CASE STUDY: Howl at the Moon, USA

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Howl at the Moon doesn’t mind if patrons get up close and personal with the band, and the music bar chain recently made the experience even more lively. With locations across the U.S., Howl at the Moon is a live entertainment party venue, with dueling pianists providing an interactive audience experience. A standardized audio system, using an Allen & Heath Qu-Pac mixer and AR-2412 Audio Rack, serves each Howl at the Moon location, providing great sound to the audience and inear monitor mixes for each musician.

“The clubs aren’t concert venues,” said media director Dean Laber. “We encourage the audience to get close to the stage, interact with the players, dance, and have a good time. And, since the players move around a lot and the stage is relatively small, we were always challenged by having wedge monitors. Now, we’ve upgraded the clubs to the Qu-Pac mixers and converted to in-ear monitoring systems. That brought us improved clarity of sound and it reduced the stage volume.”

Howl at the Moon performers control both their own house feed and their own monitor mix using Allen & Heath’s Qu-Pad iPad app or Qu-You iPhone app.

“We do requests and Top 40 tunes so, if the song calls for an echo or a chorus effect or a doubler, some of the players will use the app to add that to their mix. And I use the Qu-Pac’s graphic EQs to adjust the system to the room and to each performer,” said Laber. “I’m a huge fan of the dSNAKE (AR-2412). It’s made everything easier. Cabling and routing problems have just gone away.”

Overall, Laber says the quality of the sound at Howl at the Moon has vastly improved. “The Qu-Pac’s preamps have a nice warmth to them and the mixer has lots of headroom,” he said. “I’m really impressed with the equalization section as well. It doesn’t have the harshness I expect from a digital mixer, so the quality of sound is there along with the ease of use and functionality. It’s also great to have recallable setups, so no matter what kind of adjustments might be changed during the performance, we can always recover the original setup. The iPad integration has been huge for us, and the Qu-Pac and the other things we’ve invested in have really made the players more comfortable. Our sound is exponentially better than it was before!”

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