Recording

Friday, July 11, 2014

Upcoming AES 55th International Conference To Focus On Spatial Audio

Focus on research and applications for recording and reproduction

The Audio Engineering Society (AES) 55th International Conference, focusing on Spatial Audio, is set to take place August 27-29, 2014, at the Helsinki Music Centre in Helsinki, Finland.

Registration is open for this multi-day conference, which will bring together researchers and practitioners from all aspects of spatial audio, including recording and reproduction, perception, transmission, coding and more. Dedicated workshops will give an informed view of the practical implementation of spatial audio in applications such as broadcasting, game audio and the recording industry. 

Conference chairperson for this event is Lauri Savioja, along with technical program chair Ville Pulkki, paper chair Tapio Lokki, and workshop chairs Kalev Tiits and Florian Camerer. Conference sponsors are Aalto University, Genelec, Neumann, Nokia and the Sibelius Academy.

Spatial audio—one of the largest research topics in the field of audio—has taken on ever-increasing importance and interest for both the professional and consumer audio markets. The 55th conference will address the fundamental production and reproduction issues of multichannel audio systems, as well as techniques for creating and controlling multidirectional perceptions through headphones and loudspeakers.

The conference kicks off on Wednesday with an opening presentation titled “The Adventure of Spatial Sound Reproduction” given by chairperson Sascha Spors, which will be followed by three days of workshops, posters, papers and tutorials on Spatial Audio-related topics. Each day will offer up a variety of events on spatial sound techniques, engineering and psychoacoustics.

Topics will include Sound Field Capture with Microphone Arrays and Proximity Microphones; Decoding of High Order Ambisonics; Sound Field Reproduction of Vibroacoustic Models; Immersive Multi-party Conferencing Systems; Evaluation of Sound Field Synthesis Techniques; and more. Additional events include a pre-conference tutorial entitled “Psychoacoustics and Technologies of Spatial Sound” given by Ville Pulkki and other spatial audio demonstrations at Aalto University, as well as a Thursday evening AES banquet in downtown Helsinki.

“Spatial Audio and its realized potentials have become hot topics at our conventions and conferences for several years now, and continue to grow,” states AES executive director Bob Moses. “With the increased challenges and opportunities brought about with ever-changing immersive audio products and entertainment, we continue to explore and set the standards, through conferences such as these, that will dictate production rules of audio perception for future generations. We are very excited to see what comes out of this conference as we look forward.”

For program details, registration, and travel information, go here.

AES

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/11 at 08:26 AM
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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Shure Announces Four Senior Executive Promotions

Moves made to ensure strength of senior leadership team

Shure has announced the promotions of four senior executives: Ray Crawford, Mark Humrichouser, Meg Madison, and Tom Kundmann.

“As our company has grown, we needed to ensure the strength of our senior leadership team,” states Sandy LaMantia, president and CEO of Shure Incorporated. “These promotions are well earned. The decades of experience these four individuals possess will help guide our organization and position us for continued long-term success.”

Crawford has been promoted to vice president of strategic planning and integration, and he also will continue to lead corporate strategy, global business development, and global product management functions. He has been with Shure since 2005, before which he was director of strategy and business development at U.S. Robotics Corporation. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School for Business.

Humrichouser has been named vice president of the Americas Business Unit. He will continue to lead the sales, marketing, and customer training and support functions for North and South America. Before joining Shure in 2006, he worked for Sennheiser U.S. as industry team manager, regional sales manager, and regional market development manager.

Madison has been promoted to vice president of human resources. She will continue to lead the global human resources function. Before joining Shure in 2005, she worked for United Airlines as a director at destination hotels and resorts and Radisson/Hyatt hotel organizations, and as a manager at Automatic Data Processing (ADP).

Kundmann has been named assistant vice president of product development and in this role he will continue to lead digital wireless product development. He has a Bachelor’s degree (BSEE) and a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois-Champaign, and holds six U.S. patents in wireless technology. Before joining Shure in 2009, he worked for Motorola Networks in various technical and managerial positions.

