Glide “Sunday Celebration” Weekly Podcasts

December 11, 2010 Comments Off on Glide “Sunday Celebration” Weekly Podcasts

Media One Audio is producing and editing the weekly Sunday Celebrations for Rev. Cecil Williams & the world-famous Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. Here is the link for the weekly Podcast:

http://www.glide.org/page.aspx?pid=374

SF MusicTech Summit 7 – December 6, 2010

November 29, 2010 Comments Off on SF MusicTech Summit 7 – December 6, 2010

Media One A/V will be providing the Audio, Visual and Recording Services for the prestigious SF MusicTech Summit 7 on December 6, 2010 at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco.

“The SF MusicTech Summit brings together visionaries in the music/technology space, along with the best and brightest developers, entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, journalists, musicians and organizations who work with them at the convergence of culture and commerce.”

 

To see the SFMT 7 line -up, Click on the following link: 

http://www.sfmusictech.com/schedule.html

To hear our recordings from SFMT 6, click on the following link:

http://www.sfmusictech.com/listen.html

So Many Roads… Media One on the Road

November 27, 2010 Comments Off on So Many Roads… Media One on the Road

So Many Roads to Soothe My Soul… 

Said Jerry Garcia in song. And like Jerry, I found myself traveling so many roads, representing our Media One Archive side in the month of October. I traveled to the East Coast for a large conference and then back to the Bay Area for another recording gig. In October alone, Media One was involved in approximately 125 hours of recordings – all edited-down into 72 individual sound files and then transferred onto Flash Drives or burned onto MP3 Cd-R’s. 

The first rounds of recordings were up in Burlington, Vermont. I flew into Boston, MA, the place where I was born and raised, and drove up to Burlington for the “Over Eaters Anonymous Region 6 National Conference”. I worked this event with my bud and associate, David Lee Joy of All Star Media in San Diego, and it was a great experience. David has a great expression that rings true in our working world, “We’re only as good as the speakers we record”. That statement is especially accurate when creating archival material. 

But on to the trip… 

First of all, it was mid October in New England. The ride up to Vermont was beautiful as I took my time to cover the almost 4 hour drive. I had clear blue skies, some puffy clouds, sunshine, low 60’s temperature, and peak foliage throughout southwest New Hampshire and well into Vermont. It seemed every hilltop or turn offered a post card type of view; simple beautiful landscapes drenched in full vibrant colors. There were golds, greens, reds and oranges. And like magic rivers, they swam up mountain valleys, with colors jumping like rainbow trout up and over the hills, splashing into electric green pastures, golden haystacks, apples, tractors, red barns, maples, cows, pumpkins, blue sky, and crisp, elf-like air… I felt as if in a cartoon at times.

My plan was to stay at the Dunn Family Homestead high upon a mountain in Jericho, Vermont, about 20 minutes outside of Burlington. Dick and Donna Dunn are friends and the parents of my friend and great singer/songwriter Jesse Dunn of Montana Slim and now the Dead Winter Carpenters. This bluegrass band is based in Lake Tahoe, CA. The Dunne stay was fantastic as their hospitality was kind and comfortable. It felt like being with old family. 

The Next Day

As I neared Burlington,
it seemed to me,
that some of the trees,
were dusting themselves free,
of the leaves,
that grew upon their boughs.
They showed a little more bare,
while the branches flexed their muscles in the air.
You could almost feel the nip of winter on the air,
while hints of summer
still struggled to hang on
hoping to be spared                                                                                                                                                                                                  from the changes of the season.

And then, Burlington… 

The 3 day event had 52 individual hour-long conferences in 8 different rooms, as well as two all day “open talk” marathons from 8 am until Midnight. These were rooms where guests and attendees could essentially express their feelings to a willing and sympathetic audience: a healing benefit for those attending these conferences and a big reason why we record these events. And a great benefit for us providing Audio/Visual or Conference Recording Services is our exposure to cool events or educational seminars such as these. It has greatly enriched my life in the 20 or so years I’ve been working in this field.

In late October, I arrived back in the Bay Area for a 3 day event of the “Workaholics Anonymous World Conference” in Menlo Park, CA. I am also very happy with those recordings as I personally brought in and mixed the main session room. To save on my post production work, you better believe I had the headphones on and was riding the fader levels and EQ for clarity! Overall, as mentioned above, approximately 125 hours of recordings and lots of fun. 

