Easter with Hillsong Stockholm

Easter at Hillsong Church Stockholm included two services; Good Friday, a service with worship and communion and, Easter Sunday. Both services were at the venue Cirkus in Stockholm. Pictures by Hillsong Church Stockholm.

Set Design:  Isak Gabre and Rebecka Roberts.
programmer and operator: Rebecka Roberts

“For the Good Friday service, I used halogen Sunstrips and four Sharpys below the screen. We had 14x Martin Mac Auras in a semi-circle on the floor, and a beautiful LED wash with a smooth face. The service mostly had slow and powerful songs, hence the sunstrips to glow and build. The cross was lowered mid-service and had a warmer halogen tone which helped with a softer look. The Auras were perfect for bringing lots of color to the stage and the wide zoom is really smooth and can be used to vary the touch of the stage from soft to sharp. For the unplugged acoustic set I used the Sharpys in still positions to contrast the laid-back music with something more edgy.

For Easter Sunday we brought in more Sharpys and did four Sharpy clusters with three Sharpys in each cluster. This really widened the stage and brought more life, which provided more options for the upbeat songs. I love the red color in the Sharpy color wheel which, together with the “panned out clusters” created a really great look for preaching. Working with the frost on the Sharpys helps when you want to avoid the “too-many-Sharpys-look”

Recording Bluegrass Part 3 – Liverecording

On the 11th November 2014 we had a concert at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm.
This was the third and final recording for my bluegrass project.

Lead vocals/mandolin/drum: Rebecka Roberts
Violin/vocals: Jonas Bergroth
Banjo/dobro/vocals: Anton Lindsjö
Guitar/vocals: Joakim Tidermark

Recording a live concert with an audience comes with some challenges.
Our sound engineer Erik Metall received a list one week before with our setlist and what instruments we’d be playing so that he could prepare, which set us all up for a win. The only changes we did on the spot with the microphones was that Erik switched my vocal mic when he realized that I’d be singing most of the lead parts. The Neumann KMS105 made a lot of puff noises so we put a protection on it. The audience mics didn’t really pick up much of the audience but worked more as ambience/room mics in the mix.

Microphones:
Leadvocals Rebecka: Neumann KMS105
Other vocals: Shure Beta58
Violin: DPA4099
Banjo: DPA4099
Dobro: Shure SM57
Acoustic Guitar: DPA4099
Drum: Shure SM57
Audience: Neumann KM184

Setlist:
Down in the River
Man of Constant Sorrow
Gravity
Shine Your Light //Rebecka Roberts
Béla Bartók piece – rearranged for the setting
I’ll Fly Away
Hey You //Rebecka Roberts
Will the circle be unbroken

Swedish:

English subtitles:

Full concert:

Recording Bluegrass Part 2 – Studio Recording

This semester I’ll be doing a project on recording techniques. I’ll be recording three Bluegrass songs in three different ways and compare how the environment and recording technique affects the results.

This post is about the second recording: Studio Recording. The song is Man of Constant Sorrow.
Alongside with the recording project Im also making a video documentary about the project and the process which you’ll find below.

Our studio recording took place during four different sessions in October. Below is a video documentary about the process and a music video with the result.

Session 1: Acoustic Guitar and Banjo
Session 2: Rebeckas lead vocals
Session 3: Stand-up bass
Session 4: Violin, Dobro, the rest of the lead vocals and the harmonies

Below are pictures of all the mic setups (except for the bass and the lead vocals)

Dobro mic

For the dobro I used a stereo pair of AKGc214, they are panned hard left and hard right in the mix.

Banjo mic

For the banjo I used one AKGc214 by the neck and a shotgun mic called TSMmt18 closer to the stable.

Guitar mic
Same as banjo.

Vocals mic
We stood in a square so that we would be able to communicate well. I used one AT4033a, two AKGc214 and lastly one SEx1.

Violin mic
Same as dobro

Mandolin mic
The SMmt18 by the neck and a shotgun condensor by the stable.

The bass was miced with an AKG410 by the stable.

I worked a lot with panning to fit all the instruments into the audiopicture during the mixing. For the guitarsolo I ended up using two takes and panned one hard left and the other hard right since the takes were so tight. The acapella part in the last verse is an afterconstruction. We added this when we played the song live one month later and it added a lot so I worked it into the mix. All the instruments have track automation for the volume and are pulled back and lifted throughout the song. The song has a very repetative form so it was needed to keep it interesting, we also switched lead vocalists for the same reason.