Shure

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/09 at 01:44 PM
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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Radial Engineering Announces Acquisition Of Jensen Transformers

Jensen will continue to work with its growing customer base both on the OEM side and as a solution provider to audio professionals

Radial Engineering has announced the acquisition of Jensen Transformers, joining the Radial group of companies that includes Reamp, Tonebone, Primacoustic and Hafler.

Radial president Peter Janis states, “Jensen is one of the true gems of our industry. I first heard about Jensen transformers in 1981 and when we started Radial, it was on the top of our list. We launched the Radial JDI in 1996—the J standing for Jensen, and today, it continues to be the world’s best-selling professional passive direct box around the globe.

“When Jensen became available,” he continues, “we felt that the brand was simply too important to the industry and our long-term health to end up being purchased by a multi-national and made offshore.”

According to Bill Whitlock, former owner and president of Jensen Transformers, “After 25 years and my recent turning 70, I felt the time had come for Jensen to be passed along to a younger generation. And after much discussion, I felt that Peter would be the ideal candidate to take the company on and build it for the future. Peter’s company Radial has been tied at the hip with Jensen since 1992 and has been the biggest user of Jensen transformers for years. It only made sense that he take the reins.”

Jensen Transformers is celebrating its 40th anniversary, founded by audio pioneer Deane Jensen in 1974 when he changed the way transformers were designed and built for real-world audio. His analog circuit design skills gave him a deep understanding of how transformers interact with surrounding circuitry. Using the best available materials and winding techniques, he enhanced performance by paying close attention to phase response and extending bandwidth, delivering a result marked by exceptional sonic clarity and transparency.

Whitlock acquired the company upon Jensen’s untimely death in 1989 and continued with further refinements in production uniformity and long-term reliability, also expanding the company into areas such as video through the ISO-MAX product range.

“So far, we have invested a significant amount of money to stabilize delivery and have made a commitment that Jensen be run at arm’s length,” Janis notes. “Radial will continue to purchase transformers as it has in the past, as an OEM customer, and Jensen will continue to work with its growing customer base both on the OEM side and as a solution provider for the AV contractor, home theater installer and professional audio engineer.”

Jensen Transformers general manager Dave Hill adds, “Over the past months, we have begun to understand Peter’s way of doing business and it’s very exciting. We have just extended our lease—keeping the company in its home in Chatsworth (CA), purchasing two more high-precision Meteor numerical winders, increasing our raw parts inventory, adding more computer power to streamline our processes, and we’re currently hiring more staff to increase production. Peter is absolutely committed to upholding the Jensen brand and quality that we have strived to build. These are very exciting times.”

Whitlock plans to stay on with the company, assisting on the technical side and working in R&D to develop new products. “There are so many areas that we have yet to explore, and with the business side now off my plate, I look forward to focusing on my true love of engineering,” he says.

Jensen Transformers
Radial Engineering

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/08 at 02:40 PM
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Universal Audio Releases Thermionic Culture Vulture Plug-In

Models the original hardware’s three distinct all-valve circuit topologies and includes UA’s first-ever pentode tube circuit mode

Universal Audio has announced the Thermionic Culture Vulture, a new plug-In for the UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform and Apollo audio interfaces.

For more than 15 years, the British-made Thermionic Culture Vulture has provided studio-grade, high-gain valve distortion, yielding a palette of vivid distortion colors on numerous genre-spanning recordings. Following a multi-year engineering effort from Universal Audio, producers and engineers can now track and mix with the only authentic circuit emulation of this unique valve distortion tool.

The Thermionic Culture Vulture plug-in models the original hardware’s three distinct all-valve circuit topologies and includes Universal Audio’s first-ever pentode tube circuit model. The plug-in also offers two functions not found on the original hardware: a Dry/Wet Parallel Mix control and a Link function for a matched stereo image to maximize workflow and preserve balances.

In addition, it includes presets from famous Culture Vulture users, including Tony Maserati (Alicia Keys, Beyoncé), Rik Simpson (Coldplay, Portishead), Eric “ET” Thorngren (Talking Heads, Cyndi Lauper), Peter Katis (The National, Interpol), Chris Coady (Grizzly Bear, TV on the Radio), and more.

