How it all happened

Voices Cafe - Westport, CT

Voices Cafe – Westport, CT

I was at the Board Meeting where Voices Café was given the green light to get the professional equipment that would allow them to go professional. Have professional sound for the concerts. It was a great day for all musicians and music lovers. At that time, I was looking into different studios to do a Tribute Concert worthy of the music of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. As I was shopping around, I started asking a question – “Would it be possible to use the Sanctuary and the recording equipment that the UU Church just purchased to do a professionally recorded concert good enough to be recorded “LIVE?”

Step 1
I was at a gig with the band at the Huntington Street Café and Peter Atkins, a great fan of ours, said what do you want to have happen next .. I told him about the idea of recording the music with Voices Café equipment and he promised me that he would bring it up at the next meeting. He had several conversations with them and they realized that this could be good for them as well if we could create a paradigm for performers seeking to record and give them an example of what that would sound like with my concert. After many conversations with Tim Wilson, I was clear that this would be possible and a very good thing to explore further in discussions with Dave Rabens, Tim Wilson and the band as well as Rozanne. We knew we needed a professional sound person at the board, additional microphones would need to be rented and I wanted to bring in Marshal Rosenberg, who we had performed with at high profile gigs and we just loved what he brought to the sound. So, after kicking around a few dates, September 22nd was the date all band members were free, the UU Sanctuary was available and Dave Rabens was available to do sound. YEAH !! Yes, Step one was completed. The date, the place the band, equipment and the engineer were set.

Step 2
Now I needed to create a budget for what this was going to cost from beginning to end, including the making of the 500-1000 CDs, the cost of musicians and an Engineer. Also arrange for additional equipment to be available for both sending sound out to the audience and recording it without effects. ie: Renting microphones, wires and cables to meet the need of isolating sound as much as possible for a cleaner recording. For example Voices had four microphones but we needed about 14 – The Percussionist alone needed 5 condenser microphones.

Then we needed to make sure we had the right amps
Direct boxes and gear to get this job done…
Refreshments and food for the band before performing

Creating an easy to use Order form to pre-sell CDs before during and after the concert – This was done by Rozanne and Lisa Olson put the finishing touches on it so it was easy to look at and easy to fill in… and it was colorful and fun!

So preparation was key. I must have had 20 conversations with Tim about what to expect and how it would be set up. In retrospect, I would advise that you create a sound plot, which shows where on the stage each performer will be situated and what their individual sound requirements are for each musician so that aspect of the show is considered way before the performance.

Then there were daily rehearsals for me, Suzanne and a Set List with Keys and Tempos for each song sent out the band.

CDs of the band rehearsal sent out to each musician and one-on-one rehearsals with each musician who had the time to go over songs. Bob and Ruth and I sat down to map out our parts and keys etc.

Second Blog installment coming soon…
Signing off Suzanne on November 26, 2012

~ by suzannesheridanmusic on November 19, 2012.

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