The Gift of Archiving

The communication of our recordings is, quite often, healing, revealing, educational, and comforting. We try and capture the essence of the message, conference or concert through our recording techniques. These may include mic placement, mixing, audio/visual services, and post production editing. Recording is our passion and we really enjoy being out in the field with the challenges each working environment presents to us. I feel we are very good at what we do and it’s why we’re doing it for a living.

And on a related note: I have been a practioner of various audio formats for many years in my life, starting with reel-to-reels through Wave files and more. One of the more recent lessons I am learning – and I can’t believe I’m going to say this – is an appreciation for MP-3 recordings. Ahhh, but this is a subject for my next blog…

You’ll have to check back in a couple of weeks or so. Until then… 

Happy recording folks!!! 

– Dark Star Dan 

Unleashed Culture & The Need for a Compressor/Limiter

September 10, 2010 Comments Off on Unleashed Culture & The Need for a Compressor/Limiter

by Dark Star Dan

Sean & I are working an Audio-Visual gig today called “Unleashed Culture” at the new InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco. A-V is something we are offering more and more at Media One as we have invested heavily in all kinds of cool and new gear. Now the conference we’re at features some of the leading thinkers, CEO’s, and practioners in the area of culture-building in the corporate world today. There are speakers here such as Chip Conley; Founder and CEO of “Joie De Vivre” Hotels, Joel Peterson; Chairman of the Board for Jet Blue & Stanford Lecturer, Ann Rhoades; former VP of SouthWest Airlines, and PF Chang Board Member, Lori Goler: Head of HR at Facebook, & Patty McCord; Chief Talent Officer of Netflix. Their goal at this conference is to offer practical ideas and steps that can be immediately implemented to make a difference in your company’s culture and long-term success. It’s an intersting room full of interesting people, yet here we are plugging away on our computers – listening – and now wishing we had brought a compressor/limiter with us.

Compressor/Limiters -which often come grouped together on the same piece of outboard gear – are some of the coolest and most important tools to have on gigs with live speakers – or simply live gigs in general. I should know better than not to have brought one with us today. Maybe I got thought side-tracked as we are featuring our brand new QSC K-12 powered speakers today and I just didn’t think beyond just being excited to hear how these work. So far, they’re excellent! The problem, as is usual, is related mostly to the differences in microphone technique between the various presenters and the tonal diversity of their voices. 

For example,  my second presenter is slightly animated and his voice ranges from being soft and pleasant when he’s holding the microphone maybe a touch too far away from his mouth, to suddenly being very loud and boomy (is that a word?) when he is more animated and pulls the microphone up close to his mouth. With a compressor/limiter, I would set my threshold levels at a point as to push up his quiet moments (w-compression) and then put a ceiling on the loud sound pressure levels – a limit –  for when he starts being very loud and animated on the mic (limiter). I use a higher ratio for such issues, somewhere around 8/1 to infinity for heavier limiting. This would give an overall smoother sound for the room and also make a better recording.  The key as always, is to listen to what you are hearing and work from that point of reference.

Our third presenter is holding his mic down by the second button on his shirt (his chest) and then he pulls it up close to his mouth. Again, this causes major sound fluctuations due to his mic technique. Without my limiter, it turns out to be a total volume fader-riding experience on the mix board for me. This is fun and not fun at the same time.

By the fourth speaker things drastically improved. Chip Conley wanted to wear the Countryman E-6 microphone I hade brought with me and that was a smash hit for the rest of the day. We call this the “Madonna Mic” as it clips on your ear with a very discrete, bendable, mic-tipped wire that adjust just in front of  your mouth.  This helps keep the sound pressure (volume of their voices) more  consistent and frees-up their hands for powerpoint lasers or to enhance their points. It also takes away the the probability of poor mic technique through the consistent postition of a microphone.

Now it’s a given I’m probably the only one in this room (other than Sean) who is even noticing most of these sound issues and that is fine. It does sound very clean and clear in here and I am happy about that. But part of trying to be the best we can be – to offer the best service that we possibly can – we should have brought some more outboard gear such as a compressor/limiter for this event. I did bring an EQ to ring-out the room but it is essentially not necessary in this brand new, acoustically balanced room. We only have 4 wireless microphones and a projector today so I was thinking we would be OK. Next time, no matter what the gig, all the tools of the trade should be accessible. It’s part of being a pro. That’s my three minute rant for this moment. And although I am on a diet, where the heck is my bagel?! Dang it!

