McDonald Selects iLive for Brocken Bells Tour

Broken Bells during the gig at SBE in London.

FOH engineer, Dave McDonald, selected his favoured Allen & Heath modular iLive system for the US and European tour of Broken Bells, an American indie rock band composed of artist-producer Brian Burton (better known as Danger Mouse) and James Mercer, the lead vocalist and guitarist for the indie rock band, The Shins.

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McDonald, whose clients include Adele, Air, Frank Ocean and Florence & the Machine, chose an iLive-112 Surface with iDR10 Mixrack, with the addition of a Dante network card delivering up to 64 channels to a recording rig.

The tour will continue into the autumn and is in support of the band’s first studio album. McDonald is utilising many of iLive’s renowned built in FX to emulate the band's recorded sound, including the Symphonic Chorus, ADT Doubler and Echo Chorus.

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The tour will continue into the autumn and is in support of the band’s first studio album. McDonald is utilising many of iLive’s renowned built in FX to emulate the band's recorded sound, including the Symphonic Chorus, ADT Doubler and Echo Chorus.

Dave McDonald at FOH with his iLive system

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"There's so much going on with the band’s vocals - it’s very 'Beatles-esque' and psychedelic, but iLive has all that I need onboard," McDonald comments. "Sometimes when you add effects you're struggling to hear them, and it's not quite right but with iLive they're very accurate,"

McDonald is running 42 channels from the system. One of the complexities of the band set up is the fact that there are four keyboard stations on stage running through an Ableton rig to manage the keyboard sounds.

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“There’s even a section left for any unforeseen requirements, such as broadcast feeds. The amount you can put through the system is amazing, and I only have to worry about one CAT5 cable,” McDoald continues.

“There are two types of engineer – the technical and the artistic – and I’m definitely one of the artistic ones. iLive helps me be more creative – it’s the closest thing to the feel and flow of an analogue desk. It’s traditional old school mixing. It’s also a very powerful box, and I’ve got everything right there without the need for any outboard. Could I gig on any other board? I think the answer would have to be ‘No’,” McDonald concludes.

For more details, here is an interview with FOH engineer, Dave McDonald: http://www.allen-heath.com/broken-bells/

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