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We did not save as much press throughout these past 20 years as we would have liked. Below is some  more recent press that we are quite proud of and grateful to PLSN and FOH Magazine(s), in particular, for selecting our shows to be featured in their esteemed “Show Time” Section(s).  Our most current and recent trade-ads and Features can also be found further down the page.

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Stewart Independent Production

Gets Positive Response from Recently-Added

RCF Active Touring Series Loudspeakers

Stewart Independent Production reported positive reactions to its recently-acquired RCF TTL33A-MK2 Line Array loudspeakers, which have already been put into service as both the Main PA and Side-fills for recent gigs. Pictured here are crew members with some of the new gear.

After just six weeks and over a dozen shows with the RCF TTL33A-MK2’s, we couldn’t be more pleased with their performance. Both as Main PA and as designated Side-Fills, they have exceeded our expectations. They do everything a flagship-series loudspeaker system from a top-tier manufacturer should do, including sound good, but what’s more is that they are quite musical. For lack of a better term, they are nice sounding speakers and I had missed that level of fidelity. When working with their subwoofer counterpart, the TTS18A, the line array effect is quite impressive! Also, the sensitivity of the boxes is such that just the slightest EQ adjustment can be clearly heard in the PA. Dynamic range and vocal projection are great and pattern control is really, really tight!

Our next set of projects requires very short hangs of relatively small boxes with the challenge being that we still have to cover upwards of 90 degrees while supplying substantial SPL and even vertical and horizontal coverage. One significant advantage to the TTL33 is it’s advanced horn-loaded design allowing each module to cover up to 15 degrees vertical, while maintaining a tight 100 degree horizontal coverage plane. Using a high-curvature array and RD NET DSP adjustments, we will be able to cover the spaces with 6 TTL33 boxes per side. We would need 10-12 conventional line-array modules otherwise.  We will place three blocks of 4 each TTS18A on the ground. With RCF TT052A’s as front-fills, it’s a rig! We are always striving for simple and straightforward audio solutions at SIP.

Next, we have several projects that require we fly subs in array with the TTL33’s. Due to the careful tuning and Band-Pass design of the TTS18A, we’ve already found this to work well because the subs have such excellent controlled projection. “Again I must give a shout out to their tone. These are not one-trick pony subwoofers nor are they single-note thumpers!”

SIP will be adding more TTL33A-MK2’s, along with additional TTS18A’s and TT25-SMA’s plus TT052A’s, to further increase the company’s now substantial matching RCF TT series active subwoofer and TT series active stage monitor complement. FOH Staff

With the help of Stewart Independent the three night annual sold-out revue moves to a larger home more central to campus. Stewart, whose previous projects at Notre Dame include a Billy Joel concert, a Vince Vaughn comedy show and the B1 Block Party, agreed to provide sound and lighting technology for the Keenan Revue at a reasonable price, Riddle said.

“The lights and sound will be much better quality than they were at Saint Mary’s for about the same price,” Riddle said. “[Stewart’s] workers are practically working for free and paying for their hotels out of pocket so the public doesn’t have to pay for tickets to the Revue.”

Duren and Riddle said Stewart made it a point to come to Notre Dame because of his long history of producing events at the University.

[Stewart] wants it to be good because it has his name and Notre Dame’s name on it,” Riddle said. “He’s like a saint because we’re paying for technology and service that would be four to five times as much otherwise.”

Stewart said he views his job as much more than just providing basic lighting and sound.

“Our goal is to create a hybrid between a concert and a theatrical event using professional sound reinforcement and lighting,” Stewart said. “We’ve created a theatrical production with a punch.”

Stewart said working with Notre Dame has always been a positive experience, especially with events in Stepan Center.

We’re here to provide the client with the tools they need to bring their hard work and vision to life,” Stewart said. “It’s been a pleasure working with the Keenan guys and Fr. Dan [Nolan, Keenan Hall rector], and we always enjoy coming down here to do shows because it’s a great place.”         Excerpt from the Observer, by Kristen Durbin   2/11/11


How Good does the TTL33A-MK2 Line Array sound? As good as they say with unrivaled projection and detail. From RCF below:

SOUTH BEND, IN — Highlighting the kickoff to a yearlong celebration for the city of South Bend, Indiana’s 150th birthday (SB150), Harman Professional and Michigan-based sound contractor Stewart Independent provided live sound reinforcement with Crown Amplifiers and JBL Professional Loudspeakers for a Memorial Day Weekend concert featuring Ben Folds and the South Bend Symphony.

