Touring in support of Grammy-nominated rock group Nothing More, veteran mix engineers Ross Landis and Andrew Crow both the opted to bring along Allen & Heath dLive S5000 surfaces — one at front of house the other for monitors, citing their preference for the platform’s open format.
“You can do basically anything, and set it up how you want,” Landis states. Both he and Crow point to how many user-defined SoftKeys were available to them on the large-format, 28-fader dLive surface. “I was able to use those for mute groups, stopping and starting my recordings, FX controls, and even selecting certain channels that aren’t always visible on my fader banks” notes Landis. “To be able to mix how I want to mix without having to navigate through layers — that was huge.”
Their system also incorporated a DM64 MixRack with 64 mic preamps and 32 line outputs as well as a compact DM0 that added a 128-channel 96 kHz dLive FPGA mix engine in a compact format. The addition of two gigaACE cards allowed for a full digital split between the two engines.
Landis’ front of house console also housed a 128-channel 9 6kHz Waves module that he used for multitrack recording. “I originally planned on using the card for running outboard plugins,” he recounts, “until I realized there was no point. With 64 instances of DYN8 (Dynamic EQ/Multiband Compressor) and plenty of great reverbs built-in to the dLive, I had it all in the box already.”
At monitors, Crow also made use of dLive suite of DEEP plugins for shaping and coloring sound, especially the 16T compressor models. “I was very happy with the sound of those compressors,” he says. “I used to have racks of those back in the day, so it was familiar to me.”
“It is great to see Ross and Andrew rolling with dLive for Nothing More,” adds Allen & Heath USA marketing director Jeff Hawley. “The combination of those hard and heavy ‘walls of sound’ and amazing dynamic leaps that the band is known for are giving the DYN8 and on-board DEEP compressors a real workout, I’m sure. It is a real testament to the power packed inside the FPGA engine to be able to tackle all of that processing without running up the latency or smearing the phase across their mixes. You can’t beat the combo of a great band, great engineers and a truly rockin’ tour rig.”
Crow concludes that this was his first tour with a dLive but he sees it becoming a go-to in the future. “I think it’s ahead of the curve. It’s very rider-friendly and user-friendly. At that price point, it’s crushing everything.”