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Idina Menzel with LiveWire at Koerner Hall

I work with Doug McClement on a big show for PBS.

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I had the opportunity to work once again with Doug McClement and LiveWire Remote Recorders. This time, we were in Koerner Hall to record Idina Menzel with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony for a TV Special that will be broadcast on PBS on March 3, 2012.

In addition to Idina’s touring combo, the fifty-plus piece Kitchener-Waterloo Orchestra - all individually miked - made this a very complex set-up. Doug had called me in because of my orchestral recording experience and we placed miniature microphones on every violin and viola, and used stand mounted mics for the ‘cellos and basses. Winds, brass and percussion were all multi-miked as well. In total, we had 96 tracks in record once we got going - necessary because of the amount of ambient noise from the lights and TV cameras which made using a more traditional orchestral miking array impractical.

Idina lives up to all the hype - she’s a true star, and is wonderful to work with. She was joined for one number by her husband Taye Diggs. The star power didn’t stop there as Marvin Hamlisch conducted the orchestra. Rounding out the array of talent on stage was the touring combo led by Pianist/Arranger Rob Mounsey.

It was a hectic and gruelling couple of days to get this up and running, but the show was a huge hit with the audience, which makes it all worth it. I’ve never been more impressed with Doug McClement, who turned in a stellar mix from his truck, while fighting this awful cough that everyone seems to have. No rest for the wicked, as they say - after the tear-down Friday night, the crew worked into the AM so that the truck could hit the road for Vancouver by 6 AM, to do the Grey Cup Halftime show next week.