Allen & Heath


Photo: John Damian

With combined record sales of over 70 million units, 100 years of performances across world stages, and storied histories spanning from gospel to classic rock, the Little River Band and The Oak Ridge Boys each meet the definition of musical icons. After a search for a more modern and flexible mixing console to serve the diverse needs of both acts, Nashville based Brantley Sound wholeheartedly recommended the Allen & Heath Avantis Digital Mixing System.

“Little River Band had been carrying a [non-Allen & Heath] console for quite some time at monitors,” noted Brantley Sound Director of Operations Zachariah Orbin. “Avantis checked all of the boxes and then some when it came to finding a next-level replacement. Its compact design, overall ease of use, and horsepower under the hood were primary factors in that decision.”

Avantis is the third console based on the XCVI engine, pioneered by the Allen & Heath R&D team using next generation FPGA technology, with parallel virtual processing cores generating enough power for 88×42 channels of processing (including FX returns) at a 96kHz sampling rate. The massive power of XCVI (25 billion operations per second) allows Avantis to its high channel count full audio processing duties, variable bit depth for ultimate precision and noise performance, virtually infinite mix headroom thanks to a 96 bit accumulator, and class-leading latency at an ultra-low 0.7ms.

“We set it up for a day of rehearsals and I used that time to get the console in-between the artist and their inputs,” adds Orbin. “Immediately their was response was an overwhelming, ‘Yes, this is it!’” Speaking to his approach during the demo process with the band, Orbin explains how he configured an easy A/B comparison by “using the free Director software, cloning EQ and dynamics from the previous console and setting them out on various channels and busses.” For the initial test, Orbin “didn’t engage them since I wanted to see what the Avantis would do naturally.” Using this method, the band could hear a close approximation of the previous desk, the more direct ‘flat’ Avantis mix and then an easy flip to engage Avantis preamp models and more advanced sonic tools.

Zachariah Orbin manning the Avantis at monitors. Photo: John Damian

“I was excited when I could apply some of the preamp models in this manner on the fly and see how the band would react to them—all with positive responses,” Orbin notes. “Some of the features I appreciate the most is being able to use the console’s setup flexibility mid show, changing my workflow as I become more aware of the breadth of navigation possibilities. I love this desk!”

Marko Hunt, front of house engineer for The Oak Ridge Boys, shared a similar story about their recent transition to Avantis. “I had the pleasure of checking out one of Mike Bangs’ (Allen & Heath Live Sound & Touring Manager) dLive training classes a while back,” says Hunt. “One of the things I took away from Bangs was how simple and straightforward the dLive workflow is. I felt I could just go out and do a show. This type of workflow approach carries through to the Avantis. But the truth is it’s as simple or complex as you want to make it.”

While outfitted with a robust suite of native dynamics and effects by default, an optional Avantis dPack provides an upgrade of additional dLive processing including Dyn8 (up to 16 instances), DEEP Compressors, the Dual Stage Valve Preamp, plus more models as they’re added. Trusted by platinum selling artists on sellout tours, DEEP puts incredible emulations directly within Avantis’ input and mix channels with no third party gear hassles, no burning of effects slots, and no issues with latency or with phase coherency. Avantis dPack also delivers Dyn8, a powerful processor boasting 4 bands of dynamic EQ and 4 bands of multiband compression. With endless applications including taming vocals, tightening sub-groups or adding sonic glue to a mix, dPack enables 16 Dyn8 engines for inserting on Input and Mix channels.

Marko Hunt (FOH, The Oak Ridge Boys) mixing on the Allen & Heath Avantis.
Photo: Darrick Kinslow.

“What struck me from the first show was the clarity of the preamps and how quickly I could dial in the vocals with the channel EQ’s, Dyn8 and great selection of compressors in dPack,” says Hunt. Keen to share a Dyn8 tip he recently picked up, he adds, “To get crisp side-stick on the snare, use the dynamic EQ by setting the high mid just above 1kHz, set narrow and boosted several dB. Adjust the threshold so that when side-stick cracks, the peak remains—but when the snare is hit hard, the peak flattens out. Solves an age old problem.”

Asked to sum up his thoughts on Avantis, Hunt adds, “It’s amazing that a desk that is this compact can be so powerful. The two very large touch screens are less than an arms reach away and with 24 easily accessible SoftKeys programmable for a large variety of functions, I’m not hunched over my desk hunting for stuff when I need it. We’re really happy with the rig all around.”