“The Thermionic Culture Vulture plug-in was one of our most challenging projects to date,” says Universal Audio CEO Bill Putnam Jr. “Getting the nuances of the various distortions right took more effort and invention that we had ever expected.”

“We decided some time ago that UA would be the best company to make a successful plug-in emulation of our Culture Vulture, and we are very happy to say that the plug-in has exceeded our expectations,” adds Nick Terry, director at Thermionic Culture. “It seems that the Culture Vulture has now taken on a digital life of its own.”

Available for purchase from the UA online store (here) for $299, the new Thermionic Culture Vulture plug-in is part of the new UAD Software v7.8, along with the Softube-developed Valley People Dyna-mite and Tonelux Tilt EQ plug-ins.


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Universal Audio

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/08 at 02:01 PM
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Live Broadcast Engineer John Perez Chooses Waves For Jimmy Kimmel Live

Broadcast engineer John Perez relies on Waves products for Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Live broadcast engineer John Perez (NFL On Fox, Fox College Football, The Academy Awards, Dr. Phil, The Doctors, An Inconvenient Truth, It Might Get Loud) chooses the Waves  Dugan Automixer, MultiRack, and other assorted Waves products for Jimmy Kimmel Live. 

On the Dugan Automixer, Perez notes, “That product has been great to have here at Jimmy Kimmel Live. We have a unique room in the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood that presents many audio challenges. We have a very loud house PA combined with a low ceiling, a raging house band and hard surfaces that make mixing multiple lavalier microphones a pain in the neck.

“Before I started using the Waves Dugan Automixer, I would typically have to clamp down really hard on the dialogue buss, using Waves WNS Noise Suppressor, in order to take the roominess and hollowness out of the room; then I would have to bounce around on the faders to keep it as clean as possible. If we had a bunch of people talking out there, it could be a mess.

“Also, Jimmy would talk to various characters on the shows that were far away from him, and it could get roomy very quickly. But as soon as I plugged in the Waves Dugan Automixer, it worked perfectly. Very intuitive and almost no setup required.” 

He elaborates on the signal chain: “From my Calrec console I just go 64 channels of MADI in and out to my processing system, which is Waves MultiRack Native, running on a MacBook Pro, SSL MADI Extreme (interface) and Magma PCIe to a Thunderbolt chassis. With Waves MultiRack I just insert my Waves rack with a Dugan Automixer at the end of the chain on each of the lavalier channels – and that’s about it. The beauty is that since the Dugan Automixer runs automatically at the end of each aforementioned rack, I can process the mics first with other Waves plugins if needed.”
 
Perez also uses a selection of Waves plugins nightly. He remarks: “I used a wide selection Waves plugins extensively back in my recording studio days, and I’ve adapted them to broadcast television. My must-have plugins are the L2 Ultramaximizer, SSL G-Master Buss Compressor, WNS Noise Suppressor, PAZ Analyzer and the Dugan Automixer. L2 is used on the master buss. On the show, I use the L2 differently than if I were mixing a record. The network has strict level limits, so the L2 keeps me safe without affecting the sound. SSL G Comp goes across the master buss as well.” 

Perez has found the use of MultiRack to be very beneficial: “Before I got into MultiRack, I was inserting Waves plugins on my shows by using DAWs like Pro Tools or Logic, and for a long time I wanted something simpler that is just an effects processor. I’m very happy with the way it all works. I get to use my favorite plugins!”

Waves 

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Posted by Julie Clark on 07/08 at 01:09 PM
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Monday, July 07, 2014

ARX Shipping Blue DI Bluetooth Direct Box

ARX's new Blue DI features 44.1 & 48Khz sample rates at 32bits, is compatible with Bluetooth Version V2.1 EDR, 3.0 and 4.0.

ARX Systems is now shipping the unique “Blue DI” Bluetooth Direct Box, a new addition to their popular AudiBox range of Precision Tools for Audio Professionals .

