Monday, October 08, 2012
Heavy Melody Music Relies On Argosy Dual 15 Keyboard Workstations
Heavy Melody Music adopts ergonomic solution centered on Argosy's Dual 15K Key controller for music production, sound design and virtual instrument development.
Heavy Melody Music, a music composition and sound design facility located in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea, has installed Argosy’s Dual 15K Keyboard Workstations in the control rooms of each of the company’s three principals.
The partners — Neil Goldberg, Dave Fraser and Ari Winters —produce music and design sound for video game and motion picture trailers, and are also the three principals in Heavyocity Media, a developer of virtual instruments for professional composers and sound designers.
In terms of ergonomics, composing music and creating sound design for trailers and developing sample elements for virtual instruments require identical equipment setups, according to Goldberg. The Argosy Dual 15K workstation accommodates most 88-key keyboards and additionally offers copious rack space in bays to the left and right, together with flat surfaces for video screens and monitor speakers.
“We have had Argosy desks before that housed the Mackie Digital 8-Bus consoles, so we were familiar with them,” explains Goldberg, who founded Heavy Melody Music with Fraser over ten years ago. The pair originally met at Berklee College of Music then worked together at a couple of commercial music houses, and launched Heavyocity, along with third partner Winters, about five years ago. “With the Dual 15, we find it a lot easier to work with a controller keyboard as the center focus, with the speakers, the gear and the patchbays where we need them.”
Whether creating sound design, sound effects, samples or music, the focus on the controller keyboard makes it easier to place and manipulate sound elements. “The Dual 15K ergonomics gives us a good basis to be set up and to work efficiently,” says Goldberg. “Everything is mixed in the box now, so this is a much better setup for us.”
All three Argosy Dual 15K desks have an optional MPX shelf fitted. In Goldberg’s control room, two computer keyboards accessing two separate systems are positioned on the MPX shelf above his controller keyboard, along with a Native Instruments Maschine controller, Euphonix Artist Series controllers and three flat screens. His Genelec monitors, sitting on Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizers, are positioned atop the left and right equipment bays.
A self-confessed “gear nut,” Goldberg has outfitted his Dual 15K workstation’s racks with an assortment of high-end equipment from Apogee, Dangerous Music, Dramastic Audio, Grace Audio, Neve, Tech 21, Universal Audio and Wunder Audio. “As the projects call for it, I like to invest in high-end gear,” explains Goldberg, who has a small iso booth equipped with Bogner, Marshall and Mesa guitar amps and shares a larger iso room with Fraser. “For everything that we’re doing, even on the Heavyocity side, such as capturing sounds and manipulating and mastering them, having better quality equipment clearly brings it up to another level.
In addition to their software development for the Heavyocity side of the business, the three principals are typically kept busy creating music and sound design for game and film trailers. They have also scored long-form projects for Discovery Channel and Syfy Network as well as video games. Recent licensing placements from Heavy Melody Music’s 19-track “Fracture” trailer music collection have included a “Snow White and the Huntsman” movie trailer and two trailers for EA’s “Medal of Honor: Warfighter” video game. “More recently we also did two YouTube trailers for the ‘Neverwinter’ video game,” Goldberg reports.
Allen & Heath Releases New Firmware For Three Xone Products
Offers more creative flexibility with an advanced channel FX configuration, and more
Allen & Heath will be releasing new firmware updates for the Xone:DB4 and Xone:DB2 digital FX mixers, and the Xone:K2 MIDI controller.
The new software provides enhanced FX sections and configuration for the DB4 and DB2 mixers, and greater integration between the DB4 and the K2 controller.
Xone:DB4 V2.0 firmware offers more creative flexibility with an advanced channel FX configuration, which allows the user to determine where the FX section, EQ section and FX ON switch are placed in the signal path – including much requested Post Fade FX.
In addition, each FX section can be configured in Classic, Send or Hybrid Mode, to create a subtly different sound for each effect type. The new firmware also introduces a powerful new effect to the DB4’s extensive FX library - Infrabass - a low frequency enhancer that generates infra bass energy from the sub-bass spectrum.
The DB4 update also includes a new spatial crossover tool to independently adjust stereo width above and below a variable crossover point.
A master output balance control for panning left and right is included, and the microphone/auxiliary input can now be routed to any or all of the four main music channels for multiple FX processing and looping. MIDI channel selection and a new MIDI clock generator enabling simple tempo changes at the twist of a knob adds a new dimension to DAW control.
The Xone:DB2 V2.0 update adds the DB4 features: spatial crossover, Infrabass effect, master MIDI clock generator, and the master output pan control. Additionally, the new firmware offers users the unique ability to cascade the two FX units for even greater creativity.
In cascade mode, the output of the X FX unit is routed through to the Y FX unit and any channel assigned to the X FX has dual processing.
Finally, the Xone:K2 V2.0 firmware and the DB4 V2.0 firmware have introduced a new integration feature. When connected via X-Link, all four of the DB4 loopers can be remotely controlled on the K2, enabling the user to mix between a loop and the un-looped track using the K2 faders, instantly changing the loop length using the momentary buttons, or changing the main loop length.
Available soon, the new software releases ensure that the award-winning DB series remains as the leader in creative DJ mixing tools and enhances the product for those who have already invested in the range.
Harman Professional Promotes Adrian Curtis To Head Division-Wide Sales For EMEA
Move made to consolidate, streamline and improve European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) sales operations
In a move to consolidate, streamline and improve its European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) sales operations, Harman Professional has promoted Adrian Curtis to senior director, EMEA Regional Sales Operations (RSO).
Curtis, a 21-year veteran of Harman Professional, previously served as head of sales for the company’s Soundcraft and Studer brands.
In his new role he will lead sales operations for all of Harman’s professional brands and will report to Scott Robbins, executive vice president of sales, Harman Professional, who made the announcement today.
“With Adrian Curtis, our channel partners, distributors, team members and customers get the best of both worlds — they have access to the experience, stability and expertise that comes with twenty years sales leadership coupled with Adrian’s product knowledge, energy and can-do approach,” Robbins states. “I am very pleased to make the promotion and I am certain it will have an immediate and positive impact on HARMAN Professional’s organization and performance.”
Adrian Curtis joined Soundcraft in 1983, 10 years after it’s founding and five years before the company was acquired by Harman. He has held progressively senior sales leadership positions within the organization, taking over responsibility for Studer sales in 2009 and interim head of EMEA sales for Harman Professional in May 2012.
In his new role, Curtis will continue to be based at the company’s Potter’s Bar, United Kingdom offices.
“I am very pleased to take on this new role and the accompanying responsibilities,” Curtis notes. “With its winning array of brands, unmatched R&D firepower and deep organization packed with passionate and skilled engineers and executives, I believe that Harman Professional has a unique and compelling sales proposition that pervades technology, integration and support.
“I look forward to working with my team and our customers to ensure we’re serving those customers more comprehensively and effectively than any other manufacturer in the EMEA region.”
