Well, it's 2022, and pretty much all weekend I was referring to 2019 as "last year". "Last year at Barn Dance weekend," "last year's Phonobooth"'. Hard to believe this would have been BDW Phonobooth #4 had it not been for covid, and that leaves us maybe 40 recordings lost to non-existance. Oh well, alls we can do is move along.
These are field recordings I made at Barn Dance Weekend, a weekend of contra and square dancing, old time music, jams, workshops, and swimming. Located at Mesaba Co-op Park in Cherry, MN (between Hibbing and Eveleth), put on by Duluth's Tamarack Dance Association. I set up during a couple workshop hours and had folks sign up for a 10 minute slot to record something of their liking. There is a big stage in the main hall building and backstage to the side has proven to be a great sounding location, with just enough isolation from the other music and sounds going on.
While 2019 was a 1 microphone experiment, this time I included an additional stereo mic, and thankfully had a much more portable rig to work with. With the Delphina on a mic stand and the Zoom on a baby tripod sitting on a TV dinner table, the mic placement was rather immobile compared to 2019. This made capturing a proper balance a bit tougher with some performers, such as those standing up or spaced out inconveniently, etc. The added depth of the stereo field was great to have, and the Zoom added a lot of high end as well. I think this certainly helped some recordings, while a few could have benefited from better placement, but I try not to get too "engineery" with Phonobooth, and try and keep it quick and simple, with posterity and fun being key. Perhaps next year I will revert to just the Delphina, but we shall see - putting the Zoom on an actual stand and having to move two stands around (I was already adjusting the TV tray and reworking slightly for each act) starts to add a lot more time and fiddling around when we are working in 10 minute sessions, which starts to take away from the aspects I enjoy about this project.