SB150 is a community-wide celebration of the city’s rich history and will highlight the area’s best in arts, culture and heritage in a variety of events and programs.

The concert, which took place on Saturday, May 23rd, was held in the parking lot of the South Bend Century Convention and Events Center with over 5,000 in attendance for the sold-out show. In addition to the one-time collaboration between Ben Folds and the South Bend Symphony, other regional music acts also performed at the event.

The main stage system featured 10 JBL VTX V20 full-range line array elements and six VTX S25 subwoofer elements suspended per side for the PA. An additional 12 G28 subwoofers were ground-stacked in front of the stage in four groups of three. VTX F12 and F15 loudspeakers were used as front fills and out fills, respectively.

Four Crown VRACK 4x3500HDs powered the V20 line arrays and S25 subwoofers, while all the G28 and F Series loudspeakers were driven by two Crown VRack 12000HDs. JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ software handled system setup, calibration and control.

A Soundcraft Vi3000 digital live sound console handled the front of house mix and Soundcraft Vi1 was deployed for monitors. Additional HARMAN gear included two dbx DriveRack 4800s and AKG D5 vocal microphones.

“I was fortunate enough to have the complete support of HARMAN for the weekend. Raul Gonzalez from HARMAN was a real pro and we were pleased with how well the Crown V-Racks and JBL VTX boxes went together, flew and ultimately handled the show. Clarity was good and the symphony sound stage was excellent. I think we all agreed that the new gear is among the best HARMAN had put forth to date and being big fans of compact, high-output line arrays this rig fits the bill. My engineers are also big fans of the Soundcraft Consoles so having a Vi3000 at FOH was a nice treat as well." stated Shannon Stewart, owner Stewart Independent.

HARMAN audio and lighting equipment can be found on the biggest stages in stadiums arenas around the world and SB150 was a great opportunity to put our gear on display in the backyard of our Elkhart facility. We are extremely proud of South Bend and are honored to be a part of celebrating its history and looking forward to the future,” stated Scott Robbins, Executive Vice President of Sales, HARMAN Professional.

“The Main-Stage Concert was a tremendous success, despite the struggles that come with producing a first time volunteer-based show for an entire city. My staff including Dan DeVisser, Mati Johnson and Austin Lanning and I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome however. This was in no small part due to the dedication of the Executive Director of Downtown South Bend, Inc., Aaron Perri, a very supportive Mayor and Chamber of Commerce and the countless volunteers and local businesses that worked to make this event possible. Also the local production companies did great work throughout the grounds, stretching down both sides of the river in South Bend,” added Stewart.

SB 150 will continue throughout the year with additional events and programs to celebrate the city and provide a positive legacy for South Bend residents to build on the city’s proud history. Residents and organizations are encouraged to help celebrate the city’s milestone by hosting their own events throughout the year.                                                                 Harman International Press Release.

Stewart Independent uses Harman Gear to power SB150 Main Stage

After over three decades, the legendary UND Keenan Revue moves venues and upgrades to modern concert production




News FOH Online

Stewart Independent Production

Adds to RCF Speaker Inventory

Written by Frank Hammel

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


SAUGATUCK, MI Stewart Independent Production has invested in another round of RCF audio gear, including RCF Active TTL33A-MK2 line array modules, RCF Active TTS18A subwoofers and RCF Active TT25-SMA stage monitors (for use as floor wedges). The company has also added RCF Active TT052A compact front-fills. Pictured above is part of the Stewart Independent Production team with some of the RCF components.

More details from Stewart Independent Production www.stewartindependent.com

With the company growing exponentially and SIP sound reinforcement services thriving, the crew has found it time again to increase the size of the TT+ Rig to meet increasing demand.