I’ve never experienced this personally, but I’ve seen it in movies.
You know the scene. The dorky main character in the movie is trying to get into the exclusive night club, but first he has to get past the bouncer.
The bouncer’s job (I assume) is to only let the right people into the club. If he lets the wrong people in, the whole vibe of the club could change. You gotta keep the dorks out and the cool people in.
(FACT: I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get in…definitely not cool enough.)
But when it comes to mixing, do you know you’ve got a tool that acts much like a bouncer at a night club?
Yep. It’s a good old COMPRESSOR.
Specifically, the attack knob on a compressor.
One of my favorite things to do with a compressor is to play with the attack setting. I’ll set it up on a track, adjust the threshold and ratio until I’m getting the right amount of compression. THEN, I’ll adjust the attack setting.
If you’ve never messed around with the attack setting, you’re missing out.
You can dramatically change the sound of a track by dialing in a slower or faster attack time.
The attack acts kinda a like a bouncer. It only lets the right amount of transient through to the mix. The rest gets squashed by the compressor.
The good news? YOU can control how “strict” the bouncer is, on a track by track basis.
To learn all about compression (plus my 7-step process to compressing ANYTHING), go here.
Now…go be your own bouncer. :>)
Joe Gilder is a Nashville based engineer, musician, and producer who also provides training and advice at the Home Studio Corner.
Solid State Logic Launches New E-Series Modules For 500 Series Racks
New EQ and dynamics modules bring SSL sound to rack platform
Solid State Logic has introduced new E-Series EQ and Dynamics modules for the API 500 Series modular rack format.
The modules make the gritty tonal character of the channel processing from the classic SSL SL 4000 E console available to a new group of users.
The SSL console sound has been available in 12 different modules for SSL’s own modular X-Rack system for many years. The new modules will be shown at the forthcoming 2012 AES Show in San Francisco, booth 1005.
The new E-Series Dynamics module reproduces the sonic signature of the fully-flavored VCA channel dynamics section of the SL 4000 E console channel strip. The module features a compressor/limiter and an expander/gate, both of which return faithfully to the circuitry and key components that define the sound of the original SL 611 E Series channel strip.
A true RMS converter is used in the side chain while the gain element is an all-discrete design identical to the Class A VCA chip used in the original unit. The compressor contains additional switching options that allow a user to defeat the over-easy curve and to use a linear release instead of the more usual logarithmic curve. The result is a compressor with three distinct voices, each with its own musical character.
The E-Series EQ Module provides two different EQs found on editions of the console produced between 1979 and 1987. Each EQ has unique response curves and tonal character. Historically, the type of EQ fitted in an individual console was distinguished by the colors used on the LF knob caps so the two flavors have become known as the ‘Brown’ and ‘Black’ EQ’s.
On the E-Series EQ Module, you can switch between these two different flavors of EQ that have been loved by generations of professional producers. The SSL channel EQ is the classic four band design with fully parametric LMF and HMF with Q controls, which has become the industry standard channel EQ configuration. The E-Series EQ features selectable shelving or Bell curve operation for the LF and HF frequencies.
It’s always a great and unusual experience to meet someone who has contributed some much to the evolution of the way we work. In addition to the videos previously released on Audiofanzine, we had the extreme pleasure to get together with George Massenburg during his last Parisian visit and to talk more about music production. An interview with a real open-minded master.
Bootz: George, just before we start, what are you working on at the moment?
George Massenburg: I have three recording projects that I’m working on right now. One is not really recording; it’s finishing an Opera McGill production—Don Giovanni, Mozart—and I’m directing and post-production supervising. It’s an 8-camera hi-def (video) shoot that we did with students with a new methodology, a new way of shooting opera that I think is spectacularly effective because it reveals more about opera, as it’s more intimate and more suited to the new generation of kids that want to see something on a small screen.
That, and I’m doing two music projects— McGill Jazz 1 and a Stan Kitten record, cut for commercial release, which is great because Jazz 1 has many many players which are fantastic. Just great songs, great kits, great drums, great bass, great guitar, great piano, great, great great.
And then I’m working with a new pop group called Urban Creature, from Toronto. They write and produce their own records. This is a personal project to see how the new model would work. I work completely for free, participating in the recording of the group, and we’ll see how that goes.
And on the other side, you’re still working with GM Labs?
Well, I’ve got three jobs: education, producing electronic equipment, and recording. It’s kind of a mix, but I’m unhappy if I don’t do one of these. I want to do all three, and they inform each other. I have to keep recording to stay current with the methodology of the studio; I listen to everything that I can get my hands on. I hear new work being done and I want to try it.
I’m in the studio a lot. Also building equipment—right now we have two software products in process for MDW and one that is a hybrid product for GML, which is the next generation of the 9000 controller, but with a DSP sidechain. And this takes a long time to do because internally it looks to run at 384 kHz, very fast, not quick (to develop, NA).
As far as software products, we have new products out for the new Pro Tools platform for 10.2 called AAX, and both DSP and Native. It’s a lot of work!
Speaking of the balance between all these projects, I’d like to go back to your early age, to the first period of your career. I’ve read that you started at the age of 15, you were working at a laboratory and at the same time were working at a studio.
I had joined a recording studio at Baltimore, Maryland. But it went back to when I was four years old and I used to unscrew a light bulb and stick my fingers in, and “Aaaahhh!” just to experiment (Laughs). But I loved music recording from a very early age. I had the good fortune to grow up in the same area as Deane Jensen, who was a pioneer in making transformers. He was a friend—a personal friend—and we did ham radio, amateur radio, and photography.
And then he bought an Ampex 602 tape recorder—wow!—and headphones and a U67. I bought his U67, and still have it. Very early on, I knew that I just loved recording. There was a tremendous power with recording. Ed Cherney said, “I always thought it was a miracle that music could go through this wire. That’s magic.”
Anyway, the idea just seemed like magic to me. Still does.
So then, Deane Jensen was your first mentor?
He was really my first mentor. My second mentor was Dr. Curtis Marshall, and I worked for him in a laboratory to build an early computer that used a very strange storage mechanism called an Image Radarcon, a tube that would just scan in and then destructively output a number of scans. It was used to accumulate electron info graphs sensors into an averaging reports so that a neurosurgeon could read an electrons info graph much faster. But it taught me early on about electronics.
I’d like to go back to your concept of parametric EQ that you first introduced in 1972, if I am correct…
It was 1971, and then I gave the AES paper in 1972. It was a combination of people who had this idea, but we got there first. Dan Flickinger had kind of a sweep equalizer in his console, but he didn’t have a cue control; Gotham sold an equalizer made by EMT I think - the EQ1000 - and it had a notch filter, but it wasn’t continuously variable. So we took a notch filter and an early discrete op amp because chips weren’t very good, so we had to have an op amp so built our own op amp and an early equalizer.
Then I had to show how it worked. I took it to the AES show and people would say, ‘that’s OK, but I need to click stops.” No, we’re getting away from click stops, it’s much more powerful! You can tune this exactly to the resonance of a guitar or to a snare drum it controlled.”
