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Allen & Heath QU Series Plays Multiple Roles at Highview Baptist

Four Allen & Heath Qu Series digital mixers perform a wide variety of jobs for Highview Baptist in the smaller and medium-sized spaces across its three-campus network in Louisville, Kentucky. Technical Director Rick Mead says these rooms host everything from band or drama rehearsals to large meetings and conferences. “So, part of my job is to equip each of these spaces, and the groups who use them, with the audio systems and other tools they need to be successful.”

Highview’s first Qu Series mixer was a Qu-24, purchased from Full Compass Systems to replace an older analogue console. Mead says, “Honestly, we were so blown away by what that little mixer could do that it changed our thought process for our smaller spaces.” Highview then added three Qu-16s and Mead continued, “One of the things I love about the Qu Series is that, for a small mixer, the features and hardware are great. The preamps are super clean and the digital processing for reverbs and effects is actually better than some larger mixers I’ve worked with from other brands.”

Highview also purchased three AB168 portable remote AudioRacks to use as stage boxes and a ME Personal Mixer system for in-ear monitors in their main sanctuary that travels to the smaller spaces as needed. “After I put in that first AB168, I decided I was done with analogue snakes,” said Mead. “And all my band members just love the ME-1s.” Mead often records events using the mixer’s multi-track Qu-Drive output linked to a PC running Waves Tracks Live. For training and setup, he plays back the recordings using the mixer’s virtual soundcheck (VSC) feature.

ALLEN & HEATH QU SERIES PLAYS MULTIPLE ROLES AT HIGHVIEW BAPTIST

Mead used his Qu-16s for a recent youth retreat. “We had two separate bands in two different spaces and, for the last session, we needed to combine them. I had spent a lot of time doing things like dialling in the drums and didn’t want to start that process over. So, I saved my show file on a flash drive. Then, I brought up another Qu-16 in a portable rack, recalled my settings from the flash drive and configured a few more inputs. What could have been a complicated setup became fluid and simple.”

Mead comments, “Allen & Heath is the only manufacturer I’ve found that keeps a similar workflow and structure from their smaller mixers, like the Qu, all the way up to their larger consoles, like SQ and the new Avantis. That greatly simplifies training and helps us standardize our systems. My ultimate goal is for us to be top to bottom Allen & Heath.”

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dLive Supports Lewis Capaldi on Sold-Out Run

Continuing his run of sold-out arena shows, Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi takes on the world one show at a time, along with an Allen & Heath dLive mixing system covering FOH and Monitor duties.

Capaldi made history by becoming the first-ever artist to both announce and sell out an arena tour before the release of his album, which went on to become the UK’s best-selling record in the past five years and gained him global mainstream success throughout 2019.

“In early 2019 we were looking for an audio package that was powerful, flexible and compact enough for us to use on every show, be it a Lewis headline as part of a tour, or a run of overseas festivals where space, weight and set-up time were at a premium” explains FOH engineer, Andrew Bush.

DLIVE SUPPORTS LEWIS CAPALDI ON SOLD-OUT RUN

Supplied by Glasgow-based audio hire company, FE-Live, Capaldi’s full arena set-up includes two dLive S5000’s on both FOH and Monitors, paired with a DM64 MixRack (monitors) and DM0 MixRack (FOH). Additionally, Bush utilises two DX32 expanders for further I/O.

Prior to upscaling the surface, Bush originally opted for a smaller dLive Wings rig, which is now used for fly-in dates and comprises a multi-surface set-up with two C1500’s and a DM48 MixRack. “The combination of two C1500s and a shared DM48 easily satisfied the initial criteria and we have since moved our show files to two S5000s for our current US/EU/UK touring schedule,” explains Bush. “The transition between surfaces was easy: the dLive software is identical regardless of the stage box or surface, so moving from C1500 to S5000 was simply a case of reorganising the fader layouts.” Furthermore, Bush uses a Dante card (fitted to the surface) for virtual sound-check and recording each show.

