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Last night i watched Jools Holland........... and

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10 hours ago, Billjames7 said:

Just caught Boy Azooga on tonight’s live show. Really like the sound of their 3 released tunes so interested to hear the rest of their album next month. Sounded good live and think their shows will be good fun. £8 a ticket can’t complain

Was at the recording last night. The boys were clearly really nervous, and humbled at having such an opportunity. Plenty of hugs once their live slot had finished. Sounded excellent too.

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When I went to the show in 2012 I was a guest of a sound engineer and he showed me the set-up.  Here is my summary of what I can remember:

Each band has their own sound desk situated nearby.  They are neally always behind the band and out of site.  Often down an alley between audience risers.  Their job is to mix for the bands monitors and get each instrument balanced well.  They create a mostly finished mix that is then output to two further places (see below). 

Bigger bands that are currently on tour will often bring their own person to mix the band.  But the smaller artists or those that only have a mic and a guitar will use a sound tech provided by the studio.  My mate was one of these and each week will travel 3 hours to London (now Maidstone) to mix just one or two songs played on only one or two instruments.  Consider also that set up and rehearsals start on Monday morning and continue right up till late on Tuesday, there is an awful lot of hanging around.  Each band has a call time for set up and each rehearsal, so at least he knows beforehand which time he has off. 

One place that takes the mix from the band is "TV land".  This is the production control room that takes all the studio sound feeds (Jools mic, guest speakers, studio audience etc) and each of the bands mixes from the above sound desks.  They produce the final mix for broadcast.  They have the ability to fiddle with the sound from each desk - but this is somewhat limited.  Also in this room are the vision mixers and lighting crew.  I poked my head in during rehearsal and it all looked very stark and controlled.  About 20 people sat at 20 consoles with headsets.

The second place that takes the mix from each band is yet another sound desk within the studio.  The person here mixes the sound that gets played in the studio that the studio audience get to hear.  These speakers are positioned above the audience and due to the circular nature of the studio, the only speakers that are active are the ones pointing away from the current performing band.  The sound from these speakers is not too loud and if you happen to be stood behind a performing band, you may actually hear more from the bands monitors than the studio speakers.  This is limited to prevent feedback and remember the sound for TV viewers is of higher importance than the sound for the live audience.

Here is the set-up on the night I went.  Cyan are stage areas, blue are audience.



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