The Beach Boys' Bruce Johnston tours the backstage Hay Bale Studio.
Westlake Village, CA (July 3, 2012)-Several of the acts at Bonnaroo this year recorded backstage in a purpose-built recording studio, outfitted with the help of GC Pro.
For the eleventh year in a row, tens of thousands of excited music fans descended upon Manchester, TN, for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival, held June 7-10, 2012. Bonnaroo 2012 was filled with memorable moments from its dozens of performing acts, including Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, Skrillex, Dispatch, The Roots and many more.
Nashville's The Toy Box Studio again operated the backstage studio, dubbed "Hay Bale Studio" after the dozens of bales positioned on the exterior for sound rejection. Toy Box's producer/recording engineer Lij was at the helm for the sessions.
The backstage studio/radio area was overseen by Asheville, NC-based Music Allies. In the weeks leading up to the festival, Lij, his assistant engineers and Chad Evans, senior account manager, GC Pro Nashville, who was also on-site along with other GC Pro personnel, compiled the studio's gear equipment list. Among the gear supplied by GC Pro were Burl converters, Slate Pro Audio Dragon compressors and Fox Mic Pres, an Avid Pro Tools HD Native system and microphones from Royer, Mojave and Shure, among other equipment.
The schedule for each session was fast-paced, leaving room for a quick setup and soundcheck leading up to first-take recordings of three songs, before each act was guided to the interview booth from the radio tent next door. Within an hour, the performances had been mixed down and prepped for broadcast. Approximately 45 radio stations nationwide featured these "Bonnaroo sessions" over the weekend. The multi-tracked sessions were also preserved and archived, as in past years. Forty of the festival's artists recorded nearly 100 tracks in the studio, including The Alabama Shakes, Feist, Young the Giant, Umphrey's McGee, Two Door Cinema Club and many more.