Solar powered recording
MALAWI: South African mobile recording studio, Wired for Sound, has been using a solar powered setup for its latest project in Malawi. The solution includes Audient's iD22 USB interface and ASP880 mic pre and ADC, both supplied by the manufacturer's local distributor Benjamin Pro Audio.
Wired for Sound is a combination of Simon Atwell who is the founding member of South African band Freshlyground, radio producer Kim Winter, music producer Itamar Weiss and Freshlyground guitarist Julio Sigauque.
'We have done all the recordings using our solar set up built into the vehicle, powering a MacBook Pro, the iD22 and headphone amp,' explained Mr Attwell. 'In fact, we are going solar all the way, using a Studer 200W pure SW inverter. It gives us excellent clean power free from clicks or interference.
'We've been mostly tracking using an AT4047MP and SM7, which both sound superb through the iD22, and of course the built-in DI is super useful for bass and guitar overdubs,' continued Mr Atwell. 'We've also installed two solar powered recording studios (mirroring our set up - two channel interface and laptop powered by solar panel) in Monkey Bay and in Mchinji.'
One of the project's goals is to gain access to young musicians in remote areas. To achieve this, Wired for Sound partners with radio stations as an entry point into the community. But this is not the only way the mobile studio is finding musicians. 'We used the ASP880 in Kachere Youth Prison in Lilongwe to record the prison band,' revealed Mr Atwell. 'It was an amazing experience. We were a bit concerned about getting it all up and running, but it linked perfectly and we were recording eight tracks within minutes.'
The next stage will see two more sessions in Nkhotakota and Karonga before finishing off the project by recording the choir festival in Nkwichi lodge in Mozambique.