Advice

This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of CareyD CareyD 11 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #22185
    Profile photo of Joe90
    Joe90
    Participant

    Hello,

    It’s my first post here, just thought I’d say what a nice forum you have…

    I’ve been playing in various bands for a few years now and in everyone been the person who organises the PA and also do some Engineering for other bands. I’m thinking about setting up my own PA (man with a van type of) business and I’m considering the iDR-32 being controlled by a PC for the console.

    My experience has only been with analogue desks but I feel digital is the future and for the cost of a reasonable analogue desk with sufficient outboard equipment and multicore stage loom will not be much difference in price to the setup above…

    Anyway, I would be interested to know if any users are mixing this way and their experiences or any pitfalls to watch out for?

    I’ve have downloaded the Editor software and it seems quite user friendly to use but obviously its hard to evaluate without the complete system. Does anyone do demo’s or know of a company that does demo’s of the iLive system? I live in Hampshire UK.

    Cheers,

    Gary.

    #24845
    Profile photo of Mr-B
    Mr-B
    Participant

    Have a look at the list of sound companies that have iLive’s on the iLive web site. There should be one near you I am pretty sure they will help out.
    Me I still like a surface attached to the mix rack, can’t quite survive with a laptop.

    #24846
    Profile photo of grahamwhite
    grahamwhite
    Participant

    dont do it!

    You need a surface to be able to throw faders up in a hurry and to create mixes on the fly you cannot do this on a computer.

    Once you have a show up and running i would be ok moving over to running the show on laptop provided there were no huge changes.

    When you have to set things up in a hurry you will take 5times longer doing it via a laptop.

    Get the iLive T80 with the IDR32, if you cant afford it yet get yourself the mixrack first and have a go without the surface, i am confident that unless you have unlimited soundcheck and setup time each gig, you will soon find yourself needing a surface.

    #24849
    Profile photo of Doug
    Doug
    Participant

    If you fancy at trip to Somerset I will gladly demo my T80 and idr 32, as to mixing a band on a laptop I wouldn’t recommend it, there are too many times during a gig when runing 24plus channels where a quick grab is needed which would in my opinion be a nightmare on a lap

    http://www.maltingsaudio.co.uk

    #24858
    Profile photo of timtrace
    timtrace
    Participant

    quote:


    Originally posted by Joe90

    …I’m considering the iDR-32 being controlled by a PC for the console….I would be interested to know if any users are mixing this way and their experiences or any pitfalls to watch out for…


    I’m using an iDR-32 with the Editor. Mine is a loud guitar rock band with 20+ inputs, two stereo playbacks, three internal and two internal FX, four monitor mixes, a stereo recording mix and LR+Subs. At the same time I’m singing lead, playing guitar and punching lighting cues on a footboard. My ADHD is quite well-fed by my environment [}:)]

    I don’t even own a surface; I’m doing it all on a Dell XPS M1210 with a 12″ display. I’ve some skill with a mouse [:)] which I think gives me a big leg up. But I will agree that a notebook with a 17″ display would allow me to lay out the Editor windows in a more usable fashion.

    Off the top of my head, the things that I’ve been missing the most are push-button control of delay tap tempo and effects mutes. I get by with my D-Two, Rev500 and my homebrew switcher with two channels of input muting. I also use a footswitch to do tap tempo on the D-Two. If I had a surface I could accomplish the same tricks with the soft switches and I wouldn’t have 3RU worth of effects gear cluttering up my iDR ATA rack. But then again, those switches wouldn’t be footswitches, so the solution wouldn’t be workable in my situation.

    Another thing that I’ve been missing is the lack of audio inputs at front-of-house for playback, talkback and whatever-else-back. No big deal, whenever I’m not mixing from the side of the stage, I just pull a 6-channel copper snake along with my FOH power drop. If I had a surface I’d have A-to-Ds at FOH and I could send them to the stage on CAT5.

    The final niggle for today is that the Editor doesn’t let you PFL the sidechain signal. With the surface, you have the ability to listen to the key.

    It’s all golden with my 6RU baby [:D]

    #24861
    Profile photo of grahamwhite
    grahamwhite
    Participant

    @timtrace Are you mixing the same show every single time or are you doing PA hire’s / engineering different bands each time?

