Lenny Kravitz’ crew chief chooses Mackie mixers

Lenny Kravitz and his crew chief Alex Alvarez have been using a Mackie DL32R mixer for a number of applications during Kravitz’ live shows, as well as in the studio.

Alvarez is Lenny Kravitz’ guitar tech but after 25 years, he is also in many ways his right-hand man, responsible for hiring the crew and maintaining the equipment on tour while also managing Kravitz’ studios in Paris and the Bahamas when off tour.

"Lenny has been using small Mackie mixers in his keyboard rigs and practice rigs for years and years," Alvarez remarked, "starting with the CR-1604VLZ. When the digital DL1608 and DL806 came in, we started using those, and now we have the DL32R. We use them in an assortment of ways to fill various niches."

Kravitz also employs his Mackie mixer before the show. "Lenny likes to use the DL806 as a personal vocal warm-up mixer," added Alvarez. "He likes to warm up in a reverberant space, and we may be at a festival where that isn’t possible. But with the DL, he can warm up using the same reverb patch every time, so he has a consistent environment."

Another application is as a keyboard mixer for rehearsals. "Sometimes Lenny rehearses with just the core band, and we need a small, high-quality mixer for the keyboards," Alvarez noted. "The DL1608 and DL806 are very good, compact mixers that have given us what we needed. Now I have the DL32R set up, and we’re in the process of switching to it. It gives us a lot of significant additional features. For one, we will be able to easily record."

Kravitz played a couple of US tour dates last month which he will follow up with a European tour, then back to the USA. "We are constantly traveling, and our gear has to work in every country we visit," explained Alvarez. "Mackie mixers are a great choice for that; we can rely on them wherever we go."

Alvarez also anticipates the release of Mackie’s AXIS Digital Mixing System, a flexible, modular digital mixing system that includes the DL32R mixer, DC16Control Surface, and DL Dante Expansion Card. "I am looking forward to the DC16," he confirmed. "We like the Mackie Master Fader app’s wireless control, and the control surface will expand our capabilities and address some issues."

"We’ve been using Mackie mixers for years," Alvarez concluded, "and they have proven to be a completely professional solution. With the new DL32R, we’re taking the next step, and we’re excited about the possibilities."