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24Bit Takes SADiE on Location With Bryn Terfel

The 24Bit LRX2 setup proved invaluable as some of the locations chosen for the program were quite inaccessible.

Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel is traveling North Wales with the BBC Wales Music Department for a 2009 series “Bryn Close to Home.”

The program features on-location musical performances, all recorded by specialist location and music recordist Martin Gifford of 24Bit Ltd. 24Bit Ltd has a mobile recording, editing and dubbing facility built on a Mercedes Vito chassis.

For recording and editing, Gifford uses a SADiE LRX2 multitrack location recording interface, which can either be used as a 32-channel analog standalone unit or linked to the truck’s 64-channel Yamaha digital desk via a MADI-/Cat5-based multicore system.

For the Terfel project, the 24Bit LRX2 setup proved invaluable as some of the locations chosen for the program were quite inaccessible. The program includes a visit to Bardsey Island, complete with a grand piano, which involved some difficult logistics. There was also a trip up Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales, again with a grand piano; an open air shoot in Portmeirion, the site of The Village of the 1960s television program The Prisoner; a performance with 100 children on Caernarfon quay front; and a trip down Llechwedd Slate Caverns in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

“My SADiE LRX was used in nearly every location, but in terms of technically challenging the recording at the slate caverns definitely tops the bill,” said Gifford. The Welsh electric-folk group Ar Log performed with Terfel, and had prerecorded multitrack backing tracks, which were not yet finished or mixed.

“The tracks arrived less than an hour before shooting was due to start, and I brought them into my SADiE LRX2 for replay and for Bryn to overdub the lead vocal, standing with headphones at the rear of my mobile sound truck. Of course several takes were necessary, and after instant multitrack editing on site and replaying a timecoded sync mix, the whole project was returned to the band for further work and final mix, always keeping the live vocals in sync with the TV shoot.”

The Snowdon shoot was also difficult; Gifford was limited by the terrain as to how much kit he could take up and down the mountain. He used his iPhone for the final replay.