I have the task of mixing the Live8 Philly show for DVD release, and I have to take my hat off to the Effanel Mobile guys - thank you very much for being true professionals. Multitrack audio arrived on labelled FireWire drives, with extensive notes and documentation (do you know how rare that is these days??) So far, everything on the Philly mix has been going great!
There have been a few headaches on this project so far, but absolutely no complaints regarding Philly audio (...yet!!!). Other than the usual problems of live recording, with off-mic singing, feedback, (dare I say) vocal tuning, etc... !!
For those that are interested, I was backstage in the BBC recording truck for the London show, and I will try to post details of the setup there, although I am a studio guy, so forgive my lack of detail!
There were 3 DiGiCo 5 desks at FOH, and also 3 at the monitors. These were the 'now', 'next' and a 'hot spare'. Bands sound-checking backstage could then have their engineers check levels before heading FOH with their USB key with the recall. The recording truck was sent a MADI feed from the main split, which also went to FOH and monitors. This meant that the truck had no control over mic' gain, but was dependent on FOH settings (I think, or it could be the monitor board that had the mic gains). Including all audience mics and announcer feeds, there were 104 tracks of audio. The multitrack was recorded at 24-bit, 48kHz on 3 Pyramix machines - one for tracks 1-64, one for tracks 65-104, and one 'hot spare' (which was usually recording tracks 1-64 as a safety). The MADI feed into the Pyramix machines was switched in between sets to the appropriate 'A' or 'B' stage inputs. The hot spare was actually needed for the 'Hey Jude' finale, as the extra handheld mics had to be routed to the 'B' stage, and we had to record the A and B stages simultaneously (MADI routers are great!). The Pyramix machines were alternately stopped and dropped back in, to keep file sizes down to manageable chunks. Initially, I had my doubts about there not being an absolute duplicate of the master machines (i.e. using 4 Pyramix machines instead of the 3 we had), but was very impressed by the Pyramix's stability. For the mix, the files were transferred to ProTools, and the mix is being done on a ProTools HD rig with 64 outputs on Prism ADA-8-XR interfaces, through an SSL K-series, and into another HD rig running at 24-bit, 96kHz, also through a Prism ADA-8-XR front end. Both 5.1 and stereo mixes are being done. (For the record, I have the same setup for mixing Philly, but through a J-series SSL).
Again, although some criticism has been made of the quality of the on-air mixes, the multitrack recordings were handled flawlessly in a very pressured situation! Many thanks to both the Effanel guys and the BBC!