Veteran audio engineer, Armando Fullwood, recently mixed a Ricardo Sanchez live performance in San Antonio, Texas using an Allen & Heath dLive S7000 Surface with DM64 MixRack. Sanchez, a GMA Dove Award winning artist, will release a live recording of the concert as his newest album, “Taste and See” and Fullwood’s FOH mix was designed to serve both the live audience and create an exciting environment for the recording.
The dLive’s parallel bus capabilities helped Fullwood achieve these two goals. “If you grew up in the studio,” he said, “part of the secret was how you did parallel bus compression. And, on dLive, you can do this on every channel without worrying about latency because it’s native to the console. I use this feature religiously on drums - it’s changed my whole process of drum mixing.”
Fullwood gates his drum mics using the dLive’s keying feature. “I key the gates off the resonant tone of each tom-tom or snare. That way, I don’t have to be as aggressive with the threshold but it keeps the cymbals out of those mics and, if the drummer is playing with a lot of dynamics, it’s all there.”
For Sanchez’s live performance, Fullwood used dLive’s internal compressors, EQ, reverbs and delays. Then he added Waves plugins with the dLive’s new Version 3 Waves card. “There are algorithms inside a Waves C6 or a Vitamin that go beyond just EQ and compression," he said. “I call that my ‘finishing seasonings’.”
Fullwood, who is Executive Director of WAVE, a multi-service dealer and integrator in Harrisburg, NC, has mixed numerous live concerts and recording sessions for artists like Andrae Crouch and the Count Basie Orchestra. Based on his experience with Sanchez, he plans to purchase a dLive for his own use and he explained how it complements his philosophy for live mixing when a recording is taking place.
“If the concert itself doesn’t sound amazing, then the band won’t play well and the audience won’t respond and there won’t be energy going to the tape but if the system and the acoustics of the room are calibrated appropriately to the board, then you essentially turn your room experience into a live sound stage.”