’s not just the show itself that makes him proud to work on WE Day. “They’re doing great things,” he says about ME to WE and WE Charity. “Like, they have a WE Day app that basically tracks the students’ involvement with ME to WE and their other charitable work, and they’re us- ing technology that young peo- ple use to promote a good work ethic and responsibility. They’re getting a younger generation to think outside of themselves and think more about others.” And that’s a great thing for people of any age – including those working behind the scenes in the live production industry. Andrew King is the Editor-in-Chief of Professional Sound. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 37