Jerry Garcia Day 2010 – San Francisco

July 30, 2010 Comments Off on Jerry Garcia Day 2010 – San Francisco

Media One Archive is excited to be taking-in the 8th Annual “Jerry Day 2010” at McClaren Park in San Francisco on 8-01-10. Betty & Dan were part of the early-days people helping our good buddy, Tom Murphy, organize this event. Hope to see some of you out there as it is an event not to be missed.  Here’s a quick video clip from 2005

Working for the President

May 27, 2010 Comments Off on Working for the President

-by Errin

Yesterday was an exciting day.  The Glide Ensemble performed at a Barbara Boxer fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel, and President Obama was the guest speaker.  I sang with the Ensemble and Dan and Betty engineered Glide’s portion of the event, so three of our Media One staff were in attendance.

Although the choir performed a full hour before the President even arrived, we were permitted to stay and watch his speech.  Surprisingly, Dan and I were even allowed to walk right up to the side of the stage and stand just behind the barrier that separated the crowd from the Commander in Chief.  The Secret Service was undeniably laid back—a real change from previous gigs that we’ve done for Michelle Obama and the Clintons.  They didn’t mind us standing there and taking photos throughout the entire half hour, although I think we annoyed some folks in the audience who’d paid dearly for their choice seats.

With my little point-and-shoot camera I captured the first 20 minutes of what I thought was an excellent speech.  Here’s a short clip in which Dan and I make a cameo:

Watch Video of Obama on Energy

I was nearly beside myself with excitement, and there is actually quite a lot of footage of me giving the camera the thumbs-up and grinning like I just escaped the insane asylum.  I will spare you that imagery.

But here are a few of my favorite pictures from last night:

President Obama @ the Fairmont Hotel - SF, CA.

Dan & the President

Errin & the President

It was a long, wonderful day, and one that I’ll never forget.

But if I do forget it, I’ll just listen to the tapes that Dan made.  Because he snuck in his recording equipment hours before the Secret Service arrived and set it up beside the press decks.  We may not have actually been hired, but Media One Archive just worked its first presidential gig!

Next stop: Washington.

The Importance of Archiving

May 26, 2010 Comments Off on The Importance of Archiving

-by Errin

Did you know that the media for the feature film Avatar required 52 petabytes of storage space?

Me neither.

Did you know that there was such a thing as a petabyte until just a second ago?

OK, I’ll confess.  I’d never heard about petabytes myself until I sat in on the Archive panel at last week’s SF Music Tech Summit.  Feeling like a bonafied member of the professional geek squad with my laptop perched on my knees, I quickly Googled the unfamiliar term, and learned the following:

There are 1024 gigabytes in a terabyte.
There are 1024 terabytes in a petabyte.
There are 1 million gigabytes in a petabyte.

And then I scrolled down and saw this written in huge block text:

A PETABYTE IS A LOT OF DATA.

No kidding.

I also learned that 1 petabyte is the equivalent of 20 million four-drawer filing cabinets filled with text, or 13.3 years of HD-TV video (about 58,292 movies).  20 petabytes is the amount of data that Google processes on any given day.  And the entire written works of mankind, from the beginning of recorded history, in all languages, only comprises 50 petabytes worth of space.

Wow.  It’s odd to consider history as something so compressible, but there you have it.  By this time next year they’ll probably be selling 50 petabyte Flash drives, and you can carry the entire written works of mankind around in your pocket.

I was a little embarrassed not to have known what a petabyte was, but as an archivist in the TV and travel industries, I never had to deal in storage capacities that exceeded a couple of terabytes.  Of course, much of TV’s archives are still stored on tape.  The animated programs that I used to work on were laid off to tape at the end of the series, and the hard drives were repurposed for the next program.  Times have changed.  I don’t even want to get started on exabytes, zettabytes and yottabytes, but you should know: they’re out there.

On the archiving panel sat Frederic Lieberman, who was representing the Grateful Dead Archives at UC Santa Cruz, Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive, John Spencer of BMS/Chace LLC, Mike Wells of Mike Wells Mastering, Elizabeth Cohen of Cohen Acoustical, and moderator Stephen Hart, of NARAS.  It quickly came to light that they had differing opinions about archiving practices.  But what they had in common was a shared frustration with the lack of an archiving standard.

“How many of you are storing collections in your basement?  Or in your attic?”  Hands went up around the room.  “We all know that it’s logical to make multiple copies of our digital assets, but are you storing your copies in a separate location?”  There were a few sheepish faces in the crowd.

