Allen & Heath make the daunting process of transitioning from Analog to Digital a breeze with fantastic products and excellent customer support, pre and post-sale. Oak Valley Church in Southern California recently took this journey and enjoyed it every step of the way. Here is what Doug Serbin, a FOH engineer for over 33 years, had to say about his experience:
"I have been our church’s FOH engineer for over 33 years, all on analog boards. About a year and a half ago we built a new facility and installed a dLive S5000 with the DM48 for FOH and SQ-6 for broadcast along with a Dante network. Being that I had never mixed on a digital board it was very intimidating to look at not even knowing where to start. After a couple of quick tutorials on setting up inputs and learning how to use the PEQ, I was well on my way. Incorporating the different built-in compressors in my channel processing in mixing Drums, Guitars, Keys, Tracks and Vocals was not only easy but has given me great versatility in creating the sound that I’m looking for. Everything is crystal clear and our sound has never been so good.
My favorite compressor has been the Opt-Tronik Leveling Amplifier for Vocals. The Dyn8 Multiband Compressor/Dynamic EQ insert has also been a powerful tool for me to use. The greatest plus of all is the ease of creating and modifying my workflow. This console is super easy to navigate and program. Building separate scenes for different songs so that I can change tempo and effects on the fly has been a great help.
The 2 touchscreens along with a 3rd screen that can be added via a video port on the back of the board have been huge in allowing me to quickly see and program effects, inputs, and plugins. Via the network port on the back of the board, I can also use an iPad app to control the board wirelessly. I’ve also programmed the board to send Midi commands through the A&H DAW Controller to have it initiate snapshots in Waves Superrack as I change scenes. This has allowed me to add a whole new level of versatility. In our former building, we were working with monitor wedges which created a lot of stage noise. With the integrated A&H ME1 In-Ear Monitor System life as a sound engineer, who had to not only mix the PA but also the monitors, has gotten so much better. The band creates their own mix individually and I love it.
We’ve also incorporated the SQ6 desk in our Broadcast room and now, via Dante, we are separately mixing our broadcast and it has never sounded better.
Allen & Heath’s Customer Service and Technical Support has been great to deal with. Their online “Sessions” page has been a big help. Drew Thornton, The Mix Wizard, Mike Bangs, and others really go through and educate you on how to use this system. I’ve even been on a couple of live webinars hosted by their support staff over in England. I highly recommend the Allen & Heath dLive and SQ components to anyone who is considering upgrading their current systems."