Live Engineer - Primary's Responsibilities Checklist

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Pre-production

1. Claim the Session in Smartsheet

Review Using Smartsheet: Live In Studio Master List for more details about how we use Smartsheet.

2. Research the band

- Preview their music online, using Allmusic.com, Amazon.com, Grooveshark.com, Soundcloud.com, etc.
- Read the Input List in the Discussion on the session row in the Smartsheet
- Learn the names of the musicians and the instruments that they play, if possible.

3. Greet performers and entourage

- Arrive prior to the artists and prepare the studio. (Try not to use too much gear, be ready to make changes and be flexible.)
- Direct them to the rear building entry for load-in.
- Thank the artists for performing at KDHX.
- Direct them all to the performance studio and the observation lounge.
- Explain our hospitality area, (i.e., coffee, tea, water, soda machine, etc.)
- Point out the bathrooms.

4. Help to orient the performers to our studio

- Show them the available backline and drum kit.
- Explain the difference between the performance vs. recording studio (ex. live, no overdubs, etc.)
- Discuss the material to be performed - 3 songs, preferably originals or public domain, as we will not be able to post royalty bound material in our online archive. (Note - We may air it, but will not post video or audio to YouTube or SoundCloud)
- Explain our "proscenium" and determine an ideal setup for both audio and video capture. Allowing the artists to turn into semi-circle is acceptable, but do not let them close the circle.

5. Prepare inputs

- Mics for everything.
- DIs (direct inputs) where possible, (i.e., bass, synths, mixers, gadgets.)
- Determine who will be the primary spokesperson.
- Line check each mic and input, adjust mic placement, pre-amp and EQ as needed.
- Discuss monitoring by pointing out the monitoring mixer function, which channel has which signal, the onboard ambiance mic, etc.

6. Prepare outputs

- Set up a recording session in ProTools, create, label and arm all mono inputs, inc. stereo inputs for Lexicon effects returns (channels 29/30) and board mix (patched to 31/32 via submixes 3 and 4).
- Setup the board mix CD Recorder for backup capture.
- Run at least one song for mix and soundcheck.

Production

This includes Ready Recording, Air DJ and Talent

- After DJ conference, provide standby timing for the performers.
- Begin recording playback, prior to the session start cue.
- Monitor the performance, recording and levels throughout the session.
- If pre-recording, use the red light switch, located on the wall in the mix studio.
- During interview segments, remove FX from the audio and reset the gains/faders to maintain a broadcast 0 (zero) output.
- Stay alert! Constant alterations will be required.

Post-production

1. Wrap the session with the artist

- Request that the artist sign our release form.
- If unavailable in studio, click this link --> File:KDHX Production Release 2017.pdf and print.
- Use accurate spelling on song titles and contact info, for use in follow up permissions for non-broadcast uses.
- Thank the artist(s) for performing at KDHX.
- Referencing the release form, generate a text file with the session details, including Band name, session date, "Live at KDHX," the song titles, song durations (after title in parenths), Total Run Time (TRT = x), and volunteer staffing (engineers and host/show).

2. Edit the audio and prepare the For-Broadcast CD

  • Remix captured session in ProTools, and Master all segments to broadcast-ready levels.
  • Cut the audio segments into CD ready tracks, removing non-broadcast material and concentrating on accurate beginnings for each segment.
  • Export or Bounce CD ready WAV/AIF files to the root of the session folder (do not use Bounced Files folder for final tracks).
  • Name each track according to segment name (intro, interview, or outro) or song title and number each filename according to session or ideal airing order. (i.e., 1. intro, 2. [song title], 3. interview, 4. [song title], etc.)
  • Use the application Toast to burn CD copies for the DJ.
  • Generate a log file in Text Edit using default typeface and size containing these elements:
 Band Name
 Live at KDHX 0/00/19 
1. Song name (3:15) 2. interview with Host name (4:21) 3. Song 2 name (3:45) 4. Song 3 name (3:02) 5. outro with Host name (:46)
TRT = 15:09
Host: Host name, Show name Sound: Engineer name and engineer name
  • Save to the session folder, and print out CD copies and cut down to fit in CD envelope.
  • Place the final air ready CD in the DJs mailbox in the lobby prior to scheduled air date, ideally one day prior.

3. Centralize the final data > Move to the Server

  • Finalize tracks for publishing by Mastering and Authoring, assuring that the session will play either as a continuous set of tracks, and can live and be played as independent tracks.
  • Move the full session folder containing final mixes to the server's Live at KDHX volume folder Live In-Studio Performance AV filing within the appropriate year.
  • Tracks in the folder should be numbered in order of play, titled by actual song title, and saved at the root of the folder - not in Bounced Files
  • Verify data on server as complete - use space bar on folder to check size, and on individual songs to check that they play. Delete the session from the Prod 2 computer.

4. Publish the audio online (SoundCloud)

  • Create air-ready CD for DJ with log, and place in their mailbox prior to airdate.
  • Generate mp3s in iTunes following the data preparation instructions in this Publishing Guide.
  • Upload the set to SoundCloud and follow the instruction re: description information.
  • Alter the Smartsheet row's status to Published
  • Add a comment to the Smartsheet discussion on the row regarding completion, including SoundCloud playlist link, and e-mail the discussion to

Music Department Coordinator (currently Toni Saputo) re: band, management, and DJ contact.

  • If video was shot, please also inform videographer/editor when final mixes have been completed and are available on the Live at KDHX server volume.

More Post- Notes

Unable to complete within 24 hours

If you are unable to finish authoring/mastering, CD burns or SoundCloud publishing within 24 hours of the session, due to the need for additional remix, other time constraints, it is important to notate in Smartsheet and notify anyone on the team that may be waiting for the final data. These would be your supervisor, KDHX music department re: band, management & DJ/host contact (currently Toni), and other volunteers working on the project - in particular, any videographer that would need final audio to publish the videos.

- Add a comment to the Discussion (indicated by the speech bubble) that states;
1. That the project will be delayed.
2. When you anticipate being able to complete the project.
3. follow up when completed, noting that final data in now available on the server Live at KDHX, and has been published to SoundCloud (provide playlist link)

Post-Publish revisions

If revisions to your final mixes are needed for any reason, please consider these tips:

- Do NOT leave previous versions in the ProTools session folder - delete them.
- Title revised final mixes as standard, using the song title, but tack on to it the letter 'R' and a number, as needed in order to differentiate and make it clear that this is a post-final revision.
- Follow up with the video team if you have a replacement to what they may have already copied into their working video and audio data. If they have already published the video with prior audio, bring the situation to the attention of the production director to make a call about revising.