On March 10, 2008, MySpace and AEG Live teamed up with the U.S. Department of Defense for Operation MySpace: Live From Kuwait, a three-hour-plus MySpaceLive! concert that brought leading stars to the Middle East to perform for U.S. troops. The broadcast featured live performances by Jessica Simpson, Disturbed, the Pussycat Dolls, Filter and more. Portions of the MySpaceLive! concert are also scheduled to air nationally on FX television on April 12.
Los Angeles-based Bennett Group brought its dual 96-channel Pro Tools HD recording rigs to Kuwait to capture the event, with veteran engineer Gary Lux manning the Digidesign VENUE D-Show console. The entire system was supplied, designed and integrated by Los Angeles-based RSPE Audio Solutions, which also provided ongoing support and expansion.
“It was kind of like taking Hollywood and placing it on the moon, then taking it away again,” says Lux of the barren desert setting, just 12 miles from Iraq. “The system ran like a champ, even in the face of 100-degree heat and blowing sand. And this is the same system we took on a ski tour last year—it’s been through a range of over 150 degrees.”
Lux recorded the event live via a direct signal from the VENUE Stage Racks. “We worked with a totally autonomous feed, going direct to the Internet,” he explains. “The VENUE system made it easy to streamline the whole process, from capturing the mix live to Pro Tools, to instantly relaying it over the Web. The FOH engineers were responsible for a crowd of about 5,000; I was responsible for around 25 million! It was one of the highest-profile media events ever. The guys from Disturbed—10 minutes after [they got off] the stage, they were all over me, telling me they were getting text messages by the hundreds, telling them how good they sounded.”
Lux has recently launched an online forum detailing his experience during this event. You can read it here.