Both Bush and Lawrie make full use of dLive’s built-in FX and onboard DEEP processing features, particularly when it comes to Lewis’ vocals – “Lewis has an incredible voice, but the first time you mix it, it’s terrifying! Lewis can go from head-voice to chest-voice in a matter of seconds and so I use the Dyn8’s multiband compression and dynamic EQ, which is a complete godsend and allows me to quickly even the mix out where needed. I also love the routing options with dLive and being able to double bus, it just means I can just refine my mix more and get a really even sound at the end,” comments Lawrie.

Bush adds, “I also use the Dyn8’s multiband compression a lot on vocals, bass and guitars. However, I also really like the Opto and 16VU – they’re just very transparent and being able to put them on multiple channels without any limitations is excellent.”

Despite almost finishing the US and European leg of the tour, 2020 will see Capaldi perform to over a quarter of a million people during his UK and European headline shows. Bush adds, “In terms of the shows, they’ve added so much since the start of the year and they’ve increased in scale and capacity as we’ve had to try and keep up with Lewis’s trajectory. It’s really shown us that dLive can definitely handle the demanding needs of this tour while providing class-leading tools and studio-quality sound.”

Watch the video interview with Bush and Lawrie here.

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Allen & Heath

SQ Mixes it Up With Carrot Top

Since November 28, 2005, Carrot Top has been drawing sold-out crowds at the Luxor with the most lavish stage production in stand-up, all of which is now orchestrated with the aid of an SQ-7 digital mixer from Allen & Heath.

“When I told my friends I was going to be a comedian, they laughed,” Carrot Top, aka Scott Thompson, 54, has famously said. Now the joke is on them as he continues to rack up miles and smiles on what is surely the longest running stand-up act in the country. While he is widely defined as a prop comic, he actually dives into his onstage trunks filled with all kinds of gadgets and geegaws only twice during his show. In between he does straight stand-up, and that’s where the show is heavily imbued with exceptionally elaborate sound design.

“Hardly a few seconds go by without something being punctuated by a snippet from a popular song, a cartoonish screech, a blast of confetti, or some other effect”

“Hardly a few seconds go by without something being punctuated by a snippet from a popular song, a cartoonish screech, a blast of confetti, or some other effect,” says Thompson’s production and tour manager Dan O’Leary, who has been with the show for 23 years. “This is stand-up scored like a musical when it comes to our sound.”

O’Leary found himself in a position at front of house not all that long ago where he was exceeding the capacity of his aging console. Casting about for a solution, he chose an Allen & Heath SQ-7, purchased from Sweetwater Sound, as a replacement earlier this year.

Beyond the immediate gain in sonic quality the SQ-7 offered, O’Leary notes that having Allen & Heath’s SQ MixPad app—which provides offline editing and online wired or wireless control of his SQ-7’s main mixing functions—was a necessity, not a luxury.

“The SQ-7 and I reside in a tiny little room off to the side where I have to view the show through a small window,” O’Leary explains. “I can only manage the basics from the board in there. With SQ MixPad I simply walk out into the room and handle the fine-tuning. There have been countless times when I’m onstage and something pops-up as well. With the app I use my phone to link to the desk and make a change.”

The scope of Carrot Top’s show has rock ‘n roll dynamics. There are wedges and a subwoofer onstage, and an endless stream of cue lines to hit. “I’m using 15 of the SQ-7’s outputs,” O’Leary adds with a sense of almost geographic wonder. “We record every show with the desk too. This console is perfect for Carrot Top’s experimental spirit. I keep building and refining our control right along with his act.”

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Allen & Heath Announces 3rd Installment in 96kHz Mixer Trilogy: Avantis

Allen & Heath has revealed its new 96kHz digital mixer, Avantis, the third to be based on the company’s XCVI FPGA engine. Avantis puts Allen & Heath’s next-generation technology in a 64 channel / 42 configurable bus console, with twin Full HD touchscreens, extensive I/O options and processing from the company’s flagship dLive mixing system.

