Long-standing Rick Wakeman FOH engineer Ian Barfoot recently used an Allen & Heath iLive mixing system to deliver the complex ‘orchestra and rock group’ performance of Wakeman’s Ultimate Experience shows at The Centaur in Cheltenham.
More than 100 artists – from Wakeman’s own English Rock Ensemble, the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra and the Gloucester Cathedral Choir – performed music from Wakeman’s best-loved albums including The Myths And Legends of King Arthur, Journey To The Centre Of The Earth and The Six Wives Of Henry VIII.
“I’ve been using Allen & Heath iLive systems since they were introduced,” explained Barfoot. “The whole system is truly modular and configurable, so I can have whatever I need at my fingertips at all times. The sonic performance is exceptional and the onboard effects are absolutely stunning – Allen & Heath really listens to the needs of working engineers, which is refreshing these days, and it really shows in the iLive’s on-going development.
“For the Centaur shows I used an iLive-112 with a pair of iDR10 MixRacks. We needed a pretty high channel count, of around 119 – so plenty to keep my eyes on. It was also desirable to perform some kind of digital split to the monitor desk (an Allen & Heath GLD-80) operated by veteran monitor engineer Dave Gregory. We didn’t need to perform a ‘one-for-one’ split over the whole channel count so the most significant 30+ channels were tunnelled over ACE from the FOH desk, along with some orchestral stems for Dave to use in the stereo in-ear mixes and wedges. It’s a system Dave and I have used previously on orchestral shows to save mixing the orchestra twice, which seems to work very well. The iLive/GLD combination worked flawlessly and made really complex events as simple as possible for us.”