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ATI Paragon II Gives Girl's Night Out a Lot of Bull!

(September 13, 2001)
Country powerhouses Martina McBride and Reba McEntire recently fronted a fast and furious "Girls Night Out Tour" across the US and played to arenas filled with adoring fans. The high-profile tour demanded nothing less than the perfect on-stage mix, delivered to McBride by MD Clair's Rob Bull on an "infinitely flexible" ATI Paragon II monitoring console. Martina's husband, John McBride, worked FOH on P40D.

Bull was the first to use a Paragon II on the road with Amy Grant's Christmas Tour when ATI originally introduced the console, and he's been hooked ever since. "The Paragon II is well thought out," he remarked. "It combines the two essential elements I need from a monitoring desk: genuine sonic integrity and flexibility to fit any situation. If you can think of a situation, the Paragon II can handle it!"

Bull was particularly appreciative of the Paragon II for the Girls Night Out Tour, which made frequent and ever-changing demands on the board and Bull's talent. The application was slightly different every day. Sometimes an opening act would tie into the Paragon II, sometimes guest artists would perform with McBride, and sometimes an orchestra would back McBride. Thanks to the Paragon II's legendary number of outputs, insertion points, direct outs, and in-line processing power, Bull was able to accommodate every situation he faced with grace and facility that left the console's operation straightforward and efficient.

Generally speaking, Bull faced a "mix" of in-ear performers and wedge performers every night. McBride prefers the "three-dimensional" quality of wedges to in-ears, while everyone else in the band (save for the guitarist) prefers the predictability and low SPLs of in-ears to wedges. The Paragon II handled the disparate and multiple output demands without so much as a flinch. Bull used all the inputs and, with the exception of four reverb units, was able to rely on the Paragon II's comprehensive in-line processing. Two direct outs on each channel permitted him to run tracks to a Radar 2 system without cramping the Paragon II's normal operation as a monitor console.

"The Paragon II defines versatility for a monitoring engineer," opined Bull. "You have the flexibility to use dynamics on a channel for some mixes but not others, ample outputs to duplicate channels for in-ear and wedge equalization, and five cue points within each channel! The external solo feature is indispensable. It allows me to monitor any mix at the push of a button so that I know exactly what everyone on stage is hearing. And on top of all that functionality, you have the awesome ATI sound! The preamps sound spectacular, and the in-line four-band parametric equalizer is gorgeous!"

The tour will end before the beginning of the school year to allow Martina and John to see their child Delaney off to school in Nashville.

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Related Keywords:Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, on-stage mix, monitoring console, Amy Grant, sonic


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