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Starground Virtual Online Tour
Live Multi-Track Recording

Tonights gig has a surpise - the band needs a live demo recording as soon as possible. And they have only one show this month - tonight. So they've added recording to the show's production requirements.

Innertwine Recorded at The Pale Dog Tavern
Newark Delaware, March 12th 2004

With less than 24 hours notice Starground Audio adds live multi-track recording to the production of Innertwine live at the Pale Dog Tavern.

This production required 3 mixing boards, 24 channels of analog to digital converters, and (of course) the Macintosh G4 be installed onsite.

Load-in began a 1:30pm as all systems needed to be fully functional for soundcheck at 7:00pm. Eighteen high-definition digital tracks were recorded without equalization, mixing, or effects affecting the recorded tracks.

Drums were recorded with 9 microphones. Each musician had a vocal microphone, and each guitar had a 57 mic. The bass was recorded from a countryman FET-type Direct Input device. And two audience microphones were positioned onstage.

The show had three sets from 10:00pm to 1:00am which were recorded. The system was loaded out in just 1.5 hours, and the Macintosh was creating an automated mix for the band in their own home by 4am that night.

The system is loaded in at 1:30pm. Three 16 channel mixing boards are required. The Macintosh G4 is located behind the two Tascam 8 track digital recorders.

David Muddiman has rebuilt the monitor board so that it is an ideal recording source. Eighteen channels are to be recorded at once, so another console is required at this side stage position.

Hereís a close-up of the multi-track recording system

Maybe not what you expected to see, but this system can pull in lots of tracks for many hours. And arenít you glad itís not your computer in this vibrating environment.

Stargroundís standard Front-Of-House mixing board and out-board processing is set up with extra care.

Special attention is given so that no feedback will occur during the show. The gods were with us as no feedback occurred from either the house PA or the monitors.

Reliable crew is hard to find. Itís often easier for David Muddiman not to rely on crew and simply show up earlier.

However Joe Netta, the bass player of Newark Jam-based improvisational group "Lefty-Groove" requested the job and did a superb job as lighting operator and audio crewperson. Eveyone was pleased with his efforts.

Letís not forget heís a great bass player.

John Covelli arrives at 4pm to set up his drumset.

Nine microphones are used on the drums. John is pleased all drum sounds have there own mike. He gets the thumbs-up from David Muddiman and he can go home for a while and take a shower before his gig.

This is a rare shot of the bass drum microphone.

It is a Beyer 88. An impulse-friendly (low mass) ribbon microphone not designed for drums but nevertheless used on the bass drum for such touring acts as the Dave Matthews band, The Grateful Dead, John Mayer, and most recently Innertwine.

The rest of the band arrives and they make some last minute adjustments to the order of their songs.

The lead singer, Joel, wants to be sure the songs are lined up best for recording. The whole band takes some time and goes through this with him.

By this point itís clear that everybody is working hard to make this a good recording.

Happy hour begins and the crowd is waiting in anticipation. This is only the bandís second night in this club. But the people are staying to see if the apparently good production will translate into good entertainment.
Itís 10:00pm and the show has begun.

Innertwine begins to do their thing. There is a good vibe, the music is strong, and the crowd is loosening up.

Frontman Joel Houghton is a natural at pleasing the crowd. Itís going to be a great night.

Set one progresses and the crowd is having a wonderful time.

This picture shows the front of stage complete with the small-room speaker system.

Wow. Look at the clock.

Itís set three and the show is almost over. The crowd is still strong. The recording continues.

The band plays "War Pigs" from Black Sabbathís first album.

Amazing. The crowd loves it. Itís last call and the band plays an encore.

Thatís Louie with his arm raised. He had a great time. Props to Louie!

The sound system packs up in about 1.5 hours.

The Starground truck rushes the macintosh computer to the home where Inntertwine rehearses. The computer is set back up and is remixing the live show by 4:00am

This may seem strange, but it proved to be a good idea. The band listened to the beginnings of the mix of the show while it was very fresh in their minds. The musicians had some important ideas and integrating those ideas into the mix right away was very useful. It allowed the sharing of ideas, which frontman Joel intiated before the show to continue into post-production.

With many general mixing ideas now committed to mixing automation on the macintosh, it is now time to set the mac at David Muddiman's home and work out the many small details.

For example, when all four vocal mics are brought up at once they pick up the cymbals a lot more. This means that the cymbal mics need to be reduced when all vocal mics are on and the cymbal mics need to be brought back when only a few vocal mics are on. Also the audience mics need lots of adjustment to move in and out with the stops and breaks in the songs

Also in this project David Muddiman noticed it was important to make sure the guitars were very present whenever there was no vocals, and also that the guitar did not "stomp" over the voices when the vocals came back.

Related Links:

  • Starground Audio David Muddiman - Audio Engineer
  • Please Note: Innertwine has disbanded. A new band is curently forming.