Live fusion jazz tap dance tracked with Audient setup

Recording and mix engineer Cyril Oleynikov had only five hours and his Audient mobile recording setup to record twice world tap dance champion, Anastasiia Pavlishyna and jazz fusion band, Aeroplan performing Peter Bence’s ‘Fibonacci Sequence’ at Odessa’s Philharmonic Theatre recently. 

“The core of my setup is Audient iD44 and a pair of ASP800s going straight to my laptop,” explains Cyril, who does a lot of live recording. Without a dedicated recording space it’s important for him to have the option of as many mic inputs as possible. “I was recording with just one ASP800 for a while but decided that this session would be a really great opportunity to go all-in, so I bought another one,” he says. “It paid off! You can tell from the final result,” he continues. “Having 20 mic inputs gave me huge flexibility. For example, I could do some fun things on drums on this recording, like putting a mic on hi-hat, which I hadn’t done before, and having a dynamic mic paired with a condenser on the snare top. The latter was especially handy because the drummer was playing with both brushes and sticks, so I wanted to capture every detail of it. 

“The most critical thing was reliability,” he says, reflecting on his kit. “The key things I need in my setup are portability, reliability and quality. The latter is top notch in the case of Audient; it’s hard to believe you can get such a great sound for that price.”

The Philharmonic Theatre in Odessa provided a stunning backdrop to the performance. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to check out the location prior to recording,” – usually a crucial part of preparing for live recording. Instead, Cyril took his time, using four of the five hours to get everything set up. “The moment you realise you really need an assistant!” he laughs.

Using Lewitt microphones on the tap dance track, grand piano and snare top, and a Rupert Neve DI for the bass, he carefully followed the schematic diagram he’d prepared in advance. “Plug in the mics, connect them up according to the schematic, power on the interface and preamps, bring some gain up, do the balanced monitor mix for the band, take a deep breath and hit RECORD. All the rest was in the performers’ hands – and feet, of course.”

The hours of preparation were worth it when he came to mixing. “I mix entirely in the box and my style involves serial saturation for literally every track, so having the opportunity to record as clean as possible and have full flexibility to do crazy things on the mixing stage come in really handy.” The track was mastered by Toby Davis, someone Cyril works with regularly. “He’s done a great job with this track,” he adds.

His confidence in Audient gear hasn’t faltered since his original purchase nearly two years ago. “My first ASP800 arrived right on the day of my first ever recording session. We were tracking drums for my band’s debut single ‘Мотивуюча’ and, believe it or not, I didn’t even have time to check it and verify it works correctly. I just picked it up on the way to the recording location and put it in action right out of the box. And from that very first session to this day it has given me absolutely no trouble.”

Reliability is a word he keeps coming back to. “You know, it certainly raises my confidence knowing that in a small bag on my back and a 2U rack case on my left shoulder I have the power of a high-end 20-input recording console.”

Recording his own band or working with new clients, Cyril is constantly developing his audio engineering skills. Indeed, he’s open to all opportunities – near and far. “Every session turns out to be a small adventure for me and – like Indiana Jones always has his famous hat, I will always make sure to bring my trusty Audient powerhouse with me.”