A Tascam DA-6400 64-channel Digital Multitrack Recorder was recently used by John Baccigaluppi, owner of Single Fin Studio Group, and Sacramento audio engineer John Bologni to capture music at a commemorative event to mark 50 years since the Monterey International Pop Festival.
First held at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in June 1967, the three-day festival helped kick off the late 1960s music scene, the “Summer of Love”, and much that followed. Ultrasound provided the sound system for the 2017 festival.
"The film team had a 34-person crew, including the two of us, and they filmed it with six or seven cameras," Baccigaluppi recalled. "Recording the festival was a daunting and complex task and setup, especially since we didn’t get confirmed for the gig until less than 10 days before it was going to happen. So we were scrambling to put together a rig. Very early on, we identified the Tascam DA-6400 as a high-quality, reliable capture device."
An analogue snake brought a 48-channel split from the stage to a Dante network by way of Focusrite RedNet Dante interfaces. From there, the digitised audio was routed to a DA-6400 equipped with Tascam’s optional IF-DA64 Dante card. In addition to the 48-channel stage feed, the recording team had five audience microphones. One band had a completely separate system, disconnected from everything but the house speakers, so Baccigaluppi and Bologni also took a 10-channel stem split from that band’s system, which added up to 63 inputs.
"We also recorded to a DAW to have redundancy," explained Baccigaluppi. "That was the last thing we added to our rig. And in case everything else failed, we had a Tascam HS-P82 8-track Pro Field Recorder at front-of-house that digitally recorded our five audience mics and the main mix directly from the front-of-house console."
As it turned out, the DAW and the HS-P82 weren’t needed except for the recording team’s peace of mind. "The Tascam DA-6400 captured every set of 24 bands in 3 days without a hitch," Baccigaluppi confirmed. "It worked flawlessly. The removable drive caddies were a huge feature because at the end of each night, I just pulled the caddy and gave the drive to the media person from the film crew, whose job it was to back everything up. Then I put a new drive in the caddy, and-bam!-the next morning I was ready to go, without having to worry about anything.
"I had no time to prepare or to wade through a manual," he added. "There are so many options in the DA-6400 that I feel like I should have read the manual but I simply didn’t have time. So I just hit record and treated the DA-6400 like a tape recorder – and it worked great."