Lititz, PA, USA, July 2018 — The rumor is false that when prehistoric fish first crawled onto land, Clair Global was there to provide the sound system and technical expertise. It only seems like the legendary production company has been providing tour, festival, broadcast, and corporate event support for 400 million years. But should a fish attempt such a feat today, Clair Global may well be present to record the sound of the event with a Tascam DA-6400 64-track digital recorder and archive the stereo mix with a Tascam SS-CDR250N CD player.
“Nowadays multitrack recording is a big deal for concert tours,” observes Clair Global Senior Director-Systems Development Harry Witz. “Some people bring out full DAW rigs, but that’s a lot of space and weight. Some record to a laptop. But I prefer dedicated hardware, and using the Tascam DA-6400 is simple, convenient, and reliable. It’s 1U rack-mount, and you’re setting up your rack and your console at a gig anyway. It’s available with Dante or MADI cards; I use a lot of DiGiCo products, so I got a MADI card. Hooking it up is dead easy: Connect two coaxial cables into the input rack of a DiGiCo, and it’s up and running.”
You have to adjust a few settings on the front panel to get it to talk to the console, Witz acknowledges. “But once you know what to do, it’s pretty simple. Then you just hit Record. That’s it; you don’t have to deal with anything else until you’re done. You don’t have to get out cables and your converter, find a place to set your computer so you can see the screen, make sure you have power, and boot up the computer.”
Once up and running, Witz notes, “it automatically tracks the inputs from the MADI rack. You can set up the little metering section on the front so that it’s easy to see that you have input on everything. You can even see that you have live mics without looking at the board. It has a caddy with a hot swappable SSD drive, so if you fill a drive, you swap it out and keep going.” When finished recording, Witz connects the DA-6400’s USB 3 port to a laptop and downloads the files. “It’s quick,” he asserts. “A two-hour show downloads in just a few minutes.”
When testing the Tascam DA-6400, Witz recorded a half-dozen bands in genres ranging from Irish folk music to heavy rock. “The first thing I noticed is, the thing’s dead quiet,” he reports. “I’ve listened to DA-6400 tracks in my home studio, and they’re as high quality as anything I’ve ever heard.”
For one high-profile Clair tour, Witz was preparing to mix some dates the regular engineer couldn’t make. “I watched the show so I knew what was going on, recorded it on the DA-6400, brought the recorder back to the shop, plugged it into a DiGiCo SD10, and used it to mix the tracks on the board,” he recollects. “It worked great for that. How much easier could it be than a 1U rackspace recorder that does 64 tracks at 48 kHz? Another of our engineers and I both gave the DA-6400 a thumbs up, and it’s now on Clair’s ’approved’ list.”
At Clair Global, multiple engineers are responsible for testing new equipment. Senior Director of Engineering Howard Page assessed the Tascam SS-CDR250N two-channel networking CD/media recorder. “For worldwide concert tours, we always need a reliable and easy-to-use way of archiving the shows to a medium-or multiple media-that is instantly transferrable to many situations,” explains Page. “The SS-CDR250N unit fills that need perfectly. I use the SS-CDR250N to record full archive recordings of all of my live shows.”
Previously, Page used Tascam CD-RW901 CD recorder/players. “My custom CueController program for Windows PC was rewritten to take advantage of the complete RS232 remote-control capabilities of the CD-RW901,” he recalls. “Artists and band members really appreciated the results, as they could get a CD disc of a show with not only the venue and date of recording but also fully named and ID’d tracks.”
The SS-CDR250N enabled Page to take advantage of the latest advances in technology. “Bands and artists want a more flexible format to instantly download into their computers,” he observes. “Like the CD-RW901, the SS-CDR250N offers RS232 control, and it has exciting new features, like backup recording, the ability to upload files to a server, and many more great features that make it ideal for our purposes. Initially the SS-CDR250N firmware was not fully compatible with what the CD-RW901 was able to do but thanks to outstanding firmware development by the technical guys at TASCAM in Japan, the SS-CDR250N now interfaces perfectly with my CueController control software.”
Page’s show control software has too many elements to detail here. Suffice it to say that, used with the TASCAM SS-CDR250N, the end result includes a full archive recording with all tracks ID’d, including song titles, where it was recorded, and on what date. Page records simultaneously on both a USB memory stick and an SD card for an extra level of security. Touring pressures have precluded him from using the SS-CDR250N’s FTP features to upload files to a server, “but,” he states, “I am certainly excited to get to those functions in the future.”
While features and sound quality are crucial for Witz and Page, it’s imperative that gear holds up under the stresses of touring. “The DA-6400 has been absolutely reliable,” states Witz. “The SS-CDR250N has performed flawlessly so far,” Page adds. And that’s no fish story.
DA-6400 used at 34th Chaos Communication Congress
The Chaos Communication Congress is an annual conference between Christmas and New Year, where interested and committed people meet to discuss computer security and social and technological developments. The event is organised by the German Chaos Computer Club. The interest has been international for a long time and attracted 15,000 participants to the Leipzig exhibition halls in December 2017.
Since 2005, a team from the Technical University of Ilmenau has been streaming the lectures at the congress for many thousands of spectators. In the meantime, an independent team, the Video Operation Center (VOC), has grown out of it in which pros and committed helpers volunteer to make many events freely available on the Internet throughout the year. As the largest event of the VOC, the Congress always sets new quality standards and promotes internal development. This year’s focus was on sound. For the first time, a separate mix was created for streaming and recording and the entire production chain was switched to stereo.
