OmegaLab, a unique Nashville venue, recently hosted a live performance with artists Sam Williams and Tony Tripi using an Allen & Heath dLive S Class S5000 Surface and DM48 MixRack. Created by Nashville recording engineer Rob McClain, the OmegaLab facility is a repurposed military tent located in a forest setting outside of Nashville. The venue offers a quiet and echo-free environment with 5.1 IMAX PPS surround sound allowing its acoustics to be configured for live and streaming performances, recording, broadcast, film work and more.
Bill Demkov of Tectonic Audio Labs helped McClain prepare OmegaLab and the dLive for Williams and Tripi. “We configured the console at Soundcheck in Nashville and took it out to OmegaLab. In an hour, we were up and running.” McClain acted as FOH engineer allowing Demkov to play bass guitar with the Tony Tripi band. Demkov says, “Rob is a 100% analog, old-school engineer but, in a couple of hours, he was able to navigate the dLive and he was simply at ease with the console.”
During rehearsals Demkov created multi-track recordings on his laptop fed by a Dante card in the DM48 MixRack. He set up two dLive scenes for the show’s 20 sources and explained, “One scene was from all of the microphones and directs. The other scene was the outputs from my laptop via Dante. So, I could go from live mode to studio mode and immediately play back what I had just recorded. That made it super easy to tweak the show.”
“The beauty of this facility,” said Demkov, “is you can make it sound like anything you want using reverbs and delays.” For the Williams and Tripi performance he used the dLive’s internal reverbs and noted, “The emulations of classic reverbs they’ve done in the dLive are very good. And I used the 16T compressor quite a bit, too. Just light, 2:1 stuff. I didn’t feel the need for any crazy compression.”
Demkov commented, “As a recording engineer, everything to me is involved around phase. Some digital desks smear up your phase so people don’t realize why their mix sounds muddy. But the dLive is fast and fluid and it sounds fantastic. And, I was really happy that we could spend a lot less time on tech and a whole lot more time on art!”
Accompanying image: Setup at OmegaLab