Allen & Heath

Metro Club in Chicago Upgrades with dual dLive Consoles

The historic Metro club in Chicago recently celebrated their 40th anniversary, and the venue simultaneously underwent a major audio upgrade. “In 2021, we had changed everything about the PA – except the actual audio consoles,” recalled installer John Wagner of Ayre Productions. The staff at the club eventually told Wagner that they wanted to explore changing out the front of house and monitor consoles as well. “They inquired about Allen & Heath’s dLive platform, so we set them up with a demo.” Local sales rep Shawn McLoughlin soon brought in two dLive S5000 surfaces for the team to try out, and it was a perfect match. “dLive was leaps and bounds better than what they were using previously,” noted Wagner. “They really liked the sound and the workflow.”

“We’re a small venue that hosts a lot of big acts,” explained Ben Gordon, the venue’s monitor engineer. “So we’re always trying to minimize our footprint without sacrificing functionality. dLive hit all the marks for us.” Justin Yates, who runs front of house, appreciated the platform’s flexibility and ease of use. “We get a lot of guest engineers, some of whom aren’t familiar with digital consoles. With dLive, it’s easy to get them up to speed and mixing a show in a couple of minutes.” The team eventually decided to purchase two dual-screen dLive C3500 surfaces, along with a pair of CDM48 MixRacks. “Guest engineers are really excited to see the dLive consoles,” said Yates. “Even the folks who bring in their own console are curious and want to play around with a dLive.” 

The front of house and monitor dLive systems are each equipped with AES output cards, which allow them to feed the venue’s amplifiers using digital AES/EBU signals. “That’s been a long goal of ours – to be digital as much as possible,” noted Gordon.

Both Gordon and Yates were impressed by the dLive’s full gamut of DEEP processing and compressor emulators. “I really like the Hypabass sub-harmonic synthesizer” noted Yates. “I’ve been experimenting with that plugin to add thickness to my tom channels. I also like the sound of the different reverbs on dLive,” he added. Yates specifically likes the Mighty compressor, which is inspired by a classic transistor array VCA dynamics processor. “That one is so sick.”

“It’s the first time on a digital desk that the compressors actually sound different,” remarked Gordon. “On other digital consoles, you can switch through compressors without really being able to tell the difference. With dLive compressor models, you can actually hear the different characteristics. It’s been fun using them to blend sources into the mix.” For monitors, Gordon also likes using the dLive’s Source Expander. “It helps to clean up vocals for in-ear mixes. If you get the sidechain settings just right, you can eliminate a lot of noise bleeding into the lead vocal mic without missing a lot of articulation.”

Following a lull during the COVID pandemic, Metro has re-emerged as an A-list venue with an intimate feel – recently hosting big name artists like Metallica, Green Day, and Fallout Boy. “Front of house is about 30 feet from the stage,” noted Yates. “It feels like you’re right up there with the acts. I think that’s what makes it such a unique experience at Metro.”

Allen & Heath

dLive is Platform of Choice for Historic Cain’s Ballroom

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.”

Allen & Heath

In This Moment Tours with dLive S5000

Production manager and front of house sound engineer Brian Hardaswick started hearing buzz about Allen & Heath’s dLive series in early 2020. “I hit up Sound Image and they had them in stock, so I decided to try out mixing with some multitracks,” recounted Hardaswick. “I fell in love with it right away.” Unfortunately, the ensuing COVID pandemic prevented Hardaswick from taking the console out on the road. “I ended up going to our rehearsal space twice a week for six to eight hours just to practice mixing by myself on a PA.”

Two years later, as live music made its comeback, Hardaswick finally had the chance to take his dLive system on a headline tour with acclaimed heavy rock band In This Moment. “I was blown away by the console – how true the FX are, how responsive the gate and compression is,” noted Hardaswick. “Every little nuance and every little change I make is audible.” Hardaswick also remarked on dLive’s intuitive workflow. “I just sat down at the controls, and it made sense right out of the gate. It’s amazing that the fader layout is fully customizable with a simple drag-and-drop interface.”

