Malmö , Sweden (July 13, 2018)—Scandinavian conductor and arranger Hans Ek has been paying tribute to David Bowie by shifting music from the Thin White Duke’s famed “Berlin Trilogy” of albums (Low, Heroes and Lodger) into a classical setting and performing it with a full symphony orchestra, band, choir and vocalists. The result is a complicated audio production to pull off live, according to live sound engineer Peter Fredriksson.
Fredriksson has worked repeated with Ek, and for the Bowie in Berlin concerts, ha has been using an Allen & Heath dLive S Class S5000 Surface and DM64 MixRack to handle monitors.
Fredriksson notes, “If you are going to do an engineered crossover concert like this, it’s better to mic the whole orchestra instead of just parts—so we have as many as 100 live microphones on stage.”
To manage these inputs, Fredriksson uses a pair of DX32 Expanders for the choir and the band, and six DX168 Expanders for the orchestra, providing a measure of flexibility while minimizing mic cable length. The DX32 and DX168 Expanders connect to the DM64 MixRack and Fredriksson sends a split via Allen & Heath’s gigaACE network to FOH engineer Hans Surte Norin, who mixes on another Allen & Heath dLive S5000.
Many of the vocalists and band members have in-ear monitors and Fredriksson often adds reverb to his in-ear mixes to give the performers the feeling that they’re in the room with the orchestra. He notes, “Our next goal is to try to do the whole orchestra with in-ear monitors, with groups of musicians sharing monitor mixes. This will give us lower volumes on stage and reduced leakage from monitors into open microphones, resulting in a tighter and better sound experience for the audience.”
Fredriksson commented, “The dLive is a really flexible system. You can patch anything to anywhere and I found it quite easy to get into the menus and the work flow with the drag-n-drop. And it sounds great. The artists say they can hear everything—all the small details.”
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