A good deal of this latest demand is a direct result of owning this rig as SIP reports, booking new jobs and adding clients monthly as a result of having purchased the RCF TT+ flagship touring and theatre series,” noted owner Shannon Stewart. “Also, the new front fills get attention at every show, with engineers asking about them on site and emailing SIP for information on the boxes after.”

Stewart also credited the gear for “excellent throw and pattern control, dynamic headroom, overall system fidelity and of course vocal projection and vocal nuance are fantastic. Lastly, the RCF RD NET has really opened up our array options.”

SAUGATUCK, MI — Stewart Independent Production, based here, recently expanded its rental inventory with RCF audio gear. The purchase included RCF Active Horn-Loaded Line Array, RCF TT+ Active Touring Series Subwoofers and RCF TT+ Active Touring Series Floor Monitors.

Led by company founder Shannon Stewart, Stewart Independent Production specializes in professional, scalable concert sound reinforcement systems that are fully active, self-powered and processed. The company also supports events with experienced techs and sound engineers.

The company noted that RCF Touring loudspeakers “are built to exceed technical rider requirements, while providing exceptional world-class sound at affordable pricing to the client. Our modular infrastructure makes for a very fast setup and strike, requiring smaller crews and taking far less space on site.”

The purchase included:

RCF Line Array: Horn loaded pattern control for superior linear high SPL coverage, definition and throw.

RCF TT+ Subwoofers: High SPL in a compact footprint with tremendous low frequency energy output and substantial throw.

RCF TT+ Stage Monitors: Extraordinary flat response, controlled coverage, superior definition floor monitors capable of very high SPL.

To reach Stewart Independent, call (616)-566-0791 or visit www.stewartindependent.com.

For more information about RCF, go to www.rcf.it.


RCF Delivers “Orchestral” Sound to Danny Elfman: Music From the Films of Tim Burton at Avery Fisher Music Hall

September 6, 2015

After successful sold-out runs in Los Angeles and London, the multi-media celebration Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton held fort for a weeklong run at the Avery Fisher Music Hall in New York City.

Quite a unique event for an orchestra-oriented venue as composer Elfman and filmmaker Burton have teamed on over a dozen projects spanning some three decades, this event inviting attendees to clad in costumes of their favorite film characters, with the orchestra and chorus performing in concert with visuals of Tim Burton’s original sketches, drawings, story boards, and film clips on the big screen above.

For such an event, sound is a critical component of the presentation. For that, a RCF TTL line array system was selected comprised a left-right hang of 20 TTL33-A three-way line array modules with four TTS56-A double 21” subwoofers. Four TT052-A dual 5” cabinets were added for front of stage lip fill, and four TT08-A 8” two-way cabinets provided monitoring for the conductor and choir. The system was operated through RCF’s RDNet 2.2 software, which provided the house engineer both control and monitoring of the system in real time.

The concert featured a series of suites from 15 scores Elfman has composed in his collaborations with Burton including Beetlejuice, Mars Attacks, Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Sleepy Hollow, to name a few. The concert event explores the collaborative relationship between music and storytelling and the process and importance that this has in filmmaking. Elfman and Burton have created a unique concert experience, blending music and visuals to celebrate the three decades long partnership

of two of Hollywood’s top creators. The concert featured the Concert Chorale of New York with the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York lead by Grammy winning conductor John Mauceri. Renowned sound engineer Paul Bevan manned the front of house audio position.

One of the principal challenges for this production is maintaining a very natural orchestral sound at a slightly elevated level than a purely acoustic presentation. With the performance inclusive of a wide range of dynamics, incorporating a male and female chorus, vocal soloists, electronic sounds from keyboards and some pre- recorded tracks from original scores along with the orchestra places a requirement on a sound system that is capable of great clarity.

evan has been mixing the Danny Elfman: Music from the Films of Tim Burton project in a number of venues around the world. And having worked in the Avery Fisher Music Hall, Bevan acknowledges, “the Avery Fisher Hall is a world-class venue for orchestral music, although it presents many challenges for any kind of amplified show,” continuing, “When designing a suitable system for this project, RCF TTL line arrays were recommended to me by several people whose opinions I respect.”