SmartPhones, tablets and other Bluetooth enabled devices have rapidly become the program source of convenience for corporate AV presentations, seminars, musicians, D.Js, entertainment venues, system demonstrations and testing, and many other audio playback applications.

ARX’s Engineering team developed the Blue DI to fulfill the demand for a truly Professional wireless Active Direct Box interface allowing users to connect today’s and tomorrow’s Bluetooth enabled devices to the pro audio world of balanced signals and XLR connectors via a robust wireless connection of over 12 meters range.

ARX’s new Blue DI features 44.1 & 48Khz sample rates at 32bits, is compatible with Bluetooth Version V2.1 EDR, 3.0 and 4.0, can be powered by +48VDC phantom power from a mixing console, or an external DC PSU and features industry standard balanced left and right line level XLR outputs.

ARX Systems

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Posted by Julie Clark on 07/07 at 05:20 PM
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Lectrosonics Safe Bet For Castrol’s Footkhana Film

Lectrosonics gear helped record man vs. machine.

Video production specialists La Fabrica de Carbon have recently completed a film for Castrol and Ken Block which truly stretched their Lectrosonics audio recording equipment.

Entitled ‘Footkhana’ the film combines world-famous gymkhana driving with world-famous football skills in a head-to-head competition of man in a machine versus man and his feet.

“It’s always amazing to me when people like Neymar Jr. are aware of me because of my Gymkhana videos,” said Block. “Neymar’s one of the biggest names in football [soccer] and it was rad to work with him on this project.

“I’m stoked that Castrol was able to help us bring the whole thing together and present me with the new challenges of hitting soccer balls with precision slides while I navigated the Footkhana playing field that they created for us. Never in a million years did I think I’d ever be trying to score goals with my Ford Fiesta, but it actually was a ton of fun for both of us.

“I’m pretty sure that Neymar’s never had to try and score a goal with a rally car defending the net before!”

Recording the stunts were Quique Lopez and Pau Tolosa who explained how they used their Lectrosonics wireless systems to good effect: “Ken Block´s car generated 117 dB SPL when we tried to record wildtracks and ambients from the outside and on the inside it was even worse, we had to work with huge amounts of attenuation. Yet, we were very happy to count on DPA 21 Microdot-Lectrosonics adapters in our configuration.

“Another problem was the size of the set and the fact that were we were actually recording a running car. We solved the problem by using Lectrosonics ALP620 shark fin antennas.”

Quique and Pau explained the setup saying: “All the drifting ambients and FX were recorded on Sound Devices 788 (mounted on cl9 cart). We tried to get as much stereo separation as possible. We used a Lectrosonics Venue receiver system with 4 VRS and 1 VRT, with the ALP620 directional antennas so we could have a good coverage over the whole set. Everything was mounted on the sound cart.

SMDB series transmitters were paired with DPA 4061s and 4071s and Countryman EMW lavaliere microphones. We also used an HM plug-on transmitter with a Shoeps Cmit shotgun mic for specific FX.”

They continued: “We used wireless transmitters as well for ambients and stereos, as they made for easier location set up. We even used them for some specific Fx, such as football strikes and so on.

Inside the car we had a Sound Devices 664 with us, a Lectrosonics Quadpack containing 2 SR dual-channel receivers, plus four SM series transmitters with DPA 4063 microphones and one non-wireless stereo microphone.”

Ken Block is a professional rally driver with the Hoonigan Racing Division formerly known as the Monster World rally Team. The film is a collaborative effort with Ken Block, international football star Neymar Jr., and Castrol. Footkhana was designed from the start to be a new and entertaining exploration on how Block’s Gymkhana driving could be utilised in a fun way doing something different than his normal Gymkhana GRID competitions and Gymkhana video series.

Quique explained the choice of Lectrosonics equipment: “Lectrosonics is the system we´ve been using for a long time now in complex recordings, for its great coverage and the fantastic sound it delivers. The reasons we like it are many and varied but if we had to underline something, it would be the LectroRM app for programming the SM Series transmitters, such a great option for this kind of work.

