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Pinnacle Audio Taps Allen & Heath for Award-Winning Theatrical Productions

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Pinnacle Audio, a Wisconsin-based provider of live event audio services, often needs to meet the complex audio demands of theatrical productions. Owner and lead audio engineer, Matthew Pea, emphasizes the crucial role Allen & Heath plays in his work, praising the consoles for their intuitive design, powerful processing, and exceptional sound quality.

Pea’s journey in audio started in high school, working sound for his school auditorium. He later attended Madison Media Institute, and founded Pinnacle Audio – specializing in the unique needs of theater, and running sound for Kids From Wisconsin, featuring 22 singer/dancers backed by a 14-piece band.

“When I started with Kids from Wisconsin, they had an (Allen & Heath) iLive mixer,” he recalled. “I became so familiar and happy with the workflow that I just stuck with Allen & Heath.” Since then, Pea consistently chooses Allen & Heath consoles, particularly their flagship dLive system, to achieve the sonic excellence his clients have come to expect.

Pea finds dLive’s workflow to be unmatched. “I can work much faster on Allen & Heath desks compared to other consoles,” he explained. “You can pick and choose different ways to do the same thing, depending on how your brain functions. Routing, for example: you can do it through the routing screen, or using the physical mix buttons.”

Pea finds dLive’s powerful scene management tools are crucial for the smooth transitions required during a live theatrical performance. “The update function is great,” he explained – referring to dLive’s ability to change a parameter on many saved scenes simultaneously. “I also use a lot of global safes and recall filters, as well as crossfade times.” The added benefit of triggering QLab sound effects directly from the console streamlines his process even further – allowing him to control both levels and audio cues from the same device using custom MIDI strings.

“I also like being able to see all of the wireless information right on the screen,” noted Pea – in reference to dLive’s Shure and Sennheiser wireless integration, which shows AF and RF levels, battery health, and gain controls for wireless mics right from the console. “I just assign the mics to the right channels, and I have everything I need right in front of me.”

Sound quality is paramount in theater, and it’s here that Allen & Heath consoles truly shine for Pea. He convinced a local high school to upgrade to a dLive system, and the difference in sound quality was evident immediately, even before any adjustments were made. “The school’s directors commented on the improvement right away,” Pea recalled. “I told them: I haven’t even done any processing yet!”

Pea’s success is evident through numerous awards for theatrical production, having received several Jerry Awards, which recognize excellence in high school theater in Wisconsin. His work on a production of “Frozen,” which was selected to perform at the International Thespian Festival, highlights his dedication to creating immersive sonic landscapes.

“Allen & Heath consoles are my preference for any event I do,” explained Pea. “And I don’t see that changing any time soon.”

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