It was easier designing it than selling it. It was a whole new idea and people didn’t get it. Especially the idea of cue control. For so long people complained about the cue of the SSL equalizer being too sharp. And when it was too broad, because Hugh Padgham complained, then people complained that it was too broad. So it was always a good idea to make it adjustable, but people had to get used to the idea of what that sounded like.
And that meant they had to listen, and that has always been the problem. Generally, it’s hard to get people to listen.
We have to listen and to hear how to make it work. Did you have to spend a lot of time explaining and educating? You started educating people about this new concept of parametric EQ?
Well, ultimately what sold it was making records, especially Earth Wind & Fire records in 1974, 1975. They came on so bright and big that people were saying, “What the f*ck is he doing?”
Well, now I got your attention. So it really helped. Talking about music is like singing about football. You only get so far before you have to demonstrate what it is: “And here is what that sounds like.” That’s the key, demonstrating.
As you said before, you quickly went free-lance with sound engineering, so you always balanced the two activities, electrical design and engineering. How did you manage it?
Easy. There was something I wanted to do in the control room and I didn’t have it, so I’d go design something. Our compressor was like that, the 8900. Devices available for uses on vocals were nothing. The 1176, the Spectra Sonics, which was dreadful. API console, and that was it. And the LA2A. I knew that I liked the sensing of the LA2A.
I knew that I liked the log control in the dbx. I knew I liked the speed of an 1176, but they were three different units, and I needed them in one unit. So the 8900 is really a dbx perfected, feed forward, with a peak section added. I didn’t have one so I had to design it.
So you combined these three units in one piece?
In one idea.
Let’s talk about your studio. I’ve read - maybe I am wrong - that you’ve set up a studio at Blackbird in Nashville?
Well, it’s not my studio. It started as my studio, but very soon it was clear that John McBride wanted it. I built and rented it for a while. John paid me for everything I bought. He didn’t pay me for my time. But I think it was a good investment because it was a dramatic departure. Musicians all around you; it’s a different way of making music. Everybody can hear each other, see each other, and the room sounds great. Every place sounds the same, exactly the same, anywhere in the room. And it was unfortunate that it’s in Nashville because people in Nashville are brain dead and deaf. Nashville is hopeless. Nobody is ready for any new ideas! (Laughs)
So do you have your own setup somewhere?
I now have a listening and mixing setup in my apartment in Montreal. It’s not set up as a studio, but it sounds pretty good. It’s a combination of mixing and listening setup, and also, I hang backgrounds and I can shoot there as well. I have lights and cameras. We do interviews; we don’t do music, but we do talking. But I can mix in there very well, I have monitors and a huge system.
I’d like to talk a little bit about the equipment that you like to use.
Well, the easiest thing is to say that I hate everything! (Laughs) Even my own stuff. I wouldn’t be inspired to improve it if I liked it too much. So I have problems with everything. I have problems with every microphone out there, every mic pre, everything. I don’t love anything.
But it challenges me to listen beyond the equipment, and try to hear. Because what I love is transparency to the performance. I want to hear all of the performance. Anything that gets in the way of transparency, I fight and try to improve.
Well, I won’t ask you then if you prefer analog consoles or digital consoles?
I’d like to actually answer that because I prefer analog processing. Obviously we’re going to use analog mic pres, except for the Neumann Solution D (digital microphone system), which I think is quite good. It’s a terrific microphone. I use analog limiters as well as analog EQs, I use my own and some other limiters.
I do like mixing in the digital domain with a small console. First, because it is very flexible, and when necessary I can automate what I need. And when not necessary, to feel a mix by putting my hands on the controller and mixing by heart, by guts, not just painting lines on a screen. But I think that is more of an analog methodology on a digital console.
It’s like an old school way of working with improvements by today’s equipment.
Right, right. And it’s that thing that we learned to love about the DAW, where you can make a production just for that one mistake that would otherwise ruin a take, fix that one mistake. Maybe it’s a bad vocal, a word, or a bad trumpet. On a jazz thing (he’s working on), there are a bunch of trumpets, and these guys, they play these high notes, and not all correct. But we can fix it—it’s a good performance, just f*cked up enough. Just enough mistakes to make it honest jazz!
And I think that’s the great strength of the DAW, but also of mixing. If I mix and miss one thing, I have the choice of fixing that one thing I don’t have to fix it, but I have that choice or the artist has the choice. It’s pretty powerful.
So you use the digital domain for all the things you can improve?
If it needs to be improved, but at least I can experiment. But the idea with a live mix is still important. Where we differ from colleagues in the industry is that we try to get our students to hear a live mix to do a whole mix. Al Schmitt can do a whole mix live. Bill Schnee is a master of dancing on the console. You want people to dance on the console again to do a real mix, with energy and power. Feeling.
This is something that I’ve seen in your videos when you are with other musicians or when you are discussing recording or your methods, the energy, the feelings, the relation to the artists, and the relation to the energy of the music and what you feel. What you feel as a human being is really important.
Well, it starts with the musician who is listening not only to himself, but to a whole mix. In my recordings, we really want to get musicians to listen to everything, to hear themselves as part of everything. And I want them to know that I am listening to them, everything they do.
So I have this eye contact—if I hear something that isn’t very good: “Hmm, who are you kidding?” Or a smile or something that works with the performance so that I don’t have to wait until playback to give them visual feedback. That’s a good reason to have something right in the studio. Quick feedback.
So you quickly establish a sense of trust among everybody.
Listening. I am listening to what you’re doing, make no mistake. I’m not going to be replaced by Pro Tools. I’m either going to like what you do now or not.
So let’s continue with the production side. What are some of the first things you do when you start recording a band? Do you go into the live room and take notes?
Long before that, we sit and we talk about the project with the band. We go to where the band plays. If they play at a club, I go to hear them at a club. We talk about songs. If the songs aren’t there, we start working on that first thing. We talk about what they like, what artists do they like, what they sound like, who do they see themselves as. What their dream is in five years…
Sometimes it doesn’t go any further. Sometimes we realize that we’re not right for each other. I’m too demanding, I want to know too much. They just want to get in and party, while I want to make a record, a good record. But it starts with seeing how the band works as a band or how an artist works with other musicians, and getting a sense of how to craft a record.
And then maybe we’ll not do a full band, but just a singer with a guitar player or two, just to see how that works. Maybe a percussionist, but intimate, very close together, to see how we can develop a feeling between the artist and the supporting instruments. Generally it starts like that.
We’ve seen lots of things about your microphone placement, the mics that you use. Is there something that you always do and something that you never do?
This is tough, because there’s always something that I do and there’s never something that I never do. I always do something and never avoid something. As Bruce Swedien says, “The only rule is there are no rules.”
Can you tell us a little bit more about the mixing stage? How do you approach that?
I start with a mix that is saved in the DAW. Because the artist is going to take that mix home, and they’re going to listen to that mix. And my experience is that often, that very first mix from the session is the one that you should learn to follow, and you’re not going to change it too much.