“In conclusion, we would like say how satisfied we are with our Lectrosonics equipment. It rescued our work in many situations, some of them under very extreme recording conditions.  It´s what we call a safe bet!” He laughed.

Lectrosonics

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Posted by Julie Clark on 07/07 at 04:15 PM
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Industry Pro Charlie Boehm Joins Manley Labs Team

Manley Labs expands their engineering team with Charlie Boehm.

Manley Labs has announced the continued growth of the company’s highly acclaimed engineering team with the addition of pro audio veteran Charles Boehm.

Boehm joins Manley Labs after serving as lead design engineer for Aphex, where he oversaw the rebirth and reinvigoration of the company’s product line. His career also includes high-level engineering positions at M-Audio (formerly a division of Avid Technology), where he was responsible for heading up design teams behind such successful products as their Prokeys88 and DCP-200 digital pianos, GSR studio monitors and Midisport USB MIDI interfaces.

Prior to his tenure at Avid, Boehm worked with Nemesis Technology, where he also made significant contributions to a number of USB and FireWire audio interfaces. 

“Charlie is the ideal addition to our engineering team at Manley Labs,” remarked Manley founder and President EveAnna Manley. “His expertise and long-term record in designing innovative, leading-edge products, combined with his very forward-looking perspective on our industry and technology, makes him a great fit for the path we have planned for Manley Labs. We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome him on board.”

“It’s not often one gets the opportunity to work with a company that represents such a legendary part of the history and tradition of professional recording,” Boehm added. “To be joining Manley Labs at a time like this, when there’s so much growth and opportunity to create new and exciting products, makes it even more exciting.” 

Boehm will be based out of the company’s offices in Chino, CA. 

Manley Labs

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Posted by Julie Clark on 07/07 at 02:15 PM
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Thursday, July 03, 2014

Sweden’s University Of Örebro Installs API 1608

In its quest to prepare students for moving on to a modern recording studio, the university has commissioned an API 1608 console.

With 17,000 students, the University of Örebro is one of the fastest growing universities in Sweden.  Its school of music, theatre and art provides the growing student body with an array of course subjects, including recording music technology.

In its quest to prepare students for moving on to a modern recording studio, the university has commissioned an API 1608 console.

Situated in the heart of Sweden, the university’s proximity to Stockholm, Gothenburg and Oslo offer students a wide range of cities to seek employment after graduation. It is a young, modern and rapidly growing university with an ambitious agenda for the future.

The university also offers courses in English and a foreign exchange program, attracting students from across the globe.

API Audio

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Posted by Julie Clark on 07/03 at 10:27 AM
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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Soundcraft Launches Online “How To” Video Series

Offers practical instruction on how to get the most Si Series consoles in diverse applications

Harman’s Soundcraft is offering a “How To” instructional video series at its website. (View them here.) The videos focus on the Si Series of digital consoles and include a variety of topics from basic operation to advanced tips and tricks.

The “How To” video series offers practical instruction on how to get the most from a Soundcraft Si console in live sound, recording and fixed-installation applications.

“The video series offers real-world information and depth of subject matter for a broad spectrum of users, whether they’ve never had their hands on a Soundcraft console before and need to get up and running quickly or have mixed hundreds of shows and want to dig deeply into a console’s feature set,” states Keith Watson, marketing director, Soundcraft Studer.

Alongside the “How To” videos, there is a video vault covering every Soundcraft console range including the Vi Series, Si Expression, Si Performer and analogue consoles. A wide variety of topics is offered, from basic operation and configuration, gain structure, channel assignment and using EQ and effects to Soundcraft-specific features like the Vistonics II color touchscreen interface and FaderGlow illuminated, color-coded faders.

“At Soundcraft we’re dedicated to providing our users with the educational tools they need to get the most out of their consoles,” Watson adds. “We’d like to think our video series is the next best thing to having a front of house engineer standing next to you behind the console.”

Again, view the videos here.

