Off-grid Reggae studio
the hills are alive with the sound of music
The Swiss musician singer/songwriter Dodo has been working remotely – 2500m above sea level in the Grimsel Pass, in the Swiss Alps.
His solar powered mobile studio allows him and co-producer Marco ‘Big J’ Jeger to work on the new album whilst enjoying some pretty spectacular scenery.
His location, and onward journey, is the COVID-19 alternative to his original plan for this year which was to load his studio onto a boat bound for South Africa, playing gigs at Maritime ports along the way.
Undaunted, his new plan is to drive his studio through the spectacular scenery of the Alps – following the course of the river Rhine and recording music along the way – until he arrives in Basel …to await a lifting of restrictions.
Dodo’s mobile studio has a power hungry set up of mixers, amps and monitors including Arrow, Apollo X8P and Audio UAD-2 Satellite from Universal Audio. Behringer Mixing and Distribution Amp. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol and Behringer Fatar Keyboards; Genelec speakers and monitors; Phantek cooling; Apple TV, Mac, and a 49″ hi-res curved monitor from Samsung – plus state of the art lighting. Oh, and air-conditioning.
This power requirement is met by 21 roof mounted 300W solar panels offering 6.3kWp. An EasySolar 48/5000/70-100 is the tidy solution to on-board wiring as it combines an MPPT 150/100 solar charger; a 4kW Inverter/Charger; and a CCGX communication hub.
The EasySolar has five A/C outlets – one of which shuts down power to non-critical loads in case of generator/grid failure. The CCGX monitors the 9kWh batteries, prioritising battery charging from the PV solar panels. That arrangement is working well – although the system has a back-up generator it has only been used on two occasions. The CCGX makes all system data available via its display as well as providing remote access and control over the internet using the Victron’s Remote Management Portal VRM.
In spite of the fact that – pre COVID-19 – the plan was to take his music to Africa, Dodo seems to be making the most of his mobile studio ‘at home’. His latest single Türe gaht uf is a calypso/reggae reflection on the fact that, in life, as one door closes another opens. His new album comes out next spring.
Next stop for his studio – which he has christened the Ministry of Good Vibes – is the Furka Pass. The studio is travelling by road, but Dodo knows a short-cut and will attempt to beat the trailer-mounted studio on foot. German speakers can follow his progress on his Vlog.
Victron Energy have provided the power supply for Dodo’s off-grid recording studio. We wish him all the best and hope he will fly high.
By Justin Tyers