April 24, 2019

Singapore’s Star Performing Arts Center Chooses Waves

The 5000-seat theater at Singapore’s Star Performing Arts Centre caters for a wide range of music concerts, theater and speech events. We spoke to Head of Audio Reuben Ong about the theater’s use of Waves MultiRack and Waves plugins.

The audio team at The Star Theatre at the Star Performing Arts Centre in Singapore.

The audio team at The Star Theatre at the Star Performing Arts Centre in Singapore. Pictured L-R: Muhammad Khairul Bin Shariff (Assistant Head, Audio), Muhammad Iszuan Bin Razali (Senior Technician) and Reuben Ong (Head, Audio).

The key venue of the Star Performing Arts Centre, the 5,000-seat Star Theatre is fitted with high-end audio, video and production lighting systems for an exceptional audio-visual experience. It caters to a wide range of amplified music and speech events, as well as large-scale corporate meetings and pop concerts. We got to hear from Reuben Ong, Head of Audio at the Performing Arts Center, why he chooses Waves MultiRackSoundGrid Servers and SD7 Pro Show bundle.

Discussing the theater setup, Ong says, “Waves processing is a part of our current default console setup in The Star Theatre. Our default theater console system consists of three units of DiGiCo SD7 Quantum, one each for Monitors, FOH and Broadcast/Recording. At each of the SD7s, there is an engine-based redundant system for Waves controls and processing. On each console, both engines are connected to two Waves Extreme Servers and two Host computers for the MultiRack Application (Apple Mac minis through a gigabit network switch). The configuration is such that each SD7 engine is connected to one Waves Extreme Server and one Mac mini for controls. A 24-inch touchscreen monitor is used with both Mac minis by means of a KVM setup. Currently, we are utilizing the Waves SD7 Pro Show plugin bundle for all of the SD7s.”

“We started using Waves in 2013, a few months after our opening, and we were using the SoundGrid Server One for a long time. However, with the changing requirements of our anchor tenant and the incoming shows and events in our venue, we have seen our Server One processing being stretched to its capacity. The Waves Extreme Servers are the next phase of upgrade that allowed us to cater to the requirements of all our end users. Our team of casuals has also seen faster processing and more stable operations with the new Extreme servers and are very happy with the performance.”

“The Waves MultiRack plugin host gives us a smooth way to use Waves plugins in live events. Its auto-delay compensation function allows for a coherent transfer of digital audio across all the channels. The remote function between MultiRack and the SD7s also helps in ensuring that shows are in sync from console to Waves control. We faced some initial difficulty in moving from the previous SD7 on desk Waves MultiRack to the current external control setup, but those problems are mitigated with some testing.”

Discussing their use of Waves plugins Ong says, “My team and I have been Waves users since the early SoundGrid license days, and we have purchased the license as part of the venue’s original SD7 package. Over the years, the upgrades given through the Waves update plan have kept the SD7 Pro Show bundle relevant, and it has been serving our purposes. Our theater has events of different nature, from rock concerts to pop orchestras and corporate talks, even theater and dance. We have depended on different Waves plugins for different purposes.”

“The main plugins that we have used extensively for our meeting events are of course the Waves Dugan Automixer and Dugan Speech. This is especially useful for company AGMs, where we see about 30 microphones on stage for the board of directors and more mics on the audience floor for Q&A. It eases the engineer’s work in managing a large number of open mics. The Waves Dugan Automixer plugin has been effective in managing feedback and for balancing levels for many conferences, as well as drama skits at The Star Theatre.”

“The Waves IR-Live Convolution Reverb plugin is also used heavily by my team,” Ong continues, “Coupled with the impulse responses from various other halls and boutique reverb units, it enables very creative and great sounding reverbs to be created in our theater. The SuperTap delay plugin gives much more flexibility in terms of control to any onboard delay for vocals, and I personally have a positive bias towards the output of the six-tap delay.”

“The C6 and C4 Multiband Compressors are my personal favorites,” he says, “due to the flexibility in shaping vocals and the output being very transparent. The InPhaseplugin has also been really useful when we have bands in, especially for managing kick and snare drum mics. This has helped my team to do accurate alignments with ease between the multiple mics used. Another common plugin that we’ve used is the Waves WLM Plus Loudness Meter and VU Meter, which give us accurate references for our recordings and also our clients’ broadcast requirements.”

Summarizing, Ong comments, “Using Waves has made my team’s mixing experience very enjoyable and has given us many more options for creative expression in our daily work. The support from Team108 Technical Services in maintaining proper integration of the Waves system to our DiGiCo consoles has also made our show operations much smoother. Many of the touring engineers are stoked that we have Waves readily available for their shows.”

April 24, 2019


Mads Mikkelsen is a Danish freelance mix engineer who has been in the touring industry for more than 15 years. DiGiGrid spoke to him recently about his career and his experiences using DiGiGrid sound products.

I have worked at many music venues where I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of amazing artists, and some of them ended up bringing me on their tours. I work mainly with Danish artists including Volbeat and Jacob Dinesen but most recently have toured with Die Antwoord, Babymetal, King Diamond and Hammerfall.

