Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Griffin And Hal Leonard Enter Into Exclusive Distribution Deal To The Music Trade

Hal Leonard to distribute (exclusively) Griffin Technology music products and accessories to the MI trade in the U.S.

Hal Leonard Corporation has signed a deal to exclusively distribute Griffin Technology music products and accessories to the MI trade in the United States and Canada starting November 1, 2013.

Hal Leonard Senior Sales & Marketing Manager Brad Smith reached the agreement with Andrew Biddle, audio product manager at Griffin.

Founded on inventor and innovator Paul Griffin’s kitchen table in 1992, Griffin Technology has evolved into one of the world’s foremost creators of accessories for home, mobile and personal technology. The privately held company is based in Nashville.

While making an extensive line of Griffin’s products available to its expansive retailer network, Hal Leonard will focus on distributing Griffin’s high-quality music recording, playback and performance tools designed with musicians in mind.

Using Griffin’s intuitive and functional interfaces that connect instruments or microphones to Apple iPads, iPods and iPhones, users can create music, produce podcasts, DJ a party and more.

StudioConnect with Lightning, GuitarConnect Pro, GuitarConnect Cable, and MicConnect are perfect for musicians who want to practice, record and perform anywhere, using the power of an iPad or iPhone. Griffin’s WoodTones headphones and earbuds, also ideal for sale into the MI channel, work with any audio device with a 1/8” jack (or an adaptor).

“With the rapidly changing face of technology today, anyone with a smartphone, tablet or laptop has a powerful recording studio at their fingertips,” said Smith. “Griffin has a long and successful history of working with Apple, and produces superb products for musicians looking to make music on their iOS devices.”

He added, “This line gives musicians on the go high-quality, useful products at an affordable price. Griffin is a shoo-in for the MI channel, offering everything from powerful interfaces to hip Survivor iPhone cases perfect for point-of-purchase sales. We’re happy to be working with them.”

Biddle, at Griffin, said, “Our Apple iOS music accessories offer easy connectivity so artists can capture and build on their ideas whenever inspiration strikes. We’re hoping such inspiration will also now strike in music stores across the continent. Partnering with Hal Leonard will put our products in front of a huge new market of musicians, and we’re thrilled about the possibilities.”

Griffin Technology
Hal Leonard

Posted by Julie Clark on 10/29 at 08:07 AM

Friday, October 25, 2013

RE/P Files: Signal Feed Techniques For Electronic Instruments

The conventional wisdom in 1970 for recording instruments, amplifiers, and effects

From the archives of the late, great Recording Engineer/Producer (RE/P) magazine, this feature is an interesting look back at techniques for recording electronic instruments. This article dates back to April / May of 1970. (Volume 1, Number 1). The text is presented unaltered, along with all original graphics.

There are variations of three basic methods which seem to satisfy most requirements…that is, those requirements which don’t demand instant audio annihilation…for getting a signal out of an electronic musical instrument and its amplifier.

Assuming that the sound to be picked-up is generated by a fundamental electronic instrument, say, an electrified guitar, one without built-in reverberation, wah-wah or the like.

Then, there is no particular problem in coming directly off of the magnetic pick-up on the instrument into a mult-jack, with the dual feeds then going, on the one hand, to the guitar amplifier, while the other line, then, goes to the microphone input of the mixing console through an impedance matching transformer . . . Direct Box. (See figure 1)

The obvious advantages, here, are that the player has complete monitoring capability through his own amplifier in the studio, while the mixing engineer retains complete control of the output volume of the instrument in the control room.

Electronic instruments with built-in special effects; the fuzz tones, wah-wahs, reverbs, etc. are picked up directly in two additional ways.

Figure 1

If the amplifier being used by the musician in the studio has either a line-output or a pre-amp output the mult-jack approach is still where the process starts. 

One line from the jack goes out through the impedance matching transformer (sometimes called a bridging transformer) straight to the microphone input of the control console. The mult feed from the jack goes back into the amplifier.

As in the previous example, the player still has complete liberty to monitor his own performance at any volume level in the studio. The use of any of the special effects originating in the instrument or the amplifier remains the choice of the artist. The engineer, on the other side of the glass, still has absolute control of the volume of the sound being recorded.

Although less desirable from the control-of-volume point of view of the engineer, the third method of direct pick-up is used because of its simplicity. This method looks pretty much the same as the immediately preceding set-up, except that a pair of clip leads are used to clip onto the voice coil of the amplifier speaker before going back into the bridging transformer and then on into the microphone input of the mixing console.

In this situation the player has the opportunity of “playing” with the amplifier volume controls, thus affecting the volume of sound fed to the mixer. To the degree that the performer might want to do this, the absolute control over the volume being fed to the tape machines is no longer vested completely in the engineer doing the mixing.

These techniques can be applied to almost every electronic instrument; electronic piano, electronic harpsichord, etc. In each case the signal must be fed through an isolating or bridging device (impedance matching device) into the mixing console, while at the same time allowing the musical signal to also get to the performer’s amplifier in the studio.

