Miami-based Churchill's Pub, dubbed "The Church" by locals and known for its austere exterior and interior, doubles as a quirky British sports pub. For the past 20 years, Churchill's has earned a reputation among musicians for its nightly program of original live rock and jazz. Its small stage and 350-person capacity space hosted first-ever gigs for many of today's most recognizable acts such as Marilyn Manson and The Mavericks. Iggy Pop filmed his last live video there.
Churchill's recently invested in a Mackie HDR24/96 hard disk recorder to offer musicians 24-bit digital recordings of their live shows.
According to Michael Toms, who co-owns "The Church" along with founder and former UK promoter David Daniels, "With the Mackie HDR, it's easy for us to lend a helping hand to original bands that want to create a demo they can use to land gigs at other clubs or produce a live CD that they can sell at their shows.
"Studio time is a major expense for any band, especially the ones that are too new on the scene to have an audience," Toms continues. "Now, in addition to providing a venue in which emerging bands can perform their original music, we also help artists to promote themselves and get established. Because the Mackie gear is so affordable, we're able to offer free access to pro-quality recording gear without the expense of a studio."
Club promoter and sound engineer Jehan Maheswaran emphasizes that the Mackie HDR and SR32.4 console have become an important incentive for booking bands. "On Thursdays nights, there's no cover charge at Churchill's, which means the bands don't get paid from the door. But for many bands, free access to our gear is even better than cash. By recording their gigs on great-sounding demos or CDs, they can market themselves for other paid bookings or sell CDs and build a bigger audience."
Maheswaran notes that this strategy depends on delivering a good, clean signal and digital recording. "The Mackie SR32.4 is packed with features that are flexible and easy to use, and it consistently puts out a clean, strong signal, despite the abuse that can happen in an edgy sports bar. This equipment allows us to provide musicians with the best possible live recordings to use for distribution and promotion."