There were two main elements to the show. The first was a “documentary” element. So, simultaneously, while we were working with Gareth, there were Producer Directors teaching participants how to shoot. We had a guy called Alec who was acting as Sound Guarantee who helped set up the audio. They were making what was, in essence, a documentary within the programme.
We could have up to 12 people working at once in these different crews and they could switch between houses. It was incredibly challenging – the iPhone 11 has a very good camera but the audio was really tricky. To get audio, we had to wrap some technology in tin foil because of 4G interference, issues like that.
Also, because of the way the show is structured, people are singing and then talking. There were no real proper audio settings for them so we really had to work with those Producer Directors to achieve the best quality audio. There was some sterling work by people in post-production, too.
That was the “documentary” side. That audio was coming into me and we were then using a lot of Cedar noise reduction. We had to make a call with what was going to be acceptable in regard to that. We had to treat the audio as it came in, which is not something that we would normally do. We had to make a decision there and then whether it was acceptable.
The second side was the music element. We rigged Gareth’s house up and he used a couple of Mobile Viewpoint cellular bonding backpacks. We had three cameras in his studio. He had a proper radio mic (DPA) and I had a feed from his Pro Tools system – a stereo feed of all of his music. He would then chat to the key workers taking part and then they would sing and compose songs with him. Gareth would play a bit on the piano and then they would sing a little and it was like a kind of question and answer session.