Direct signal pick-up eliminates distortion from both the amplifier and the speakers, which in musical instrument amplifiers are nowhere near the quality or balance of the studio monitoring system. Too, the recording system is not exposed to any extremely high sound power levels. Those remain safely isolated out in the studio.

Conventional Micing
Especially as it applies to ‘rock’, the biggest problem in picking-up an amplified instrument sound through conventional microphones is that the acoustical power coming out of the amp speakers can very easily overload the microphones.

However, in order to record the electronic instrument and its amplifier as faithfully as possible to the sound which the combination is putting out, using conventional micing methods would mean that the microphone must be placed only inches from the amp speakers.

Where this is attempted, the use of dynamic microphones is recommended because of their ability to withstand extreme sound pressures, of between 110 and 140 dB before ‘CO’

Still, there may be times when the producer/mixer might want the best of both the direct and conventionally miced sound.

If there are enough inputs in the console, then both the microphone line and the one coming in from the ‘Direct Box’ (bridging device) can be run into separate ‘pots’ for recording on the common track.

As the engineer seeks the brilliance and clarity of the instrument sound fed direct, or the sound of the instrument plus the ambient of the room (studio) as the sound comes from the conventional micing procedure, he can switch from input to input, or blend both of the signals together.

The Direct Box
The primary impedance of the matching transformer should, of course, be high enough so that it does not disturb the match of the output of the magnetic pick-up from the instrument . . . and, so that it attenuates the high end, or doesn’t drop the level too much ... so that the signal comes out of the ‘Direct Box’ at approximately microphone level.

Direct Box

It should be a nominal impedance of, say, 30,000 ohms to 50,000 ohms. The primary impedance should be high enough so that it doesn’t disturb or load the instrument’s magnetic pick-up and delivers enough signal at the console for control.

The matching transformer should be mounted in a small, well-shielded box. Careful attention should be given to ‘grounds’ or shielding of both input and output cables. Appropriate connectors on each cable should be compatible with the output of the magnetic pickup-on the instrument, and the input connector to the mixing console.

At the time of publication, William Robinson was engineering director at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA.

Take the PSW Photo Gallery Tour of audio equipment ads appearing in RE/P magazine, circa 1970

Editor’s Note: This is a series of articles from Recording Engineer/Producer (RE/P) magazine, which began publishing in 1970 under the direction of Publisher/Editor Martin Gallay. After a great run, RE/P ceased publishing in the early 1990s, yet its content is still much revered in the professional audio community. RE/P also published the first issues of Live Sound International magazine as a quarterly supplement, beginning in the late 1980s, and LSI has grown to a monthly publication that continues to thrive to this day. Our sincere thanks to Mark Gander of JBL Professional for his considerable support on this archive project.

Posted by Keith Clark on 10/25 at 03:34 PM
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Sennheiser Receives Engineering Emmy‘s Philo T. Farnsworth Award

Sennheiser Receives Engineering Emmy‘s Philo T. Farnsworth Award

Audio specialist Sennheiser has been honored with the prestigious Philo T. Farnsworth Award at the 65th Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards in Hollywood.

The Philo T. Farnsworth Award honors an agency, company or institution whose contributions over time have significantly impacted television technology and engineering. Unlike most other Emmy awards, it is not awarded every year. The award is named after the inventor of electronic television, Philo Farnsworth.

Daniel Sennheiser and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser accepted the Emmy statuette “on behalf of the passionate Sennheiser staff that helped to create innovative audio products and have provided impeccable customer service in the fields of TV and broadcasting.”

Frank Morrone, governor of the sound branch at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, himself an Emmy Award-winning Hollywood audio engineer, congratulated Sennheiser on the award: “I am excited that the Television Academy has chosen to recognize Sennheiser as a leader in developing products that have contributed to advancing the way television is created and produced.”

Daniel Sennheiser commented: “We are thrilled that the Engineering Awards Committee has selected Sennheiser for this much sought-after award. This is an incredible honor for all of us at Sennheiser, and I dare say especially for our teams in North America, who are reliable and enthusiastic partners to the benchmark-setting US TV industry.

“The award also honors the achievements of my father and grandfather, who firmly grounded and advanced the company in the fields of production and broadcasting.”

Seven Engineering Emmys were awarded at the ceremony: the Philo T. Farnsworth Award, the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award, Engineering Emmys for YouTube, Aspera’s FASP Transport Technology, Josh C. Kline for creating Digital Dailies®, iZotope RX Audio Repair Technology and Previzion Virtual Studio System (Lightcraft Technology), as well as two Engineering Plaques awarded to Lawo AG for their audio networking and routing system and Final Draft Screenwriting Software.


Posted by Julie Clark on 10/25 at 02:19 PM

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How to Make Your Hip-Hop Beats Stand Out (Includes Video)

New tutorial by noted engineer and author Matthew Weiss now available

Producers and beatmakers looking to elevate their hip-hop beats to the next level, to make them really hit hard and stand out, can take advantage of a new tutorial that shows exactly how to do that.

