James Blunt Rocks Empty Elbphilharmonie

Unusual times call for extraordinary actions, in particular for the live music industry. James Blunt’s concert at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg planned as one highlight in the Telekom Street Gig series was heavily affected by the spread of the coronavirus.

Respecting the demands of the coronavirus outbreak, but not wanting to disappoint invited fans and viewers, Telekom and James Blunt took the brave decision to continue with the concert in the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg – but to perform to an empty hall and stream the concert to the public.

With Telekom already commissioning Peter Brandt and his team of Remote Recording Network to mix and record the James Blunt concert, the current changes meant only minor adjustments to the production. The company has been handling the sound for the Telekom Street Gigs since 2007.

To ensure the recording of the concert in excellent studio quality, Peter Brandt relied on Remote Mixing and his Remote Mix Room in Cologne, 400 km away from Hamburg. For on-site conversion of the audio signals and transport between Elbphilharmonie to Cologne, equipment from audio specialist DirectOut came into play.

The signal chain started as close as possible to the musicians. All analogue audio signals coming from James Blunt and his band were fed into two DirectOut PRODIGY.MC units as Mic-Preamps directly on stage and converted into a MADI stream. The MADI stream with 64 channels audio routed to a van from Remote Recording Network, placed in front of the Elbphilharmonie and serving as a hub. Within the van the team recorded all audio signals and forwarded the mix to the Remote Mix Room Studio Boecker in Cologne, using public internet connections. To be prepared for a possible transmission failure between van and Cologne studio, mixing in the van was also possible. In the van an additional DirectOut MADI.BRIDGE took care of signal routing.

One EXBOX.MD unit handled the conversion between Dante and MADI (64 channels), while DirectOut’s proprietary EARS feature (Enhanced Automatic Redundancy Switching) ensures uninterrupted playback of the MADI output. In the Remote Mix Room in Cologne the action took place. In this studio, Remote Recording Network produced the Live Recording remotely, housed in a high-quality acoustic environment. To control all DirectOut gear the team around Peter Brandt used the globcon software platform running on a workstation in the Cologne studio.

Peter Brandt summarises the production and the DirectOut part: “Remote Recording Network is one of the leading European production companies for high-end recording, transmission and processing of sophisticated sound. The compact, fail-safe and powerful devices from DirectOut are an essential part of the scalable and flexible Remote Mixing setups. Controlling and managing the DirectOut equipment via the globcon tool makes handling even easier.”

You can watch and hear the full James Blunt at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg concert experience online: www.magenta-musik-360.de/street-gigs/james-blunt-livestream

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