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Furnace Fest 2021 Heats Up

Alabama's heavy metal meltdown Furnace Fest came back in 2021 after a full 18 years on hiatus, with Allen & Heath desks used for many of its 90 acts.

An Allen & Heath dLive C1500 duo at FOH for Alabama’s Furnace Fest 2021
An Allen & Heath dLive C1500 duo at FOH for Alabama’s Furnace Fest 2021

Birmingham, AL (December 8, 2021)—While most festivals returned this year after taking 2020 off for COVID, Alabama’s heavy metal meltdown Furnace Fest came back after a full 18 years on hiatus. Making up for lost time, the three-day festival held at the Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama served up 90 acts, including August Burns Red, ERRA, Fit for a King, Mayday Parade, Motionless in White and Underøath, all of which were mixed with Allen & Heath consoles at FOH.

19” wide Allen & Heath desks were often the order of the day, with dLive C1500 surfaces and an SQ-5 readily put to work. “I’ve been touring with dLive since 2017 and it’s been awesome watching the platform grow and sport more and more new features in that time,” said FOH engineer Chris Pollack (August Burns Red, ERRA). He mixed the bands on a dLive C1500, making use of 12 faders over 6 layers, built-in audio I/O, an audio networking port, a 12″ capacitive touchscreen and onboard Harmony UI.

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“Most recently with the V1.9 update, I’m already taking advantage of a lot of these new features,” said Pollack. “The RTA functionality is awesome for quickly pinpointing problem frequencies, and Source Expander has made a world of difference cleaning up my vocal mics.  Most impressive of all though is the Bus compressor. It’s so gooey and punchy, I’m really excited about the energy it brings to my mixes.”

Helping keep things moving forward onsite was Kevin Duthu, business unit lead/pro user group, HWPco, who noted, “It was great to see dLive bring brought in with the festival headliners. All of the engineers had great things say about the platform and specifically the 1.9 firmware. The ease of setup that the C1500 brings to a festival atmosphere allows a quick in and out of FOH without having to rearrange the entire tent—not to mention not having to bring an entire extra server of plugins, because they’re right in the desk. The best mixes of the day were without a doubt on Allen and Heath. It sounded like a blanket was taken off the PA when both SQ and dLive fired up.”