Achieving multi-track recordings of live performances was not always a trouble-free undertaking for Ireland's Krecording Audio Engineering Solutions. The Kildare-based company worked with DAW-based systems that were not always sufficiently robust or road-worthy. All that changed with the recent acquisition of a JoeCo BLACKBOX BBR64-MADI Recorder.
Established in 2001 by Andy Knightley, Krecording has established a solid niche for itself, recording and mixing live music events around the UK and Ireland for TV, radio and internet-based media. Using DAW-based solutions, says Knightley, "had two major drawbacks: we were on the road using gear not exactly designed for the road; and the amount of interfaces we had to carry meant these solutions weren’t as neat and compact as they could have been."
So Knightley spent some time researching alternatives and alighted upon the Blackbox BBR64-MADI – the JoeCo multi-track recorder that is designed to record and replay up to 64 channels of MADI data. "We realised that we could retire the DAW and fit a JoeCo and a couple of MADI converters into half the space taken up by DAW interfaces. Coupled with the bulletproof nature of the JoeCo, this made it a really easy decision. There really isn't a solution that is more neat," he says.
The easy-to-deploy nature of the BBR64-MADI has rendered it particularly complementary to the somewhat changeable nature of Krecording's home market. "Ireland is a small market in terms of its music industry, and the amount of music that ends up being broadcast is even smaller," says Knightley. "This means we have to be prepared for every eventuality to get the job done. As it stands we can either take analogue splits into our 64-channel preamp rack or a direct MADI feed from the venue's console. The eight analogue inputs on the BBR64 are awesome when we are taking a direct MADI feed, and it is easy for us to be completely independent when it comes to audience mics."
The addition of a Bluetooth option for the recorder has brought further flexibility for line-checks and pre-show mix set-up, and Knightley says that the end-result for Krecording – which has captured performances by acts as varied as Kings of Leon, Westlife, Little Mix and Sinead O'Connor – has been a further strengthening of its market position.
"The nature of live recording means that a lot of the shows we record are booked at the last minute and are of great urgency, so the ability for us and our equipment to be flexible and reliable means Krecording has become the first port of call for many TV, radio and record company clients in Ireland," he says. "If we get a phone call to travel halfway around the world to record a show I can be pretty confident that we can grab the BBR64-MADI and some preamps and record a stadium show with minimal fuss."