South Germany-based band H.A.S.A. (Heiner’s All Star Attraktion) recently updated their entire live sound inventory with an Allen & Heath SQ–6 digital mixer, two AB168 AudioRacks and five ME-1 personal mixers. Assisting with the incorporation of the ME-1 system into the band’s set-up was engineer Klaus Bröckel (whose CV features Miles Davis, Till Brönner, Klaus Doldinger and festivals including JazzOpen Stuttgart, Jazzfest Rottweil and Bayern 3 Dorffest Open Air amongst many others). As a long-term ME-1 devotee, Bröckel has introduced many artists to the personal monitoring solution and was well-placed to ensure the band enjoyed a smooth transition to the new system.
While the five members of H.A.S.A had used IEM systems previously, the move to the ME-1 units brought a welcome new level of individual control and, as Bröckel describes, the switchover was straightforward. “At the first rehearsal with the ME-1s once the input levels were set on the SQ-6 everyone got into dialing in their mixes and within just a few songs everyone had a perfect in-ear mix,” he says.
The ME-1 is a 40-channel personal mixer that enables performers to take control of their monitor mix with level and pan controls, master 3-band EQ and limiter, aux input for external devices, plus a top panel ambient microphone to keep the performer in touch with their surroundings. The ME-1 works out of the box with Allen & Heath’s digital mixers, and can also be used with third-party mixers and audio interfaces via the use of a ME-U hub and optional Waves or Dante cards.
Initially the ME-1s were simply connected to an AB168 AudioRack and daisy-chained with a power supply for each unit. Ultimately the band’s audio engineer Nils Ott built a half-rack sized enclosure with a POE switch fed from an AB168 and Ethercon connectors at the front to allow the ME-1s to be powered over Ethernet, simplifying set-up and minimising cabling.
Bröckel summed up the move to the ME-1 system as “extremely easy, with each of the members getting to grips with it very quickly. The musicians have their own USB sticks to save their own set-up and I think everyone’s been amazed at the sound, ease-of-use and the level of personalised control that the ME-1s offer.”