Summer of dLive

After two years of disruption, festivals and tours roared back into action in 2022.

From the iconic Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival with headliner Billie Eilish through to a sprawling world tour with musical polymath Jacob Collier, dLive was at the heart of some of the most memorable performances of the last few months.

Here’s a round-up of some of our highlights from the Summer of dLive.

 

Jade Payne (FOH)

Artist: Khruangbin

Sound Engineer Jade Payne with her dLive system

American band Khruangbin spent much of 2022 on the road for their ‘Space Walk’ tour with FOH engineer Jade Payne relying on her compact dLive CTi1500 + CDM32 system to mix the genre-defying trio. Jade also makes effective use of the Waves V3 card for virtual soundcheck, multitrack recording and integration with Waves SuperRack.

Jade took some time out to speak to us at Primavera Sound Los Angeles, where we found her with another dLive Surface, the 28-fader S5000, ahead of Khruangbin’s performance at the festival.

Read more about Jade’s work on the Khruangbin ‘Space Walk’ Tour here courtesy of FOH Magazine

 

Peri Birtles (FOH)

Artist: Easy Life

Sound Engineer Peri Birtles

UK indie band Easy Life spent the summer playing festivals throughout Europe and Asia-Pacific, with FOH engineer Peri Birtles clocking up some serious air miles alongside his trusty CTi1500 Surface and IP8 Controller. “We’ve been all over the world on a CTi1500" he says. "We used the same setup in a 600-cap venue in Japan and the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury!”

After what's undoubtedly been a hectic few months, we asked Peri which show was his favourite over the summer.

“Playing the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury is the obvious answer but getting right out of my comfort zone playing some amazing venues out in Japan is probably the more accurate answer” he says. “In one venue in Japan, I was told I’d need to use the house desk as there wasn’t any room and they wouldn’t remove it. However, I was able to squeeze myself into a corner with my CTi1500 which proved invaluable, as the band will notice the difference if we’re not using our normal setup.”

Birtles’ background in mixing reggae and dub music influenced his decision to add an IP8 to his live setup. “My roots are in mixing reggae music and I like bringing some of the ‘special sauce’ you find in reggae, which means having fast and accurate control over my FX. I use an IP8 as a sidecar, so that no matter what else is going on on the console, I have reverb sends for both snares, and Space Echo sends for the lead vocal channel and the sax player. The IP8 means I get the dedicated hardware connection to the console I need even on a surface with a tiny footprint like our CTi1500.”

 

Grace Howat (Mons)

Artist: Paolo Nutini

Grace Howat mixing monitors for Paolo Nutini

Photo: Wes Cameron

Scottish singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini juggled a tour in support of his #1 album Last Night in the Bittersweet with headline festival appearances at TRNSMT and Montreux Jazz, a secret show at Glastonbury plus a support slot for Liam Gallagher at the legendary Knebworth Park.

Nutini’s long-time monitor engineer Grace Howat was pleased to be back on the road with a dLive S5000 after a lean couple of years for live music. “It has been a great ride this Summer and a delight to be ‘back in the game’ using my favourite desk with a longstanding client whose new album is superb” she says. “We headlined TRNSMT Festival early in July on the day Paolo’s album entered the charts at number 1, and the act before us was Sam Fender who also had a dLive. This set a bit of a theme for my summer! The same situation happened when we headlined the Victorious Festival in Portsmouth, the act before us was Declan Mckenna and they were using a dLive on monitors too. A significant number of other acts' engineers and house engineers had nothing but praise for dLive.”

 

Matt Hill (FOH) & Chris Brazier (Mons)

Artist: Declan McKenna

Declan McKenna's sound engineers Chris and Matt

Singer-songwriter Declan McKenna spent the summer touring the UK and Europe in support of his album Zeros, with multiple festival appearances along the way.

We asked McKenna’s sound engineers Matt Hill (FOH) and Chris Brazier (Mons) about their summer on the road.

“We’ve been touring solidly since the start of the summer” Hill says. “The Zeros show has been through all sorts of changes in size, budget and logistics, so having a mixer platform where I can go from a C1500 one day to an S5000 the next with minimal fuss has been massive for us.”

A dLive system at FOH

“I love the dLive workflow as a whole” Brazier adds. “The speed of moving around the console, even when on a smaller surface such as a C1500, it’s just so fast to change your layout or repatch should something happen during a show.”

The flexibility of dLive paid dividends when McKenna performed at one of London’s most prestigious venues. “We did a special show at the Royal Albert Hall where Declan invited a number of guests to come and join us, taking our total channel count into the high 70s” Hill says. “The ability to instantly add a few DX168s and dot them around the stage and have it all ‘just work’ was fantastic. To be able to take a touring production into the Royal Albert Hall as complicated as this and pull it off was a real sense of achievement for me.”

 

Charles Bidwell (FOH)

Artist: Dave

FOH engineer Charles Bidwell

British hip-hop phenom Dave had a busy summer, following up his UK & Ireland arena tour with headline slots at festivals including Longitude, Wireless, Reading and Leeds.

Engineer Charles Bidwell has been mixing FOH on dLive for Dave’s live show since 2018, scaling up the system as the show, and venues, grew in size and scope. Currently Bidwell favours a S7000 Surface, fitted with a Dante card for Virtual Soundcheck and multitrack audio, with a DM64 MixRack located onstage. Additionally, Bidwell utilises a DX168 Expander at the mix position for connection of some of his favourite analogue outboard.

Read more about how Charles used dLive on Dave’s WAAITT tour here.

 

Peter Fergie (FOH) & Terry Smith (Mons)

Artist: Sam Fender

Sam Fender followed up his UK Spring tour with a dLive powered main stage appearance at Glastonbury Festival on Friday night.

Earlier this summer we caught up with Sam Fender’s engineers Peter Fergie (FOH) and Terry Smith (Mons) The duo took us through their dLive rigs and detail some of the DEEP Processing tools, including the new Dual Threshold Expander, they relied on during Sam Fender’s Seventeen Going Under tour.