FOH Engineer Mads Mikkelsen Chooses Waves eMotion LV1 Live Mixer and Waves Plugins for the 2019 Jacob Dinesen Tour

Mads Mikkelsen’s Waves rig at FOH

FOH Engineer Mads Mikkelsen (VOLBEAT, King Diamond, Die Antwoord) chooses tools from Waves Audio, including the eMotion LV1 Live Mixer and Waves plugins, for the 2019 tour of one of Denmark’s hottest rising stars, 23-year-old singer/songwriter Jacob Dinesen. Mikkelsen notes how the Waves eMotion LV1 Live Mixer and Waves plugins enable him to get a large and pristine live sound in a variety of venues on the tour.

He remarked: “This tour is the first time I’ve used the eMotion LV1 as my mixer. I’m using it along with the Waves Mercury bundle and the Dugan Automixer, with all plugins running inside the LV1 software mixer. For me, the system is ideal because we play different-sized venues with very different-sized front-of-house spaces, and I can fit my rig anywhere. I’ve got so many channels and so much processing, but the footprint of the LV1 is so small! So, it’s very easy going into a venue. You don’t have to ask about how big the front-of-house space is or worry about where to put your desk. That’s really cool.”

In addition, some venues are just really not designed to accommodate loud, rhythmic rock music. “Many of the concert halls we’re playing were designed for symphony orchestras. So things can definitely get a bit too ‘reverby,’ especially when you put a rock band in there. Also, since I’m not touring with a system tech, one of the new things I found was the Waves TRACT system calibration plugin, which takes information from Smaart software and adds a corrective EQ curve for the venue on the basis of that. It’s a great tool if you’re in a little bit of a rush for soundcheck, and it’s pretty amazing how accurate it is from day to day. I do a quick three-to-five measurements around the venue, and then the plugin does the EQ curve for you. It gives me a very flat-sounding system at any venue and a great starting point for the show mix.”

Mikkelsen describes his setup: “I’ve got a dual touchscreen setup with two SoundGrid Extreme servers and a PC. I’m using a DiGiGrid IOC audio interface for local ins and outs, and I get the stage inputs to FOH straight from the DiGiCo Stage Rack which lives in monitor world with our monitor engineer Arve Gotfredsen. The stage outputs from the DiGiCo SD Rack go into a DirectOut Split.Converter. I then run an optic cable to my FOH position which goes into another DirectOut Split.Converter, and then into a DiGiGrid MGB coaxial interface that converts from BNC to SoundGrid. I then use the Waves Tracks Live recording software to perform virtual sound checks, tweaking the system and multitrack recording during each show.”

He added: “On Jacob’s singing, I have a C6 Multiband Compressor, which is actually kind of my main EQ. I use it for compression as well as EQing. I like to use the C6 for what you call the more musical part of it. Sometimes when using an EQ by itself, you can lose stuff that may be getting sung softly in the lower frequency region. But I just like using the C6 Multiband Compressor as an EQ because I think it can maintain a more natural sound.

He then has H-Comp with a 50:50 wet/dry setting to get a nice mix between a compressed signal and a very dynamic and present vocal. “Doing parallel compression on him helps me get a really in-your-face and up-close sound, especially if he’s singing softly. I can get all the notes and airiness of his voice, but also a lot of dynamics to the signal so that it doesn’t sound over-compressed. I also use H-Reverb on him because I think it sounds amazing and I almost don’t have to tweak it from the presets. Then there’s the Dugan Automixer, which I use to reduce stage bleed. I’ll set up a ‘ghost channel’ with a tone generator and return that to Jacob’s vocal channel with the Dugan Automixer on it.”

When Jacob is not singing, the tone generator on the ghost channel takes over and automatically turns his vocal down a bit. “As soon as he starts singing again, the vocal automatically overrides the tone of the ghost channel. It’s a great way to quiet things down in between non-singing parts, so I don’t get so much bleed from the rest of the band, or from the monitors or PA should Jacob go out in front of it at all. When Jacob does go out in front of the PA, I also have the F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ in his live vocal chain, which I mainly use just to reduce any chances of feedback. The built-in analyzer makes it very quick to catch a certain frequency.”

On guitar processing: “Jacob’s acoustic guitar has a stereo input that I separate onto two channels on the LV1. I put a delay on one channel and keep the other guitar channel clean. This seems to make his guitar sound wider without having to pan anything hard. I’m also using the MaxxBass plugin on his guitars because it gives a very good, really firm low-mid to it. I also use the C6 plugin on his guitar, again acting as an EQ. I then place a Renaissance Compressor on the end of it—which is sidechained from his vocal. So, when he sings, the guitar will duck a little bit to make room for his vocal. I also use the same sidechain technique for the bass guitar. Except on the bass guitar it’s done with a C6, because I don’t want to take any low end off, I just want to scoop out a little bit of the middle. Doing it this way creates the right room for Jacob in the mix, and I never have to put the vocal louder or over the band in order to give it presence.”

Mikkelsen summed: it up: “I can’t think of a system that gives me so much control over my sound, with such a small footprint that makes it suitable for so many different types of venues. Walking into a new venue has never been so easy or stress-free.”