The arrangement:
Verse 1: Joakim lead vocal, Dobro fills
Dobro solo
Verse 2: Anton lead vocal, Violin fills
Banjo solo (adding mandolin and violin chops)
Verse 3: Jonas lead vocal, Mandolin fills (no banjo)
Violin solo
Verse 4: Rebecka lead vocals, Dobro fills (no bass, violin or mandolin and new guitar pattern)
Guitar solo
Verse 5: fourpart harmonies

Swedish:

English subtitles:

Recording Bluegrass Part 1 – Field Recording

This semester I’ll be doing a project on recording techniques. I’ll be recording three Bluegrass songs in three different ways and compare how the environment and recording technique affects the results.

This post is about the first recording: Field Recording. The song is I’ll Fly Away, a hymn written in 1929.
Alongside with the recording project Im also making a video documentary about the project and the process which you’ll find below.

On Tuesday afternoon Sep 23rd we met up in a part of Stockholm called Gamla Stan (Old Town). Like the name suggests it’s an old part of Stockholm with lots of alleys and cobblestone.
We set up camp in a small little square under a huge Chestnut tree. The tree was amazing for creating a cozy vibe but not so amazing for the lighting, that I soon will tell you about.

I decided to use a miking technique called MS (MidSide) which you can read more thoroughly about in this article. A short description is that you use two microphones, one that takes up the audio from the front (cardioid) and one that takes up the sound in the shape of the number 8. You set them up with the cardioid angled towards the middle and the 8 above the cardioid angled to pick up the sides.
MS1

Instead of using a computer and a sequencer program (such as Logic or ProTools) I used the Roland R-44. Its a 4 channel recording device that gives you Wave files which you then can edit in a sequencer program. Since I also had two cameramen, Ben Cotton and Hannah Nyström, filming the recording for the documentary I recorded in 24bit 48000Hz. It was a lot easier to just bring the R-44 instead of having to bring a sound card and a computer since we didn’t have electricity on the location. The R-44 can run on AA batteries and can also give phantom power to the condenser mics, I used two mice of the same kind, the AKG 414.
ROLANDR-44AKG414

 

During soundcheck we recorded shorter parts of the song to listen to the blend of the instrument and moved around until we found a natural mix. Since I was singing lead I was in the middle, the problem was that I also played the mandolin chops which are very loud so I ended up having to angel the mandolin away from the mic and lean in towards the mic when I was singing. The acoustic guitar was the bassiest of the instruments so Joppe was standing next to me in the middle. That left the banjo and the violin on the sides.

Before we started the recording I did an on-camera interview with all the musos separately. I asked them what the challenges were and how they’ve prepared for the recording. They all pointed out the cold weather as the biggest challenge. It was only 7 degrees Celcius outside and that affects the string instruments and the fingers a lot.

We wern’t expecting an audience since we weren’t standing anywhere close to a lot of people but with the sound bouncing off the walls people found us anyway. We informed them that this was a recording and apologized for the fact that we’d only be playing the one song, but many of them stayed.

The arrangement:
Improvisation with banjo and violin
Verse 1, only banjo and violin
Verse 2, mandolin and guitar comes in
Solo banjo
Solo violin
Verse 3, scaled back
Double chorus, full band
Ending, rit with just vocals

Swedish:

English subtitles:

Easter Concert

Hillsong på Cirkus – 20 April from Hillsong Stockholm on Vimeo.

Hillsong Church Stockholm hosted this year’s Easter Sunday at the venue Cirkus.

A few months previous to Easter we bought the GrandMa 2 PC Command Wing. With the wing we can pre-program before we get to the venue since we only get access to the venue the day of. We got the patch list for all the house gear in advance, drew up the stage in GrandMa 3D and were able to program most of the songs ahead of time. Everything is done with presets. Once we get inside the venue, we connect the house desk (a full-size GrandMa) and update all the presets and we are pretty much ready to go. The house desk is located on a high located shelf, so I set up our desk on the floor to see get the visitors’ experience when I update presets. This is an ideal way to work since it allows us to do so much work ahead of time. On the day of, we set up some extra moving heads on the floor and hung the cross equals heart in, written in fluorescent tubes.