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Metropolis: A Unique Musical Experience

Type: Outside Broadcasting
Client: Metropolis
Year: 2014

Metropolis is known in the music world as the most successful independent recording, mastering, creative and production facility in Europe. It also offers artist management and music publishing services, and regularly hosts live music events for emerging talent. Recently it has also hosted more established artists in weekend events with a unique twist.

“We wanted to give music students and the wider music-loving public an exclusive opportunity to see some great artists at work, talking about their music and seeing how tracks were put together,” explains Matt Posner, Producer, Metropolis.

The first of these events featured funk legend George Clinton and his band performing a live gig and recording a super-limited edition album direct to vinyl in Metropolis, one of the only studios in the UK equipped for recording live to vinyl.

“Obviously we couldn’t fit 100 people behind the desk to see what was going on, so we decided to film it and relay a live feed to screens in the studio,” says Matt. He researched kit hire on the Internet and approached Trickbox TV on the strength of the information of the website. “Initially I was just looking for vision mixing equipment, which I found very clearly explained and priced on Trickbox’s website, but then I also realised that they could help with the engineering side as well.”

The event was split across three days: Friday was a live gig, Saturday was the live to vinyl recording, and Sunday saw George sharing his experiences with students in an intimate masterclass.

Trickbox TV provided multi-camera facilities, talkback equipment, radio mics and an engineer to set up eight Canon C300 cameras in the studio and recording area, and a vision mixing system with 10 inputs that would relay a live mix to screens in the VIP area and the bar. The footage from the weekend was also captured for later broadcast use.

“Our experience of working with Trickbox TV was above my expectations – I didn’t think it would be as easy as it was to achieve our aims for the event, and it was also very cost effective to do everything through Trickbox,” says Matt. “We only needed tech support a couple of times but each time the engineer was really helpful and talked us through the issues.”

Metropolis was so happy with the service that Trickbox TV returned a few months later to rig for a masterclass with Dave Kushner of Grammy-winning band Velvet Revolver. “This time we asked the engineer to stay for the whole day to rig and de-rig and just be on hand in case of any problems, and it was helpful to have someone on-site,” says Matt. While the event was smaller, it was a similar set-up with cameras in the studio and control room feeding to a vision mixer for a live feed to screens in the studio and the bar.

“It’s a unique way for music fans to see and hear their heroes in a very intimate setting,” says Matt. “The feedback we’ve had from both the audiences and the artists has been fantastic, and now we know how easy the technical process will be we have plans for many more similar events.”

Trickbox also provided a similar set-up for the most recent weekender event with drum & bass pioneer Roni Size, and looks forward to working with Metropolis on many more.