One Love Malibu, a concert held on December 2 to raise funds for the local community and its neighbors in the aftermath of the devastating Woolsey Fire, featured a long list of celebrity performers, including Katy Perry, Alanis Morissette, Robin Thicke, Macy Gray, Natasha Bedingfield and Gwen Stefani.
Veteran recording engineer Joe Wohlmuth ended up using two Focusrite RedNet HD32R 32-channel HD Dante network bridges for recording the event – a setup that was put together at the last second as the event outgrew its original footprint.
We Are Hear, the artist empowerment company established by producers and songwriters Linda Perry and Kerry Brown, organized the fundraising concert with the Malibu Foundation, which was created following the recent fire to support and rebuild the community of Malibu and its neighbors. In November, the Woolsey Fire destroyed 1,500 structures, displaced 250,000 people and killed three as it scorched through Agoura Hills, Oak Park, Thousand Oaks, West Hills, Calabasas, Malibu and other areas of Southern California. The One Love Malibu fundraiser, which also included a silent auction organized by Christie’s of London, was held at the 588-acre King Gillette Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains.
“When I did our first site visit with We Are Hear for the One Love Malibu fundraiser and saw the lineup, audio setup and the input list, it immediately became apparent that we needed a Dante solution to record the show, with at least 32 inputs, and in a small footprint,” says Wohlmuth, whose credits include work with the likes of Miley Cyrus, Michael Bublé and Nelly Furtado. “I did some research and decided that for the features, size and price range I was looking for, the Focusrite RedNet HD32R was really the perfect piece of gear. I rushed out and bought the last one in stock from a dealer to try out. I loved it and was ready to go.”
But celebrities, some of them impacted by the fire, continued to sign up to help the community. And as the event grew, so did Wohlmuth’s RedNet needs. “As tends to happen with these productions, more and more artists wanted to be involved with such a great cause and the roster and input list grew significantly,” Wohlmuth continues. “At the last minute, we added another full drum setup, additional guitars, vocals and various production audio feeds. Now we needed another RedNet HD32R unit to handle all the inputs, but my dealer was sold out of them.”
With the clock ticking, Wohlmuth picked up the phone. “I reached out to the amazing people over at Focusrite Pro in Los Angeles, who came to the rescue and were able to get another RedNet HD32R in my hands in time to get it racked up and ready for the show. We ended up with 63 inputs and recorded the entire eight-hour fundraiser without a hitch.”
Just 1RU high, the RedNet HD32R 32×32 interface offers Pro Tools HD users all the benefits of Dante digital audio networking. “I have to say, I’m pretty impressed that such a small system could handle that kind of performance so reliably,” says Wohlmuth. “It’s going to be really hard to give the loaner back. I guess I’ll have to add one to my Christmas list.”
On the day, singer Robin Thicke, whose Malibu home was destroyed in the fire, got things started with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Joe Walsh ran down some of his old James Gang hits, including “Walk Away” and “Funk #49,” and Seattle-based Brandi Carlile covered Joni Mitchell’s “River.” Other performers included Rita Ora, Rick Springfield, Best Coast and members of Incubus.
The event raised nearly $1 million, some of it coming from Katy Perry, who won the auction for a date with actor Orlando Bloom, her boyfriend. All proceeds and donations went to the Malibu Foundation, which has pledged to help rebuild and regenerate Malibu, focusing on those most in need, such as the uninsured, those living paycheck to paycheck with no resources and animals in refuge and care. Going forward, the foundation will promote proper wildfire prevention and land stewardship initiatives.