“We had very little time for set-up and tuning the system,” notes Bevan. “The cabinets went up quickly and easily in a venue that had never seen them before. The prediction software the RCF support engineer Emanuele Moralini used gave an extremely even and natural sound throughout the venue, even before the small amount of tweaking that would be necessary in any venue with any system.

“The clarity and separation that I was able to achieve, given the many different textures, made mixing the show in an extremely reverberant hall much easier than I expected. The system integrated these various elements beautifully.”

The New York Times reported, “This event was a substantive, rich and revealing concert,” noting how, “Elfman’s music and Burton’s cinematic images are intricately enmeshed.”

And Bevan concludes, “A further validation was that one of the shows was filmed by PBS for an upcoming TV show. I been in the studio with Ken Hahn of Sync Sound, mixing the tracks that were recorded that night. The cleanliness of the recorded tracks is astonishing, with no sign of the PA spilling back into the microphones. Considering that there were approximately 90 microphones in use, throughout the orchestra and chorus, this is a testimony to the control that I was able to achieve, while maintaining a full and dynamic mix in the hall. I look forward to the next opportunity to use this system.”

The Avery Fisher Music Hall is a 2,700 seat venue located in New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and is home to the New York Philharmonic.
RCF TT+ systems had already been used in the same venue in 2012, when the Philip Glass Ensemble along with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Collegiate Choir had performed Philip Glass’s soundtracks.

Stewart Independent Production (SIP) 
has added the new RCF TTL6A loudspeakers to its inventory. 

SIP is an independent production company made up of a team of experienced concert touring professionals which designs, builds, manages and supports concert productions.
More details from Stewart Independent Production (www.stewartindependent.com):
SAUGATUCK, MI -Stewart Independent Production (SIP) recently took delivery of the new RCF TTL6A loudspeakers. 

SIP's Shannon Stewart says, ”It’s impressive how few of these array modules it takes to get the job done well. They are real barnstormers, a box that digs deep. Additionally when used as designated side-fills they are stable and really, really loud!"
Whether flown in columns or used as a single line source, the RCF TTL6A is a powerhouse of a loudspeaker with big open studio-like voicing, exceptional clarity, detail, projection and a very long-throw. The TTL6A delivers 139db of true 3-way, full-range large format sound reinforcement in a controlled 90x30 degree coverage pattern. They can be perfectly tuned for use in 4-way configurations with TTS18A subwoofers and TTS36A arena subwoofers at 143db with RD Net onboard. The release of the improved RD NET 2.2 loudspeaker management software for RCF’s onboard speaker management system RD NET has dramatically improved RCF array options in addition to further ensuring correct placement, angle and tuning plus providing even more comprehensive monitoring and control on site.

“Simply put, these are serious concert sound reinforcement tools that sound great and big. I think we will see more and more of this line source technology emerging as it is the next logical evolution of the nearly perfected conventional line array design.”  SS (SIP)

by Debi Moen ▪ inNews ▪ Created: 22 July, 2016 Foh Magazine
http://www.stewartindependent.comshapeimage_4_link_0

Stewart Independent Production adds Genie ST20 Lifts

by Debi Moen in News Created: 08 August, 2016.  Foh Magazine

Stewart Independent Production (SIP) has added Genie ST20 Super Tower Lifts to its inventory.


SIP uses many brands of line array, so having this option available benefits SIP clients and most no-fly shows and venues.


More details from Stewart Independent Production (www.stewartindependent.com):


Says Shannon Stewart of Stewart Independent Production, "The number of No-Fly Venues in this line array-dominated market has meant trouble for us all from time to time, and often too many times. Even as modern line array design and DSP advances improve the deck-stack scenario dramatically, its many limitations can only be overcome to a point. That said, we have long discussed the purchase of lifts to support line array hangs in small to medium sized No-Fly houses where chain motors are simply of no use."


He adds, "Larger No-Fly venues are typically not an issue we find, as generally the budget and resources exist for us to hire in staging towers or large ground-supported speaker fly-systems.”


