Formed in Stockholm in 2003, rabble-rousing Swedish punks The Baboon Show are currently marking their 20th anniversary on a European tour in support of their tenth album, ‘God Bless You All’. Taking in dates across Spain, Poland, Austria, Germany and their homeland, the tour has seen the band’s longstanding front-of-house engineer Chris Mock employing an Allen & Heath dLive digital mixing system and Audio-Technica 3000 Series IEM wireless to deliver the band’s potent brand of punk-rock energy.
Mock opted for the super-compact dLive CTi1500, with its weight-saving titanium sidepanels, connected to a dLive CDM32 MixRack for the shows, resulting in a diminutive but powerful and flexible touring partner.
“The CTi was my first choice, since I normally tour with a dLive C2500 surface,” said Mock. “The set-up needed to be as small and lightweight as possible but working with iPads or laptops and touch screens only wasn’t an option for me, so we decided on the beautiful CTi1500, on which I can run the same setup already used on my C2500.
“I love the almost analogue feel of working on dLive. It’s really fast and intuitive in use – I work with a lot of effects and ride a lot of faders during the show and the CTi1500 allows me to mix in a very dynamic, hands-on way. It’s a really great creative tool in that way.”
A total of 32 inputs come from stage into the CTi1500, including a pair of electric guitar mics, a “dirt mic” on Niclas Svensson’s drum kit, ambient microphones etc. Despite its small footprint, the surface/MixRack combo handles FOH and monitor duties with ease, as Mock describes: “All signals are split internally, so each input has a channel for the FOH and another one for the in-ear mix which is sent to six stereo mixes. Our backline tech / monitor engineer uses an iPad connected to the CDM32 to make changes during the show and it works perfectly.”
The power of the CTi1500’s internal effects engine has also helped simplify Mock’s workflow, negating the need for external plug-ins, “I do have an optional Waves v2 card in my C2500, which I mostly use for recording,” Mock added. “But I stopped working with external plug-ins because, to be honest, the on-board tools in the dLives are so good I really have everything I need.
“I use a lot of compression with The Baboon Show and love the parallel compression feature every compressor features. The VCA spills are also super useful, which opens up a whole new dimension of layers if you’re working on a small surface like the CTi1500. This way I can access all 64+ channels, groups, effect sends and returns on the 12 faders I have. I use some of the SoftKeys for DCA spills which is amazing.
“Besides that I love the new Bus Compressor which I combine with the multiband compression of the Dyn8 to glue my main mix together. This combination is a game changer!”
The move from traditional wedges to an in-ear monitoring system is not always easy and, as Mock explained, took some adjusting to but the Audio-Technica 3000 Series IEMs in conjunction with the CTi1500 made things as easy as possible. “The band loves the sound of the Audio-Technica system and it’s really easy and quick to set-up,” he said. “The crew really appreciate the simple design and functionality of the IEMs and the Wireless Manager software really unlocks the power of the system. The band are super happy and I can’t imagine them ever going back to wedges.”