"We didn't realize what the Waves LV1 could do; it can handle anything," says Bethel FOH engineer Jeff Nolte, who uses the eMotion LV1 live mixer to mix and stream the church's services. We sat with Jeff to hear about it.
Bethel World Outreach Church in Brentwood, Tennessee, has recently been using the Waves eMotion LV1 Live Mixer and Waves plugins to mix and stream its services. FOH engineer for Bethel, Jeff Nolte tells us he's been super impressed by the console's versatility and sound.
"We didn't realize how much the Waves LV1 could do," Nolte says, "until we started throwing requirements at it. It could handle practically anything. We now use two eMotion LV1 mixers, 64 stereo channels each – one at FOH, and one for video post-production. The first thing I fell for was the modularity of the design, which will enable us to grow on the fly when we need to. But the icing on the cake was the sound – the LV1 really sounds great. We moved from an Avid Profile to the LV1, and the LV1's transparency and warmth are especially noticeable. The mic preamps of the accompanying Waves SoundGrid® stagebox, the DSPRO StageGrid 4000, have a unique warmth to them, which I don't find in all the other digital consoles."
Explaining how they chose WavesLive solutions, Nolte comments, "Before we got the LV1 we were about to invest in a copper split to accommodate a post-production feed for TV and online transmissions. After doing a bit of research, however, we realized that with just a slightly higher investment, we could upgrade from our antiquated console to the LV1 with its new technology, and even add a second LV1 for post-production."
Praising the LV1's user-friendly interface, Nolte says, "I love it how with the LV1, I find myself focused on mixing. Everything is neatly laid out and always seems to be right in front of you. I really enjoy how I can change the layout quickly and on the fly. The LV1's custom pages are so simple to build and populate: every time I have a new challenge that requires changing the layout of the faders, it's painless to change it up. It's also so easy to navigate from page to page, whether it's accessing mix busses in flip fader mode or quickly building mixes on the fly."
"Setup is also really quick," Nolte notes. "It mostly requires just common sense. There are a couple of simple rules to adhere to, which make setup, networking and connectivity very intuitive and concise. Our FOH position is permanent, but the video post's LV1 sometimes moves around: it's mounted in an OCD LV1 CNTRL housing, and when required, it is ridiculously easy to strike and move to another location."
Using Waves plugins inside the LV1 is essential to Nolte's workflow: "The plugins are reliable and a joy to have sonically. They will spoil you before you know it, and you will question how you ever mixed without them! All my go-to plugins are zero-latency, which is indispensable since I mix monitors from FOH. My must-have plugins are the Waves SSL 4000 Collection, the CLA Compressors, API 2500, the NLS Non-Linear Summer, and the Scheps Omni Channel. I also can't do without H-Reverb and LoAir."
"I like using the SSL-E Channel on drums. It makes everything pop and punch. I use the SSL G-Channel on vocals – very smooth, and the vocals jump out in the mix. I like the CLA-2A Compressor/Limiter for vocal buss compression, as it just seems to put a certain warmth and character on vocals. I use the NLS on almost every input; it provides a very smoothing harmonic character. The NLS is like glue, making things merge and play well with the other tracks. I always use the API 2500 for my drum squash buss for parallel compression – it just makes everything rock! Be judicious with the attack time and ease into it – that really makes the punch element shine without losing dynamic range."
"I love the H-Reverb, if for no other reason than the 224 rich plate preset. It takes me back to a time when having that sound was a luxury. LoAir is my go-to for kick drum and large toms, it really gives the drums a richer character and finished sound. Finally, the Scheps Omni Channel is a great tool for both vocals and drums."
eMotion LV1 also helps Nolte mix monitors from the FOH position, as he tells us, "We've been doing that with the help of the Waves MyMon Personal Monitor Mixing App and the DiGiGrid Q boxes that are networked via Waves SoundGrid. This was particularly helpful in that our stage was initially wired for Avioms but not for analog returns to stage; if we had to bring analog lines to the stage from the I/O racks, we would have had to pull it. The fact that we were able to do all of the feeds to the DiGiGrid Qs over a Cat5e was a total bonus, and the DiGiGrid Qs sound great as well. We have two DSPRO StageGrid 4000s at stage, one DiGiGrid IOC audio interface at FOH and one DiGiGrid IOX high-count I/O interface at video post-production. We are doing our Ethernet connection over fiber since the cable pulls were in excess of 100 feet. The system has been stable and totally reliable."
Summing up his impressions of the LV1, Nolte concludes, "My expectations of the LV1 have been surpassed, by far. This mixer hits a budget price point – but you can expect it to perform like a very expensive console. The workflow is whatever you need it to be, and it can be completely transformed on the fly, even during a show if need be. Sonically, I couldn't be happier with the results. Our change to the LV1 has been a success, and I have gone on to recommend it to a number of clients and friends."
Want more on live sound? Hear about Biden’s inauguration parade mixed with the eMotion LV1!
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