    Once soundchecked and the settings saved i would be happy working on laptop however if i had to load a load of gear into a new venue, set it up and then soundcheck a NEW band with the added pressure of doing it all on laptop i would not be as confident as i would with a surface.

    In fact a few weeks ago i did a theatre show with 46 inputs and they had sold all the seats out front so i either had to setup the board sidestage and mix on headphones or carry the desk into a theatre control room and move their console… which would have been a lot of hassle.

    I setup side stage with the surface and sorted all the monitor mixes out (12mixes + 2stereo IEM’s !!)

    I then took my Macbook out front, setup another stereo IEM system for my PFL and took a radio mic so i could talk to my collegue (who effectively did monitors off the surface) we had setup a small 2way shout system so i could talk to him… He could talk to me by routing the TB mic through the PFL system so i could hear him permanently through my InEars. (a bit annoying when he started singing along with the band to me [:D] )

    I just sat behind the audience all night and mixed (minimal mixing, zero scene changes) the whole show via wireless. I could see when he was changing something on the board, and he could tell when i was changing something.

    It worked very well and the band where very impressed, as was the house crew.
    The iLive system is flexible and you should find a way that you work with confidently.

    Good luck
    Graham

    #24862
    Profile photo of timtrace
    timtrace
    Participant

    quote:


    Originally posted by grahamwhite

    @timtrace Are you mixing the same show every single time or are you doing PA hire’s / engineering different bands each time?


    Mostly my band.

    Before the first show with iLive, I spent a lot of time familiarizing myself with the Editor, offline and online. As Murphy would have it, I did something stupid at the venue and I had to recreate the entire show at soundcheck. It took me about 45 minutes to rebuild everything and complete the soundcheck. Fortunately we’d prepared ourselves with an early load-in.

    For my part I’d be very comfortable if I had to dial in a new setup with another band, but then again, I fancy myself a technology expert (and I introduced that caveat in my prior post).

    As for the OP, it sounds like he and I are in similar situations.

    But no way would I expect a visiting BE to walk in cold on the Editor. Well, maybe if I didn’t like the guy. [:D]

    #25055
    Profile photo of Joe90
    Joe90
    Participant

    Thanks for all the replies, had a 6 hour hands on demo of the T80 & IDR48. Done a typical band type set up with micing drums with gates, compression , verb etc. Set up a vocal mic with rung out monitor using on-board GEQ and getting some nice FOH sounds. This desk does seem fairly simple to use and to my ears sounded nice.

    I’m still curious about using the mixrack with just a PC though. I’ve been playing around with the Editor over xmas and now after having some hands on experience with the T80 surface the Editor seems even more user friendly than I had originally thought. I apprieciate the advice about not having a surface incase you need to “throw faders up in a hurry” but on my desktop PC at home (which I admit has a 22″ screen) you can have 32 inputs all showing plus FOH L+R plus 8 aux’s plus DCA etc and I’m struggling to see how a PC might be slower than a surface is the input you want is buried in a layer etc… I understand that you cant do 2 handed mixing with a mouse and this maybe a hindrance.

    This brings me onto Touch Screen Monitors. Will the Editor software work on a PC or Laptop with a touch screen? i.e. can you pull faders up & down and adjust dials and pull EQ curves around? I guess you’d probably need a touch screen with a stylus to do this accurately.

    Cheers,

    Gary.

    #25056
    Profile photo of CareyD
    CareyD
    Participant

    Hi Gary.
    There is a related news story on our site – http://www.ilive-digital.com/news_story.asp?view=538 – Steve, the engineer on that show has also recently run FOH for Alphabeat using just laptop on their recent tour.

    I use various combinations of racks and surfaces for my shows and am using my laptop now for an increasing number whether FOH, monitors or both. For me the advantages hugely outweigh the compromise in not being able to grab a handful of faders. I was initially more concerned about the reliability of a laptop running Windows, and usually add a PL-10 remote configured as a get-out-of-jail backup. That said my laptop has proved pretty solid. I have been pleasantly surprised to find how easy it has been to manage shows without sound check or with multiple acts. Careful planning of the Editor layout and channel organisation before the show makes a big difference. I use a ‘Festival Plot’ user show I created as a starting point for the shows I do.