The complete system for In This Moment’s tour includes an S5000 control surface, along with a DM64 MixRack – which features 64 mic preamps, 32 line outputs, and a powerful 128-channel 96kHz FPGA processor. Hardaswick also has a 128-channel WAVES3 module installed, which he uses for multitracking and virtual soundcheck with a computer. “The virtual soundcheck feature is an incredible tool. I love how easy it is to switch back and forth between playback and live mixing – especially at festivals when I don’t have much time to dial things in.”

In This Moment lead vocalist Maria Brink poses a unique challenge for Hardaswick, as her live performances involve use of a headworn microphone and lots of movement through noisy crowds. “The dLive’s DYN8 processor is huge for her, because there’s a lot of noise I need to take out – but I don’t want to remove anything important from her actual performance.” The DYN8’s DEEP multiband compressor and dynamic EQ allow for the plugins to only be active in affecting the signal when particular thresholds are hit at specific frequencies. “Her vocals have so much diversity. Sometimes she screams, sometimes she whispers, and I have to keep all that audible. DYN8 allows me to pull certain frequencies during screaming vocals, but also to emphasize frequencies when she’s whispering to make it feel more present and ‘in-your-face.’”

Hardaswick also lauded the built-in parallel compression that is available on every input and mix processing channel on dLive. “I used to have to burn my groups to get a compressor wet/dry mix,” explained Hardaswick. “It’s great that I don’t need a bunch of outboard gear – everything I need is right there.”

This year, In This Moment supported fellow heavy rockers Slipknot on their arena tour. They also performed at the Welcome to Rockville heavy metal festival at Daytona Beach, and are headlining at the Blue Ridge Rock festival in Virginia.

Allen & Heath

Sacramento Rock Group Dance Gavin Dance Opts for dLive

Front of house engineer Travis Wade first mixed on a dLive under some chaotic circumstances. “We were only expecting about six hundred people at a Suicidal Tendencies concert,” recounted Wade. “About four thousand attendees showed up.” The rental company did not have Wade’s usual audio console, but they assured him that the available dLive S5000 would be simple to learn. “I ended up having my mind blown by the desk. It was super easy to get going. I didn’t find myself having to navigate through many pages to get to the parameters I needed.”  

Unfortunately, that concert only lasted about four songs before the crowd got out of hand and the production had to be halted for safety.

Since that fateful day, Wade has shifted to dLive for tours with Sacramento heavy rock band Dance Gavin Dance. Formed in 2005, the group has sold over a million records and performed in nearly 30 countries. “For this tour, I went with a dLive S7000 surface and a DM48 MixRack rented through Sacramento Production Services,” explained Wade. “It’s hands-down my favorite desk I’ve ever been on. I’ve worked on consoles by many different manufacturers, and nothing could beat what it was like mixing on dLive.”


For additional I/O at the front of house position, Wade uses a DX168 expander – which adds 16 dLive mic preamps and 8 line outputs, and connects directly to a dedicated DX port on the back of his control surface.

When it comes to channel processing, Wade is thankful that he doesn’t need an external server to achieve the right sound. “Everyone’s had that nightmare where the external digital FX processor goes down mid-show and your entire mix is gone,” said Wade. “That was a big draw for dLive for me – everything I need is built-in.”

In December of 2020, Dance Gavin Dance held a unique livestream performance from the historic Tower Bridge in Sacramento – which Wade mixed and captured through his dLive. “We had only 12 hours to load in, get the performances, and tear down before they had to re-open the bridge for traffic,” recalled Wade. “We didn’t have time for any errors.” Luckily, his dLive served him well – allowing him to mix and capture individual tracks to a computer via Dante. 

Dance Gavin Dance is set to perform next at the upcoming When We Were Young festival in Las Vegas this October, alongside other big name rock groups such as My Chemical Romance and Paramore. For future tour dates in Europe, Wade noted that he will be bringing along a C1500 dLive surface to maintain the same processing power in a more portable form factor: “It is under the weight limit for airlines, which means I can fly with it with no issue.”

Allen & Heath

Allen & Heath dLive to Handle Front of House and Monitors for Upcoming Maggie Lindemann Tour

Audio engineer and Tour Manager George Adrian was first introduced to Allen & Heath’s dLive platform at a music festival, when he saw a fellow engineer using one. “I was really blown away by the compact form factor,” he recalled. Adrian later began to realize the advantages of owning his own touring desk, and dLive was a top contender. After evaluating his options, he landed on a 20-fader dLive C2500 surface and a CDM64 MixRack, which features 64 dLive mic preamps and 32 line outputs. Although he obtained it just before the COVID pandemic, Adrian has already taken his new dLive rig out for several major live runs. “The palette of creativity and flexibility is unbelievable,” he noted. “I’m learning new things all the time, and the workflow makes a lot of sense to me.”

