May 2022 News

End of a Great Season

May marks the end of the performing arts season, which for me means both reflection as I look back over the past eight months, and a pivot of focus looking toward the four months of off-season. If you are involved with a festival that needs to tape, broadcast or archive performances, please tell them about Tonehaus and our commitment toward digital content.

This newsletter is sprinkled with some shots from last months production of the Golden Hornet premiere performance of the cross border collaboration “MXTX.” I am grateful to have been able to work with Graham Reynolds, perhaps one of the most industrious artists I know, and the Fusebox Festival run by Ron Berry, who I’ve admired as he has taken it from an intimate event at the Blue Theater to an internationally acclaimed festival with events city-wide. Our three wonderful camera operators were Christopher Morse – who also helped with production planning, Tony Lopez-Cepero, and Meg Seidel.

Looking back

It’s been a growing season. It’s been a nurturing season. I say that because I’ve been nurturing the system, if such a thing is possible. We dialed in the 4 camera live-production system to an incredible degree. Frame synced cameras, sample accurate sound & picture sync, time code stamping on all media, backup audio and video, backup power, live audio mixing and camera switching, and remote control cameras and microphones. We solved the mystery of YouTube creating distortion and learned how to create one button lower thirds updated from a spreadsheet. We demystified a lot of network understanding, and even created a wireless network where smartphones can serve as extra cameras. We integrated slide shows in the live-streams. We dusted off the 5 GoPro kit and put it to work, proving surprising increase in production value for next to nothing. We moved the entire production from HD to 4k. Our team of audio engineers and camera operators is the best in Austin. It’s all come together in such a powerful way, allowing Tonehaus to really deliver where it counts! High production value at low cost, project planning, nimble in and out, and quick post-production. Think of what we can do for your organization.

These are some Questions that we can now answer

What is the least expensive way to get high production value? What is the best way to get high production value? 

What kind of lighting will flatter the performers? How do we keep it from shining in sensitive eyes on stage? How much hard drive space is needed for a single concert? After a taping, how much time does it take to collect all of the media from the cameras and audio recorders? 

What is the minimum internet connection required for an HD live-stream? A 4k stream? What happens if the internet connection stalls for a few seconds? How loud exactly can the program be before YouTube itself starts distorting your program?

How long does it take to make a definitive audio mix from a taping? How long does it take to make a definitive video program from a taping? From a live production? 

How can we cope with a venue with spotty internet service?

This Month: May 2022

While the unknown of the next four months is exciting, there are some known things. This month we are producing the next recording session for composer Eric Chapelle’s album project, which started last year. Recording pianist Michelle Schumann is a pleasure, and doing it in the light filled recital hall at Mary Hardin Baylor University makes it even more of an experience. Read more from Chapelle here

In late May we are doing more visual storytelling, capturing the experience that sound artist Bob Hoffnar creates in Spatial Prismatic Active Listening, an interactive installation at Cloud Tree Gallery. Using the physics of sound, Hoffnar creates an environment where the sound becomes a note, or a different note, depending on where they stand in the room. How is that possible? Just like a prism splits a rainbow of colors from white light, Bob’s installation will be acting as a sonic prism, splitting frequencies from the originating sound into meaningful tones. Sound interesting? Visit here to experience it for yourself. Read more about the concept here.

Looking forward to our next productions

Our video system, while possibly seeming expensive to a smaller performing arts organization, is actually considered “low budget” in the larger world of production. We have engineered a way to keep costs very low and production value high, passing an enormous value to clients. We also bring a performer’s perspective to the table. The bottom line is that we are enabling our clients to get professional video with audio using the latest technologies and some of the finest equipment available, live, and shared worldwide with very small budgets. This is our service to the Austin performing arts scene. Get your art out to the world! We’ll help you be seen and heard. 


In the spirit of the ultra-low budget capture, this month we are offering any new or returning clients a five camera GoPro taping of an event (video only) for just $150.