Little River Band

The Oak Ridge Boys

Brantley Sound

Allen & Heath


California Vibrations (Cali Vibes) was held over three days at Marina Green Park in Long Beach, CA, with over 60,000 attendees gathering in the 75-degree California sun to celebrate reggae music and culture. Running from noon each day and open to all ages, key festival audio was provided by Smoke and Mirrors Productions. A full service event and production company with over 20 years of experience producing large-scale events, Smoke and Mirrors selected the diminutive Allen & Heath C1500.

Allen & Heath’s first rack mountable (19” wide) console in the dLive range, the C1500 paired with a DM48 MixRack to provide 48 mic/line inputs, 24 line outputs and access to the XCVI 160×64 FPGA core dLive power. Festival interface and audio split flexibility was provided by a trio of network audio cards—Dante, Waves and MADI. With 128 channels of bidirectional audio at 96kHz, the Dante and Waves cards offered low latency, high channel count connectivity to their respective networks and devices using standard networking cabling and hardware. The superMADI audio networking card provided coaxial and optical format options up to 128 I/O at 96kHz each, with redundancy and sample rate switchable per link pair and a choice of Smux or HighSpeed 96kHz mode.

“We had two engineers who had never been on the dLive console before,” noted Smoke and Mirrors CEO and sound engineer Sean Lyons. “Within 10 minutes they were mixing the show and getting around with ease. The dLive layout and labeling and the outstanding sound quality and flexible networking make this console a keeper.”

“The C1500 and its even more lightweight titanium CTi1500 stablemate have been showing up at more and more festivals lately for sure,” adds Allen & Heath USA Marketing Director Jeff Hawley. “I think Sean hit on just why this trend is happening. In many cases the top need for festival mixing applications is ease of use and something that engineers can easily walk up to and quickly get a great mix on without lots of hassle. dLive is a true digital native and draws on the familiarity with smartphones and tablets that we all use without thinking. The Harmony UI and a highly responsive touchscreen feels familiar and pairs with just the right amount of faders and rotaries and SoftKeys to get the job done. We’re proud to see the little C1500 at the helm of festivals of all sizes.”

Allen & Heath


A 2021 SCN Install of the Year honoree, diverse video and audio requirements are covered with a range of Allen & Heath audio equipment.

Peoria, Illinois is home to the fast-growing First United Methodist Church (FUMC). The vibrant and forward-looking congregation turned to veteran technology and IT services company Pearl Technology in a recent system upgrade which spanned their video production studio, recording studio, podcast studio, and sanctuaries — centered around the Allen & Heath dLive Digital Mixing System and ME Personal Mixing System.

Honored as a 2021 SCN (Systems Contractor News) Install of the Year, the project kicked off as FUMC reached out to Pearl Technology to discuss updating their ability to record and live stream their services, enabling new ways to create online content to spread the message of the church via podcasts and other engaging media. FUMC’s two main worship spaces include a traditional worship space with a full audio system, cameras, streaming, and simple video presentation. A second worship center is a more contemporary space with all the same features and an increased emphasis on the praise band and video. The upgrade process spawned the idea of bringing the separate production and streaming systems into one shared space for a more advanced audio and video capability.

Jeremy Caldera, CTS-D, CTS-I, Pearl Technology’s Senior Vice President, Audiovisual Technology, notes, “The camera and presentations systems from both spaces were routed down to the newly constructed production and broadcast room. This was done via HD-SDI over fiber and video IP transport. The audio utilized an upgrade to both sanctuary mixers and one larger console in the production and broadcast space. For this element we conducted a demonstration with the technical team at the church and ultimately selected dLive Allen & Heath mixing systems.”

The two main sanctuary spaces utilize the dLive C3500 and feed signals via Dante to the production and broadcast room housing a dLive S7000. dLive is Allen & Heath’s flagship mixing system, powered by a 96kHz XCVI 160×64 FPGA core which provides 128 input channels with full processing and 64 mix outputs with full processing per system. The worship center and praise band, in conjunction with the C3500, tap into the Allen & Heath ME Personal Mixing System.

