Menlo Park, CA – March 2011… As an engineer on tour with a major artist, the ability to (technologically) ensure great sound and glitch-free performances from the audio equipment is assumed. Failure here generally translates to unemployment. Welcome to the world of Cam Beachley, monitor engineer for Country music sensation and five-time Grammy® Award winner Carrie Underwood and French rock â€˜n roll icon Johnny Hallyday. Bouncing between Underwood's â€˜Play On Tour' and Hallyday's European tour schedule keeps Beachley constantly on the go—with precious little time to be fretting over equipment issues. That's why, for the best possible sound quality from a number of acoustic stringed instruments, Beachley counts on his collection of Type 10 and Type 10S direct boxes from Countryman Associates.
Beachley is a seasoned veteran of the pro touring circuit. In addition to Carrie Underwood and Johnny Hallyday, he's mixed for singer/songwriter/actress Demi Lovato, rock guitarist Peter Frampton, and country music singer/songwriter Keith Urban, to name a few.
Long cable runs from the instruments on stage to the splitter box that ultimately supplies feeds for the FOH and monitor consoles, as well as recording and broadcast stems, can wreak havoc with the quality of the signal—resulting in RF interference, hums, loss of fidelity, and other less than desirable sonic qualities. This was very much the case for a number of acoustic guitars, fiddle, and bouzouki used during Ms. Underwood's concerts and similar instruments on the Hallyday tour. Armed with six Countryman Type 10 DI's and a pair of the stereo Type 10S direct boxes, Beachley has resolved these challenges.
“Prior to the Type 10 and Type 10S DI's,” Cam reports, “we had been using another popular line of direct boxes. The moment we switched to the Countryman Type 10's, the instruments sounded much more open and natural. It was literally a night and day difference. As far as design and reliability goes, the Type 10 and Type 10S have been bullet-proof. We've encountered no issues whatsoever. These direct boxes are two more examples of rock solid Countryman product designs. They are extremely clean and clear sounding. After working with these, I can't imagine using anything else.”
When much of your work involves travelling and delivering quality sound for well known artists, the ability to resolve issues or get answers to questions in timely fashion is of paramount concern. Here too, Beachley says Countryman Associates is hard to beat. “Countryman's tech/customer support is first rate,” he says. “Whenever I send Chris [Countryman] or Omer [Inan] an email, they respond very quickly. They understand what I'm looking to accomplish and go the distance in seeing that I get taken care of. The company is very responsive to its customers and that provides real peace of mind when you're on the road.”
In the eight months Beachley has been working with the Countryman Type 10 and Type 10S DI's, it's been smooth sailing. “I move these boxes back and forth between two different touring companies and, in the process, they literally go all over the world,” he says. “I couldn't be happier with the performance of these products. Numerous people have asked me about the Type 10 and Type 10S. I've let everyone who's shown interest in hearing them listen and, in the process, they too have been impressed. These direct boxes are a great solution to common signal quality issues. I wouldn't want to be without them.”
About the Countryman Type 10 and Type 10S DI's
The Type 10 and Type 10S direct boxes achieve the highest signal-to-noise ratio, lowest phase deviation, and lowest distortion of any DI. Some boxes achieve low distortion over a narrow range of frequencies and levels, but end up coloring the low frequencies and distorting loud signals. The Countryman Type 10 and Type 10S maintain exceptionally low THD and intermodulation distortion across the entire audio band—and for a wide range of input voltages—rendering the sound with extremely high fidelity.
About Countryman Associates
For more than 30 years, Countryman has focused on developing microphones and accessories that deliver maximum gain before feedback, with the highest possible rejection of wind, vibration, interference, and other unwanted sounds. The result is warm, clear vocals in speaking and singing applications, delivering natural audio reinforcement that requires almost no attention from the sound engineer or the performer. For additional information about Countryman Associates, visit the company online at www.countryman.com.
Photo Info: Image of Cam Beachley with his Countryman Type 10 DI's.