“Joining dLive and SQ, Avantis completes our trilogy of next-gen 96kHz consoles,” says Rob Clark, Allen & Heath’s Managing Director. “Avantis takes many of the features that have made SQ and dLive so popular, putting them in a standalone 64-channel mixer that offers a new UI experience, connectivity with our Everything I/O ecosystem, and the dPack option which gives you access to our advanced dLive processing options if and when you need them.

“On top of that,” adds Rob, “we’ve taken a new approach with the industrial design, coming up with a full metal chassis that’s super-strong, lightweight and looks fantastic.”

Encased in its alloy shell and tubular frame, the Avantis control surface is centered on the two Full HD touchscreens and their corresponding rotary controls.

“Having two touchscreens isn’t a new concept, but we realised we could use it to unlock exciting new possibilities, which led us to develop Continuity UI,” says Andy Bell, Allen & Heath’s R&D Director.

“Within seconds of getting hands-on with Avantis, engineers are going to appreciate the seamless flow between the physical controls and the on-screen software. You can work gains and pans on the rotaries, then at the touch of a soft key switch to EQ or dynamics across the whole strip. The console also provides a highly configurable FastGrab tab on the right-hand side of each screen, offering another way to quickly and easily access control of aux sends, EQ, compressor and FX on the currently selected channel or spot channel.

“Ultimately, with Continuity UI, the engineer decides how they’d like to work, not the mixer.”

While many users will choose to pair Avantis with the 48 in / 16 out GX4816 audio expander, Avantis is part of Allen & Heath’s Everything I/O ecosystem, which means whether you’re an owner/operator looking to build a compact system, or a rental company with existing Allen & Heath stock, Avantis allows true flexibility by connecting to a huge range of audio expander hardware. Avantis is also compatible with Allen & Heath’s range of ME Personal Mixers and IP hardware remote controllers.

ALLEN & HEATH ANNOUNCES THIRD INSTALLMENT IN 96KHZ MIXER TRILOGY: AVANTIS

For local I/O, Avantis is well equipped with 12 XLR analogue inputs, 12 XLR analogue outputs, plus AES (Stereo In, 2x Stereo Out). Two additional I/O Ports allow Avantis to benefit from the full range of current dLive option cards, including Dante (64×64 and 128×128), Waves, gigaACE, MADI and more, expanding the scope for system integration, FoH / monitor splits and multitrack recording.

Right out of the box, Avantis is loaded with processing tools designed to meet the demands of most users and applications, including compressors, EQs and Allen & Heath’s acclaimed RackExtra FX units (12 slots). Upgrading to dPack expands Avantis further with additional dLive processing including the Dyn8 dynamics engine (up to 16 instances), DEEP Compressors, and the Dual-Stage Valve preamp. dPack purchasers will automatically receive all future DEEP and FX updates free of charge, future-proofing their investment.

“In the gap between SQ and dLive, the mixer market is littered with 48kHz ‘old-school’ consoles,” says Nic Beretta, Allen & Heath’s Head of Product. “Avantis brings next-generation performance across the board. Customers in venues, houses of worship, touring and the rental market are going to be seriously impressed by how well this ticks the boxes. It’s a really exciting mixer at a compelling price.”

Full details and spec at allen-heath.com/avantis

Avantis pricing as follows:

Mixer only: USD $9,999 MSRP
dPack add-on: USD $1,499 MSRP
GX4816 Remote Expander: USD $3,999 MSRP

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Allen & Heath Nominated for NAMM TEC Awards for Outstanding Technical Achievement

Allen & Heath is once again among the pro audio and sound production nominees spread across the 23 technical achievement categories comprising the 35th Annual TEC Awards. With its dLive Mixing System joining five others in the Large Format Console category, Allen & Heath’s SQ Digital Mixer Series has found a spot among the six contenders within the Small Format Console category.

“This year the TEC Awards have attracted quite a number of truly innovative submissions,” Allen & Heath USA marketing manager Jeff Hawley said recently. “As one of our industry’s most notable showcases, the entries have grown in both number and the degree of technical evolution. We’re seeing future trends playing out across this stage that are unique, and sometimes just plain amazing.”

