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The heart of the iLive system is the iDR-64, a 19" rack-mounting modular mix engine, providing 64 channels into 32 mixes, which is a stand-alone mixer comprising 8-channel audio interface cards, DSP processing, and communication ports. The unit is controlled via an Ethernet network and can be connected to a variety of controllers, including a range of new iLive control surfaces, Allen & Heath's PL range of remote units, or a laptop/PC.

Two EtherSound ports are provided for low latency remote audio distribution, connection of an additional unit to expand the system to 128 channels, FOH/monitor signal splitting, and the connection of multi-tracks and other EtherSound-equipped devices. All channels and mix masters have EQ, dynamics and delay processing, with on-board FX, and an option for a built-in 32 channel speaker processor.

There are three sizes of iLive control surfaces, designed to reflect the feel of an analogue console. The faders are motorised and grouped in 3 sections, each with 4 banks, giving up to 176 control strips on the largest size surface. There is a multi-colour backlit LCD display above each fader, channel processing controls are laid out across the top of the surface on rotary controls with LED indicators, and a colour LCD touch screen presents a graphical view of automation and set-up functions.

Allen & Heath's R&D engineer, Dr. Rob Clark, explains the ethos behind iLive's architecture:

"We originally investigated the use of digital audio networks for fixed installation applications, providing flexible routing with efficient cabling for large channel counts. Research for the iLive system highlighted that audio networks have a great deal to offer the live venue too.

"The iLive mixing architecture is designed from the 'ground up' to exploit audio networking, if needed. This gives the engineer freedom to route mic inputs from stage positions, share input splits from another mixer, utilise insert returns and input feeds at the control surface, or use broadcast feeds through matrix inputs, distribute output splits, mixes, and even talkback around the venue, all over one cable - replacing multiple snakes."


Allen & Heath's pioneering mixer/controller, the Xone:3D, is the amalgamation of a high performance DJ mixer, top spec multi-channel USB soundcard, and comprehensive MIDI control surface, offering an integrated performance workstation.

The mixer section features 4 stereo channels, 3-band EQ, 2 stereo returns, VCF filters, assignable LFO, 2 FX sends and a VCA crossfader. The USB soundcard has 8 channels, using professional 24bit stereo converters with an audio sampling rate of 48kHz. It can be fed from the main mix, FX1, or direct from the channels, and features a SPDIF optical and coaxial interface. The USB connection can send and receive both audio and MIDI data to and from the PC.

There are dedicated MIDI control sections either side of the mixer, with a total of 8 control faders, 16 rotary controls with centre detent, 10 encoders, 50 switches, and 2 custom jog wheels with micro switches, which can be mapped for use as navigation controls for software such as Ableton Live and Traktor. Ableton has developed a Live Lite 5 Allen & Heath Edition of its software, which will be bundled with the 3D, along with custom overlays for the MIDI control sections.

Xone:3D can send a total of 105 different MIDI control messages from the control sections, audio channel faders and crossfader, to the 3D's MIDI out socket and via the USB interface to the PC. An automatic beat detector synchronises the MIDI clock to the main mix, the FX2 mix buss, or can be disabled to allow the beat to be manually tapped-in.

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