Latest A&H iLive features put to the test on Frankie Boyle tour

A compact Allen & Heath iLive system was sent out on tour recently with comedian Frankie Boyle.

FOH engineer Steve Pattison selected an iDR-48 MixRack with rackmount iLive-R72 control surface due to its small footprint, and road tested the new dynamic EQ and multi-band compressor features from iLive’s latest firmware update – V1.9.

“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.

Most of the tour venues were large theatres featuring multi-tiered balconies and PA systems that offered main hangs, monitors, delays, outfills, infills, under hangs and front fills.

“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," Pattison continued. "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.

The iLive system more than coped with the unusual audio demands of an energetic comedy gig like Boyle’s.

“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.

“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.”

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