Clive Alcock mixed house on a Yamaha PM5D-RH connected to the new DSP5D Expander via a Yamaha DCU5D.New York (November 27, 2007)--Loreena McKennitt embarked on a North American tour this fall, and Allstar Show Industries provided production for the journey. Clive Alcock, one of three directors of the company, mixed house on a Yamaha PM5D-RH connected to the new DSP5D Expander via a Yamaha DCU5D. An additional pair of PM5D-RH consoles were used for monitors with an Aviom interface card in one of the PM5Ds. Alcock has been mixing live sound for McKennitt on and off since 1992.
Alcock says his experience with digital dates back to a Yamaha 02R. He's been mixing on a Yamaha PM5D-RH for about six years and has used a Yamaha DM1000, DM2000 and PM1D as well as consoles from other manufacturers. "A very important thing for me is that the console can be run at 96Khz. To my ear, there is a significant difference in audio quality between 48K and 96K, so I always run Yamaha PM5Ds at 96K. I also think it is the deciding factor between the PM5D and the other 'professional' digital mixing consoles that are out in the market. The difference is particularly noticeable when mixing a lot of channels, and on Loreena's show, the current tour input list is based around 72 inputs, which means two consoles at front of house and two monitor consoles on stage."
Needing to keep the FOH position small, Alcock brought along the DSP5D Expander because it enabled him to use just one PM5D at the front of house position and to keep the DSP5D on stage in its own rack beside the splitters. "We use a Yamaha DCU5D at front of house and with a CAT5 cable, cascade the two desks together. Consequently, the front of house desk acts as a controller for the DSP5D, saving another couple of seats each night. Using the DSP5D in this manner saves having to run more multi-core to front of house and reduces the number of return lines as well." Allstar plans to add AES/EBU output cards to the DSP5D so that the mix outputs can be routed directly to the PA processor in digital format, saving another conversion stage.
"The Yamaha PM5D-DSP5D system sounds even, clear and very neutral, which works well for me because there is an amazing array of sounds that come off the stage," Alcock adds. "If the system sounds colored then it compromises the individual tonalities of many of the instruments and makes the mix a lot cloudier."
The tour used a Meyer PA with Milo cabs for front end and CQ2 and M1D for down and front fill, respectively. The downstage monitors were Meyer UM1 and UPA speakers; most of the backline musicians used personal monitors controlled by Aviom personal mixing stations. Microphones included Neumann KSM-105s, AKG C-535 and C-2000's, Shure Beta 98, Beta 91, and Beta 57 along with Audio-Technica PRO-35R and PRO-37R.
"There are two continuing challenges for me; the first is to create a space for all the sounds so that they can be clearly heard and yet all fit together in a musical way, and the second is to keep command of the mix; to make sure that the balances are correct, appropriate and reproducible every night. I can't imagine mixing this show without a digital console using scenes, event lists and store/recall functions that I now take for granted on the PM5D. The Yamaha DSP5D is really stable and solid and, of course, it sounds as good as the PM5D."
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.
Allstar Show Industries