Engineer Stefan Heger at the 2011 Vision Festival
Photo: Nobu Awata
At the Arts for Art Inc. 2011 Vision Festival, positioned in the wings at the side of the stage of the Abrons Arts Center, engineer Stefan Heger records every main act onstage. He has separate microphones to simulate a studio-like recording, saying that it is his my is to make it sound as good as possible.
This is the ninth year recording the festival for Heger. During the years, he’s used many different micas, mic pre’s, converters and software. “Now due to Avid Pro Tools 9, I am finally able to record with Pro Tools software and the other equipment in my mobile setup,” explains Heger, referring to Version 9’s ability to work with any converter. Among the myriad boxes and cables, a center of his mobile ‘onstage’ studio is the Dangerous D-Box, with its analog summing, monitoring, converters and more. Other gear this year includes Mojave micas, True Systems Precision 8 mic pr’es, Apogee converters and BURL A/D converter.
“I am summing directly from Pro Tools into the eight channels of summing on the Dangerous D-Box, mostly separating same frequency-based instruments,” says Heger. “For example, summing drums with violin, summing horns with percussion, from the stereo out of the D-Box into the Burl converter back into Pro Tools; and from there back into the digital in of the D-Box for ‘off-tape’-style monitoring. I can quickly hear any problems with the live stage lines or a converter problem. The D-Box sum out is essential to hit the converter right.”
Heger uses Grado headphones to mix during shows and Event speakers to mix between sets, and is switching between the two constantly. “The eight channels of summing also immediately open up the mix, giving me a better quality result than bouncing internally. On the second digital in, I am listening to an aux feed from Pro Tools, allowing me to solo tracks without interrupting the live printed mix—very cool!”
All the artists performing at the Vision Festival get a Web link to the mixed music from Heger, and can release a live CD if they like, and the Arts for Art organizers release compilation CDs of each year’s festival. Some of Heger’s mixes are also used for BBC broadcasts, as well.