As the owner of creative content and social impact company Content-OS, producer Andres Levin is an expert in developing inspired content for cause-marketing campaigns. When presented with an opportunity to collaborate on an awareness campaign for The Rainforest Alliance, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving biodiversity, Levin knew he wanted to take the project to a new level. To offer viewers a true-to-life snapshot of the environment, he traveled to the depths of the Tijuca Forest to record a unique musical and cinematic production.
Caetano Veloso joined a team of artists to record "I’m Alive" in the Tijuca ForestKnowing he'd be faced with extreme temperatures, high humidity, limited space, and less than four days to record, Levin knew rugged, reliable gear, that could withstand the harsh conditions and consistently record professional-quality sound, would be imperative to his success. Based on his decades of experience using Shure microphones, he packed a selection of KSM and Beta microphones to record his recently completed piece, "I'm Alive-Rainforest Alliance Sessions-Foresta de Tijuca", with GRAMMY Award-winning artists Caetano Veloso and Lenine, and renowned Brazilian artists Criolo, Emicida, and Pretinho da Serrinha.
Chosen for the products' legendary performance and extreme durability, Levin was impressed by both the Beta and KSM microphones' flawless performance throughout the trip. Using the Beta 98/AMP, Beta 181/C, and Beta 181/S, Levin recorded the percussion instruments played throughout "I'm Alive". Thanks to the Beta mics' extreme versatility, Levin also used them to record the natural ambience of the rainforest-including insects, animals, and other environmental sounds.
"The combination of extreme environmental conditions, a very brief window of time to record some of today's top artists, and many moving parts, created a situation that had the potential of becoming a nightmare, had we not selected the right gear," Levin shared. "The Shure Beta and KSM mics were exactly what we were looking for-rock-solid and extremely reliable. There's not much more you can ask for, especially when recording in the middle of the rainforest."
When it came to mic'ing vocalists, Levin relied heavily on the Shure KSM42, KSM32/CG, and KSM32/SL Large Diaphragm Microphones. He found that the mics' excellent frequency response and extremely consistent performance were key to creating a quality piece, especially within such a limited amount of time.
With a large, noisy generator on-site and a crew of more than 40 people, Levin also needed an in-ear monitor system that would allow each artist to focus on his or her own music without the distractions of nearby noise.
"This was a very extreme situation, especially given the extreme temperatures, humidity, and the large generator nearby," Levin stated. "I've always used Shure, which is why I chose the Shure [PSM900] personal monitor system. I knew I could rely on the system, and it performed perfectly."
Levin found that each component of the PSM900 system, including bodypack receivers, stereo transmitters, and a UA802G10 1/2 wave antenna with the PA421A antenna combiner, not only withstood the rigors of travel and humidity in the rainforest, but performed flawlessly.
In celebration of Earth Day, the six-minute production of I'm Alive debuted April 22 on YouTube and http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/ImAliveBrasil.