Soundcraft
Harman Professional

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/02 at 06:02 PM
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Avid Enhances Artist Suite Control Surfaces For More Efficient Workflows

Pro Tools | S6 and System 5 upgrades drive efficiency and speed improvements

Avid has announced updates to its professional mixing solutions that form a key part of the Avid Artist Suite of creative tools for audio, video and live sound production. The new versions of Pro Tools | S6 and System 5 deliver streamlined workflows, driving efficiency and speeding improvements.

As part of the Avid Artist Suite, Pro Tools | S6 and System 5 are run on the Avid MediaCentral Platform, a common services foundation for helping content creators and media organizations connect with their audiences in more efficient, collaborative and profitable ways.

Pro Tools | S6 software version 1.2 upgrades:

—VCA Spill: The ability to spill VCA slaves onto the surface from a VCA master to access and update as necessary.

—Multi-Workstation Layouts. The ability to map channels onto the surface from any of EUCON-connected DAW side by side. Users can program and recall 96 layouts from the master touch screen.

—Expand Mode: The ability to expand a plug-in and its parameters across a single or double knob module, providing either 32 or 64 knobs to access all of the controls at once.

Note: * Some features currently require Pro Tools and/or an S6 M40 system with Display Modules. Go here for more information.

—Audio Editing From An S6 Channelstrip: The user can fade in or out a clip, trim the head or tail, slip or nudge it in time, adjust its clip gain and more.

—Vary The Scrolling Waveform Speed: A new preference has been added to vary the speed from 1 second up to 60 seconds

—Gain Reduction Enhancements: High-resolution gain reduction meters are now on both the channel display modules and the master module home page. There are also GR meters on the fader module between the two level meters and new dynamics graph with bouncing ball level indication.

—Integrated DVI Switcher Control: The ability to switch multiple workstation screens to one TFT has been added via the serial control of either a Gefen or Guntermann & Drunck switcher

—Automation LED Indicators: Included on knob modules

—Soft Key Editor: Allows users to customize the four banks of soft keys.

The System 5 version 6.0 software update provides full support for and integration with Dolby Atmos. It includes support for:

—9.1 panning of “bed” channels

—Integrated monitor control of the Dolby Rendering and Mastering Unit (RMU)

—Object metadata panning either direct from the console or through plug-in control

—Direct Atmos plug-in control in Pro Tools from System 5.

—Deeper integration with EUCON control including VCA Spill, automation control and more

Pro Tools | S6 version 1.2 and System 5 version 6 software are now shipping (July 2, 2014), available from Avid retailers worldwide. 

Avid

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/02 at 02:46 PM
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In The Studio: My Top 10 Most Used Plug-Ins

This article is provided by Bobby Owsinski.

 
It seems like a lot of you enjoy reading what kind of gear I like to use, as evidenced by the views for my top 10 mics, mic preamps, EQs and compressors. I’m going to continue the series with “My Top 10 Most Used Plug-Ins.”

Keep in mind that I use a lot of other plugs by other manufacturers, but these are the ones that I find are used somewhere on almost every mix that I do. Also, I’m a Pro Tools user, so some plugs are PT-centric.

1. Pro Tools 7 Band EQ: I love this plugin because it sounds pretty good, doesn’t eat up any system resources, and has hi- and low-pass filters. Sometimes I’ll just use it for the filters only (like on effects), but I always find a lot of these sprinkled across a mix in many other places.

2. Universal Audio 1176LN: My go-to compressor in most cases. UA has a lot of different variations in their Classic Limiter bundle, but this is the one that works best for me. I find it can just about work on anything if you adjust the attack and release times, but I’ll almost always use it on bass for sure, toms, and probably vocals (although the UA LA-2A works great there as well).

3. PSP Vintage Warmer: Everything I use this on just sounds better, especially the mix bus. I rarely use much of it, but it makes a big difference on the glue of a final mix.

4. Lexicon PCM Native Hall: I love all the Lexicon reverbs, but I find I use the PCM Hall almost all the time, mostly for things that need depth like strings and pads. The Lexicon PCM Plate is a close second, but the Pro Tools D-Verb can be surprisingly good in many places as well.

