Berkeley, USA – February 2018… Described as ‘the home of traditional music’. The Freight & Salvage is a mainstay of the live music scene in Berkeley, California, and was therefore an ideal choice of venue for US public television broadcaster KRCB’s new flagship live music TV series, Live From The Freight & Salvage. But for KRCB Audio Producer Anthony Garcia, the new series prompted the challenge of finding a robust and redundant audio capture solution. After painstakingly researching the options, Garcia chose a BLUEBOX BBWR24B from JoeCo.

According to Garcia, the search began with several key priorities in mind. “It needed to interface seamlessly with the console currently being used for the series, which is a Soundcraft Vi4, with 24 inputs and 24 outputs; it needed to be a system that would complement future expansion of the channel count, for example by the addition of a second box; and it had to be capable of offering full redundancy,” he explains.

Garcia tapped several online resources and retailers during this research period and soon found out that the JoeCo BLUEBOX BBWR24B was the “obvious standout because of the redundancy options that it provides. I was also impressed by the fact that it is able to accept timecode because that sets us up nicely for a potential future scenario in which we might want to integrate the recorder into an in-house system where we have master clock and video synchronisation. The ability to have a device like the BLUEBOX, that can sync to a word clock signal generated from a master sync device, means that we can ensure that audio and video are fully synchronised. We wanted that option going down the road, and the BBWR24B fulfils it.”

BLUEBOX Audio Interface Recorders combine a high quality DAW interface with a rugged, professional multi-track field recorder and a unique back-up solution that ensures no source recordings are ever lost. Only BLUEBOX delivers all three core functions in one 19-inch rack-mounted unit. Models include the flagship BBWR24MP, delivering 24 channels of 24bit/96kHz audio both to and from a DAW over USB 2.0. The BBWR08MP boasts eight channels of individually switchable mic/line inputs and 16 channels of dedicated balanced line inputs. Finally, the BBWR24B offers 24 balanced line inputs, 16 Adat Lightpipe inputs (with SMUXII support), and 24 balanced outs. Front-panel access to core controls is complemented by the JoeCoControl app for Windows and Mac, with a suite of features and customisation options.

The first full show at The Freight at which Garcia deployed the BLUEBOX was the December 2017 Windham Hill Winter Solstice, comprising an evening of original and traditional acoustic music. “The system performed perfectly that night – and that has continued at all of the events taking place since then,” he reports. Another notable show featured Ladysmith Black Mambazo. “We had 14 channels for that, including 10 microphones, a reverb send from their board, and a FOH microphone. It was an absolutely amazing show that we have already started to mix and look forward to broadcasting on KRCB later in the year.”

In addition to capturing Live From The Freight & Salvage, the BLUEBOX is set to be used for various projects within KRCB’s in-house studio, including group interviews and small-ensemble musical performances. “Right from the start when we did a test and encountered no hiccups whatsoever, we knew that this system would perform seamlessly,” says Garcia. “That is absolutely the top priority for live recording and I am delighted to say that early impression has been confirmed over and over again in the work we have undertaken with the BLUEBOX.”