EMI may soon offer fans live recordings of gigs they attend as they walk out the door of the show, with the company today introducing Abbey Road Live, a new live music recording and instant production service.
Abbey Road Live will offer fans the chance to purchase high quality recordings of music events, instantly, at concert venues
Recordings will be made available in range of formats including CD, DVD and digital devices or via secure digital delivery to home computers or mobile handsets
Mixed and mastered on site by a dedicated crew of experts, the recordings will be made available in a range of formats including CD, DVD and USBs or via secure digital delivery to home computers or mobile handsets as streams or downloads.
Abbey Road Live is headquartered at Abbey Road Studios and builds upon its 78-year history of technological excellence and innovation and extends it into the live music arena. Launching initially in North America and Europe, Abbey Road Live expands upon the success of Live Here Now which was established in 2004 by Mute Records, an EMI label.
Live Here Now has produced and sold instant live recordings for artists such as Blur and their highly acclaimed reunion concerts in London’s Hyde Park in July; for Depeche Mode on both its current and 2006 global tours; Franz Ferdinand, for several UK dates this summer; Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds live at Royal Albert Hall; The Pixies for their recent European tour; as well as for Goldfrapp, Moby, Status Quo and The Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, among others.
The Abbey Road Live Team
The Abbey Road Live team includes music and film industry veterans who have significant, global experience in live music production and operations, including:
• Simon Miller, EMI Music’s Senior Vice President of New Product Development and Live, who brings a background in both the creative and business sides of established and entrepreneurial digital media enterprises to lead Abbey Road Live. Prior to joining EMI in May 2009, Miller was involved in the launch of several start ups, including European online music company Peoplesound.com and swopex.com, the UK’s largest legal media swapping community. He also worked at Universal Music Group in business development. Miller was also involved in numerous feature and television films as writer and director.
• Will Shapland, an experienced recording engineer and producer, will consult for Abbey Road Live in London. Shapland has been involved in live, multi-track concert recordings for artists including David Bowie, Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Robbie Williams, U2, Oasis, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Stevie Wonder, The Three Tenors, Sex Pistols and Live Aid, among others. He was chief engineer for Manor Mobiles, a unit of Virgin and EMI, before selling the business and launching Will Shapland Mobiles, based in Oxfordshire, England.
• David “Noggin” Rowntree, head of operations for Abbey Road Live in the UK and Rest of World. He was part of the original Live Here Now team that produced live recordings throughout Europe, the Middle East and the UK and for artists such as Blur, The Pixies, Depeche Mode, Erasure, Moby, Graham Coxon, The Brand New Heavies, Throbbing Gristle and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.
• Marcus “MJ” Salisbury is head of production for Abbey Road Live, based in London. He was part of the Live Here Now launch team and has been with Mute Records for 15 years, working in a variety of A&R and recording production roles. Salisbury has worked closely on records from Mute artists such as Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp, Moby, Erasure and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds among others, and has worked with some of the industry’s most talented producers including Flood, Ben Hillier, Gareth Jones and Steve Albini.
• Veteran live music producer and DiscLive founder Zach Bair will consult full time for Abbey Road Live’s operations in North America and Latin America. He is a musician and producer who has launched and run several music-related software, live recording and on-site duplication companies, including PowerUp, Immediatek, DiscLive and RockHouse Live Media Productions. He has worked on live productions with such artists as The Pixies, Melissa Ethridge, JC Chasez, Billy Idol, Kenny Loggins and Sum 41, and has produced live recordings in partnership with several Billboard conferences, including the Billboard Latin Awards in 2009.
Simon Miller said: “We’re offering fans the ultimate encore. Being able to take home high quality recordings of a show they’ve just seen is something we’re seeing great demand for from music lovers and it’s also a service that artists and labels are very interested in. Abbey Road Live takes the excellent standards, technology and expertise of the legendary Abbey Road Studios and brings them to the live music arena to offer a compelling new proposition for fans and an excellent service for artists, promoters and venues. For Abbey Road Live, we have set the same high benchmark for quality and innovation as the Studios have consistently delivered over the years.”
Abbey Road Live will offer a range of products, technology and services, including:
• On-site, high quality multi-track audio and/or high definition video recordings, made available for sale within minutes of an event’s completion;
• Technology resources, including the Abbey Road Mobile recording unit for some events;
• Expertise from members of Abbey Road Studios’ engineering team, as well as top experts in live music production and operations;
• Instant duplication and packaging of live recordings and video, and on-site, on-the-spot sale via CD, DVD, artist-branded digital devices such as USBs, as well as secure delivery to home computers or mobile handsets in streaming or download form;
• Live or archived high definition streaming audio and video that can be made available to fans via online in real time.
The Abbey Road Live approach has been successfully tested in recent months, including during the highly acclaimed Hyde Park concert reunion of Blur this past July. Ten percent of fans who attended Blur’s two concerts this summer logged on to www.blur.co.uk to purchase the live recording in CD/digital form or MP3.
Recently, the team also worked with EMI Classics to produce a live recording of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. On two consecutive nights, a concert featuring 300-plus performers (the joint orchestras and choirs of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Mariinsky Theatre) were recorded and mixed live from a 50-microphone input and burnt directly to master CDs that were instantly duplicated and packaged for sale and handed to customers minutes after the performance. Overall, 20% of those who attended the performances purchased the live recordings.