Coachella 2022: Karol G Rocks the Main Stage with Waves eMotion LV1 Live Mixer

Waves eMotion LV1 powers Karol G at Coachella.
(Image credit: Waves)

Front-of-house engineer John Buitrago (J Balvin, Sebastian Yatra) and monitor engineer Robin Barrera (Ryan Castro, Piso 21, Maluma) recently chose the Waves eMotion LV1 Live Mixer and Waves plug-ins for Colombian artist Karol G, winner of the 2018 Latin GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist, who performed at the main stage of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. 

“We did a very successful, solid, and consistent U.S. tour, using the LV1 in 2021 with Karol G,” said Buitrago. “Everyone was very happy with the mixer’s performance, so we continued using the LV1 throughout 2022 and for the Coachella show as well."

Buitrago began his career in the studios, as a recording and mixing sound engineer. When he moved to live performances, Waves eMotion LV1 mixer brought that same studio feel—with all the Waves plug-ins ready in the mixer—to the grander live stage. Buitrago also cited the flexibility and ease of setup—taking as little as 15 minutes to be ready for a sound check—as other benefits of the mixer in high-pressure environments such as Coachella. 

“Portability is another huge benefit of eMotion LV1," he added. "Everyone in the touring business knows how LV1 has changed the rules. The best is when you can work on your file with the console in the comfort of your hotel room. And most important is the Waves Live support team who are always ready and accessible, and that makes a huge difference. You can really work with confidence, which is something I really appreciate.”  

Buitrago’s favorite plug-ins to use inside eMotion LV1 combine classic modeled gear and precision-control processing: “My must-have plug-ins include the Waves SSL E-Channel, which I use on all instruments because I love the sound and its dynamic tools that allow me to use everything in one plugin. The CLA 76 Compressor/Limiter is an essential tool for me—it is my favorite FET compressor. I use it in Bluey mode for kick drum and snare, and Blacky mode for vocals. I use the SSL G-Master Bus Compressor for parallel compression on drums, and also as an essential tool to glue the mix on my master bus. The F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ is my favorite tool for multi-band mid/side processing, one of the best on the market. I really love using it for vocals and my matrix outputs. If you learn to use the RTA it will become your lethal weapon. I use the Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain plugin as a mastering piece right after the SSL G-Master Bus Compressor, using the harmonics and limiter to warm up the mix and also using the MS to open up the stereo.” 

Waves powers the main stage at Coachella 2022.

(Image credit: Waves)

“We chose eMotion LV1 because we always look for great sound plus consistency, and that is what LV1 gives us show after show," added monitor engineer Robinson Barrera. "When choosing a console for touring, I always look for software stability, consistency, easy connectivity, and of course an intuitive workflow that makes me feel confident when mixing. Of course, the main objective is to find the best sound, and that is what the LV1 has. I think there are great benefits coming from this little giant.

“At Coachella, setting up will always be a challenge. You only have 40 minutes for load-in and 20 minutes for load-out. At monitor, we were always ready in 20 minutes, which meant that the LV1 was our best resort to save time. Not to mention the great capacity of the Waves SoundGrid network, which is to assign an IP address to each device added to the network, creating a super stable connection for us, including the ability to communicate with other audio protocols. We can use this capability to extend our integration into other scenarios if needed. Furthermore, the LV1’s small size makes it one of the most portable consoles on the market, easy to take on a trip, especially when we have cargo and space issues; we can actually take it as carry-on luggage.” 

Waves plug-ins are an integral part of Barrera’s monitor sound processing. The SSL E-Channel, the versatile C6 Multiband Compressor, the NLS Non-Linear Summer, the Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain—which according to Barrera is perfect for adding more color and to get a pristine sound—the SSL G-Master Buss Compressor, and the L3-LL Ultramaximizer are some of the go-to plug-ins Barrera can't be without on tour.

“Honestly, I used to mix FOH on numerous other consoles on the market, and compared to the LV1 there is nothing I miss," Barrera concluded. “The LV1’s sound is crystal clear and powerful, and no exception for a big and incredible festival like Coachella. When I set up my monitor mix, I feel confident and comfortable with the high-quality sound, wide stereo image, and variety of textures and tools that make the experience in my ears amazing.”

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