Grammy Award-winning artist, Imogen Heap, has taken to the road for the first time in eight years on the 40-week long Mycelia world tour, accompanied by an Allen & Heath dLive mixing system and frequently partnering with a d&b audiotechnik Soundscape, to provide an immersive 3D audio experience for concertgoers.
Known for her innovative work in both music and technology, Heap’s tour comprises not only of live shows but also tech-based talks, workshops and exhibitions that promote the launch of the “Creative Passport” – Mycelia’s digital identity standard for music makers, built to deliver a flourishing artist-led music ecosystem.
The full live set-up includes a dLive DM0 MixRack along with two DX168 expanders, purchased specifically for this tour (through Ampco-Flashlight-Sales), which are used in a multi-surface configuration to control both front of house and monitors from a single MixRack. The configuration employed on the tour sees the DM0’s 128 input processing channels split to provide 64 input channels with discrete processing for both monitors and front of house.
dLive Director software is utilized for monitoring system control with all musicians having access to individual iPads running dLive OneMix, allowing them to further fine tune their IEM mixes. Each show also features a dLive surface (hired locally), which is connected to the MixRack and handles front of house duties.
Joep Hendrikx (front of house engineer) comments, “The DM0 gives us the option to bring a console with the proper analog and digital I/O that we can easily travel with on a plane, without compromising on feature set or sound quality.”
To interface with the performers’ laptop-based setups, the DM0 is fitted with a superMADI card which sends audio to and from several RME MADIface Pro interfaces, enabling low-latency integration of software instruments and external processing, all at 96kHz. The DM0 is further equipped with a Dante card which is used for sending 64 post-fader direct outputs to the d&b audiotechnik Soundscape system.
Interestingly, Heap further uses her WiFi-MIDI controller (or ‘Mi.Mu’) gloves to create sounds, manipulate audio and control the FX and sound system. Additionally, an acoustic drum kit is played by MissMetric – a robot drummer “with a strong will” – through small robotic Polyend triggers that are controlled via MIDI.
“This tour is truly incredible and the technology used during these shows really speaks for the whole Mycelia project. I met Petra Randewijk (front of house engineer, system tech and show designer) through Women in Live Music and she was very interested in using dLive for the Mycelia tour” comments Leon Phillips, Live Sound & Touring at Allen & Heath.
“The brief was for a fly-able, expandable system that could hold its own on large-scale productions. I recommended a DM0 as the central brain and two DX168’s to handle the analog IO, while the instruments’ audio, and Imogen’s computer send and returns are kept in the digital domain using fiber-optic MADI links to a superMADI card. The system can be easily set-up, controlled by a laptop or tablet running Director software and it can fit into a Scott Dixon or Peli lightweight case, so it’s also easily transportable too. dLive’s versatility makes it perfect for the job.”
Randewijk adds, “’When looking for the best setup for the tour, the advice to check out dLive came from almost every direction. The contact with Allen & Heath has been above and beyond anything I could have hoped for, Leon has been truly amazing in helping out with everything, from advising on the set-up to putting us in contact with local suppliers.”
The live shows will also feature performances with Guy Sigsworth, the other half of the duo-act ‘Frou Frou.’ The first leg of the tour covers Europe, spending one week in each city and with the last show taking place in Finland in December, before heading across seas to the US and beyond in the New Year.