So I’ll start actually mixing, reaching for licks or balancing the vocal, right when we’re tracking. Mix and record the automation right when we’re tracking. As the mix grows and moves along, I save everything. I save the audio tracks, I save the automation. So if an artist says, ‘You know I love the mix that you did right after we put the lead guitar on,” I find that mix and often find, “oh, I did this differently.” And then I might change my thinking.
But it’s a long arch, and I’ve found it less good to sit down and to try to mix a song. We mixed Toto for four days—four f*cking days to make a mix. It seems too long. I’d rather have a break in between to get perspective. I would mix for a while, then have some ideas, then listen to it. Listen to it in the car, on the back of the Vespa…
So as you record you mix along at the same time. Do you have some kind of a structure or working methods for the mixing afterwards?
I’ve got maybe three different ways for starting from scratch, of what to bring up, and how to bring things up.
One is listening to a reference or a demo of the song. Prince Charles Alexander at Berklee showed me this—he used to be Puff Daddy’s engineer/producer: Bring up all faders until the loudest thing on the demo is the same thing as the loudest thing on the mix. So you bring it up to -30, -25, -20, and then you refine the whole mix against the demo.
Another way is to bring up the lead vocal and the most important supporting instrument like piano or acoustic guitar, electric guitar or whatever. You start with that and then you fill in the cracks underneath it.
Another way, and the way I do jazz, is full rhythm section, a little bit of a balance, full saxes, a little bit of a balance, trumpets, a little bit of a balance, and then balance the three on the sub-masters, because jazz is a different thing. You need internal balances in the sections.
What’s your mix bus processing chain?
Almost always, I’ll have everything available when I start mixing. So I’ll have all my effects, reverb, delay, long delay, short delay… I use PCM96 a lot, I use UAD250, the UAD plates. I use a lot of Altiverb 7, just ready to go. Four, five, six subs—drums sub, bass, guitar, piano sub,and then whatever lead vocal, background vocal, maybe orchestra, or in a case of a big band, saxes, trumpets, drums, maybe percussion. Lots of subs; I can go in and do the subs separate from VCA And eventually I get down to a mix that is all on my little 8-channel mixer so I can have everything sitting right there and I can do an overall mix.
But before that, on the bus, very early on, as soon as I can, I do a pre-master. So if I’m trying to match a template or a sample or an example sound, I get close to it, because that’s been mastered, that’s been crushed a little bit. So I will have one of my limiters—I like Massey 2007—as a final crunch. I don’t like L3s, I don’t like anything that is multi-band; I usually don’t use multi-band. But I can’t say never, cause I use the C4 on occasion. I never use a vocal rider. There you go, there is a never! (Laughs) I will never use a Waves Vocal Rider, I’d rather mix by hand.
So very early on, I have a pre-master that I bring up the level of what I am working on so that it matches to some degree—timber and dynamically—the sample, the example, the template of the outside CD. Why go crazy on a whole bunch of individual EQs when it’s one mastering EQ that you have to turn up? But that’s my approach. That’s the layout, and then I’ll have different ways of approaching it.
So you are always trying to match something that you have…
No! I’m there to make a mix for an artist, and they have an idea of what they want. But if they don’t, I’m allowed to make my mix, and then I only have to match the picture in my head, and then I can start from scratch.
Regarding mixing versions, how many do you do?
Well, like I said, if I’m doing tracking and mixing, then I have versions from all along from the very first one that everybody said they liked. So I have that, and maybe it has an instrument that we left out and we get down the road and say, ‘We shouldn’t have left that out, let’s go back and bring it in.” Or there’s a dynamic that you missed. So a lot of versions.
At the end of the session, I have one version. You have one record. You have different ways of listening to it, different ways of adjusting for it, different ways of going in and making a timberal adjustment, but I don’t have half dB up, dB, dB half, two dB up on a vocal—f*ck that. Nor do I do stems. If they ask for stems, I’m out, I don’t mind quitting a record because I’m not going to be useful. I’m out, I’m done.
But I do deliver two versions—the version that the artist likes, that the artist says, “That’s a great mix, I like that. Keep that.” Something that has dynamic control and EQ. But when I print the mix for mastering, I take all the dynamic stuff off and just leave the EQ because I want to let the mastering engineer do the best that he or she can do to make just the right dynamic adjustment. But they’ve got to make it as good as the one that the artist has just heard. So the mastering engineer will get two versions. I deliver two mixes, not 10 or 20.
I’d like to talk a little about the artists that you’ve worked with, such as Earth Wind and Fire, Newman, Weather Report, Toto—there’s a certain genre, but can you see a common factor between all these artists? In the energy, the songwriting, the personalities?
The common thing that I look for is an artist that isn’t absolutely committed to making the same thing that they did last time. I’m looking for an artist that wants to do something new. I want to build something new. I don’t want to do the same old thing. The end of my time with Earth Wind and Fire came when I just couldn’t sit in the studio anymore. I’ve heard it for 20 odd records, I couldn’t do it again, I knew I couldn’t do it; so I withdrew and they never made another great record. And I like that. They stopped reinventing themselves and stopped coming up with new stuff. Weather Report… I did a live record with Jaco, Joe Zawinul, Alex Acuna and Dom Um Romao, and that was great. They were great but they were crazy!
Well, you have to be crazy sometimes…
This is where I get into trouble because I think most musicians are in some way deeply neurotic. I don’t want to say deeply flawed, but trying to find some kind of gratification in the public sphere, the adoration of the public to fill a need—that is, you know, they are all a little nuts… Except for James Taylor. James Taylor has come through it all. James Taylor is one of the coolest people ever. He can talk to anybody. He is inquisitive, he listens. There are some others that are very cool. There are some very good exceptions.
I’d like to talk about education and your role at McGill University and the evolution that you see today, business wise and job wise, for the students who want to become engineers.
First and foremost, there’s a group of my colleagues and I who have been in the business and love the business. We see the evolution of the modern recording business is sorely in need of being reminded what music is, and not told.
I don’t want to tell anybody how to make music, but you know, “maybe if we use live drums this way…here’s the advantage, here is the power, here is the story that comes from that. Here is how you make it work with what your dream is of your own music.” That’s education. I’m not going to change anybody’s mind by going and making another record.
But by teaching students, who are themselves, the future teachers, I have a multiplier effect. I’m more able to spread good techniques and clear thinking about what recording can be—and also what recording isn’t.
Engineering has strengths, music production has strengths, helping artists with their performers has strengths. The most important thing is not to fix one area with another’s tools. I can’t fix a song with EQ.
You have to sit down with the artist and the band and everybody can play together, can hear each other, and you work out the right tempo and phrasing. Make sure that the drummer isn’t speeding up so that the singer doesn’t have room to sing the lyrics. Until you do that you don’t realize that you have that power to tell a drummer, “Just cool it!” It’s OK, it’s the right time to advise a drummer to get him to listen. Get him to listen to all that sh*t he is playing on the high end—“Wait a second, if you play that, I can’t hear the detail of the lead vocal. This is a very subtle song. Can you hear that? So cool it.”
