Technical backstage: live recordings gears

It’s not a didactic section (when needed I’ll link related pages on manufacturer site) but so as to explain my approach to recording.


since 1997 I recorded live shows like orchestra concerts, jazz ensemble and others with several audio recording systems.

I started with a dat-recorder Tascam DA-30 MKII, very reliable system, but with a no longer span memory (digital tape is a data frame with linear access) and 16 bit word-lenght. It worked from 48kHz to 32kHz (long duration). Tape lenght at 44.1/48kHz was from 5′ to 120′.

Today, it’s still available on my studio to transfer dat tape on audio files.

At the same time I bought two Alesis Adat blackface to make available multitracks recording with JLCooper Datamaster syncronizer.

This system worked with VHS tape at 48kHz@16bit to 42′ maximum recording lenght, as a consequence it was difficult to use it in live recording.

Adat blackface (image from net)

Adat blackface (image from net)

First recorder system on HD which I bought was two Roland VSR-880 coupled with digital consolle Roland VM7200.

At that time I was a Roland audio pro exhibitor.

Roland VSR880

Roland VSR-880

After I made a mobile workstation with an Apple iBook with RME Fireface800 and OctaMic. Actually I choose to substitute iBook with a MacBook.

Apple iBook with RME Fireface800 + OctaMic

Apple iBook with RME Fireface800 + OctaMic

Later I built a DAW Windows based with RME HDSP 9652+9632 (total 34 tracks). I used it to record Ottavo Ritcher “Molly’s Malone” live album (here Watermelon man from album). Today this mobile station is discontinued.

PC Windows mobile recorder with HDSP 9652 + 9632

PC Windows mobile recorder with HDSP 9652 + 9632

Today I have three workstations avalaible:

– Apogee Rosetta800 with firewire card coupled with Apple MacBook.

My best workstation: eight Shoeps microphones, eight Millenia preamps and eight Apogee Rosetta800 AD/DA channels.

I used it to record several live session of orchestra and choir ensemble (see antique music demo here)

MacBook with Apogee Rosetta800 with firewire card

MacBook with Apogee Rosetta800 with firewire card

– RME Fireface800 coupled with Apple MacBook

26 tracks with twelve microphones preamp on-board

I used it to record many concert of orchestra ensemble (see orchestral demo here).

MacBook + Fireface800

MacBook + Fireface800

– Joeco BlackBox BBR1U system

It’s a stand-alone system, 24 tracks, it write an audio streaming directly to external HD up to 96kHz@24bit, very reliable and with a very fine AD/DA converter. It’s perfect to record 24 tracks at 96kHz@24bit

I bought it in september 2012 to record 24 tracks 10hour/day for three months (over 900 hours total) during Alberto Garutti exposition at the PAC – Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea in Milan.

Furthermore I used it to record new live album of Stormy Six “Benvenuti nel ghetto”, live album of Andrea Fedeli jazz trio, presentation of Born4Music jazz department and the last live session of Aspis choir.

Joeco BlackBox BBR1U

Joeco BlackBox BBR1U

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Apple Logic in trouble


last saturday night I recorded a jazz concert with my mobile station based on Joeco BlackBox BBR1U. Very fine piece of gear, it’s very stable, it has a very good converter and  it records 24 tracks at a time with a sample rate up to 96kHz@24bit.

BBR1U writes the data streaming directly on external hard disk (USB 3.0) in Wave broadcasting format.

Ok, I recorded, now do I have to mix these tracks, right?

Normally my DAW is Apple Logic Pro 9 but by now I verified that it doesn’t work fine with audio files made on BBR1U: problems to open the project and instability done.

This time the problems have increased probably due to high sample rate (96kHz)

Damn, ten minutes to open the project and frequently freeze… I went crazy…

Yesterday, I tried to convert files in AIF format with Weiss Saracon, but no dice… I had the same problems…

Although these problems yesterday I mixed with Logic and the sound was very fine.

Today back in my studio and the project doesn’t started!

I tried to open the project many times, but no dice. I was desperate…

At last I resolved by saving all files in AIF format (one by one) with Logic Sample Editor window and now it work fine!

So, don’t work Logic with Wave broadcasting? Surely I founded many problems.

Note: today I tried with Pro Tools 10 native and with Harrison Mixbus too and they worked fine (but by now I mixed with Logic).

Tomorrow I’ll close mix and I’ll deliver it to my customer.

Have a nice mix ( I hope),


Great jazz concert at Memo restaurant (Milan)

Last night I worked to record a jazz concert at Memo Restaurant to present a new jazz school in Milan: Born4Music Jazz Department

This show was wonderful and musicians (and teachers too) were great performers.

Giovanni Mazzarino (piano and director of studies), Cinzia Roncelli (vocal), Simone Daclon (piano), Niccolò Cattaneo (hammond), Giuseppe Mirabella (el. guitar), Michele Bozza (sax), Dino Rubino (trumpet), Humberto Amesquita (trombone), Alex Orciari (double bass) and Roberto Paglieri (drums).

I recorded with Joeco BlackBox BBR1U at 96kHz@24bit.

Next week I’ll mix in my studio with Logic and as soon as possible I upload some songs on my Soundcloud account.

Thanks to the kind cooperation of Memo’s resident technic Martino

Cheers 😉