James Bond tribute band, Q The Music is currently touring theatres across the UK, accompanied by an Allen & Heath SQ digital mixing system and more than a dozen ME-1 personal mixers.
The current thirteen-piece band has been performing the 007 hits across prestigious venues, including the West End’s Adelphi Theatre, since 2014. Warren Ringham, who founded the show in 2004, opted for the SQ system after becoming frustrated with the lack of flexibility and reliability offered by other systems. “Our show and the demands on the production were getting bigger so we needed to upgrade. The SQ-6 arrived just at the right time. It had great reviews and did everything we needed and more.”
The full setup for the show comprises SQ-6 at front of house, while an SQ-5 acts as a monitor desk for visiting engineers and front of house backup. SLink and Dante option cards provide recording feeds, connection between the SQs and connection to AR2412 and AB168 expanders on stage. A single cat5 cable between front of house and monitors carries up to 128 channels each way and another 40 inputs, 20 outputs and 40 channels for the ME personal monitoring system are carried between the monitor console and stage.
Multitrack recording also plays an important role in the production, as a flawless recording of each show is achieved using a Dante card fitted in the SQ-6. Ringham explains, “We record each show in order to produce a lasting memento for Q The Music’s large fanbase. The quality of the recordings we achieve using Dante is incredible and a massive part of what we do, both for our fans and to create revenue.”
The biggest enhancement for the production however, is the ME personal monitoring system that allows each member of the band to craft their own individual monitor mix. A ME-U hub connected to the AR2412 provides signal and power (PoE) to 10 ME-1 units, while another three units are daisy chained from the AB168. “We were originally running 7 ME-1s on our show for the rhythm section and then decided to trial another 2 on our brass section. It was a total game-changer for us. The sound and ease of playing was incredibly improved – so much so, we had to roll them out for everyone! We’re now running 13 ME-1s in total on a touring live show so every member of the band has their own monitor mix,” explains Ringham.
“The most fantastic thing about the ME-1s is the top-of-the-range sound quality. Everyone we have come into the band (such as Joss Stone’s guitarist) has told us that these are the best IEMs they’ve had. Also, the benefits of losing wedge monitors has been massive – less kit, less weight and much better control of the sound around the stage,” adds Ringham. “Using them has been transformational and increased the productivity of the performance by at least 50%. Our soundcheck time is greatly reduced because we don’t have to tweak the mixes one by one – it’s so much faster. I’m absolutely delighted with our setup.”
While the production typically uses its SQ setup, for larger shows Ringham utilizes a multi-surface dLive setup, with an S3000 and C1500 paired to a DM32 MixRack and three DX168 expanders. The ME system is then connected directly through the MixRack, allowing for quick and easy production changes when needed.