The JoeCo BLACKBOX RECORDER recently made its 48-track US debut at the MerleFest Americana Music Festival in North Carolina, writes David Davies. The feed from the Midas Heritage console at FOH, supplied by SE Systems, was taken directly into two balanced and linked BLACKBOX RECORDERS (BBR for short) to record main stage events over the four-day festival.
Little Feat, Taj Mahal, Elvis Costello and comedian-turned-bluegrass star Steve Martin were among the headline acts at this year's MerleFest, which took place between April 29 and May 2.
Considering the performance of the BBR, FOH engineer Frank Martin commented: "It just worked day in and day out, through dust and heat for four straight days and nights! An amazing product that took up very little space in my rack, too."
A BBR also featured at FOH during Stoppok plus Worthy's recent 'Grundblues' German tour (pictured). FOH engineer Sven Geiger connected the BBR to the analogue FOH desk via the console's insert send/returns, and used the device to capture performances throughout the tour.
"Interfacing the BLACKBOX RECORDER with my analogue equipment was easy and the sound of the BBR1's converters is amazing," said Geiger. "The BBR1 connected to the insert points of the analogue console saved me a lot of time, as I did not have to worry about my recording levels during the concert."
Stefan Stoppok added: "The BLACKBOX RECORDER was used at every concert over a number of weeks and never let us down. We were so impressed with the results that we decided to use a couple of the live recordings on our new Grundblues 2.1 CD, instead of re-recording the songs in the studio."
Invited by PSN-e to offer a progress report on the BBR, JoeCo founder Joe Bull commented: "We have seen increasing interest from several key territories regarding use of the BLACKBOX RECORDER for tours and other live performances. It's clear that many FOH engineers are looking for a no-hassle solution to meet a range of on-tour recording requirements. We are particularly looking forward to feedback from the international festival season, where we confidently expect a number of units to be deployed.
"Sales of the unbalanced and balanced versions have so far been most encouraging and we look forward to a significant increase with the release of the new digital versions in a few weeks' time. We're optimistic that 2010 will be decisive in putting the BLACKBOX RECORDER firmly on the live performance map."