Ever since I had the choice, I have been touring with my DiGiGrid MGB, DiGiCo desks, and SoundGrid network products. The SoundGrid ecosystem makes it easy to integrate new options, whether it’s multitrack recording, local I/O or plugin processing.

I’ve used many of the DiGiGrid systems, including DiGiGrid MGB for stage I/O and multitrack recording, DiGiGrid IOS and IOC for local I/O, and the SoundGrid network for real-time plugin processing.

The DiGiGrid products have really helped me improve my workflow. I believe the key word is flexibility – this technology never tells you ‘No’. I have the possibility to customise my workflow and work surface to meet my needs and demands; I don’t have to build my work around the limitations of technology. DiGiGrid and the SoundGrid network gives me these amazing products, whether it is preparing a session at home for a tour with multitrack recording, building a complex drive and mix rack, using my DiGiCo desk, using my Waves Lv1 desk or just bringing a DiGiGrid MGB box on a fly date to track the show.

The products also offer outstanding audio quality, and they are very durable. They are easy to use and make it very quick to configure an otherwise complex setup of routing, recording and processing.

I would absolutely recommend any DiGiGrid products for every application – and that is the thing, there is always a DiGiGrid product that fits your needs, whether it is a large or small scale audio production.

April 23, 2019

Riverside Theater Chooses Waves eMotion LV1 Live Mixer

The centerpiece of Milwaukee’s theater district, Riverside Theater, hosts an array of artistic performances. We spoke with the production team to see why they chose Waves eMotion LV1 for the venue.

Simon Bundy, Technical Director at Riverside Theater in Milwaukee

Simon Bundy, Technical Director at Riverside Theater in Milwaukee

Located in the heart of Milwaukee’s downtown theater district, the Riverside Theater accommodates all performing art forms. Recent productions have included concerts by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, a Harry Potter music revue, the Music of Led Zeppelin symphonic concert, and a stop on Adam Sandler’s recent stand-up tour.

We’ve talked to key personnel from the theater’s audio team—Technical Director Simon Bundy, monitor engineers Kevin Gillson and Chris Adler, and FOH Engineer / Head of Audio Sam Donoghue—about their use of the Waves eMotion LV1 live mixer and Waves plugins for performances at Riverside Theater.

“We are using the eMotion LV1 software mixer in a setup that includes a four-screen custom Intel i7 computer, eight DiGiGrid IOXs, a Waves Extreme Server and an HP router with fiber option, all Cat 7,” says Bundy. “The transition to touchscreens is an inevitable evolution, and we wanted to be on the cutting edge of technology, not to mention the safety and familiarity of having all Waves plugins at hand, directly from within the software LV1 mixer.

“From a price point, the sound quality of eMotion LV1 is second to none; its flexibility of use and user-friendly custom layout and design, intuitive software architecture and the modular capability of the system allow for easy interchanging of its various components, and of course, low latency! The LV1 also gives us a more diverse toolkit for switching between bands, symphonies and DJ’s.”

FOH engineer Sam Donoghue took us through his favorite Waves plugins to use inside the LV1: “The CLA Classic Compressors can be used on any type of source to shape and control the character and tone in any way you can imagine, and a whole bunch you haven’t seen or thought of yet. The SSL G-Master Buss Compressor is a fantastic master buss comp that adds warmth and character to even the blandest source (e.g. poorly mixed tracks from a DJ). The H-Reverb Hybrid Reverb can model any reverb unit from the past, as long as you know what you’re looking for.”

“Since every theater has its own resonant frequencies,” Donoghue continues, “Waves tools shape the source material to fit into the sonic profile of the room, delivering a pleasing and beautiful mix to the audience regardless of the source. The diversity of Waves plugins always provides the right tool for the job. It’s that simple. If I need to de-ess a vocal while expanding the low mid to provide warmth and clarity to a comedian with poor mic control, I just pull out the Waves C6 Multiband Compressor and accomplish both tasks with ease and style. If I need to add a bit of grit to a DJ with overproduced tracks, I can pass it through an SSL compressor or channel, to provide some realism in an otherwise bland sound.”

Donoghue adds about the LV1, “The LV1 is a low-noise and low-latency powerhouse that delivers a pristine sound, and it puts all of the Waves tools at your fingertips at a moment’s notice without interrupting the signal. You can do anything at any time on a whim, to alleviate any problem you may come across.”

At monitors, Chris Adler also relies on Waves multiband compressors: “The C6 and C4 Multiband Compressors are very good at fixing difficult program material. They make it very easy to dial in multi-band dynamics to tame a nasty vocal. It’s also great at controlling horn sections. I love the SSL Buss comp on left and right. Using the eMotion LV1 on monitors, it is a super easy system to set up. Obviously, when working with multiple acts, the ease with which all console settings are saved to a file makes change-overs that much easier. With the DiGiGrid interface, the sound could not get much better. The LV1 is super easy to configure and to expand as well. All in all, it is a very capable and powerful mixing solution. What’s not to love?!”

