Having portable recording equipment enables us to record pretty much anywhere. In recent years we’ve recorded live concerts, natural history, voice overs, aural history projects, sound to picture, in fact pretty much all aspects of location recording. Obviously if power is available we’ll use our very fine Focusrite and DAV pre-amps, going into Logic Audio on a MacBook via a MOTU interface but if no power is available we now have interesting alternatives at our disposal.
For straight stereo recording we use a Tascam HD-P2, a professional standard flash drive recorder, which has good pre-amps and excellent conversion. For more complex portable work we have an Azden FMX 42a, a four channel mixer which can feed both a camera and flash drive recorder at the same time. These combined with a range of dedicated equipment such as shotgun mics and a boom pole makes for very flexible location recording solutions.
We’re used to recording in various locations and recently set up for a band recording in the old Radio New Zealand studios in Selwyn Place. These studios are largely under utilized these days, but are well treated acoustically and fully sound proof, making them ideal for working with larger bands. The recording session of a local Rockabilly band Krazy Katz went very smoothly and this space is available to us for future recording projects.
Each venue has its own acoustic signature and most large spaces are generally workable for location recording. A couple of recent examples involved brass groups, but recorded in very different venues. We recorded the Tasman Brass Ensemble in Nelson Cathedral, with it’s lush reverb, over several evenings. The musicians are experts in their fields and we achieved a very high standard of production. Also involving brass was the National Secondary Schools Brass Band Of New Zealand concert at the Theatre Royal. The Theatre has a very different acoustic to the Cathedral, but was actually better suited to a larger band. We were very pleased with the technical production of this recording which used a standard ORTF pair of Neumann TLM193 mics with Neumann KM183 outriggers and TLM193 and M300 spot mics.