Two Allen & Heath iLive-144 digital consoles provided FOH and monitor mixing duties for the 13th Annual Bermuda Music Festival. Audio Incorporated from Roselle Park, NJ ran sound for the internationally renowned event. “The iLive is probably the most flexible digital console I’ve seen,” acknowledges Mike Sinclair, co-owner of Audio Incorporated, and one of the engineering crew handling FOH mixing duties. “It feels like it was designed by people who mix sound, rather than engineers who don’t use these systems on a regular basis – and that understanding really shows in the user interface and front-panel features.”
“We have provided the iLive for various events,” states Sinclair, “but the Bermuda Music Festival was my first time handling live mixing with the console – it didn’t take long for me to become very familiar with the system. The template layout was very useful since we could return to a basic setup at the touch of a button – something that is impossible with conventional analog designs. I was very happy with what I heard during the festival. I love the way the iLive digital console sounded with the VerTec arrays; it’s a Ferrari of a sound system!”
The two iLive-144 consoles provided mixing duties for the majority of the Festival’s support acts, including Natasha Beddingfield and comic Steve Harvey, in addition to the announcements, MC, audio-for-video and laser display, etc. The iLive in monitor position ran different combinations of wedges, side-fills and stereo IEM sends for the various acts.
The ability to freely name, assign, and color-code channels and masters anywhere across the console was considered particularly useful. “System set-up on the control surface screens was very fast,” Sinclair remarks. “To help visiting engineers learn the systems, we developed a number of basic templates that contained, on Layers 3 and 4, the real input sources and, on Layers 1 and 2, the remapped assignments for individual acts. Each band was provided with a customized layout that, in most cases, fit across a single layer of faders, having moved unused channels and masters to a lower layer. Color was used to highlight important channels and identify scenes that had been saved for different bands. We could lay out the console the way the engineer wanted to use it,” Sinclair concludes, “and gather the important lead vocals and solos, for example, into the central sweet spot.”
Founded in 1994, Audio Incorporated provides sound systems and staff to a number of events within the North East from its Roselle Park, NJ, headquarters, including the Newport Folk Festival, Newport Music Festival, JVC Festival and Saratoga Music Festival. “This is our fifth year with the festival,” recalls company co-owner Stephen Tolve, “After we supplied an iLive digital console to Lincoln Center’s ‘Midsummer Night Swing’ this summer with great success, we added a second iLive console to our inventory to handle the Bermuda dates. As we discovered, iLive is a very flexible console!”
The Bermuda Music Festival, held on the sunshine island from October 3 thru 6, offered something for just about everybody. Aside from the near-perfect location, the entertainment included The O’Jays, Chrisette Michele, Lionel Richie, Natasha Bedingfield, Smokey Robinson and Earth, Wind & Fire, together with comedic hosts Tommy Davidson, Kym Whitley and Steve Harvey, plus a special artistic musical set by Dan Dunn.
Allen & Heath’s iLive-144 Digital Mixing System features a flexible distributed audio topology consisting of a 64 input x 32 output stage box and 36-fader, 4-layer control surface. Connected by Cat5 cable and EtherSound compatible, the iLive puts the mixing engine in the stage box where it is needed. Dedicated DSP means that full audio processing is always available on all inputs and all outputs, and the intuitive control surface and analog style channel strip allows any mixer to be up and running within minutes.