Southern California based full-service AV company MixOne Sound, which handles live and virtual concerts, conferences and commercial productions, recently deployed an Allen & Heath dLive mix system to manage the broadcast mixes for shows featuring rap rock trio Fever 333 and 10-time GRAMMY Award winner Chaka Khan.
“The transition from our previous console platform to A&H was super smooth,” notes MixOne Sound owner Spenser Bishop. “By my second show on dLive I was totally comfortable, it was a lot easier to jump into than other consoles for sure. This is the first desk we’ve walked up to in a long time where we thought, ‘plenty of horsepower, sounds great, don’t need external FX processing’ and you just get to mixing.”
The MixOne Sound broadcast and control room mix came together on an Allen & Heath dLive S5000 with SuperMADI and Waves cards, a DM64 MixRack with a gigaACE card at the stage and a DX32 Modular Expander packed with PRIME preamps. The house stage mix was delivered by four dBTechnologies S118 subwoofers, two IG3T side fills, and a mixture of LVX XM 12 and 15 stage monitors.
“If I had to highlight two features we really loved, I’d go with the onboard SRC and DEEP effects,” adds Bishop. “Whether I have Dante or Waves or I need SuperMADI to do inserts, the desk sees it and handles the sample rate conversions in and out. Nobody else makes it this easy. Perfect for studio and broadcast where we’re seeing a lot of 48 kHz on other devices, but we’re able to keep things at 96 kHz in dLive land. Multiple sample rates and multiple formats at once. Such a stellar feature.”
PRIME preamp modules are new from Allen & Heath, using the latest converter technology and linear components in a design intended to exploit the full potential of the 96 kHz XCVI FPGA core. “PRIME is the closest feel and sound to analog I’ve heard from digital,” Bishop states. “And the pre’s that come on the desk aren’t far behind. I noticed mixing Chaka’s vocals today — the clarity, the low noise floor, all very clean and very true.”
He also calls attention to dLive’s DEEP processing architecture, which embeds compressors and processing emulations directly within the input and mix channels. An array of algorithms including graphic EQs, compressors and a 64-channel Automatic Mic Mixer (AMM) can be inserted without occupying effects slots and with stated low latency.
“DEEP rocks,” Bishop concludes. “The OptTronik DEEP compressor is great as a ‘one knob’ compressor, especially in a broadcast environment to keep things level without anything noticeably squashy going on. I have another go-to outboard optical compressor that I like, but I think the internal dLive OptTronik sounds better. Don’t tell [redacted] that I said that, though.
“I had OptTronik running on almost every input with Chaka. And every output. It was awesome not being limited on how many instances I could run and not having to worry about phase and latency weirdness like on other systems and desks. Super fun to play with that many plug-ins at once and not have the ‘carwash’ sound other desks tend to get when they are hit that hard. dLive still gave us the high-definition sound we need.”