Caldera continues, “The new system design is so flexible. The adjacent recording and podcast studio also routes all video and audio into the production room and allows for real-time transport around the building with a live mix engineer for both video and audio. All of these systems create a worship experience for tens of thousands of people each week that are unable to attend services in person.”

Jeff Hawley, Allen & Heath USA Director of Marketing, adds, “Jeremy and the Pearl Technology team has put together an amazing system design which demonstrates the malleability of the dLive range and our personal monitoring solutions. As FUMC continues to grow and push the tech boundaries, it’ll be fun to see how they put the dLive and ME systems to great use. Thanks for choosing Allen & Heath and congrats on the win. Well-deserved!”

Allen & Heath


TAB Technical Services is one of the first to design with Allen & Heath’s new range of install audio matrix processors and purpose-built touchscreens

By Sound & Video Contractor, Cynthia Wisehart

Todd Bermann started TAB Technical services in 1978, specializing in restaurants with a client roster that grew to include hundreds of franchise-wide locations of California Pizza Kitchen, Islands Restaurants, and over 300 worldwide locations of The Cheesecake Factory. The Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall are also among their bespoke clients for services including CCTV, MATV, and back-of-house systems.

For an upcoming Cheesecake Factory in North Beach, Miami, Bermann and his team designed in two brand new products from Allen & Heath—the AHM-32 and AHM-16 matrix audio processors. TAB has been a longtime user (and fan) of the now-discontinued A&H iDR8 matrix mixers and has widely deployed them for The Cheesecake Factory.

In adopting the just released AHM-32 and AHM-16 and eventually standardizing on them, the TAB team will benefit from the innovations of another popular A&H product—the flagship AHM-64. The AHM-64 debuted two years ago and has found wide adoption in worship, theater, corporate, retail, and education. The AHM-64 was designed to support industry requests for scalable I/O and remote control, rapid setup, and Dante integration. The 96kHz FPGA engine supports high quality audio and low latency. Ready-made remote-control options include an array of PoE remote controllers and the BYOD-friendly Custom Control app.

Now technical features of the AHM-64 have been scaled into these two smaller options, making the AHM series more accessible and, as it turns out, perfect for the new Cheesecake Factory. Two purpose-built touchscreens are new part of the install range as well. The CC-7 and CC-10 will allow TAB to simplify the system design and give the Cheesecake Factory everything they need and nothing they don’t.


Allen & Heath


Allen & Heath has announced two powerful new Audio Matrix Processors, AHM-32 and AHM-16, supported by the most comprehensive ecosystem of scalable I/O, control and Dante solutions.  

Harnessing technology from the AHM-64 Audio Matrix Processor, AHM-32 and AHM-16 open up the platform to the full spectrum of installed audio environments – from a single boardroom to a complete campus – with emphasis on simplicity of programming and control, plus expandable audio networking and I/O capabilities.

“We are thrilled to see AHM-64 at the heart of so many installations, from global media networks to theme parks” says Nic Beretta, Head of Product at Allen & Heath. “Many integrators we spoke to were eager to see the same approach and technology deployed in a smaller package to suit a wider customer base, and we have delivered on those requests with the AHM-32 and AHM-16.” 

The AHM-32 is built on a 32×32 processing matrix with 12 local analogue inputs and outputs, making it an ideal choice for multi-room installations in hospitality, corporate and education environments. The optional Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) module is available for teleconferencing and videoconferencing applications.  

The AHM-16 features a 16×16 processing matrix with 8 local analogue inputs and outputs. Out of the box, the AHM-16 is particularly well suited to single room applications and smaller multi-room environments including bars, restaurants, shops and school halls. 

Both units benefit from a 96kHz I/O port for audio expansion and networking, enabling the use of a 64×64 Dante card for integration into Dante networks and connection to Allen & Heath’s range of Dante equipped expanders. Alternatively, a SLink card can be fitted for Plug-and-Play connection to Allen & Heath’s comprehensive Everything I/O ecosystem of remote expanders.  

A range of remote-control options are supported, including an array of PoE remote controllers and the BYOD-friendly Custom Control app, enabling tailored user interfaces for multiple user and device types.  

Both models feature a powerful suite of processing tools derived from the AHM-64, including Automatic Microphone Mixing (AMM), Ambient Noise Compensation (ANC), Priority Ducking, an 8-band parametric EQ on every input and zone, plus speaker processing options.