With the purchase of SIP’s new RCF TTL6A Line-Source speakers, a tall large format line-source module, that must be flown to create the true “line source” effect, we have acquired gorgeous, new Genie ST20 Super Towers with a working load-lift limit of 800lbs per Tower

 
 

Stewart Independent Adds RCF Subwoofers to Inventory

SAUGATUCK, MI - Stewart Independent Production (SIP) adds RCF TTS36A subwoofers to support the company’s inventory of RCF’s new TTL6A True Line Source Large Format Line Array Modules. SIP has a large inventory of RCF TTS18A active subwoofers in addition to the newly acquired TTS36A modules.


More details from Stewart Independent Production (www.stewartindependent.com):


The RCF TTS36A is a dual 18” fully active subwoofer, driven by twin 2000-watt amplifier channels, producing substantial low frequency output at 143db. Equipped with RD NET onboard, the subs are in constant communication with SIP’s inventory of TTL6A Line Source Modules and TTL33A-MK2 Line Array Modules. All functions and parameters can be monitored and adjusted in real time on site.


Says SIP's Shannon Stewart, “In short, with a fraction of the number of subwoofers needed in the past, we can now achieve superior results that are perfectly voiced and time-aligned to every driver in the rig."


SIP is an independent production company made up of a team of experienced concert touring professionals which designs, builds, manages and supports concerts.


by Debi MoeninNewsFoh Magazine

Stewart Independent Production Builds RCF Systems

for the Road



by Debi Moen in News

Created: 23 September, 2016


SAUGATUCK, MI - Stewart Independent Production (SIP) has been investing in RCF inventory for the past five years. They’re continuing to offer touring concert sound packages comprised of the RCF products.


More details from Stewart Independent Production (www.stewartindependent.com):


Stewart Independent Production continues to build a new Line Source rig comprised entirely of RCF Active TTL6A large-format line array modules and matched RCF Active TTS36A large–format subwoofers. All as part of a packaged touring concert sound system.

Says SIP’s Shannon Stewart, “With just two to four of the three-way, RD Net controlled TTL6A flown aside or per column, we can create nearly an 8ft to 16ft line source respectively.  Each module in the array can cover 90hx30v degree coverage in excess of 140db when hi-passed with the TTL6A subwoofer counterpart, the TTS36A active 2x18” (2x 2000watts per channel) 4000watt, 143db sub module.


Also this allows for the design of incredible side-fills just as the entire system is extremely versatile in design and implementation.”

He continues, “The new RCF rig is dynamic and hi-fi, with a robust and throaty sound. It has the hallmark RCF vocal detail and projection, plus it really throws with minimal SPL drop. By its very design philosophy, its response is smooth and uncluttered. The bottom-end of both boxes is absolute and with only a fraction of the number of mains and subwoofers needed in the past. Lastly, the options for programming and monitoring these boxes, as a complete system, with RCF RD NET is exceptional.”


Stewart Independent has been working with RCF USA for more than five years, purchasing a substantial inventory of RCF Active TT+ Line Array, TT+ Subwoofers, TT+ Point Source and TT+ Stage Monitors.

Stewart Independent Production (SIP) is an independent production company made up of a team of experienced concert touring professionals which designs, builds, manages and supports concerts.

Stewart Independent Production turns to Polar Focus Rigging

By Debi Moen in News on 12 December, 2016


SAUGATUCK, MI - Shannon Stewart of Stewart Independent Production was seeking a better solution than conventional rigging allows for when flying a line array on a lift tower. He found the solution with the Polar Focus Spine Frame Adapter. "The Spine Frame design is flawless in its ease of attachment, pan and tilt capability and control," Stewart explains. "The mounting bracket goes on the tower in seconds securely and with redundant safety chains."


More details from Stewart Independent Production (www.stewartindependent.com):


Says Shannon Stewart of SIP, “When flying line array from Genie ST20 Super Towers, or any lift tower for that matter, we wanted fast, consistent, safe, rigid rigging points that allow for great pan and tilt capabilities that can easily be adjusted on the ground or at trim and easily matched tower to tower."


Stewart says they contacted Polar Focus Rigging and found their solution with the Spine Frame Adapter.


