Bogotá, Columbia (March 10, 2021)—Like many TV shows, X Factor Colombia 2020 was interrupted by the pandemic last spring, part way into production. The show resumed after eight months, however, returning last October with strict precautions in place that ran throughout the rest of the season, which wrapped up at the end of the year. Throughout it all, freelance audio engineer Richard Cardenas handled live mixing duties for the show inside RCN Televisión’s studios in Bogotá.
Cardenas opted for an Allen & Heath dLive mixing system on the show, centered around a CDM48 MixRack controlled from a 36-fader S7000 surface. He managed all the contestants’ IEM mixes, plus FOH and monitor mixes for the contestants, judges and audience. The audio configuration in the studio consisted of an LR stereo matrix out, a matrix mono sub out, stereo aux mixes feeding side fills, a mono floor wedge setup and a stereo aux mix for the judges’ side-fill. For the earlier recordings, an audience PA mix was also fed to a stereo matrix. A DX012 12-output expander was employed to provide additional AES feeds to a 96 kHz loudspeaker management system. Cardenas also used a Dante 64×64 card to feed the broadcast desk using dLive’s tie lines feature, plus a superMADI card for backup recording to a Pixel Power system.
Cardenas first encountered the system at a festival in 2019, where he mixed multiple Latin Grammy winners a few months before being approached to work on the TV show. “With dLive, I really felt like I was mixing rather than trying to figure out how to operate the desk,” he said, “so when I had the opportunity to work on X Factor Colombia, I asked RCN Television for a dLive system. We only had two weeks between delivery and rehearsals, but I had excellent support from Allen & Heath’s specialist in Colombia, Ivan Sanchez.”
All that allowed Cardenas to streamline his system for the broadcasts: “The DEEP processing emulations are excellent and sound very close to the real thing. The same goes for the FX. The EQs and preamps also sound excellent and dLive’s very low latency and 96kHz processing set it apart from the rest.”
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