Allen + Heath’s iLive digital mixing system was out on tour with Alphabeat again for the Danish pop act’s performances in support of Lady Gaga.
In addition to the Lady Gaga shows, Alphabeat also employed the iLive for its own UK tour to promote second studio album The Beat Is… For all of the above, the band’s engineers – Steve Pattison at FOH and Ben Booker on monitors – selected a smaller, space-saving set-up without compromising capacity or features.
“I asked Allen & Heath if they were considering making a smaller surface because I am comfortable working in layers and prefer using a touch screen,” explained Booker. “They had something in development and I sent them a drawing of what I required; the end product was spot on.”
The band toured with an iDR10 MixRack digitally split to the new iDR-16 MixRack, with control from the new rackmount iLive-R72 surfaces.
“The R72 lends itself to any live application because although it’s small, the processing, which takes place not in the surface but in the rack, is identical across the iLive range,” said Booker.
Lady Gaga’s extensive sound checks allowed Alphabeat very little preparation time but the band’s minimal system meant a quick and easy set-up, plus iLive Editor software also allowed Pattison to wander around the venue and make adjustments from the perspective of the audience, whilst Booker could adjust monitor mixes when standing in the position of the band member.
“We had to load in at 6.30pm and get on the stage at 7pm. We would be line checking while the opening band was playing, so there was only about ten minutes to throw the gear on and go. I had the R72 offstage and I could just run around wirelessly onstage with a laptop to control it all. The same was the case with Steve, who had his surface at FOH but he could run around in the gig with a tablet PC,” said Booker.
Praising the versatility of the system, Pattison said that he used the onboard FX for vocal processing “to get that pop sound. I really like the ADT Double Tracker, which I would describe as the perfect 1985 Madonna, and there’s a great sub enhancer called Hypabass to fatten up the kick drum. The boards have virtually every kind of FX, and you have dynamics like gating, ducking and EQ available all the time on every effect.”