AES Section Meeting Reports

Philadelphia - December 16, 2021

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There are many things that set the challenge of recording a live performance apart from studio work. Perhaps the greatest of these is that you only get one shot to get it right. There's no second takes.

Another maxim is that time is not your friend. Your recording systems need to be designed to minimize deployment time in order to maximum time to handle the unexpected, or in the best case scenario, to have ample time to focus on mic placement, tracking levels and dialing in the mix.

Success requires remaining hyper vigilant throughout the gig. To always be looking for trouble and to have backup solutions in hand so that you never miss that special magic that can only happen in live performance.

Along with the technical expertise to manage this complexity one also needs the emotional intelligence to know how to communicate with all kinds of people when you need their cooperation to get the job done.

David W Hewitt, is a master of all these.

With a career spanning over four decades, David was one of the first to develop, build, and operate mobile trucks fielding the most advanced analog recording systems of the era.

His innovations set the gold standard of how remote recording should be done. To quote his son Ryan (a distinguished engineer in his own right), "very few people ever get to work with one rock star, let alone the stars of nearly every music genre ever invented."

From Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa; Aretha Franklin to Eric Clapton; Miles Davis to Les Paul; the New York Metropolitan Opera and PBS's "Live from Lincoln Center" to Dylan, Pink Floyd, Springsteen, The Stones, Who, Live Aid, the Academy Awards. The list goes and on and on.

The meeting touched highlights spanning the breath of David's career. From what led him into the industry; his early days in Philadelphia; the evolution of analog technology deployed in the remote trucks; the design of the trucks themselves; and many road stories of the amazing cast of artists, producers and engineers encounter along the way.

Honestly, we could have talked all night. Please see his book for the whole story.

Book Details
Backbeat Books is proud to announce the November 2021 release of On The Road
(978-1-4930-5617-0 • Hardback • 288 pages • $29.95) by David W. Hewitt.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society