Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi is currently on a world tour playing frequently sold-out shows with the help of an Allen & Heath dLive on FOH and monitor duties.
“In early 2019 we were looking for an audio package that was powerful, flexible and compact enough for us to use on every show, be it a Lewis headline as part of a tour, or a run of overseas festivals where space, weight and set-up time were at a premium,” explained FOH engineer, Andrew Bush.
Supplied by Glasgow-based pro audio hire company, FE-Live, Capaldi’s full arena set-up includes two dLive S5000’s on both FOH and monitors, paired with a DM64 MixRack (monitors) and DM0 MixRack (FOH). Additionally, Bush utilises two DX32 expanders for further I/O.
Bush originally chose a smaller dLive Wings rig, which is now used for fly-in dates and comprises a multi-surface set-up with two C1500’s and a DM48 MixRack. “The combination of two C1500s and a shared DM48 easily satisfied the initial criteria and we have since moved our show files to two S5000s for our current US/EU/UK touring schedule,” said Bush. “The transition between surfaces was easy: the dLive software is identical regardless of the stage box or surface, so moving from C1500 to S5000 was simply a case of reorganising the fader layouts.” Furthermore, Bush uses a Dante card (fitted to the surface) for virtual sound-check and recording each show.
Both Bush and monitor engineer, Nick Lawrie, make full use of dLive’s built-in FX and onboard DEEP processing features, particularly when it comes to Lewis’ vocals – “Lewis has an incredible voice, but the first time you mix it, it’s terrifying! Lewis can go from head-voice to chest-voice in a matter of seconds and so I use the Dyn8’s multiband compression and dynamic EQ, which is a complete godsend and allows me to quickly even the mix out where needed. I also love the routing options with dLive and being able to double bus, it just means I can just refine my mix more and get a really even sound at the end,” commented Lawrie.
Bush added: “I also use the Dyn8’s multiband compression on a lot on vocals, bass, and guitars. However, I also really like the Opto and 16VU – they’re just very transparent and being able to put them on multiple channels without any limitations is excellent.”
Despite almost finishing the US and European leg of the tour, 2020 will see Capaldi perform to over a quarter of a million people during his UK and European headline shows. Bush concluded: “In terms of the shows, they’ve added so much since the start of the year and they’ve increased in scale and capacity as we’ve had to try and keep up with Lewis’s trajectory. It’s really shown us that dLive can definitely handle the demanding needs of this tour while providing class-leading tools and studio-quality sound.”