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Warpaint engineer praises ‘liquid smooth’ Allen & Heath dLive monitors

Allen & Heath monitors are giving LA-based band Warpaint a ‘blank slate’ for their sound on their current album tour, taking them from Sydney Opera House to Glastonbury Festival and beyond.

The ‘dream pop’ band are carrying two Allen & Heath dLive S5000 Surfaces with DM64 MixRacks for FOH and monitors, supplied by Wigwam Acoustics in Europe and Rat Sound in the USA.

FOH engineer Hanford Pittman said: “The desk should allow you to sculpt what you want in the sound – and that’s what the dLive does. It provides you with a blank slate and you can add effects and ‘dirty it up’ as much as you want, or keep it as clean as you want.”

“Warpaint is very conscious about playing live and being real and authentic,” he added. “When they heard the sound quality of the dLive, I knew we’d made a good decision with these desks!”

Pittman first encountered the dLive at the Music Tastes Good festival in Long Beach. “Right away, I fell in love with it,” he said. “I set things up with the dLive director and I was pretty much self-sufficient right away. Then, as soon as I heard that first kick, I knew it sounded amazing.”

Maxine Gilmore, Warpaint’s monitor engineer tried the dLive at the same festival. “Once she realised that she could set it up exactly how she thinks, it was a no-brainer,” Pittman added. “Then, we tried it out with the band and they noticed the difference right away in the sound and the on-board effects.”

Warpaint uses a mix of in-ear and wedge monitors, and monitor engineer Gilmore provides fifteen mixes to the band and the tech crew. Emily, one of Warpaint’s lead vocalists and guitarists, mixes her own monitors using a dLive IP6 Remote Controller, and Pittman says the band may add IP6s for its three other musicians.

Pittman manages Warpaint’s 38 sources using dLive layers: “What’s great about this, is that each bank and layer are independent and completely customisable, so Maxine’s desk in monitor world looks completely different from mine at FOH.”

He uses dLive scenes to assign and customise the dLive’s internal effects, using three reverbs, the echo and the stereo tapped delay. Pittman also uses the dLive’s multi-band compressor on vocals, bass and the left-right bus, calling it ‘liquid smooth’ – and loving the dLive’s parallel path for compression.

“With four singers, it’s really nice to be able to add or take away the dry signal to help whoever’s singing lead at the time,” Pittman adds.

Read our full audio review of Glastonbury Festival 2017 here