So to have that moment with students when you show them how they can be effective in a studio, that’s really important. And I don’t think it’s what a student expects. Most of them think, “Show me what box to use,” and “what plug-in should I use on this?” More often than not, as we know from Al Schmitt, it’s more about listening. So we teach critical listening. We teach how to listen when you’re in your head, heart and your guts, how to listen to details, how details can integrate, what you have to work on, how to prioritize your work.
As a producer it is your job to keep track of the agenda, not to tell somebody how to sing. Unfortunately, that also means to keep track of the lunch order, but that’s very important, the lunch order! Maybe the most important thing! (Laughs) These are skills that you would learn in the old days by being in an apprentice in a studio and see how things go. It’s not about what you say, but about what you don’t say.
So that’s where education comes in, and if they want to know about electronics, we can teach them about electronics—why things sound the way they sound. It’s not the front panel mentality, it’s not black magic, there are reasons why each of these boxes sounds the way they sound. We can teach that.
Now we are teaching video - how to handle camera, how to shoot, camera angles, lighting, position on the stage, post-production, pre-production, editing, final cut pro, colorizing. We think that the future is high-quality video of high-quality music performance, not music video, not these weird choreographed videos, some of them – Peter Gabriel did a great job.
More often than not we want to see a performance, what motivates a performance, we want to see a real artist, playing real music, not lip synching. We want to see where that comes from, to see into the performance, to see the interaction between the musicians and the artist. This John Mayer video is very good for that,be cause Steve Jordan, you can just see him trying to hold the tempo, and Pino Palladino watching… It’s great!
What is your favorite memory of producing an album?
There are so many that it’s hard to pick one out. My favorite memory is always the “thrill,” when you know you’ve got something that you’ve never heard before and no one else has ever heard before. All you have to do is not f*ck it up. That has happened on any number of records; it happened on Earth Wind & Fire a couple of times, it happened with Linda Ronstadt a lot – just this is great! Look out cause you can really f*ck it up.
Worst memory, I wouldn’t want to talk about that. There are a few of them too.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I want to work with a new emerging artist that has ideas and is running into a technical wall. I don’t know who that is. I love the new Bon Iver record, but I can’t do that, they’ve already got a record, they’ve got an engineer, and he is terrific, but boy I would have loved to work on that.
I love producing and directing opera video. I think that’s great. Working with these fantastic students at McGill, great voices, great players, it’s a wide open field, so that’s my dream right now—producing and directing opera. It’s unusual for a rock n’ roller!
You’re engaged to produce an album for an artist you love but his requirements are: less is more. You need to pick only five pieces of your equipment. What will you choose and why?
That’s easy! I would choose all GML because I know when they work and when they break, I know they’re reliable, I know how every knob works. So that’s my preamp, EQ, compressor. I’ll use Prism convertors, I’ll use either Pro Tools or Pyramix. Right now I prefer Pro Tools for rock n’ roll, Pyramix for classical.
I like ATC monitors, also like Genelec a lot. For portable, when I have to go to a gig, I like the little Sennheiser (Neumann) KH120 speakers that sound pretty good. And I’ve got a lot of microphones you don’t want to know about. An SM57, I’ll take a 57, but that’s it.
In conclusion, do you have any quote or a catch phrase that drives you about music production?
Yes. There is not a question that cannot be addressed, that can’t be answered, or at least discussed, with critical listening. Critical listening tells you everything you need to know. You don’t need someone to tell you what to do, all you have to do is pay attention.
Sometimes it helps to have someone do that, but everybody has to know that if they care, they can do it on their own. They have to tell each other the truth. They have to tell themselves the truth. If the truth is, I can’t get that sound with that piece of sh*t microphone, that’s the truth and they have to be responsible for that. I don’t have the right mic, fix that and move on. Critical listening, everything is answered by critical listening. That’s my favorite.
Another one is Woody Allen: “I can’t listen to that much Wagner, I keep getting the urge to invade Poland” ! (Laughs)
Enjoy this Masterclass with George Massenburg talking about producing and using headphones:
Find out more about Bootzhere. For more audio/sound related content and resources, go to Audiofanzine.
Legendary “Coast Recorders” Studios Reopens In San Francisco
Resurrected 1960s Live Room, new "Mix One" control room, multiple mastering suites and more offered at busy SF Mission Street complex
Veteran mastering engineer Michael Romanowski has re-opened the legendary Coast Recorders Studios in the heart of San Francisco, refurbishing the huge Live Room back to the roots of its original Bill Putnam design and materials from the late 1960s.
The updated studio complex also boasts a completely redesigned control room called Mix One that includes a new Rupert Neve Designs 5088 analog console along with a host of leading analog and digital outboard gear.
In addition to Romanowski’s own mastering suite, he has added a second mastering room and mastering engineer Piper Payne to the staff.
The complex is a busy yet comfortable environment with on-staff recording and mixing engineers including chief engineer Sean Beresford (Third Eye Blind, Vanessa Carlton), and chief technical engineer Desmond Shea.
Also within the complex are two mixing suites and the analog 2-track dub room for ‘The Tape Project’ – an audiophile tape-based record label owned by Romanowski and famed engineer Paul Stubblebine.
“I have always wanted to offer the San Francisco music community more than just mastering services,” states Romanowski. “I have an acoustic band myself and love to record live. Coast Recorders’ live room is a perfect place for that. It also has the right vibe and acoustics for rock recording, as well as jazz and small chamber music ensembles.
“By expanding our mastering services to two rooms we can cover more projects from start to finish all within the facility simultaneously. Mix One is stunningly appointed and sounds really great as a mix room. We’ve got a huge variety of outboard gear that even the biggest gear-head will be pleased with.”
Romanowski has already implemented a unique offering for the re-born Coast Recorders called the “Live at Coast” series, where artists perform and record in the studio with a live audience.
“There are so many great bands of all styles in the Bay Area, I want to give them a controlled live environment to make a record in. We’ve already had great success with it, the live audience has added a lot to the performances,” says Romanowski.
Check out photos of the revitalized Coast Recorders here.
This week I bought the Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter from the Apple Store to add an extra Firewire 800 port to my iMac.
I’d been planning on getting one since they were announced along with the Retina Macbooks in the summer.
At $29, is it just another overpriced white plastic Apple accessory?
I wouldn’t say it’s overpriced. At this time it’s the cheapest thunderbolt accessory and the only way to add additional firewire ports to an iMac or MacBook Pro.
In case you’re not familiar with the port options on the current iMacs, there are 4 x USB2 ports, 1 x FireWire 800, and 2 x Thunderbolt ports. I ran out of USB ports a long time ago.
The FireWire peripherals I use daily are a LaCie D2 Quadra hard drive (FireWire 400 or 800) and an M-Audio Profire 2626 recording interface. The configuration only works one way. FireWire 800 to 400 cable to Profire, FireWire 400 cable to LaCie hard drive.
The Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter.
Both devices run at FireWire 400 speed. It’s very stable this way. You can’t have one running at 800 and another at 400—that just doesn’t work. Until now.
his adapter is not just another firewire jack. It’s actually a connection to a separate bus on the motherboard.
Adding the Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter, I’m finally able to run my hard drive at full Firewire 800 speed. Also, my drive is now safer. A wild toddler pushing buttons on my interface won’t kill the FireWire connection anymore which has happened several times this year!
Keep in mind that this adapter doesn’t automatically make your devices faster—you probably won’t get lower latency or anything like that, unless you’ve got a bunch of devices that are struggling to stay connected.
Another thing—it only works in one direction, so don’t expect a thunderbolt device to work on a FireWire 800 connection to the computer.
Do I recommend it? Yeah, I do. I think a lot of folks are in a similar situation to me—they have an audio interface and one or more hard drives to connect. We all want the best performance from our gear. I think $29 is the perfect price for this.
For those with the new Retina MacBooks, it’s a no-brainer and the ONLY way to get FireWire devices working.
Jon Tidey is a Producer/Engineer who runs his own studio, EPIC Sounds, and enjoys writing about audio on his blog AudioGeekZine.com. To comment or ask questions about this article go here.
As official “P&E Wing Sustaining Partners,” AKG, JBL and Lexicon have participated in a wide variety of activities, including being the title sponsor of high-profile regional Academy Chapter events, having a presence on the P&E Wing section of the Grammy 365 member Web site and serving as a sustaining sponsor of the P&E Wing Manufacturers Council.
Harman Pro has reaffirmed its sponsorship for the coming year and will continue to work closely with the P&E Wing and support its initiatives and membership.
“Harman proudly supports the Producers & Engineers Wing,” states Blake Augsburger, executive vice president, Harman International and president, Professional Division. “Their efforts advance the recording industry, benefiting artists, equipment manufacturers and most of all, the listeners. We look forward to another year of rewarding projects together.”
“We are very pleased that Harman has again chosen to continue its partnership with The Producers & Engineers Wing,” adds Maureen Droney, senior executive director of The Recording Academy P&E Wing. “JBL Professional, AKG Acoustics and Lexicon share the P&E Wing’s vision of capturing and delivering the highest quality audio. We look forward to this continued partnership and to having key individuals from the Harman family of products interact and exchange ideas with our membership.”
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the Grammy Awards, The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. Currently more than 6,000 professionals comprise The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, which was established for producers, engineers, remixers, manufacturers, technologists, and other related creative and technical professionals in the recording field.
GC Pro has been regularly working with the Assembly of Yahweh 7th Day near Cisco, Texas, and after providing systems and installation services for the church’s most recent AV upgrades, it’s now in the plans to build a dedicated recording studio
In that time, GC Pro has helped the church and its pastor, Farris Wilks, and his family build a recording studio at the Wilks’ home in Cisco and significantly upgrade the church’s AV. In 2011, after initial plans, GC Pro contracted Horacio Malvicino, Managing Director of the Malvicino Design Group, a Forest Hills, New York-based GC Pro Affiliate Services Program member, for design and construction of the studio.
GC Pro sourced and supplied technology including a 32-channel Neve Genesys digitally controlled analog console, an Avid D-Command, a Pro Tools HD system and an Ocean Way HR2 monitoring system. After the studio was finished, GC Pro then was asked to update the church’s AV systems.
In 2012, GC Pro brought in GC Pro Affiliate Services Program member Omnicoustics, based in McKinney, Texas, to install new Robe and Chauvet lighting systems; Panasonic video cameras and live-video switcher; a NewTek Tricaster video switcher for recorded video content for post production applications; and Eiki video projectors.
Jeffery McDaniel, GC Pro Senior Account Manager, says this is the second major systems upgrade that GC Pro has done for Assembly of Yahweh 7th Day—in 2010, GC Pro upgraded the church’s sound system with a JBL Array Series system paired with an Avid VENUE SC48 digital live sound console and an Avid Pro Tools LE system, as well as a new complement of microphones, a new Aviom in-ear monitor system for the church band, and other related equipment—and it underscores the kind of relationship that GC Pro has with many of its customers. “We come to know our customers pretty well, because so many of them are repeat customers,” he says. “We have a pretty good idea of what their needs are and how best to meet them.”
Another reason that GC Pro clients are so loyal is the lengths the GC Pro staff is willing to go for them. When it turned out that the dongle sourced for the new lighting system didn’t have the right amount of channels, McDaniel set out to find one that did, working under an extreme deadline. The only vendor who had what they needed was in Canada. As the event for which the lighting controller would be critical drew near, McDaniel told the Canadian supplier to use FedEx’s premium same-day delivery service – the supplier got the new dongle to their local airport at 11 a.m. the same day, and it arrived at FedEx’s freight station at Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport that same evening. McDaniel then drove it the three hours to Cisco, arriving at 11 p.m., and had it ready to use for the church’s worship service the next morning. McDaniel also helped participate in their first service, running their newly purchased computer program to display the music’s lyrics. “Whatever it takes to make it work for the customer, that’s what we’re willing to do to make it happen,” says McDaniel.
That same philosophy will apply to the new recording studio, named Seven Pillars Studios, that GC Pro will help design, build and equip, for a planned opening in 2013. Much of the equipment that GC Pro provided for the Wilks’ home studio will migrate to the new facility, which is also being designed and commissioned by the Malvicino Design Group, and which will feature two control rooms around a single large tracking room, with an SSL AWS948 console in the B studio. “We really get to know our clients,” says McDaniel. “And they really get to know us, which means they know we’ll be there for them year in and year out.”
For The Record: The Past Tells Us Much About The Future Of Live Recording
We should always remember to look back at the historical trends of our industry - it’s the only way we can stay ahead of the curve and keep providing the gear and the services that our clients need
Many of us make our livings providing concert-goers with the best live music experience possible. We deploy high-fidelity loudspeaker systems and microphones with the latest in digital effects and studio-quality processing in an effort to make the live show sound “just like the record.”
Only better, of course, because the excitement, visual elements, crowd response and performance spontaneity are impossible to reproduce in someone’s living room. Or is it? Let’s step back in time and examine our progress in the effort to capture the live experience for the fans to take home.
Live recording has taken many forms over the years. In the big band era, it was typical to put a single microphone out in front of the performers and hope for the best. Early refinements consisted of adding a second mic for the soloists to step up to. Performances were largely acoustic, with the possible exception of a lead vocalist, so there was no interface with the live reinforcement system.
Recordings were monophonic, and the only options available to the recordist for influencing the outcome were mic choice and location. By the way, the delivery system was usually 78 RPM vinyl records. Given the limitations, it’s amazing how many vibrant, exciting examples exist from that era of music.
