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Preparing a live broadcast and record day 2

Yesterday’s rehearsal went really well. It couldn’t be better than this, as what I call a rehearsal was an actual live concert, it was a rehearsal only for us, the record/broadcast team. As the piece is quite complicated, it’s nice to have the opportunity to test things, find the problem spots and correct them before the real broadcast happens.

Although it’s not a requirement, I record every rehearsal, so now I have a full live concert fine-tune my processing chain and to correct some problem spots. As I quickly go through the multitrack, I already found some minor issues which can be solved with minor microphone adjustment.

Using the controller

To be honest the more I use the S6 the more I love. There are some functions I’m aware of but haven’t used yet, but there are some features that makes my life very, very much easier.
I know it’s a simple one, but believe me, VCA spill is huge. But here on the S6 you’re not only able to spill the controlled tracks, but with a push of a button you can decide to spill it to the left of the fader or to the right. Why is it matter? Because if I spill for example my solo VCA to the left of the fader, I still see all my other VCAs. And if I spill my mains VCA to the right, then I’ll have all the main mics in front of me, while still have access to the solo, strings and woods VCAs. While it might seems like a very small thing, it is immensely useful, probably even a bit more in a live broadcast situation.

vca spill
Plugin manipulation from the surface is quite good, although I don’t agree with some mapping, for example the EQ should be reversed in my opinion so that the highs should be on the right side and lows on the left. All in all there’s some minor issue with this, but I’m sure they’re going to solve these small things with an update soon.
All in all the surface has plenty of information during mixing which is very helpful, and now I’m quite familiar with the little buttons and LEDs so without thinking and searching for information I see what I need to see, which proves that it’s a good design.
Since we use Pro Tools 11 HD, I always record some automation, this time, all the VCAs are in latch mode. With this I can still freely adjust any particular channel, but still have the ability to have all the VCA automation recorded, and that can be coalesced after the recording to the channels.

Geeky note

The whole live mix/record runs mixed on Pro Tools HD 11.2.2 with running on a 6 core new (trashcan) MacPro, this time with HD native, controlled with an S6 surface. All the recordings goes to a multiple RAID backup system for safety. Monitoring is JBL LSR6328P, this time in stereo. The record drive is a 6TB dual bay Lacie big disk.

Plan for the day

As the camera team’s going to be here soon, we’ll have to check through every camera position and adjust some microphone position if necessary. It’s always this type of collaboration, it has to sound good but also has to look good on camera.
After that we’re going to have another very short rehearsal with the orchestra, this time with the whole picture team present, and at the evening we do another rehearsal pass which is also our main rehearsal for tomorrow.