Vocalist Kevin Mahogany recently appeared in “Jammin’ at theGem,” part of the regular season at Kansas City’s Gem TheaterCultural & Performing Arts Center, with a backing combo thatincluded Phil Upchurch on guitar, Red Holloway on sax, Grady Tate ondrums and Norman Simmons on piano. To capture the event for a possiblelive album project, Mahogany enlisted the help of longtime friend andengineer Doug Walker, VP of dBVisionWorks (Overland Park, Kan.).
“Kevin called and asked me to record the show, since he had somepretty strong players with him,” Walker said. “Since this was to be anintimate setting, we agreed that we should really capture thatatmosphere, so I chose a new Yamaha 02R96 for the job. I’ve beenan 02R user for a number of years and always had consistent, cleanrecordings. That’s particularly important when recording jazz;that is, no coloration and allowing the performances to really speakfor themselves. Sonically, the Gem is pretty live, but notoverbearing.
“There’s a lot of detail in the room,” Walker continued, “so Icould get the mix right fairly up front. We didn’t have time todo a big soundcheck, but I had been able to set up things prior to thegig, particularly the input and output patching, which was a plus.Another good thing was that I got to record in what resembled an isobooth, almost like having my own control room. The room had been theoriginal house mix position, but since it was all behind glass, theboard [Allen and Heath 9000 Series] had been moved out into the house.I dropped my own snake and plugged into a 24-channel splitter that camefrom the house and listened through a pair of KRK V6 referencemonitors.”
Walker’s gear for tracking included an Apple Mac G4 laptoprunning Logic Audio Platinum, a pair of MOTU 896 interfaces andFireWire drive, a Mackie 2496 hard disk recorder, a Fostex 16-trackhard disk recorder, CD burner and DAT.
“We decided to record in 24-48, since this concert may be part of alive CD, and we weren’t sure what facility would receive it afterthe recording. I also did a 2-track mix off of the board so it could bepreviewed, and used the onboard effects of the 02R96.”
Mics included Sennheiser KM84s, Audio-Technica 4040s and 4050s, E-VRE20s and Crowns.
Walker took the rough tracks and the 02R96 back to his facility,where he is currently doing mixes.
For more, visit www.yamaha.com/proaudio.