Through the 1950s and 60s, there were huge changes in performance, recording and playback technology. On the performance side, the invention of the electric guitar changed everything. (In fact, a case can be made that the electric guitar spawned our entire industry.) The concept of an amplified performance where the audience heard an electronic representation of the instrument rather than the instrument itself was revolutionary in many ways.
It wasn’t long before the bass joined the ranks of amplified instruments, and all of the other musicians (with the possible exception of the drums) were using mics. This allowed shows to be staged at much larger halls than was possible in the “acoustic era,” enhancing exposure for the artist - and revenue for everyone. I
This also shrank the size of performing groups as well. Previously, if the trombones needed to be louder, more trombone players were added. Now the trombone sound could simply be turned up.
On the recording front, the big news was multiple tracks. Two- and even three- track recorders were invented. This created a need for mixing consoles, and most were built by the studio owners themselves. Some even sported advanced features like equalization.
This technology then migrated over to sound reinforcement, and it required operators. We all got a job!
Big things were happening on the playback scene as well. The hi-fi craze swept many parts of the world. Playback systems with wide frequency response and low distortion became available. The 33 RPM Long Play (LP) record allowed much longer playing times.
Meanwhile, stereophonic sound finally gave recorded music more of the spatial impact of a live performance. With stereo playback, the instruments could be spread across the soundstage to simulate sitting in front of a real band. The elements required to bring the live performance experience into the listener’s home were falling into place.
As the music business roared into the 1970s, the capability grew to duplicate the recording techniques for live events. Record companies wanted to be able to issue as many LP’s as possible from their hottest bands. One way to do this - without taking them off the road – was the live album.
As budgets became available for quality live recording the first studio trucks were created. A recording studio control room was crammed into a box truck and trundled off to the gig. Either using splits off the sound reinforcement mics or double mic’ing everything. a quality multi-track recording an actual concert could be made. A few audience mics were added, and voila, the record company had their new release.
The best part? No new songs had to be written. The same songs could be sold to eager fans twice! Soon, no self-respecting band was without a live album. Of course, the other advantage was that if the house mix or sound system was substandard, or the acoustics were bad, a multi-track master tape provided some ability to “fix it in the mix.”
And on more than a few instances the band would nip into the studio to fix “green notes” in the vocals or a botched guitar lead.
Live recording had started to generate its own revenue stream, which supplemented the box office receipts from the show. Eventually someone got the bright idea of bringing a movie camera into the proceedings. Between the audio recording truck, the camera operators, directors and miscellaneous technical personnel, it could turn into a huge undertaking. For some events, it was worth the money.
The Woodstock movie made far more cash than the festival itself. If you couldn’t go to the concert, the concert would come to your local movie theater. But only the biggest bands or the most high profile events could justify the expense of the production and pack the fans into theaters.
As technology continued it’s relentless march, many acts wanted to record every performance. It started innocently enough with the ubiquitous “board tape.” At first this was just a stereo cassette coming right off the same stereo pair feeding the mains. These tapes were generally used by the band and their management to review the night’s performance.
Of course, sometimes this led to some mix criticism as well. It was hard to explain to a guitar player that the reason he couldn’t hear himself on the board tape was because his stage amplifiers were on “11” and his mic was off.
So eventually we started doing sub mixes for the board tapes. I’ve done tours where I had a combination of pre-fader and post-fader stereo aux sends, and used delays to time align an X-Y stereo pair of room mics into a DAT machine – all just to make the troops happy with their review tapes.
And inevitably some bright soul would say, “We could release this as a live album!” or maybe give their copy to their girlfriend, which later appeared as a bootleg causing great consternation and finger-pointing within the ranks. But that’s another story.
I saw one act that even carried a 24-track recorder in a huge flight case and a maintenance technician on tour so they could record every night. They even organized their set list to give the tech time to change tapes. A sound company I worked for owned a Midas Pro 5 board reputedly built for Harry Belafonte (and of course christened the “Day-O” board), and it had an extra 24 output buses to feed his recorder. It also weighed a ton.
But once again technology came to the rescue.
In the 1990s, digital recorders utilizing tape cartridges were introduced. Each unit recorded eight tracks and several could be synched up. They were rack mountable, reasonably light and low maintenance. A portable rack could now hold enough recorders to run a direct out from every board channel and record every night for future use.
Some enterprising engineers even used the previous night’s show routed back to the console to do a preliminary sound check. The only downfall was that you had to spend every spare moment formatting tapes for the recorders, and archiving was a pain. Depending on the length of the show and the number of tracks required, a single performance might use 30 tapes or even more.
By this time, almost every home had at least a decent stereo and a VCR. More and more tours were filmed, whether a theatrical release was realistic or not. Home entertainment technology had created an alternative market for video concert releases.
Although live records were still being released, the concert experience had much more impact if the visual elements were included. Most top tours and almost all major festivals had an audio and video recording element to document the event and provide a revenue stream long after the actual show. The concert experience was now as close as your local video store.
COMBINATION OF FORCES
The 21st Century has only expanded this paradigm. A combination of forces has created a “perfect storm” supporting concert recording. On the recording technology front, digital audio workstations are smaller, lighter, more robust, and in fact, are often the same machines being used in the recording studio.
An entire show can be recorded on a single hard drive. Digital consoles can easily provide audio streams to the recorders without multiple analog to digital (A-D) conversions or analog signal splits.
The advent of the DVD and home theater systems provide a delivery medium with the quality and impact to really bring the concert experience into the home. Large high-definition screens and surround sound can do a remarkable job of reproducing the feeling of being at an event. They also provide new ways to make money from a live performance, and in a day and age where file sharing and piracy have eaten away at the traditional money flow in the music business.
It used to be common for record companies to provide tour support from record sale receipts. Now, it’s more common for touring and the recorded products that come from touring to be the largest source of income for performers.
Some bands have taken it to the next level by selling recordings of the actual show to attendees on their way out. “Jam bands” are still popular, and no two performances are alike. So getting a recording of these performances show may have more significance than whether the band says, “Good night, Seattle” or “Good night, Detroit”. Concerts are being staged for the sole purpose of producing a DVD or even a pay-per-view broadcast.
A LONG TIME
Nothing can really replace the adrenaline, the excitement and the immediacy of being at a great concert. Our jobs are going to be around for a long time.
But we should always remember to look back at the historical trends of our industry. It’s the only way we can stay ahead of the curve and keep providing the gear and the services that our clients need.
And anything that enhances the revenue stream from live performances for the artists, promoters - and especially for us - is a very good thing indeed.
Bruce Main has been a systems engineer and front of house mixer for more than 35 years. He has also built, owned and operated recording studios and designed and installed sound systems.
Registration & Hotel Bookings Now Open For The 2013 NAMM Show
Double check that NAMM Membership is up-to-date then get set up now for Anaheim on opening day
Online badge registration and hotel bookings for the 2013 NAMM Show are now open, as the show returns to Anaheim, CA from January 24-27, 2013.
To register for credentials for NAMM, NAMM members can sign into their NAMM.org account and then go here.