5. Universal Audio Teletronix LA-3A: Back in the hardware days I always used these on electric or acoustic guitars, since I’ve never found anything better on those instruments. It’s no different with the plug-in. It’s also good on keys.

6. Soundtoys MicroShift: I looked around for a long time for a plug-in with that old Harmonizer sound. The MicroShift is the first plug that I found that really does it (although you can also now get the same sound from the Eventide Ultrachannel). It’s dead easy to use and provides that extra presence or smoothing like nothing else.

7. Universal Audio Precision Limiter: There are other great limiters (like the Waves L series and the Slate Digital FG-X), but this is my favorite for the stereo buss to just take care of those nasty peaks that result in overs. I don’t use much of it (a dB or 2), and it’s very transparent already, so you don’t hear it while it does the job.

8. TT Dynamic Range Meter: This is an excellent plug-in that tells you when you’re squashing the mix too much. It provides precision output metering, plus that great dynamic range meter, and its FREE. Let’s keep the hypercompression out of music. Use this meter.

9. Pro Tools Long Delay: There are other great delay plugs (Soundtoys Echoboy and the PSP 42 and 85 come to mind), but this is the one I reach for all the time. It’s not as versatile as many plug-ins, but it’s fast to set up, and once again, takes up virtually no system resources (which can be important on a large mix). I alter it with a previously mentioned PT 7 Band EQ ahead of it to get the sound I need and keep it out of the way of the vocal.

10. Sample Magic Magic AB: This is one of my new favorites. It provides an instant AB against any audio file. You can load up to nine sources to AB against, and easily match the level between them all for a tight comparison. Plus you can even loop a section if you want. It’s great for making sure your mix is really in the ballpark.

Like I said before, there are a lot of other great plug-ins that I use by a variety of companies, and there are many that I haven’t tried yet, but these are the ones that I use on every single mix that I do.

Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. Get The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook here.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/02 at 01:53 PM
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IsoAcoustics Ships Custom-Configurable Modular Acoustic Isolation Stands For Guitar/Bass Amps

Flexible way to enhance the sound clarity and performance of amplifiers via proprietary "floating design.

IsoAcoustics announces the availability of a new line of aluminum Modular Acoustic Isolation Stands that can be custom-configured for guitar and bass amplifiers and loudspeaker situations, including studios, rehearsal venues, performance stages, nightclubs, theatres, concert halls and many other applications.

The new modular stands provide a flexible way to enhance the sound clarity and performance of amplifiers via a proprietary “floating design.” They have an all-aluminum construction that can be built to any size matrix configuration, incorporating any number of isolators required to meet the needs of the particular application at hand. 

The IsoAcoustics Design Calculator allows the user to enter the specific amp or loudspeaker model (or other input parameters) in order to be able to create a custom configuration that accounts for size, weight and intended use. Stands can be configured to any size for any application from 8 x 8 inches and larger, and can also address the specific requirements of weight capacities, which may exceed 200 psf.

Custom orders for the IsoAcoustics Modular Stand System can be processed by local retailers, and the stands are also available at retail in standard common sizes to complement popular brands of larger monitors, subwoofers and guitar/bass amplifiers.

“IsoAcoustics is very pleased to be able to offer musicians a custom isolation solution for their instrument amplifiers and speakers,” says Dave Morrison, CEO of IsoAcoustics. “This is the first custom solution of its kind geared toward the musician, which is both very affordable and extremely effective.”

IsoAcoustics

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/02 at 01:01 PM
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Platinum Mix Engineer Eric Racy Depends On Metric Halo

Mix engineer uses Metric Halo plug-ins on most channels of this mix in the studio or on the road.

Eric Racy made his entrance into the world of high-profile mixing and producing via the underground world of dance music, a pivot that allowed him to leverage skills and perspective honed by the diverse tones and influences of EDM. He has gone on to mix Robin Thicke, Lil’ Wayne, Pharrell, and Busta Rhymes, along with dozens of other big name artists, and a host of indie and underground artists that deserve to have “big” names.

