An audio system comprising an Allen & Heath dLive S5000 mixer and DM48 MixRack was used to support a full acoustic band on CeeLo Green’s ‘Love Train’ tour.
The Grammy-Award winning hip-hop and R&B artist recently completed the eleven-city tour celebrating the release of his new album Heart Blanche, for which he performed with just a sax and flute player, a percussionist and a DJ.
Art Merriweather, Green’s front-of-house and monitor engineer used wireless mics for the singer and all three backup vocalists, and connected the sax player’s pedal board, the percussionist’s feeds and the DJ via direct inputs to the DM48 MixRack on stage. Merriweather (pictured) mixed and grouped these sources into as many as eleven different feeds for the house sound system and on-stage monitors. To minimise bleed caused by the high stage level Merriweather uses the dLive’s input-channel gates on the vocal mics and the sax player’s instrument mic.
Green cups the mic in his hands on some songs, changing its sound quality. Merriweather used the dLive’s multi-band compressor to clean up the sound on these songs and says it automatically drops off when he moves his hands back down the mic.
Merriweather praised the dLive’s vintage reverb emulators, calling them: “spot-on the best I’ve heard.” He uses two different dLive reverbs on the DJ, echo plus reverb on the sax and a pitch shifter on Green’s hit song, Crazy to double the artist’s voice both two octaves up and two octaves down.
Because he has “more mixes than sources”, Merriweather sets up the dLive with his outputs on the left-most faders and inputs on the centre faders. He uses a second layer to manage effects and another for EQ settings. He does a multi-track recording of every performance via the dLive’s Dante card to a Mac Mini and plays it back during setups using a dLive scene to implement the mixer’s “virtual sound check” capability.
Merriweather says Green’s show hits the dLive hard but it has ample dynamic range and its 96k sample rate makes it better sounding than other digital mixers he’s used in the past. He has the desk highly customised with colours and labels and said he loves the ease of drag-n-drop setup.
Merriweather, who has twelve years’ experience as a front-of-house and recording engineer, said he appreciates the dLive’s “analogue feel” which allows him to concentrate on the mix and not be distracted by the technology, and says he’s looking forward to using the dLive’s wireless iPad control. “I love this desk,” he said, “and, whatever it can do, I’m doing it!”