At the 34th congress (34C3) in December 2017, there were four lecture halls, each with over 12 hours of lectures per day. The almost 170 lectures were streamed live and then published on media.ccc.de. Volunteers took over the live mixing of the lectures. In addition to the picture direction, each hall had its own audio mixing console and a Tascam DA-6400 with Dante interface cards. The mixing consoles were remotely controlled from a central audio control room. Remote control was chosen since no suitable space was available to ensure insulation against ambient noise. This also made it possible to provide better support for volunteers in the event of questions or problems. It was very important to easily secure a complete multi-track recording of all presentations in order to be able to repair the mix for later publication in case of an error. Since a Dante network was already available, the use of the DA-6400 with Dante interface cards was the logical choice. By placing the recorders in the hall, the recording was independent of the network connection between the halls and the central control room. To monitor the remaining recording time, the technicians used the network control functions of the recorder. The remaining capacity of the SSDs was automatically queried at regular intervals via Telnet and displayed with an existing monitoring tool.
Due to the short set-up time, the simple commissioning and uncomplicated operation was very helpful to the team. The recordings could be started in no time at all. At the end all recordings were faultless and could be used successfully for the quick repair of some lectures.
Creative producer Bruno Fritzsche from Stuttgart, Germany, has successfully used the Tascam DR-70D for a commercial video production at “Green Innovation and Investment Forum 2017” in Stuttgart. The DR-70D had been rigged to the camera and connected via a wireless filmmaker kit to feed further recording equipment. Using this setup, it was easy to combine and synchronise the high-resolution audio recording with the video in a later step.
Bruno Fritzsche is working as a creative producer and director since 2010 and has already received several awards for his creative work.
More information: www.brunofritzsche.de
A concert with Addys Mercedes is a journey between moon and sun, yesterday and today, depth and ease. The great voice liberates the music of her homeland from antiquated clichés of thick cigars, singing grandpas and ladies of easy virtue and takes us into a world of exuberant cheerfulness and deep melancholy – here at the interview in Havana and at the beginning of the new year on her Germany tour from 7 January to 17 June 2017.
All tour dates:www.addysmercedes.com
"Only few people have heard and talked about the sound that the heart of every volcano emits. In every single lava stone and basalts we find on volcano summits and flanks there is a fragment of our history of Earth and Mankind. We have to tell this in a different way to internet users who can participate on the web in our initiative which is unique in its kind." -- VFF Marenostrum e. V.
A Tascam DR-60DMKII is currently being used to help create scientific documentaries of active volcanoes. The VFF Research Institute Marenostrum e.V., registered in Austria, started their research project in 2014 and decided to use a Tascam DR-60DMKII to archive the sounds of those volcanoes and publish the results to the world. First recordings have been made at the Stromboli in Italy. The project is planned to be completed by 2018.
The World of Volcanoes
Two US-16x08 interfaces have been introduced into the home studio of Masayuki Muraishi, a leading drummer in Japan. His studio is used for pre-production and recording of artists he produces. Mr. Muraishi also teaches drums in the studio and is working on a recording curriculum for his students. The US-16x08s were introduced to meet a demand for drum recording in the studio.
US-16x08 Application Example: Hirotaka Mori Live Recording
Three Tascam US-16x08 were used together with Tascam X-48MKII and Tascam DR-44WL on the multitrack recording of the “Masayuki Muraishi meets Hirotaka Mori ‘LIVE ON PLANET EARTH’” DVD, which features the work of the widely popular singer-songwriter Hirotaka Mori.
On the day of the event, a monitor console was not used, so the monitor console lines were directly connected to three US-16x08 used in mic-pre mode. The X-48MKII had the IF-AN24X analogue expansion card installed, and its connection to the US-16x08 was made using three XLR/D-Sub multi-conductor cables. In order to utilize all the inputs used on the stage, a 24-channel recording was done.
The DR-44WL was used to record the ambient sound of the venue as a whole, and was placed at the front-of-house mix position. A boom stand was installed in the PA booth, and the DR-44WL was remote-controlled via Wi-Fi with level-monitoring active.
The post-recording mixing and mastering were both done using Sonar Platinum, using only the standard plug-ins and functions of Sonar Platinum. The mix recall function of Sonar Platinum was used, and distinct mixing was done for each song within this project. For effects, extensive use was made of the Sonar ProChannel effects features.
Note: Since this was a multi-angle DVD, the video data volume was large, and the audio was recorded in a compressed state.
- TASCAM US-16x08
- TASCAM X-48MK2
- TASCAM DR-44WL
- TEAC AV-P250LUV
- SONAR Platinum Software
Recording Venue: SHIMOKITAZAWA GARDEN
About Hirotaka Mori
Born March 9, 1976, Hirotaka Mori is a singer songwriter originally from Kagoshima Prefecture. He made his major debut with Warner Music Japan in October 2001. While there, he released six works – including the single “Zero Chiten” and the album “Coexisting Concepts.” Subsequently, he shifted to indies, releasing the album “planetblue” in 2009 and the album “Ii’n desu” in 2013. He is also actively involved in producing, arranging, and distributing music under the name Coa.
Recording Source: Masayuki Muraishi meets Hirotaka Mori “LIVE ON PLANET EARTH” Multi-angle Live DVD
Csaba Toth Bagi, Production Manager: “They work great! They are very practical too. We’re recording all of the shows now with two lines and the two built-in mics!“
Dirk Schulz, Mando Diao FOH engineer: “As the band asked me for a live Autotune effect, the TA-1VP was instantly my first choice to go for. The open and transparent sound is very convincing and without a loss of quality comparing to the main vocal signal.“