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Alphabeat gaga for Allen + Heath’s iLive-R72

Danish pop act downsizes without compromise by switching to Allen & Heath's new ultra-compact iLive-R72 console after supporting Lady Gaga on her UK tour, writes Paul Watson

Danish pop act Alphabeat’s FOH and monitors engineers Steve Pattison and Ben Booker respectively replaced their Allen & Heath iLive-T series consoles with a pair of the new and much smaller iLive-R72s after the band supported Lady Gaga on her recent Monster Ball UK tour. The R72s have been used for all of Alphabeat’s US and European dates which immediately followed the Gaga tour. Booker says development of the extremely low footprint console was influenced by a sketch he presented to the manufacturers just before Christmas: “I asked Allen & Heath if they would ever consider making a smaller surface because I am comfortable working in layers and prefer using a touch screen,” explains Booker, “so I did a little drawing of what I required and sent it to them; the end product was spot on.”

Booker believes that the R72 lends itself to any live application because the processing, which takes place not in the surface but in the iDR MixRack, is identical across the iLive range. Being so very compact, the R72 is also quicker and easier to set up than any of the other models in the iLive range, as Pattison discovered at a recent Alphabeat gig in KOKO, Camden.

“At KOKO, FOH position is on a balcony, which is an awkward mix position – but using the Wifi capabilities on the console, I was able to soundcheck from the auditorium floor using my tablet, which made life a lot easier,” says Pattison, “And because it’s so small, set-up was so simple; I just rocked up and put it next to the lighting desk – which is actually bigger than the R72!” Pattison says that downsizing has been very straightforward because every iLive feature is still available and just as easily accessible. He also rates its versatility; at KOKO, he made several trips into the audience with his tablet to tweak the mix!