New York, NY (May 9, 2005)–There are dozens of ’80s-influenced bands coming out of Brooklyn, NY these days, but few have had the critical acclaim that greeted Secret Machines with its debut last year, Now Here Is No Where. Along for the ride on the band’s recent six-week U.S. tour was engineer Philip Harvey, who recorded most shows using a 24-track Metric Halo rig that occupied three rack spaces, plus a PowerBook and a FireWire hard drive.
Pulling double duty as both the live sound and recording engineer was largely dependent on the available mixing console, says Harvey, who carries a Metric Halo ULN2+DSP interface for SpectraFoo analysis in addition to three Mobile I/O 2882+DSP units on tour. “I have a 22-channel input list for Secret Machines. And I’ll record the same channels that I’m running live plus two Schoeps MK4 audience mics. We didn’t carry our own console on this run, so multitrack recordings have only been possible when we have had a Midas Heritage 3000 or an XL-4, with pre-fader, pre-EQ direct outputs.”
He elaborated, “I’ll take the preamp sends from the direct outs of the mixing console and send them to the 24 analog inputs of the three Mobile I/O 2882+DSP. On this last tour, I was only able to record 24 tracks on three shows. The rest of the time, when limited by the FOH console, I’d run four channels–the board left and right mix, plus the stereo mics in the house.”
According to Harvey, “Just having that capability has blown the minds of Secret Machines. I was showing that with the right console, we could multitrack an entire tour. On our next tour, we’ll bring out a complete FOH/monitor system, except for racks and stacks, and with that console and a couple of hard drives, we can document and record an entire tour. Then come back, find the best songs, and mix them down for a live release or whatever comes of it.”
However, there’s just one caveat to recording so many performances. “The main problem is going back and listening to all that material to find the best songs,” he said, noting that the recent tour generated over 20 hours of recordings.