AHM-64 ‘Mothership’ Powers Finger Lakes Opera’s “The Barber of Seville”

Based in Rochester, NY and serving the greater Monroe County area, Finger Lakes Opera (FLO) recently staged Rossini’s popular opera buffa “The Barber of Seville” with an Allen & Heath AHM-64 audio matrix providing the audio backbone. Supported by an innovative sound design by Precision Audio Services, the shows were mixed via an Avantis console at FOH while the AHM-64 handled all signal processing for various foldback systems and the RCF PA.

 

An Allen & Heath Avantis at the ready for Finger Lakes Opera’s production of “The Barber of Seville.”

 

“When I was asked to handle the sound design and engineering for the Finger Lakes Opera's outdoor performance of ‘Barber’, I knew I had a challenge on my hands,” said Michael Lawrence, Sound Engineer/Designer at Precision Audio Services. “My team (associate designer Hannah Goodine and audio intern Shannon Scally) and I needed to provide a clear, intelligible mix over the entire audience area, while also keeping the sound of the show as natural and transparent as possible. Our fast-paced production schedule meant that we basically had two rehearsals to build the mix and sound of the show.”

 

A popular fixture in forward-thinking live audio system applications, the 64 channel Avantis is designed to provide flexible and intuitive control to operators at all times. With a massive 206 square inches of Full HD screen space, the Avantis Continuity UI allows for instant interaction of key mix parameters as needed, enabling a seamless connection between the physical controls and the displays. In addition to faders designed to react on touch and immediately highlight the active channels for visual feedback, the channel rotaries let you work gains or pans and at the touch of a button dynamically fold the display to show EQ or compressor parameters across the whole bank. The whole system is set up in this way to dynamically surface the information you need at any moment and put control right at your fingertips.

 

The 64x64 96kHz AHM-64 ‘mothership’ handled all signal processing for various foldback systems and the RCF PA.

 

Commenting on the Continuity UI, Lawrence notes, “Thanks to the intuitive, powerful workflow, my Avantis offered the toolset I needed to quickly pull together the entire mix (over 40 inputs between singers and orchestra) as well as all the automation and programming that comes along with a 400-plus page score.”

 

Additionally, an Allen & Heath AHM-64 was put to work as an audio hub for the entire FLO “Barber” production. A powerful 64x64 Audio Matrix Processor, AHM-64 packs ultra-low latency 96kHz processing, 128x128 audio networking, true cross platform programming and control options (macOS, Windows, iOS, Android) into an expandable and sturdy road-ready format.

 

The 64x64 96kHz AHM-64 ‘mothership’ handled all signal processing for various foldback systems and the RCF PA.

 

“The AHM-64 acted as the ‘mothership' and heart of our system, distributing various combinations of mixes to foldback zones on stage, conductor and musician monitors, and feeds for other departments to monitor the performance,” adds Lawrence. “Plus, running rehearsal keyboard and talk mic inputs directly into the AHM allowed the cast and stage management to rehearse, while my team and I worked completely independently on the console programming. Our Custom Control interface gave us at-a-glance system metering, allowing me to focus my attention on the performance, where it belongs. Both Avantis and AHM-64 have turned out to be incredible investments for Precision Audio Services, allowing my team to bring to bear some powerful, modern tools at a price that adds great value for our clients.”

 

Finger Lakes Opera: https://www.fingerlakesopera.org/august---barber-of-seville.html

Precision Audio Services: https://www.precisionaudioservices.com