Today marks the release of the second tutorial in the Mixing Hip-Hop series from Matthew Weiss (Snoop Dogg, Gorilla Zoe, Gift of Gab): Mixing Hip-Hop Beats.

In Mixing Hip-Hop Beats, Weiss spends over 80 minutes walking you step-by-step through his hip-hop mixing workflow, mindset, and techniques — including:

—Setting levels
—Emotional automation
—Making drums and 808s hit hard
—Mixing synths
—Home mastering tips

As the follow-up tutorial to Mixing Rap Vocals, we have a special bundle price (30 percent savings) for both tutorials. There’s also a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so the worst that can happen is you learn a lot and people ask you how you leveled up your production quality so quickly.

Regular PSW readers know Matthew Weiss has contributed numerous articles that help further the art and science of engineering and production, including several focusing on hip-hop. Check them out here.

Also check out this video to learn more about Mixing Hip-Hop Beats:



Click here for more information and to acquire your own copy of Mixing Hip-Hop Beats

Posted by Keith Clark on 10/23 at 06:09 PM
RecordingNewsVideoProductConsolesDigital Audio WorkstationsEducationEngineerMixerProcessorStudioPermalink

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Shure Launches SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back Headphones

Lightweight and Durable Headphone Design Uses 40 mm Neodymium Drivers for an Expansive Soundstage with Clear, Extended Highs and Warm Bass

Shure Incorporated has announced the introduction of its SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back Headphones.

Featuring an expansive soundstage for clear, extended highs and warm bass, the lightweight headphones extend Shure’s established SRH headphone portfolio, offering a comfortable   circumaural design for professional critical mastering and audiophile listening.

Powered by 40 mm neodymium drivers, the SRH1540 headphones have a unique sound signature, delivering the most superior acoustic performance available in a closed-back headphone model from Shure.

A design developed with aluminum alloy and carbon fiber construction as well as Alcantara ear pads, the SRH1540 is built to withstand the rigors of everyday use, while still ensuring maximum sound isolation and comfort for hours of listening.

The Alcantara ear pads are integral to the headphones’ acoustic tuning, positioned to optimize driver performance. An innovative and lightweight design, the SRH1540 was inspired by the recently released SRH1840 Open-Back Headphones. 

“The SRH1540 offers a pronounced bass response and the widest overall frequency range, while retaining the same level of craftsmanship as our open-back SRH1840, making the SRH1540 an ideal choice for engineers, musicians, and audio enthusiasts,” said Matt Engstrom, Category Director for Monitoring Products at Shure.

The SRH1540 headphones feature a steel driver frame with a vented center pole piece to improve linearity and eliminate internal resonance. The ergonomic dual-frame includes a padded headband that is fully adjustable and light enough to wear through hours of listening. An extra cable, replacement ear pads, and storage case are included.

The SRH1540 headphones are now shipping at an MSRP of $624.00.


Posted by Julie Clark on 10/22 at 02:39 PM
RecordingNewsProductSound ReinforcementStudioPermalink

Engineer Frank Filipetti Lends His Ears To Development Of JBL Reference Monitor

Recently Frank Filipetti played a significant role in the development of Harman's JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor.

Since the 1980s, producer, recording and GRAMMY award winning mixing engineer Frank Filipetti has worked with Carly Simon, Luciano Pavarotti, Billy Joel, Elton John, Korn, Barbra Streisand, Meatloaf and countless other top artists.

Recently he played a significant role in the development of Harman’s JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor, a 2-way large-format loudspeaker designed to set new standards for sonic accuracy and dynamic range in professional monitoring environments.

In developing new loudspeaker systems, JBL has always welcomed input from recording engineers and producers. In the development of JBL’s new flagship M2 master reference monitor, JBL turned to Filipetti for his critical review and astute feedback.

Like many industry pros, he’s used a number of JBL studio monitors, including his go-to system, the LSR6300 series monitors. When JBL went into production of the M2 in the spring, Filipetti installed a pair in his studio and has been mixing projects non-stop.

“About two years ago JBL invited me to listen to a new studio monitor concept they were excited about,” said Filipetti.

However, after listening for more than two hours, the loudspeakers didn’t win him over. Filipetti came away from the initial audition thinking this early iteration of the M2 was good, but not special, and encouraged the JBL team to work hard to elevate it to the next level. His comments did not go unheeded by the JBL team.

Fast-forward to the summer of 2012, when Filipetti got a call to come back and listen again. Within the first 20 seconds of listening he realized he was hearing something very exciting.

“I’ve been listening to studio monitors all my life and they’re one of the types of products I pay closest attention to, as they’re so integral to my work.”

It took Filipetti less than a minute to realize this new speaker wasn’t like anything he’d heard before.

