Dualing iPads! Mackie DL32R

So after 20 years in live sound with shamefully very little documentation of my work portfolio, I’ve decided to start a blog. (Let’s see how long the good intention lasts). Usually we are too busy at a given concert to document our happenings, and after the gig the moment and inspiration has passed.

Excuses over…onto todays event. We (Rob Ellmore and the newly appointed Henry Moody) are at the 47th Guiting Power Festival in the Cotswolds providing sound for their series of concerts.

Spot the multicore

We are using the relatively new (to us) Mackie DL32R wireless mixing solution to provide front of house sound and separate monitor mix duties via two iPads controlling a single mixrack. This is to be Henrys debut as a monitor engineer, and his first ever monitor “desk” will be an iPad! (How times have changed… must have the dial-up modem chat with him one day!) Also testimony to the excellent and intuitive interface the Mackie MasterFader app provides.

He was smiling seconds before I took this picture!

The beauty of the Mackie system allows multiple devices to control the mix rack, so having set monitor levels for the musicians Henry was quickly promoted to mixing FOH while I was set the important task of negotiating some mighty pies for lunch from a nearby trader. I know my place!

There are no multicores to run, all connections are made on stage which seriously speeds up the set-up time. The whole system was up and running ready for 11am soundchecks and a noon kick-off.

It’s a great platform for training too because I can see what Henry is doing on my own screen and intervene if/when needed! Hence the dualing banjos/iPads! Fitting because onstage we have Hot Fingers with Emily Campbell complete with banjo and a sousaphone providing the ooomph!  The concert was rounded off with an excellent second set from the Paul Richards Trio.

We have our FBT / Renkus Heinz Qube QSA system providing FOH and db technologies Arena 12 monitor speakers driven by Crown amplifiers with custom DSP profiles.

Packdown only took one hour from last note played, to closing the rear doors of van, partly due to FOH control consisting of:

  • 1 gazebo
  • 2 camp chairs
  • 2 iPads
  • 2 lovett pies (well, the empty boxes at least)

One final noteworthy advantage of wireless mixing is the liberation brought about by being able to have your mixing desk about your person at all times. No more 100 yard dashes back to the sound desk to save something from feeding back while you’re halfway across a field with a face full of pie. This is the future.

“Dear Mackie..can you now please focus your efforts on every other aspect of PA systems…making them all wireless, smaller and lighter?”

Thanks muchly,

Rob Ellmore & Henry Moody