Next up for Adrian and his dLive system is an upcoming sold-out tour for American pop punk artist Maggie Lindemann, who released her debut album Suckerpunch in 2022. Adrian is preparing to simultaneously run both front of house and in-ear monitors for the tour – which will make full use of dLive’s flexibility and processing power. “I try to use minimal compression for in-ear mixes,” said Adrian. “So that means double-patching some of the inputs and sending a different processed version to the front of house mix.”

dLive’s DEEP plugin package also comes in handy for Adrian, including the new Dual Threshold Expander introduced in dLive firmware 1.9. “I like it a lot for drums,” he explained. “I use it on basically all my channels.” Adrian also makes use of the DYN8 Dynamic EQ for things like lead vocals and kick drums. “I like to be able to boost certain frequencies only when that frequency crosses a set threshold – and avoid just boosting everything in that signal at that frequency all the time, like you would with a static EQ.”  Adrian notes that Dynamic EQs can help a lot with minimizing feedback as well as minimizing the emphasis of undesirable bleed or spill from the stage or crowd. In the case of vocals, Adrian uses a fast attack to grab and control peaks and then uses the dLive’s OptTronik compressor to add steady compression and balance out the signal.

Adrian also has a Dante card installed in his dLive, which allows for flexible connectivity and expansion. “Using Dante, I can get audio to and from my SMAART rig, I can record multitracks, and also run Virtual Soundcheck,” he explained. dLive’s Virtual Soundcheck feature has become a crucial tool for touring engineers on a tight schedule, by providing input sources to the PA without needing the actual band present. “On this run, we’re gonna have limited time before each performance,” noted Adrian. “We have to get a soundcheck done pretty quickly, and I can even check the IEM mixes without the artists actually playing on-stage.”

Lindemann’s tour begins in March of 2023 with US tour dates, then moves internationally to Australia and Europe in May.

Allen & Heath

Allen & Heath shines at AES2022 Show

Acclaimed audio console manufacturer Allen & Heath had its largest presence ever at the highly attended AES show in New York City this year, with an expanded booth and multiple dLive training sessions. The main booth featured the full range of Allen & Heath products, from compact analog ZED series mixers and interfaces to their flagship dLive digital 128-channel mixing consoles. Customers had the opportunity to get hands-on experience with hardware, and receive advice from Allen & Heath’s expert staff.

Training sessions were offered as well, with veteran live sound engineer Shawn McLoughlin hosting four separate sessions on Allen & Heath’s dLive platform. McLoughlin provided an overview of dLive hardware, as well as practical tips and tricks for configuration and mixing. Students were left with a deep understanding of dLive and everything the platform has to offer.

This year’s Allen & Heath booth also featured the AHM series of audio matrix processors, which are aimed at commercial installations in schools, restaurants, houses of worship, and other similar environments. Along with the processors themselves, Allen & Heath demonstrated various hardware and software control interfaces, as well as the variety of expanders comprising the “Everything I/O” ecosystem. Booth patrons saw the complex AHM back-end in System Manager software, as well as the simplified controllers and Custom Control interfaces, available on proprietary touch panels or various mobile devices.

“It was great to join the well over 100 audio exhibitors at the Javits Center and get a chance to connect with new and existing Allen & Heath fans across the industry,” notes Allen & Heath USA Director of Marketing, Jeff Hawley. “As new products like the expanded install-focused AHM Series made their AES debut in the exhibit area, we had the pleasure of offering up a number of packed training sessions on advanced live sound techniques with our dLive Digital Mixing System. Cool tech, engaged audio professionals, a chance to reconnect with old friends and to make new ones—AES New York 2022 definitely checked all of the boxes!”

