MILWAUKEE, WI — It may be widely known for its Germanic roots and mass celebration of beer, bowling, and bratwurst, but this town is also the site of Irish Fest—the world’s largest celebration of Irish music and culture—which this year utilised dLive and SQ Series consoles from Allen & Heath.
Held downtown at Henry Maier Festival Park along the shore of Lake Michigan, Irish Fest 2019 featured 100 musical acts and 300 different performances spread across 16 stages. With Clearwing Productions handling the bulk of the event’s sound reinforcement needs, the Ingleside, Illinois-based independent rep firm Audio Biz deployed five dLive and six SQ Series consoles across seven of the stages plus a preshow/demo suite. Among the dLive systems were S5000 and C3500 control surfaces supported by DM48, DM64, and CDM48 MixRacks. Utilised at smaller stages where space was at a premium, SQ-5 and SQ-6 mixing systems were used to run both the house sound and monitors simultaneously from a single control surface. For I/O needs, Allen & Heath’s DX168 and GX4816 were chosen.
“Bands and engineers came in for the event from all over the country and Ireland,” Audio Biz’s Shawn McLoughlin relates. “And while most of the engineers had heard of the dLive and SQ Series consoles, not quite everyone had worked with them yet. That’s why we created the preshow/demo suite, which was outfitted with a dLive S5000/DM64 and an SQ-6. The idea was to provide a space for everyone to familiarise themselves with the desks and prep for their shows before they actually went out to face the crowds.”
As the event transpired, McLoughlin and Brian Christ, his Audio Biz colleague who was also on-site for the duration of the festival, found that their gambit paid off. Comfort levels with the desks materialised quickly. Many of the engineers even downloaded dLive Director, a multi-platform editor including control software that allowed them to configure their systems before the festival and arrive for their showtimes ready to go.
“Everyone who took advantage of the preshow/demo suite walked away with a clear plan of action,” Christ adds. “Many set up show files, then simply dropped them into place and were up-and-running. The desks integrated themselves into the event quite easily and could even be set-up to mimic whatever configuration someone was used to, even from another manufacturer’s board. It was almost as if no experience was required to obtain excellent results and reap the workflow and sonic benefits the SQ and dLive have to offer.”