New York, NY (November 10, 2022)—Power Station at Berklee NYC has implemented more than 80 Allen & Heath ME-1 personal monitor mixers for use in the facility’s studios, production room and live performance space.
The historic Power Station recording studios in New York City have been host to many legendary artists, such as Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga and David Bowie, to name a few. As the result of a recent partnership with the Berklee College of Music in 2017, the studios offer diverse media services, including high-end video capture, professional lighting, 360 cinematic VR, spatial audio, broadcast and live streaming.
“It’s an interesting hybrid,” noted Mark Rucci, studio technician and audio engineer at Power Station. “It’s a fully commercial studio, which now has an academic side to it as well.” Rucci explained that the revamped Power Station holds daily sessions for big names such as Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Disney/Pixar and popular Broadway performers, as well as musicians who have the option of recording both audio and professional video of their studio performances.
As part of the studio upgrades, Rucci remarked that there was a need for an improved in-ear monitoring solution. “We had a custom analog system in place before, which was great — but it was limiting when recording some of the larger Broadway casts.”
The team reportedly went through a few options before landing on Allen & Heath’s ME-1 personal monitor mixers. ME-1 offers 40 channels of mix inputs, as well as channel grouping, user presets, built-in ambient mic and a dimmable OLED display with channel names. Rucci said there are now “somewhere between 80 and 100” ME-1 mixers on the premises.
To interface with the various vintage analog mixers used in Power Station, intermediate matrix processors handle the analog-to-digital conversion. A Focusrite interface then manages the sample rate conversion before hitting an Allen & Heath ME-U distribution hub with a Dante module installed. The ME-U features 10 PoE outputs that can both power and feed audio to the individual ME mixers.
Since Power Station studios often need more than 10 monitor feeds, each ME-U feeds a large 48-port PoE switch to multiple wall outputs in the studio live rooms. The engineers can then use any of those connection points to connect the performers’ ME-1 mixers. Rucci recalled using between 60 and 70 ME-1 mixers simultaneously during one particularly large session: “We could theoretically use more, but it would get a bit crowded in the studio.”