Presented annually by The NAMM Foundation in conjunction with The NAMM Show, the TEC Awards recognize the individuals, companies, and technical innovations behind the audio heard in recordings, live performances, films, television, video games, and multimedia. Final voting for this instalment of the enduring awards show begins this November. Winners will be announced in Anaheim, California on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

The SQ Series won in the 34th TEC Awards Small Format Console category, along with seven other award wins last awards season, including the MMR Dealers’ Choice Awards ‘Product of the Year’.

“Both of the major Allen & Heath product updates nominated for TEC Awards were largely focused on live monitor mixing workflows and features,” notes Hawley. “The SQ Series V1.3 brought software additions like a Listen bus and External Input to PAFL, which paired with new I/O hardware and network cards to expand FOH / Monitor split options. Monitor engineers also loved the new MCA (Mix Control Association) and Talkback Group functionality in dLive V1.8. Our teams pushed the tech envelope this past year and it is an honour to be in such good company once again.”

The 35th Annual NAMM TEC Awards will be held in conjunction with the 2020 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.

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The Green Rocks Red Rocks Amphitheater with dLive

A mainstay at pop and reggae festivals around the world, The Green recently performed at Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre, supported by a duo of Allen & Heath dLive S Class consoles. The Green, a Roots reggae and indigenous Hawaiian band, has frequently topped the Billboard Reggae Charts and earned a number of ‘Best Reggae Album’ awards since their formation in 2009.

Denver-based IPG Tech provided two dLive S5000 Control Surfaces and two DM48 MixRacks outfitted with fibreACE and Dante audio networking cards to cover FOH and monitor mixing and multitrack recording duties at the large outdoor venue with seating for over 9,000 fans.

THE GREEN ROCKS RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE WITH DLIVE

FOH engineer Matt Lawrence specified dLive, noting its reliability and internal dynamics and effects processing power. “I’ve mixed on dLive all around the world and never had issues,” says Lawrence. While internal dLive effects like snare plates, a transient controller, an automatic double tracker, stereo chorus and stereo tap delay were all used for the performance, Lawrence says the OptTronik compressor was a standout. “With the new DEEP OptTronik [‘2A-style compression] through a huge PA with five-part harmonies on vocals—you can’t beat the sound and feel. The DEEP 16T was also a go-to compressor and found its way onto a number of channels in a reggae setting like this.” Speaking to what it’s like mixing at such an iconic venue, Lawrence adds, “The reverberation off of the rocks and the crazy night sky and the vibe of the show certainly took things to another level for sure.”

“The desk is super intuitive and it was exactly how you’d want a show to go,” notes System Audio Technician Lee Putnam. “Being able to use dLive Director software before the show to get the design and layout of the desks set in advance is such a time saver. I also love the peace of mind of having redundant links and power supplies with dLive S Class, especially in a complex outdoor environment like Red Rocks.”

THE GREEN ROCKS RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE WITH DLIVE

Monitor engineer Ross Chergosky adds, “I dug in on drums and vocals with quite a number of effects. It was so nice not having to worry about running out of processing and spaces for in-ear mixes all with compression and gates across the board. From the monitor mixing perspective, things can get wacky really quickly with layers of processing in other consoles and systems.” Chergosky concludes, “dLive is nice with a fixed latency and not having to worry about the computer load and not having to do math.”

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Beartooth Fly High with dLive Wings

Ohio-based hardcore act Beartooth, are currently travelling around the world, taking on festival season, with two dLive Wings set-ups.

dLive Wings is becoming the go-to mixing system for many touring engineers due to its flexibility and compact format. Danny Harvey (FOH engineer) explains, “The size of the C1500 is ideal for travelling, being able to fly with it is amazing and having that much power in two fly cases is perfect for international acts, making their sound consistent all over the world.”

“I love the way dLive sounds and how easy it is to customise everything. At the bigger festivals I always manage to get positioned front middle on the FOH tent due to the C1500’s small footprint.”

