5 Aug 2020

Technical Audio Group: Capturing The Sounds of Amata

The latest chapter in Technical Audio Group’s philanthropic arm TAG Cares comes in the form of new music from Musgrave Band, a musical collective from the remote Indigenous Community of Amata in the South Australian Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.

Amata is a very remote community of around 350 people, situated approximately 200 kilometres south of Uluru. It can only be reached via unsealed roads, which are the last part of a 3,000 kilometre drive from TAG HQ in Sydney.

“When Tapaya Edwards, a local community leader, invited the TAG Cares team to bring some instruments and equipment for local musicians and the Amata Anangu School in early 2019, we were blown away by the wealth of local talent and the incredible level of musicianship,” said Giles Brading, TAG’s National Sales Manager.


“After a number of discussions, some of the musicians asked if the TAG team could assist them in capturing the sounds of Amata and record their music so it could be heard far and wide.”

Amata can only be reached via unsealed roads which are the last part of a 3000km drive from Sydney’s TAG HQ.

In March of this year, the team returned to the Amata community for a two-day stint of recording, converting the community’s school gymnasium into a makeshift studio with the help of a QSC TouchMix-30 Pro, a pair of QSC K12.2 speakers and a wide variety of Audio-Technica microphones and headphones.

“The talent in Amata was astonishing. So many of the band members play multiple instruments and seeing them swap instruments and work together was amazing. It was no wonder that they had such great creative chemistry and locked in so well when it came time to record,” commented QSC Brand Manager Nicholas Simonsen.

The band set up in the round and recorded a number of tracks live directly into the TouchMix, utilising the mixer’s multi-track recording function. The ability to track the entire band live ensured that the energy and feel of their collective sound was captured on the recordings perfectly.

Recording in the community’s school gymnasium

“What you hear is the band with no bells and whistles, no click track, and only a few minor overdubs for vocals and lead guitar,” said Nicholas.

A number of songs were recorded during that weekend, and the stems were exported out of the TouchMix console and handed off to TAG team member/Mix Wizard Andrew Crawford to mix and master before delivering the final tracks to the band.

Recording via QSC TouchMix-30 Pro

“Music is a big part of our lives in the APY Communities,” said Tapaya. “We practice & play music all the time, so we were ready to record our songs and let people know about Amata.”

The Musgrave Band comprises eight super talented musicians; Liam, Darren, Jacob, Troy, Kieren, Luke, Amos, and Selwin. ‘Families’ and ‘Munganka,’ which are sung in the Pitjantjatjara language, are the first two songs to be released from this session and are the band’s first studio recordings.

“We were lucky to engage Tapaya’s cousin Nicole Klaer along with Chris Clark of Eluminate Media Production to film and produce two music videos,” commented Giles. “I think their connection with the community and their love of the APY Lands came through very clearly.”

The videos capture the beauty of the APY Lands as well as a look into the recording sessions. The video views are already starting to climb, and the songs are receiving radio play thanks to a number of stations, including Triple R in Melbourne.

You can expect to hear more from Musgrave Band in the not-too-distant future, but in the meantime, you can enjoy these wonderful songs.

‘Families’ Music Video –
‘Munganka’ Music Video –

TAG Cares acknowledges and respects Aboriginal peoples as the state’s first peoples and nations, and recognises Aboriginal peoples as traditional owners and occupants of land and waters in South Australia. Further, that their spiritual, social, cultural and economic practices come from their traditional lands and waters, that they maintain their cultural and heritage beliefs, languages and laws which are of ongoing importance, and that they have made and continue to make a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the state. We acknowledge that Aboriginal peoples have endured past injustice and dispossession of their traditional lands and waters. We thank the people of the Amata Community for their invitation, welcome and friendship.

CX Magazine – August 2020   

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