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Jam In The Van Chooses QSC For YouTube Productions

Psychedelic-painted RV recording studio equipped with TouchMix-30 Pro digital compact mixer, K10 and K12 powered loudspeakers and a KSub subwoofer.

By PSW Staff September 29, 2017

Jam in the Van may have had its humble beginnings as a self-described “backyard fun project,” but it has now evolved into one of the most innovative and engaging music discovery and A&R vehicles around.

This psychedelic-painted RV contains a full recording studio powered by the sun, which in turn relies on gear from QSC, including a TouchMix-30 Pro digital compact mixer as well as K10 and K12 powered loudspeakers and a KSub subwoofer.

“The whole idea of Jam in the Van started because we were music fans who used to go to the Bonnaroo festival in an RV,” says Jam in the Van co-founder Dave Bell. “One day we thought, why not get our own RV, film some live bands playing in it, and take it around? So what started as a backyard fun project has turned into a full-time job and a company with a full-time staff. We can literally film a band anywhere — at our office in L.A., in an alley behind a venue where artists have a gig, in a park next to the Grand Canyon, or at music festivals, which is where we spend a lot of our time.” 

“On our YouTube channel, we release a new session of 3 songs every Monday through Friday, so in a year we might record around 250 bands of all styles and of every level – from a band that just got together, to some of the bigger rock artists out there,” says Higgins. “Inside the van for sessions, we use K10 speakers as floor monitors, and then we use a pair of K12s outside with a KSub subwoofer and TV screens so people can watch and listen to the live feed.”

Creative director Jack Higgins praises the K-Series’ durability — a necessity when traveling to places unknown. With a growing audience of over 150,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel and millions of views of its productions, Jam In The Van depends on QSC reliability to keep the shows coming.

“We’ve set up our audio system in some pretty rustic places — parks, beaches, the side of the road and the middle of the desert. Because of this our speakers need to be able to take a lot of outdoor exposure,” says Higgins. “I remember one time in particular filming in Cleveland, Ohio, when a huge thunderstorm came out of nowhere. Even though our speakers were covered, the wind was so strong it was blasting the rain right into them. But the show must go on, and the K Series kept on going without compromise. We’re very impressed with the K Series’ ruggedness and sound quality even under harsh conditions.”

Higgins also details how the TouchMix-30 Pro, which combines 32 channels of live digital mixing and signal processing with USB DAW interfacing — and can also record directly to a connected hard drive without the need for a computer — has been just as much of a lifesaver.

First on his list is the workflow enabled by its save-and-recall capability: “While a typical day’s shoot for us is 6 to 8 bands, we’ve had times where we have recorded as many as 16 acts in one day,” says Higgins. “After each session we play back the audio on the K Series loudspeakers outside the van for the artists to hear. The TouchMix-30 Pro makes it easy to recall each song and session quickly so that the artists can give us notes before the final mix.”

The TouchMix-30 Pro also shares the same “show-must-go-on” ethic that Jam in the Van praises the K Series for, which is essential when there are times that there is only once opportunity to capture a performance.

“One day we filmed Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California,” recalls Jack Higgins. “Usually we run the TouchMix into the computer, straight to Pro Tools. But that day it was so hot out that the computer crashed. If it wasn’t for the ability of the TouchMix to record audio straight to the hard drive, we wouldn’t have been able to film one of the greatest legends of all time, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh. On any other mixing board we would’ve been screwed, but thanks to the TouchMix we were able to keep our production up and running without a computer.”

 

QSC

Jam in the Van

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