It’s safe to say that German three-piece AnnenMayKantereit (AMK) have come a long way since their days as buskers on the streets of Cologne in the early 2010s. In support of their fourth studio album, 12, the band recently embarked on a small tour of large venues in their homeland, their first live dates since the start of the pandemic.
Joining the band on the road was engineer Martin "Malle" Bessler who has worked with AMK on their previous two tours and, as with previous tours, Bessler called on Allen & Heath’s dLive mixing platform to handle monitor duties.
Bessler’s choice of dLive MixRack is the DM48, featuring 48 analogue inputs and a trio of 128-channel digital I/O slots, which is augmented by a pair of DX168 audio expanders to add a further 32 analogue inputs to the system, all connected redundantly.
When it comes to the mix, Bessler handles the IEM and wedge mixes of the band and guest musicians on the dLive C2500, a compact 20-fader control surface featuring a 12” touchscreen. For additional hands-on control, Bessler utilises the IP8, a remote controller with 8 motorised faders easily configured via dLive’s drag-and-drop interface, to grant quick access to DCA and MCA masters, effects returns and communication channels. "In addition to the inputs on stage, a lot of channels of communication also come together, all of which I manage in the console," Bessler explains. "I have also created an average FOH mix on the console. In total, I have just over 100 input channels and over 20 mixes. For the dLive, however, this is no problem at all."
Despite being a fan of dLive’s internal processing, Bessler utilises a Waves V3 expansion card for one specific processing task. "The dLive's internal plug-ins are already great," he explains, "so externally I mainly use Waves' S1 Stereo Imager to give my in-ear mixes a bit more spatial width. Everything else happens within the dLive system." The DM48 Mixrack also has a Dante expansion card fitted for multitrack recording and distribution to broadcast systems.
Bessler appreciates the flexibility the dLive system gives him: "It's great, you never actually have to say 'no' when someone makes a request" he smiles. "In addition, the monitor world on Stage Left is very close to the audience, due to the way the stage is built. There wasn't much space, to begin with. Offhand, I can think of very few consoles that are as powerful, flexible and at the same time as compact as the dLive systems."