Digidesign VENUE Helps Bring Operation MySpace to the Masses

DALY CITY, CA--On March 10, 2008, MySpace and AEG Live teamed up with the U.S. Department of Defense for Operation MySpace: Live from Kuwait, www.myspace.com/operationmyspace, a three hour plus MySpaceLive! concert that brought leading stars to the Middle East to perform for U.S. troops. The broadcast featured live performances by Jessica Simpson, Disturbed, The Pussycat Dolls, Filter, and more. The landmark event, which was webcast live on MySpace.com on March 10. Portions of the MySpaceLive! concert are also scheduled to air nationally on FX television on April 12.

Los Angeles-based Bennett Group brought their dual 96-channel Pro Tools|HD recording rigs to Kuwait to capture the landmark event, with veteran engineer Gary Lux manning the Digidesign VENUE D-Show console. The entire system was supplied, designed and integrated by Los Angeles-based RSPE Audio Solutions, who also provided ongoing support and expansion. "It was kind of like taking Hollywood and placing it on the moon, then taking it away again," says Lux of the barren, stifling desert setting, just 12 miles from Iraq. "The system ran like a champ, even in the face of 100-degree heat and blowing sand. And this is the same system we took on a ski tour last year, it's been through a range of over 150 degrees. Digidesign's stuff is the most robust and dependable equipment ever. I'm fearless on this system."

Lux recorded the event live via a direct signal from the VENUE Stage Racks. "We worked with a totally autonomous feed, going direct to the Internet," he explains. "The VENUE system made it easy to streamline the whole process, from capturing the mix live to Pro Tools, to instantly relaying it over the web. I was able to work with total confidence. The FOH engineers were responsible for a crowd of about 5,000; I was responsible for around 25 million. It was one of the highest profile media events ever. The guys from Disturbed, ten minutes after [they got off] the stage they were all over me, telling me they were getting text messages by the hundreds, telling them how good they sounded."

Despite the extreme weather, compressed schedules, maximum security, and jet lag, Lux is unequivocal in his enthusiasm. "This is one of the greatest gigs I've ever done in my life," he says. "Just the fact that we were there, supporting these guys, meant so much. Being a part of such a historic event this has been a high point in my career.

The MySpaceLive! concert is currently being condensed into a 1-hour special that will air nationally on FX television on April 12. Gary Lux has recently launched an online forum detailing his experience during this landmark event.

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