Popular Brooklyn club and live music venue Elsewhere has chosen Waves’ eMotion LV1 as its in-house live mixer. Technical Director David Levin shares why the LV1 is his ideal choice for the venue’s 250-capacity Zone One.
Housed in a 24,000-square-foot converted warehouse in Brooklyn’s trendy Bushwick neighborhood, Elsewhere is a popular live music venue, nightclub and arts space. David Levin, previously the front-of-house engineer for such acts as Blood Orange, Nelly Furtado, Tove Lo, Sofi Tukker and Icona Pop, has served as the venue’s Technical Director since it opened in late 2017.
Elsewhere consists of five distinct places, or “Zones.” David talked to us about choosing Waves’ eMotion LV1 as the live mixer for the club’s 250-capacity Zone One.
“My main goals in choosing a desk for Zone One were sound quality, ease of use and enough flexibility that the engineers won’t get bored!” he says. “When I was first introduced to the LV1, it took about three minutes to learn the basic functionality of the desk, and under 30 minutes to feel like I had a deep grasp of the more in-depth functions. The layout is instantly very familiar, user-friendly, and extremely intuitive.”
“Given Zone One’s 250-person capacity,” David says, “eMotion LV1 was easily the best solution, especially considering its price point. It allows our in-house engineers to hone their skills to a much greater degree than any other console in its class. I needed a console that young engineers could operate, but also grow and learn with. By having the ability to use powerful modern tools like Waves’ F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ, C6 Multiband Compressor, and Scheps Parallel Particles, along with vintage vibe plugs like Abbey Road Reverb Plates, Scheps 73, and the CLA Classic Compressors bundle, our engineers can choose from a huge sound palette that no other small frame console can provide.”
“At Zone One, we are doing nine shows and 27+ artists per week! We get a lot of touring guest engineers coming through with their bands, so the console needs to be easy enough for them to become accustomed to – quickly. The LV1 has proven successful in this department, since the GUI is familiar enough that touring engineers can learn the basic workflow by the end of their first sound check on the system.”
About using Waves plugins, Levin comments, “The variety of acts from night to night is something that makes Elsewhere special. Genres range from indie rock to techno and underground hip hop. eMotion LV1 has all the tools we need to achieve consistently excellent sound. For the retro bands, it’s great to have vintage emulation plugins like the Abbey Road Reverb Plates or API 2500 on drums and CLA-76 Compressor for vocals, along with the F6 dynamic EQ to control problem frequencies. For live electronic bands, we use the Waves L3-LL Multimaximizer and Smack Attack plugins to fit live drums into the drum loops or playback, and it sounds better than with any other live mixing situation I’ve been in.”
“Zone One also hosts shows by many underground techno DJs, and having tools like Waves’ Smack Attack, Scheps Parallel Particles, and F6 allows us to do real-time mastering for the performers and make DJ tracks of varying quality levels sound more consistently polished. With the LV1, doing sound for DJs isn’t just watching left and right meters anymore, because the LV1 has such an arsenal of tools available.”
Levin comments about eMotion LV1’s workflow: “The experience of using LV1 has been outstanding. With most consoles in small venues, there are few options, and you can run out of fun things to experiment with. This console has provided our staff with many ways to be creative with their mixing. It has enabled us to hire some phenomenal engineers who can really go deep into a live mix in a way that you never could with other small-format consoles. Using deeper functions on the LV1, such as parallel bussing, is pretty straightforward. Also, Zone One at Elsewhere is a monitor-from-FOH situation, and the LV1 has enough channels that we can dedicate some channels specifically to monitors. This is particularly handy for things like vocals, where monitors call for a simple EQ with minimal processing time, while the channel to the main PA could have well over four inserts. Being able to route channels either from the top of the channel or from the patch window is really awesome.”
“Finally, the ability to multi-track a show in-house has been really great. The engineers are able to practice their skills with virtual sound check and really dig deep into all of the mixing options that the LV1 offers.”
“eMotion LV1 sounds insanely good,” David summarizes; “The preamps are clean, and the summing is at the top of any class of console. This allows the engineer to choose the vibe he or she wants to achieve. On any given day, you can choose to challenge yourself by mixing with a completely different set of plugins to explore all the flavor variations.”