London-based engineer, Charles Bidwell returned to the FOH hot seat with an Allen & Heath dLive for his eighth tour with the British rapper and BRIT Award winner, Dave.
He’s working on the sold-out UK leg of the We’re All Alone in This Together (WAAITT) world tour, comprising 12 arena shows throughout February and March 2022.
For the increased demands of the WAAITT tour, Bidwell opted for a dLive system centred around a S7000 Surface partnered with a DM64 MixRack. Additionally, Dante, AES and fibreACE cards are fitted to facilitate multitracking, virtual soundchecks, PA feed and to accommodate >100m fibre runs at arenas.
“The dLive has been with us since 2018, the Surface and MixRacks have been scaling up to match the show’s requirements” explained Bidwell. “We’re currently touring a full band, BV’s, playback, featured artists and Dave who raps, sings, plays guitar and piano.”
The S7000 is the largest control Surface in the dLive family, offering 216 assignable fader strips via six layers of 36 faders. A pair of 12-inch capacitive touchscreens combine with the Harmony UI to provide the fastest workflow in the industry. Audio is handled by the 96kHz XCVI processing core in the MixRack, delivering 128 input processing channels, a configurable 64 bus architecture and ultra-low 0.7ms latency. All input and bus channels benefit from DEEP processing, offering studio-grade emulations of classic hardware with no added latency or phase complications.
“The harmonics added by the DEEP preamp emulations allow me to implement sensible gain structure and then add warmth, drive and squish” Bidwell said. “The vast DEEP compressor library allows me to pair inputs with a specific compressor that improves dynamic response, depth and tonality.
“The new DEEP Source Expander on vocal mics is included in my scene recall so I can adjust the threshold depending on stage location” he added. “Dave spends 4 songs on the B-Stage in front of 32 d’n’b GSL running at 105dB, this unit has saved my vegan bacon a few times now!”
“We’re currently advancing the European Leg of the WAAITT tour and have UK Reading, Leeds, Longitude & Wireless headline slots this summer” Bidwell concluded. “It’s a huge year for Dave and safe to say, wherever I go a dLive follows.”