Issue 27

Allen & Heath’s dLive at QPAC

System install comes to the rescue for the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.


19 July 2023

The engaging performance of Mahler’s 7th Symphony by the world-renowned London Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle, performed at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, was captured for broadcast using an Allen & Heath dLive system. One of Australia’s leading centres for live performance, the QPAC features four exceptional venues in Brisbane and provided the perfect location for the musical event. Their 1,800-seat concert hall witnessed the orchestra’s mesmerising performance, captured live and broadcasted flawlessly.

The QPAC AV Department, led by experienced engineer John McLennan, faced an urgent need to replace their previous audio console in their broadcast suite. “We had a Studer Vista 5 before, but when it died we needed a quick and budget-friendly replacement,” explained McLennan. “After weeks of searching for options, the Allen & Heath dLive system stood out due to its flexibility, affordability, and remarkable features.”

The DM0, the most compact dLive MixRack, was a deciding factor for the QPAC team, housing a 128-channel 96kHz XCVI processing core, providing sub-millisecond latency from input to output, complete with three 128-channel I/O ports with realtime SRC for trouble free digital audio networking with the live sound and video systems, plus dual redundant power supplies for increased peace of mind in critical broadcast environments.

“The dLive system with the DM0 rack was a perfect solution for our broadcast needs,” commented Michael Wade, Manager Audio Visual at QPAC, “And the price to performance ratio made it a no-brainer.” In the broadcast suite, newly equipped with a 36-fader dLive S7000 Surface, the QPAC team utilise the DM0 MixRack with superMADI, Waves, and Dante cards installed. The addition of the Allen & Heath DX168 and DX012 expanders provides analogue I/O, while the SoundGrid server complements the system’s processing and effects capabilities.

During the notable LSO performance, the orchestra setup comprised of six flown Schoeps omnidirectional microphones, supplemented by spot mics and room mics where required. The main setup for the Concert Hall takes a MADI split and Word Clock from the DiGiCo SD-Rack handling the FOH sound into the superMADI card on the Allen & Heath DM0 in the broadcast suite. The Word Clock then runs into an Isochone Trinity which distributes WC, Genlock, and TC (via a Rosenburg Mif4) to all broadcast equipment.

The inputs are mixed on the dLive S7000 Surface, complemented by Genelec monitors and an Auratone mono speaker, and then the broadcast mix is sent over to video land to be embedded into the recorders.

The dLive system’s capabilities shone during the performance, splitting outputs to SoundGrid, Dante, or MADI for multitrack recording purposes. The virtual soundcheck feature also provided invaluable convenience and is regularly used by the team. Furthermore, the intuitive nature of the system, coupled with powerful scene management, has streamlined the entire audio capturing process.

“With SRC on all the digital cards, we experienced unparalleled freedom in our audio production,” commented McLennan. “The system sounds great, is reliable, and bang for buck is in a class of its own.”

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Issue 27