An Allen & Heath iLive digital mixing system has been installed in London’s exclusive Arts Club. Managing FOH and monitor audio in the live performance room, the modular system comprises an iDR10 MixRack and iLive-112 Surface and fulfils the venue’s need for a fully-spec’d pro mixer installed in an extremely compact control area.
Founded in 1863 by Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope and Lord Leighton, the members-only venue attracts a top-end clientele, hosting gigs, art and fashion events, and private parties. Visiting sound engineer, Dave McDonald, took on the role of audio consultant at the venue, recommending iLive to replace the original FOH mixing console. Having used a similar system on tour with acts such as Adele, Florence & The Machine and AIR, the main reason for the change is that McDonald wanted to better meet the audio requirements of visiting artists.
He explains: "Many of the artists and bands are high end and some of the technical mixing can be complex for such a tiny stage so we needed more processing power, more effects returns, and a desk that was easy to use and sounded good.”
Due to space restrictions, iLive is located stage left, and provides six wedge and eight stereo in-ear mixes. The FOH mix is managed from the stage but the ability to use the iLive Editor control software and iLive’s MixPad app over Wifi is an advantage in the crowded venue. Furthermore, a PL-10 rotary remote controller can make adjustments to, for instance, individual in-ear or wedge levels, even when the surface is switched off.
Jonathan Lewis at the iLive controls
Resident house tech, Jonathan Lewis, was not familiar with iLive. He commented:
“I think it was two gigs and I was away! Once you get your head around the mix button architecture, it's easy. We've had several guest engineers come in and they've all been really happy with it. With several bands returning to the club on a regular basis, being able to recall settings from their previous visit is a timesaver - especially with the in-ears. There is also a record playback system via a Dante module, which allows 64 channels of recording. It's fantastic – you can just connect a laptop and open up Logic. All the bands really like that."
iLive is supplemented by Sennheiser IEMs and an L-Acoustics monitor and FOH rig. The main room also features a movable DJ booth, which can be used in two locations centred around Allen & Heath’s Xone:DB4 digital FX mixer.
"I'm pleased with the way the system has turned out but the striking thing is that all the musicians who have been regulars there have instantly noticed the improved sound quality they're getting in their ears and also at FOH,” McDonald concludes.