Originally constructed in 1974, the Osceola Performing Arts Center in Kissimmee, Florida was purchased by the Osceola County School District in 2002. OPAC is a mid-sized facility with approximately 2000 seats on one level, an apron stage and a formal orchestra pit.
It hosts a variety of musical, dance and other commercial events and is closely associated with the Osceola County School for the Arts, an award-winning middle school and high school.
When the school district purchased OPAC in 2002, it had a large analog mixing console. About a year ago, OPAC made the decision to replace this analog mixer due to its age and poor spare parts availability. "We wanted a digital mixer for its flexibility," said David Edgar, OPAC Manager. "We host a wide variety of performances," he continued, "and we needed a mixer that could adapt quickly to the needs of each performance. The Allen and Heath iLive is perfect for that. Also," Edgar notes, "most of our performances are mixed by an outside engineer. These are experienced professionals and they appreciate the iLive because they can save their own setup on a thumb drive and recall it quickly when they come back for a new performance."
OPAC purchased the iLive from Dan Lee at Signature Systems of Florida in Casselberry. Lee had installed an iLive in a local government facility and was able to show this installation to Edgar. In addition, Edgar attended an iLive training session held by Allen and Heath's Florida rep firm, Mainline Marketing. "We had looked at several different mixers," said Edgar, "But, after seeing the iLive in use and attending the training session, I knew this was the right mixer for OPAC." Edgar was also pleased to learn about the iLive's built-in digital snake. "We had issues with the aging analog snake at OPAC," he said, "and it's great to be able to install CAT5 cabling instead."
OPAC purchased an iLive-T112 Surface and an iDR-32 MixRack. The T112 Surface (control surface) is located in the back of the house and the iDR-32 MixRack (inputs, outputs and processing) is located at stage right. There are three CAT5 cables from front to back; one for the iLive, one for video feeds and one available as a backup. The school uses the iLive for major school events and some classes.
Edgar makes good use of the iLive's custom LCD channel labeling in each different profile and for commercial events such as the Nutcracker Ballet and the Orlando Philharmonic. He is looking forward to adding a wireless router so they can take advantage of the iLive's iPAD app and also use a pair of netbooks to control the system. He adds "the iLive is much more reliable than our old analog mixer, it sounds great and I was able to donate a whole rack of outboard effects to the school by using the iLive's internal DSP. It's a great mixer."