Supplied by V2 Productions for their US dates and Captured Live for shows in Europe, the band’s set up consists of two dLive C1500 surfaces, paired with two DM48 MixRacks, covering both FOH and monitors. Additionally, the FOH console is equipped with a Waves card, used for multi-track recording and virtual soundcheck.

Harvey also makes full use of the consoles internal features, including the onboard DEEP plug-ins, commenting “I use the 16T on my drums and groups, 16VU compressor on my vocals and the Dyn8’s multiband compressor on various groups and my main LR – they sound great and help keep the size of our set up down to a minimum as there’s less need for outboard rack FX. I can put all these processors on every channel without needed any extra gear.”

The band themselves have also noticed a consistency in sound across each show and the difference dLive has made, Harvey explains, “When we changed to dLive the band noticed such a change in their IEMs, everything was a lot clearer and having the DEEP plugins and the multi-bands on their LR mixes was game changing.”

“All in all, dLive is small, powerful, consistent, user friendly and it sounds great!”

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Allen & Heath Perform at Coachella with Billie Eilish and Kanye West

Celebrated as a premier cultural event and arguably the most well-known music festival in the world, Coachella 2019 did not disappoint. According to Pollstar, “Besides the undeniable talent of the 2019 artists and the energy of fans coming together to revel in their shared love of live music, the sets that were extra special this year were because of innovative production and the artists sharing their hearts, connecting with fans and creating a moment.” Allen & Heath’s dLive Digital Mixing System played its part at the festival, supporting buzz-worthy sets by breakout pop artist Billie Eilish and Kanye West’s special Easter Sunday Service.

ALLEN & HEATH PERFORM AT COACHELLA WITH BILLIE EILISH AND KANYE WEST

Cited by Variety as one of the truly must-see Coachella acts, Billie Eilish lived up to the hype. Sound Image supplied a pair of S5000 Control Surfaces and DM64 MixRacks to handle both front of house and monitor duties as the teen superstar wooed her fans in two packed and highly energetic shows.

Jeff Hawley, Allen & Heath USA Marketing Manager commented, “Billie has been out with dLive for her last sold out tour and now in support of her Billboard-topping When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? album, with Coachella being a great way to really kick off the new tour. Engineers like Drew Thornton and Salim Akram (Billie Eilish FOH and monitor engineers) are out there showing just how powerful, robust, and scalable the dLive really is—tackling fly dates with the compact C1500 one day and jumping up to 168 fader strips on an S5000 to drive huge shows such as Coachella, on the next.”

dLive was also an integral part of Kanye West’s innovative Sunday Service, the debut public performance of his gospel-themed interactive experience. A dLive C3500 and DM64 MixRack were positioned just a few feet away from Kanye on ‘the mountain’ along with over 20 Allen & Heath ME-1 Personal Monitor Mixers which fed in-ear mixes to the accompanying choir members and live musicians.

“We worked with Kanye’s team to design a system that is flexible enough to keep up with his ever-evolving technical and artistic needs,” notes Allen & Heath Live Sound and Touring Manager Mike Bangs. He added, “The ability to have great sounding effects right in the box with dLive’s DEEP processing, having a multitude of options and formats for easily expanding I/O as needed, and the plug and play ME personal monitoring made for a smooth setup, even in the middle of a field. We are very proud to have played a part in making this special performance a highlight of Coachella 2019.”

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TEC Award Caps Allen & Heath’s Nine Wins at 2019 NAMM

Allen & Heath was among the technical achievement winners at the 34th Annual NAMM TEC Awards held in Anaheim, California on January 26th. Capturing top honors in the Small Format Console Technology category with its SQ Series mixers, the UK-based manufacturer has received 23 nominations in a number of different categories at the NAMM Foundation’s yearly industry gala since 1993.

