Karmic Solar-Powered Recording

Karmic Juggernaut recently utilized a solar panel-powered Metric Halo ULN-8 to record a new song, "Oo Wah Hoo," outdoors in New Jersey, documenting the process in a video.
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New Jersey (April 25, 2012)—Karmic Juggernaut recently utilized a solar panel-powered Metric Halo ULN-8 to record a new song, "Oo Wah Hoo," outdoors in New Jersey, documenting the process in a video.

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Piloting a Subaru Outback outfitted with solar panels and a bank of batteries, the band toured its favorite outdoor locations across New Jersey to record each instrument. In the video, what you see—acoustic guitar on the beach, drums in the forest, wailing solo on the mountainside, and more—is what you actually hear, with no lip-synching. In order to keep the power consumption low and the fidelity high, the project used a one-rack space, eight-channel Metric Halo ULN-8 for all studio functionality, save for microphones and a computer.

It was the band's drummer, Kevin Grossman, who first hit upon the idea of creating a solar-powered mobile recording rig. "This mode of recording combines all of the things that I love to do: hanging out with friends, being outside, and making music," Grossman explained.

The solar panel technology consisted of three 15-watt solar panels, a battery bank with protection against over- and under-charging, and a power inverter to generate the AC power required for the gear. In general, the solar was enough to record acoustic instruments indefinitely, but the band's vintage tube amps required both the batteries and the panels, and thus enforced a finite session recording time.

A MacBook Pro running Logic Pro was power-light, as was the Metric Halo ULN-8. Although the band had a large collection of mics at its disposal, Shure SM57s and AKG 414s captured most of the tracks.

"We've recorded songs and soundtracks in multi-million dollar studios," he continued, "but with just the Metric Halo ULN-8 and the acoustic beauty of un-walled space, 'Oo Wah Hoo' outshines them all."

In the future, expect Karmic Juggernaut to pack enough solar panels to cover an entire band. "We're working toward a full live performance using only power from the panels," Grossman beamed.

Metric Halo
www.mhlabs.com