“The whole experience of the beauty of the music, the sound and the emotional content of the performance all came through to me in a way I had never heard before.”

The JBL engineers made a few final tweaks and the production-version M2 was born.

Filipetti attributes much of the special qualities of the JBL M2 to the new D2 dual diaphragm, dual-voice-coil compression driver and JBL’s new Image Control waveguide, a patent-pending horn design that delivers more musical detail and smoothness than he’d heard previously.

In his estimation, most horns sound “peaky” in the midrange and don’t provide the extension a soft-dome tweeter can deliver while the M2 has a smooth midrange, high-frequency response up to 40kHz and wide dispersion.

“You can stand halfway between two M2 loudspeakers and hear all the top end you’d hear when you’re sitting right in line with the drivers, along with a deep, strong, focused center image. I’ve never heard that from any speaker before,” Filipetti noted.

“Forget everything you know about horns and monitor speakers. The JBL M2 is different,” he emphasized. “I’ve had people that work in music, film and all different genres come by my studio and listen and they all hear what I hear: the closest thing to a universally accurate studio monitor speaker we’ve ever heard.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 10/22 at 02:24 PM

Sony Unveils PCM-D100 High Resolution Audio Portable Recorder At AES 2013

Sony's new PCM-D100 delivers high-sensitivity, wide range of recording capabilities to reproduce sound with extreme fidelity.

Sony’s new PCM-D100 audio recorder is designed to deliver high sound quality in professional audio applications including live music events, theatrical performances, and electronic news gathering. 

The recorder supports the latest high-resolution codecs and formats, including 192kHz/24bit PCM and DSD. 

The PCM-D100 recorder is part of Sony’s newly announced High-Resolution Audio initiative, a complete series of products designed to help music lovers conveniently access and enjoy the digital music they love in the best playback quality.

“This new model is Sony’s highest-quality portable digital recorder, designed to faithfully reproduce sound sources such as instrument performances and sounds of nature, as closely to the original as possible,” said Karl Kussmaul, senior product manager, professional audio, Sony Electronics.

The PCM-D100 recorder’s compatibility with the DSD format enables the recording of source sounds using digital signals, but in a format that closely resembles analog waveforms. Compatible with recording and playback in 192 kHz/24-bit linear PCM, the unit can reproduce ultra-high range, delicate music components with excellent audio quality from low to high range. Its broad playback frequency band easily exceeds the audible band of 20 Hz to 25 kHz.

A highly sensitive directional microphone uses a new 15 mm unidirectional mic unit. The mic’s sound collection range adjusts to suit various sounds, from performances with a small number of people to concert halls with a large group of performers. The highly sensitive, broadband recording functionality expresses frequency properties up to 40 kHz, to maximize the advantages of DSD recording.

Users can select the 90-degree ‘X-Y stereo position’ when the sound is in close proximity to the mic, or the 120-degree ‘wide stereo position’ in more spacious venues or for performances by larger groups.

The PCM-D100 recorder uses separate A to D converters for PCM and DSD recording. Compared to conventional 24-bit DA converters, the new Sony recorder uses a higher-class 32-bit converter to achieve accurate sound playback.

The headphone amp incorporates a high-capacity, ultra-low impedance 0.33F (330000μF) electric double-layer capacitor (EDLC), equivalent to 750 times the capacitance of conventional technologies. This stable power supply dramatically enhances the headphone power source, enabling more faithful reproduction of high-quality audio.

Internal noise when performing conversions from analog to digital is reduced by applying a unique digital limiter mechanism that uses two AD converters for a single channel. This functionality achieves low noise with a signal-to-noise ratio of up to 100 dB. A conventional digital limiter constantly secures normal audio, as well as low 12 dB signals. Even if input exceeds the maximum input levels, the recorder prevents sound distortion by automatically adjusting to the optimal level.

The individual left and right adjustable REC volume enables fine adjustments to the left and right channels. Users can quickly check recording levels on the recorder’s illuminated level meter, even in darkened venues. Compact built-in speakers also allow users to immediately play back and check the recorded audio, even without headphones.

Long recording times are possible with the PCM-D100 recorder: approximately 6 hours, 35 minutes when recording in Linear PCM (192 kHz/24-bit), or about 10 hours, 50 minutes in DSD (2.8 MHz/1-bit).

The recorder includes a high-speed USB port for uploading and downloading files to and from Windows® PC or Macintosh® computers. Recording formats include linear PCM (at 192, 176.4, 96, 88.2, 48 and 44.1kHz); DSD (2.8224 MHz) and MP3 (320 and128 kbps). Additional playback support is provided for FLAC, WMA and AAC files.

The PCM-D100 recorder has 32 GB of built-in flash memory and a combination SD Card/Memory Stick slot for expandable storage. The recorder’s lightweight metal aluminum body is built to withstand the demands of professional applications and offers long battery life via four AA batteries.

Other unique PCM-D100 features include a five-second pre-record buffer, digital pitch control, cross-memory recording, dual digital limiter, a low-pass filter, Super Bit Mapping®, built-in editing functions and a built-in speaker.