Allen & Heath

Allen & Heath Celebrates Multiple NAMM 2021 Believe in Music Week Wins

Cornwall, UK based audio mixer company presents nearly two dozen live sessions and continues winning streak

Allen & Heath stepped up and went big for the 2021 NAMM Believe in Music Week virtual trade event, hosting engaging interactive events, sponsoring key sessions and extending their award-winning streak. Taking place the week of January 18th, Believe in Music Week was a new online event and global gathering to unify and support people who bring music to the world. With the goal of providing a bit of something for everyone, Allen & Heath was highly visible throughout the week through their mix of product-focused demo sessions, ‘behind the scenes’ development stories, sponsored musical events and content premieres. 

Highlights within the calendar of twenty different live-streamed video events included sessions with veteran FOH and monitor engineer Michael Bangs (Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Katy Perry, et al.) discussing how to successfully transition to broadcast mixing, a special Signal to Noise podcast episode with NAMM President & CEO Joe Lamond, ‘Dante in Worship’ case studies co-presented with Audinate, and Spanish language sessions showcasing the full Allen & Heath product range as well as a deep dive into its popular Avantis digital mixing console. Company representatives were also on hand during the show delivering tailored video chats and private product demos. 

“We were frankly blown away by the interest and the number of live viewers we saw throughout the week,” notes Allen & Heath USA marketing director Jeff Hawley. “Every session we hosted had many times the attendance we’d traditionally see for similar events held during in-person shows. Overall, we clocked well over ten thousand highly engaged live video views in our virtual booth alone — and many more beyond that when you count our sponsored events like Worship Musician Chapel TV with guest artist Lincoln Brewster. And of course this platform let us have fun with 1-on-1 video product demos to anyone who reached out for one, too. Totally cool.”

In addition to events for the general NAMM audience, Allen & Heath USA hosted their annual sales and marketing virtual awards ceremony which kicked off the 2021 theme, ‘REIMAGINE’. This year’s Rep of the Year distinction was bestowed upon Lawrenceville, Georgia-based HWPco. Outstanding Performance Awards went to firms which exceeded 2020 sales goals, including Brownestone, Excellence Marketing, Highway Marketing, HWPco, John B. Anthony Company (JBA), Mainline Marketing, Online Marketing, Richard Dean & Associates, and Samuel K. Macdonald (SKMac). Recipients of the Sales Bulldogs Award included Kevin Duthu (HWPco), Dennie Edwards (Highway Marketing), Joe Kokal (Excellence Marketing), Marco Marroquin (Mainline Marketing), Shawn McLoughlin (AudioBiz), Gilbert Perales (Brownestone), Zak Rickard (AudioGeer), Enrico Ruotolo (JBA), and Willy Seltzer (Image Marketing West). Enrico Ruotolo (JBA) was also honored with the 2020 Marketing Excellence Award. Sales Support Awards went to Sean Estrella (Richard Dean & Associates) and Julie Boatright (AudioBiz).

Allen & Heath was among the technical achievement winners at the 36th Annual NAMM TEC Awards, which celebrates the best in professional audio and sound production. The Avantis 96kHz 64 channel / 42 configurable bus console nabbed the top honors in Small Format Console Technology, netting a win for the third year in a row for Allen & Heath in the highly competitive category. Not to be left out, the company’s flagship dLive Digital Mixing System scored a big win in the SOS Awards as the ‘Best Live Sound Product’ of 2021, announced during Believe in Music Week and chosen by the readers of Sound on Sound magazine.

“We set out to look at the different format for NAMM Believe in Music Week as being an opportunity instead of a challenge,” adds Hawley. “This was a great chance for us to connect and share and support the industry we all love. We did our best to generate a lot of positive vibes and listen to our all-important sales partners, chat with the best fans on the planet, and get the Allen & Heath word out to more and more potential customers. Based on the numbers and the feedback I’m hearing, I think we can call Believe in Music Week a success!”

Allen & Heath was a proud sponsor of the Worship Musician Chapel TV livestream, featuring Lincoln Brewster.

Allen & Heath

Allen & Heath’s Best of NAMM 2020

Leading manufacturer of mixing systems leaves Anaheim on continued winning streak; sets the stage for new product introductions

It was big, brash, and frequently overwhelming, and the only thing really missing amid the din of an incalculable number of floor demos was silence. When it was over all that you could feel was brain paralysis and your swollen feet, but there was one certainty: NAMM 2020 was a winning show to remember for Allen & Heath.

