Skyelabs Mobile Recording was conceived from the beginning as abalance of high technology and human comfort. “Rover,”as Skyelabs’ highly customized GMC motor coach mobile recordingunit is affectionately known, offers the finest in mobile acousticenvironments and equipment for live concert recording, remotebroadcast, audio for picture and in-house recording. Rover isflexibly configured and can efficiently and accurately handle anytype of project with the appropriate technology — from liveto 2-track to multiple 3348s, from complex live broadcasts tostraight-ahead multitrack recordings. In any configuration,Skyelabs delivers clean, accurate recordings and broadcasts.
Rover’s acoustical design is equally advanced and flexible,featuring both stereo and full 5.1 surround sound mixingcapabilities, utilizing Genelec powered monitors. In fact, saysSkyelabs president and chief engineer Bob Skye, “This was acase in which acoustics came first, well before the technologyplatforms were chosen. Job one was to create an environment inwhich ears came first.” And that was definitely achieved withthe significant help of noted audio expert Neil Muncy. The resultwas the first mobile recording studio to offer a certified LiveEnd, Dead End™ acoustical control roomdesign. The accuracy of Rover’s control room remains an industrystandard to this day.
Rover first rolled out in 1982, when it and Skye were based outof Dover, Del., a central location that enabled the remote unit tocover the major Eastern cities and venues. Since 1986, it has beenbased in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Skye also owned ThePlant Recording Studios in Sausalito from 1986 to 1993. Rover’stechnology complement has changed over the years, keeping the rigat the forefront of changes in pro audio, yet deeply invested inthe best that analog has to offer. However, in the course of themost recent upgrade last year, Skye chose to install dual MackieD8B digital consoles, augmented by Mackie 1604 VLZ analogsubmixers. “I admit, I’m an analog-oriented engineer,”says Skye. “But in recent years, the sessions that clientshave been bringing in have become increasingly challenging: There’smore broadcast interaction, more input demands, more recall issuesall taking place in shorter periods of time. I’m a bottom-line-typeof thinker, so, I’ve chosen technologies that not only sound great,but are also fast to operate, cost-effective and easy to maintain.It’s not about brand names anymore — it’s about getting thejob done right and within budget.”
Still, Skye made sure that Rover’s creature comforts were on parwith its technology. A spacious lounge that overlooks the mixingarea has comfortable amenities within easy reach. The coach hasbeen fitted with central air and heat for complete comfort in allweather. Power cables, audio snakes, mic stands and associatedhardware are located in the coach’s cargo bays, along with theelectrical isolation transformers and A/C line regulation. It is,says Skye, a unique overall design that combines ergonomics,aesthetics and efficiency into a single, very well-maintained,self-contained environment on wheels.
Company Name: Skyelabs Mobile Recording &Broadcast. Contact: Bob Skye. Services Offered:Remote recording, mixing, broadcast. Main TechnologyPlatforms: Mackie D8B Digital Consoles 48×48 with API micpreamps (2); Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro 16×4 (2); Genelec 1031/1029monitors; Otari MTR-90 MkII 24-track analog decks (2); Sony PCM-800digital recorders (3); Panasonic 3700 DAT recorders (2); RTS/Telexaudio communications with wired and wireless systems, CCTV colorvideo monitoring and camera, full video truck interface. TruckInformation: “Rover” is a 1962 GMC PD4106 35-footdiesel coach completely redesigned for mobile studio work.Layout: 8×18-foot control room with two work tablesand producer’s desk; 8×10-foot lounge wired for overdubs andother production uses. Partial Client List: AC/DC, the SanFrancisco Opera, U2, Herbie Hancock, Van Morrison, Chick Corea,Dave Matthews, Bruce Hornsby, Keb’ Mo’, Brian Setzer, OzzyOsbourne, Arrested Development, MTV, Santana, Direct TV, ABC inConcert, National Public Television and Radio.