"Polar Focus has a very cool crank tower line array mount with a Spine Frame that allows for two in-line rigging points and everything we were looking for as mentioned above and more.” Stewart adds, “Everyone on crew is not only impressed, they are grateful for the new rigging tools from Polar Focus. It is not often that everyone on any crew is grateful, so we can’t say enough good about this product or the company’s design and fabrication.


The crank-lift mounting bracket holds up to 800 lbs. It is custom fabricated based on comparing tower manufacturer specs with the measurement of actual fork-play in the client’s own lift towers of the same model.

FOH Magazine Feature 2018:

Full-Page Regional Slant Profile Copy:


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Shannon Stewart and Dan DeVisser joined forces at an early age. Both loved concerts, especially with favorite bands. But more than that, great sound spoke to them. And the source of that sound? Gear.
Now, their company, Stewart Independent Production (SIP) is celebrating more than 25 years as an independent production company. They’ve created an experienced, pro concert touring team that designs, builds, manages and supports concerts in Saugatuck, MI, but mostly in areas beyond.


Company’s Spark:


Growing up, a young Shannon Stewart immersed himself in his father’s vast 30,000-record collection. “I found myself entrenched in those records, radio, the newly-founded MTV and the ever-emerging alternative and college music scene,” Stewart says. “It was where most of my Gen X peers found their identity and each other. I was no exception.” This is how he met his friend Dan, a future business partner. “He and I had not only a love of music but a love of beach girls, motorcycles, boats, cars and two-channel audio gear from the ‘80s and ‘90s, particularly Tannoy, Bryston and KEF Reference. “

Then we heard a (Midas) XL4 (console) on a Meyer rig with BSS and Eventide outboard, and it became clear that hi-fi, studio and live sound could be one.” Stewart added that “After seeing my first concert during this time, Love and Rockets and the Pixies in Kalamazoo [MI], I got to thinking this is what I want to do, so I got to it,” he recalls. But when he caught Peter Gabriel’s concert video, “Shaking the Tree,” live footage of Bruce Springsteen, and later attended a show on Pink Floyd’s “Division Bell” tour, the certainty of his career path guided him in that direction.


Throughout high school, and just after graduation, Stewart and DeVisser worked audio and lighting gigs as amateurs, meeting veteran sound engineers moonlighting in clubs while off-tour. Moving to the city shortly after to accept jobs with regional production companies, the two continued to work together, (eventually almost exclusively), building strong, lasting relationships with fellow ringers, crew and clients alike, eventually working as independents, building their own crews and shows.


We were always a bit on the independent side,” says Stewart. “We had much to learn and systems to develop and no time for the conventional teachings and approaches. So, we were thrown to the wolves!”


In his early 20’s, Stewart became a card-carrying IATSE audio guy, and gives a shout out to the union for “a great education” in just a few short years before he went out on his own.

We paid attention, made mistakes and owned them, and the angry old production guys taught us what to do as much as what not to do, along with when and how,” he says. “We continue to learn more of the same, still ever evolving and improving 25 incredible adventure-filled years later. We never stopped learning. It was a dream job that I said I’d do until I couldn’t, or they wouldn’t let me anymore.”


The Market:


Now, more than two-and-a-half decades later, the two have established their careers and reputations under the umbrella of SIP. Along with a loyal crew of regular and returning colleagues, Stewart serves as a production manager, FOH engineer, consultant and asset security/protection specialist, and DeVisser as a technical director, LD, audio systems engineer and consultant.

Says Stewart, “We are comfortably situated in the market now, having worked with hundreds of national acts and on some incredible projects. Not to mention the stories, images and friendships we have collected throughout the country. We continue to build on our oldest of relationships, adding projects and good clients steadily along the way, never forgetting the shows, crews and clients that made possible this dream job: To work great shows — or at least to work shows great!”

DeVisser agrees. “Our objective has always centered around a passion we all share to produce consistent professional concerts scaled to the needs and resources of every client we service. Our ever-evolving show templates — based on national touring standards coupled with our extensive experience — have allowed us to accomplish just that.”

