Performances by Marie Osmond and the Nashville Tribute Band were just some of the acts to cross the stage recently at the Ford Idaho Center Arena as part of Redeemer, An Interfaith Celebration. With audio for the charitable concert provided by Salt Lake City, Utah-based Poll Sound, monitoring onstage relied upon an Allen & Heath dLive S5000 Surface and DM64 MixRack.
“The challenge of this show was rooted in its fast pace,” explains monitor engineer Eric Kopp. “The nature of many of the performances demanded very active mixes.”
With seven members of the Nashville Tribute Band alone clamouring to keep tabs of their performances, not to mention the endless stream of guest artists, Kopp configured the dLive S5000 control surface so that everything he’d need from sound check to the final encore would be right at his fingertips. Building scenes beforehand for each artist, he moved his inputs and outputs into groups and then stacked them right next to his master for quick focus and easy accessibility.
“The S5000 allows me to take advantage of a variety of features that simplify and speed up my workflow,” Kopp says, shedding more light on his mix strategy. “Using the desk’s Mix Mode for soundchecks, I was able to configure my inputs in a fashion totally separate from how I actually used them during the show itself. I had a complete view of my channels and faster access to them. As a result, I could easily keep pace with front-of-house, even with the seven-piece Nashville Tribute Band onstage. It would be logical at a high-speed show like this to say there’s simply not enough time for soundchecks. With Mix Mode, you don’t have to.”
Marie Osmond had the most complicated mix, requiring that Kopp actively mix every song while balancing a series of clicks and cues. “Some elements of her mix had to be continually adjusted so she could hear them during louder passages, while others had to be attenuated during quieter parts,” he relates. “This was definitely not set-it-and-forget-it territory.”
Kopp responded by recalling scenes he stored on a dedicated song page on a top layer. “In order to make these lightning-quick adjustments, everything had to be right in front of me all the time,” Kopp says, still feeling the need for speed. “I had to split my missions. Fortunately, with the S5000 I had the flexibility to do just that. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to configuring this desk. It has an uncanny ability to mould into whatever shape you need it to be.”