Recording Connection Students go Backstage at the Grammys
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Recording Connection students Carly Wasserman who apprentices at ES Audio with Donny Baker in Glendale, CA, and Mikey Mac Conover aka STR!X, apprentice with Doug Boulware at The Abstract Recording Studios in Los Angeles, got the supremely rare opportunity to go backstage and tour the Grammys!
Carly Wasserman, a self-described metalhead who’s planning on doing the Recording Connection master’s program in live sound in coming months had so many great things to say about the experience that we’ve decided to let her tell you in her own words:
It was really cool. I mean, we got in there and you just see a whole bunch of people walking around and there’s fork lifts with scaffolding and stages and cables everywhere. I mean, it was so cool. So we kind of started off the tour, we went into the mix trucks. Basically they’re just these two identical trucks with consoles that mix the band while they were doing soundchecks. And then after the soundcheck, for an hour or so, the engineer will sit down with the band members or someone in the band and kind of go over their cues and what they want louder or changed or maybe added to their set. Then we went inside the actual building. We got to watch, The Alabama Shakes, they were doing the last part of their rehearsal. And they were really good. Then they showed us how the stage works
After we watched the performance and getting a little taste of lighting, and camera action, and audio, then we went backstage and they kind of showed us the dressing rooms. We went into Rihanna’s dressing room…it was staged to look like this glamorous estate. And it’s crazy how they’re going to be in there for maybe an hour and to have all this stuff in there and it has to be perfect and everything has to be new and precise and clean and crisp. It’s mind boggling to think they’re dedicating this expensive room just for some famous person.
I know when I watch the Grammy’s, I kind of always wonder how they set up everything so fast. They actually have two screens that come down when they’re changing sets. It was really cool to see that everything on that stage is moving. There’s nothing that stops it. Everything is constantly moving. And then they took us to the mixing board in front of the house and then the engineer went over and showed us that they had a board for the bands themselves, then they had another board for all the speeches and the announcers. They gave us the lowdown on how everything is brought into the mix.
They had a lot of the positions that we kind of went over. They have a producer, the mixer, the front of house, the mixer, the monitor guy, and then they have, in the back they have the guy who does all the wire work. So he has this whole set up of Sennheiser microphones and the amount of batteries that he had, which is even shocking, you have to have so many things to make sure everything goes right. It’s almost like if something goes wrong, these guys have to be the best of the best. They have to know what’s up and how to fix it within two seconds. And then we went under the stage and he showed us all the corridors that everybody kind of sneaks through. My favorite part was, well we went under the stage and you could see all the cables and all the wiring and everything and then I kind of noticed that it was the PRG section which is the Production Resource Group…So it’s kind of cool to see that they’re putting on all this production.
We’re happy you guys enjoyed going behind the scenes at the 2016 Grammys and we hope the experience was as informative as it was fun!