Josh Rogosin

Don't see the video above? Click here.

Sting and Shaggy might not be the most likely musical pairing. But one thing is certain, they love playing each other's music. On a bright autumn morning, the legends arrived at the NPR Music office bleary-eyed yet excited to play for the diverse staff of Shaggy and Sting fans. What surprised many of my NPR colleagues is just how well the collaboration works.

Choosing different mics to capture a variety of instruments is an art form. There are countless options at different price points and there are no right answers. EQ adjustments to treble, bass and midrange frequencies can make an inexpensive mic sound good. Mic placement can change the sound dramatically. Whenever I'm not sure how to record an instrument, I move my head around until it sounds nice, then I replace my head with a mic. (Trade secret!) Also, what does the room sound like where you're recording?

One of Bob Boilen's requests at the Tiny Desk is that no musician play louder than the singers can project without amplification, which has the effect of equalizing audience and performers, creating an intimate and balanced sound that's never too loud in the room. But when sound engineers need to reinforce venues bigger than an office, it's impossible to balance the sound in every area of the room. If you prefer to be close to the stage, you'll inevitably be a lot closer to the loudspeakers, where volume levels can become uncomfortably loud.

I've been an audio engineer ever since I started recording my own songs on a Tascam 424 Portastudio. That was in 1990. Since then, I've mixed for theater, public radio and have produced the audio for over 400 Tiny Desk Concerts at NPR. Recording and mixing every genre of music at the Tiny Desk is a dream — from jazz to folk to hip-hop to whatever Superorganism is, I love capturing and mixing live music at Bob Boilen's desk.

Self-proclaimed "Funklordz" Chromeo played with a live band for the first time at the Tiny Desk. The duo usually performs their live shows over backing tracks with shimmering chrome guitars and keyboards mounted on mannequin lady legs. David Macklovitch (Dave 1) and Patrick Gemayel (P-Thugg) met when they were 15 while growing up in Montreal and have been cranking out the electro-funk jams ever since. On being Canadian, P-Thugg announced in his robot voice "it's very, very cold" to which Dave 1 quipped, "it's cold...

Her nervousness was palpable and stood in stark contrast to her fully produced stage show. "I'm sorry I'm shy," Florence Welch told the crowd of NPR family and friends gathered for her Tiny Desk performance. "If this was a big gig, I'd probably be climbing all over here and running around."

After nearly 800 Tiny Desk concerts, The Band's Visit is the first Broadway musical ever to play the series.

The crew from the show, which opened last November at the Ethel Barrymore Theater, descended on NPR at 8:30 a.m. — seven musicians, five actors, a wardrobe department, a make-up artist, a publicist, a music director, the composer and even a vlogger. We started early so they could hustle back to Manhattan for a 7 p.m. curtain.

Six months before Tegan and Sara Quin played two sold-out shows at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club, we booked their Tiny Desk appearance. Their mini-set would take place on Nov. 7, 2016 — the eve of one of the most contentious presidential elections in U.S. history.