Globally-renowned trance group, Above & Beyond, has embarked on a worldwide tour specifying Allen & Heath dLive and ME systems to manage monitors. dLive was requested by monitor engineer, Tom Howat, who has toured with the likes of Paolo Nutini, Morrissey and Franz Ferdinand.
“Above & Beyond’s tour is an acoustic reworking of the group’s popular hits, and involves 17 artists and 80 inputs on stage. The Musical Director describes the tour as “widescreen”, and dLive is well suited to this, giving a broad, wide open, expansive sound,” explains Tom Howat. “What I love most about the fader layout is the opportunity to create your working environment – it’s a powerful picture of the A&H way of doing things. I am enjoying using the touchscreens, and I’ve really taken to the different compressor flavours built into the channels. I am using a number of lovely sounding reverbs from EMT plate and 480 engine programmes, side panels for compressor and gate, and the listen at different points feature in the channel strip to get the FX dialled in nicely, all of which are very, very cool features!”
Performers comprise the 3 principle artists with various keyboards and guitars, 2 drummers with 3 drum kits, 4 vocalists, a bass player, the musical director, a 4-piece string section, a harpist, and a multi-instrumentalist. Howat’s dLive system comprises an S5000 Control Surface with DM64 MixRack and DX32 expander rack, and a ME personal monitoring system comprising a ME-U hub and 4 ME-1 mini mixers for the artists to tweak levels on stage.
Bid, drummer and assistant musical director for the Above and Beyond Acoustic world tour, was one of the ME-1 users, and he really enjoyed the experience, saying:
"Tom Howat brought the ME-1s on board to simplify the monitor set up and it has worked a dream. To be able to change individual levels instantly without worrying Tom is one thing but also to add EQ and pan makes this such a great tool on this type of production where there are so many people on stage. I'd have been lost without it.”
The tour is visiting a variety of venues, including the prestigious Hollywood Bowl in LA, Sydney Opera House in Sydney, and The Royal Albert Hall in London. Production for the European dates is managed by Capital Sound, who hired the dLive system from London-based PA company, F1 Sound, the USA leg is managed by Delicate Audio, who sub-hired dLive from Clearwing Productions, whilst JPJ Audio supplied a system in Australia.