Issues with registering for badges could be caused by NAMM membership having lapsed. NAMM membership can be renewed online here.
NAMM Show exhibitor registration opens on October 12, with media registration opening on October 18.
Housing for the 2013 NAMM Show also now open for all current NAMM members. NAMM’s 42 hotel partners in Anaheim, CA are available for bookings here. To access, members should first sign into a current NAMM.org account. Housing for non-members opens on November 14, 2012.
The 2013 NAMM Show floor map will be unveiled to NAMM.org and NAMM Show social media on October 12, 2012. Events, idea center sessions and more will be announced throughout the fall. Find more info for making the most of the NAMM Show 2013 here.
New Neyrinck SoundCode LtRt Tools Pro Tools Plug-In Supports Dolby Pro Logic Encode & Decode
Provides complete Dolby Pro Logic workflow including LtRt encode and decode, in AAX DSP, Native, and Audiosuite format
New Neyrinck SoundCode LtRt Tools for Pro Tools 10, now shipping, provides LtRt encoding and Pro Logic IIx decoding for audio post facilities and broadcasters.
Neyrinck’s older SoundCode Stereo LtRt plug-in for Pro Tools can be upgraded to add the new Pro Logic decoding features.
SoundCode LtRt Tools is a suite of Pro Tools AAX Native, AAX DSP, and Audiosuite plug-ins designed for post-production studios, TV mixers, video game mixers, and broadcasters that monitor or deliver stereo down mixed and LtRt encoded audio compatible with Pro Logic I and II decoders.
SoundCode LtRt Tools includes a Pro Logic IIx decoder licensed from Dolby Laboratories Inc. It provides 7.1, 5.1, and LCRS decoding so mixers can simulate consumer system playback environments.
Founder Paul Neyrinck has lont wanted to enhance the product. “SoundCode Stereo LtRt is the standard for LtRt encoding in Pro Tools with its flexible, fast encoding,” he says. “And now that Avid is not updating Dolby Surround Tools for AAX, customers need a new way to decode and monitor LtRt encoded audio. So we partnered with Dolby to bring Pro Logic decoding to AAX Native and DSP systems.
“Now users can decode and monitor LtRt encoded material within Pro Tools so this is a welcome update to our surround sound product range”.
SoundCode LtRt Tools is available from Neyrinck dealers around the world and can also be purchased online from the Neyrinck Store. It is priced at $695 or $399 as an upgrade for existing Soundcode Stereo LtRt users.
For customers who have not yet upgraded to Pro Tools 10 or who do not need the decoder, the original SoundCode Stereo LtRt package is also available for $349.
MUSIC Group Commits $50 Million To New Manufacturing Campus In China
MUSIC Group Commits $50 Million to New Campus - cornerstone ceremony with local representatives opens a new chapter in MUSIC Group history
MUSIC Group Founder and CEO Uli Behringer has today revealed the company’s plans to construct a massive new campus that will house its operations in China.
Modeled on the corporate campus typical of Silicon Valley, the sprawling 50-acre complex will include R&D, Manufacturing, a Residential Village and abundant green space cultivated around the site’s natural wetlands and is to be completed by 2014.
The investment comes at a time when the company’s current MUSIC Group City site is stretched to capacity with overwhelming demand for new products, including the transformational X32 Digital Mixer.
“It is my distinct pleasure to announce the fulfillment of a major objective of our Group today with the start of this incredible undertaking,” announced Uli Behringer to the gathered employees and dignitaries. “This new home will bring together our people from several different sites, our world-class manufacturing and integrated logistics teams into one environmentally sustainable location woven into the natural local landscape.
“My goal is to make this a place where talented people can attain their life goals without compromise.”
The new campus will be home to nearly 5,000 employees and is to include over 3 million square feet of automated factory space housing over 100 surface mount machines, automated transducer lines, injection molding and hydro forming facilities and a total “clean-air” wood products and painting pavilion.
The company’s already extensive agency test labs will be expanded with additional RF and TDMA facilities and an all-new two-story Anechoic Chamber will be built for acoustical testing. The campus will also offer housing for almost two thousand company employees and include on-site educational, child-care and health facilities.
MUSIC Group has commissioned international consultants to advise on site development, livability and environmental concerns to ensure long-term satisfaction for workers and minimal impact to the surrounding Eco-system.
Working with Chinese officials the company aims to make this facility energy efficient and minimize its carbon footprint; something of a revolutionary concept in the industrial province of Guangdong. The stated mandate is to deliver a community where people can live, work and enjoy a quality of life that is as stimulating as it is rewarding.
Harman Pro Promotes John Fitzgerald To VP, General Manager, Amplifiers & Signal Processing
Move follows the retirement of Rob Urry after more than 28 years at the company
Harman Professional has announced the promotion of John Fitzgerald to the position of vice president, general manager Amplifiers & Signal Processing Strategic Business Unit.
The move follows the retirement of Rob Urry after more than 28 years at the company and reflects Harman’s commitment to advance product innovation and increase the rate of new product throughput.
“As we look back on Rob Urry’s remarkable contribution to our organization and our industry, we also look forward to a new era of success under John Fitzgerald. John is a proven leader with a demonstrated capacity to get results,” Blake Augsburger, president of Harman Professional. “For our customers and channel partners John’s leadership means we’ll have a high volume of exciting new products to show; for our organization it means we’ll have an excellent manager with great ideas and for other stakeholders this appointment is a signal of Harman’s intent to evolve and grow while respecting our roots and culture.”
Fitzgerald joined Harman Automotive as an engineer in program management in 1997 and has since been appointed to increasingly senior positions with customer-facing and operational responsibilities.
Prior to accepting his new role, Fitzgerald was vice president of program management, general manager Harman Amplifier Business Unit. He holds an engineering degree from the University of Maine and an MBA from the University of Illinois.
Fitzgerald notes, “I am very pleased to take on the responsibility of leading such a talented team and helping this SBU drive the market with the most innovative, appealing and successful amplifier and signal processing technologies available. Our brands, our people and technologies are the best in the business and I have deep confidence that we can bring this unique value to a wide audience of audio professionals and artists across the globe.”
Urry’s retirement marks the conclusion of a long and accomplished career at Harman. He joined the company as an entry-level hardware engineer and rose to vice president of engineering, chief technology officer (Professional) and president of Harman Music Group.
“Rob Urry’s legacy of innovation is manifested in some of the most iconic and best-loved audio technologies our industry has known.” Augsburger adds. “Today, as a result, many thousands of DigiTech, Lexicon and dbx products are in the field and have helped shape the sound of a generation. We’re very grateful to Rob and we wish him well in the future.”
Urry states, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Harman. Now that the time has come to enjoy my retirement, I am very satisfied that the culture of innovation is strong, that our organization is deep and that a new leader of John Fitzgerald’s calibre is prepared and ready to lead our business unit.
“I am grateful to the many wonderful people I have worked with and I look forward to continuing these friendships in the months and years ahead.”
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