Irish rock band Ash is currently on tour supporting the release of its latest album, Kablammo!, with Allen & Heath‘s compact Qu-Pac digital mixer managing monitors.
For some time, the band had been considering the need to replace its analog mixer and existing multi-track recorder. “I told Tim the singer about the Qu-Pac mixer and that it did playback too, and he said it was a no brainer,” says front of house engineer Alan ‘Hagos’ Haggarty.
“Before this tour we were using an analogue mixer running a multitrack recorder for playback, all of which required a monster rack. Qu is basically doing the job of three different bits of kit as Tim also had a compressor in the old rack for his vocals but that’s no longer needed either,” explains drummer and monitor engineer Rick McMurray.
“Now that we have Qu-Pac, we can fit our in-ear monitor system in a flight case and take it with us everywhere,” McMurray continues. “The one thing you really miss at fly-in shows is having that part of the setup but now the band are really comfortable as we know our in-ears will be perfect.”
The Qu-Pac is mixing nine inputs from the band and four tracks, providing two sets of stereo in-ears and playback. The band are using Qu-Pac’s Qu-Drive playback for all of the backing tracks and running clicks for some songs. For future shows, there are plans to use the Qu app during live shows and install the rack off stage.
“I’m not really bothered that there’s no faders. It’s great to have one screen to control everything, providing a good visual input of what you’re hearing and what’s going on, with percentages so you can see how everything relates to each other,” McMurray says. “I have my and Tim’s in-ear mix set up so if he asks for something I can tap a couple of buttons and adjust things quickly rather than find faders. It is definitely user friendly for someone not technically minded like myself.”
“Qu-Pac has a lot of features. Every input channel has a compressor, gate, EQ, and every output has a compressor, EQ, and GEQ, so it’s a really powerful piece of kit and you don’t have to do a lot of configuration because it’s all built in. When I first sat down with the mixer I found it very straight forward,” concludes Haggarty.