Most recently he is working with Katy Perry – in the studio and on the road – where his faithful reliance on Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip plug-in, which has been present on most channels on every song he has mixed since discovering it four years ago, speaks to Channelstrip’s unique musicality and usability.

“ChannelStrip is incredible,” Racy stated flatly. “Although I go out of the box for EQ sweetening on a few critical channels, everything else that needs equalization gets Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip. In fact, those critical channels often get ChannelStrip, too.”

Racy has an established methodology in which ChannelStrip plays a key role. When he first opens up a new mix, he combs through each channel, carefully listening for unpleasant resonances and low or high frequency content that can be filtered out. He uses ChannelStrip to then notch out the resonances and filter the unnecessary extremes.

“I’ve tried this with a million plug-ins and outboard EQs,” he said, “but nothing is as effective as Metric Halo ChannelStrip. It doesn’t mangle the audio around the notch or filter, and it doesn’t make it sound like there’s a hole in the frequency range. It gets rid of the annoying frequencies and content, and it does it transparently.”

For vocals, Racy often automates the notch frequency to keep the resonance from peeking out when the vocalist changes his or her mouth shape.

“The results are well worth the effort,” he said. “Nothing else I’ve found can compare with this technique.”

Similarly, Racy claims to obtain results with the keyed gate on ChannelStrip that he cannot get with any other plug-in or hardware.

“I love that I can adjust the key on the gate and that those adjustments are so effective,” he said. “I’ve been working on a forthcoming Killbot album, which involves members of Korn, Sluggo, and Tyler Blue making some aggressive rock meets dubstep.

“As with any live recording, there’s tons of bleed on the live drums (especially the snare and toms), and – as almost always happens with drum kits – any drum or cymbal can accidently trigger any other drum’s gate. It’s a mess that often required hand-editing in the past; no other gate could get it right.

“But with Metric Halo ChannelStrip, I can effectively key each drum’s gate so that it only opens for its intended target. I know that other gates have that same functionality, but none of them work nearly as well as ChannelStrip.”

Racy has all of the software and hardware tools he could want in his LA-based studio, but he knew he wouldn’t have access to that gear if he took the job building the audio tracks and doing Pro Tools playback on the Katy Perry “Prismatic World Tour.”

“I’m a mix engineer first and foremost, and I certainly didn’t want to give that up on the road,” he said. “Metric Halo plug-ins formed one of the essential components of my mobile rig; ChannelStrip of course, but also Metric Halo’s Character plug-in. Given everything they can do, the Metric Halo plug-ins are very efficient and wouldn’t drain DSP resources on my native rig.”

He continued, “The Character plug-in is great. It models different kinds of analog signal paths, and just like real high-end studio hardware, the effect is critical, but also subtle. Placing different Character settings on a few different channels really adds up to something. It was especially useful to have on the road when I didn’t have access to my outboard gear, but I’ve continued to find plenty of uses for it now that I’m back in my studio.”

Racy looks forward to dipping into the rest of Metric Halo’s Production Bundle of plug-ins as time in his busy schedule permits.

Metric Halo Labs

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Posted by Julie Clark on 07/02 at 07:40 AM
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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Audient Bolsters Tech Support

Harry Lewis joins Audient's support team.

British manufacturer Audient invests in after-sales support with the appointment of new technical staff member Harry Lewis.

Since his arrival at Audient, Lewis has worked to upgrade and simplify the online technical help desk, populating it with factsheets and answers to frequently asked questions.

In addition, Audient has upgraded the online support page with an attractive new design which makes it easier to navigate to the subject in question. Navigation can be done by product or using a simple search function. In an effort to provide the best customer experience possible, the online support page continues to grow with ongoing updates to a knowledge base full of useful hints, trouble-shooting guides and FAQs.

Many of the factsheets are illustrated by handwritten notes and easy-to-understand drawings, to help decipher some of the more complicated audio explanations such as clocking and harmonic distortion.

If you have a question that you can’t find the answer to, you can submit a request on the tech page, email directly or call Audient during office hours.

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Posted by Julie Clark on 07/01 at 02:48 PM
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