Allen & Heath’s iLive digital mixing system was once again on tour with Danish pop sensation, Alphabeat, who were supporting Lady Gaga on her arena tour and have just completed a UK solo tour to promote the band’s second studio album.
The band’s engineers – Steve Pattison at FOH and Ben Booker on monitors –selected an even smaller, space-saving set up, without compromising capacity and features.
"I asked Allen & Heath if they were considering making a smaller surface because I am comfortable working in layers and prefer using a touch screen," explains Booker, "They had something in development and I sent them a drawing of what I required; the end product was spot on.”
The band toured with an iDR10 MixRack digitally split to the new iDR-16 MixRack, with control from the new rackmount iLive-R72 surfaces.
“The R72 lends itself to any live application because although it’s small, the processing, which takes place not in the surface but in the rack, is identical across the iLive range,” explains Booker.
Lady Gaga’s extensive sound checks allowed Alphabeat very little preparation time but the band’s minimal system meant a quick and easy set up, plus iLive Editor software also allowed Pattison to wander around the venue and make adjustments from the perspective of the audience, whilst Booker could adjust monitor mixes while standing in the position of the band member.
“We had to load in at 6.30pm and get on the stage at 7pm. We would be line checking while the opening band was playing, so there was only about ten minutes to throw the gear on and go. I had the R72 offstage and I could just run around wirelessly onstage with a laptop to control it all. The same was the case with Steve, who had his surface at FOH but he could run around in the gig with a tablet PC,” explains Booker.
“iLive is so versatile - if the venue has an awkward mix position and I want to check what the audience are hearing, I can tweak the mix from the auditorium floor using my tablet. It makes life a lot easier,” explains Pattison.
Pattison is also especially keen on the console’s onboard dynamics and FX processing.
“I use the onboard FX for processing on the vocals to get that pop sound. I really like the ADT Double Tracker, which I would describe as the perfect 1985 Madonna, and there’s a great sub enhancer called Hypabass to fatten up the kick drum. The boards have virtually every kind of FX, and you have dynamics like gating, ducking and EQ available all the time on every effect,” he concludes.