B&L Sound and Lighting is an event management company based in Arlington, Texas that provides turn-key production with sound, lighting, video and special effects for all kinds of live events and conferences. This spring, B&L provided its services for the Student Leadership University’s “Lift Tour”, a world-class Christian music and worship weekend for middle-school and high-school youth, which covered nineteen cities and featured five different Christian music bands, magicians, comedians and worship services. B&L mixed all of this year’s Lift Tour events on an Allen & Heath dLive S5000 Surface with DM64 MixRack.
Lift Tour venues ranged from churches to convention centers to theaters with audiences from 1000 to 2500. Jason Wilson, B&L’s Production Manager and FOH engineer for the tour, described the Lift Tour as a “fast-paced, high energy weekend,” and he explained B&L’s choice of the Allen & Heath dLive for the tour: “We needed a highly-flexible mixer that could be set up in a hurry for different artists, had lots of processing power and the ability to quickly access a large number of inputs and outputs.”
B&L carried an extensive selection of wired and wireless microphones on the Lift Tour and averaged fifty-six inputs and twenty-four outputs for each Lift Tour weekend. To accommodate all of these sources and mixes, Wilson made creative use of the dLive’s layers and scenes. He created a different dLive “scene” for each city. Then, he assigned layers 1 and 2 to inputs and linked fader banks A and B to create twenty inputs per layer with the remaining eight faders in each layer saved for outputs. “I can drag-and-drop anything anywhere quickly,” he said. “And I was able to get a guest engineer up and running in ten minutes. They all thought that was amazing!”
B&L’s dLive includes a Waves card and Wilson carried a MacBook Pro configured as a Waves server so he could use his choice of Waves plug-ins. He also used many of the dLive’s built-in effects including 31-band equalizers on each output and the dLive’s classic compressor emulations on vocals and instruments.
Lift Tour monitors were mixed on the dLive at the FOH position. Wilson set up eight stereo mixes for the bands’ in-ear monitors and another mix for floor wedges for the bands’ multiple DJs. Other mixes fed left and right line arrays, subs, front-fill, and video sends. Wilson created stereo recordings of each concert and saved the entire dLive configuration to a USB thumb drive.
After the tour, Wilson commented, “The dLive sounds amazing. It has lots of great, high-end features and the dual touch screens and patching are flexible and easy to use. For B&L’s events, the dLive is a game changer.”