In 2018, sound engineer Jeremy Grodhaus was looking for the right audio consoles for historic music venue Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he works as the A1. Their previous front of house and monitor consoles were growing long in the tooth, and Grodhaus wanted a platform that would tick all the right boxes while future-proofing them for years to come.
“We get a lot of guest engineers of various different experience levels,” noted Grodhaus. “The console had to be relatively easy to walk up to and start mixing in a hurry.” He also remarked that the venue hosts a variety of corporate and non-music events, meaning “the new console had to be flexible.”
Grodhaus compared Allen & Heath’s platform to other manufacturers during the purchasing process, but nothing matched dLive’s value and intuitive workflow. “I hadn’t heard a bad thing about dLive, and I appreciated that the company was continuously updating firmware with new features.”
Cain’s full setup now features a dLive DM32 MixRack for front of house, connected to a 28-fader, dual touchscreen S5000 control surface. The DM32 houses a gigaACE card, which allows for a simplified digital split over to a DM0 MixRack powering the monitor console, a 20-fader S3000. In addition, two DX168 expanders were included – which allow for easily accessible I/O on stage.
Grodhaus also added a 128-channel Waves card in the front of house system, in case any guest engineers wanted to use external Waves plugins. A Dante card was included too, which allows for simple multitrack recording or live streaming.
“My thinking behind the setup was flexibility and redundancy” recalled Grodhaus. “The DM32 has a redundant power supply, and the two DX168s plus DM0 can easily work as a backup front of house system in case there’s ever an issue.”
Grodhaus has been using dLive regularly since the venue’s upgrade, and his appreciation for the platform has grown significantly. “The native processing is strong enough that I don’t feel like I miss my external plugins,” said Grodhaus. “The only thing I was lacking was a source expander, but that was thankfully added in a recent dLive firmware update and it has been very useful.”
Since Cain’s hosts many guest engineers, Grodhaus also has the opportunity to hear their opinions on the new house consoles. “Everybody seems to be very favorable towards it,” he said. “Even the guest engineers who bring in their own consoles are curious about it, and some mention their interest in purchasing one in the future.”