Beyond the risks of fire and flood, of insufficient storage facilities and weather damage, the panel lamented the general misunderstanding of basic archiving principles.  Frederic Lieberman told a story about an ethnomusicologist in Bali who contacted him with this urgent question: “My tapes got some fungi on them, so I wiped them down with alcohol and now they won’t hold any sound.  What do I do?”

“She’d wiped the oxide off the tapes,” he said, “and made them unusable.  So even the most basic archiving information is not yet common knowledge to most people.  It needs to be taught.”

I’m guessing that story predated the petabyte, but he still made a very good point.  Not only do basic archiving practices need teaching, but the notion of archiving at all has been slow to spread.  Lots of folks aren’t interested in the preservation of their materials because it costs more money, said Mike Wells.

“There is an ever-growing population that deals with digital media that has no concept of archiving, nor any inclination to do so, because it doesn’t fit into their budgets.”  I knew that to be true from personal experience.  When one of the animated programs I’d been working on at Nickelodeon was canceled, the producers had no interest in preserving the animated files, which represented two years worth of work.  The show was over, the staff was laid off and the budget didn’t allow for the man-hours necessary to neatly wrap the archive.  I’d had to argue persuasively to keep my job long enough to properly store all the data.

But although the show had ceased production, the brand was just kicking off.  Episodes were re-airing and products were being created around the characters of this children’s show.  The Creative Resources department was calling me daily, asking for imagery on which to base their new product designs.  Meanwhile, I’d been ordered to box up all our assets and stick them in a closet.  It was beyond frustrating because I understood that we were essentially putting a lid on the project’s potential.  But my job was over and I had to move on.

“Without preservation there is no monetization,” emphasized the panel.  “Opportunities don’t end with your deliverable.  If you want to repurpose or remonetize the output, you’ve got to know where your data is.  If you can’t find your asset, how will you make money off of it?”

I thought sadly of those boxes of tapes in that closet.

Every company, every individual, has their own methods of archiving.  Until some sort of standard can be introduced, we’re all on our own in deciding the best way to preserve our personal histories.  But the panel did give us some things to think about:

When conceptualizing how you’re going to create your archiving system, consider how many dependencies you’ll have, and how you’ll be able to access those dependencies in the future.  Are you using propriety software?  Keep in mind that companies get bought, or go out of business.  What sort of media are you storing your files on, and will that media be accessible in the future?  Understand that almost all media collapses before its projected expiration date.  Backing up is essential.  Consider how easy or difficult your system makes it to locate your desired assets.  People are much more likely to archive when their assets are easily accessible.  Who wants to spend hours poring through that box of tapes in the closet?

When the panel ended I wondered if I’d been left with more questions than answers.  I wasn’t sure if I’d learned much more than I already knew.  But it did re-emphasize to me the importance of archiving.  “Archiving means preserving the past, as well as the present and the future,” said Frederic Lieberman.  It means the availability of educational resources such as lectures, papers, interviews, and conferences.  Or the enjoyment of cultural events like programs and concerts.  If we preserve these materials, then we can share them, and ultimately broaden our experiences.

“You choose not to archive at your own peril.”  Although I wouldn’t phrase it quite the way the panelists did, I strongly agree that our history is our duty to preserve.  We all have something to leave behind for the education and enjoyment of future generations.  I personally have a whole lot of data to drop on my grandkids.

Probably not as much as a petabyte, but still.

Good Sound Requires Cooperation

May 4, 2010 Comments Off on Good Sound Requires Cooperation

-by Dark Star Dan

One of the most important things I have learned about live sound in my career is that good sound requires cooperation.  My greatest dissatisfaction as a live sound engineer is the issue of band members playing their instruments too loudly.  Amps that are turned up too high, stage monitors that are set too loud, and drummers who beat the heck out of their drums fall into this category.  This is a major issue for me when I’m trying to mix a “warm and rich” sound at Glide Memorial Church.

The first issue we have at Glide is that the band members are too close to each other – and to the choir – due to space limitations onstage.  As a result, the band members have trouble discerning their sound because of the volume of the instruments around them.  So the musicians tend to A) turn up their instrument volume to hear themselves better, and/or B) ask for more monitor volume to hear themselves, the lead vocalists, or the choir better.  Then the microphones designed to pick up individual instruments and choir sections tend to hear too much bleed from the other instruments in the sound field around them.  And the overall clarity of the sound suffers.

