Five time Grammy Award winner Israel Houghton engaged Forefront Productions for Production Management and FOH mix duties for his latest project encompassing a six country tour throughout Asia with a full concert DVD recording for the new release - Israel & New Breed :Covered 'Alive in Asia'. Grab it on iTunes
Appointed as Production Manager and FOH mix engineer, Forefront principal Nick Burns reported, "It was a great couple of weeks we spent, sleepless, across 6 countries capturing some great moments".
The nuts and bolts really only came together a month before the first date, so it was a hectic, round-the-clock schedule here in our Australian office to design systems, produce documentation and equipment riders and then implement across the 6 different countries - some with significant language barriers. So bouncing back between the Asian, Austrialian and multiple USA timezones for the 3 or 4 weeks in the lead up was time well spent to ensure everything ran as smoothly as possible.
It was apparent quite early on that the reliable supply of some equipment that needed to be uniform across all the dates and countries would be quite difficult. This was particularily the case for the audio & video recording side of things and stage monitoring.
In discussions with Danny Duncan, the audio recording engineer for the project, pretty quickly we had resolved that DiGiCo would be our consoles of choice for their sonic quality, i/o capability and availability. We would also need to travel our own multitrack record system and video ISO recorders autonimously.
As we were already running a Waves Soundgrid network for plugins, and travelling our own Soundgrid Server, it made sense to extend that to provide the 92 channels of input need for the live record. Eventually, we struck off the idea of having a separate console just for recording, and copies of the FOH DiGiCo mic pre's were split straight off to the record Soundgrid network via our Digigrid MGB's - with FOH giving record the gain priority. This meant that a single ethernet cable into the Macbook's carried all the inputs for the record. For redundancy, we also had a Macbook at FOH tracking as a backup.
As most dates were fly in, fly out - some on the same day with less than 12hrs on the ground, we were limited in the amount of equipment we could carry. This meant we had to use systems that were compact, quick to setup and of high quality.
We travelled a 4 pack of Sennheiser 2000 series wireless mics, equipped with Neuman KMS capsules, to ensure the continuity in quality of our lead vocals. We also carried an A&H ME-1 personal monitor system for the 3 keyboard players and drummer, allowing them to select and save their own in-ear mixers from up to 40 input sources, comprised of direct inputs and some sub-mixes to reduce down to 40, our actual input count of 92. This was connected to the ME-U hub via MADI directly from the DiGiCo monitor consoles. Also in the kit was a collection of instrument microphones, including the Telefunken M80's for snares, Telefunken M82 & Sennheiser e901 for kick, Sennheiser e904's for toms.
On the video side of things we travelled a Coolux Pandora's Box Media Server to give us content control via our specified MA2 lighting consoles for the LED walls in each location. Eight BlackMagic Design Hypershuttles provided us with portable video ISO recording capabilites.
Waves Soundgrid Server
Coolux Pandora's Box Media Server
GrandMA2 Full Size
Sennheiser 2000 Series Wireless Mics with Neumann KMS103
A&H ME-1 Personal Monitor Mixers
A&H ME-1 MADI Hub