"The people at Acuity have a love of live events and music, so that was a natural direction to take when we decided to expand," said Melissa Colombo, head of marketing for Acuity AV. "The iLive system fits neatly into our high-tech approach. It's lightweight, with a small footprint, and very fast to set up. Yet it has all the capabilities our engineers require right on board, from DSP to connectivity. And it has the flexibility to handle anything from a simple concert to a multi-stage festival. It quickly became our live event console of choice."
Acuity's first investment in Allen & Heath came in 2010 with two T112 systems, and were soon followed by three more.
"One of the best things about Allen & Heath's system design is the modular MixRack system," said Colombo. "We now have one iDR-48, two iDR-32s and two iDR-16s. So while we have five identical T112 control surfaces, we can pair them with whichever MixRack is appropriate."
"Our top front of house engineer is an analog guru," Colombo said. "Not only did he like the sound quality, but what really impressed him is that he felt right at home with the control surface within minutes both in terms of setup and the live mix. That's important because even the best engineer will struggle if they don't know how to utilize the tools we supply. But the iLive has the feel of an analog console, so whether it's Acuity or our client supplying the engineer, it's never an issue."
The iLive's system design includes several key features that Acuity AV has identified as major contributors to efficient live event production. The MixRack system, which incorporates both the system's processing power, mic preamps and the physical inputs and outputs, connecting to the lightweight T112 (or other T Series) control surface with a single Cat5 cable, allowing it to be located conveniently out of the way.
The iLive features the ability to be operated remotely by computer, either tethered to the MixRack via Cat5, or remotely via Wi-Fi connection. This enables the system engineer to EQ the room in real time while walking the floor. In addition, monitor mixes can be dialed in right from the stage, with the mixer hearing exactly what the musician does. With the iLive and a laptop or table computer, both these activities can be done more accurately and efficiently, without repeated walks back and forth to the control surface.
"Obviously every venue and event is different, but having a template setting for the type of event is much faster than configuring a mix from scratch," said Melissa Colombo. "Our crews all work together on event set-up - sound, lights, and staging - so the time we save with the iLive helps the entire production come together and better."
"It's pretty impressive. We do everything from multi-stage outdoor festivals to basic one-console shows, and can basically configure the T112 with the right MixRack for the job. The iLive is so flexible, it's the perfect console for literally any live event we do. I can't put it any better than that."