Allen & Heath


A pair of Allen & Heath AHM-64 audio matrixes power the iconic venue.

For over 100 years, The Muny has captured hearts and sparked imaginations through music and movement. The Muny, short for The Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis, is an outdoor musical amphitheatre, located in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri. The theater seats 11,000 people with approximately 1,500 free seats in the last nine rows that are available on a first come, first served basis. Each summer, Forest Park is filled with the sights and sounds of Broadway — now powered via a pair of Allen & Heath AHM-64 audio matrixes.

A pair of AHM-64 Audio Matrix Processors have replaced the venue’s older distribution system.

Sound Designer David Patridge specified AHM-64 as the audio hub for the venue, replacing The Muny’s older distribution system with the next-generation 96kHz 64×64 Audio Matrix Processors. “A lot of power built into 2RU and at a price point that blows away alternatives,” notes Patridge. Utilizing the 64×64 channel Dante option card allows AHM-64 to connect to amplifiers, microphones and other devices on a Dante network, including 3rd-party audio consoles within the existing system design. “The AHM provides seamless connectivity to Dante and fits into an audio over IP system well,” he adds.

Dante modules are fitted to enable interfacing with amplifiers, microphones and other Dante equipped devices on the network.

AHM-64 deploys next-generation FPGA technology and a 96kHz sample rate, bringing acclaimed Allen & Heath sound quality and sub-millisecond latency to installations of all types. The audio engine has the power to deliver far more processing than the usual open architecture platforms, including 8-band PEQ, gate, compressor and delay on all input channels, and 8-band PEQ / 30-band GEQ, compressor, ANC, source selector, limiter and delay on all zone outputs.

The Muny is an 11,000-seat outdoor amphitheater originally opened in 1917 

“The system design that David put into place at The Muny is a perfect example of what AHM is designed to offer,” says Allen & Heath USA Marketing Director Jeff Hawley. “More and more consultants and integrators and designers are seeking out options that put audio quality first as they upgrade and configure installs of this type. With the Allen & Heath XCVI engine from SQ, Avantis and dLive behind the AHM-64, there is no question as to just how great things can sound. AHM comes with a well-established touring and critical audio application pedigree.”

The AHM-64 is a 96kHz 64×64 Audio Matrix Processor supported by a comprehensive ecosystem of control and I/O options.

Intuitive AHM System Manager software and AHM-64’s flexible architecture allow rapid configuration, striking a balance between the simplicity and set latency of fixed architecture, and the flexibility normally reserved for open architecture platforms. “The AHM-64 user interface is extremely intuitive and clear,” says Patridge. “With AHM System Manager on a Mac or PC we can easily handle sound management, paging, audio distribution, and speaker processing roles as needed. It’s a great system that we’ve put at the heart of the audio design at The Muny.”

Allen & Heath


On nearly four acres of oak tree-shaded land just outside of downtown Austin, Texas, Meanwhile Brewing Co. has positioned itself as one of the city’s premiere music venues. While it’s not completely unusual for an Austin brewery to be situated on an expanse of land with food trucks, delicious coffee, a cedar playground for kids, a soccer field, and a large brewing facility and taproom on-site, the one-year-old hotspot also touts a versatile outdoor event space. The stage gave numerous Austin and Texas musicians paid performance opportunities and residencies throughout the past year, a year when live performance gigs were hard to come by. Meanwhile has invested in state-of-art technology like the Allen & Heath SQ-6 and 96kHz DX168 portable expanders to create a versatile and intentional event space, thus changing the game for what breweries can be.

Jamie Wellwarth, Meanwhile’s Production Manager, with the venue’s SQ-6

The 720 sqft, outdoor stage has an adaptable lighting and sound grid to meet the needs of any event, from DJ to singer songwriter to full on rock band. The venue’s capacity sits at right around 1,000 people, with technical design executed by Meanwhile’s Production Manager, Jamie Wellwarth. In addition to his role at Meanwhile, Wellwarth is a 15 year veteran at Nomad Sound and has held down key audio, tour, and production manager roles for artists like Janes Addiction, Social Distortion, and The Revivalists. When it came time to select a world-class console for Meanwhile, Wellwarth chose the Allen & Heath SQ-6.

