Recording On The Go

Setting up at Westminster United Church

Travelling to a gig is always a concern, especially when you are travelling across the country as I recently have. In the last two weeks I have been recording in Banff, Victoria and most recently Regina. Each trip has posed it’s own challenges for transportation with the Banff and Regina trip involving hauling my gear on a plane. Going through security is more stressful than anything else. In reality I had no issues ¬†on either trip and the security check was a breeze. I followed the following guidelines when packing for air travel.

First off, any hardware that can come on the plane with me does. I just don’t trust baggage handlers. I don’t bring any cables in my carry on because they tend to make my mics and gear look like explosives when going through the scanner. Theagents are trained the difference between homemade and commercial electronics and nothing looks worse than cables going everywhere. Even with a fully loaded down backpack (4 recorders, 5 mics, and 2 stereo pramps) they only had to take a few looks at my bag before moving on.

Second I bring only what I need. Now the list above seems like a lot of recorders, but the gig was a music festival with three stages that each needed to be recorded simultaneously. The Regina trip was for a choral recording in a church, so again I brought only what was needed; an Apogee Ensemble interface, four mics, a pre amp (which I ended up not using), my stereo bar and my laptop. Cabling and stands I picked up in the city at a zero cost thanks to the school I was recording.

Having a simple setup meant that I was able to get off the plane and jump right into the church to set up. I dialled in my mics before even the first person arrived, and thanks to experience and a little luck nailed my mic positions the first time. I used a pair of KM184′s in ORTF in front of the choir and a pair or C414′s in omni as my room mics place on the balcony hanging over the edge. The recording turned out fantastic and will be used for the schools national competition entry. They have placed third and second at the national level the past two years so hopefully this recording will push them over the edge to first place this year. Good luck Campbell Collegate.