Tokyo-based sound engineering company LIVE DATE is utilizing the Waves Audio eMotion LV1 live mixer platform joined by Waves plugins for a range of broadcast streaming projects.
The company is noted for providing services such as live sound mixing, on-stage computer/DAW setups and live streaming for popular Japanese acts that include Yorushika, MY FIRST STORY, Survive Said The Prophet and Ms.OOJA, and others. However, current pandemic restrictions in Japan for all live events allow only a 50-percent maximum capacity, making it difficult for event organizers to be profitable in arena-class venues.
As a recourse, concerts take place partially live and partially via streaming. Organizers are now selling two types of tickets: expensive for the live experience and less expensive for online streaming of the same show.
The growing demand for live streaming has also bolstered requests for better streaming sound quality, with LIVE DATE choosing eMotion LV1 as a key to its approach in pursuit of improved audio for live-streamed productions.
“COVID-19 has placed many restrictions on the number of staff members working in the studios and venues from which we stream,” says LIVE DATE CEO Shigeo Aoki. “Normally, just a few people would cover the PA, but now, we are sometimes limited to only one person at a time. This requires new solutions that are easy to operate. Also, performances by popular Japanese artists – MY FIRST STORY, Survive Said The Prophet, Tricot – are nowadays streamed live from non-traditional locations, such as rehearsal studios, restaurants, and even private homes. Traditional mixing consoles are often unsuitable for these sites.
“To handle these new conditions,” he continues, “we were looking for a mixer that could be transported and operated by a small number of people, with the same (or higher) level of sonic quality as we’re used to, but with a minimal footprint. Waves’ eMotion LV1 was the first solution that came to mind. A complete LV1 system’s footprint is less than half of a medium live console, so you can place the LV1 system in any space – say, a hallway or a dressing room.”
LIVE DATE’s LV1 system includes a Waves Axis One computer, an Extreme Server-C plugin DSP server, and a SoundStudio STG-1608 and STG-2412 audio interfaces (40 in/20 out total). The company also owns a DiGiGrid MGB interface. The interfaces are connected to each other via a network switch and a digicom RED Link10 with a LAN cable, with the operator then choosinga Dell P2418HT as the LV1’s touchscreen display.
“Since the live industry has shifted almost completely to computer-based digital consoles, switching to the LV1 was easy,” says LIVE DATE front of house and monitor engineer Takuro Sawada. “The LV1 is economical, but it’s also very flexible in the way you can use custom layers and user keys.”
LIVE DATE also places a premium on sound quality, Aoki adds: “Our PA team uses Waves plugins to mix live shows anyway, so eMotion LV1 was the first choice enabling us to deliver the same great sound quality – only with the smaller footprint, and with the Waves plugins running inside the LV1 mixer.”
The plugins are an integral part of LIVE DATE’s workflow. notes LIVE DATE FOH and monitor engineer Masaru Sasaki: “I have many favorite plugins, but a few must-haves include the V-EQ4, an EQ modeled after the Neve 1081 – it works very well and gives you a very polished and pleasant sound. The CLA Classic Compressors, modeled after the Urei 1176, LA-2A and LA-3A – they enable me to use each color of the original hardware, which is quite different from the compressors offered in ordinary digital live consoles. There’s the SSL E-Channel – I really like this modeling of the SSL console’s EQ, and also the compressor, especially when used to add punch to my drums). Another must-have is the Primary Source Expander – a great expander for live mixing; it smoothly attenuates the sound of instruments leaked by vocal microphones and other instruments, and it processes with exceptional accuracy. Another favorite is the H-Reverb Hybrid Reverb – this is a super multi-functional reverb: you can do so many things with it, and it’s amazingly three-dimensional. I own almost all of Waves’ plugins, so of course I use additional plugins as well. Although many of the must-have plugins I mention are analog-modeled related, I’ve chosen those that are easy to use and extremely effective.”