Sunday, November 28

Musicians go shopping for gadgets

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It is no longer just about shooting in available light at home with a mobile phone and uploading their videos. Professional musicians are now buying lights and camera before they begin their acts online. With recorded-at-home paid online concerts being the way forward, most are now consciously investing on multiple camera set-up and proper lights.

Pt Bickram Ghosh understood this need way back in 1991 when he bought his personal microphone. Some 15 years ago, he set up his own studio which now has a full audio and video production. During the pandemic when he couldn’t drive to his studio, he got an LED light that was to be used for zoom meetings from his residence. “I have at least five phone holding stands including a tripod at home. While recording a video called ‘Twins’ from home, I used two static cameras and one hand-held which was operated by my wife. I used wave recording on my phone that I sent to my audio engineer who did the post-production before we uploaded the video,” Ghosh said, adding that he recently ordered a chroma screen for my video recordings. At his studio, he has two musically-inclined cinematographers on his payroll to shoot his videos.

On July 5, singer-song writer Rupam Islam had his big ticketed show that was streamed live on Facebook from his residence. Six hundred viewers paid to watch this show. Before this happened, he bought mood lights, stage lights and high-end web cameras. According to Rupsha Dasgupta, manager of ‘Fossils’, “Initially, Rupam and many others went live on their Facebook pages and sang casually. Then, we decided to stop doing that and come up with a solution that’s dramatically different so that people pay money to watch the shows.”

The Fossils thinktank decided to bring their studio equipment home. “We started using our sound cards for the audio. Remotely, our sound engineer, Prasenjit Chakrabutty, set up the sound by controlling my laptop from his house,” Dasgupta said. The total expense was Rs 11,000 for the webcam and approximately Rs 8,000 for lights. “A Fossils fan went to a shop and through video call showed us the lights. We bought stage LED coloured lights and spot lights with regulator control to dim,” said Dasgupta. The show was shot with two fixed cameras that Dasgupta was controlling from her laptop on an Open Broadcaster Software.

Pt Tejendra Narayan Mazumdar has bought high-end mixer, microphones with high-end speakers and sound cards. Ghosh admits that many of his musician friends who would tease him for investing on gadgets have had a change of heart during lockdown.

But, just buying gadgets will not work. Replacing technicians with self-service after sourcing online information on how to do lights and camera might not produce great result. Sound engineer and designer for music and films Abhijit (Tenny) Roy, who is a founder member of ‘Chandrabindoo’, feels that “social distancing has to be replaced by collaborative effort”. For best results, Ghosh said, “You have to sacrifice some luxuries to have a team who can professionally use these gadgets.”

 

Source: Times of India

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