The PCM-D100 recorder, which replaces Sony’ previous PCM-D50 model, is supplied with Sony’s Sound Forge Audio software, a wireless IR remote commander, a microphone furry windscreen, carrying case, four AA batteries, AC adapter and a USB cable.

The PCM-D100 recorder is planned to be available in early 2014 for a suggested list price of $999.


Posted by Julie Clark on 10/22 at 01:29 PM
RecordingNewsProductConcertSound ReinforcementStudioPermalink

Hal Leonard Publishes Beyond Mastering

Hal Leonard releases Beyond Mastering, the highly anticipated second book by mastering engineer Steve Turnidge.

Hal Leonard releases Beyond Mastering, the highly anticipated second book by mastering engineer Steve Turnidge.

In his first book, Desktop Mastering, Turnidge gave readers a tour of his unique approach to mastering, all the while providing glimpses of his mind-set and resulting workflow. Now, in Beyond Mastering, he unveils the physics and philosophy that drives the mastering engineer.

He has found parallels between mastering music and mastering life, and he helps the reader to find the internal state required to achieve happiness and success.

Beyond Mastering is full of guiding principles gained from Turnidge’s 25-plus years in art and technology. He expresses universal truths with a mix of anecdotes, analogies and metaphors, and reveals ways to truly enjoy work and be more productive when fully integrating your profession into the rest of your life.

The book is written for the audio enthusiast who wants to get a better handle on deeper aspects of the art and craft of mastering. It is also for people who enjoy reading philosophical ideas that extend beyond routine education, and for those who want to better understand the world of audio, frequency, and amplitude.

“Steve was the first person to ever do mastering for me on my songs, and let me witness firsthand what his process could do to fix a multitude of sins on the original recordings,” adds Gordon Raphael, producer (The Strokes). “In this latest book, Beyond Mastering, the deeper part of Steve Turnidge’s mind comes out and shows incredible insight gleaned from this lifetime living inside of creative music and technology (technology that he not only owns and uses, but also has designed, invented, and sold around the world).” –

Steve Turnidge is a noted mastering engineer at UltraViolet Studios with vast professional experience, a history of service in the international audio community, an entrepreneurial outlook that utilizes all available levels of technology, an intellect that finds incredible keys to universal truths and insights, and scores of albums and thousands of licensed music tracks to his credit. Turnidge also has an electronics background as a designer for Rane Corporation, and he currently designs and fabricates modular hardware synthesizers at Synthwerks, as well as guitar pedals for Pigtronix.

Hal Leonard

Posted by Julie Clark on 10/22 at 12:26 PM

Monday, October 21, 2013

Neumann Unviles TLM 107 Microphone With Multiple Polar Patterns

Delivers balanced sound for five directional characteristics

At the recent AES convention in New York, Neumann unveiled the TLM 107 large-diaphragm microphone offering multiple polar patterns.

All of the microphone switch functions are controlled through a wear-resistant navigation switch. The contemporary, intuitive operating concept includes an illuminated pattern display in the chrome ring, with the pad and low cut status LEDs positioned to the left and right.

The switch and display are located on the rear of the microphone so as to not distract singers. After 15 seconds, the display is turned off automatically, allowing the TLM 107 to be positioned discretely on the stage. 

The newly developed double diaphragm capsule is inspired by one of Neumann’s top models, the D-01. With exceptional impulse fidelity, the TLM 107 is particularly suitable for percussion and the finest overtones of stringed instruments.

As a multi-pattern microphone, it delivers balanced sound for five directional characteristics: omnidirectional, cardioid and figure-8, with the intermediate patterns wide-angle cardioid and hypercardioid.

For all polar patterns, up to 8 kHz the sound reproduction is almost linear, while a slight high frequency boost lends brilliance and freshness to recordings. Particular attention has been paid to the natural reproduction of the human voice, especially the critical “s” sound.

Low sensitivity to pop sounds is ensured by an acoustically optimized grille. The capsule is designed to minimize sensitivity to humidity and other environmental influences. For example, the front and rear diaphragms are at ground voltage, thus preventing the electrostatic attraction of dust particles.

In order to ensure that no dust enters the interior, the sound transducer — like all Neumann capsules — is mounted in one of the best cleanrooms in Germany.

Transformerless circuitry permits a high degree of linearity and a large dynamic range. The self-noise of only 10 dB-A is practically inaudible. The maximum sound pressure level, specified as 141 dB SPL, can be increased to 153 dB SPL via the two-stage pre-attenuation, so that sound from even the loudest sources can be transmitted without distortion.

The switchable low cut with the settings Linear, 40 Hz and 100 Hz has been carefully adapted to practical recording situations: The 40 Hz setting eliminates interference noise below the range of fundamental tones, while the 100 Hz setting is ideally suited to speech and vocal recordings.

