New York, NY (January 5, 2023)—Actor-turned-pop artist Max Schneider, a.k.a MAX, hit the road this past fall for a tour that saw him playing in a variety of venues across the U.S. Along for the ride was audio engineer Kyle Chirnside, who mixed FOH. While the tour carried FOH and monitor desks, there was no monitor engineer at stageside.
The dual Allen & Heath SQ setup centered around 48-channel SQ-5 consoles at both the front of house and monitor positions, along with a DX168 16-input stagebox for expanded I/O. “I wanted something small and compact,” said Chirnside. “I don’t need any external FX or plug-ins; I use the built-in processing of the SQ. We also will have to fly during this tour, so I kept everything under 50 pounds to meet the requirements for air travel.”
Even with a separate monitor console, there was no need for a dedicated monitor engineer on the tour as each of the performers mixed their own IEMs through the wireless SQ4YOU application. “We basically have a ‘ghost’ monitor engineer,” joked Chirnside. While Chirnside kept an iPad near his desk in order to make adjustments as needed to the monitor SQ-5, it was only there as a contingency plan.
Chirnside used the scenes function on SQ to create automations, allowing him to easily recall desired parameters and levels for each song that were fired off with SoftKeys, and made use of the desk’s built-in SQ-Drive function, which allows users to record either 2-channel stereo or up to 32 channels of multitrack directly to an external USB hard drive. “It’s been awesome that I can do multitrack or main LR mix to my USB thumbdrive,” he said. “I can hand off those recordings to the tour videographer, or even use them for a virtual soundcheck to tune the P.A. – it’s been a super game-changer for me.”