Franz Ferdinand Tours Europe and USA with Allen & Heath's iLive

Franz Ferdinand lead singer, Alex Kapranos during the band’s performance in O2 Academy in Birmingham

Franz Ferdinand’s monitor engineer, Tom Howat, selected an iLive modular system for the band’s recent tour of European and USA in support of their fourth album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.

Comprising an iLive-112 Surface and iDR10 Mixrack with additional PL10 remote controller, the iLive monitor system manages six wedge mixes, five stereo RF IEM mixes and one stereo hardwired IEM mix, three effects sends and two mixes for FOH.

Monitor engineer Tom Howat


“I came across the iLive systems while working for Morrissey over the past couple of years,” he explains. “The iLive system is snappy and responsive. The ‘networking’ side of it is powerful and, when coupled with the flexible nature of the surface and their approach to scene storage, it makes for a very versatile environment. Of course, it sounds great, too!”

Howat’s approach to mixing for the band is manual-based, but he does make use of some scene recalls to redeploy fader assignments on the iLive surface, thereby bringing channels up in front of him as needed. “This saves me from digging into layers too often and keeps the manual approach flowing,” he says.

The band does not always stay fixed to a preset show list, so Howat requires a console that is both flexible and intuitive:


“During the tour, the group pulled a new song out of the hat, which involved plenty of swapping around and band members changing roles – Alex on keys, Nick on lead vocal etc. – so I put a partial scene together quickly during sound check, and it all did as I thought it might. Very good!” Howat comments.

Monitor engineer Tom Howat with his iLive system


Finally, the band has some kind words about iLive: “Sounds great from where I’m standing!” sayslead singer, Alex Kapranos, and “Looks great too!” added bassist, Bob Hardy.

Howat will be continuing to use his iLive system during the busy international festival season.