“The C6 is great on a tough vocal or a buss compressor,” monitor engineer Kevin Gillson adds. “I use the SSL G-Master Buss Compressor on guitars or snares and a few others where the sound fits. The SSL-E-Channel is a great clean channel strip which I use on most inputs. The H-Reverb Hybrid Reverb has a lot of great sounding reverbs with a ton of presets by some of the top engineers out there! Its low DSP usage is also a huge added bonus!”

Gillson sums up about the eMotion LV1 mixer: “With the DiGiGrid IOX preamps, it just sounds amazing! Its warm yet detailed response is wonderful. Push up a fader and it already sounds really good! Makes an engineer’s job so much easier, and the flexibility makes it a dream to set up your desk to how you work best! We do so many different types of acts, that having the toolbox that Waves gives us as engineers makes it much simpler to configure your setup for each type of event and still work the way you are comfortable, knowing you can have what you need almost anywhere. An analog desk will have a hard time competing with the LV1’s flexibility. If you needed to have comps, gates, verbs, delays, harmonizers or different channel strips, it would be impossible without a huge rack and a massive patch bay. Waves brings the studio to the live world with a seamless interface.”

Waves eMotion LV1 Mixer Chosen for Phil Collins’ Not Dead Yet Tour

As Phil Collins takes his comeback Not Dead Yet Tour around the world, we caught up with system designer Ben Phillips to discuss why Waves eMotion LV1 was the “obvious choice” for the tour’s production console.

Waves eMotion LV1 Mixer Chosen for Phil Collins’ Not Dead Yet Tour

For a tour spanning across multiple continents, system designer Ben Phillips chooses Waves eMotion LV1, Waves plugins and Waves SoundGrid Servers for Phil Collins’ live setup.

The Not Dead Yet tour is mixed on an Avid Venue S6L. In addition, the FOH setup includes a production console matrix console) which is connected to the PA. Waves eMotion LV1 was chosen as the production console, a buffer between the PA and the show’s mixing desk, as well as between the consoles belonging to support acts.

In addition, some of the smaller support acts, DJs and solo artists, are mixed on the Waves eMotion LV1 while also utilizing the DiGiGrid IOCs’ microphone pre-amps. This not only saved production the hire-costs involved, but also from having to find additional space for another desk at FOH.

Phillips comments, “After considering our options, we decided to move to the Waves eMotion LV1 Live Mixer and Waves dedicated servers and IO. There was no huge decision-making process; it was quite an obvious choice. We wanted a compact rack-mounted Waves plugin solution, and the eMotion LV1 offered just that. Here at The KSG Group, we use Waves and SoundGrid as part of our recording systems, which made it easy to modify one of our recording systems to suit this live application.”

System Designer Ben Phillips shown with his Waves rig for the current Phil Collins Not Dead Yet Tour

System Designer Ben Phillips shown with his Waves rig for the current Phil Collins Not Dead Yet Tour

“We have two Waves SoundGrid Extreme Servers with two DiGiGrid IOC and two Lenovo ThinkCentre M Series allowing for a system that has a high level of built in redundancy. One IOC takes analog and the other AES and both then feed an L’Acoustics P1, which is our input into the PA system. There is an Icon Platform M Controller, so we have some faders for local inputs.”

Asked about using Waves plugins, Ben remarks, “We run the LV1 (64ch) and LV1 integrated Waves plugins: the Waves eMo F2 FiltereMo GeneratoreMo Q4 Equalizerand the eMo D5 Dynamics. In addition, we mainly use the Waves F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ for cosmetic EQ on the S6L input and to enhance the incoming audio, nothing too complex. Other favorites are the SSL G-Master Buss Compressor for selective buss compression used on additional inputs, LoAir for subtle and selective use as an effect for certain outputs at various parts of the show, and the Renaissance Compressor, configured to act as a ducker for preshow music and video content.”

The LV1 Mixer can be as you would want it to be, from a laptop with one or two I/O devices and a server packed to fly, or a big four-screen rig with several I/O devices racks. You can control eMotion LV1 using industry-standard hardware controllers, multi-touch screens and diverse portable devices, from four touchscreens to a single laptop or tablet. Whichever device you are using, the LV1 has the same intuitive workflow, with a user interface built for flexibility and speed.

Phillips adds, “We take the Phil Collins desk and any support desks and provide routing for these to the PA. Other inputs are for walk-in music, VT feeds and other ancillary inputs as required. The Waves LV1 Mixer offers us a level of functionality and quality that is difficult to find in such a compact and easily reconfigurable form. With such a high-profile artist, reliability and sound quality are a premium concern for us, and we are able to maintain a high standard of audio that our audiences have come to expect.”

Phillips summarizes, “We like the fact that it is easy to use and simple to configure, it is straightforward to increase the input/output count and vice versa; the system can be made to be very compact. It has great scalability, competitive pricing, DSP redundancy, universal acceptance and last but not least, industry standard plugins and processing.”

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