Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn Tour

Jan 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Photos and Text By Steve Jennings

Back to Brooklyn Tour Features Orchestra, Choir, Special Guests


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photo of Barbra Streisand

She doesn’t go out often, but when she does, Barbra Streisand goes big. On her recent 12-night/10-city Back to Brooklyn tour, she fronted a 72-piece orchestra, 80-voice choir, and welcomed guests Chris Botti on trumpet, Italian teen operatic tenors Il Volo, and her son, singer and actor Jason Emanuel Gould. For audio she carried five DiGiCo consoles, a 56-box Clair I-5/40-box I-3 system, 40 wedges, hundreds of mics, and a mobile recording truck helmed by her longtime colleague, producer/engineer Dave Reitzas.

Mix caught up with Barbra Streisand’s audio crew at the Hollywood Bowl for production load-in and saw her show at San Jose’s HP Pavilion. Between songs she got intimate—at times chatty and nostalgic, political and motherly. But when the music kicked in, she filled the house with her one-of-a-kind voice and untouchable performance.


Barbra Streisand 2012 Tour Gallery

Back to Brooklyn marked Streisand’s first tour since she returned to the stage in 1993 without her longtime sound partner, the legendary Bruce Jackson, who died in a plane crash in 2011. The legacy remained, however, as three of the core audio crew had been working with Streisand and Jackson since 2006, with front-of-house engineer Chris Carlton having joined the team in 2000 when Jackson took a hiatus to handle sound design for the Sydney Olympics.

photo of Barbra Streisand FOH crew

Barbra Streisand’s FOH audio crew, from left: Kevin Gilpatrick, Assistant FOH Engineer; Chris Carlton, FOH Engineer/Sound Design; Bob Weibel, Systems Engineer/Clair Bros. Crew Chief; and Tom Ford, Audio Stage Manager.

Carlton mixed FOH on a DiGiCo SD7 with Kevin Gilpatrick beside him on an SD7-EX007 expander. Ian Newton mixed monitors for the artists using an SD7, Blake Suib handled monitors for the band on an SD10, and Steve Colby mixed down orchestra to stems on an SD10.

“The DiGiCo SD7 is a recent addition,” says Carlton. “Great sound, redundant mix engines, redundant PSUs. The channel count capability is paramount for a show this large. What really sets it apart is the Optocore option that enabled us to marry four different consoles to three fully loaded SD Racks. We could share inputs and create loops for stems and submixes all at 96k without any analog splitters or additional AD/DA conversion. The SD7-EX was added in Mirror Mode so Kevin could give me a hand at FOH with some of the finer mix details.

“I’m not using plug-ins for this tour,” Carlton continues. “Stock onboard reverbs, gates, and compressors were fine for most of the program material. The only additional outboard equipment used was a TC [Electronic System] 6000 for vocal and string reverb, Bricasti M7 for Chris Botti’s trumpet, and Summit DCL-200 for lead vocal.”

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