Grammy Award winning artist Daya recently completed a 26-date North American tour in support of her debut album “Sit Still, Look Pretty”. The tour utilised venue-provided “racks and stacks” and an audio control package from Clair Global including an Allen & Heath dLive S Class Digital Mixing System with an S5000 Surface and DM64 MixRack.
FOH engineer Daniel Reed commented, “Daya hits big notes and her lyrics are very empowering. I wanted her vocal to be clean and distinct so the audience could clearly understand her lyrics and sing along to her songs.” Reed used dLive scenes, layers and effects to help him achieve that goal on the tour.
“I kept my channel EQs fairly consistent and as flat as possible for Daya’s vocal,” he said. “ I know which frequencies I want to hone in on using the multi-band compressor on the dLive’s Dyn8 dynamic processing engine and, when Daya sings louder, certain frequencies can still stand out so I isolated those with the dynamic EQ section of the Dyn8 to keep her voice strong and full throughout the performance without having to hack away at the channel EQ.”
Reed managed the tour’s multiple sources with dLive layers. He kept frequently accessed inputs, effects returns and DCA masters on top and things like the iPod input and pink noise source on lower layers. And, since each of Daya’s pop songs have a specific BPM, Reed used Scenes to program them into the dLive delay units. “That way, I didn’t have to chase it or tap along with the song to get the delay right on the vocals,” he said. “Some of Daya’s songs are more subtle while others are more dynamic and upbeat,” he continued. “So, I might add some more length into my snare and vocal reverbs and kind of dub it out with the stereo tap delay using spatial panning.”
On past tours, Reed used Waves plugins to achieve these results. “But, this time, I decided to run with the dLive’s onboard effects, which don’t have the latency and processing overhead. That way, I had the settings the way that I needed them and I had all my effects pre-programmed into songs using dLive scenes. The effects and compressor emulators sound fantastic and are fun to work on, so it was an easy decision to move away from external plugin or effects processing.
“For this tour,” Reed said, “We wanted Daya’s live performance to take her music to a new dimension, beyond what everyone hears on the radio, something her audience would always remember. And, that’s the beauty of the dLive,” he continued. “It’s so crystal clear and transparent that I didn’t need to do very much to make all of that happen.”