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Solar-powered Mobile Recording

Discussion in 'Recording' started by beldabeast67, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. beldabeast67

    beldabeast67 Active Member

    Karmic Juggernaut - "Oo Wah Hoo" - Solar powered recording - YouTube


    This is my first post to this forum, so first off, thank you for allowing me to participate! Please forgive me for showing something of mine, but I thought it would be something that you folks may find interesting.

    It details the recording process outdoors using 100% solar power in various locations throughout New Jersey. This in an idea that we had worked on for quite a while before being able to implement. It took a few months to do the tracking because of weather, time restrictions, editing, etc., but we were finally able to finish up this week. I'd love to hear what you folks have to say about the idea and production.

    Recorded in the following outdoor locations in their home state:


    Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook
    Monmouth Battlefield
    Belmar Beach
    Allaire State Park
    Casino at Asbury Park
    Delaware Water Gap
    Pat's 30 Acres


    Video shot and produced by JR Skola and Dawn of Man Productions (the same guys that did the Occupy 99% bat signal in NYC)


    Welcome - Karmic Juggernaut
    DAWN OF MAN PRODUCTIONS
     
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    That was organic and beautiful! I loved it. Unfortunately, the vocals never came through even though I saw you guys singing vocals? While solar is cool, you have unfortunately created quite a large green footprint. Especially with all that grass. I think I also detected in your recording that sand got in your guitarists shorts near the beach? I could hear it scrunching around. Not really but... how do you keep the sand out of your shorts while recording? Also why bother with solar when you could be running an inverter off of your car battery? They created a lot of greenhouse gases while manufacturing the solar panel. You had to create some greenhouse gases getting to those remote locations so why not just carry that through and utilize the battery on the car while keeping the car engine running? At least that would allow you to make your recording on a rainy day with heavy cloud cover. You won't get too badly electrocuted. You know you could also just lip-synch? Even if your drums and guitars don't have any lips. Also while down at the beach, there is plenty of wind and that's why God created high pass filters.

    I like high grass filters myself.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  3. beldabeast67

    beldabeast67 Active Member

    Hey there...thank you for your comment, friend. Those were my shorts with sand it them! We could always run off of the car, but it wouldn't allow for us to hike to some of the more remote locations, such as Sandy Hook. The purpose was not so much to vanish our carbon footprint (impossible considering every bit of equipment was manufactured and transported using some sort of non-renewable energy), but more so to allow us to be in these locations recording outdoors, rather than the normal sterility of the studio. We didn't want to record on a cloudy/rainy day, as much as I wouldn't want to take a walk at the park those days. We wanted to be outside in the sun, living the dream! It was exhilarating to be outside in an environment watching the birds fly overhead (luckily none shat on us) and the waves crashing. The vocals didn't really shine through, but they were more for the ambiance on the simplistic melody- merely fattening the sound with a slightly different timbre. We mixed them to stay behind the guitars and keys. I believe the best spot to hear them is the very beginning before everything kicks in. Regardless, it was a fun experiment. And I also LOVE high grass filters.

    Thanks again for your kind words and critiques. All the more helpful for the future! Keep well.
    -James
     
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I've always wanted to go up to Shenandoah National Park where I love to go camping and do some recording around campfires. In all my years, (I've been going up their camping since I was 18 and I'm now 56) I've never done that yet. Sheesh... you'd think I would have already. And you certainly don't have to worry about lousy acoustics outdoors in an amphitheater. The acoustics are always perfect. I actually recorded a rock band in Aberdeen Maryland back in 1993 on a farm. I cut the vocalist outdoors on the gravel with the crickets chirping, the frogs croaking and the birds singing. Well they weren't singing at night. Everybody loved the sound of the crickets. That chorus really made the difference. I love organic goodness in all recordings. I hate the sterility of crappy studios too. Good ones, not so much so. But still... nothing like organic goodness. Why do people bother with acoustical gobbledygook in bedroom studios when they have their backyard? I don't know? I can tell you this, it's a bunch of diminishing returns. My analog console doesn't have any diminishing returns, it's got 16 effects returns. The only diminishing returns I have is in dollars.

    What do they mean you can never go back?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  5. beldabeast67

    beldabeast67 Active Member

    Nice! It really is overwhelming being surrounded by nature and having that have an effect on your playing, mood, and overall recording. There really is nothing like being out and about and capturing that organic goodness. Particularly in the guitar solo the ambiance is audible: we close miked the amp and put a 414 facing the slope of the mountain giving it that slap echo/verb sound. Probably could have emulated it, but why bother when we have the means to get out there! Kevin, our drummer whom put the whole rig together, is an electrician with his father so he was able to make it happen without issue.

    Oh how I wish we had an good 16 analog console! But with what we're working with, we're trying to make it happen. We're still young and gathering our gear/funds to make everything in the future that much easier and more professional. Again, thank you for taking the time out of your day to view it and chat!

    -James
     
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    James it's all happening for you. That's fabulous. It was absolutely a first rate recording along with extremely good video. You did everything right with everything that you had. It really doesn't get better than this. You have a formula, a technique, a method to your wonderful madness. You can still have that classic 70s console sound. Look to Seventh Circle audio and you can build up for yourself Neve & APIs style microphone preamps for something like one third the cost of the originals. Myself having the originals, I was rather impressed by checking those out. Yup, the real deal stuff re-created in the great tradition and waiting for your itchin' fingers to solder it up. You can certainly get by without the equalizers and rely upon the software equalizers just as nicely. But that front end preamp going in is the all-important missing link in your recordings. You can also just purchase a couple of API 3124's? They're about $2300 each for 4 channels. You might want to try a API lunchbox? Start with sticking a couple of 512's into it, lather, rinse, repeat. It will awesomate you. (That's organic automation)

    You can ship me the beer since you're not old enough yet.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  7. beldabeast67

    beldabeast67 Active Member

    Remy, thank you again so very much. I may have to get into the Seventh Circle thingamajigs- I might want to practice my soldering before that, though. And some considerable awesomation would be a much-needed/much-desired addition to our project. I'm hoping the madness will pay off in some way...the method part was not always there so maybe it will vindicate us of our inherent insanity. The API's are very appetizing as well. Oh, the gear world is such a large, complicated, scary place!

    And I'm 24 so I DO owe ya at least a 6-pack.

    -James
     
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Another useful device to be utilized for your organic methodology are computer UPS power backup devices. A sizable unit could power recording equipment for quite a while. And it would fit in the trunk of your car. You could keep it freshly charged by utilizing a 12 V power inverter to supply it with 110 AC while driving. And that would allow for recording on cloudy days in the woods with a huge canopy of green.

    Don't eat any of the mushrooms and stay away from the brown acid
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     

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