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The perfect balance

Last Sunday I’ve recorded a live gig at our smaller, theatre like room. The whole things was not a big deal technically, here’s the channel list:

  1. Kick
  2. Snare
  3. Hihat
  4. Tom rack
  5. Tom floor
  6. Overhead
  7. Bass
  8. Eguitar
  9. Grand piano low
  10. Grand piano high
  11. Grand piano misc
  12. Hammond high left
  13. Hammond high right
  14. Hammond low
  15. Roland key bass
  16. Saxophone

Besides those I had two shotguns on the sides of the stage looking at the audience and two Schoeps cardioids above the audience. With all the stuff, it was 20 channels.

Right at the beginning what really unusual was the the band told the monitor guy that he has a free night as they don’t need any monitors on stage. Honestly at first everybody thought it’s just a nice joke, but it turned out to be true.

Instead of making the stage more loud, they organised the whole layout so everyone could clearly heard the other. Now don’t get me wrong we all saw gigs like this. There’s two ways this can end. First, it can be fantastic if they can keep the balance and pay attention to each other. Or… it can be catastrophic if one or more members loose perspective and start to act like a “superstar” playing as loudly as they can.

This time the first happened. They had been playing in perfect harmony so I was only a balance guard who immensely enjoyed the whole concert. Suddenly all the effects were spot on without much tweaking, any processing happened had a purpose. And the purpose was not to somehow save the production but to enhance the already fantastic delicate balance.

It was a exceptional night where all the technology just got out of the way and let the magic happen. In short, a mixer’s real dream.