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Newport Jazz Festival Returns

Arguably the best-known jazz festival in the U.S., the Newport Jazz Festival returned this summer after a pandemic year off.

Khruangbin monitor engineer Jorge Pardo-Denning
Khruangbin monitor engineer Jorge Pardo-Denning

Newport, RI (September 29, 2021)—Arguably the best-known jazz festival in the U.S., the Newport Jazz Festival returned this summer after a pandemic year off. With COVID-19 still present in the world, capacity at the festival, held once again in Newport, Rhode Island’s Fort Adams State Park, was limited to 50 percent, attendees had to show proof of vaccination and there were fewer stages as well.

There was a bit more room to move around at the mix positions as well, as artists were mixed on a Allen & Heath dLive CTi1500 and its dLive C1500 stablemate, including R&B vocalist and actress Andra Day, psychedelic dub rock trio Khruangbin, and funk guitarist Cory Wong.

Grammy-nominated guitarist and producer Cory Wong (Vulfpeck, Dave Koz, The Fearless Flyers, Ben Rector, etc.) decided to go ultralight with the CTi1500 paired to a DM48 MixRack. Outfitted with a Waves 3 card for virtual soundcheck and a superMADI card for key broadcast sends, the CTi1500 rig also handled mixing 15 MSI wedges and various comm/production functions as needed.

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“When I was building our touring rig, I was looking for a modular system that would be powerful enough to handle FOH and monitors with sufficient processing options onboard to negate the need for external processing,” said Wong’s FOH engineer Jake Hartsfield. “dLive is the perfect solution for our needs. On tour, I am mixing FOH and monitors on the same engine, with the channels split between 1-56 for FOH and 57-112 for monitors. Then I’ve got the last 16 channels open for utility needs. 128 channels is more than enough to handle most bands in this configuration. Our entire touring rig (which includes 20 channels of wireless) fits in two Pelicans and two 12-space racks.”

Khruangbin (pronounced KRUNG-bin) opted to go with the C1500 at monitors, as well as a CDM32 MixRack, a gigaACE card for a digital split to FOH, a Waves 3 card and Waves Impact Server for additional outboard effects, and Shure PSM1000 IEMs.

Utilizing the Allen & Heath gigaACE protocol for interconnect, a CTi1500 rig was put to use on the other end of the digital snake at FOH. Just as with Cory Wong, the Waves 3 card for virtual soundcheck and superMADI for broadcast card combination was loaded into their (DM0) MixRack, this time joined by an additional gigaACE card and two DX168 16 XLR input / 8 XLR output 96kHz Portable DX Expanders.

Andra Day closed out the final day of the festival with a number of stirring renditions of ‘Lady Day’ jazz classics. Her set was mixed by FOH engineer Caleb Morris via a CTi1500 and DM0 MixRack combo.