"Their former live engineer had a Metric Halo 2882 that was bestowed to me when I took the job," said Leonard. "The 2882 is the most affordable way to get Metric Halo's preamps and conversion, but I toyed with the idea of going with another less expensive manufacturer that I already owned. An A/B test quickly illuminated the folly of such thinking. The difference was night and day. The Metric Halo 2882 had an overall fidelity that I had been killing myself to try to 'process in' with the other converter. The stereo imaging was robust and the harmonic overtones were rich and detailed. It's now clear to me that the 2882 far outperforms anything else in its price range."
When space or time are not so bountiful (or when the 2882s must be located within drink-spilling range of the crowd), Leonard records eight tracks with just one 2882. A stereo pair at the FOH position captures the mix as Leonard hears it, while a stereo mic on stage captures the band's very energetic (literally) stage volume. A stereo feed from the board consumes the fifth and sixth tracks. The mixed bass DI and mic fill the seventh track, while a blend of lead, rhythm, and acoustic guitars claims the eighth. "For mixdown, I have to time-align the waves to match up," said Leonard. "You might not guess it, but that can sometimes be tricky. When it's done properly however, the results are really cool. For me, that's the best way to capture the sound of the performance without committing each individual channel to disc."
What will become of these recordings? That depends on a few things. First, although the popularity of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals is growing exponentially and the size of the venues they play is growing linearly, the size of the band's road crew is not growing at all. "There is some hope that we will be able to add a dedicated recording engineer to the crew," explained Leonard. "We could then venture to produce a mixdown that would be ready for fans at the end of the show." Outside of that, of course, the recordings may find their way to a live album.
ABOUT METRIC HALO Based in New York's Hudson Valley, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware. www.mhlabs.com