Monday, 15 December 2014

Matt McGinn - We're fine most of the time

Live Recording

A sample of a live recording made recently, at a concert for Matt McGinn in Belfast. Jolly fine stuff if you ask me.

Equipment used:
Roland M-480 Digital Mixer
Roland R-1000 48 Track Digital Hard Disc Recorder
Fohhn LX-150 Compact Line-Array System with Fohhn XS-30 Subwoofers

Microphones & DI's:
Vocals: 3 x Beyerdynamic TG V70d,
Bass Drum: Beyerdynamic M99,
Overheads: Beyerdynamic MC 930,
Electric/Pedal Steel Guitar: Sontronics Halo,
Acoustic Guitar: 2 x Radial J48,
Keyboards: 3 x AdT DI-HR,

Matt McGinn concert, Holywood, 17.12.2014


Looking forward to a concert this Wednesday, 17.12.2014, at the Holywood Yacht Club, County Down, featuring Matt McGinn, Gareth Dunlop and Kim Richey. Should be a good one, as long as we don't have to set up and perform on a boat.

Thursday, 11 December 2014


A sound engineer was concerned that his wife was going deaf. 
He consulted his doctor who suggested that he go home and ask his wife a question, starting at 40 feet and getting 10 feet nearer until she could hear him.
He went home and stopped at the front door, "What's for tea tonight dear?" he said.  Nothing came back. 
He moved another 10 feet closer to the lounge door, 30 feet, and asked again, "What's for tea tonight dear?" 
Still nothing so he went to the dining room door, "What's for tea tonight dear?" She must be really deaf he thought as he walked to the kitchen door, just 10 feet from her. "What's for tea tonight dear?" 
She replied, "For the fourth time, it's chicken!"

Fiddlers Green Festival Rostrevor 2014, Nasc - Ard Ti Chuain

Live Recording

One of the highlights of the Festival 2014 was the performance of Nasc, recorded 23.07.2014

Nasc is an explosive new urban Gael collaboration featuring the finest in Scottish and Irish traditional music & song. Maeve MacKinnon, Grainne Holland, Ross Martin, Dónal O'Connor & Neil Martin

 Equipment used:

Roland M-480 Digital MixerRoland R-1000 48 Track Digital Hard Disc Recorder
Fohhn LX-601 Compact Line-Array System with Fohhn XS-30 Subwoofers

Microphones & DI's:
Vocals: Grainne, Ross, Dónal, Neil - Beyerdynamic TG V70d, Maeve - Shure SM57
Fiddle & Cello: DPA d:vote 4099
Guitar: Beyerdynamic MC930 & Radial J-48 DI Box
Keyboards: 2 x AdT DI-HR

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Cupla live at the Fiddlers Green Festival, 23.07.2014

Live Recording
Cupla - Emily Shields, Carol Hughes and Conor Murphy

Cupla are an exciting young band of teenagers from Mullaghbawn, Co. Armagh. They play a mixture of pure traditional mixed with contemporary traditional and folk songs. They provided the Rostrevor audience with an excellent support set to the superb Nasc.

Equipment used:
Roland M-480 Digital Mixer
Roland R-1000 48 Track Digital Hard Disc Recorder
Fohhn LX-601 Compact Line-Array System with Fohhn XS-30 Subwoofers

Microphones& DI's: Vocals - Beyerdynamic TG V70d, Guitar - AdT DI HR 

The truth about Sound Engineering


Unfortunately, this is uncomfortably close to the truth.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Dynamic Vocal Microphones


Dynamic Vocal Microphones can very often look similar, regardless of the manufacturer involved. Above is a photo of the Beyerdynamic TG V70d (s), one of my personal favourite Dynamic Vocal Mikes. I use this hyper-cardioid mike for vocals on the majority of my shows, particularly when recording live, for its power, clarity, warmth and excellent feedback resistance . Dynamic Mikes tend to be less risky when used in live music situations, particularly when the show is an unknown quantity, for instance at a festival. Condenser Vocal Mikes are excellent of course, but can be difficult being used with monitors and unkind room acoustics. Also, they don't always suit peoples voices, particularly female voices.

This is a photo of the ubiquitous Shure SM58. This mike has been a great workhorse for many years, and is still a very good microphone. Many experienced artists still feel extremely comfortable using this mike, as they know through experience, how it will behave. It was introduced in 1966 though and has therefore been in the business longer than I have, which is really going some. In that time though technology has changed dramatically though and there are many better sounding mikes on the market. these days. This mike is still great if you have a raucous, rock-style voice, but is not as well suited for lighter, softer voices.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Brona McVittie - Cailleach An Airgid


A native of Rostrevor, now living and working in London, Brona had the audience spellbound with her sensitive singing and harp-playing, not to mention her charm and humour

Live at the Fiddlers Green Festival 2014

Brona McVittie's website:

Equipment used:
Roland M-480 Digital Mixer
Roland R-1000 48 Track Digital Hard Disc Recorder
Fohhn LX-601 Compact Line-Array System with Fohhn XS-30 Subwoofers
Microphones & DI's: Vocals - Beyerdynamic TG V70d, Harp Beyerdynamic MC 930

Oh my goodness, gracious, crikey!


In New York City, an out of work jazz drummer named Ed was thinking of throwing himself off a bridge. But then he ran into a former booking agent who told him about the fantastic opportunities for drummers in Iraq. The agent said "If you can find your way over there, just take my card and look up the band leader named Faisal--he's the large guy with the beard wearing gold pyjamas and shoes that curl up at the toes." Ed hit up everyone he knew and borrowed enough to buy transport to Iraq. It took several days to arrange for passport, visas, transportation into Iraq and the shipping of his equipment, but he was finally on his way. Ed arrived in Baghdad and immediately started searching for Faisal. He found guys in pyjamas of every colour but gold. Finally, in a small coffee house, he saw a huge man with a beard--wearing gold pyjamas and shoes that curled up at the toes! Ed approached him and asked if he was Faisal. He was. Ed gave him the agent's card and Faisal's face brightened into a huge smile. "You're just in time--I need you for a gig tonight. Meet me at the market near the mosque at 7:30 with your equipment." "But," gasped Ed, "what about a rehearsal?" "No time--don't worry." And with that, Faisal disappeared. Ed arrived in the market at 7:00 to set up his gear. He introduced himself to the other musicians, who were all playing instruments he had never seen in his life. At 7:30 sharp, Faisal appeared and hopped on the bandstand, his gold pyjamas glittering in the twilight. Without a word to the musicians, he lifted his arm for the downbeat. "Wait." shouted Ed. "What are we playing?" Faisal shot him a look of frustration and shouted back, "Fake it! Just give me heavy off-beats on 7 and 13."

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Fiddlers Green International Festival 2014, Rostrevor, Co.Down


Being contracted to provide all live sound services at The Fiddlers Green Festival.  main stage in Rostrevor is one of the highlights of my professional year. I particularly enjoy the range and creativity of the artists, both amateur and professional, at the St. Bronagh's Hall in Rostrevor, which is a beautiful village on the banks of Carlingford Lough, County Down. In the following posts I'll demonstrate examples of the performers, and also the quality of the recordings I was able to make during the festival.