Top-tier TV production company and music venue, Epic Studios – whose clientele has included shows such as ‘Top Gear’ and ‘WWE Wrestling’ – has embarked on a major audio upgrade of its Norwich, UK premises, with Allen & Heath dLive and SQ mixing systems.

“I’d been hearing many positive comments about the dLive and SQ series on social media and after seeing them in use on major world tours and appearing on technical riders, I was very keen to try one out,” comments Matt Rabong (technical manager at Epic Studios). “I used to work exclusively on another desk, however after getting my hands on a dLive S7000 at InfoComm, I knew this was the perfect desk for us. dLive has integrated seamlessly with our workflow and my engineers love it! It was extremely easy to train everybody on its features.”

As well as Epic’s TV productions, the facility is fully customisable and caters for a variety of productions and events; from television programmes and game shows to sporting events, corporate events, arena gigs (with artists such as Chase & Status and Newton Faulkner) and even private functions and intimate shows.

The installation also features a large investment in Martin Audio’s flagship MLA PA system, which integrates seamlessly with dLive. David Wallace (sound engineer at Epic Studios) comments, “The MLA integration with dLive is great and the MADI and Dante connectivity are perfect for our demanding broadcast requirements.”

Rabong continues, “The sound quality in dLive is superb and it gives us incredible fidelity through our new MLA compact rig. We invested in a full suite of gigaACE, MADI and Dante cards for the DM48 MixRack to enable us to have digital splits to broadcast in our full HD production gallery, as well as 48-way multitrack recording directly to a laptop at FOH and audio distribution to other parts of the building using Dante. The quality of the onboard FX is amazing and having up to 64 multiband compressors across any channel type is very useful.”

Wallace adds, “Whilst researching desk options, dLive seemed to be the best in terms of high-quality audio, functionality and ease of use. The live experience is a dream to work with – it’s powerful and flexible but also robust and reliable.”

With dLive being used as Epic Studios’ FOH desk, the team further invested in an SQ-7, used primarily as their main monitor desk. Rabong adds, “The SQ-7 broadens our flexibility in the studio and allows us to run a dedicated monitor desk – with a digital split from the gigaACE card in our DM48 MixRack or an analogue split available in house – or even as a standalone broadcast desk, multitrack recording direct from its built-in USB out. If we have a smaller event or need to fit into a tighter space, we can also use the SQ-7 as a FOH mixer. The software is also really intuitive and it’s been very easy for my technical staff to get to grips with.”

Rabong concludes, “Investing in Allen & Heath has given us a great deal more flexibility as a venue overnight and has increased our audio quality for our audiences in a big way.”"

‘Blind Tiger’ Music Video / Installation of MLA Sound System, featuring dLive and SQ. Filmed at Epic Studios.

For over 45 years, Allen & Heath has designed and manufactured professional audio mixing consoles for an international clientele in the live sound, installed systems and nightclub markets.