Monday, July 29, 2013
Muse Research Teams Up With PreSonus To Bundle AudioBox With Plugin Players
Muse Research and PreSonus have teamed up to offer the AudioBox 1818VSL with Receptor TRIO and QUATTRO plug-in players.
Muse Research & Development, Inc., and PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc., announced that the PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL audio interface is now included, standard, with Muse Research’s new Receptor TRIO and Receptor QU4TTRO hardware-based plug-in players, giving musicians up to 18 high-quality audio inputs and outputs.
In addition, Muse Research now offers the PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL interface as an added-cost option for its award-winning Receptor VIP plug-in player, giving the VIP multi-channel input and output capabilities.
The Receptor TRIO and QU4TTRO are now shipping, as is the software update that allows the Receptor VIP to utilize the AudioBox 1818VSL interface.
“We’re thrilled to be working with PreSonus,” comments Muse Research VP of Marketing Bryan Lanser. “We’ve always admired their products, and the capabilities offered by bundling with AudioBox 1818VSL with our Receptor TRIO and Receptor QU4TTRO will open up a lot of doors for musicians by providing them with multiple inputs and outputs in a straightforward, highly integrated manner.”
“The AudioBox 1818VSL is designed for professionals and serious hobbyists, and Receptors have long been the choice of top pros,” adds PreSonus CEO Jim Mack. “The combination of the two product lines seems like an obvious way to better serve advanced users.”
Muse Research has tightly integrated the AudioBox 1818VSL’s I/O functionality into Receptor’s new rack-style graphical user interface. All of the AudioBox 1818VSL inputs and outputs are labeled exactly as they show up on the interface, minimizing confusion and improving workflow.
In addition, all of the default audio assignments in the Receptor graphical user-interface are reflected in the AudioBox 1818VSL hardware, allowing a user to easily transition from the built-in audio to the PreSonus audio interface. The result is that the Receptor acts as if it was designed for the AudioBox 1818VSL and vice-versa, letting you get on with the task of making music instead of fussing over your I/O.
The Receptor VIP, TRIO, and QU4TTRO are the ideal solutions for touring musicians that need to send multiple outputs to a sound-reinforcement system, either as balanced analog or multichannel digital audio signals. With eight channels of analog input and outputs, eight channels of ADAT optical digital input and output, and S/PDIF stereo I/O, the Receptor coupled with an AudioBox 1818VSL can adapt to any performance or recording situation you are likely to encounter.
Once the AudioBox 1818VSL is configured with input and output assignments, you can save and recall each configuration as presets inside the Receptor. Even better, the AudioBox 1818VSL works seamlessly with Receptor’s exclusive Live Mode, so you can organize your preset configurations as a virtual set list and then instantly change the sounds, effects, mix levels, and I/O routings as required for each song in the set.
The Receptor lets you change the presets via the front-panel interface, via MIDI program changes, with an external footswitch, and even wirelessly, using a mobile device such as an iPad® or iPhone®! The combination of the Receptor and the AudioBox 1818VSL interface is a live performer’s dream come true.
Even more interesting is the versatility that the combination of an AudioBox 1818VSL and a Receptor brings to a performing or recording musician. By offering a wide variety of inputs and outputs and a complete array of virtual instrument and effects plug-ins preloaded into each Receptor, it is possible to use the Receptor and the AudioBox 1818VSL as the central hub of your keyboard rig or your entire band.
Multiple inputs let you process incoming signals like guitars, basses, vocals, drums, and your keyboards through effects channels, while generating sounds with software synth plug-ins, and then blend everything into a stereo mix to be sent to the PA system.
Muse Research & Development
Posted by Julie Clark on 07/29 at 01:31 PM
Friday, July 26, 2013
Maidstone Studios Upgrades Studio 2 With Studer Vista 5 Console
Maidstone studios installs Studer Vista 5 digital audio console.
Maidstone Studios, the UK’s largest independent TV facility, recently completed an HD-upgrade to its Studio 2, which included the installation of a Harman Studer Vista 5 digital audio console.
An essential part of the upgrade to HD was the audio system. With a tight timescale of just under three weeks to refurbish the studios, which including a large amount of HD cabling and gallery monitoring, a seamless transition in operations was paramount.
“With a Studer Vista 8 already installed for some years in Studio 1, it made sense to provide commonality of operation across studios so the Vista 5 was a logical choice,” said Rowland Kinch, CEO of Maidstone Studios. ”We’ve been very happy with Studer and the support they give us.
“We love the Vista’s instant snapshot functions and it’s a great live production platform for us. The consoles also share common hardware and cards, so support is made much easier for us.”
Kinch also praises the new VistaMix automatic microphone mixing software update for the Vista console, which has made a huge difference for the sound teams on unscripted panel and game shows such as Victory TV’s “Draw It” and ITV’s ”Take Me Out.”
“The Sound Supervisors love having this inbuilt facility at their fingertips, and think it’s fantastic!”
Kinch concluded, “Having the Vista consoles has really enhanced our opportunities and abilities to win program productions from major broadcast organisations who are familiar with the Studer platforms.”
Posted by Julie Clark on 07/26 at 10:34 AM
Thursday, July 25, 2013
The Studio Curmudgeon: A Short Primer On Miking & Recording Drums
Ask 10 recording engineers about recording drums and you’re likely to get at least 20 opinions. Few instruments combine subtle nuance and brute force the way a good drummer can, and capturing that sound has been the subject of hundreds of articles and thousands of conversations.