Now at Glide, a common complaint I get is, “Why it is so loud?”  This actually hurts me to hear because there’s nothing I can do – and the loud volume hurts my ears too!  To answer this question, a good starting point would be the issue I raised above.  But also, when we installed our brand new Meyer Sound system in September ‘09, we didn’t have a budget for acoustic treatment of the room.  What we need is high-density, fiberglass padding for the hard, reflective spots, to tame flutter echo and primary reflections in the main room.  We also need broadband corner bass traps to manage the standing waves from the large, low-end bass sine wave that gets caught in the corners, and in the space below the balcony.  Without such treatment, sound waves tend to bounce all over the place, creating a big mess of unclarified sound.

Sound is essentially created by pushing air through a controlled space, and volume is known as Sound Pressure Level (SPL) and measured in Decibels (dB).  The higher the SPL, the louder the volume.  When the attendance at Glide is low (meaning lots of empty seats in the church itself), we don’t have enough warm bodies to absorb all the reflection and SPL coming from our combined 90-person choir, 8-piece band, and multiple lead vocalists.  The result is sometimes not pretty, especially for a loud and rocking song.  When those loud songs are played, the Sound Pressure Level simply overwhelms the room.  I liken it to blowing up a balloon inside of a box: only so much will fit before it distorts and eventually pops, creating just “noisy air” with no definition.

Just last Sunday, the overall volume of the band – especially the snare drum – was at such an extreme level that I only dared to put vocals and choir in the mix.  Halfway through the first song, a pastor complained to our technical director that it was too loud, and he came racing up to the balcony to relay the message to me.  But when he saw my mix he had to concede that the volume was coming all from the band onstage.  No wonder our drummer and guitar player wear ear plugs!  But how are you supposed to hear a vocalist over that din?

The whole issue is a darned shame, because to have one of the premiere sound systems in the world (Meyer Sound) and essentially not use it seems like a terrible waste of money.  Every week I implore the band to play softer so I can create a balanced mix, but my pleas just fall on – if you’ll pardon the expression – deaf ears.

My hands are tied.

And this isn’t to imply that we don’t get a gorgeous sound at Glide, because quite often we do.  But many factors play into the sound quality, such as the amount of attendance, the chosen songs, even the weather conditions on a given day.  As I mentioned, sound is essentially the pushing of air through a controlled space, so whether it’s raining or sunny, hot or cold, humid or dry, each of those conditions has an effect on the sound itself.

Speed of sound depends on wind conditions, temperature, and humidity.  It does not depend on frequency; all notes travel at the same speed.  With every degree rise in temperature above 0 degrees Celsius, the speed of sound in air increases by 0.6 meters per second.  Sound travels in water about four times as fast as it does in air.  In steel, the speed of sound is about fifteen times faster than in air. That’s why you can feel the distant vibrations of sound when leaning against a wall or girder.

So this leads me back to the title of this blog:  good sound requires cooperation.  If the musicians could learn to play at a reasonable volume level, or wear in-ear monitors, we could set the stage monitors lower, and prevent reverb and delay in the main room.  The choir could hear their cues better, the lead singers could hear themselves sing and stay in tune, and most importantly, it would allow for a balanced, rich, and warm mix of sound to come through a gorgeous sound system.

This would only enhance the overall harmonious experience of a great musical aggregation.  And truly, it would enhance my job satisfaction.  Because nobody should have to wear ear plugs while trying to enjoy a Sunday celebration.

Can I get an Amen?

When We Make it to the Promised Land

February 19, 2010 Comments Off on When We Make it to the Promised Land

-by Dark Star Dan

I work every Sunday morning at a very famous multi-denominational church in San Francisco called Glide Memorial Church lead by Rev. Cecil Williams (www.glide.org) I am the house sound engineer and Betty Cantor-Jackson of Grateful Dead fame is our recording engineer. A couple of years ago, I remember going to Glide for an early morning set-up and saying to Betty, “Hey Betty, the Garcia Estate just released another one of your recordings.”

“Oh crap,” said *Betty, sitting behind the mix board in the recording booth and opening media to be used for the early morning Celebrations.  “Which one now?”

“The Jerry Garcia Band – July 29th and 30th, 1977,” I said.  “At the 1839 Theater in San Francisco.”

Betty, now sitting upright and clearly jogging her memory to find the gig in her mind.  “Oh” she said, “I remember those shows.” She continued, “I remember using the backstage restroom and hearing all this banging and noise coming from the alleyway outside.  I looked out the window and there was this big moving truck… It was the Peoples Temple staff getting ready for their move to Jonestown, Guyana.”

