Rich Loomer, FOH engineer
(foreground) and Steve Devino,
owner of Granite Rocks Live,
with the MIO Console v5
software on a MacBook Pro.
Boston (March 20, 2009)–What’s better than a Metric Halo Mobile I/O 2882 unit? According to Steve Devino, owner of sound production company Granite Rocks Live, it’s three Metric Halo units.
The company, which handles theatricals, concerts, and special events, owns a trio of them and typically pairs them with an analog console to provide outboard processing or with a digital mixer to add routing and submixing capabilities. “In a situation that calls for my 48-channel APB Dynasonics analog board, I’ll generally use Mobile I/O 2882s to do all the outboard processing in place of external compressors and EQs,” explained Devino, who is based in the greater Boston area. “The ability to store the DSP, routing, and preamp settings as a saved boot state allow me to ‘set and forget’ the system. There’s no further need to access the computer unless changes are needed. I’ll also typically use one Mobile I/O 2882 as a FOH processor or matrix.”
In theatrical productions, large FOH rigs eat up revenue-generating seats. “When I need a small footprint but still need the Yamaha DM1000 digital mixer, I treat the Mobile I/O 2882s like a remote digital console,” Devino shared. “I keep the computer at FOH but tuck the Mobile I/O 2882s in the orchestra pit or backstage and then operate them remotely over Cat 6. I use two of the Mobile I/O 2882s, one for the orchestra mixer and another on a separate computer as an in-ear monitor mixer. The v5 software has proven flexible enough to facilitate a simple mixer that the band members can operate by themselves with only a five-minute training session.”
He added, “By keeping the Mobile I/O 2882s remote, signals feed into the converters right where the musicians are. That minimizes cable runs and improves overall quality. And because I can connect one unit to another in the digital domain, I don’t need to do multiple A-to-D and D-to-A conversions. That also improves overall quality.”
For a typical theatrical production, Devino will often use a third Mobile I/O 2882 interfaced with QLab sound effects system software. “The Mobile I/O 2882 is really great for theater because you have 18 outputs and 18 inputs, and anything can be connected to anything. I have an orchestra PA, a vocal PA, and additional sound effects speakers. Although I keep the orchestra and vocals completely separate in the Mobile I/O 2882, their matrix capabilities allow me to route anything from QLab (which supports sixteen outputs) to any speaker without resorting to crazy interconnects.”
For a recent production of “The Laramie Project” by The Peacock Players in New Hampshire, Devino ran the show without an audio console, relying entirely on his Metric Halo Mobile I/O 2882s. “The Mobile I/O 2882s were in a rack in the pit,” he explained. “We just put a Mac Mini with a monitor at the stage manager’s desk and that was it.”