Solar-Powered Mobile Recording In Malawi With Audient

7th September 2015

Solar-Powered Mobile Recording In Malawi With Audient

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Mobile recording studio, Wired For Sound revisits Malawi this summer to record young musical talent in the region, this time with USB interface, iD22 and 8-channel mic pre and ADC, ASP880 as a part of the setup. Three weeks into this third phase of the project, and beset with power cuts and connectivity issues, they have still managed to record forty local musicians. Sound engineer, Simon Attwell reported back to Audient via email and a rare stable connection, confirming that their Audient iD22 “…has been flawless.”



Attwell explains how they have overcome the problems with the electricity: “We have done all the recordings using our solar set up built into the vehicle, powering a MacBook Pro, the iD22 and headphone amp. In fact, we are going solar all the way, using a Studer 200w pure SW inverter. It gives us excellent clean power free from clicks or interference.”

3iD22 has a proven track record in location recording, due to its compact design and portability coupled with the audio excellence expected of Audient – although not usually powered by the sun. “We’ve been mostly tracking using an AT4047MP and SM7, which both sound superb through the iD22, and of course the built-in DI is super useful for bass and guitar overdubs.

“We’ve also installed two solar powered recording studios (mirroring our set up – two channel interface and laptop powered by solar panel) in Monkey Bay and in Mchinji.” One of the project’s goals is to gain access to young musicians in remote areas, and in order to do so they partner with radio stations as an entry point into the community. This year however, they’ve also found themselves in jail. “We used the ASP880 in Kachere Youth Prison in Lilongwe to record the prison band. It was an amazing experience. We were a bit concerned about getting it all up and running, but it linked perfectly and we were recording 8 tracks within minutes. Thank you Audient!”


Sound engineer, Simon Attwell


So what’s next for the team? “We’re heading up North to install two more (Nkhotakota & Karonga) over the next three weeks,” adds Attwell, who is also the founding member of South African band Freshlyground. Together with radio producer Kim Winter, music producer Itamar Weiss and Freshlyground guitarist Julio Sigauque, who was born in Maputo, they make up Wired For Sound. “We finish off the project recording the choir festival in Nkwichi lodge in Mozambique.”

Audient’s South African distributor, Benjamin Pro Audio supplied the units.