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An Allen & Heath dLive control surface deployed by Pinnacle Audio for Kids From Wisconsin, featuring 22 singer/dancers backed by a 14-piece band.

Pinnacle Audio Taps Allen & Heath For Theatrical Productions

Company owner and lead audio engineer Matthew Pea deploys A&H mix system platforms, dLive in particular, to help meet the often-complex needs of live theater in addition to running sound for Kids From Wisconsin.

Pinnacle Audio, a Wisconsin-based provider of live event sound services, regularly employs Allen & Heath mix system platforms in meeting the often complex demands of live theatrical productions.

Pinnacle owner and lead audio engineer Matthew Pea’s journey in audio started in high school, working sound for his school auditorium. He later attended Madison Media Institute and founded Pinnacle Audio, specializing in the unique needs of theater and running sound for Kids From Wisconsin, featuring 22 singer/dancers backed by a 14-piece band.

“When I started with Kids from Wisconsin, they had an (Allen & Heath) iLive mixer,” he recalls. “I became so familiar and happy with the workflow that I just stuck with Allen & Heath.” Since then, Pea consistently chooses Allen & Heath consoles, particularly the flagship dLive system, to deliver the result his clients have come to expect.

“I can work much faster on Allen & Heath desks compared to other consoles,” he explains. “You can pick and choose different ways to do the same thing, depending on how your brain functions. Routing, for example: you can do it through the routing screen, or using the physical mix buttons.”

In particular, Pea points to scene management tools that are crucial for the smooth transitions required during a live theatrical performance. “The update function is great,” he states, referring to dLive’s ability to change a parameter on many saved scenes simultaneously. “I also use a lot of global safes and recall filters, as well as crossfade times.” The added benefit of triggering QLab sound effects directly from the console streamlines his process even further, allowing him to control both levels and audio cues from the same device using custom MIDI strings.

“I also like being able to see all of the wireless information right on the screen,” he adds, in reference to dLive’s Shure and Sennheiser wireless integration, which shows AF and RF levels, battery health, and gain controls for wireless mics right from the console. “I just assign the mics to the right channels, and I have everything I need right in front of me.”

Pea’s success is evident through numerous awards for theatrical production, having received several Jerry Awards, which recognize excellence in high school theater in Wisconsin. His work on a production of “Frozen,” which was selected to perform at the International Thespian Festival, indicates his dedication to creating sonic landscapes. “Allen & Heath consoles are my preference for any event I do,” he concludes. “And I don’t see that changing any time soon.”

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