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iLive ensures everyone’s laughing for Frankie Boyle comedy tour

FOH engineer Steve Pattison opted for an iDR-48 MixRack with rackmount iLive-R72 control surface for comedian Frankie Boyle's latest tour.

Comedian Frankie Boyle’s recent tour featured a compact Allen & Heath iLive system at FOH. Steve Pattison, FOH engineer, opted for an iDR-48 MixRack with rackmount iLive-R72 control surface. “For me, the iLive-R72 is essential for theatres shows where FOH space is at a premium, as it is so compact but offers all the functionality and quality of much larger desks,” explained Pattison. On tour Boyle performed mostly at large theatres with multi-tiered balconies, using a multi-faceted PA system. “In multi-level venues it can be a real pain (not just for your legs) when you need to check on all areas and make changes to EQ, levels, delays, etc. iLive’s MixPad app earns its keep here, allowing myself or an assistant to adjust settings in real time without having to return to FOH. It’s really handy during the show where an assistant can check on balconies or fills and tweak them whilst I still have control at FOH,” said Pattison. Pattison was also able to try out iLive’s new dynamic EQ and multi-band compressor features from the latest firmware update, V1.9. “Comedy shows are all about intelligibility – the joke’s not funny if you can’t follow what’s being said. Comedians tend to have erratic mic technique, moving the mic around a lot, often holding it down away from their mouth and suddenly shouting with the mic up close. The tour gave me a great opportunity to utilise iLive’s new dynamic EQ and multi-band compression,” explained Pattison. “iLive’s dynamic EQ is a wonderful tool for shaping a vocal and compensating for the varying dynamics and tonal differences that a comedian will throw at you – a Glaswegian impersonating a German shouting into a mic isn’t always the easiest thing to understand! The multi-band compression also came into play as PA systems often emphasise certain tonalities as levels change getting harsher or muddier depending on the dynamics of the performer. Taming this meant the top balcony laughed just as much as I did!” Pattison’s experience with Boyle has also sparked at least one new ‘product idea’ for Allen & Heath: “Thanks to Steve’s feedback from the Frankie Boyle tour, Allen & Heath’s R&D department is now working on some de-F’ing algorithms,” joked a company spokesperson.