“Holy cow, Betty!” I exclaimed (although that wasn’t quite the language that I used).  “THAT story should be in the liner notes of this CD!”  Jim Jones and his followers fleeing their headquarters at 1859 Geary Boulevard as the loyal flock of dead-heads were blissfully enjoying the Jerry Garcia Band playing right next door! Talk about San Francisco history!

I couldn’t help think, what a contrast of religions: Jerry singing, “My sisters and brothers, keep the faith,” to Jones’ fatalistic vision, preaching to his flock “Drink the Kool-Aid”, ultimately leading to the mass suicide of nearly 1,000 people.  Powerful…

If only those doing the packing, or those planning their journey to Guyana, had only drifted into the hallways of the 1839 Theater. Their fate may have been different. If only they, and so many more people today, could hear the message of Jerry’s song:  “Through this world of trouble, we’ve got to love one another…”

~ sigh ~

How to Make an Authorized “Bootleg”

February 19, 2010 Comments Off on How to Make an Authorized “Bootleg”

-by Dark Star Dan

A nice way to make a quick and full-bodied live recording is by creating what is called a Matrix. This technique was developed by innovative tapers years ago and is quite an effective way of making a really good recording of one of your favorite bands or musical aggregations.

I’ve built an enormous archive of live recorded music over the years, and what I’ve done many times is to bring a small mix board (an 8 or 10 channel) with a couple of directional microphones or one stereo microphone to the show. I would set up the mics in what I perceived to be the room’s “sweet spot”. The “sweet spot” is usually a place in the room that is centered as perfectly as possible between the two main speakers of a venue (for stereo-imaging), and appropriately far back enough to hear the sound “develop” by the time it reaches you. Make sure that you’re not too far back, or you will lose much of the sound pressure level (SPL) and pick up too much ambient room noise. (Although sometimes getting the band’s direct sound off the stage is actually preferable.)

To secure the microphone sweet spot in a room, you usually have to go to the venue early and get an OK from both the club and the band itself. In some cases, you’ll have to be creative to figure out where you can fly microphones without the mics or your cables being trampled by a room full of people dancing. In most cases, setting up a mic stand in the middle of a crowd is not an option, so you will have to hang mics from a ceiling pipe, hook, strong cable, beam, or anything else you can latch onto. Many times I’ve literally taped a stereo mic in-between two wire coat-hangers and suspended the hangers from a ceiling pipe. (I’ve had to do that a few times at Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco.)  Half the fun of making an authorized “bootleg” is all the creative ways you can think of to place the microphones where you want them.

Once you have satisfied your room placement and have run all your cables, you’ll want to plug those two inputs (either from a single stereo mic or two room mics) into two channels of the mix board. Then take the left and right feed from the soundboard mix and try to balance the two sources together. This won’t be a 50/50 mix, but the balance, equalization and panning is at your discretion.

That’s the simpler way to do it.  Now, a more preferable and detailed way would be to take individual feeds from the house soundboard’s “Direct Outs” and feed them to your mix board.  These are usually 1/4″ inserts on the back of the soundboard.  This allows you to have more control over each individual musician onstage, and you can adjust the elements that you want to give more clarity. For me, this is usually the vocals, kick drum, snare drum, guitars, and whatever else I have room for on my board.

Remember, with this type of recording, your main feed comes from the stereo mic or room mics hanging from the ceiling (or wherever you placed them).  The direct feeds are to add clarity for each individual musician. With this kind of individual control, you are essentially an artist painting your canvas with the audio recording. Each channel represents a different color and stroke of your brush. You also have the option of using in-board effects such as reverb, delay, limiting, or compression, to further enhance your recording.

To aid this whole process, you will need very good headphones that can isolate your recording as best as possible while working in a noisy environment. If you can, find a location within the venue where you don’t have to deal with so much room noise. Make sure you have plenty of cabling in case you need to travel. Also, make sure you bring a road case or tool box with you, and plenty of adaptor cables and supplies, to be ready for any situation.  I have discovered that many sound engineers at these venues are not necessarily happy to see a person looking for a soundboard feed to make a recording. The key is to always be nice, accommodating, and professional. When they see that you really know what the heck you are doing, a mutual respect will develop.

Finally, make sure you are paying attention to what you are doing. Periodically check the recording unit to see that the numbers are moving and that you have audio levels. Nothing is worse than thinking you are making a recording and later realizing that the deck was in record/pause mode. This is tantamount to taking a roll of photos with the lens cap still on the camera. I promise you, this mistake only happens once because the pain of such a gaffe never leaves you…

Hope this was informative, and happy archiving!



Live Stream, Event Recording, Audio Recording, A/V, Audio-Visual, events