Their territory extends throughout the country and on the road, more throughout the greater Midwest in recent years with a relatively small list of Michigan-based clients, but still “wherever the blow drives the boat,” Stewart notes.


SIP works with a number of universities throughout the Midwest, East Coast and down to Nashville and Florida. While the University of Michigan is in Stewart’s neighborhood, he actually works more with its rival, The University of Notre Dame in Indiana — no surprise, as Stewart has served as Notre Dame’s production manager for Student Activities for more than 20 years.


Working the college circuit is “absolutely key to the development of my skills, career and company. Scaling a good professional rider-driven show to a school’s venue, resources and budget, plus working with students, is always an adventure. We have had incredible results with that adventure.”


Holiday shows used to be a regular event on their calendar, but now they only do them for special reasons. For example, for the last few years, SIP has produced an arena benefit show called “Country Bands Together,” featuring Little Big Town, Big & Rich and The Band Perry. They also did a show for the City of South Bend for Memorial Day, celebrating the city’s 150th birthday. The event featured Ben Folds along with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra.


Gear:


SIP has a long track record of using Meyer and Martin Audio, Nexo and L-Acoustics and, long ago, EAW. In recent years, the company’s large inventory of RCF Active TT+ Touring Series is on the scene as often as possible. Having tried most gear on the market, Stewart swears by 25 years of Whirlwind products and support. Avid consoles with Eventide plug-ins are a console mainstay as the company continues to await the next great run of desks, citing a particular affinity for DiGiCo. But DeVisser admits, “If Shannon and I could buy a next great console, a real dream desk, it would still be an XL4!”


The enjoyment factor is still there. Stewart likes producing big arena shows, but really favors mixing an intimate concert in a theater. He even likes the love/hate relationship he has working at FOH in festivals. But even more than that, it all points to the people.


“There comes a point where the type of show, its vibe and the production gear, and crews and individuals you are working with and relying on to run ‘The Machine’ becomes the drive as much or more than who is on the stage. There are production people, such as Russ Armentrout, Robert Dugan, Camden Peterson, Ron Johnson, Tony Travado, Austin Lanning, Mati Johnson, that I’ll take a gig with just to work with them.”

When it comes to artists, Stewart says it’s the good little surprises, the moments along the way, that make good memories.

And now that he’s had a chance to mix shows with acts he grew up listening to, he’s also glad to have met so many new artists. “I loved working with Ben Harper on a short tour of colleges. I had one of the best nights mixing a one-off with Colin Hay in a little house with a Meyer rig. The times I’ve mixed Eric Burdon and The Animals were nights I spent ‘In the House of the Rising Sun’ with the hair on the back of my neck standing on end. Having Steve Lawrence grab my arm, walk across stage with me every night for his entrance, spit, whistle and slap cologne on me, always saying, ‘The chicks are gonna love ya, kid.’ Sir Phil Collins looked me in the eye and winked on his way onto stage after slapping hands with Cubby Colby. I was smitten. Quite oddly, I had Peter Noone from Herman’s Hermits and his manager in my truck in St. Paul because the band left without them, so I drove them to the hotel. Peter kept asking me to put it in 4×4 and drive it into the Mississippi River. I had just mixed Davy Jones and him, along with a number of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, and recall thinking, ‘This will finally keep my parents from continually mentioning the couple times I passed on mixing former president George W. Bush!’”

Visitors on the company’s website, www.stewartindependent.com, may question the meaning of the castle and Scottish tartan on the homepage. Stewart relays a history of his war hero grandfather of Scottish descent and wife Eva, grandmother of French descent, and the role this heritage plays not only in his company, but in his life.

He was a quiet, stern American Scot.’ He left the farm in his early teens to shoot pool on Route 66. A love of music and some talent drove him to lead a big band before serving his tours and more under General MacArthur (during World War II) for America and Scotland, but mostly for his Eva,” he recalls.

The namesake of the company took some time to earn,” Stewart says, “but I hope the work we do does justice to my grandparents, their American dream and the Stewart family history that plays such an incredible role in both the independence and freedom of the Western World. And in my world, I suppose.” 


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