As has been the case for nearly 10 years, Allen & Heath served as the console provider for the British Music Embassy stage at the 2023 edition of the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, TX, this time with three dLive mix systems to support performances by up-and-coming UK artists.
At front of house, bands were mixed on a dLive S5000 surface paired with a DM0 MixRack, which fed into a continuity system utilizing a compact CTi1500 surface and DM64 MixRack to handle the various PA feeds as well as Shure wireless microphones for hosts and presenters. By the stage, monitor wedges and IEM mixes were delivered from another dLive S5000 surface with its own DM64 that offers up to 128 channels of independent processing and 64 configurable buses.
The sound design and gear were provided by Bowers & Wilkins, serving more that fifty artists who took the stage, including Venbee, Sports Team, Robocobra Quartet, Sans Soucis, and Sipho.
“I love mixing on dLive,” says Jez Dabbs, the house engineer at the BME stage. “It’s my desk of choice back home — it makes my life a lot easier when I show up to a venue like this and I know I’ll have all the tools I need.”
Meanwhile, Allen & Heath consoles could be found at multiple other venues around SXSW, including a dLive C1500 at the White Claw Shore Club, an Avantis at Sellers Underground, SQ at the Mohawk club, and multiple analog ZED and GL consoles peppered throughout.
“It certainly seems like the Allen & Heath presence across SXSW has steadily increased year over year,” notes Allen & Heath USA marketing director Jeff Hawley. “We love seeing the interesting applications of the entire A&H range from ZED at smaller signer-songwriter ‘open mics’ up to multi-dLive rigs in spaces like the British Music Embassy. Most of all, SXSW is a great chance for us to stay in touch with the audio engineer community and gather feedback and learn new mix approaches ourselves.
“The most recent trend seems to be the consistent use of tools like the Source Expander in dLive and Avantis on vocals and the Dual Threshold Expander on drums. Just about every chat we had with engineers about how they approached their mix involved a fair amount of ‘in the box’ DEEP processing. Thanks to everyone across the festival who selected Allen & Heath as their go-to console!”