This year’s NAMM show was back in full force, with a return to in-person exhibits and visitors from around the world. Those attending the Loudspeaker System Showcase had the opportunity to hear an Allen & Heath Avantis console at the center of the arena rig – run by veteran audio engineer and co-host of Signal to Noise podcast Michael Lawrence. In collaboration with the producers of Live Sound International magazine, the showcase is a way for a wide range of loudspeaker manufacturers to provide a true side-by-side listening comparison in a controlled environment.
Avantis, the third mixer based on Allen & Heath’s 96kHz XCVI FPGA engine, supports 64 input processing channels and 42 configurable busses, so even the application of configuring outputs to a number of independent PA systems was handled with ease. “I used the open bus architecture of the Avantis to configure several mono matrices,” said Lawrence. “Each matrix runs the same source to a different manufacturer’s sound system via an Allen & Heath DX012 stagebox.” Aside from providing flexible system outputs, the DX012 12 XLR output analog/AES portable DX expander is perfect for feeding IEM systems in a compact 1U form factor.
Lawrence also made use of the console’s internal signal generator for testing and tuning. “I can easily send pink noise to each system so that we can level out the SPL between them for a more accurate comparison.” In this unique use case, Lawrence noted that he appreciates the flexibility and customizability of the Avantis. “I really like that I can get all my systems on a single layer. In the past, we’ve done this same setup with other consoles and I was constantly banking between layers to access the channels I needed. I’m also really big on color coding and labeling, which was simple on this desk.”
The Avantis at the Loudspeaker System Showcase wasn’t the only Allen & Heath console seeing arena action at the NAMM 2022 show – the outdoor Arena Plaza stage featured a dLive S5000 and DM64 system for FOH, paired with an Avantis at the monitor position.
"We always have a great time supporting official NAMM events like the Loudspeaker System Showcase,” notes Allen & Heath USA Marketing Director Jeff Hawley. “Allen & Heath was all over the show with more consoles in more venues than we’ve ever had. I joked with many of our staff, reps, dealers and fans at the show that they should be careful as they walked around since they were likely to trip over an Allen & Heath desk around each corner. We’re humbled to see just how pervasive the full range has become and look forward to jumping up another notch when NAMM 2023 rolls around!”