Veteran audio engineers Ross Landis and Andrew Crow had the opportunity to demo an Allen & Heath dLive system earlier this year, and they both fell in love with the open format. “You can do basically anything, and set it up how you want,” recalled Landis. When it came time to tour with GRAMMY-nominated Nothing More, the pair opted to each bring along a dLive S5000 surface – one at front of house, and another in monitor world.
Both Landis and Crow appreciated how many user-defined SoftKeys were available to them on the large format 28-fader dLive surface. “I was able to use those for mute groups, stopping and starting my recordings, FX controls, and even selecting certain channels that aren’t always visible on my fader banks” noted Landis. “To be able to mix how I want to mix without having to navigate through layers – that was huge.”
Their system incorporated a DM64 MixRack, which features 64 microphone preamps and 32 line outputs, and a compact DM0. Allen & Heath DM0 MixRack adds a fully-featured 128-channel 96kHz dLive FPGA mix engine in a compact format — always a great choice for applications like this where additional analog I/O isn’t necessary. The addition of two gigaACE cards allowed for a full digital split between the two engines.
Landis’ front of house console also housed a 128-channel 96kHz Waves module, which he used for multitrack recording. “I originally planned on using the card for running outboard plugins,” recounted Landis, “until I realised there was no point. With 64 instances of DYN8 (Dynamic EQ/Multiband Compressor) and plenty of great reverbs built-in to the dLive, I had it all in the box already.”
At monitors, Andrew Crow also made use of dLive suite of DEEP plugins for shaping and colouring sound, especially the 16T compressor models. “I was very happy with the sound of those compressors,” noted Crow. “I used to have racks of those back in the day, so it was familiar to me.”
“It is great to see Ross and Andrew rolling with dLive for Nothing More,” said Allen & Heath USA Marketing Director Jeff Hawley. “The combination of those hard and heavy ‘walls of sound’ and amazing dynamic leaps that the band is known for are giving the DYN8 and on-board DEEP compressors a real workout, I’m sure. It is a real testament to the power packed inside the FPGA engine to be able to tackle all of that processing without running up the latency or smearing the phase across their mixes. You can’t beat the combo of a great band, great engineers and a truly rockin’ tour rig.”
Crow added that this was his first tour with a dLive, but he sees it becoming a go-to in the future. “I think it’s ahead of the curve. It’s very rider-friendly and user-friendly. At that price point, it’s crushing everything.”