So many different aspects affect the sound of a drum mix — not the least of which is the drummer him/herself. No two drummers sound the same, even on the same kit. Different skins and different shells, the type of sticks and kick drum beater are just a few factors that influence the sound.
Then there’s the room itself, the number, type and placement of the mics, the humidity, altitude, air pressure, and so much more. Where to even begin…?
Start At The Source
So let’s start with a basic premise: to get a good recording of an acoustic instrument — any acoustic instrument — it has to sound good at the source. As obvious as that sounds, it’s amazing how many bands load in and set up in the studio as if they’re setting up for a live gig, blissfully overlooking the fact that the din of the room and the crowd noise won’t be there to mask a squeaky kick drum pedal or flabby, untuned toms.
So start by standing in the room and listening. Walk around and listen to the sound of the drums from various angles and distances. If the drums don’t sound good to begin with, there’s no fixing it in the mix. (Sure, you can use drum replacement plug-ins to make it sound like whatever you want.
But let’s agree to the premise that it’s better to start with something good than to massage the mediocre.) Tune each drum in pitch with the music. Tighten rattling hardware, lube squeaky pedals and replace dead-sounding heads.
Listen to the room as well. If you’re recording in a home, garage, or other non-studio environment, you’ll probably need to work with the space a bit. Most rooms in a house have parallel walls, floors, and ceilings, which tend to attenuate some frequencies and accentuate others.
Experiment with placement of the drums in the room until you find a position that generates minimal resonance. Use rugs, bookshelves, and furniture to deaden the space and break up reflections.
Mics: How Many & Where?
Once the kit sounds good in the room, you can start to put some mics on it. How many you use depends on what you want. Many of rock’s classic tracks have been cut with just two mics on the drums, but assuming you’ve got the luxury of multi-tracking, individual mics on different drums will give you far more control over the mix.
Most engineers will typically use two mics on the kick and two on the snare. Mic each tom individually (don’t worry about leakage — accept it as inevitable), plus one on the hi-hat, a pair of overheads and a pair or two of ambient mics. That’s upwards of 12 or 13 tracks, but it’s worth it. The flexibility of being able to bring in just a little of the ambient mics, or play with two different sounds on the kick, opens a world of options later on.
Location, Location, Location
Don’t be afraid to experiment with placement or with different mics. Moving or tilting the mic even slightly can dramatically influence the sound you’re hearing.
Start with the mic pointed at the center of the drum head, aimed at where the drummer should be hitting the skin. If you find you’re getting too much of the impact and not enough tonality, try aiming the mic down slightly to just in front of where the stick hits.
One of the hazards of using a whole bunch of mics so close to each other is the risk of phase cancellation between two of them. The most common issues tend to be between top and bottom snare mics, snare and hi-hat mics, or two kick drum mics.
Look for phase issues by soloing both mics and changing the phase of one. If the sound gets noticeably thinner, the mics are out of phase. Repeat this with other pairs.
Tracking it Down
In setting up your drum tracks for recording, it’s a good idea to start thinking of them in stereo right from the start. Place kick and snare in the center, and pan the rest of the kit as if you’re sitting in the drummer’s seat: toms panned left-center-right, cymbals right-left and hi-hat slightly to the right.
Keeping your recorded tracks clean and unprocessed will mean more possibilities when it’s time to mix. One of the most frustrating things for a mix engineer is trying to work with drum tracks that have already been compressed, EQ’d or otherwise messed with. Even if you feel you’ve got the ideal sound on your drums, it can’t hurt to record another set of tracks that’s dry with no effects at the same time.
That said, many engineers are fond of adding a tiny bit of compression to their recorded drum tracks. More than just gain reduction, the right compressor can modify the tone of your drums in ways that EQ and other effects can’t.
Although every compressor has its own sound, some are ideally suited for drums. The availability of many classic compressors in plug-in format has opened a world of possibilities for even the most budget-conscious recordists. The Urei 1176 Limiter is a favorite of many engineers, as is the LA2A and the dbx 160.
Again, the goal is to avoid a heavily compressed sound, so gain reduction is set to minimal. Start with a subtle ratio of 3:1 or 5:1, with a relatively fast attack (5-12 msec). Experiment with the threshold and release settings to find that sweet spot where the kick punches through.
For tracking drums, I try to avoid using EQ in favor of delivering the full tonal range to the mixdown phase. Again, it’s about having the most options for the mix. But EQ can sometimes be used surgically. A precise parametric EQ can be great for rolling off a stubborn resonance on a tom, for example.
Breaking Down the Kit
Here are a few tips on individual drums, just to get you started. These are certainly not rules, and there’s not enough space here to do more than scratch the surface. Have fun and experiment.
To make the whole kit more manageable, try placing a heavy blanket inside the kick. This dampens the kick’s impact on the snare and toms, cutting down on rattles and resonance.
Do you want to hear more “boom” or more attack? A mic placed inside the kick, about 2-4” away from the beater, will emphasize the attack; moving the mic further away or even outside the drum will bring out more of a boomy sound.
I’m a big fan of using two mics on the kick, and recording both tracks separately. I’ll typically use a condenser like a Shure SM91 or Sennheiser e912 inside the drum to pick up the “click” of the beater, and a larger dynamic like an AKG D12 or D112, EV RE80, or Shure Beta 52 outside the drum.
Another trick is to use another blanket to build a “tent” around the kick – try sticking a second kick in front of the first and building a tunnel for some serious boom.
Mic position is even more critical with snare drums. Pulling the mic back an inch or two can significantly change the sound, generally giving less attack and more ambience.
I typically use two mics on the snare. A mic on the bottom give you control over how much snare “crack” is in the overall sound. Point the bottom mic directly at the snare wires, mixing in just a bit of that track sparingly. You can also try rolling off some bottom end to minimize the sound of the bottom head.
As to mic choices, The SM57 is arguably the most popular snare mic, but other choices include the Sennheiser MD421 and AKG414. I’m a fan of using an SM57 on top and a Sennheiser MD441 below.
One of the most common challenges with toms is resonance. Toms typically have a longer decay than a snare, and the drum’s resonant tone can create a ringing that can be unpleasant at best.
Sometimes a strip or two of gaffer’s tape can deaden the ring just enough to make a difference.
Good mic choices for toms include the Sennheiser MD421 and Neumann U87. Getting boom stands in place to mic toms can also be a challenge.
Small clip-on condensers like the Shure SM98 or AKG C519 can make it easier to get into tight places, and do a good job of getting a full and powerful tom sound.
Certainly they’re a bit more fragile than dynamic mics, but most of the time they’re small enough to be positioned out of harm’s way.
Overhead mics can also be tricky. They provide ambience for the whole kit, so it’s important to get them high enough so they pick up plenty of “air” along with the cymbals.
Generally they should sit at about 45 degrees left and right of the drummer’s dead center. Experiment with aiming them – you’ll notice a difference when the mics are pointed at the bell of the cymbals (more full and sweet) versus their edges (often brash and harsh).
Most people favor small diaphragm condensers for overheads. Common choices include the AKG 451 or 452, Shure SM81, Sennheiser e914 and AT 4021. Stereo mics like the Shure VP88 work well too.
And I’ve been on some sessions where the cymbals were miked individually from underneath, using small condensers on goosenecks. It’s great for separation, and for avoiding the sound of the cymbals’ edges, but you’ll lose the ambience of overheads.
Hi-hats are a signature sound for many drummers, and are usually given their own mic (typically a small diaphragm condenser) and track. I like to position the mic between snare and hat, pointed mic at the place where the drummer’s stick hits. Be careful not to place the mic so it picks up wind from the hats closing.
If you’ve got the luxury of a large space, ambient mics can be placed several feet away to add some natural room sound. Even in a smaller room, placing ambients high in corners or even in another room can add just the right touch of natural sound. I like to place a distant stereo pair at about 45 degrees left and right, and a third mono mic behind a gobo to catch reflected sound.
Heavy compression with a good limiter like a Fairchild 670 works nicely on ambient mics. Ambient mics can also be gated, so they only open when a certain level is reached. A great trick here is to gate them so they stay closed for the kick but open for the snare. The result is a nice tight kick with a more open sounding snare.
Daniel Keller is a musician, engineer and producer. Since 2002 he has been president and CEO of Get It In Writing, a public relations and marketing firm focused on audio and multimedia professionals and their toys. Despite being immersed in professional audio his entire adult life, he still refuses to grow up.
Posted by Keith Clark on 07/25 at 09:06 AM
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
FOH Engineer Ryan Pickett Chooses sE Mics And Reflexion Filters For My Morning Jacket
Ryan Pickett is currently using sE Electronics Voodoo VR1 passive ribbon microphones and patented sE Instrument Reflexion Filter 2’s (IRF2’s).
Ryan Pickett, FOH and live performance archive recording engineer for the band My Morning Jacket, is currently using sE Electronics Voodoo VR1 passive ribbon microphones and patented sE Instrument Reflexion Filter 2’s (IRF2’s) on the band’s summer AmericanaramA Festival of Music tour with Bob Dylan and other guest artists.
Pickett, who has been working with the band for eleven years, has also been relying on sE Mics and Reflexion Filters, mixing and recording the band’s front man Jim James on his first solo project,
Pickett reports that when touring with My Morning Jacket he uses a pair of VR1 ribbon mics as a Blumlein pair—at a 90-degree angle with the capsules coincident—as drum overheads. He has also used VR1s on the guitar amps used by James and Carl Broemel.
The VR1 microphone, a passive version of sE’s VR2 active ribbon mic, achieves a 20 Hz—20 kHz frequency response through the use of a new patent pending mechanical device designed by Siwei Zou, sE Electronics’ founder.
“I chose the VR1 mic for its size and price point,” reports Pickett. “I love the added air at the top end of the VR1; it delivers more high-end than traditional ribbons. The drum sounds have become very open and natural, and cymbals no longer hurt. I also find myself using less EQ on the overhead channel strip,” he says. “And the VR1s are also low profile enough to allow me to get the right proximity without blocking the audience or drummer’s sight lines.”
Ryan continues, “The sE Microphones are very robust. That’s what really sets them apart from other ribbons. I’ve had other ribbon mics that were too delicate to take on the road, but I’ve had no problems with the VR1s. I really like the idea of being able to use studio mics in the live realm without having to worry about ribbon failure.”
Pickett is also using several sE IRF2 Instrument Reflexion Filters on tour in order to control bleed between instruments on-stage, customizing the hardware on the filter screens so that they can be used with z-bars on the backline cabinets.
“The IRF2s reduce spillover for the recording as well as for front of house and monitors,” he says. “I put them on the guitar amps. The keyboardist plays a lot of Fender Rhodes [piano] through a Fender Twin, so I put one on his amp, as there’s also a wedge blowing back into it. There’s another on the bass amp, because it’s usually pretty close to the drummer’s ride cymbal.”
My Morning Jacket first got the idea to use filters while performing a few dates with Tom Petty on which his FOH engineer, Robert Scovill, was using them. “The band took notice of this, and asked me, ‘Can we get those?” says Pickett. “ So we got in touch with Fingerprint Audio, the sE Electronics distributor for North America and we’ve been getting great support from them ever since.”
The value of the IFR2 was demonstrated on a show during one of James’ solo dates earlier this year, says Pickett.
“We got to the end of the tour and a z-bar had snapped. I didn’t have time to reassemble it for the show and basically put an M 88 mic on the cabinet. That’s when the monitor engineer and I both went, ‘Wow!’ The bass player is on ears, and her dynamics were completely different without that filter. Without the filter, her gain structure went way up, and didn’t sound as good. So that was a great testament to the filter.”
Pickett has also used the VR1s live for guitars on James and Broemel throughout the 2011 world tour, as well as on the band’s iTunes Session EP. “Recently I was rough-mixing a track by My Morning Jacket from the Paradiso in Amsterdam,” he says. “And I was blown away by the nuance and girth coming from the VR1s on the guitar amps!”
Pickett has also used sE Voodoo VR1 ribbons in the recording studio. On one recent project that he recorded at his studio, he used a pair of VR1s in a three-mic arrangement inspired by legendary engineer Glyn Johns.
“We used two VR1s placed equal distance from the snare, with one six inches from the floor tom and another overhead, 13 inches from the snare, with a Beyer M 88 on the beater side of the kick. The result sounded very round, warm and 3D. The size and sound were perfectly suited for that particular jazz application.”
Posted by Julie Clark on 07/24 at 06:39 PM
In The Studio: Six Tips For Great Electric Guitars Without Amps
Making it work with direct guitar recording
With direct guitar recording into virtual amps you can now rock out through the guitar chain of your dreams in the comfort of your home studio and without the neighbors calling the cops.
In this article I’ve outlined a few tips and best practices for getting great guitar tones without amps or mics.
—Go Direct: “Going direct” means connecting your guitar into your recording interface by means of the high impedance (Hi-Z) instrument input if available or through a DI box (direct injection box). A direct box converts the hi-impedance signal from the guitar to low-impedance, mic level signal to connect to any preamp.
Great results can be had with either though the best results come from the best signal chain including quality cables and DI box. The Radial JDI and J48 are professional studio standards and are actually quite affordable.
—Avoid hum and buzz: LCD and LED monitors (computer screens) are now the norm and while they don’t emit as much noise as CRT monitors some noise can still be picked up by your guitar pickups. Computer fans, cell phones and even a wrist watch can be sources of unwanted noise in your guitar tone.
To reduce and avoid the noise sometimes you just need to move around the room a little and the noise will be gone. Additional noise suppression is best done with a noise gate plugin in your DAW.
—A virtual guitar rig: The quality and quantity of virtual guitar amps has increased dramatically over the past few years to the point where you may not even want a real amp anymore. Amplitube 3, Guitar Rig 4, and POD Farm 2 (to name just a few) are all top notch virtual guitar processing systems.
They’ve really raised the bar in sound quality. The flexibility and ability to select from hundreds of pedal, amp, cabinet and mic combinations at will makes them invaluable tone shaping tools for guitar, bass and beyond.
—Latency: With guitar recording, the lower the latency the better. 128 samples is good, but 64 samples or lower is ideal. Latency affects the way you play and you want the immediacy that plugging into a real amp has.
You’ll need a good firewire interface to achieve this kind of stable low latency.
—Timing and tuning: As always, timing of the performance and tuning of the instrument are so important. Most of the major virtual amp packages have a tuner option, check the tuning often! With a DAW you can actually see and hear how far off your timing is.
Record each section of the song multiple times, choose the best or best bits of each performance and edit a composite that’s in time and in tune.
—Filtering out the bad stuff: Virtual amps don’t sound 100 percent real but they’re getting closer all the time. Where the current virtual amp systems fall short is in the cabinet and microphone options. I always use an EQ after the amp plugin to get rid of the harshness and fizz that can make an amp sound fake.
If you boost with a sharp Q between 3 kHz and 12 kHz you can usually find 2-3 really nasty areas. Isolate the frequency and cut it out by a few dB.
Here’s how that sounds: No EQ (mp3) | Fizz Cut (mp3)
These are just a few tips to get you started with direct guitar recording.
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.
Radial Introduces ProMS2 Single Channel Mic splitter
The Radial ProMS2 - a single channel mic splitter designed for PA, recording and broadcast applications.
Radial Engineering Ltd. is pleased to introduce the Radial ProMS2 - a single channel mic splitter designed for PA, recording and broadcast applications.
“Radial has been building custom mic splitters and snakes for over 20 years,” explains Radial Production Manager Steve Hopia. “More recently, the Radial OX8 has gained notoriety as the mic splitter of choice with artists as diverse as Rush and U2 when recording live performances.
“We felt that it was time that we made a single channel version of the OX8 that could be used for general PA applications and installations where high performance is needed at a more affordable price point. The ProMS2 delivers in spades!”
The Radial ProMS2 is completely passive and 100% discrete to ensure optimal signal flow. The engine inside is an Eclipse ET-MS10 transformer that is exceptionally linear from 20Hz to 20kHz while exhibiting less than 0.01% distortion at 20Hz. The Eclipse transformer is equipped with a mu-metal can that shields the sensitive circuit from outside electro-magnetic fields to ensure the signal is delivered without artifact.
Features include microphone input with -30dB pad to enable extra high level sources to be used without fear of saturating the transformer. There are three outputs: The first is a direct-coupled output that is normally connected to the main FOH PA system mixer and provides a return path for 48 volt phantom should a condenser mic or active DI box be in use.
The second is a transformer isolated output that is particularly adept at eliminating the hum and buzz caused by ground loops. The third is a direct output with a ground lift switch. This auxiliary output can be used to feed the stage monitors, recording system or remote broadcast truck.
The ProMS2 is made in Canada using heavy duty 14 gauge steel and features an internal I-beam frame that is virtually impossible to torque. This ensures outside stress will not cause premature failure of the solder points that connect to the various components, connectors and switches.
A unique book-end design creates protective zones around the connectors and switches to further prevent mishap on busy stages. The outer shell may be removed to mount inside the J-Clamp to attach the ProMS2 to a podium or several may be ganged together and mounted in the J-Rak for multi-channel installations.
The ProMS2 is now shipping and retails for $140 USD, $150 CAD
50th AES International Conference Dedicated To Audio Education
50th AES International Conference Dedicated To Audio Education will be held July 25-27, 2013, at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The Audio Engineering Society (AES) is holding its 50th International Conference, dedicated specifically to audio education, July 25-27, 2013, at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The three-day conference will focus on teaching methods, instructional resources, learning outcomes, technical operations, industry relations and related topics that impact the theoretical and practical aspects of professional audio education. The conference will bring together leading educators and professional audio industry representatives to exchange ideas and knowledge that will contribute to improving quality and effectiveness for students and faculty alike.
The event will also for the first time include a significant focus on live sound as a component of a pro audio education curriculum, a fact underscored by the event’s keynote address delivered by Bob McCarthy, Director of System Optimization at Meyer Sound.
In recent decades, audio education has expanded significantly worldwide, with many colleges and universities, career institutes, high schools and manufacturers now offering a wide range of courses and training in professional audio. There are practical questions that administrators and faculty face managing audio as a discipline within educational institutions.
For example, what skill sets should students develop and what career options can they pursue? What are the practical and financial implications of acquiring, installing and maintaining necessary equipment and infrastructure? How does the popularity of distance learning affect audio education? What role can audio education play in local artistic and economic initiatives and community development?
More than 120 educators and industry representatives from around the world will address these and other questions through a focused series of presentations, papers, workshops, case studies and discussions. The conference results will include a collection of over 30 formal papers, historical documents, survey instruments and potential recommendations for educational resource management and development.
In addition, eight workshops and tutorials will focus on topics including pedagogy, curriculum design and instructional resources; internships, employment and career counseling; partnerships with industry and professional organizations, learning outcomes and academic standards, accreditation and program administration. Full program details are posted here.
“AES members who are in academia and industry share a similar passion for strengthening the range and quality of educational resources associated with audio engineering,” states Bill Crabtree, Conference Co-Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Recording Industry at MTSU. “We expect that this conference will have a lasting and positive effect on pro audio education programs at all types of schools going forward.”
Audio Engineering Society (AES)
Audio-Technica Supports Nashville High School’s New Recording Program
Audio-Technica is proud to lend key support to Nashville’s Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School as it rolls out its new recording technology program and world-class recording studio.
Audio-Technica is proud to lend key support to Nashville’s Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School (the only entertainment magnet high school in the country) as it rolls out its new recording technology program and world-class recording studio. The high school is the result of Nashville Metro Schools’ “Music Makes Us” initiative.
The studio was designed and assembled by leading members of The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, and is part of the first-ever student-run record label in a high school.
The studio, which will serve the school’s Academy of Entertainment Management and Academy of Entertainment Communication divisions, is a multi-room facility with a large control room that will allow several students and teachers to work comfortably using the recording equipment, synthesizers, digital samplers and drum machines.
The studio also features a sizable tracking room where the Audio-Technica microphones will be employed as students capture recordings of live musicians. The facility also features several isolation booths and two 5.1 surround sound editing suites. In addition, the studio houses a multi-station teaching area with 30 Apple iMac-equipped workstations connected to the teacher’s station and the studio.
A-T equipment in the studio includes two ATM650 Hypercardioid Dynamic Microphones; an ATM450 Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone; three ATM25/LE Limited edition Hypercardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphones; two AT4081Bidirectional Ribbon Microphones; two AT4033/CL Side address Cardioid Condenser Microphones; an AT4047/SV Side address Cardioid Condenser Microphone; an AT4050 Multi-pattern Condenser Microphone; two AT4051b Cardioid Condenser Microphones; an AT4050ST Stereo Condenser Microphone; and five sets of ATH-M50s straight-cable Studio Monitor Headphones.
Multiple GRAMMY Award nominee Jeff Balding, P&E Wing Pearl-Cohn Subcommittee Chair, stated, “We thank Audio-Technica and all of our key sponsors. They provided an integral piece of this puzzle, and they have made a tremendous impact on this groundbreaking program.
“I can’t help but think of what a gift it will be for these students to be working with such state-of-the-art gear as Audio-Technica microphones and headphones. This is an unprecedented opportunity for the present and future of music, and we are proud to have Audio-Technica involved.”
Fellow subcommittee member Chuck Ainlay, who also acts as the Chair of the P&E Wing in Nashville, added, “I have personally been a long-time user of Audio-Technica microphones and headphones, and it’s great that the students at Pearl-Cohn will have the opportunity to use the same microphones that the pros use in the studio.
“With the support of companies like Audio-Technica, the recording technology program at Pearl-Cohn will help raise students’ expectations about the quality of music and have a tremendous impact on their lives.”
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Lectrosonics Wireless Integral To Production Of Skull Bound TV
Pristine audio quality and robust performance from Lectrosonics wireless microphones make all the difference when shooting Skull Bound TV.
When it comes to wide open space, few areas of the country can top Montana. With an abundance of open territory and a general lifestyle emphasis on the great outdoors, it should come as little surprise that a show about fishing and hunting originates there.
Skull Bound TV is the name of the show and it follows host and Associate Producer Jana Waller as she combs the planet with bow, gun, and rod in hand searching for that next adrenaline rush—much of it faithfully captured using wireless microphone technology from Lectrosonics.
Jim Kinsey is the executive producer of Skull Bound TV. With a background that encompasses more than a decade of production experience Kinsey’s first exposure to Lectrosonics equipment occurred in 2001 during production of National Geographic’s Women Smoke Jumpers.
“This project took place among some really incredibly rugged terrain,” Kinsey recalls, “and, after experiencing Lectrosonics’ performance on that project, I knew I had to add a set of Lectrosonics gear to my own kit.”
Kinsey discussed his use of Lectrosonics equipment on the show.
“Being an ‘on-the-fly producer’ with a single host, we don’t have time for re-creates. It’s a one shot deal in the ‘Hunt and Hook’ market,” he explains. “We’ve been using the Lectrosonics 100 series units, which are completely portable and designed for camera mounting.
“My system includes the UCR100 camera mountable receiver and LM beltpack transmitter. This has been a perfect setup for ‘run and gun’ production. I’m a one-man band and do all the sound, shooting, and editing for the series.”
In addition to the audio quality of his Lectrosonics equipment, dropout-free, performance and durability are crucial factors in Kinsey’s type of production.
“On many occasions Jana will be far away from the UCR100 receiver while searching for big game,” Kinseys explains. “I am continuously impressed with the fact that I get crisp sound all the time—without dropouts.
“Equally important is the build quality of the 100 series units – they are as rugged as the day is long. They really hold up under some very adverse conditions.”
“While filming a two part series in southeast Alaska,” Kinsey continued, “my equipment encountered high humidity and got rained on quite often.
“While the UCR100 receiver and the LM transmitter aren’t waterproof, the gear performed flawlessly and got me through the shoot without a single hitch. This equipment is really built to withstand the brutal conditions that one frequently encounters in field production of this type.”
Kinsey reports that, in addition to the exceptional performance he routinely experiences with his Lectrosonics wireless equipment, he is equally impressed with the quality of the company’s customer and technical support services.
“Quality customer service is extremely important in this line of work,” says Kinsey, “but to be perfectly honest, I have to say I’ve yet to need any assistance from Lectrosonics. It all boils down to this: when you buy the best in the business, you get the best results.”
“When you find a product that consistently delivers year in and year out, an old saying holds true: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’” Kinsey concludes. “When it comes to uncompromised functionality that stands up against the rigors of producing reality television, look no further than Lectrosonics for your next production—no matter how big or small the project may be.”
Skull Bound TV airs on the Sportsman Channel on Wednesdays at 8:30 and 11:30 PM EST, Friday’s at 9:30 AM EST, and Saturdays at 2:30 AM EST. For additional information about the show, go to http://www.skullboundtv.com.
Posted by Julie Clark on 07/23 at 01:53 PM
Australian Music Veteran Phil Rigger Chooses Metric Halo
Phil Rigger is a dedicated user of Metric Halo's hard ward interfaces, SpectraFoo and ChannelStrip.
Phil Rigger got his start in the music business the old fashioned way – in a rock band. That was the early 1980s, and the band was Outline.
With Rigger on trumpet – boosted by a board loaded with pedals that launched his horn to the stratosphere—Outline tore up Australia, headlining packed shows and opening up for international acts that stopped down under.
A few years after the band split Rigger formed Monstereo Music, a music and video production company that Rigger heads to this day. He is a dedicated user of Metric Halo’s hardware interfaces, its sound analysis program SpectraFoo, and its flagship plug-in ChannelStrip.
In addition to the intangible aspects of music production, Monstereo Music possesses a full-fledged recording studio and video production suite in Sydney. Like most people who get in the business and stay in the business, Rigger is opinionated about sound and the gear that improves (or sullies) it.
A collection of Metric Halo interfaces handles input and output conversion, as well as preamplification when Rigger is using a tube mic (he doesn’t necessarily like to go tube mic to tube pre for vocals).
The collection includes one ULN-8, one 2882, and two ULN-2s, (one in the recording studio and one in the video production suite).
“I got my first Metric Halo 2882 over a decade ago when my friend and frequent collaborator David Quinn discovered it,” said Rigger. “Because Metric Halo so faithfully supports its products with hardware and software upgrades, I’m still using that same 2882 today!
“What other piece of computer-related equipment evades obsolescence for so long? Between David and I we have three ULN8s, three 2882s and three ULN2s all with 2D cards.
He continued, “The reason I like Metric Halo interfaces is because they have that solid, high-quality sound. I’ve worked on a bunch of different high-end consoles over the years, and Metric Halo easily has the sound quality to compete with any of them.
“Of course, the portability is also fabulous. I’ve recorded so many live sets with my Metric Halo interfaces. They’re always solid and reliable.”
Rigger also cites the on-board DSP as useful, especially the Character emulations that give the preamps different colors.
“I’m a fan of the Classic British Pre emulation,” he said. “It adds a nice warmth to the recording that isn’t overbearing. In combination with a nice tube mic on vocals, the Metric Halo preamps produce a beautiful, rich recording.”
But Rigger’s use of Metric Halo gear doesn’t end there. In the studio, he keeps a second Mac up that runs SpectraFoo. It’s digitally connected to the main system for mixing and mastering.
“SpectraFoo works beautifully,” Rigger said. “I’ve had it for nearly a decade. Other sound analysis programs have come along, but SpectraFoo’s display is par excellence.
“Having it up on a second computer works really well for me because the machine has nothing else to do but analyze the input. The great thing about that setup is that while I’m working, I can solo any individual track, any group, or even the entire song and analyze it.”
Finally, Rigger uses ChannelStrip as his go-to equalization and compression plug-in. “If I want to surgically adjust something, de-ess a vocal or brighten an acoustic track, ChannelStrip is fantastic,” he said. “It doesn’t put much of a load on the system, and although that isn’t such a huge concern these days, it’s a testament to good software design.
“I have a large collection of plug-ins, most of which I acquired for a particular sound or function, but ChannelStrip is more neutral and allows fine adjustment without imposing itself on the sound – a great feature! Metric Halo equipment and software are the foundation for my business.”
Posted by Julie Clark on 07/23 at 01:10 PM
Monday, July 22, 2013
Full Sail University Installs API Vision Console
Full Sail University recently installed 64-channel API Vision console.
Full Sail University’s Studio B is now the official home of a 64-channel API Vision console. The console will be the centerpiece of the university’s Recording Arts Academic Program.
After a rigorous process, Full Sail’s new Vision eventually became the console of choice, primarily due to its distinct analog sound and highly teachable signal path.
Installed on January 2nd, Full Sail has completely integrated the console into its Academic Program and is more than pleased with this next level of professional gear offered to students.
“We are excited to have the API Vision Console installed into one of our on-campus studios,” said Darren Schneider, advanced session recording course director at Full Sail University. “This addition to campus provides another opportunity to work on a professional platform and prepares them with knowledge of the technology they will encounter when pursuing careers in the music industry.”
Founded more than thirty years ago, Full Sail University offers one of the best music programs in the country and is home to over 18,000 students from all over the world.
“We’re honored to have an API console at such a prestigious educational facility,” API President Larry Droppa commented. “Students enrolled in the Recording Arts program learn all aspects of console technique and we’re convinced API products are an excellent way to both teach and understand signal path and signal flow.”
Posted by Julie Clark on 07/22 at 10:19 AM
Roger Fisher Takes PreSonus Studio One To Heart
Mike and Roger fisher embrace Studio One from PreSonus.
He may not be a household name but if you grew up in a certain era, you know his music. A founding member of classic rockers Heart, Roger Fisher’s opening riff on “Barracuda” has been a prerequisite lick for every fledgling rock guitarist for more than a generation.
Though he left the band in 1980, Fisher has hardly slowed down in the years since, maintaining a busy solo career that has included movie and TV scores, commercial music, and a near-endless stream of projects with his brother Mike.
The brothers recently completed a new project—Love Alive—using Studio One from PreSonus, and as Roger observes, it was more than a little demanding.
“It was our first project using Studio One, and we knew we’d be getting up to speed on a new DAW while we were working on the recording,” he says. “We were also producing video at the same time, and it was our first project using [Apple] Final Cut. So we were learning two new programs at the same time. Needless to say we approached it with some trepidation.”
But, Roger says, Studio One was a breeze to get into.
“Any time you switch programs you have to prepare for a major learning curve, and when you’ve got ideas you want to get down, that can be daunting. But Studio One was really intuitive, and we could see right from the outset that the program had so much to offer.”
The brothers’ recording style is admittedly fairly old school. “We work with all live musicians, so we use Studio One mainly as a multitrack recorder,” says Roger. “I don’t really do any programming or anything, so we mainly use it as a recording, editing, and mastering tool.”
That said, they are happy to embrace new technologies.
“When we finally got our first two-inch machine, we loved what we could do with it,” Roger recalls. “It was a wonderful thing - except for the cleaning, aligning, and demagnetizing every morning. And even though I got pretty good at splicing tape, it’s great to have an Undo button. At the end of the day, you can compare digital to analog all you want, but if it sounds good, and it sounds musical, we’re happy.”
Studio One’s Melodyne integration is another aspect of modern technology the brothers are happy to embrace.
“Frequently when you’re recording a track, you might be thrilled with the performance at the time, but a week or two later, you notice some little stuff that’s out of tune or some other anomaly,” Mike observes. “With Melodyne, you can go in there and use it on a chord and actually see which string is out and make it right. That’s the kind of stuff we could never do in the analog world.”
“As a company, PreSonus has been great to work with,” says Roger. “Support has been fantastic - we’ve developed a few one-on-one friendships with people in the company, and that kind of relationship really makes a customer feel good.”
“The ease of use, being able to just drag-and-drop things so easily - those are the things we like the most about Studio One,” adds Mike. “It’s just so user friendly, and that seems to make things flow faster for us.”
Roger concludes, “Every DAW has a few really great things about it, and a few things that are just frustrating, and in a perfect world we’d all love to be able to take the best aspects of each and combine them. But out of them all, Studio One has the most features, is easy to use, and sounds great. You really can’t ask for more.”
Posted by Julie Clark on 07/22 at 10:09 AM
Friday, July 19, 2013
AES Announces First International Sound Field Control Conference
AES’s 52nd International Conference titled “Sound Field Control – Engineering and Perception” in Surrey, Guildford, UK, September 2-4, 2013
Registration is now open for the first AES international conference on Sound Field Control, slated to take place at the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK, September 2-4, 2013.
Held within a short distance of London’s major international airports, this conference aims to bring together engineers and perceptual scientists from around the world to share their research in this fast-moving field, and to discuss the numerous interactions between acoustics, signal processing, psychoacoustics and auditory cognition.
“This is an unmissable event for anyone involved in the active control of sound fields, whether as a researcher, developer or practitioner,” explains Conference Chair Francis Rumse. “This is going to be a major theme of audio product development and design over the next ten years, and the personalization or customization of sound fields using audio technology is a becoming a really big deal.
” We’ve accepted over 40 contributions, including a number of invited presentations from the leading minds on beam forming, arrays, sound zones, spatial issues, perception and signal processing, and there’ll be some fascinating workshops and demos for people to experience the issues first-hand.”
Three fine keynote lectures from leading experts go hand-in-hand with live demonstrations and workshops on the interface between perception and engineering in this fast-moving research field. Keynotes include Professor Steve Elliott of the ISVR in Southampton, UK, who will give an introductory tutorial on “Active control of sound fields”; Professor Armin Kohlrausch of Philips Group Innovation and Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands, on “Evaluation of spatial sound fields; how far can we get with perceptual models?”; and Dr Frank Melchior, Head of Audio Research, BBC, UK, to discuss “Creative Sound Field Control.”
Sound field control enables the active management of audio delivered in an acoustical environment. Sophisticated signal processing and reproduction tools increasingly enable the engineer to tailor the sound field for specific applications, occupancy or listeners’ requirements.
This can include the creation of independent sound zones in listening spaces, the active control of noise, personal communication systems, the electroacoustic manipulation of auditorium acoustics and the generation of complex spatial sound fields using multi-channel audio systems.
Discover the preliminary program and make your travel plans now to visit the UK in early September. Low-cost accommodation has been arranged in high-quality ensuite university rooms for conference delegates. Find out more and register for the event at the conference website: http://www.aes.org/conferences/52/. Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AES.52 and follow us on Twitter at #AES_SFC.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Winners For Global Rockstar Competition Receive AKG Prize Package
Artists can upload their original songs until August 5 -- the final winner will be decided by social media voting and will receive an exceptional AKG prize package.
With a vision to bring international musicians together in a peaceful and fair contest, the Global Rockstar competition will once again rely on social media to find the best new musicians around the world.
Bands, singers and musicians from all genres are invited to upload their original compositions to be put up against fellow international artists in an online voting contest. The Global Rockstar winners receive a prize package from Harman’s AKG, in addition to international recognition.
“We launched Global Rockstar simply because we love music,” stated Christof Straub, Founder of Global Rockstar. “There is so much undiscovered talent that is worth a listen and we hope to provide a stage for all artists who believe in their art.”
To ensure a fair outcome during the contest, a jury formed of social media users and an expert panel of music business professionals will choose those who advance throughout the contest. The highest voted songs and additional “wild card” votes from the panel will be in the running for $10,000 and an AKG prize pack worth more than $15,000, which includes: numerous D5, D7 and C214 microphones, K271 and K171 headphones and WMS470 instrument and vocal wireless system sets.
For their loyalty, activeness and support, fans are also eligible to win AKG prizes.
“Our motivation for supporting the Global Rockstar competition is its offering of a professional competition for young, up and coming musicians and an opportunity to present themselves internationally without a major recording deal,” said Walter Ruhrig, Artist and Key Customer Relations, AKG. “With AKG’s professional line of mics, headphones and wireless systems, these artists will be able to continue pursuing their dreams with professional-grade equipment, bringing out their best sound possible!”
For more information and to register for the Global Rockstar competition, please visit: https://www.global-rockstar.com. Artists can upload their original songs on the site up to August 5, 2013.
National pre-selections will end September 2 and one national winner from each country will be chosen for the global finals, which run from September 2 through December 20.
Posted by Julie Clark on 07/18 at 10:50 AM
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Avid Releases EuControl Version 3.0 Software
Free upgrade provides new level of creative control, supports Pro Tools 11 and more
Avid has released EuControl Version 3.0 software, a free download that offers significant speed, performance, and reliability enhancements to Artist Series control surfaces. It also supports Pro Tools 11.
EuControl 3.0 offers deep, tactile control over various audio and video software using Avid EUCON (Extended User Control) high-speed open control protocol, to speed up editing and mixing tasks. EUCON has been adopted by many leading software developers.
EuControl Version 3.0 Software is available for free download now here.