Playing to sold-out audiences worldwide over the past two years has catapulted American singer-songwriter and two-time GLAAD Media Award winner, Fletcher, into top-tier audio support - with Brit Row at the helm.
Promoting her debut full-length album ‘Girl Of My Dreams’, Fletcher’s carefully crafted live sound is huge - despite her team’s impressively compact set-up.
Production Manager and FOH Engineer, Jeremy Kinney, has spent a vast amount of time streamlining the package, which boasts just one console and a shared stage rack, as perfectly packaged by Brit Row.
Mixing on an Avid Venue S6L for the support slot of Panic! At The Disco’s final European arena tour, Kinney divulges his rider preferences: “I'm a big Waves plug-ins user and as they’re integrated so well with the S6L. I don’t feel the need for any extra computers. This desk is a one-stop-shop for me, especially as we’re travelling so light.”
Fletcher’s live show is reminiscent of a big rock performance with a great live band behind her; somewhat surprising given her credentials as a recording pop artist who is no stranger to the Billboard Hot 100.
“Her preference for this big, almost aggressive rock sound when playing live means that rock ‘n’ roll energy is really important in my mix, and I find that the S6L gives us that little something extra,” he adds.
Kinney has been with Fletcher ever since the star has required touring audio support. “I’ve been here from the start, so there’s an inherent level of trust. We recently moved her onto the Telefunken M81 Capsule, which has really tightened everything up. The first time we put it on, she absolutely loved its projection and was really glad we tried it out.
“This family-like trust is what makes us operate so efficiently in a small crew,” he continues. “When it came to recruiting a monitor engineer - as I used to mix everything - Fletcher had total trust in my decision to bring Sam Barna in to take over,” adds Kinney.
Also moonlighting as Stage Manager, RF Engineer and Backline Tech, Barna’s Swiss Army Knife role on tour has led him to be in the thick of the rock band experience, controlling the monitor faders from an Apple iPad on stage.
“The monitor mixes were already built into Jeremy’s console, and so to save setting up two desks, the iPad route has worked out really well for us,” notes Barna.
“Through our 6SL, we’ve got a universal power supply. We’re using six channels of Shure PSM 1000 IEMs, an Axient Antenna Distribution Combiner, and two channels of digital wireless mics. Shure makes such top-notch products, the whole band and crew love them.”
Kinney goes further: “When we moved onto the Axient system, Fletcher really noticed the improved clarity, as it was a big step-up. She's very particular about her sound and once she gets it the way she likes it, she keeps the formula.”
This notion of sticking with a tried and tested outcome is true for the audio team too, as they’ve found a winning result by repeatedly choosing Brit Row’s vendor service.
“Our Australian tour last summer comprised all fly dates, with gear brought in locally. Incredibly, our package was identical everywhere we went, which is exactly how I like it!” adds Kinney.
“That’s a huge deal, especially for a young touring artist. It's difficult if things change a lot, specifically during festival time, when it can get chaotic. To be able to link into something no matter where we go, just knowing that we can get her the exact setup, is phenomenal,” he says.
Kinney explains that as an engineer, when you receive the level of consistency that Brit Row offers, you can get into the minutiae of the mix without distraction.
“Not only do our packages come beautifully labelled and colour coded, but on top of that, the service is amazing. Dave Compton, our Brit Row Exec, is so knowledgeable, which means I can remain really focused on the job I’m here to do,” he concludes.
Fletcher will play festivals in North America this summer before returning to the UK, Europe and Scandinavia in Autumn 23.