These images, taken during our various field visits to date, show the Singing Wells mobile studio set-up…and also prove that you can pack everything you need for a fully functioning, professional recording studio into the back of a small utility vehicle. Here’s a quick summary of what’s in all those bags……
We have two mobile recording units, each capable of recording from four microphones plus other sources at a high resolution to Apple MacBook Pro laptops. The benefit of the systems we have chosen is that they can run off the battery power of the laptops if we are in the situation where we do not have a generator (or there is a power cut mid-session which happened to us when we recorded to the Batwa at the Traveller’s Rest Hotel in Kisoro, Uganda!)
We can also combine the two recording units into one to increase the number of inputs, while still working off battery power. The laptops use Avid ProTools recording software – an industry standard for recording and music production. The microphones we have chosen are industry standard models used in studios the world over but, most likely, not seen in the villages of East Africa.
The equipment has been carefully selected so it can easily fit into a few holdalls and four rugged peli-cases which protect everything while in transit, whether it be on a plane from Nairobi or in the back of the van on a bumpy track to one of the remote villages we are heading for.
We are adding to our equipment lists all the time as we refine our methods, learn new techniques and face new challenges. For our next field recording trip to Uganda (November 2013), this is the list of everything we will be taking with us:
2 Apple MacBook Pro
2 MOTU Traveler MK3 Audio Interface
4 Headphone amps
8 Sony MDR-V600 headphones
2 Shure mics & stands 2 Rode Lavalier omni-directional mics
2 Rode NTG-1 condenser Shotgun mics
1 Matched Pair of AKG C414 XL Microphones
1 Matched Pair of Rode NT5 Microphones
2 Rode professional boom pole
1 K&M telescopic mic stand/boom
1 Canon EOS 7D
1 Canon EOS 60D
1 Canon EOS 5D
1 LED video camera lights
1 Flip HD video camera
ThinkTank sun screens (for the laptops)
Various Canon zoom and fixed lenses Plus at least 9 Sandisk memory cards and 15 portable back-up drives and a lot of leads and cables!