Audio engineer and Tour Manager George Adrian was first introduced to Allen & Heath’s dLive platform at a music festival, when he saw a fellow engineer using one. “I was really blown away by the compact form factor,” he recalled. Adrian later began to realise the advantages of owning his own touring desk, and dLive was a top contender.
After evaluating his options, he landed on a 20-fader dLive C2500 surface and a CDM64 MixRack, which features 64 dLive mic preamps and 32 line outputs. Although he obtained it just before the COVID pandemic, Adrian has already taken his new dLive rig out for several major live runs. “The palette of creativity and flexibility is unbelievable,” he noted. “I’m learning new things all the time, and the workflow makes a lot of sense to me.”
Next up for Adrian and his dLive system is an upcoming sold-out tour for American pop punk artist Maggie Lindemann, who released her debut album Suckerpunch in 2022. Adrian is preparing to simultaneously run both front of house and in-ear monitors for the tour – which will make full use of dLive’s flexibility and processing power. “I try to use minimal compression for in-ear mixes,” said Adrian. “So that means double-patching some of the inputs and sending a different processed version to the front of house mix.”
dLive’s DEEP plugin package also comes in handy for Adrian, including the new Dual Threshold Expander introduced in dLive firmware 1.9. “I like it a lot for drums,” he explained. “I use it on basically all my channels.” Adrian also makes use of the DYN8 Dynamic EQ for things like lead vocals and kick drums. “I like to be able to boost certain frequencies only when that frequency crosses a set threshold – and avoid just boosting everything in that signal at that frequency all the time, like you would with a static EQ.” Adrian notes that Dynamic EQs can help a lot with minimizing feedback as well as minimizing the emphasis of undesirable bleed or spill from the stage or crowd. In the case of vocals, Adrian uses a fast attack to grab and control peaks and then uses the dLive’s OptTronik compressor to add steady compression and balance out the signal.
Adrian also has a Dante card installed in his dLive, which allows for flexible connectivity and expansion. “Using Dante, I can get audio to and from my SMAART rig, I can record multitracks, and also run Virtual Soundcheck,” he explained. dLive’s Virtual Soundcheck feature has become a crucial tool for touring engineers on a tight schedule, by providing input sources to the PA without needing the actual band present. “On this run, we’re gonna have limited time before each performance,” noted Adrian. “We have to get a soundcheck done pretty quickly, and I can even check the IEM mixes without the artists actually playing on-stage.”