After the success of their EP release show on Concert Window, renowned swamp-pop band, The Revelers, spoke to us about their experience and everything that went into making the audience experience so special. We caught up with sax player, Chris Miller, to get his thoughts on it all.
What attracted you to doing a Concert Window show?
In our circle of friends, everyone has been using Concert Window. We liked the idea of playing a show where people in places we don’t get to tour very often could watch. We also really liked the idea of making it more of a ‘party’ than a show. It was our EP release party and I think it had that feel. We had pizza and beer and some friends in attendance.
The audio and video quality of your show was really excellent, can you tell us a little bit about the gear you used and how you got such a great sound?
For video, we just used the Macbook built-in webcam and it was great, but we went through a good deal of preparation testing different room configurations and lighting. That's the key to presenting well to the internet audience.
We were very fortunate to have access to a great mic - a Rode NT4 Stereo Condenser. It’s an amazing mic. Even though the fiddle was quiet, it cut right through. We ran that through a Presonus Firebox audio interface (a pretty old one, but it has good tube pre-amps). Volume and balance were big concerns for us, lots of different instrument dynamics happening that a PA usually corrects. I was playing as quiet as humanly possible on the saxophone and I know the guys singing were projecting as well as they could. As we got more comfortable through, we started using distance a little more, stepping up to sing or play a lead.
Your show had all the energy and more of a "normal" live show. What advice would you give to other bands thinking about doing an online broadcast, that would help make their show extra special?
We agreed from the beginning we would want to have a live audience, but we weren’t playing to the audience, we were playing to the camera. There’s something really fun and surreal about playing on camera, and the dudes in our band respond to that with a lot of silly energy. I think the in-house audience felt more like they were watching a TV broadcast than a concert. Maybe because just by the nature of what we normally do (play dance halls and festivals), you generally wouldn’t see us playing in someone’s living room, and there was no room to dance anyway.
Making it like a cheesy TV special (we wrote a script, had funny commercials, etc.) definitely helped as well. Personally, I’m not interested in just ‘watching’ a show from a camera that happens to be capturing what’s happening in the room. I don’t get the same feeling as I do from being in the room. The special thing about Concert Window to me is the way that fans can interact in a way they can’t in a live performance. Concert Window is revolutionizing the musician-audience interactive experience!