Vienna’s leading entertainment venue, the Arena Wien, recently purchased two Allen & Heath iLive digital consoles as part of an overhaul of its audio systems. With four separate areas, the entertainment complex plays host to a wide range of events, from international artists to film screenings and theatrical presentations.
Vienna Arena sound engineer Robert Glaser with the newly delivered iLive systems
Having recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, Vienna Arena marked the milestone with a full audio upgrade to its largest hall. In addition to a new Meyer Sound speaker system, the decision was made to replace the Grosse Halle’s existing analog mixers with an iLive system—comprising an iDR10 mix rack and iLive-144 control surface—at FOH and a second identical iLive system to manage monitors.
"We contacted a number of console manufacturers to evaluate several digital options. Top of the technical crew’s priority list was the design of the desk and the ease of use,” comments Thomas Löffler, head of sound at the arena. “iLive offered a very flexible design due to its Ethersound-based modular concept, which our technicians could operate with ease, and the system provides excellent sonic quality. As we often have visiting sound engineers, we needed a guarantee that they can handle our digital mixer without a lot of training and explanation. The iLive mixer fulfilled all of these criteria.”
The FOH stagerack acts as a digital splitter so that all the mic preamp signals are sent digitally via Ethersound over Cat-5 to the iDR10 monitor mix rack, which means input cards are not needed in the rack for stage signals and avoids the necessity for traditional multicore and splitter hardware. The arena was able to select the exact number of I/O cards required to manage audio in the hall, allowing the possibility to expand the system in the future. Löffler chose 40 inputs and 16 outputs for the FOH system, while the monitor system is loaded with eight inputs on the surface for local inputs and 16 outputs.