Brooklyn, NY (May 29, 2018)—At more than 24,000 square feet, Elsewhere, a live music venue, nightclub and arts space in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood has a lot to offer—and among those offerings is the 250-capacity venue, Zone One. Serving up nine shows and nearly 30 artists a week, Zone One is a busy place with an equally busy FOH position based around a Waves eMotion LV1 live mixer.
David Levin, technical director for Elsewhere and FOH engineer for acts like Blood Orange, Nelly Furtado, Tove Lo, Sofi Tukker and Icona Pop, chose the system for the room, citing the room’s capacity and the system’s price point as among top considerations: “It has accomplished our goals very nicely and has given our in-house engineers the ability to hone their skills to a much greater degree than any other console in its class. I needed a console that young engineers could operate, but also grow and learn with.”
At the same time, ensuring that visiting engineers could pick up the console quickly was also a concern. “We get a lot of touring guest engineers coming through with their bands, so the console needs to be easy enough for them to become accustomed to quickly,” he said. “The LV1 has proven successful in this department, since the GUI is familiar enough that touring engineers can learn the basic workflow by the end of their first sound check on the system. When I was first introduced to the LV1, it took about three minutes to learn the basic functionality of the desk, and under 30 minutes to feel like I had a deep grasp of all the more in-depth functions. The layout at first is very familiar and user-friendly, and coming from other major consoles, extremely intuitive.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the venue’s size, Zone One is a monitor-from-FOH situation, with some of the LV1’s channels dedicated specifically to monitors. “Using deeper functions on the LV1 is pretty straight forward, such as parallel bussing, or setting up different monitor-specific channels,” said Levin. “This is particularly handy for things like vocals, where monitors call for a simple EQ with minimal processing time, while the channel to the main PA could have well over four inserts. Being able to route channels either from the top of the channel or from the patch window is really awesome.”
Part of the decision to go with the Waves mixer was the variety of acts playing the venue, he noted, as Zone One often hosts anything from Indie Rock to Techno to Underground Hip-Hop. As a result, the system and various plug-ins offered had to be tools that would best answer the needs of a variety of different musical styles.
“For the retro bands, it is great to have vintage vibe tools like the Waves Abbey Road Reverb Plates, API 2500 on drums and CLA-76 Compressor/Limiter for vocals, along with the F6 to control problem frequencies,” said Levin. “For Live Electronic bands, we use the Waves L3-LL Multimaximizer and Smack Attack plug-ins to fit live drums into the drum loops or playback, and it is better than in any other live mixing situation I’ve been in.
“On any given day, you can choose to challenge yourself by mixing with a completely different set of plug-ins to explore all the flavor variations. If it is a hard rock band, maybe you’ll go hard on Waves API and SSL plug-ins, and then the next day, with an indie band, the Scheps 73, and the following day, with an electronic pop group, use only the F6 and the eMo D5 Dynamics plug-ins.”
Ultimately, Levin feels the LV1 was the right system choice for Zone One: “The experience of using LV1 has been outstanding. With most consoles in small venues, there are few options, and you can run out of fun things to experiment with. This console has provided our staff with many ways to be creative with their mixing. It has enabled us to hire some phenomenal engineers who can really go deep into a live mix in a way that you never could with other small-format consoles.”
Elsewhere • www.elsewherebrooklyn.com
Waves • www.waves.com