The Blue Whale is a live jazz club and art gallery located in the heart of Little Tokyo, in Los Angeles, California. Recently, the club upgraded its audio system to an Allen & Heath Qu-32, Chrome Edition.
Masa Tsuzuki, Production Manager for the Blue Whale had experienced the Allen & Heath dLive S Class digital mixing system on tour as stage manager for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. So, when it came time to replace the Blue Whale’s 16-channel analog mixer, he chose Allen & Heath. The Qu-32 provides additional inputs and mixing capabilities for the Blue Whale and its wide range of EQ, compression and effects allowed the club to eliminate several pieces of external signal processing equipment.
Masa says some jazz groups want to record at the Blue Whale which is known for its excellent acoustics and intimate atmosphere. For multitrack recordings, he uses the Qu-32’s Qu-Drive Direct Multitrack Recording feature to record to Waves Tracks Live on a laptop. For simple stereo recordings, he mixes directly to a USB thumb drive. Masa notes that local media outlets have requested live streaming feeds and he plans to offer this in the near future mixed from a Qu-32 matrix bus.
Once a month, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz performs a demonstration at the Blue Whale. Masa uses Qu-32 scenes to save his mix for each group at these demonstrations and he takes advantage of the Qu-32’s EQ Library presets for industry standard microphones and musical instruments. The Qu-32’s scene memories also allow him to store and recall reverb and delay effects and compressor settings he uses for vocals and instruments.
Masa says the Blue Whale’s audiences and musicians have both commented favorably on the Qu-32’s great sound quality. And, with the ability to do live recording and streaming broadcast, he commented, “The Qu-32 is changing our vision for the club!”