LEGENDARY CHURCHILL'S PUB USES MACKIE GEAR TO PROMOTE UNDERGROUND ROCK
Some have dubbed Miami-based Churchill's Pub the CBGB's of the American South. Locals have been calling it Miami's Best Rock Club every year since 1991, according to Miami's alternative weekly, New Times. But most people just call it "The Church" – an appropriate nickname given that it's a popular destination for music lovers looking to celebrate underground rock.
Aesthetically, Churchill's austere exterior and interior presence perfectly reflect the spirit of underground rock and roll—where the music itself rules, and the glitz is best left at the door. It's a place where silver HVAC ducting doubles as stage decor, and where the floor is more often bathed in Guinness than clean water. During the day, it successfully masquerades as a quirky British sports pub, serving up UK imports to fans watching world soccer and rugby.
But seven nights a week for the last 20 years, Churchill's has earned cult status among musicians by serving up original live rock and jazz. Its small stage and 350-person capacity space hosted first-ever gigs for many of today's most recognizable acts such as Marilyn Manson and The Mavericks. Iggy Pop even filmed his last live video there.
With such a track record for fostering original music, it's no surprise that Churchill's Pub is using Mackie gear to bring underground bands to the surface. Churchill's recently invested in a Mackie HDR24/96 hard disk recorder in order to offer musicians 24-bit digital recordings of their live shows.
According to Michael Toms, who co-owns "The Church" along with founder and former UK promoter David Daniels, "With the Mackie HDR, it's easy for us to lend a helping hand to original bands that want to create a demo they can use to land gigs at other clubs, or produce a live CD that they can sell at their shows."
"Studio time is a major expense for any band, especially the ones that are too new on the scene to have an audience," Toms explains. "Now, in addition to providing a venue in which emerging bands can perform their original music, we also help artists to promote themselves and get established. Because the Mackie gear is so affordable, we're able to offer free access to pro-quality recording gear without the expense of a studio."
Club promoter and sound engineer Jehan Maheswaran emphasizes that the Mackie HDR and trusted Mackie SR32.4 console have become an important incentive for booking bands. "On Thursdays nights there's no cover charge at Churchill's, which means the bands don't get paid from the door. But for many bands, free access to our gear is even better than cash. By recording their gigs on great-sounding demos or CDs, they can market themselves for other paid bookings, or sell CDs, and build a bigger audience."
Maheswaran notes that this strategy depends on delivering a good, clean signal and digital recording. "The Mackie SR32.4 is packed with features that are flexible and easy to use, and it consistently puts out a clean, strong signal – despite the abuse that can happen in an edgy sports bar. This equipment allows us to provide musicians with the best possible live recordings to use for distribution and promotion."
In just a few months since getting the Mackie HDR up and running, Churchill's Pub has made recordings available to dozens of appreciative bands, and their acknowledgement is more than sufficient payback for the pub. "This place has been around for 25 years because it's a shrine to the musicians who are creative, talented and daring enough to do something original, and we're just happy to be a part of that," Toms said. "With great features at an affordable price, our Mackie gear was clearly designed with those same values in mind, and it expands what we're able to do for underground rock."
Mackie, a LOUD Technologies Inc. brand, is known worldwide as a leading developer and marketer of high-quality, affordable professional audio systems. Mackie products can be found in professional and project recording studios, video and broadcast suites, post production facilities, sound reinforcement applications including churches and nightclubs, retail locations and on major musical tours. For more information visit: www.mackie.com.
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