Hayley Kiyoko tour engineers Dusty Black (FOH/TM) and Nic Monaco (Monitors/PM) continue to expand their use of the Allen & Heath dLive Digital Mixing System as they set off on their latest summer tour season. Building upon the buzz of Kiyoko's recent hit album release, Expectations, upcoming performances include shows at dozens of arenas across the US and Canada supporting the Panic! At The Disco Pray For The Wicked tour.
Having worked together for over a year as a FOH/monitor engineer team, Dusty and Nic each selected a compact C1500 dLive Control Surface along with a shared 96kHz 160x64 FPGA Core DM48 MixRack as their console of choice. Utilizing the multi-surface feature within the dLive, the same MixRack engine works across two surfaces. Nic noted how effective this approach has been, sharing how he has "really been getting into the mindset of sharing one console engine. We don’t really think about it much anymore except in very particular global functions or global setting changes. It hasn’t ever been a limiting factor. No lag, no artifacts. Sounds great. Everyone is super happy.”
Dusty was quick to add, "This is the first tour where we’ve had dual surfaces at FOH and monitor land like this and we immediately realized how much better that design is for us. The convenience and consistency and having such a small footprint—and a smaller price point—is so compelling.” Speaking to their performance at Coachella 2018, Dusty also noted how he "threw the console over the barricade and into FOH position early on with no issues. It was a breeze! It stayed there all day as-is at our spot waiting for our set to begin. That was pretty rad. Can’t beat that for ease of load-in.”
Speaking to the sound of the dLive, Dusty says, "The desk is very transparent and easily transfers from PA to PA. You can push tube preamp emulations and on-board compressors to get color and personality, but also being able to be clean and pristine is great.” Nic commented, "And pristine not in an overly sterile way. Pristine and really precise. I’d make very small adjustments in tenths of milliseconds between guitar mic delays and the guitarist was hearing those subtle changes on stage."
Due to the cost savings resulting from the use of a single MixRack engine, the group was able to purchase the system outright instead of renting along the tour. According to Dusty, "We both wanted something that we can fly with. We also always wanted to use dLive and it is so much more cost-effective in the long run for us to buy. We convinced management to make it happen. Quite frankly, the small size of the console was the only tricky part of the management conversation. ‘Is this tiny thing going to work for arenas?’ And of course the answer is ‘yes’!”
Prompted to share one last thought about their extensive use of dLive on the road, Dusty chuckled and added, "I’ve had a record number of LD’s tell me how much cooler the audio console looks than the lighting console. It’s that signature dLive purple glow. Lighting designers complimenting the dLive lighting—love it.”