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Seattle-Based Band Grieves Tours with Mackie DL1608

Photo: Keaton Foley

Hip-hop trio Grieves has been touring mid-sized clubs with a Mackie DL1608 digital live sound console with iPad control. According to sound engineer Val Foster, who handles both front-of-house and monitor mixes for the band, this ensures a consistent show, night after night, regardless of the venue or in-house console.

Foster says that the band’s layers of keys, guitars, grooves, backing tracks and live vocals create a sound that’s larger and more complex than one would expect from three musicians. Using the DL1608’s snapshot memory, Foster pre-mixes and saves the bands’ in-ear mix preferences before they hit the stage, recalling these snapshots with a simple screen touch during the show.

Photo: Keaton Foley

“When we have tech rehearsals we go through every song in the set, and any other song that might be played,” Foster says. “We play through each song and we make sure that everyone’s levels are correct. We save those in a snapshot and then when the show starts, I just switch scenes for them when the song comes up.”

The setup is streamlined in a single rack, Foster explains, allowing for a quick and easy setup for both monitors and FOH. “The DL1608 sits on top, and there’s a 16-channel splitter in the rack,” Foster says. “Out of the splitter, I connect to the house console. It’s a pretty simple system.” He then uses the DL1608’s eight balanced outputs to feed the band’s stereo in-ear mixes.

“Except for the graphic EQ on the masters, we are using pretty much every single channel and every single feature the board has,” Foster says. “I love the reverbs, the vintage compressor and emulation. The gates are great for some of the things that have noise on them, or don’t get used much. And we do a lot of stereo stuff, so having the ability to link channels is helping out a lot.”

The DL1608’s iPad control lets the FOH engineer move around the hall. “We can get 16 channels of live mix, plus separate monitor mixes for everyone, all from a 10-pound mixer,” says Foster. “And we can achieve that with just one person and the DL1608. It’s compact, it’s packed with features, and it’s got the iPad control; without all that, we’d never be able to do what we do.”

For more information about the DL1608, go to