We caught up with Passion’s lead audio engineer, Stephen Bailey, to discuss his use of Waves eMotion LV1 and SuperRack for the Passion 2020 Conference in Atlanta, hosting 65,000 attendees.
Passion recently held its 2020 conference, an annual gathering of over 65,000 young adults between the ages of 18–25, at the Mercedes Ben Stadium in Atlanta. We spoke to lead audio engineer Stephen Bailey about incorporating Waves eMotion LV1 Live Mixer and Waves SuperRack for the conference. Bailey’s setup also included a deployment of 10 Waves SoundGrid recording systems for the three DiGiCo networks on site.
Commenting on the setup, Bailey says, “The DiGiCo systems were deployed in a festival configuration, with two artist loops and a production loop. Our primary recording system used a DiGiGrid MGR per each artist loop and a DiGiGrid MGB for the production loop, pulling audio and clock off the MADI Main outputs on each DiGiCo SD rack. Each DiGiGrid unit then hit its own NETGEAR ProSafe M4100-D12G 12-port Switch, which got the SoundGrid network onto single-mode fiber cable and made its way about 100m outside, to one of the TV trucks where an engineer was managing our primary recording computers. The fiber routes were bookended by the same NETGEAR switches in the truck, where our engineer had three MacBook Pros running a Waves SuperRack SoundGrid host application to manage these networks. He had a DiGiGrid D on each network locally, to input monitor the audio from Waves’ Tracks Live DAW over headphones. We were also able to throw together rough mixes and output this from the DiGiGrid D to the truck speakers from Tracks Live while recording in real-time to make sure that what we were recording was clean, and also so the producers from the record label could determine if any changes from the stage were needed. Our primary recording engineer was also archiving the recorded files and uploading them to Dropbox with a dedicated uplink computer, so after each session of the conference, our film and other creative teams could immediately access and pull down audio to use for various exported content without having to ask our audio team.”
“Bailey adds, “Our secondary recording system was located under the stage next to the DiGiCo SD racks. Nearly a carbon copy of the primary recording system (minus the fiber run and extra switches), this system pulled audio off of the SD racks via the MADI Split Mains. By having SD12 consoles for Broadcast on each loop, each having two Waves DMI cards, we were able to send copy audio routes from the SD racks out of those, and straight into a MacBook Pro at each desk recording into Waves Tracks Live for a very simple, cost-effective third redundancy.”
Continuing, Bailey says, “We also used a Waves eMotion LV1 Live Mixer to manage the recording of audience mics around the stadium, via three DiGiGrid IOX units (placed house left, house right and at FOH). These units were connected to the truck on the same tac-fiber as the primary recording system, where the LV1 engineer managed, mixed and recorded these mics. ISOs of these audience mics were returned back into the DiGiCo SD racks via analog audio out of a pair of DSPRO StageGrid 4000 SoundGrid stageboxes for recording purposes, and a stereo mix of the audience mics was sent to the broadcast console on the production loop, where it was blended in with the broadcast program audio. What’s great about the eMotion LV1 Mixer is its small footprint, its processing power and flexibility, and, most significantly, the ease of tying all these systems together.“
As far as must-have plugins in this production, Bailey comments, “The Waves F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ is a great-sounding EQ with powerful dynamic capabilities and a super useful RTA window; Waves Tune Real-Time is invaluable for vocals that live forever in a broadcast mix; the C6 Multiband Compressor is a mainstay for tidying up and smoothing out any unruly input, and the CLA MixHub has been bringing out guitars for me in big ways; its EQ section is amazingly musical and smooth. The Infected Mushroom Pusher is an odd one that I use quite a lot; the magic setting + stereo imaging is beautiful.”
On using SuperRack, Bailey concludes, “The workflow of SuperRack is highly appealing to broadcast mixing. The ability to have multiple plugin GUIs open simultaneously and recallable is great, especially for vocal chains and output processing. With SuperRack being based on SoundGrid, it opens the door to some really powerful workflows outside of the application itself, such as live drum sampling.”
Want more on live sound? Hear about the Eurovision 2019 Broadcast powered by Waves plugins.
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