When the world shut down due to the coronavirus, it was hard to keep from losing spirit. Gone were the days where we could chill with our friends and enjoy a rockin’ house party. So Butcher Bird Studios and Austin Antoine teamed up to bring a little soul back to the world in the best way we knew how; a live stream!
While it never quite captured the magic of a real house party, we did our best to imitate one using a combination of vMix call, Zoom, Focusrite and Tascam audio interfaces, numerous computers, many mics, and even more instruments. This bevy of technology allowed us to host a killer group of live musicians and freestyle rappers in what became one of our favorite weekly Twitch shows.
The key ingredient to pulling off our show was a complex audio bussing system and a multiple machine setup for our host, Austin, who was able to rap in sync to the beat of other rappers by receiving the base track in one computer, mixing the beats with his vocals, and sending the combined feed to us in another computer. By assembling the beat and Austin’s vocals on Austin’s side, we were able to ensure that he was in sync every step of the way for his freestyle performances, which, for a rap show, is a pretty monumental detail.
The technical leg work paid off, and we were able to create seven successful weekly shows. These culminated in a socially-distanced spectacular season finale, in which Austin and his co-host/resident show poet, Raul Herrera, brought the house down on our actual stage! (Safely separated, but always together, of course.)
We were also able to host a 4-man freestyle rap cypher featuring Mike Merchant, EyeSeeGhosts, Ian Merrigan, and of course, Austin. We were able to accomplish this by having each rapper play the same beat locally, then we switched from feed to feed and used sound effects to cover the transition. It was as close as we could have come to having four emcees in the same room. And if that weren’t enough, we also had two amazing musical guests, JoDavi and Dudley Music, who brought funk and soul all the way from the east coast.
In the end, Austin Antoine’s House Party is something we were proud to produce and Austin is an artist who we very much love and support. It’s been great fun to help spread his music and message to the world. Check out some of Austin’s work on our Twitch page.