Jason Lovins Band, an independent Christian rock group based out of Kentucky, has been touring consistently in houses of worship and college campus ministries since its formation in 2001. “We’re on the road about forty weeks a year,” said the band’s Production Manager and sound engineer Chris Music. “It’s a big operation.”
The band’s audio needs are handled by a 96kHz 64-channel Allen & Heath Avantis console. “We’ve loved using the Avantis,” said Music. “We used to have some external plugins included with our touring rig, but the Avantis’ dPack upgrade has eliminated the need for most of those.”
Allen & Heath’s dPack plugin package brings Avantis consoles to the next level, featuring DEEP processing functions from the brand’s flagship dLive series. “The dPack is where the Avantis shines, for sure – especially the analogue compressor models. I like compressors that can give a channel some character to make it sit differently in the mix.”
Music still keeps a 128-channel Waves card installed in his Avantis, both to run some specific plugins off a server and to run playback tracks off a computer for virtual soundcheck. The band also employs an Allen & Heath GX4816 stagebox for remote I/O, which features 48 mic preamps and 16 line outputs. An additional DX168 expander is then daisy-chained off the main stagebox, which Music uses to cleanly connect all the drum mics with minimal cabling.
Since switching to Avantis, Music has found his workflow significantly improved. “I love the way you can lay out channels flexibly across the many available layers,” he noted. “I don’t like to fit everything on one layer, I like to have things organised so I can page through and access what I need.”
For the band’s monitors, Music sets up a router and multiple iPads running a mix of the free Avantis OneMix and MixPad applications. This allows each band member to have full control over their own AUX output, without needing a dedicated monitor engineer. “The band likes to be super hands-on,” said Music. “Having them control their own mixes makes things easy for me.”