iLive was selected to manage a three week run of performances held at The 02 in London, featuring over 100 bands, including The Feeling, Irwin Sparkes (Hoosiers frontman), and up-and-coming UK artists Nicki Garnett, Belakiss, Laura Steel, and Treetop Flyers.
Run by Silent Gig Ltd and supported by PA company The Audio Group, the December Sessions were a series of free performances to celebrate emerging UK talent hosted festival-style on an outdoor stage in the London Piazza at the O2. Allen & Heath’s iLive digital system, comprising an iLive-T112 Control Surface at FOH and iLive-T80 on monitors both connected to iDR-48 MixRacks making use of Audinate’s new Dante technology as a digital mic splitter, which also feeds the Dante virtual soundcard for full multitrack recording of the performances.
“The Audio Group is a long time user of the iLive systems. The flexibility of iLive and simplicity of the patching system on the Editor software meant creating a custom surface for visiting engineers was a simple drag and drop operation for our FOH system engineers,” explains The Audio Group’s MD, Nadar Shahzad.
To be able to achieve the turnaround times and band set-ups, a festival style patching system was put into place which would remain for the event duration. Chris McCarron from Silent Gig Ltd was tasked with making sure iLive was fully configured for the visiting engineers.
“At first I was quite dubious about using the desk, but after about 10 minutes I was won over. Its ease of use and accessibility to parameters is very quick, its processing of information is instant and the A/D conversion is very impressive,” says FOH engineer, Sean “Rampton” Cranny. “The big thing for me was its layout - very easy to understand; that coupled with the iLive Editor software makes this desk a winner. Editor is so easy to use and configure, it enables you to interact with the desk before, during and after the gig. Other manufacturers need to take note of this.”
The Sessions also included a special Silentgig production, headlined by The Feeling with support from Laura Steel and The Anderson McGinty Ward. Silentgig is a unique show concept where all audience members are handed a stereo image of the FOH mix courtesy of a set of Sennheiser wireless headphones, rather than through the conventional method of sound reinforcement.
By utilising a third iDR-48 MixRack, also equipped with a Dante networking card, the Silentgig team could give some audience members the chance to mix the performance for themselves.
“We set up several PL-10 panels running off the third MixRack and this allowed us to give the audience in the VIP area a chance to mix a separate, simplified version of the FOH sound,” explains Shahzad.
With up to 5 bands performing each night, the production went smoothly despite the hectic schedule.
“Audiences and performers were happy with the service and sound quality throughout the three weeks,” says Silent Gig’s Chris McCarron. “This is digital mixing as it should be.”