Visitors to the Allen & Heath booth may have noticed a number of awards on display. Topping the NAMM 2020 award roundup, the company’s SQ Series scored a repeat victory at the TEC Awards for the second year running in the Small Format Console Technology category. An achievement seldom seen in an age when today’s hot products rapidly become yesterday’s old news, this SQ Series win was aided in no small part by its V1.3 monitor-focused firmware update.

Beyond the TEC Awards, SQ’s winning ways continued at the show with the announcement of encore ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International Readers’ Choice Awards in the Console and Mixers category for the SQ-7 (Small Format Digital) and the SQ-5 (Digital Rack Mount Mixer), duplicating category wins for SQ initially picked up in 2019. Not to be left out of the repeat winning streak, MMR Magazine delivered a second coveted ‘Product of the Year’ award to the Allen & Heath booth to join its 2019 trophy.

Over at the AES Academy, crowds stormed the Allen & Heath training sessions. Allen & Heath USA live sound/touring manager Michael Bangs’ scheduled sessions were SRO, as was Billie Eilish FOH engineer Drew Thornton’s “Modern Front of House Mixing” session, which proved to be the most popular Live Sound Academy event of the show. Across the way in the arena, the second annual Loudspeaker Showcase at NAMM was managed from behind a dLive C1500, attracting a record crowd of its own as well as a most-ever number of 14 manufacturer participants.

Billie Eilish FOH Engineer Drew Thornton riffs during his standing room only “Modern Front of House Mixing” AES Live Sound Academy session.

NAMM was also the site of Allen & Heath’s annual Sales & Marketing Kickoff  Meeting, where Highway Marketing was named Rep of the Year, the Marketing Excellence Award went to Jaylon Shane of Pro Tech, a Sales Support Award went to both Rob Baker (Mainline Marketing) and Sheila Rose (Highway Marketing), and Bulldog Awards went to Brian Christ (AudioBiz), Shawn McLoughlin (AudioBiz), Wes Pitzer (Highway Marketing), Rich Nichols (John B. Anthony Co.), Kevin Duthu (HWPco), Jaylon Shane (Pro Tech), Zak Rickard (Audio Geer), Kyle Matthews (Audio Geer), and Gilbert Perales (Brownestone). Taking home Allen & Heath’s Outstanding Performance Award were Pro Tech, SK Macdonald, Online Marketing, Excellence Marketing, Highway Marketing, Richard Dean Associates, and HWPco. The gathering additionally featured presentations made by Allen & Heath USA senior staff members and guest presenter Chris Foreman, who analyzed macro trends within the US house of worship market.

On the new product front, Allen & Heath delivered a bolt from the blue by offering attendees an unannounced sneak peek at its new dLive CTi1500, the world’s first titanium mixer. Outfitted with 12 faders over six layers, built-in audio I/O, powerful audio networking, a 12-inch capacitive touchscreen, and a Harmony UI to quicken workflow, the new console weighs-in at well under 50 lbs. with its flight case, making it 14 lbs. lighter than a standard C1500, and perfect for fly dates.
“A heartfelt thanks needs to go out to all our fans and friends who provided their support throughout 2019 and during the show,” Allen & Heath USA Marketing Manager Jeff Hawley said shortly after the NAMM crowd had exited the building on the final day. “We wouldn’t have even made it here if it hadn’t been for our outstanding reps, dealers, and engineers out there who rely upon us for mixing everything from corporate gigs and weekend church services to sold-out world tours. We’re excited to hit 2020 and step it up another notch or two.”

The Allen & Heath booth was packed throughout the show with engineers putting an array of networked mixing consoles through their paces. 

Allen & Heath

Allen & Heath Announces Plans for Expanded Winter NAMM 2020 Presence

Allen & Heath is diving into 2020 with a showing of its growing product line-up in booth #18219 that includes SQ, dLive, and the new Avantis. The company’s extensive array of I/O hardware will also be featured, including dedicated solutions for Dante integration.

A number of AES Academy live sound classes will be offered by the manufacturer at this year’s show as well, with veteran FOH and monitor engineer Michael Bangs (Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Katy Perry, et al.) hosting hands-on Masterclass training offering insight into mixing techniques for festival, house of worship, broadcast, and other live applications. A special ‘Modern Front of House Mixing’ Masterclass will be presented by Parnelli Front of House Engineer of the Year Nominee Drew Thornton, FOH engineer for six-time Grammy Award nominated pop phenom Billie Eilish. Daily dLive certification courses round out Allen & Heath’s extensive AES Academy training offerings, with those enrolled earning CTS International Renewal Unit (RU) credits.

