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L&C goes LIVE on Facebook

Faced with the challenge of not being able to do conventional shows due to COVID-19, the L&C team bands together to provide live streams via Facebook Live.

The live stream setup at Loud & Clear’s Cincinnati facility

2020 started out great! We had just finished up our voyage on the Monsters of Rock Cruise and was preparing for Cruise to the Edge and the On The Blue Cruise when a global pandemic spun out of control. Next thing you know the whole industry is shut down. Concerts, festivals, tours, and anything that resembled a large public gathering were gone. We were faced with the same problem that every production company was: how to move forward in a world that was very much standing still.

In mid March, our warehouse manager, Nick Thieme, came up with the idea to do live stream shows from our shop. Our President, Bill Deavers, thought it sounded like a great way to generate some revenue but also understood that in a world where everyone was going on unemployment and stuck at home, charging for this service would be tough. Rather than charging the bands to come in and play and broadcast it out to their social media, we decided the best thing to do was to take donations from the shows. All proceeds would be split 50-50 between the band playing and the crew working. Easy peasy. This was about to be a huge help to our crew who have recently been sidelined. The first place we looked for help in gaining a larger platform and a wider range of artists was our dear friend Larry Morrand from the Monsters of Rock Cruise. He gladly jumped in and allowed us to stream from the MORC Facebook page in addition to ours.

Seeds of Low Hanging Fruit @ Loud & Clear.

The first stream was on March 20th and featured That Arena Rock Show, a Cincinnati 80’s hair metal tribute band. This was the trial run to make sure everything was going to go smoothly, and it went great! Obviously, playing in front of a few people behind cameras and audio consoles is different than a sold out crowd at rock club, but the guys in the band did a great job and captured all of the energy they would live. The next day we brought in Thunderstruck: America’s AC/DC Tribute. These guys were the real deal! When you closed your eyes, you thought Angus and Brian were right in front of you! They were a blast (they brought cannons and a bell!) to work with.

Other streams took place with Anthony Corder (Tora Tora), John Corabi, Enuff Znuff, and Seeds of Low Hanging Fruit.

When it came to designing the set for the streams, we wanted to keep it similar to an actual live show. We wanted a solid ground lighting package, but didn’t want to overdo it and take away from the bands playing. We leaned on a variety of fixtures including Chauvet RH3 movers, Elation Paladins, and Martin Mac Auras all controlled with a GrandMA2. We wanted to include a video wall for graphics and to act as a backdrop for the different bands coming in, so we looked no further than our Absen X5 video wall.

When it came to video capture, we used our JVC ProHD cameras going into our Roland V-1 switcher. From there we used the Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini to get into our MacBook Pro, and OBS software to stream straight to Facebook. We kept it simple and seamless.

“Mission Control”

The audio package for this project was simple, yet effective. L-Acoustics 115XT HI-Q wedges covered the stage, while also using Sennheiser 2000 series IEM’s for some artists. We used a Midas M32 for monitors and christened our brand new Behringer WING console at FOH. We were really surprised with just how great of a console it was and how good it sounded. FOH monitoring was covered by a pair of 8XT’s and headphones. Audio was sent directly from the WING to the MacBook via USB.

The streams were a great success and helped our team in a big way when they needed it the most. We want to send out a HUGE thank you to everyone who tuned in and donated. Our industry is still hurting from the effects COVID and we still don’t know when we’ll be back to 100%, but know that the crew at Loud & Clear are here and ready to take on any project you have, big or small.

The L&C Crew with Thunderstruck. ***photo was taken before we knew about the masks, but at least we were social distancing…