Wolfgang Fraissinet, president of Neumann.Berlin, explains, “The TLM 107 is a modern, high-resolution sound transducer with excellent reproduction characteristics that enable it to capture the original sound without any coloration, thus ensuring unlimited design freedom in mixing and post-production.”

The TLM 107 is priced at $1,699.95 and will be available in late November. It is supplied in the colors matte nickel or black, and includes a stand mount.


Posted by Keith Clark on 10/21 at 04:16 PM
Live SoundRecordingNewsProductMicrophoneStudioPermalink

SADiE Helps Producer Steve Portnoi Capture Elgar

The Hallé Chorus and Orchestra’s thrilling performance of The Apostles is now available as an award-winning double CD.

Producer and engineer Steve Portnoi used a SADiE LRX2 to produce Elgar’s The Apostles – a double CD that was recently awarded a much coveted Gramophone Classical Music Award.

Portnoi’s recording of the Hallé Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, won the 2013 Gramophone Award in the Choral category.

Earlier this year, the CD also won BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Year and Choral Recording of the Year Awards.

“I use the LRX 2 at every stage in the process,” explains Portnoi. “I record both the live concert in the Bridgewater Hall and the rehearsal direct to the LRX. 

“We want to keep the excitement that you only get at a live performance, so what ends up on the CD is essentially the concert recording. The rehearsals are only used to cover points where audience noise is obtrusive, or where there are minor blemishes, which could become annoying on repeated listening.”

Portnoi’s LRX configuration is two mic input cards, giving him 32 mic amps, and an AES card which he uses to connect to external devices and to give him extra track inputs for large projects such as this.

Using a 16 channel A to D increases his track count to a possible 48 – he used 44 tracks on The Apostles.

“There were a lot of elements in this recording,” Portnoi says. “Not only did we have a full symphony orchestra to contend with, but we also had two choirs, six soloists, and for the first time on a recording of this work, a separate Apostles chorus, not to mention an offstage Shofar (a Hebrew horn).”

Back at his studio, Portnoi used the LRX to create his stereo mix.

“For such a small box, the LRX is a remarkably powerful mixer, enabling me to create the sound-world that I require, as well as matching the sound of the empty hall to the concert mix,” he says. “Also, any shift in perspective of the soloists can be smoothed out using the LRX automation.”

Any patch editing is also carried out on the LRX. At this stage Portnoi uses Izotope RX2 to remove some of the noises inherent in a live performance, meaning that he can use less of the rehearsal patches and more of the live performance.

Portnoi has been a SADiE user since the early 80s and upgraded to SADiE 6 at the first opportunity, having helped with the Beta testing.

“Of course, I also use SADiE for the final, mastering stage. Sound Suite gives me full PQ and DDP mastering facilities”.

Gramophone Magazine described The Apostles as ‘a set not to be missed’ and reviewer Andrew Aschenbach drew particular attention to Steve Portnoi’s production, which he described as ‘astutely balanced’, ‘thrilling’ and with a ‘colossal dynamic range’.

This is the second of the great Elgar Oratorios that Portnoi has recorded for the Hallé Label and the second time his efforts have been rewarded with a Gramophone Award.

Prism Sound

Posted by Julie Clark on 10/21 at 10:48 AM
RecordingNewsDigitalDigital Audio WorkstationsSoftwarePermalink

Avid Accelerates Momentum Of Pro Tools 11: More Than 600 Plug-Ins Now Available

More than 600 plug-ins now available in new 64-bit AAX format, allowing audio professionals to easily achieve the sound they seek and deliver higher-quality mixes, faster

Avid recently announced that more than 600 64-bit AAX plug-ins are now available for Avid Pro Tools 11.

Preeminent musicians, engineers, producers, and broadcast professionals across the industry are using Pro Tools 11 to deliver higher-quality, inspiring content more efficiently than ever.

“Avid development partners have adopted the new 64-bit AAX format at an unprecedented rate,” said Chris Gahagan, senior vice president of products and services at Avid. “By collaborating with the most respected developers in the world, we’re enabling our customers to easily create richer-sounding, more complex mixes faster than ever, using the most powerful audio workstation in the industry.”

Pro Tools 11 enables audio professionals to speed content creation thanks to its 64-bit architecture and new Avid Audio Engine, which delivers multiple times the processing power of any previous version of Pro Tools. With the new AAX 64-bit plug-in format, professionals gain more accessible RAM to boost performance and have hundreds of options to creatively take their music and audio production to a higher level.

More than 60 Avid development partners have embraced the new AAX format, including Waves, AIR, Antares, Sonnox, McDSP, and many other top audio developers.

AAX plug-ins ensure compatibility with previous sessions and enable Pro Tools users to add hundreds of virtual instruments, effects, and sound processors to their sessions while greatly enhancing the creative aspects of recording, editing, and mixing audio.

A wide variety of AAX plug-ins are available that emulate classic hardware sound processors or musical instruments, enabling customers to eliminate hardware investment and upkeep expenses.