The TEC Award represents one of nine accolades bestowed upon Allen & Heath in recent months, with the SQ Series named in all but two. Music Inc. gave its 2018 Product Excellence Award to the SQ Series late last year, and Front of House magazine paid tribute to the product group in January, 2019 with its inaugural Gold Star

SQ Series TEC Award serves as capstone among recent crowning achievements

Product Award. Among the MMR Dealers’ Choice Awards given last fall, the SQ Series became the first mixing console to ever gain its Product of the Year distinction. Sound on Sound magazine readers chose the SQ Series as its Best New Live Sound Product of 2019, while the Music & Sound Retailer Award for Best Mixer/Console went to the SQ-7 during this year’s Winter NAMM. Among the ProSoundWeb Readers’ Choice Awards for 2019, Allen & Heath topped the Small Format Mixers category with the SQ-7, and the Rackmount Mixers category with the SQ-5.

Not to be left out, the Allen & Heath dLive S Class Digital Mixing System won the ProSoundWeb Readers’ Choice Award for Large Format Mixers, while its ME-1 40-source Personal Mixer rose to the top of its class among nominees for best Personal Monitor Mixer.

“When it comes to winning high-profile awards in extremely competitive categories, we’ve been having a wonderful time as of late,” Allen & Heath USA marketing manager Jeff Hawley said at Winter NAMM. “The TEC Award is particularly special, because we’ve been nominated 23 times and never won until this year. The old adage is true, I guess, the 23rd time is the charm.”

TEC AWARD CAPS ALLEN & HEATH’S NINE WINS AT 2019 NAMM

Rob Clark, Allen & Heath Managing Director, added, “We’re thrilled that the hard work and commitment of the Allen & Heath team and our extended network has been recognized by these awards. We’d like to thank our industry peers and the many audio professionals who voted for us. It’s a tremendous start to what promises to be an exciting year of progress and innovation for Allen & Heath.”

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Allen & Heath Compact Consoles Cover Coachella

April 30, 2018 – Allen & Heath dLive Digital Mixing Systems were in use on multiple Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival stages in support of a diverse lineup of musical acts and production needs.

Launched in 1999, Coachella has grown into a premier music and arts festival, grossing over $114 million and drawing over 250,000 attendees annually. Coachella 2018 saw a large number of dLive artists on the lineup, including BØRNS, Hayley Kiyoko, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Nothing But Thieves, PVRIS and The Neighbourhood.

AllenHeathC1500atFOHsupportingTheNeighbourhoodatCoachella2018

An Allen & Heath C1500 at FOH supporting The Neighbourhood at Coachella 2018

Praised for its intuitive workflow and tiny footprint, the dLive C1500 Control Surface was a popular choice across Coachella festival stages. The C1500 is the first rack-mountable surface for the dLive system. Packed in a diminutive frame are 12 faders over 6 layers, built-in audio I/O, an audio networking port and a 12″ capacitive touchscreen. All dLive Control Surfaces pair with a MixRack to deliver 128 input processing channels, 16 stereo  FX returns and a configurable 64 bus architecture, all at 96kHz, while providing class-leading latency of 0.7ms.

Michael Bangs, Allen & Heath USA Live Sound Touring Manager commented, “Sometimes coming into a festival environment as a visiting artist is a real pain — getting a large mix surface into the FOH position is frequently just impossible. We saw many acts bypass this limitation with the (Allen & Heath dLive) C1500, carrying in a flyable 19” wide desk with the horsepower and capability of desks literally 4-5 times the size.”

In addition to traditional FOH/monitor console support with dLive, compact Allen & Heath Qu Series mixing consoles were deployed to cover a wide range of production duties. A number of Qu production desks were used to play house music while FOH consoles were swapped from act to act, support event announcement playback and carry ‘shout box’ communications for production staff across stage positions and from monitor world to FOH.

“While engineers love to drool over high-end desks like dLive, it is easy to forget some of the unsung production gear heroes of these types of shows,” notes Allen & Heath USA Marketing Manager Jeff Hawley. He added, “Many times the flexible and rock solid operation of consoles like Qu are the key to keeping festivals running smoothly.”

Coachella_Hayley_Kiyoko_poweredbyAllenHeath_dLiveC1500andQuSeries

Pop star Hayley Kiyoko’s Coachella set, powered by an Allen & Heath C1500 (right) while an Allen & Heath Qu Series mixer provides stage production support (left)