Allen & Heath dLive, SQ and Avantis

For those anxious to hear an Allen & Heath system in action, a compact dLive Wings rig comprised of a C1500 control surface and DM48 MixRack has been selected as the console of choice for the NAMM Loudspeaker System Showcase, mixing loudspeakers from 14 different companies in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. Participating companies will be featured in multiple demos per day, during show days on Thursday, January 16 through Saturday, January 18.

Allen & Heath begins 2020 following a successful year of awards and new product introductions last year. Custom Control—a cross-platform control app for dLive mixing systems—added to the company’s laurels with a New Product Award at WFX in September, while Avantis took home its first award win October at AES with a Best of Show nod. Parnell Awards voting opened in November with dLive named as an Indispensable Audio Technology nominee. The SQ Series received news in December of its selection as Product of the Year for the second year running among MMR’s 27th annual Dealers’ Choice Awards. TEC Award nominations for 2020 were announced last month as well, with the SQ getting a repeat nod in the Small Format Console category, and dLive named as a competitor in the Large Format Console group. Not to be left out, the new DT168 Dante Expander also received a Music & Sound Awards nomination for Console Hardware of the Year before 2019 ended.

Looking back on all the company has accomplished in the last 12 months, Allen & Heath USA Marketing Manager Jeff Hawley is ready to call it a wrap and prepare to ring in 2020 with appropriate aplomb. “We’ve had a great time celebrating our 50th anniversary throughout 2019,” Hawley remarked recently. “It’s been a notable year for us on many fronts. Here’s to everyone in our industry for a sensational run going forward. We’re looking forward to seeing you all in Anaheim!”

Allen & Heath

Coti Tours Spain with dLive Wings

Grammy award-winning Argentinian performer, Coti, recently completed a 20-date tour of Spain, culminating in a performance at the Gexto Sound Festival, with a compact dLive Wings system handling monitor duties.

Coti Sorokin is one of the best-known artists, songwriters and producers in the Spanish speaking world, with numerous Platinum discs to his name. For Coti’s latest Spanish tour, monitor engineer, Alejandro Blanco opted for his very own highly portable mixing system, comprising a dLive C1500 19” Surface fitted with a WavesV3 card for multitrack recording and a DM32 MixRack, fitted with a Dante card, a superMADI card, for digital splits and AES10 card, for running wedge monitors and side fills.

“dLive is the best sounding console on the market right now and in my opinion, there’s no other mixer that offers the capabilities of dLive, without the need of third-party plugins or servers – the power and quality of the DEEP plug-ins is impressive,” explains Blanco. “Apart from the quality, weight and size is very important and it now only takes 15 minutes or less to set everything up, which is perfect for festivals with quick changeovers.”

The show required in-ear mixes for Coti and his violinist, keyboard player and backing vocalist, plus four wedge monitors and side fills. As such, a portable DX168 expander provided additional I/O onstage. Blanco comments, “I run dLive Director and load my iPad with the MixPad app to facilitate soundchecks. As we don’t carry a full production, every show has a different monitor mix, so having the ability to roam the stage is fundamental – particularly when you work with an artist who doesn’t perform soundchecks. It’s essential that I’m able to hear what Coti hears, in order to create the perfect mix for him.”

Introduced in dLive’s V1.8 firmware update, Blanco utilises MCAs in conjunction with DCA spills, enabling full and simple control over his IEM’s. Blanco adds, “As a small ‘trick’ on my C1500, I have all my individual channels grouped into different DCA’s. This means that I can immediately access the member channels I need via DCA Spills and access each mix through the Softkeys. MCA’s are also perfect for mixing the artists IEM’s.”

Blanco also made extensive use of dLive’s Dyn8 processor for dynamic EQ and multiband compression, adding, “Dyn8 is a total live saver for vocals, it’s always clear and on point, no matter if the singer sings softly, shouts or cups the mic. The combination of Dyn8 and the Opto compressor, which I place on each of my outputs, is great and provides this sweet and balanced sound. The musicians have even said how happy they are with their mixes now.”