Today we were in Birmingham to record at Reaside Academy. This was our first recording in Birmingham this year, although we will be back in the West Midlands for a recording in Tamworth in a couple of weeks time.
Music at Reaside
Ben Collard is the music specialist at Reaside Academy. His background is in the flute and piano and currently he is Church organist at the Christadelphian Hall (Longbridge, Birmingham). He has been working with children in music for the last 13 years and is developing the music provision at Reaside Academy. The notion of a Recording was Ben’s initiative and Recordings 4 Schools were delighted to help him with this.
We arrived at Reaside at 0730 as usual and met Ben in reception. He was an extremely welcoming host and opened up some gates so we could park as near as possible to the school hall to unload. One of the reasons we like to arrive early is so that we can get all our gear in to the school hall before pupils and staff arrive so there is as little disruption to the schools morning routine as possible.
Once the microphones were set up, we turned our attention to the school audio system. This is always the slightly unknown element about any recording session as we never quite know what we are dealing with. I was pleased to see the school had a mixing desk, but for some reason the output side of their mixing desk simply didn’t do what it claimed it should be doing. Never perturbed by such behaviour from errant mixers found in schools, I persevered and using a combination of the school mixing desk and our portable mixer (which has got us out of a lot of similar pickles), a solution was found. Ultimately we need to play the audio through the schools system (although we have backup speakers with us just in case) and take a direct feed of the audio into our mobile recording rig. We also then need to play the recorded audio back (ideally through the school system) so the pupils and teachers can hear what has been recorded.
We thoroughly enjoyed recording at Reaside Academy. As it turned out the pupils were so well rehearsed by their Music Teacher Ben Collard that everything was recorded by lunchtime.
As Birmingham isn’t too far from our studios in Wiltshire, we were able to get a preview of the CD Artwork back to the school before the end of the school day.