German-based live and studio engineer (Rea Garvey, Yvonne Catterfeld, Sing meinen Song)
This month Jack Kenyon (dLive Product Specialist) speaks to Sascha Kohl.
Hey Sascha, it’s been a while, great to speak to you again! What was it like returning to work after lockdown?
The first gig after lockdown was a mixture of feelings. Doing again what you have done 1000 times before, and what you love so much, felt amazing. Some sort of freedom again and “back in business”. What was funny was the preparation of shows, receiving emails with questions for technical details made my head spin as I was “out of business” and into other things. But finally, things come back quick and it’s more like riding a bike.
What is your preferred setup right now?
My setup is usually based around an S7000 Surface and a DM64 MixRack. Depending on where my signals come from, I use specific tools to do it. DX32 and DX168 for analogue signals, superMADI, Dante 128 and Waves for the digital universe. It often happens that my dLive is equipped with 5 cards in the IO Ports and all of them are in use. It’s a crazy amount of flexibility, and it works like a charm. You set it up and forget about it.
I do use dLive in South Africa and Gran Canaria regularly where it is hot and dry in the day times, and cold and wet in the night. I used dLive on outdoor festivals at -15 degrees and - knock on wood - my dLive always was the only console without any trouble.
You mention working in South Africa. You’ve just finished working there on season 9 of Sing meinen Song [German reality TV series], what did that involve?
So, my Setup for Sing meinen Song is my S7000, DM64, DX32, Waves, Dante and superMADI cards, plus 10 ME-1s for the bands monitoring.
The superMADI card handles all the I/O to the Pro Tools system for recording and backup recording, the Dante card handles around 20 channels of Shure Axient for lavs and handhelds, and the Waves card feeds my Waves Server for some plugins. So, all together, we used around 134 Inputs with the ABCD flexible input routing plus 16 Stereo FX Returns.
The feature I use the most in this production is the amazing scene management in the dLive system. It is the best in the industry! The Scene Update feature is key, and this system allows me to mix, rehearse and recall 56 songs in 5 days of producing 8 episodes of Sing meinen Song easily.
My job is not only FoH, but also the In-Ears of the singers as well. My setup and the flexibility of dLive is outstanding for this. Time is rare and I have to be spot on. There was never an issue with that. Technology disappears and music is pure joy with this band!
It sounds like you have a very well-honed workflow, was that easy to achieve?
Mixing on dLive is second nature. As I was on tour with iLive for so long, and I was the first dLive user outside of the UK with firmware 1.00 back at the start, I am really deep inside the console and the philosophy of A&H. I don't have to think about stuff, dLive is my left and right hand. That is what makes dLive my weapon of choice - the ease of use, the speed you can achieve, the sound of the console. These days you get more and more inputs and outputs to work on and less time, as time is money. dLive is the tool to make that happen quick.
As you say, you’ve been on dLive since firmware V1.00. What has your dLive journey been like so far? And where do you see it going?
As I first used the console as it came out, I had a lot of things on the wish list. The scene management was one of the first things A&H redesigned based on feedback from myself and other engineers. Since then, so many things happened inside the console: Shure and Sennheiser support, DCA/MCA, virtual soundcheck, gain tracking, dual surface mode, RTA… the list goes on and on.
I still have lots of ideas for stuff and tools. So, let’s see what the future brings to dLive. I am super excited as dLive has so much potential.