Morris Supports Emerging Artist with Customized Touring Package
Chart-topping country singer Michael Ray achieved his third consecutive Top 20 song on country radio last month with “Think A Little Less.” Prior to that success, Ray began his Think a Little Less tour in 2016 and looked to Nashville-based production company Morris to create a professional touring package customized to the rising star’s needs. Together Morris and Michael Ray’s team built a streamlined audio system and a timecode-based lighting rig that was not only high-impact, but also efficient for the team to implement.
Throughout the collaboration process Morris helped Ray’s touring production team create a scalable, professional design within their budget and available resources. From budget concerns to power requirements, trailer sizes, and load in/out demands, Morris provided solution-based responses and helped their team plan and adjust accordingly.
“It has been incredible to watch Michael and his team evolve on this tour,” Joseph Logsdon, Account Manager at Morris said. “I look forward to another great year with this group of talented musicians and technicians. With this much talent on the stage and behind the scenes, fantastic things happen.”
Chris Leonard, Ray’s Production Manager, chose the DiGiCo S21 console for front of house based on the channel count, sound quality, input availability, and its new place in the market. With the built-in 48-channel USB interface, it allows for multi-tracking and the ability to virtually run sound check before the band arrives at the venue. This paid off for Ray as he went from club settings to large venues like the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, Texas. Morris also built custom racks for the audio package, which minimized space and created clean ergonomics for operation.
Additionally, Morris provided Ray with a Waves Audio SoundGrid MultiRack system. Leonard is a certified Waves Live Sound Artist, which allowed him to be more creative with the FOH mix and gave him over 160 plugin options. The Waves Audio SoundGrid MultiRack system also enables stage compression on Ray’s vocals and low frequency enhancement on the kick drum.
“Each night, I was so confident in the audio and lighting systems that Morris helped us create. A certain gratification comes when the first song starts and everything runs smoothly,” Chris Leonard said. “It’s been great working with Morris to problem solve through ingenuity and experience.”
Ray’s Lighting Designer & Programmer, Mike Marcario, designed a timecode-based lighting rig that created a professional level show without a full-time lighting director on tour. The timecode system gave Marcario the ability to make on-the-spot changes with pre-programmed ‘looks’ cued via drum pads. The lighting rig was designed to operate on two 20-amp circuits, saving energy without having to sacrifice performance. The design works in any venue, indoors or outdoors, and can be taken down quickly. Also, the entirety of the lighting package fits in two rows of a trailer by integrating lighting fixtures into mobile towers that contain pieces without having to be dismantled.
“I was very impressed with Morris’ shop staff. They were super helpful with prep and de-prep, knew the equipment, shop, and the system,” Mike Marcario said. “You can get gear anywhere, but from a personal standpoint, Morris made the process easy and enjoyable- you don’t get that with a lot of staff.”