    Here are a few notes which you may find useful…

    You may find it easier or quicker to use a touch tablet rather than mouse. Mine is a Toshiba Portege with stylus, but there are others available now. How nice it would be to get a touch Mac though! Consider the weight if you are wanting a big screen. My laptop screen folds flat and I can choose landscape or portrait view, easy to carry around. It’s good to be able to dim the screen for operation under show conditions. Editor provides an option to change the background colour.

    Use the Custom Strips to ‘design’ a suitable layout. You can put gaps between strips, for example inputs and masters, by dragging a channel there and then dragging it out of the window. That leaves a gap. I usually create 3 Custom Strip layers – ‘Monitors’ (inputs and wedge/IEM masters), ‘FOH’ (inputs, FX, some DCAs and main masters), and ‘Setup’ (CD, vocal inputs, all masters, DCAs). The Setup layer is used for getting the PA running and ringing out the vocal mics in the monitors before sound check.

    The DCAs can give you that missing ‘hand’ on multiple faders. I put an FX DCA next to the FX masters to quickly mute or reduce FX between songs. For a small show my others are typically DRUMS, BK/LN (guitars, bass etc), DI (acoustics, anything that may go pop when the talent pulls the plug!), VOX and CD (walk-in playback).

    For my less than perfect eyes I find it helps to colour the channels in a way which makes them quick to find on the Editor screen, for example drums green, bass blue, guitars green separates those groups of instruments nicely.

    A good screen layout for ringing out the monitors is to open the RTA top left (Edit menu/Meters/RTA), Custom layer with inputs and monitor masters bottom, then select the GEQ for that monitor putting it top right just below the RTA display. Select PAFL for the monitor you are working with. Now select Mix for the vocal mic channel. The monitor master fader becomes the send from that vocal mic to that monitor. Raise the master (send) fader until you start to hear the ringing. The RTA displays the dominant frequency helping you identify it and therefore pull it back in the GEQ.

    There are plenty more tips but I don’t want to ramble on too much. I’m sure other forum folk can add their methods and tricks here too. We are working on some exciting updates to Editor for the forthcoming V1.6 release due in a month or so. These are aimed at making the job of mixing on the fly even easier.
    Let us know if you want any more information on this application.
    Regards,
    Carey

    #25065
    Profile photo of woutert
    woutert
    Participant

    quote:


    Originally posted by Carey D

    …For me the advantages hugely outweigh the compromise in not being able to grab a handful of faders…


    Hi Carey,

    That is indeed the reason why i suggested our beloved Allen&Heath IT-crew to imlement fader multiselect in the editor. That way we could at least have this “handful of fader grabbing”. Some kind of instant fader ganging. I would love that.

    So far, I think A&H understand pretty well were the future of ditital mixing is going, and I love and support it completely.

    ASC, Belgium just allowed me to demo the IDR-48 with a laptop, and all our crewmembers were confident that this was the way to go for our theatertours. I could use compressors and gates far more efficiently than I would on an analogue board. I could take a seat wherever I wanted in the venue to check the sound and make corrections. Putting up mute groups is superfast! So, We did our brand new showcase immediately with a Wifi-mix. Superb!! The only outboard gear that I used was a DriveRack 260 for the autoEQ functionality on the FOH, to get started.

    I agree with others here that the possibility to create your custom strip layouts is a major advantage of the iLive series.

    Wouter

    #25079
    Profile photo of Joe90
    Joe90
    Participant

    Hi Carey,

    Many thanks for you’re reply. I have read and watched the video clips regards laptop already and more than once!

    Have now fathomed out the custom window tab and this seems a great feature. I like the way you can put channel spaces between channels and setting up a few layers FOH & monitors etc like you said. One thing that would be nice is to be able to have more than one custom window open as this would lend its self quite nicely to have one window at the top half of the screen and the other at the bottom and then not have any of the fixed input / output etc windows open. The top one could be stretched the total width of the screen (channel inputs etc) and the other could be stretched half the screen like a master section of a console leaving the other bottom half of the screen to locate the select parameters window…

    So just to clarify with your touch screen laptop you can use your finger or stylus to move faders, press buttons, select menu options and drag EQ graphs?

    Cheers,

    Gary.

    #25080
    Profile photo of CareyD
    CareyD
    Participant

    Yes, I can do all that with my touch screen laptop. I find using the stylus better than finger.
    Regards,
    Carey

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