With long-awaited industry favorites among the hundreds of AAX 64-bit plug-ins now available, audio professionals are confidently making the move to Pro Tools 11.

“Musicians and engineers are very excited about the performance and power that the new AAX plug-in format provides,” stated Butch Vig, Grammy-award winning producer (Foo Fighters, Green Day Nirvana). “The ability to accelerate workflows and create bigger, more complex mixes makes Pro Tools 11 an incredible value.”

“As an audio professional and business person, it’s essential for me to have the best tools available,” stated Dave Pensado, Grammy-award winning mix engineer (Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Shakira). “Pro Tools 11 is an investment that will help me attract new customers, grow revenue, and differentiate myself from accelerating competition in the marketplace.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 10/21 at 10:28 AM

API Announces THE BOX Project Console

API debuts THE BOX project console at AES 2013.

API has announced the latest addition to its line of analog consoles, THE BOX project console, specifically designed for audio professionals with project or home studios who require a smaller format console with that “big” console sound.

THE BOX offers the same circuitry, performance and legendary API sound as the company’s l Vision, Legacy Plus and 1608 consoles. It just debuted at the recent AES convention in New York, and is now shipping from the company’s factory in Jessup, MD.

“THE BOX offers an easy, turnkey solution for recording and mixing,” says API president Larry Droppa. “It’s a great option for people who record a few channels at a time, but demand the warmth and punch that a large API console delivers.

“In addition to four inputs, full center section control, and 16 channels of API’s famous summing, the icing on the cake is a classic API stereo compressor on the program bus. Now you can truly record and mix in THE BOX.”

API Audio

Posted by Julie Clark on 10/21 at 10:13 AM

Producer Steve Pageot Utilizes Lexicon PCM Total Bundle To Try To Make James Harden Sound Good

Producer Steve Pageot utilized the Lexicon PCM Total Bundle when mixing the popular Footlocker spot.

The wildly popular “Foot Locker – Harden Soul Featuring James Harden and Stephen Curry” commercial has received more than five million hits on YouTube and was mixed by artist and multi-platinum producer Steve Pageot with the help of Harman’s Lexicon PCM Total Bundle.

Pageot got the call to mix the spots from music composer Wendell Hanes. Having worked together before, Hanes knew Pageot could do the job under the almost-impossible deadline constraints.

“Wendell called me and told me he needed the mix done immediately and e-mailed me the Pro Tools files,” said Pageot. “I dropped what I was doing and a few hours later the mix was done.”

Pageot knew he could rely on the Lexicon PCM Total Bundle to get the sounds he needed quickly and dependably. For the mix, he first created an auxiliary stereo channel and inserted the plug-in’s “Simple Delay” and “Large Plate 1” presets, then tweaked the presets to his liking.

The stereo sends from Harden’s vocal track were used to send the vocal signal to the auxiliary effect channel to simultaneously engage both effects.

“I continue to go back to the Lexicon PCM Total Bundle because of its rich, lush, pretty and unique sounds that I can dial up within seconds to take my mixes to the next level,” Pageot noted. “The goal of mixing a song is to make it sound like a masterpiece – but I had to keep Harden’s vocal mix close to raw and not to process it too much.

“Because the Lexicon reverbs sound so magical, with each preset I would dial up I kind of found myself going against what we had to do in the commercial!”

Pageot wound up using some subtle effects processing throughout the track to give it its broadcast-worthy “finished” quality. “I truly feel that the subtle reverbs and delays I used made this commercial mix a hit.”

But even Pageot’s talents couldn’t get Harden to sing in tune or do anything about that paint-peeling voice. As Stephen Curry says to James Harden in the remix video: “You should probably not quit your day job!”

“We applaud Steve’s work on this very unique and entertaining project,” stated Noel Larson, Market Manager, Portable PA, Tour and Recording, HARMAN Signal Processing. “We are always excited to hear about new and exciting ways that talented producers like Steve are using Lexicon and this is certainly one of the more memorable projects I’ve heard about!”


Posted by Julie Clark on 10/21 at 10:02 AM

Lectrosonics Wireless Technology Helps TEDxABQ 2013 “Be Extraordinary”

TECxABQ 2013 utilized Lectrosonics wireless technology.

Well known for their informative and, frequently, entertaining programs, the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conferences operate under the premise of ‘ideas worth spreading.’

On September 7th, the program TEDxABQ 2013: Be Extraordinary took place at Popejoy Hall on the campus of the University of New Mexico. To help ensure superior audio quality with freedom from cables, Digital Hybrid Wireless microphone technology from Lectrosonics was placed into service.

Albuquerque, NM-based Nicholas Taylor, Technical Director of the event production firm On Cue Stage and Event Services, serves as the Production Manager for TEDxABQ, TEDxPhoenix, and TEDxCharleston conferences.

As the person responsible for coordinating all aspects of stage design, audio/visual equipment, and event logistics, the issue of sound reinforcement falls under Taylor’s domain.

