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Tackling Monitors for Gary Numan’s Orchestral Tour

The “Cars” hitmaker played the Royal Albert Hall as part of a six-show orchestral run.

London, UK (January 16, 2019)—Gary Numan has been many things—a pioneer of electronica and goth music, a pilot, and here in the US, mainly a one-hit wonder for the new wave smash, “Cars.” Overseas, however, Numan has had a long string of hits and an ever-fervid following—enough so that he recently undertook an orchestral tour in the UK behind his latest album, Savage: Songs From A Broken World. The jaunt had six stops, including one at the Royal Albert Hall; along for the ride was the 16-piece Skaparis Orchestra; monitors for the run were tackled by engineer Mike Glines and monitor system tech AJ Sutherland.

Glines mixed monitors at stageside using an Allen & Heath dLive S7000, chosen because it would allow simultaneous connections of multiple control devices, helping facilitate both monitor mixing duties and communications between the engineers and performers. “We chose the Allen & Heath dLive S7000 as our monitor console because it’s great at allowing multiple operators,” said Glines. “It’s not just the core of the monitor system, it’s the core of the show—it just handles the communications for everyone.”

Sutherland added, “We had one MixRack which Mike controlled from the S7000 surface, as well as dLive’s Director software running on a Mac so I could make edits without having to interrupt him on the surface. I also had my own cue mix, so I could line check the orchestra at the same time as the band were checked by Mike.”

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Supplied by Adlib, the monitor set-up comprised a dLive S7000 Surface, a DM64 MixRack and a DX32 Expander. Sutherland explained, “Using an iPad along with an Audio-Technica headset for my talkback meant I could stand with the conductor and work with the orchestra on their IEM mixes, which was a much better way to interact with them, rather than being a disembodied voice in their ears, hidden away in monitor world.”

Additionally, an IP-8 Remote Controller was added to the mix, allowing for further control over mixes. “I used the IP-8 controller to PFL channels and mixes, route my talkback, investigate any faulty inputs and mute them while I did so,” said Sutherland. “With so many inputs and outputs for Mike to deal with, I ended up being more hands on than a system tech usually would be, but the dLive system really made my life as a system tech so much easier and allowed the two of us to work together so efficiently.”

Allen & Heath •