Hit reality TV Show, Big Brother Canada, wrapped up its seventh season in early May, with an Allen & Heath dLive mixing system handling audio for the live studio audience segments. 

For this particular season, the production team turned to AV and entertainment technology company, Solotech, to assist in upgrading the audio console. Reaching out to Allen & Heath’s Canadian partners Erikson Pro, Solotech’s full set-up featured a dLive S5000 surface, paired with a DM64 MixRack, fitted with superMADI and Dante networking cards. 

“For the past few years, we’d been using an older model console that had a larger footprint and less features, so this year provided a good opportunity to upgrade to dLive,” adds Phil Hornung (Audio Technical Advisor - Live Productions at Solotech). “Erikson Pro, a division of Jam Industries, provided support that exceeded expectations during the evaluation process.”

dLive’s features, particularly the Automatic Mic Mixing (AMM) function and advanced networking and MADI I/O option cards, are what ultimately led to Solotech’s decision to invest in Allen & Heath. Hornung explains, “The dLive has a very sophisticated MADI I/O option card that can also interface with the fairly complex broadcast console and matrix system in place on the show, regardless of sampling rate, channel count or MADI format.” He adds that, “It also has a large capacity 64-channel AMM, which has proven to be an invaluable solution. We’d been previously using two separate 16-channel AMMs, linked together externally from the console.”  

John Lacina, a senior audio engineer at Solotech (and mix engineer for the live studio audience), comments, “The Tie Line option was also a welcome addition compared to the platform we had used up until this season. It allowed me to give and take broadcast MADI signals and use the console and remote rack hardware to deliver audio around the studio as needed, without using up any console surface assets. I also really enjoyed the built-in AMM function, as well as the Ducker, Multiband Compressor and other on-board FX options”.

Lacina continues, “The dLive system exceeded my expectations in every way.  It’s incredibly intuitive, easy to navigate and sounds wonderful. I’m looking forward to using this product again for another television broadcast this fall.”