The 720 sq.ft outdoor stage has hosted numerous performances throughout 2021

“SQ has been a real game-changer for venues like Meanwhile,” notes Wellwarth. “There aren’t many consoles out there that strike the right balance of power and customization with workflow yet remain easy enough to operate for engineers of all levels. Once you throw in the solid build quality, great preamps, and the support of all the folks at Allen & Heath, there isn’t really the need to look anywhere else. The SQ fires out LR to a Neve MBP master buss processor and then to Nexo GEO S12 and RS18 mains. It also has a pile of flexible stereo mixes with both parametric and graphic EQ on every mix that we send to our QSC K12.2 monitors. What more could you ask for?”

Sporting a 3-tier, all metal chassis and an extruded aluminum light bar, the SQ-6 provides 48 channels and 36 busses of 96kHz audio for the venue. Utilizing the on-board SLink connection, audio can be routed as needed to and from a pair of DX168 portable expanders.

Meanwhile Brewing Co.’s headquarters near Austin, Texas.

“The work that Jamie and the Nomad crew put into Meanwhile Brewing Co. is really amazing,” says Allen & Heath USA Marketing Director Jeff Hawley. “SQ was designed to check all the boxes for these sorts of applications and it is cool to see more and more world-class venues like Meanwhile turning to SQ as they build out new spaces or aim to upgrade existing or even historic spaces. This particular project was extra special as the Meanwhile team shared the love with musicians, technical staff and music fans when times got tough — we are truly honored to be part of the mix.”

Allen & Heath


After an 18 year hiatus, Alabama’s famed heavy rock and metal Furnace Fest returned in a big way, proving good things come to those who wait. Held at the Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama, admission for all 90 bands across three stages required vaccination card or proof of negative COVID test to be shown at the gates. Putting the decibel meter to the test this year were key acts such as August Burns Red, ERRA, Fit for a King, Mayday Parade, Motionless in White, and Underøath — all sporting an Allen & Heath console at FOH.

An Allen & Heath dLive C1500 duo at FOH for Alabama’s Furnace Fest 2021

A number of compact dLive C1500 surfaces and an SQ-5 were put to work over the course of the three day festival. Packed into the tiny 19” wide C1500 footprint are 12 faders over 6 layers, built-in audio I/O, an audio networking port, a 12″ capacitive touchscreen and the innovative Harmony UI for a fast and flexible workflow. Supporting a fully assignable layout, 72 fader strips, 19 assignable SoftKeys and daylight visibility, C1500 was right at home even in a large outdoor festival application — ready to tap into the 160X64 XCVI FPGA core power of the dLive Digital Mixing System. Also coming in at a diminutive 19” wide, an SQ-5 was selected by Mayday Parade at FOH for its 48 channel / 36 bus 96kHz rock solid performance.

“I’ve been touring with dLive since 2017 and it’s been awesome watching the platform grow and sport more and more new features in that time,” notes FOH engineer Chris Pollock (August Burns Red, ERRA). “Most recently with the V1.9 update, I’m already taking advantage of a lot of these new features. The RTA functionality is awesome for quickly pinpointing problem frequencies, and Source Expander has made a world of difference cleaning up my vocal mics.  Most impressive of all though is the Bus compressor. It’s so gooey and punchy, I’m really excited about the energy it brings to my mixes. I can’t wait to hear what A&H comes up with next!”

Powered by Allen & Heath’s revolutionary XCVI 96kHz FPGA engine, SQ-5 is right at home in commercial install, house of worship, club and even festival settings.

Allen & Heath recently announced dLive V1.9, the largest firmware release in the history of its flagship dLive mixing system. The free update incorporates feedback from audio engineers across the live sound, recording, streaming and installation markets. Additions include new RTA and sonogram tools, new DEEP expander and compressor models, a 12-band PEQ option for mixes, and Sennheiser wireless integration.

“It was great to see dLive bring brought in with the festival headliners,” adds Kevin Duthu, Business Unit Lead / Pro User Group, HWPco. “All of the engineers had great things say about the platform and specifically the 1.9 firmware. The ease of setup that the C1500 brings to a festival atmosphere allows a quick in and out of FOH without having to rearrange the entire tent—not to mention not having to bring an entire extra server of plugins, because they’re right in the desk! The best mixes of the day were without a doubt on Allen and Heath. It sounded like a blanket was taken off the PA when both SQ and dLive fired up.”