FOH engineer Rob Drayton was first introduced to Allen & Heath’s dLive series at a tradeshow a few years ago, and he was immediately grabbed by its power and simple workflow. As Drayton noted, “I was like, man… this is cool!” He later got some hands-on experience with Allen & Heath’s SQ and Avantis series mixers, and was impressed by how easy it was to produce a good sounding mix.
When it came time for Drayton to eventually go on a national tour with Grammy Award-winning artists Bryan and Katie Torwalt, he knew that a dLive would be the right choice – given that a CTi1500 surface would give them a small form factor without compromising on processing capabilities. “I need something that has the capacity to do both Front of House and Monitors,” Drayton added. “But that I could also load in myself without needing a second person.”
The final system for the Christian songwriters and worship leaders’ tour included the lightweight 19” titanium rack-mountable CTi1500 dLive surface, along with a DM48 MixRack and several wireless systems in a single rack case that could easily be transported. “I could roll the whole thing in, pop the cover off, run one cable, and that was it,” said Drayton. “I enjoyed challenging the status quo of larger consoles, this was simple and sounded great.” The CTi1500 also housed a Dante card that allowed for easy multitrack recording of every performance, as well as virtual soundcheck playback.
Drayton noted that, despite all the processing capabilities he had at his fingertips with the 96kHz dLive FPGA, he didn’t need to tweak the channels very much to get the sound he wanted: “On other desks, there’s so much (channel processing) that I need to do. With dLive, it just sounded quite good as it was.”
The compact 12-fader CTi1500 handled both FoH and monitor duties, as the 128-channel, 64-bus dLive mix engine had enough power to double-patch all the inputs internally without needing a separate monitor console.
Drayton is not alone in opting for a more portable system for tours. “With DEEP processing like the BUS compressor, Source Expander, and tools like DYN8 right in the desk, more and more engineers are grabbing a dLive and hitting the road while their outboard gear stays behind,” said Allen & Heath USA Marketing Director Jeff Hawley. “We’re witnessing a new trend in the industry, and the dLive CTi1500 is leading the way.”