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

Here to visit my website.



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