The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts was founded by Mark Featherstone-Witty and Sir Paul McCartney in 1996. Based in the original Liverpool Institute, built in 1825, it was given a new lease of life late last century when Sir Paul decided to pay a return visit to the building that had been part of his schooling several decades earlier.
Having discovered that it was in need of a “shot in the arm”, and with help from a variety of fundraising sources, seven years later, the Liverpool Institute was remodelled and reopened. Thus LIPA began to educate students not only in the art of performance but also in the art and engineering of making performance possible.
With this added emphasis on the training of audio, lighting, and media, in addition to dance, musical theatre and acting, the end of year show for the students combines technology and performance in equal measure.
Students are expected to design, engineer and perform in the Paul McCartney Auditorium in a massive festival that encompassed, this year, 32 bands over an 8 day period. LIPA is a registered charity, and when XTA were approached for some help, we were delighted to be able to get involved in the form of providing all the audio distribution for this marathon event.
Called “2ube”, the entire showcase is performed live, as well as being multitrack recorded and streamed over YouTube.
The equipment used for this event is far away from what most schools and colleges utilise, with both the live and recording gear being at a level that would give many a rental company a run for its money. DiGiCo and Yamaha desks rub shoulders with d&b speaker systems, with fibre links from the auditorium to a separate facility responsible for the streaming mix, as well as FOH and monitor live mixes for the show and a 48 track DAW recording.
In the middle of all of this sits the rack of our latest DS8000 audio distribution systems, feeding all the required desks and fibre optic devices with the highest quality splits ensuring no-one is getting a “cheap feed”! Utilising six DS8000 units, the rack provided a total of 192 separate isolated outputs comprising 6 x 8 (x 4) channels of audio.
The entire system and infrastructure was designed by Will Rice; assisting him as a system technician was Jack Condell, with James Scriven also assisting as a system technician and looking after on-stage patching. Feedback (not in the audio sense!) was unanimously positive from all involved – “…the [lovely] XTA split rack – we love it! Especially the local phantom power control.”
Jack continued “The splits have been fantastic! Thank you once again for loaning them to us – we are very grateful (and we love them!).”