In an effort to ensure a high level of speech intelligibility and first-class audio for TEDxABQ 2013: Be Extraordinary, Taylor deployed a wireless microphone setup that consisted of four Lectrosonics SMQV Super-Miniature beltpack transmitters, four Lectrosonics HM172 earset microphones, and a Venue receiver system fully stocked with three VRS and three VRT receiver modules. He discussed the project.

“As a growing organization, our annual event almost never occurs in the same place more than twice,” Taylor reports. “Regardless of the venue, we require a wireless system where integration into the house console will be a breeze.

“The wireless microphone systems from Lectrosonics provide crystal clear tonal qualities, no RF interference, and spare frequencies for continued performance whether in a 200-seat theatre or a 2,000-seat concert hall. For this particular event, we used four channels and had two remaining channels in the event any backup was required.”

Taylor reports that the Lectrosonics HM172 earset mics performed exceptionally well.

“The HM172 earset microphones are particularly useful for our range of speakers,” Taylor explained. “The earsets are low-profile, lightweight, easy to operate, and very adjustable. Hence, they aren’t the least bit distracting, so the speakers can focus on their conference materials.

“For presenters with a latex allergy, the rigidity of the boom mic allows for great placement with no mic tape. Equally important, the HM172 features a drip ring that diverts moisture away from the mic’s capsule.

“For people who may perspire—be it from the hot lights or, in theatrical environments, from the effects of wardrobe—the microphone’s ability to remain fully functional is an important benefit.”

The compact form factor of the Lectrosonics SMQV transmitters was another big advantage. The SMQV transmitters are really small and can be easily hidden so as not to be visible.

“And their performance is terrific,” Taylor adds. “Combined with the Venue receiver system, the wireless mics deliver excellent range and dropout-free performance.”

Taylor is also consistently impressed with customer support from Lectrosonics.

“Karl Winkler is our contact at Lectrosonics and we couldn’t be happier,” says Taylor. “Karl is always willing to answer any questions we may have and walk the current year’s crew through every aspect of setup, operation, mic placement, and frequency use. His responsiveness makes our jobs that much easier.”

Because segments of the event are filmed and broadcast to millions of viewers world-wide on, Taylor relies heavily on the Lectrosonics gear to deliver.

“Using Lectrosonics ensures that we are clearly transmitting every word of content that our presenters have to offer,” Taylor concludes. “We could not and will not product our event without Lectrosonics on stage.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 10/21 at 08:38 AM

Friday, October 18, 2013

Solid State Logic Launches New And Improved Matrix2 Console

New version of Matrix2 adds powerful features to unique hybrid production console.

Solid State Logic launches Matrix2 at the 135th AES Convention (Booth 2821).

Since its 2008 launch, the SSL Matrix console has established a high-profile clientele who value its unique capabilities as a genuinely hybrid production platform. Its combination of SSL analog summing, streamlined integration of boutique analogue outboard mic pre’s and processing (via its software controlled analogue patch system) and advanced DAW control surface, Matrix provides production power and flexibility like no other console.

This new version of the Matrix takes feedback from customers and provides a collection of powerful new features.

One of the unique and much praised features of Matrix has always been the integrated software controlled patching of analogue channel inserts, and this has been significantly upgraded in Matrix2.

Hardware device inserts can now be loaded directly from the console hardware controls, previously this was done only via the remote browser software, with an intuitive new interface that facilitates loading individual processors, A/B comparison of different processors and building processor chains.

The Matrix remote browser software has also been re-designed to provide a new ‘drag and drop’ style interface for loading processors and building chains.

A powerful ‘Fader Linking’ system has been added to the console, which allows two or more faders to be grouped, to facilitate stereo or 5.1 channel control or subgroup style mixing.

The A-FADA (Analogue Fader Accesses DAW Automation) summing system used in Duality, AWS and the new SSL Sigma rack has been introduced to enable the analogue faders of Matrix2 to be driven by automation data from a user’s DAW.

A-FADA enables channel automation to be performed entirely in the analogue signal path but with the advantages of DAW automation data editing. The addition of A-FADA to Matrix2 facilitates project portability between different SSL products. The previously optional 5.1 output card will now be included as standard pre-fitted in all units.

A collection of smaller new features have also been added including ‘partial TR setup save and import,’ which allows selected parts of the console setup to be saved and imported as setup templates; new Preset insert matrix ‘scenes;’ Preset insert naming tools; “automatic dB readout” for Pro Tools users, allowing the scribble strip to automatically display fader values upon touch; modifier key ‘press and hold’ functionality for Cubase/Nuendo users and new DAW templates for Presonus Studio One and Ableton Live!

Matrix2 will ship in December 2013 priced $23,999, £14,749 and €18,487 + Tax.

All of these new features (excluding the 5.1 output card) will be available to existing customers as a free upgrade.

Solid State Logic

Posted by Julie Clark on 10/18 at 01:05 PM
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