>> How do mobile trucks differ from regular recording
An audio mobile truck (also called a 'remote truck' or 'mobile recording
truck') is the same as a regular recording studio except that it's located in a
vehicle. This, of course, gives it the flexibility to move from place to place
to record live events where they happen. ALL professional recordings of live
concerts, live sporting events and live tv/radio broadcasts use mobile trucks.
>> Why is using a mobile truck better than bringing equipment into the venue and setting up inside?
Advantages of using a mobile truck over renting equipment piecemeal:
1) Provides a stable, known system that works (vs assembling on-site with
equipment that hasn't been used together)
2) Speeds setup dramatically
3) Provides a constant listening Environment
4) Provides a listening environment separate from the concert venue
5) Provides an operator that knows his or her equipment well
>> My PA company says they can do a multitrack recording for less money by taking a feed off their PA board, should I do this?
1) The feeds for the recording is usually taken from the "direct outs" of the board, which most of the time are after the equalization. When setting up the PA system, the engineer equalizes it to sound good in that particular room. To some degree he/she is compensating for the inherent flaws in the microphones, speakers, and how reverberant or "echoey" the room is.
The main point here is that this equalized sound is made to sound good through the PA, but likely will sound dramatically different through good studio monitors in a recording studio.
All this equalization will have to "undone" later in the studio, which will cost you more money. Why do not it right the first time?
2) The feeds are also usually after the fader, meaning that signal levels to tape linked together with how loud it is in the room. When push comes to shove, the PA usually wins, and the levels to tape are less than ideal.
3) PA microphones usually, but not always, are inferior. A greater tendency to use dynamic mics on the choir, for example, instead of a more appropriate condensor mics. PA companies prefer more robust, economical workhorse mics because they are usually working on tighter budgets.
>> How do sounds get to the truck for recording?
I provide a transformer splitter system which allows the mobile truck and house sound (PA) system to share the same microphone signals. An audio snake then carries the signals to the truck. This snake can be from 100 to 300 feet long, so don't worry too much about distance. This system avoids having to use 2 mics on every instrument, which would look very cluttered on stage. I also may use additional microphones that the PA system might not want such as: audience mic, drums overheads, etc.
>> Do I need to rent a live sound system (PA System) so the audience can hear the music?
Yes, You need to hire a separate PA company to provide a live sound system for the audience to hear you. Same as in any other concert. If you need any help finding one, check out this article, or just give me a call. We do work closely with our PA company before and during the job, but it is an entirely separate system with a lot of responsibilities.
>> I've heard about Pro Tools (tm), what is that?
Pro Tools(tm) is a recording system based around a computer that records each track as a computer file. I use a Tascam MX2424 Hard Disk recorder which makes broadcast .wav files that go right into Pro Tools (tm) or other programs. The advantage of the Tascam unit is that it is designed only to do recording, unlike a computer that must do many functions well. Thusly, it is less likely to crash. Pro Tools(tm) is notorious for crashing on the road, leaving you with nothing. Another advantage is you can go into other competitor programs if you choose. Files recorded with pro tools can ONLY be mixed on Pro Tools(tm).
Since clients don't want to buy an average of 4 SCSI drives for a show, I transfer all the files to a single USB portable hard drive and ship it to you a few days after the recording.
>> What other recording formats does Goin' Mobile offer?
The primary form is the MX2424 hard disk recording. I also record onto Tascam DA88/DA38 format as a backup AT THE SAME TIME, so there is always a second copy in case of technical problems with either one. Though less popular now, DA88 is still a very high quality recording format (16 bit digital) and I can transfer from DA88 to the MX2424 and make new .wav files in the rare occurence of a failure.
>> My recording studio charges hourly, how does a mobile truck charge?
A mobile truck usually charges on a per day basis. In my case "a day" is 11 hours from arrival until the end of the concert. In addition to a daily base rate, you'll be charged a travel charge for work done out of state to cover mileage and hotels. You would be responsible for overtime in the unlikely event your event goes over 11 hours. This is because of additional labor costs for crew & possible an extra truck driver because of the strict commercial driving laws.
>> How much does a recording cost?
The truck is a flat $2450/day + travel. Travel varies with mileage, but also additional hotel rooms if it's more than one day each waya. Call Lonnie for a custom quote including travel.
>> What are the payment terms?
$1000 deposit to secure the day, balance due day of the show, cash or bank check. No personal checks for final payments, my collection of bounced checks is large enough thank you very much ;)
>> How do most gospel groups pay for the recording?
A large, excited crowd usually makes for the best recording, so most groups offer free admission, then take an offering. If you choose to sell tickets, bear in mind that a high ticket price might get you a small crowd.
In any event, You should have enough money on hand to pay all your live sound & recording expenses and not be dependent on the offering.
>> Where are you located and where do you travel to?
The truck is based in the Boston area.
We've done jobs in: New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, District of Columbia, North Carolina, Florida, and even Mississippi.
I could be coerced into going to Florida again, but the great state of Texas is just too far to be worth it!