An Allen & Heath dLive mixing system was chosen by freelance audio engineer, Richard Cardenas to handle live mixing duties for the X Factor Colombia 2020 TV series (El Factor X).

The X Factor Colombia 2020 was filmed at RCN Televisión’s studios in Bogotá. Production began in early 2020 but was suspended for eight months due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Filming resumed under stringent Covid precautions in October, with the grand final airing just before the end of the year.

Richard Cardenas with the dLive S7000, backstage at X Factor Colombia

Richard’s dLive setup was built around a CDM48 MixRack, controlled from a 36-fader S7000 surface. Richard managed all the contestants’ IEM mixes, plus FoH and monitor mixes for the contestants, judges and audience. The audio configuration in the studio consisted of an LR stereo matrix out, a matrix mono sub out, stereo aux mixes feeding side fills, a mono floor wedge setup and a stereo aux mix for the judges’ side-fill. For the earlier recordings an audience pa mix was also fed to a stereo matrix. A DX012 twelve output expander was employed to provide additional AES feeds to a 96kHz loudspeaker management system. Richard tapped into Allen & Heath’s array of networking options, choosing a Dante 64x64 card to feed the broadcast desk using dLive’s tie lines feature, plus a superMADI card for backup recording to a Pixel Power system.

Richard was a relatively new convert to dLive, having first encountered the system at a festival where he mixed multiple Latin Grammy winners a few months before being approached to work on the TV show. “During over twenty years of mixing I’ve had the pleasure of using high-end consoles from many different manufacturers. With dLive, I really felt like I was mixing rather than trying to figure out how to operate the desk,” Richard reflects. “From the layout and colour schemes you can immediately see that this console was developed and thought out by real everyday users. So when I had the opportunity to work on X Factor Colombia I asked RCN Television for a dLive system. We only had two weeks between delivery and rehearsals, but I had excellent support from Allen & Heath's specialist in Colombia, Ivan Sanchez. Ivan was with me from the first call and was a huge help with installation, training and setup.”

dLive’s extensive processing and FX libraries meant that Richard was able to streamline his system for the broadcasts, “The DEEP processing emulations are excellent and sound very close to the real thing,” Richard continues. The same goes for the FX. The EQs and preamps also sound excellent and dLive’s very low latency and 96kHz processing set it apart from the rest.”