With word of a new major label record deal in the offing, veteran country artist Craig Morgan is on the road this summer, touring with new gear in the form of an Allen & Heath dLive S5000 console/DM0 MixRack at front of house, an SQ-7 for monitors, and four DX168 I/O expanders on-deck.

FOH engineer Robert Harmon‘I had been looking for a new console since last year,’ says Morgan’s FOH engineer, Robert Harmon. ‘I narrowed down my search to three, but none of them worked out. Then I ran across a console I didn’t recognise online. It looked high-end…

‘It turned out to be an Allen & Heath S5000. Having logged thousands of hours on a GL2400 and other Allen & Heath analogue products in the past, I have to admit my mind was having a hard time wrapping itself around this new digital offering.’

Harmon agreed to try the desk following a conversation with Allen & Heath US Eastern Regional Sales Manager, Kevin Madden. He wound up using it for two shows and never gave it back, choosing to send the company a check instead.

‘They told me it could be customised any way I wanted,’ he says. ‘I heard that before, but this time it was true. Using a show file I wrote at home, it loaded correctly the first time and sound check went quickly for starting at zero. I configured the desk to mimic the layout of my old one exactly, that made the transition seamless. I also brought things to the top surface I never could before.

‘I always wanted my matrix out with my VCAs and channels, and I didn’t want to sift through layers and layers constantly. I was able to do all that, plus retain the familiarity of my old desk. Everything felt the same, but now I had so much more right at my fingertips, and the complexity of making that happen was about as difficult as using a smartphone.’

Marshall Bastin mans the Allen & Heath SQ-7 now residing in monitor world, while four Allen & Heath DX168 expanders bring 96kHz I/O to the stage. ‘The SQ-7 sounds like a dLive but has a smaller screen,’ Harmon adds. ‘Like everything else we bought from Allen & Heath, you get a lot more than you pay for.’

More: www.allen-heath.com

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