Allen & Heath's iLive digital mixing system was used to manage a gala evening in Montréal, Canada that featured comedy and musical entertainment, including one of French Canada's top touring artists, Dany Bédar. The sold-out event, entitled Mom & Company, was held in Montréal's 2,200-capacity premier performance venue, Theatre St-Denis 1. The variety show was themed as a celebration of parenthood, featuring two masters of ceremonies and three live acts, including Bédar and multimedia comedy duo Chick’n Swell.
Front-of-house sound was managed by an iLive system comprising an iDR10 stage rack and iLive-144 control surface. The show used a total of 56 mic inputs, 16 digital inputs and eight digital outputs. In addition to the 54 mics, digital inputs included two CD players, three additional effects processors and three VTRs.
Robert Grimard, head of sound for the event, was responsible for programming iLive and mixed the main comedy show. "It's hard to say which feature of this mixing system impresses me the most," he says, "but I must say that if I had to name a few of the things that really blow me away, it would definitely start with audio quality—iLive is the most analog-sounding digital system I have ever tried. Also, configuring the system was so straightforward and simple. Plus, that virtual patchbay rocks!"
Dany Bédar's engineer, Dan Meir, added, "After a couple of minutes I felt very comfortable with the basic operations of the iLive system. Even though I've had plenty of experience in the digital domain, I was surprised by iLive's simple, straight-to-the-point, analog-like feel. The EQ section sounded very transparent—no digital harshness of any kind—and I am very impressed with the smoothness of the high ends. It's great to be able to mix instead of just compensate, as I am used to doing on other digital consoles."
The system was specified for the event by Reno Productions technical designer Gil Perron. "On this show, three very well-established sound engineers sat behind the desk to mix their respective touring acts, and three sound engineers got up after their performance and enquired as to where they could rent the console for their next show," Perron says. "To me, that says it all. Everyone is extremely impressed with the audio quality—the system is truly world-class."