DL32R Delivers Far More than Expected for Adika Pongo
Rome, Italy — September 2015… Adika Pongo is a band that knows how to get the crowd moving. The seven-piece ensemble has a loyal following and a busy calendar of dates across metro Rome and beyond, blending three-part harmonies with bass, drums, keys, guitar, percussion, sax, and Electronic Wind Instrument to create a unique modern twist on classic 1970s disco and more.
The band recently added a Mackie DL32R 32-channel mixer with iPad control to their arsenal, primarily to use as an onstage monitor mixer. “All seven of us use in-ear monitors — we have no speakers onstage other than a guitar amp,” explains bassist Alessandro Benedetti. “The fact that it could double as a FOH mixer on gigs where we had to bring our own PA was an added plus.” In fact, the band’s first gig with the DL32R required them to use it for FOH and monitors.
“When I set up the DL32R, the first thing that really amazed me was how fast and easy it was,” says Benedetti. “I had only 20 minutes for sound check, and in that time I was able to set the gains on 24 channels, position the faders, add a little boost at 5 kHz for the vocals, and a little bit of reverb. Meanwhile, the musicians were dialing in their own monitors on iPads and iPhones. Really, if you think about it, just 20 minutes for a sound check before we have 200 people dancing in front of us — what more can you ask for?”
Alessandro adds that setting up to record the band was also a breeze. “I had to spend only one more minute to connect the hard disk to the USB port, press record, and record the gig as 24 tracks of 24 bit, 48 kHz audio.”
Mackie’s Master Fader app is key to the speed and simplicity of the DL32R, Alessandro observes. “The app is very well organized — you can find everything without reading through the manual. The I/O setup is one of the easiest I’ve ever used — just choose a physical input and assign it to a channel, and you’re done.”
“I think the sound quality of the DL32R easily compares to mixers costing four times as much,” Alessandro continues. “I use custom-molded in-ear monitors, and I was really amazed at how good it sounded. The detail and tonality is super-clear, and the noise floor is incredibly low. In fact, when I was listening back and soloing some tracks we recorded at a gig, some of the instruments sounded like they’d been recorded in the studio, not live. The preamps are really that good.”
Alessandro reports the DL32R’s onboard processing also exceeded expectations. “The EQ sounds really, really good — very musical and very usable. The compressors and gates are excellent, and effects like reverb and delay sound great, and it’s really easy to dial in what you need.”
“As usual,” Alessandro concludes, “Mackie has found a way to give musicians the chance to get their hands on great quality gear without spending a fortune. The Dl32R really has everything you need to mix and record a live band.”