Since he released his debut album in 2003, Dierks Bentley’s music career has been on a continuous upward trajectory. Most recently shown by the success of his recent Mountain High Tour in May 2018 which supported the release of his ninth studio album The Mountain.
To meet the strenuous demands of a cross-country tour to over 60 large venues — which included a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden — Bentley and his production crew trusted PK Sound Trinity Advanced Robotic Line Array and PK Sound Gravity Subwoofers to deliver superior sound, system flexibility and easy rigging, no matter the venue.
FOH and System Engineer, James “Pugsley” McDermott, who has worked with Bentley’s tour crew for over a decade, admitted that this was the first tour in which the Trinity Advanced Robotic Line Array have been added to the PA System. McDermott said: “It’s been a technological advancement not only in deployment but also sonically.” The PA System featured full-size main hangs with up to 16 Trinity boxes on each side of the stage, plus 12 Trinity 10s for side hanging and front fills, per side.
The Dierks Bentley crew also flew 6 Gravity 218 subwoofers per side, with 6 per side on the ground, which were deployed in different configurations daily to fit the size and shape of each venue. It also gave the crew added flexibility to control the contours of the sound field, which granted them increased 3-D sound shaping capabilities and allowed them to fit the sound field to any venue’s dimensions using PK Sound’s Kontrol software.
“Every Trinity box can be whatever you want it to be.” McDermott said: “Each box can be set from anywhere between 50 and 120-degrees, and you can use them symmetrically or asymmetrically.” McDermott found that while 120-degree boxes can be an asset for some venues, they are too wide for others. But Trinity’s adjustable sound field lets the system engineer tailor each individual box to be as wide or narrow as is needed for the venue.
McDermott said: “It just really cleans things up, once you start eliminating reflections, and you start getting the rig to run efficiently — instead of having to fight the reflections and fight with the room — that’s where the Trinity really shines, because you have the ability to take the room out of the equation.”
Production Manager Jay Ballinger, – who has also been on tour with the Dierks Bentley road crew for well over a decade – said that Trinity increased the crew’s efficiency by streamlining the rigging process. It made the whole process of loading, set up and transporting to new venues a lot safer and faster. “I love how it flies vertically with the touch of a button.” Ballinger said: “And with the built-in mechanics, it brings itself into a curved position for the show.”
Ballinger found that with PK Sound’s more efficient line arrays and subwoofers, his crew managed to gain 40 minutes in their day. So when it came to choosing the new PA system Ballinger said: “In a nutshell, it was about the bottom line. This is not a cheap PA, but at the end of the day it saved on touring costs, and it saved our crew from potential injuries, as well as truck space, weight, and fuel costs. But the real reason I fought so hard for this PA, is that we want the best gear we can get for our tour and our team, I want them to have the best tools to do their job, and this is the best PA out there, in my opinion.”