Chris DiCorpo tours with a custom Allen & Heath dLive rig

When sound engineer Chris DiCorpo made the switch to Allen & Heath’s dLive platform, he already understood: “I had a CDM32 MixRack and an IP-8 controller for a while,” he explained. “I was mixing with just the IP-8 for faders, and a laptop running dLive Director to make deeper configuration changes.”

Compact dLive ‘Wings’ rigs like DiCorpo’s allow for systems that can be transported without sacrificing processing power – since all 128 channels and 64 busses of 96kHz FPGA processing are handled in the MixRack. “I actually did take that system out to the UK for a few shows, which was a cool experience,” he recalled. “I knew this compact setup was the way to go, but I wanted something more robust.”

DiCorpo brainstormed a new setup that would incorporate a second IP-8 controller for more faders, as well as a Waves DSPRO 1000 he owned to handle audio monitoring. “The plan was to use the Waves card in my CDM32 MixRack to send audio to front of house,” DiCorpo explained. “I also use a Waves server for some PA processing, but the DEEP plugins in the dLive mean that I generally don’t need to insert Waves on any of my channel strips.”

DiCorpo chose a Mac Mini for his new rig, which runs dLive Director, manages the Waves SoundGrid network, and allows multitrack recording and virtual soundcheck with his DAW. “I just started building from there,” he recalled. “I found a company in Canada that allows you to easily design and order one-off custom aluminium enclosures, so I added the connectors I needed, vents and cooling fans, and two spaces at the top where my IP-8 controllers would sit.”

The two IP-8 controllers are powered using a PoE switch, A wireless router is also connected to the MixRack. For screens, DiCorpo mounted two 12″ touchscreen monitors on arms that can be removed when the rig is transported.

“When I want to disassemble, I just remove the threaded thumb screws and I can lay the monitors on top of the IP-8s,” DiCorpio explained. “When everything is folded up inside the Pelican case, it weighs about 56 pounds.”

Since IP-8 controllers don’t have as many buttons as a full dLive surface, DiCorpo uses scene changes: “The channel buttons default to PAFL and Mute,” he explained. “I reconfigured the buttons in two scenes. In one, they are Select and Mute, in the other they are PAFL and Mix Select. Those two scenes are filtered so they don’t impact any of the other settings on the console, and I can easily flip back and forth with a single button.”

DiCorpo tours with Boston-based band Couch. “Engineers who are familiar with dLive see the IP-8 controllers and can figure out what I’m mixing on,” concluded DiCorpo, “but still a lot of people ask questions about it and give compliments. It’s a great conversation piece.”