Guangzhou Jazz Festival gets into the swing with Allen & Heath dLive backbone

Allen & Heath dLive's 96kHz XCVI FPGA core prove the perfect match for Guangzhou Jazz Festival performances.

With the ongoing resurgence of jazz in China, a genre first introduced to the country in the 1920s by visiting US musicians in Shanghai, it is perhaps no surprise that cosmopolitan Guangzhou has become a major hub in China’s jazz scene, aided in no small part by a thriving festival held each year in the city.

This year’s Guangzhou Jazz Festival took place at the Guangdong Xinghai Concert Hall between 5 to 7 November 2021 and featured headline performances from renowned Chinese artists Li Quan and Cheng Fangyuan, plus sets from nearly 40 other acts across the spectrum of jazz music, over three days and seven concerts.

Chinese AV provider, EZPro was handed responsibility for all aspects of system design, installation, commissioning and mixing for the festival, and with reliability, ease-of-use and sound quality the primary considerations, they entrusted a dLive system with mixing duties for the festival.

At the FOH position, EZPro deployed a dLive S7000 Surface with 216 assignable fader strips via 36 faders and six layers, plus 26 assignable SoftKeys and dual 12” touchscreens, providing a wealth of configurable control options for the operator.

“As well as the granular scene system, which is crucial for festivals like this, Talkback Groups in combination with SoftKeys really helped a lot,” said EZPro Senior Director of Marketing, JI Xiang. “With a single press on a SoftKey, I can quickly switch my talkback microphone’s destination to stage monitors, OB studio, FOH or any combination of the above. We also utilised an iPad running the dLive MixPad app which makes the sound engineer’s life easier, especially mixing for the musicians on stage.”

Onstage, EZPro opted for a DM64 MixRack – utilising Allen & Heath 96kHz XCVI FPGA core – to deliver 128 input processing channels and 64 phase-coherent outputs, all with ultra-low 0.7ms latency. Additionally, a Dante 128×128 card was fitted in the DM64 to feed a Powersoft T304 amplifier and EAW® NTX loudspeaker system.

To minimise the number of cable runs required between FOH and the stage, EZPro smartly took advantage of spare bandwidth on the redundant gigaACE connection between the Surface and MixRack to tunnel control data between a laptop running EAW Resolution and Powersoft ArmoníaPlus at FOH, and the amplifier and speakers.

Hu Shijun, touring engineer for Li Quan, spoke highly of the system: “This is the first time I’ve mixed on an Allen & Heath dLive and I already love it. I have worked on tour with Li Quan for a long time, and the sound quality of this system is one of the best I’ve heard. dLive is powerful, but also very simple to operate with all general settings easily available on the Surface and iPad for quick access. In addition, I really like the ergonomics of the Surface. It allows me to view the touchscreen and the stage almost at the same time. I hope to have more opportunities to work on dLive systems in the future!”