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Digidesign VENUE Captures Paul McCartney Live

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Joined: 14 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:49 am    Post subject: Digidesign VENUE Captures Paul McCartney Live Reply with quote

Paul “Pab” Boothroyd, long-time front-of-house (FOH) mixer for Paul McCartney, is making extensive use of the Digidesign® VENUE live sound environment and Pro Tools|HD® technology for recording every soundcheck and performance on McCartney’s current world tour, including a recent live DVD shoot in San Jose, California.

Previously, Boothroyd’s method was to record to modular digital multi-track (MDM) machines, sub-mixing down to 48 tracks. It was a labor-intensive job that required massive cable patching, which sometimes compromised the sound quality of the recordings. According to Boothroyd, “I am now doing 64 tracks of recording every night and, if needed, I can easily assign additional tracks for anything that’s happening on stage and then forget about it. With 96 direct mic pre taps available and another 32 tracks available for stem mixing, it is very unlikely that we will surpass the track count.”

Boothroyd’s VENUE system is configured with 96 mic/line inputs and 96 line outputs located in racks at stage right. These inputs are fed with an analog split from the master snake system. The 96 analog outputs are available as an optional line-level recording split to remote trucks or redundant Pro Tools|HD systems. The 96 channels of I/O are then connected to the local FOH rack via BNC digital snakes. Once the audio is delivered to the local FOH rack, it’s distributed via DigiLink cables directly to the Pro Tools system’s HD Core and HD Accel cards inside the computer. No additional audio interfaces are needed to port the audio to the DAW. “Compared to our previous methods,” says Boothroyd, “it’s a no-brainer!”

This seamless recording and playback integration into a digital mixing environment also gives Boothroyd the unprecedented ability to create rough mixes of tracks on a day-to-day basis in the field without interrupting his mix for the show. “It’s a simple mouse click to reconfigure the desk to mix the Pro Tools tracks, and another to get me back to my evening’s show settings,” states Boothroyd.

In addition to helping record McCartney’s shows, VENUE generates sub-mixes of outboard effects returns, video playback tracks, and a handful of stage inputs, including McCartney’s famed grand piano, used for songs like “Hey Jude” and “Live and Let Die.” “Running VENUE alongside the Midas XL4, I can send all my sub-mix feeds from the D-Show console to the XL4 and into the PA, do all my effects controlling on the D-Show console, and mix certain songs completely from D-Show.”

For more information, visit Digidesign’s website at

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