Last night we did our annual recording of the Commencement Band on the college's band stand for the local college. Since we have done this for many years we have it down to a basic setup which has worked well in the past. This year they threw us a couple of curves. First they increased the size of the "band" now called a wind ensemble which was not that much of a problem. Then they increased the size of the percussion add on and made it about 1.5 times bigger which again was no problem. They added an orchestra concert before the band concert which meant that a lot of players were doing double duty and we had to hold up the band concert for about 30 minutes so the orchestra players could get to the band stand. The weather was perfect and the crowd was the largest on record. They also increased the sound system from years past when it was only used for announcements and for the soloist to a fully miked concert sound setup. They had 27 microphones and the bandstand was completely surrounded by speakers including ones facing sideways and to the rear and the person who was doing the sound must have been a rock and roll engineer because he really liked his bass and at one point as we were setting up he had the whole square echoing from the drum beats of the bass drum. Of course every speaker stack had a subwoofer as part of the stack so he had LOTS of bass to play with. We set up 6 microphones. A stereo pair in the front, two flanking omni's for the band wings and two omnis on the percussion add on. We also took 7 microphones from the sound companies splitter. They were the announce microphone, the spot percussion microphones and the solo microphones. We were going to multi track record this as well as do a down mix to stereo. For some reason the firewire on our Mackie Onyx console would not talk to the computer's firewire input and after trying for a long time gave up the idea of doing this multi track and only did a stereo mix. The concert starts 30 minutes late and the first thing that happens is that some person comes running on to the band stand and throws a pie in the director's face. The director is standing there trying to conduct with a side of his face covered in cream pie. Finally someone rushes up with a towel and he is able to clean off the goo. He asks that security help him find the individual and station some security officers at the steps of the bandstand. So the concert goes on. We are sitting off to the side of the bandstand with a ton of cables in the area between us and the bandstand. Earlier in the day people kept walking on the cables so we put up a barrier at one end to wall off our area. Now the audience starts coming up and coming around the barrier to be able to take pictures. So now we have a very dark area that is strewn with cables and the audience is going back and forth with cameras glued to their eyes and NOT watching what they were doing. A couple of them tripped but no cables came undone. The concert goes on and we come to a place where someone decided to make bugler's holiday into tuba holiday and the sound company puts clip on microphones on each of the tuba's bells. Well tubas can put up a lot of volume and they overpowered the clip on microphones so it was distortion city in the PA system and since we were getting some bleed from the sound system it was distorted in our mix as well. The concert goes on forever because the audience really likes what they are hearing and wants more. We finally ended at 11 pm did a quick strike and were done by 11:30 pm. I have not had a chance to listen to the tapes as of yet but I hope they turned out as well as what I was hearing in the headphones. Not a typical band concert but one that will go down in my memory as a weird one. Oh yes and at last report they did catch the pie thrower.