For nearly ten years, Allen & Heath has been the house console provider for the British Music Embassy stage at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, TX. This year was no different, with three dLive systems powering the venue showcasing up and coming UK artists.
At front of house, bands were mixed on a dLive S5000 surface, paired with a DM0 MixRack. That console fed into a continuity system, powered by a compact CTi1500 console and DM64 MixRack handling the various PA feeds and Shure wireless microphones for hosts and presenters.
By the stage, monitor wedges and IEM mixes were controlled from another dLive S5000 surface with its own DM64 – offering 128 channels of independent processing and 64 fully configurable buses.
The one-of-a-kind PA system at the venue was provided by Bowers & Wilkins, whose Sound System was designed to deliver Hi-Fi audio scaled up for live events.
Throughout the festival, over fifty UK artists took to the BME stage to perform – including Venbee, Sports Team, Robocobra Quartet, Sans Soucis, and Sipho.
“I love mixing on dLive,” said Jez Dabbs, house engineer at the BME stage. “It’s my desk of choice back home – it makes my life a lot easier when I show up to a venue like this and I know I’ll have all the tools I need.”
Meanwhile, Allen & Heath consoles could be found at multiple other venues around SXSW – including a dLive C1500 at the White Claw Shore Club, an Avantis at Sellers Underground, SQ at the Mohawk club, and multiple analog ZED and GL consoles peppered throughout.
“It certainly seems like the Allen & Heath presence across SXSW has steadily increased year over year,” notes Allen & Heath USA Marketing Director Jeff Hawley. “We love seeing the interesting applications of the entire A&H range from ZED at smaller signer-songwriter ‘open mics’ up to multi-dLive rigs in spaces like the British Music Embassy.
Most of all, SXSW is a great chance for us to stay in touch with the audio engineer community and gather feedback and learn new mix approaches ourselves. The most recent trend seems to be the consistent use of tools like the Source Expander in dLive and Avantis on vocals and the Dual Threshold Expander on drums. Just about every chat we had with engineers about how they approached their mix involved a fair amount of ‘in the box’ DEEP processing. Thanks to everyone across the festival who selected Allen & Heath as their go-to console!”