Reelsound, Oprah Visit Texas State Fair

Feb 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By Barbara Schultz


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

Malcolm Harper at the Amek Media 5.1 board in his Reelsound mobile studio

Malcolm Harper at the Amek Media 5.1 board in his Reelsound mobile studio

A few months ago, veteran remote recording engineer Malcolm Harper took his 42-foot Reelsound Studio truck to the Texas State Fair in Dallas to capture a Martina McBride performance for the Oprah show. Harper, whose studio is equipped with a 60-input Amek Media 5.1 analog console, dual 72-track RADAR systems and Meyer HD1 monitors, is based in Austin, but he has worked concerts from coast to coast, including 20 years and counting for the Public Radio International classic jazz program Riverwalk and a couple of previous Oprah music segments. Harper describes a day's work in his world:


Read Reelsound's Bio

“I got a call from Harpo Productions' technical director that Oprah was going to be doing the State Fair of Texas, but they didn't have an artist lined up yet. We found out about two days in advance who it was, and luckily I have worked a lot with Martina in the past and know her husband, John McBride [engineer/owner of Blackbird Studios, Nashville, and longtime live sound engineer/provider].

“We got the truck up there on a Saturday before we taped on Monday. We had been in touch with [live sound providers] Clair Global, who were already set up on that stage. We were able to coordinate with them as far as getting input lists. John travels with a Clair system when he [mixes front of house] for Martina so they used what Clair already had in place. Her band set up — I think it was a six-piece — and she did one new song and a medley of her hits.

“We interfaced with Clair on the splits. The TV truck arrived the next day, we interfaced with TV, as far as getting timecode and feeds back and forth between us. We got to do a line check with Clair the night before and hear a few bands because that stage was already up and running for the State Fair. We established we had good signal, left for the night, got back the next morning at about 4 a.m., and hooked everything up, and they'd had a big rain storm that night, so somehow we had developed some buzzes and snaps and crackles. We spent about an hour going through and cleaning that up, and then Martina's band arrived at 6 a.m. and we got to do a line check with the band. Then Martina arrived about 7, and we got to do a check with her. Then the show got started and we taped about 9 o'clock till 10, and it was over by 10 o'clock. We ended up taking a couple of takes on the songs. John mixes FOH for Martina, so he wasn't in the truck the whole time. He did the soundcheck, came out, listened, said, ‘Sounds like we got what we need,’ and after the show he did the same thing and determined which take they would pass on to Harpo [Oprah Winfrey's production company] that would go on the show, and we were done.”

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95



Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.