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A Sussex Wedding

DescriptionSussex-countryside

A typical wedding reception with 5-Piece live band, pre-recorded music and speeches.

The Challenge:

Weddings in particular present their own set of challenges for audio designers. Aesthetics are very important, and overt displays of technology are generally unwelcome. Weddings also demand a wide variety of audio uses, from live music to impromptu speeches and playback of recorded material. Well-considered choices of equipment can provide a satisfying experience for all.

The Solution:

Modern sound system design has enabled the creation of compact systems that deliver very high power in very convenient form factors. The system above consists of Turbosound TQ440 Active speakers (4x) and Turbosound TQ425 Active SubWoofers (4x). Wedge monitors are Turbosound TFM560 (6x) powered by Turbosound Rack DP50 amplifiers.

Sussex-stageTotal power available to the main loudspeakers was approximately 20KW RMS, with an equal amount available for the monitor speakers. While this may seem an overly large number, it allows for extremely low distortion with ample amounts of headroom for a satisfying musical experience.

The problem of unsightly racks of outboard gear and mixing consoles was addressed with the selection of an Allen & Heath iLive system. An iDR 32 provided 32 inputs and 16 outputs of analog in addition to 64x64 channels of digital I/O via the M-Dante for iLive card. Mixing for both FOH and monitors was then accomplished using the Allen & Heath Mixpad application running on an iPad so that event attendees did not need to see a mixer or associated cabling.

Two Lab.Gruppen LM26 Processors were used for control and signal matrix operations, connected via Dante. A MacBook Pro running Dante Virtual Soundcard provided pre-recorded music from Spotify and iTunes during dinner and band breaks. Matrixing through the LM26 allows complete independence of the iLive mixer for band functions only, and is very easily achieved using a Dante network. The band was simultaneously recorded via Nuendo on the MacBook pro, using the Dante network to capture signals from the M-Dante for iLive card in the iDR32. 

Sussex-gear-diagram

Due to other commitments the band was unavailable for sound check until 2 hours before they were due to perform. Under normal circumstances this would have been plenty of time, but there was only a half hour window during which the sound check would not disturb the string quartet playing for guests on the lawns outside the reception venue.

As this factor was known in advance, a multitrack of a similar band was loaded into Nuendo on the MacBook Pro, and played back through the iDR32. This “virtual sound check”, was done the previous day, meant that when the band arrived their entire sound check took only 8 minutes as the preset starting point was very close to how they actually performed. This also left a lot more time to get the monitor mix right for the band, aided by the portability of the iPad-based Mixpad software.

Dante-Enabled Equipment Used:

Allen & Heath iLive iDR32

Lab Gruppen LM26 Processors

Dante Virtual Soundcard

Benefits and Savings:

  • Zero Front of House Footprint
  • Totally portable control system
  • Very fast setup and takedown time
  • Many different sources carried easily over Dante Network
  • Virtual Sound Check ensured higher quality mix given time constraints
  • Budget could be spent on higher quality Loudspeakers rather than effects and console real-estate.
  • Budget in line with normal wedding event, Audience experience greatly enhanced.