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Maroon 5 Goes Immersive Live in Vegas

The mix team behind Maroon 5's live sound has adapted its work to the immersive format for the band's residency in Las Vegas.

Dave Rupsch handles Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine’s vocals using a DiGiCo SD10.
Dave Rupsch handles Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine’s vocals using a DiGiCo SD10.

Las Vegas, NV (July 20, 2023)—Maroon 5 has been filling up venues for decades and has a well-defined live sound, but while the band has been touring as usual, it’s also taken up an ongoing residency in immersive audio at the Dolby Live venue at Park MGM in Las Vegas. Adapting to that format lead to some changes for the band’s trio of engineers—but perhaps not as many as you might expect.

Both on the road and in Vegas, front of house is mixed on a DiGiCo Quantum5 by Vincent Casamatta. Marcus Douglas manages the band’s monitors on a DiGiCo SD5, while Dave Rupsch handles lead singer Adam Levine’s vocals using an SD10. All three consoles, which reside on an Optocore network loop and share two SD-Racks, were supplied by Clair Global.

“With everything on the loop, we have less gear and it sounds and works better than it ever did,” Casamatta says. “It sounds so much better not going through a splitter. The whole package has been really, really solid.”

Casamatta says the shift between stereo on the road and immersive in Las Vegas has subtle but significant distinctions. “I need my stereo show on the DiGiCo to exist at all times behind the immersive mix and vice versa,” he says, “so I’m literally booting up the same show file whether I’m mixing an immersive show or have a stereo two-bus mix happening. It doesn’t matter. And that was a huge mandate of mine because I didn’t want to compromise. No matter what format we were doing, I wanted it to be the same mix, and the Quantum5 made that easy.”

To accomplish that, Casamatta taps into a combination of subgroups and MADI to assure that each of the audio “objects” used in the Atmos mix retain the same processing used in the stereo mix on the road. “I have a lot of groups anyway in my stereo mix, and I was able to utilize those to create objects out of them,” he explains. “I already have a complete kick bus and a snare bus and a vocal bus, so I can just send those out as objects into the immersive environment.”

On The Cover: Las Vegas Takes Immersive Live, Part 1

At stageside, Rupsch handles monitors for singer Adam Levine on a DiGiCo SD10 console, which feeds the singer’s JH Audio Roxanne IEMs on a Shure PSM 1000 wireless system, the same units the entire band uses. Noting that the singer spends a lot of time on the stage thrust in Vegas—a thrust that three different PA hangs cover—cleaning up non-vocal sounds getting into the mic is a project he handles with a Neve 5045 Primary Source Enhancer analog processor going through an I/O on the console, which he says substantially softens the artifacts. He combines that with a switch from Levine’s longtime Shure SM58 vocal mic to a newer Shure KSM-11.

The rest of the band’s monitors are tackled by Douglas on an SD5. Douglas likes the fact that everything he needs—from gates to compressors to effects—are onboard and always right at hand for the five band members onstage. “I also like the Con-Send feature that we use on the loop, which integrates the talkback and shout speakers without having to use up any extra channels.”