“I can finally spend less time fixing problems and more time doing creative mixing,” says WHOLESTAGE FOH engineer Gabriel Cruz who mixed the Heat Latin Music Awards with the LV1. With 20 years experience, he tells us why he chooses a Waves setup.
“The eMotion LV1 is perfect for bringing my studio sound to a live environment.” FOH engineer Gabriel Cruz says. “It offers me plenty of routing and processing options, all at impressive 96 kHz sound.
Cruz and monitor engineer JV Olivier work with Dominican-based AVL provider WHOLESTAGE, who have more than 20 years of proven experience in the world of entertainment and offer advanced technological solutions serving markets in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Spain. They chose the Waves eMotion LV1 Live Mixer for the Heat Latin Music Awards; an annual awards show airing on the HTV cable channel that honors the year's biggest Latin music acts.
“More than anything else,” Cruz tells us, “I’m really impressed by the LV1’s superior sound quality. It has excellent preamps that let me drive them enough to get the color I am looking for in my final mix. Between that and the integrated workflow with Waves plugins – I can finally spend less time fixing problems and more time doing creative mixing.”
Discussing the LV1’s portability, Cruz says, “The LV1’s quick, easy setup is also most impressive. I have my LV1 installed directly in a Circle Three Designs case, which gives me a 3U rack space with one DSPRO StageGrid 1000 for local I/O, a Waves Axis One and a SoundGrid Extreme Server-C, all together in a low-weight, easy-to-deploy setup. This makes the LV1 system extremely portable. At the end of the day, I have a world-class mixer in a 60 lbs Pelican 1637, which allows me to take my band and shows to another engineering level.”
“Configuration is quick and simple,” Cruz adds. “Since I have everything mounted, I can easily set up my scene before arriving at the venue and tune-up quickly until I get to the desired levels. When it comes to networking, I have a Waves SoundGrid network sharing multiple SoundGrid devices, allowing us to have shared talkbacks, wedges and side-fills between two stage monitor mixers and one FOH, plus sharing to broadcast through MADI. The LV1 mixer saves time in soundchecks (monitoring wise), enables me to easily tweak my mixes with a click at the channel section.”
The full integration of Waves plugins within the LV1 is a major reason WHOLESTAGE decided to adopt the mixer. “Waves plugins are a big part of the sound quality I can get with the LV1,” Cruz says. “The SSL G-Channel is my go-to channel strip: It provides me with filters and dynamics control such as gate, compression, EQ, input gain and output gain, and for me, that is my starting point. If, at that point, it doesn’t already sound great, that means I should check the source. I always use the SSL G-Master Buss Compressor on mix groups and as a first master chain. It gives me control over the peaks on group busses and the master bus. The NLS Non-Linear Summer plugin is excellent for drive and boosting certain elements, like drums routed individually to the NLS bus through an NLS Channel: kicks, snares, toms, hats and ‘AIR,’ each assigned internally through a group, with different drives in order to achieve what I need – PUNCHY AND FAT DRUMS!”
“On my master channel,” Cruz continues, “I use the Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain plugin: It has everything I need to give my mix that final touch: filters, EQ (M/S) and mid for boosting elements hidden in the mix, and sides to help deliver a much wider and defined stereo image. Lastly, there’s the F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ: a great tool for cleaning up tight harmonics and frequencies that otherwise don’t allow my channel to cut through the mix. For instance, drums tend to have too much resonance, and with the F6, I can cut through those dissonant frequencies in order to have my drum elements emerge much tighter in the mix. Likewise, on vocals and effects (reverb, delay, chorus, doubler), the F6’s Mid/Side option lets me clean up undesired frequencies in my mix.”
The LV1’s sound quality is a major draw for monitor engineer JV Olivier as well: “It just sounds amazing!” he says; “The superior sound quality, the integrated plugin workflow, the ease of transportation and setup and lots of flexibility with signal routing – they were all key factors in choosing this console. Being able to get such a great sound – with almost zero latency and minimum space and transportation requirements – is of great value to me. I can take my stuff with me virtually everywhere and have it up and running by myself in minutes, with consistency day after day. Converters and preamps sound just right, and how many H-Reverbs is too many anyway?!”
Waves plugins are an integral part of Olivier’s workflow. He tells us, “The F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ and the C6 Multiband Compressor for fixing problems and shaping sounds are winners. Having the option to change the attack and release times on each band is nice, and the mid-size option on the F6 is great. I also use the SSL G-Master Buss Compressor for group and mix bus compression; the H- Reverb for creating a bit more dimension and depth (I will use as many of these as possible, followed by the Renaissance Reverb plugin); and the L2 Ultramaximizer for making things loud.”
Summarizing their thoughts about the LV1, Cruz and Olivier conclude: “The combination of the eMotion LV1 with Waves plugins is, without doubt, a powerful and enlightening experience. The system provides you with flexibility, connectivity and creative freedom. It also pushes you to improve many skills within a friendly and intuitive environment. That alone enables you to invest your time and effort on mixing – rather than spend all your time tackling problems and fighting an uphill battle for solutions.”
Want more on live sound? Hear about Biden’s inauguration parade mixed with the eMotion LV1!
Want to get more tips straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter here.