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A&H kits out £18m Hub at University of Wolverhampton

Allen & Heath has installed an array of mixing consoles throughout a new £18 million performing arts venue at the University of Wolverhampton, writes Paul Watson.

The University of Wolverhampton’s brand new £18 million ‘Performance Hub’ combines its dance, drama and music departments into one dedicated building, incorporating purpose-built facilities including music rooms and a Black Box theatre. Allen & Heath has installed an iLive digital mixing system and 11 ZED-12FX compact USB mixers throughout the facility. The iLive system has been installed in the main Black Box performance space, and comprises an iLive T-80 control surface; an iDR-32 MixRack with a Dante networking audio card; and a Mixpad App. Music technician at the University of Wolverhampton, Andrew Lowe, says iLive was always going to be the system of choice, and praises its versatility. “iLive was chosen right at the beginning of the building’s design process, and the infrastructure of the Black Box was then built around how we planned to use it,” he explains. “Having all the audio travel over Cat-5 cable enabled us to ensure that there are no large multicore cables on show. Also, with all the processing carried out in the iLive rack, we can choose to work with or without the control surface.” Lowe says being able to use the Dante card is a real bonus, as one of the University’s modules teaches students about live sound recording: “Being able to send the incoming audio directly to a DAW via Ethernet is a perfect solution and more modern approach for us to teach.” Lowe is equally impressed with the ZED mixers, which have been installed into the smaller performance studios and music rehearsal spaces. “They have a clean, transparent sound; and are nice and simple to use,” he adds. “The USB output is a fantastic feature – ideal for getting a quick scratch recording of a band rehearsal onto your laptop. The students will be really pleased with that as it’s something we’ve been asked for many times.”