History

LiveWire Remote Recorders began as a four-track, basement studio in Kingston, Ontario in 1973. Owner Doug McClement started the studio while attending university in his home town. He named the studio Comfort Sound, after the name of a band he was playing in at the time.

hist_comfort_soundAfter graduation, the studio moved along with Doug to Toronto. In the late seventies, he began to do location recording at the request of his studio clients. Comfort equipped a Dodge cube van with a small, eight track setup, and began to concentrate on remotes.

Early clients included bar bands, choirs, songwriters, and the occasional tv special. Equipment was wheeled in and out of the studio as needed. Soon, the studio moved from the basement of a house in East York to a storefront near Dufferin and Rogers Rd.

In the early 80’s, the mobile expanded to 16 and then 24 tracks. Comfort Sound Mobile recorded hundreds of live radio broadcasts for CHUM-FM, Q107, and CFNY, as well as some of the earliest stereo television programs in Canada: the CHUM/CITY simulcasts. The studio moved downtown to the heart of Toronto’s music community on Queen St. W. in 1984, and the business shifted more towards audio post production for tv. The CHUM/CITY connection led to MuchMusic being Comfort’s biggest client, as the mobile was used for all their concert recording. Comfort Sound was also being hired by various tv networks to fly portable recording systems around the globe to tape music specials in Nigeria, Spain, the Middle East, Germany and Jamaica.

hist_skydome_runaway_caveA large, 48 track mobile in a five-ton truck was built in 1987, and Comfort expanded its territory to upstate New York and Quebec. A portable 24 track digital Airpack system in 20 flight cases was assembled for overseas remotes where a truck would be impractical. Through the early 90’s, as more new television specialty channels emerged, the remote market grew to the point where it began to overtake Comfort’s studio business.

 

In 1994, Doug sold Comfort Sound Studios and established LiveWire Remote Recorders in order to concentrate solely on live recording.

hist_seville_minivanA third system, the 48 track Tourpack, was added to the LiveWire equipment list in 1998. The Tourpack is designed for bands who want to document several performances on a national tour with minimal setup.

LiveWire replaced the 5-ton truck with a 31 foot Great Dane semi-trailer in early 2002. The mobile now has an expanding side section, giving us a 16’x12′ control room, in addition to a machine room and a maintenance area. The control room was designed by Pilchner-Schoustal Associates one of North America’s top studio design firms. It features full 5.1 surround sound monitoring.

Many shows being recorded by the LiveWire mobile are now being broadcast simultaneously over the internet. LiveWire installed a 48 track ProTools HD system in 2002, so that clients can record directly to hard drives.

SSL-AngleThe Protools system was expanded to 96 tracks in 2006, with remote controllable mic preamps located on the stage for the highest fidelity recording, fully adjustable from the mobile.

A new SSL C200 Console was installed in the mobile in early 2008, providing 96 tracks, snapshot recall of all parameters, and surround sound bussing. It is the most sophisticated console in an audio truck in North America. A new area of expansion for LiveWire is providing the 5.1 surround mix for concerts being broadcast live into movie theatres nationwide, as well as livestreaming. We are also doing the entertainment segments for major sports events, such as the Grey Cup Halftime show since 2005, and the 2016 NBA All Star Game halftime show.