Naked Voices and 17 Wireless Mics

May 19, 2017 – I had ALWAYS wanted to record (and later mix-down) every channel of a fully amplified and amazing concert, and today was that day. (Audio at bottom)

UCSB’s Naked Voices – WebsiteFacebookTwitterYoutubeSpotify – hired me for their huge end-of-year concert bash.  I had previously engineered two concerts for them, and tracked an EP.  With 17 voices, it was going to take 17 wireless mics.

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Beatbox mic not pictured

The previous year, they had sourced rental mics from a local company that didn’t exactly have matching wireless stock, so they spent most of the load in time frantically trying to match up microphones to receivers, and eventually fell short about 2 or 3 mics.  I can’t imagine there was much time left to finesse the audio.

To avoid that clusterf**k, I rented four Shure ULXD4Q receivers (four mics per receiver) from AV Superfly and I have to say that it was the best rental experience of my life.  I’ve never rented that much gear before, and the people I’ve rented from previously weren’t on a scale that could supply this event.  So I don’t mean to say that other rental companies suck, but AV Superfly really has their system figured out to support any size of rental.  Check out this blogpost or watch the engaging video on their main page that really shows what sets them apart.  If you ever rent A/V gear, you’ll want to give them a look.

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The four rented quad receivers on right, patched into my rig on the left. EASY.

This was a big show, and required a lot of gear, including 4 monitors, my new Peavey RBN 112 mains, a rented subwoofer, blah blah.  I rented a minivan [AND LOVED IT] in order to make the gear fit into one vehicle that wasn’t a moving van, and drove to Santa Barbara.  Did I mention that I live in Santa Cruz?  It’s about 500 miles round trip.  With this huge of a show at stake, and no way to pick up gear I might have forgotten, I did a bunch of extra testing and preparation to make sure that everything would go smoothly.  I set up and adjusted basically the whole system before doing it again at the show:

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Once I was there, I only had about 2.5 hours before sound check was supposed to start.  And then finding a damn place to park and get back took about 45 minutes.  Ouch.  Then I had to play preshow music on my phone, so I was only able to snap some photos with my iPad, without a flash.  So unfortunately I have no actual photos of the concert.  But I will say that the venue was packed, and that the dual 15″ subwoofer was pushed to its limits, as well as the pair of 1500 watt mains.  It was an incredibly fun show; a night to be remembered.

But in place of more photos, I do have a mix of one song!  I hate to say that the concert was almost a month ago, and I’m still working on getting these mixes done.  This is Chandelier by Sia, arranged by Nissi Vasa with soloist Alexander Hudson.  Enjoy 🙂

Update: I was able to jump into a group selfie just before the house opened.

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