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Capturing audio for world's first gig on land, sea and air

Capturing audio for world's first gig on land, sea and air
Colby  Ramsey

Live

30 March 2016: By Colby Ramsey

Bullet For My Valentine’s Matt Tuck performed whilst skydiving, on a speedboat and husky sledding as part of Jägermeister’s most extreme Ice Cold Gig to date.

Jägermeister has accomplished a world first by producing a continuous 'gig' on land, sea and air as part of its Ice Cold Gig series, which captures adrenaline-filled performances in remote or extreme locations.

The gig – featuring Matt Tuck, lead singer of British heavy metal band Bullet for My Valentine – marked the fifth and most extreme chapter in the series, taking place amidst (and above) the Lyngsfjord region, near Tromsø, in the North of Norway, 192 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

First, Tuck and his audience of three loyal friends ascended to 15,000 feet above Lyngsfjord in a Eurocopter AS350. The gig started in freezing freefall as Tuck – paired with a specially trained instructor – grabbed his guitar and played the first song, The Last Fight, recorded on Zaxcom receivers for his floating audience listening in on Sennheiser G3 headphones.

Stage two of the Ice Cold Gig then saw Tuck and his mates whisked across the tranquil Lyngsfjord in a Buster Magnum speed boat. With wind chill factored in at -20 the challenge for Tuck to sing and play the guitar was very real when performing the second song, Venom, the title track of Bullet for My Valentine’s latest album which topped charts across the globe and hit Number 3 in the UK.

Back on land, the quartet were led by Siberian huskies through the snow towards the Gukkesgaissa Mountains as Tuck closed the gig with Bittersweet Memories.

Tom McShane, operations director of Secret Compass, the company tasked with conceptualising and planning the gig, told Audio Media International: “This was an incredibly challenging environment to be able to record and also transmit audio. The biggest challenge was with the skydiving as safety was my number one priority. We could not have any cables or antennas loose as they could cause a snag with the parachute and harness, so we managed to use small recording and listening devices – Sennheiser G3 and Zaxcom radio kits – for the friends and a Zoom H6 audio recorder, which Matt's audio got fed into before outputting to a radio transmitter.

“We chose the equipment mainly due to the weight and size. The Zoom H6 is an excellent audio recorder especially considering its size. It can record five channels, which can all be independently adjusted. The big factor is that we would only be able to monitor this from the ground and once it was set, had to hope it would not get knocked in the air.”

McShane concluded: “Overall the equipment performed faultlessly and we managed to record audio, transmit it to Matt's friends and to the ground in extreme conditions to perform a world's first gig, so I am pretty happy with how it turned out!

Afterwards, Tuck said: “I’ve played some incredible gigs around the world, but that was right up there, literally. Jäger’s Ice Cold Gig was one of the very best and definitely the most extreme! It’s my first skydiving experience, so dealing with the excitement and nerves – even before you add in the ruthless cold – was intense, but totally worth it.”

Jägermeister UK, Secret Compass and Matt Tuck will be releasing a full length ‘making of’ Ice Cold Gig documentary in April 2016.

In the meantime, here’s a preview of what you can expect: