Thursday, June 27, 2013
Manley Labs Names TechRep Marketing For South And Midwest
Manley sees this as first step in growing the nationwide sales force
Manley Labs announced that they have signed TechRep Marketing to sell Manley products.
TechRep Marketing is a pro audio manufacturers’ rep firm serving music stores and sound contractors in territories covering sections of the midwest and southeastern United States—13 states in total.
“When I joined Manley this spring, one of my objectives was to expand the sales force and Techrep was the obvious first choice,” commented Rick McClendon, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Manley Labs. “I’ve known Jeff Mac and Ted Bahas for many years and their firm has an unrivaled reputation for selling the best products and providing unequaled product knowledge and service.
“We’re glad to have them represent us and know they will be an integral part of Manley’s future growth.”
“With close to three decades of success in the US pro-audio marketplace, Manley has never compromised quality or excellence,” said Jeff Mac, President of Techrep Marketing. “We look forward to building on that practice and hope to further spread their philosophy regarding high-end audio gear by bringing it to a wider consumer base.”
Posted by Julie Clark on 06/27 at 10:25 AM
Liverpool John Moores University Uses Riedel Intercom System To Connect New Liverpool Screen School
Riedel Communications announced that the U.K.'s Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) is using Riedel gear within its new Liverpool Screen School building to enable flexible, high-quality communications across its studios and offices.
Riedel Communications announced that the U.K.‘s Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) is using Riedel gear within its new Liverpool Screen School building to enable flexible, high-quality communications across its studios and offices.
The installation includes Riedel’s Artist 5000 matrix intercom system and Performer digital partyline intercom system.
“Riedel’s intercom solutions offer the high audio quality and exceptional versatility that our facilities require,” said Kelly Loughlin, TV studio manager at Liverpool John Moores University. “The Riedel system installed is a small but incredibly versatile system that covers all of our communications needs, and the quality of the audio is great.”
Designed and specified by Drama by Design, and supplied and integrated by Sony Broadcast, Riedel’s Artist and Performer systems support communications between control rooms for the school’s large full-HD TV studio and a smaller full-HD news studio, the cameras on each studio floor, the technician’s office, and the central technical room.
The flexible product combination provides high-quality audio that allows the LJMU facility to integrate both studios into one system and to establish talkback into the studios, the green room, and preshow areas.
The Artist 5000 panel series is a cost-effective matrix intercom solution that provides the full functionality of Riedel’s digital matrix intercom panels at an unbeatable price point. The Artist panels feature marker strips that identify each of eight talk keys. Housed in a universal enclosure, the panel is suitable for rack-mount, wall-mount, and desktop operation.
The Performer C22 partyline system interface converts two two-channel CAT5 matrix ports to two phantom-powered digital beltpack lines and vice versa, enabling seamless integration of LJMU’s digital partylines with its Artist matrix intercom system.
While LJMU currently uses three digital beltpacks, the system can power daisy-chains of up to nine beltpacks, split-boxes, or desktop speaker stations per line.
“When we specified the system for the Liverpool Screen School, we didn’t know exactly what button needed to do what or what signal needed to be routed where, but the flexibility of the Riedel equipment enabled us to customize the system on site as part of the commissioning process,” said Andy Stone, studio design consultant at Drama by Design. “The result was a system that exactly met our requirements.
“Given the success of this installation, we are now using the Riedel system on a number of similar projects.”
Auralex Now Shipping SonoFiber Panels
Auralex is not shipping SonoFiber panels in artic white and charcoal gray.
Auralex Acoustics Inc. is now shipping its new SonoFiber Panels, available in charcoal gray and arctic white.
SonoFiber is the perfect solution for contractors and system integrators with projects requiring a Class A fire rating without the aesthetic demands of designer treatments such as fabric-covered panels.
SonoFiber is ideal for nightclubs, restaurants, gymnasiums, houses of worship, multi-purpose rooms and any other commercial or industrial environment where aesthetic concerns are secondary to performance and safety.
SonoFiber is a 1” thick natural fiber acoustic absorptive panel that offers significant advantages over the more traditional Class A melamine foam alternatives, including lower cost per square foot; sound absorption coefficients equal to or better than 2” thick melamine products; a flexible form that will not puncture or break like melamine panels and safe, easy, dust-free installations
Symetrix Names Mary Marshall CEO
Symetrix announces the appointment of Mary Marshall to the position of CEO.
Symetrix announces the appointment of Mary Marshall to the position of CEO.
Marshall has worked in an advisory role with Symetrix for many years and has been an integral part of the management team. As CEO she will be able to bring her experience as a leader and strategic driver to the forefront of the Symetrix story.
Marshall’s experience includes growing companies from the ground up, owning and operating multiple businesses, orchestrating corporate financial planning, and designing and executing business development strategies.
Recently, Marshall ran the U.S. Western Division of Vistage International, running business development programs, leadership development programs, and working with hundreds of companies and their leaders through Visage’s network of partners.
“Symetrix is perfectly positioned to move to the next level with our strong product line and the most dynamic team in the industry. After decades of building our brand we are excited to include Mary’s successful track record as a change agent and a builder of companies,” said Dane Butcher, Symetrix Chairman.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The Studio Curmudgeon: Using Multiband EQ To “Fix It In The Mix”
Try these suggestions, but then try something totally different. Innovate -- don’t blindly follow.
Before there was digital recording, before spring reverb, even before analog tape, there was EQ. Equalization is one of the oldest tools in the audio engineer’s arsenal, and one of the most useful.
Used judiciously, EQ can do wonders to de-clutter a crowded soundscape. Used with precision, it can remove offending sounds we hadn’t necessarily intended to capture. Used correctly, a bit of EQ can be all that’s needed to make peace between dueling guitars, scoop the mud from the heaviest drums, or make a mundane vocal stand up and shine.
But all too often, EQ is misused and misunderstood, typically in a vain attempt to fix a poor recording.
Rule Number One in recording still applies: garbage in equals garbage out. A little EQ is great for helping make a good track sound better, but no amount of EQ will make a bad track sound good.
The best mix starts with the best recording, so try to capture the best sound you can to begin with. Move mics, listen at the source, not just in the control room or in your headphones. Make sure what’s being recorded sounds as close to what’s being played as possible – before it’s too late to do anything about it.
Your ears are the bottom line when it comes to applying EQ. While we can talk about a few general principles, every instrument has its own unique characteristics and timbre, and will react differently to boosting or cutting specific frequencies. So take these and all suggestions with a few grains of salt; use them as a starting point but make your decisions based on what sounds good.
EQ Giveth & EQ Taketh Away
When it comes to EQing, less truly is more, and in nearly all cases it’s better to take away than to add. Many less experienced users have a tendency to make an instrument stand out by boosting frequencies, but the cumulative results can be dangerous. Adding just 2 dB of gain to two different instruments means that when they excite the same frequencies (and trust me, they will, and probably at the worst possible moment), you’ve got 4 dB of gain. Add too much EQ and your mix can easily turn to mud. It’s often a better idea to try attenuating those same frequencies in other instruments instead.
Another good reason to minimize your use of additive EQ: while cutting frequencies is a passive process, boosting frequencies makes your EQ function as a preamp within the signal flow. Adding any preamp means adding noise and distortion, and the preamps in most EQ circuitry are less than optimal.
All those arguments aside, sometimes it’s simply more effective to boost one element of the mix, rather than rolling off dozens of others. Once again, the operative word here is moderation – a little boost of 1 or 2 dB goes a long way.
EQing Drums – If it Doesn’t Fit, You Must EQ It
If your mix includes drums, it’s a good bet you’ll spend a considerable portion of your mixdown time EQing them. Because drums cover such a wide tonal range, there’s plenty of other stuff in the mix that can compete with those frequencies. Kick and snare in particular tend to be prominent parts of the song’s sonic fabric, and when it comes to helping them play nicely with other instruments and vocals, EQ is your best friend.
Of course, assuming you’re working with a live drum kit (as opposed to isolated drum samples), you’re not working in a vacuum. Since every drum track also contains leakage from other mic, boosting a frequency on one track can also bring up the off-axis sounds of adjacent mics, potentially creating more problems than it solves.
For a dull sounding kick drum, adding a slight boost anywhere around 80 Hz to 120 Hz will produce more boom and a more rounded “thud.” (Typically, the kick tends to compete with the bass guitar for that frequency range, and it’s a good idea to decide which of the two should occupy the lower and upper edges of that zone. See the section on bass later in this article for more on this.)
Adding a tiny bit of 500 Hz can bring out the “click” of the beater hitting the drum head, and can be helpful in preventing the kick from disappearing once your track hits the listener’s earbuds in the inevitable low-fi MP3 version.
Snares come in such a wide range of sizes and materials, it’s a bit tough to generalize about frequencies. But the sound of the snare wires rattling lives in the 5 kHz to 10 kHz range, and a bit of gain there is great for brightening up a dull snare. If you’re plagued with a boxy sounding snare, try rolling off a bit of 300 through 800 Hz.
With toms, a common mistake is to try boosting low end to make them stand out. Adding a couple of dB at 100 Hz will increase their power, but at the expense of muddying the mix. A better strategy for perking up those tom fills is to leave the bottom end alone and add a tiny bit of 5 kHz to bring out the attack. And as with the snare, play around with rolling off that same 300 through 800 Hz range to eliminate boxiness.
Almost every tom has a resonant ring, and some can be problematic. Of course, the basics apply: tune the toms first and foremost to reduce or eliminate ringing. Whatever problem resonance remains can be addressed using a surgical approach with a multiband EQ. Select a narrow Q and boost the gain as you sweep the midrange band. When you locate the offending frequency, apply a few dB worth of cut to make it go away.
Overhead mics can be a mixed blessing. Their position and relative distance from the kit makes them great for adding air and ambience, but loud cymbals can overpower the mix. Try adding a bit of 10 kHz to brighten the track, and then backing off the overall level to get the air without too much metal.
The Bottom Line On Bass
Since bass and kick occupy the same frequency range and (hopefully) work together, it’s almost always necessary to use EQ to differentiate them in the mix. As mentioned earlier, it’s best to pick one as the rounder, bottom-y sound and make the other a bit more bright and punchy; which is which will be dictated by the song.
One of the questions i hear most often is whether it’s best to record the bass direct or mic the amp. The answer, as you might expect, is “it depends.” Ideally, many engineers opt to record both the amp and a direct track simultaneously, balancing them in the mix for the best possible tone.
Of course, in today’s project studio world, it’s not always possible to record live at the volume you’d like. If you’re working with a bass track that was recorded direct, chances are it’s a bit flat and nondescript compared with a mic’ed bass amp. The good news is, that flatness will ultimately make EQing the DI track far easier, since there’s less coloration to begin with.
Like the kick drum, boosting the 80-120 Hz range on an electric bass will add roundness and bottom end. To add presence and attack, go for a slightly higher range than with the kick, around 1 kHz. Don’t add too much or you’ll bring out the finger noise as well.
Making Space For Guitars And Keys
Guitars are among the most versatile instruments; that same versatility can make them a real challenge. With electric guitars, if you’re fortunate to have a player who knows their amp and their sound, your best bet is to change as little as possible.
If you’ve got two rhythm guitar parts going, a bit of panning and EQ can help distinguish one from the other. Try a slight boost at around 100 Hz on one to bring up the lower mids (with perhaps a corresponding cut on the other guitar). Experiment with higher frequencies on the second part – boosting different frequencies between about 750 Hz and 10 kHz will each bring out a different type of sparkle. Scooping out a bit of 250 to 500 Hz can help eliminate some harshness and woofiness.
Acoustic guitar is a very different animal. Each has its own unique tone and timbre, and much will depend on the player, the sound of the room, the mics you’ve used and where you’ve placed them. A mic too close to the sound hole will deliver a boomy sound; a slight cut at 100 Hz can help. Close miking can also pick up some boxiness from the wood’s resonance, especially around the midrange. Try dropping a bit of the 300 to 400 Hz range. And of course, bring out the shimmer and strumming sound by boosting the upper ranges, from 750 Hz up to around 10 kHz (watching out again for finger noise).
Acoustic pianos, like their guitar counterparts, are organic instruments subject to a number of unique conditions. Every piano has its own character and tone to begin with, further affected by the room, the mics, mic placement and of course, the player. Few instruments cover as wide a range of frequencies and overtones as the piano, which can be both a blessing and a curse. What you do with regard to EQ depends largely on the song - a dense part with close-clustered chords is probably best treated with subtractive EQ, while a spare, melodic passage might benefit from a bit of boost in the upper mids.
Keyboards are a whole other issue, and could easily be the subject of an entire article alone. Synths cover such a wide range of sounds, it’s impossible to generalize about what will work on any given patch. For the most part, you’re quite literally playing it by ear.
Listen Before You Look
I’ll close with the same point I opened with: take this and all advice as nothing more than suggestions. There are no hard and fast rules except one: use your ears. If it sounds wrong, it probably is. So close your eyes and listen. Adjust your EQ, close your eyes and listen again. Don’t just solo the track, either - listen to your changes in the context of the whole mix.
Especially in today’s DAW-oriented world, we all have a tendency to stare at the screen. But it’s important not to depend on spectrum analyzers and meters instead of listening. Try out these suggestions, but then try something totally different. Innovate - don’t blindly follow. Every song is unique, every instrument and room is different, and every artist and song is unique.
What worked for one person on one recording won’t necessarily be what’s right for you.
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 06/26 at 11:47 AM
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
In The Studio: Recording The Bass Amp
Many times miking a bass amp is completely overlooked
Today everyone is conditioned to go direct with the bass guitar that many times miking a bass amp is completely overlooked.
That’s too bad because it can bring something to the track that you just can’t get any other way.
Here’s an excerpt from my Audio Recording Basic Training book that provides an exercise for bass amp miking.
Back in the 60s and 70s, the way engineers recorded the electric bass was by miking the bass amp. As direct boxes became more and more available, the trend eventually swung the other way, with most bass recording done direct.
Today it’s very common to record a bass using a combination of both an amp and direct, which provides the best of both worlds. While the bass will sound full and warm with a direct box, the amp can add just enough edge to help the bass punch through a mix.
When using a direct box, be aware that they’re not all created equal in that some will not give you the low fundamental of the bass that you expect when recording this way.
Active DIs do a better job at this than passive, although some passive boxes (like the ones made by Radial) do an excellent job because of the large Jensen transformer used in the circuit.
Depending on the sound that fits the track best, mix the amp track with a DI track. The sound will change substantially depending upon the balance of the DI and miked amplifier.
ALWAYS check the phase relationship between the amp and DI to make sure there’s no cancellation of the low end. Flip the polarity switch to the position that has the most bottom. Also remember that there’s no rule that says that you have to use both tracks, so don’t hesitate to use just a single track if it sounds best in the mix.
Miking The Bass Amp
A) Listen closely to the amp as the bass player plays. If there are multiple speakers, find the one that sounds the best.
B) Place a large diaphragm dynamic mic like (AKG) D-112, (Electro-Voice) RE20 or (Shure) Beta 52 a little off-center and a couple of inches away from a cone of the best sounding speaker in the bass cabinet.
C) Move the mic across the cone. Is there a spot where it sounds particularly good? Keep the mic at that spot. Is the sound balanced frequency response-wise? Can you hear any of the room reflections?
D) Move the mic towards the end of the cone? Is there more low end? Is it more distinct sounding?
E) Move the mic towards the center of the speaker? Is there more low end? Is it more distinct sounding?
F) Move the mic about a feet away from the speaker. Is there more low end? Is it more distinct sounding?
G) Move the mic about 2 feet away from the speaker. Is there more low end? Is it more distinct sounding? Can you hear more of the room? Does it work with the rest of the instruments?
H) Raise the cabinet about a foot off the floor. Is there more low end? Is it more distinct sounding?
I) Place the mic where it gives you the best balance of body and definition, and balance between the direct and ambient room sound.
Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. For more information be sure to check out his website and blog.
Cubase Elements 7 Now Available
Steinberg releases Cubase Elements 7, the entry-level music production system for sound recording, editing and mixing, with many new features and enhancements that greatly expand on proven Cubase functionality
Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH has released Cubase Elements 7, the newest addition to the Cubase 7 line-up. Cubase Elements 7 is feature-rich, moderately priced music production software that throws open the doors to the world of Cubase.
“Cubase Elements 7 is the choice for aspiring producers and musicians looking for a complete package which doesn’t break the bank while offering a whole lot of features right out of the box,” said Carlos Mendoza Rohde, product marketing manager at Steinberg.
After unveiling Cubase 7 and Cubase Artist 7 at the end of last year, Cubase Elements 7 now completes the latest Cubase range, offering new sounds, new effects and many other features that easily turn any Mac or Windows computer into a music production system.
The new mixing facilities feature the MixConsole including scalability plus uncompromising 192 kHz audio quality and routing flexibility. The newly developed channel strip comes with high and low-pass filters, noise gate, four-band EQ with spectrum analyzer, three compressors, Envelope Shaper, tape and tube saturation as well as brickwall limiter and maximizer modules. The Channel Settings window is redesigned to provide easy access to all channel parameters, including metering and routing assignments. The Remote Control Editor facilitates customized mapping of plug-in parameters to external controllers.
Musical highlights in Cubase Elements 7 include Chord Track, dedicated to providing chord and scale information to the project. All MIDI tracks can automatically follow any harmonic adjustments made in Chord Track in real time. Hermode tuning provides pristine tuning when compared to traditional tunings, while remaining aligned with well-tempered scales. The VST Amp Rack guitar tone suite has been added as well and features seven different amp models, 16 stomp boxes and a collection of 73 signature presets. The three-band DJ-EQ and MorphFilter provide great filter effects and smooth transitions.
More features and enhancements focus around the performance of Cubase. ASIO-Guard improves stability and prevents data dropouts, while the-start mode disables user preferences temporarily. Finding effects and instruments is expedited through the keyword-oriented search engine. MemZap stores positions and zoom factors within the project at any particular time. Easy Audio Driver Setup assistance is provided to users connecting Cubase Elements 7 with audio hardware. The Steinberg Hub comprises an enhanced Project Assistant plus additional information services, such as news and a regularly updated list of video tutorials. ReWire 64-bit compatibility, SoundCloud connectivity, FLAC compression and over two hours of high-definition online video tutorials round out the outstanding feature set in Cubase Elements 7.
Availability and pricing
The full retail version of Cubase Elements 7 is available through authorized Steinberg resellers and the Steinberg Online Shop. The suggested retail price is $99.99.
The Cubase Elements 7 update from Cubase Elements 6 is available through authorized Steinberg resellers and the Steinberg Online Shop. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $130.99.
Customers who purchased a copy of Cubase Elements 6 from April 15, 2013, are entitled to the free Grace Period update to Cubase Elements 7.
Features at a glance
• Supports 64 MIDI and 48 simultaneous audio tracks with up to 24-bit/192 kHz
• Award-winning 32-bit floating-point Steinberg audio engine with flexible routing and fully automatic delay compensation
• Includes outstanding instruments: HALion Sonic SE workstation, MPC-style Groove Agent ONE drum machine, Prologue synthesizer
• Comes ready with 44 audio effects, including Pitch Correct for vocal intonation correction, MorphFilter and the extraordinary VST Amp Rack guitar tone suite.
• All-new MixConsole provides the stellar mixing experience with full flexibility and integrated EQ/Dynamics channel strip modules for epic pro-console sound
• Chord Track for easy chord management and re-harmonizing within project context
• Real-time pitch-shifting and time-stretching
• Project Assistant with dozens of common templates
• 2 hours of online HD video tutorials
• Cross-platform 32-/64-bit for Windows and OS X Intel
Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH
Posted by Julie Clark on 06/25 at 12:51 PM
Monday, June 24, 2013
API 1608 Ventures Into The Canadian North
An API 1608 console found its home in an interesting place in the far north when singer-songwriter Florent Vollant updated his studio.
A 32-channel API 1608 console found its home in an interesting place in the far north when singer-songwriter Florent Vollant updated his studio.
Established in 1997, Vollant’s Studio Makusham is located in Mani-Utenam, Quebec, Canada, a part of the Innu Reserve, where over 3,000 indigenous people reside.
Florent Vollant’s music history runs deep. He has released three albums in his Innu-language and is well-known in the Inuit community. His Christmas album, Nipaiamianan, received a blessing from Pope John Paul II and the Juno Award for Aboriginal Recording of the Year in 2001.
Throughout the years, Studio Makusham was very interested in API gear and finally, in December 2012, they made a major upgrade to the facility, acquiring an automated 1608 console through API’s dealer Studio Economik in Montréal.
“The Makusham home – it is the traditional dance, this is a gathering, a feast, a celebration of the rhythms Teuaikan,” said Vollant. “I am pleased to invite you to this place of creation to live an experience of freedom, sharing, exchange and respect for the music of the world.”
The first endeavor on the console was Vollant’s upcoming album, but the 1608 has also lent its capabilities to Quebec recording artists such as Richard Seguin and many others.
“The sound is very pleasant and surprising and the build quality is undeniable,” said Volant. “Thanks to Marc-Andre at Studio Economik for consulting on the deal. We are extremely happy customers!”
Posted by Julie Clark on 06/24 at 02:32 PM
Soundcraft Vi6 Consoles Help Mario Biondi Groove At Royal Albert Hall
Italian singer Mario Biondi, accompanied by UK-based jazz-funk band Incognito and other guest musicians, held a unique concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall for the world premiere of his new album, SUN where a Harman Soundcraft Vi console was in use at front-of-house.
Italian singer Mario Biondi, accompanied by UK-based jazz-funk band Incognito and other guest musicians, held a unique concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall for the world premiere of his new album, SUN.
SSE Audio Group provided a pair of Harman Soundcraft Vi6 consoles for FOH and monitor mixing for the event.
With a capacity of over 5,500, the Royal Albert Hall hosts more than 350 events year round including classical, rock and pop concerts, ballets, operas, and much more. With 18 supporting musicians onstage, plus four guest appearances, Biondi performed the entire album SUN together with his greatest hits.
“With a show such as this, I needed a console that could handle a large number of inputs and outputs and which would also give me flexibility and speed with minimal pre-production,” said Robin Leggett, Monitor Engineer for Incognito. “With 28 mixes onstage I needed to be able to access functions quickly, but having worked with Soundcraft’s Vi6 previously, I knew it would do the job.”
Chris Lewis, FOH Engineer for Incognito and who handled the FOH mixing for the Mario Biondi concert, has also enjoyed working with Vi6 consoles for several years.
“I’ve used the Vi6 many times and it’s built solid, like Studer consoles,” Lewis said. “I really like the user interface and for a gig like this the user layer is really beneficial, I can get where I need very quickly and easily.
“We had 56 channels of audio, so I edited a user layer so that I could have every channel I needed to adjust on one layer; very useful.”
Royal Albert Hall was specifically designed to host unamplified productions, making it a very reverberant space. This made mixing for Biondi’s concert al the more challenging.
“Keeping the onstage levels under control is more of a challenge in this kind of venue, but fortunately the level of consistency we received from the band and guest musicians was excellent,” Lewis adds. “I was able to program the desk during rehearsals the previous few days before the show and I already have a Vi6 setup for Incognito concerts, so I was able to use our base setup and build on top of that for this concert.”
“With the Vi6s, the show was a real success,” Leggett concluded. “I find that with this console I don’t have to dig around when I’m mixing.
“Its intuitive functionality is ideal for demanding shows, especially when I’m under time pressure.”
Friday, June 21, 2013
Avid Announces Availability of Pro Tools 11; Now Shipping
Redesigned audio and video engines, 64-bit architecture, expanded metering, and more
New Avid Pro Tools 11 is now shipping. Pro Tools 11 offers a major upgrade of Avid’s digital audio workstation that provides users with new, high-powered audio and video engines, 64-bit architecture, expanded metering, and direct HD video workflows.
“Pro Tools 11 represents a quantum leap in creative power,” states Chris Gahagan, senior vice president of products and services at Avid. “The newly designed architecture turbo-charges production with more plug-in processing, the ability to run more virtual instruments—and a host of new features—letting users create ambitiously, without holding anything back.”
Key benefits and features of Pro Tools 11 include:
Redesigned Audio Engine & 64-Bit Architecture
New Avid audio engine — Delivers multiple times the processing power of Pro Tools 10 on the same hardware configurations.
64-bit architecture — Exponentially increases the number of simultaneous virtual instruments and the performance to handle the most sophisticated sessions.
Offline bounce — Delivers mixes up to 150 times faster than real time.
Low-latency input buffer — Ensures ultra-low latency record monitoring without sacrificing plug-in performance.
Dynamic host processing — Maximizes plug-in count by reallocating processing resources as needed.
Extended standards support — Features a broad range of built-in metering standards, from peak and average to VU and PPM, to maintain adherence to regional broadcast requirements.
Gain reduction — Shows gain reduction for all dynamics plug-ins on each channel.
Direct HD Video Workflows
Built-in Avid video engine — Enables audio post professionals to play and edit a wide range of HD video formats including Avid DNxHD, directly in the Pro Tools timeline without transcoding, using the same core engine as in Media Composer.
Video interface support — Enables monitoring of DNxHD and QuickTime media through Avid Nitris DX, Avid Mojo DX, and other video interfaces.
“In the world of professional mixing, I constantly need more processing power, and the extra power in Pro Tools 11 is exactly what I need,” says Tim Palmer, mixer and engineer for U2, Robert Plant, Ozzy Osbourne, The Cure, and INXS. “I love the new metering and the new sends view is excellent. It is really impressive. Pro Tools 11 is a big leap forward.”
Pro Tools 11 and Pro Tools HD 11 are available in the online Avid Store and at Avid resellers worldwide. For more information, click here.
Pro Tools 11 software (full version)— $699 USD
Pro Tools 10 to 11 upgrade— $299 USD
Pro Tools 9 to 11 upgrade— $399 USD
Pro Tools Express to Pro Tools 11 cross grade— $499 USD
Pro Tools HD 10 to 11 upgrade— $599 USD
Pro Tools HD 9 to 11 upgrade— $999 USD
Scrub Supplies Molinare With Avid Console & Pro Tools Upgrades
Scrub, a division of HHB, has supplied Molinare’s Film and TV Post Production facilities with a 32-Fader Avid S5 Fusion Control Surface and Pro Tools upgrades for its newly revamped Dubbing Theatre A in Soho, London.
Scrub, a division of HHB Communications, has supplied Molinare’s Film and TV Post Production facilities with a 32-Fader Avid S5 Fusion Control Surface and Pro Tools upgrades for its newly revamped Dubbing Theatre A in Soho, London.
The refurbishment of Molinare’s Dubbing Theatre A makes it Soho’s only audio post production facility to offer a Pro Tools-based Euphonix DSP system. In addition to the S5 control surface, the theatre has been upgraded to Avid’s powerful Pro Tools HDX and version 10 software.
The Dolby-approved theatre now features a JBL Screen Array Surround Sound System, also supplied by Scrub. Molinare’s Dubbing Theatre B has been equipped with an upgrade to Pro Tools HDX and an identical JBL surround system.
Scrub sales and technical staff worked closely with Molinare General Manager – Technology Richard Wilding to specify the new Pro Tools infrastructure and the surround sound systems. They played an integral role in the project by configuring and testing the S5-Fusion Control Surface and Pro Tools systems at their HQ before installing them onsite with system design and installation specialist Absolute CAD.
Richard Wilding commented: “From the initial planning advice, through sales and installation support, Scrub’s service was outstanding. This was a major project for Molinare and needed to run to a very tight schedule – Scrub proved extremely helpful and flexible in the support they gave, enabling us to keep everything on track.
“They ably demonstrated the benefit that a dedicated, knowledgeable, experienced sales company can offer and the very real added value that they bring.”
The S5 Fusion offers a powerful, dedicated Digital Signal Processing engine and EUCON Hybrid control to record and mix EUCON-enabled Digital Audio Workstation projects. The console accelerates the overall mixing process, giving users complete control and flexibility and providing instant visual feedback on metering, track info, routing and more through high-resolution screens.
Users can save the position of sources on the surface at any given time and recall them at a later time. They can also control any number of faders from a single strip through Control Groups.
Scrub Head of Sales Ben Scully explains: “Molinare’s revamped Dubbing Theatre A is a world-class studio and a one-of-a-kind room in London. Not only does it look and sound great, but the advanced features, power and speed provided by the S5 console puts it in a class of its own. We have worked with Molinare for many years, and it is exciting to consult them on this new venture and state-of-the-art facilities.“
Thursday, June 20, 2013
In The Studio: DIY Building A Simple But Useful Diffusor From Salvaged Wood
Putting used (and free) boards to effective use
This week one of my neighbors left his unwanted Ikea bed frame in the alley. Among the parts of the bed was a set of SULTAN LADE slatted base.
In other words: 20 3/4-in pine boards for free. Keep an eye out for these because they can be used for a ton of simple DIY projects.
With these, I decided to make some super simple diffusors to cover up the bare wall around the closet at the back of my studio. The goal was to use the least amount of materials, hardware and effort. This design accomplished that and I didn’t even need to use a saw.
Each diffusor is made of five boards in a wide V shape. I used extra boards to get the spacing right, then held it firm with a pair of C-clamps while hammering. The clamps were a huge help to prevent the boards from shifting around.
I had just enough nails of the right length to build two diffusors, I would have built four if I had more nails. These aren’t very heavy so for now I have them mounted with a single drywall screw and picture hanger.
I’m sure an expert will disagree with the design as an effective diffusor. QRDs these are not. However, just holding it to the wall I could hear it was doing something far better than a bare wall.
Unpainted soft wood like pine is porous and I could hear it softening the highs a little. Not sure if it scatters the sound at all but surely it is doing something more than the drywall was. QRDs are complicated, heavy and extremely labor intensive to DIY.
(click to enlarge)
There are two downsides to building with free/salvaged wood like this:
1) Needing to remove staples, screws or nails before you can build.
2) Sometimes the wood is warped, which is hard to fix.
These don’t sit as flush on the wall as I’d like because of some warping.
I’m undecided whether I will leave these natural or stain them. If you’re looking for a simple wood stain, vinegar and steel wool left in a jar for a few days will give you a nice grey aged fence/barn wood look. Toss coffee grinds in the jar too and you can get a pretty dark almost chocolate brown stain.
Teas, cocoa or spices can give you different colors. Steep longer and apply repeatedly for darker color. Again, super simple and practically free, but also it doesn’t stink up your house for days with toxic fumes.
I have some more ideas for diffusors which I will explore at a later date. One idea is to use the curved SULTAN LUROY bed slats and symmetrically staggering them at a few different heights and depths. Would probably look really nice and modern in a live room especially behind a drum kit.
Jon Tidey is a producer/engineer who runs his own studio, EPIC Sounds, and enjoys writing about audio on his blog AudioGeekZine.com.
Posted by Keith Clark on 06/20 at 04:08 PM
Transform Your Mind: Chapter 2 Of White Paper Series On Transformers In Audio Now Available
The best measures to prevent ground loops and other problems that commonly occur in feeding multiple loads
Chapter 2 of PSW’s ongoing free white paper series, entitled “Transformers - Insurance Against Show-Stopping Problems,” is now available for free download. (Get it here.)
The white paper series is presented by Lundahl, a world leader in the design and production of transformers. The new chapter goes in-depth on the best measures to prevent ground loops and other problems that commonly occur in feeding multiple loads, including the use of transformers to effectively solve the problem.
The series of papers is authored by Ken DeLoria, senior technical editor of ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International.
Note that Chapter 1: An Introduction to Transformers in Audio Devices is also still available for free download. Several more free white papers on transformers and related audio topics will be posted here on PSW and available on a regular basis.
Again, download your free copy of chapter 2 of the white paper series here.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
In The Studio: Six Steps To Your Best Mix Ever
We’re manipulating emotional cues in the form of sound
Audio engineering is a surprisingly competitive arena. Us meek and mild mixers often find ourselves in head-to-head competition — or even tougher — competing against some imaginary beacon of greatness.
But this ain’t basketball. We don’t know who wins based on points. In fact, the only people who really keep score are other engineers — the kick in that song is a 9.2 out of 10, but the vocal reverb is only a 7 out of 10. Most people don’t really think or judge this way.
What makes a great mix? Well, most producers will tell you a great performance and great arrangement mixes itself. There’s a reason for this. A great mix isn’t really separate from a great production, and a great production isn’t really separate from a great song. The mix isn’t really the balancing of the production elements. The mix is facilitating the song on record.
This facilitation comes through the balancing of elements, the manipulation of tone and dynamics and the orchestration of space. But the whole goal is to make the listener hear, and feel, a song in the artist’s intended way. We aren’t really manipulating sounds, we’re manipulating emotional cues in the form of sound.
Let’s break it down:
1. Figure out the emotions of the song. This is the sum of the parts. When you listen to the song, the lyrics and the performance, there are feelings and intentions. Now, some of them will be clear, others will be ambiguous, and some will be contrasting. But we’ll get to that. For now, the question is what should the end listener be feeling when they are listening to the song.
This may vary section to section. Or the feeling might come from the difference between sections. The point is: figure out how the song is meant to hit the listener. The more you can figure this out, the stronger of a foundation you have for your mix.
2. Figure out how each element supports the emotions. Emotions are complex. You might have a “sad” sounding piano riff. If the whole effect were sadness, you might have a sparse, dragging, and/or lightly played drum part (or maybe no drums). But, you might have the sad piano riff contrasted with driving drums. This might create the feeling of fighting through something, or feeling distressed, or a host of other emotions.
Figuring out how each part interacts gives you context for your mix. If the parts contrast in feel, perhaps they should contrast tonally or dynamically as well? Is the piano supposed to be sad — as in depressed — or sad as in haunting? Perhaps emphasizing lower tones in the former and higher tones in the latter will help convey that intention. I can’t prescribe any kind of formula for this, that’s the beauty and subjectivity of mixing.
3. Figure out what’s important.
Once you have an idea of what and how everything is contributing to the song, you can start figuring out what’s most important to the feeling and when. This way, if you are say, EQ’ing to separate elements, you know which element is bowing out of the way to the other.
If the bass has all the inside groove, you don’t want to EQ the bass to make room for the kick. Or, if you do, you want to do it because you’re turning the bass louder than the kick.
Similarly, if the piano is expressing the feeling you want featured, and the bass is really just there for support, you probably want the piano to dominate in the record. In fact, it might even be good if the piano is masking the bass a bit in that scenario.
4. Scrutinize your vocals. As humans, there is nothing we understand more clearly than the human voice. Even if the song is in a different language we hear joy, pain, anger and love fairly clearly.
There is some degree of universal language that supersedes words. Find the parts of the performance that conveys the feeling, and bring those out. Check the entrance and exits of words, notes and phrases. A lot of interesting stuff tends to live in the entrances and exits.
5. Think of associations. Literal meaning tends to be underwhelming in a song. A literal meaning in a song would be when the performer tells the listener what to feel. It can be useful to a degree, but ultimately you want the listener to find their own emotions in the song.
One way to do this is to think of associations. An association is when something makes the listener think/feel something else. In this regard, the listener digs the emotional response out from within.
An easy example: putting an echo on something. Echoes are often associated with loneliness because we tend to hear echos in empty places. If the context is right, the listener will pull that association up themselves.
6. Focus on transitions and variation. I asked on my Facebook page which main elements make for a great song. Almost everyone mentioned “contrast.”
We are meant to detect contrast. We have a built in kinetic sense that we naturally use to focus our attention on whatever is changing. And we enjoy change. Making sure these changes are well orchestrated is paramount to an effective song — primarily to keeping the song engaging (at the very least).
And that’s how you make the best mix. Things like compression, EQ, choosing reverbs — these are all a technical means to an end. The end is the artistic intention, emotion, and how well it translates over the listener’s playback system.
Matthew Weiss engineers from his private facility in Philadelphia, PA. A list of clients and credits are available at Weiss-Sound.com.
Be sure to visit the Pro Audio Files for more great recording content. To comment or ask questions about this article go here.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Harman Pro Licenses Oxford Digital Filter Technology For Pro Audio Applications
Unique filter and EQ feature sets which will augment the capabilities of Harman products
Harman Professional has announced a comprehensive technology licensing agreement with Oxford Digital Limited, granting the rights to use Oxford Digital’s proprietary filter technologies in AKG, BSS, Crown, dbx, JBL, Lexicon, Soundcraft, and Studer professional audio products.
“Internationally recognized as a DSP technology leader and innovation powerhouse, Oxford Digital brings many unique filter and EQ feature sets which will augment the capabilities of products across our portfolio. The user interfaces they have developed for these complex processing algorithms are remarkably intuitive to use,” notes Mark Ureda, vice president, strategy and technology for Harman Pro. “We are very pleased to be working with Oxford Digital to provide our customers with new filter and EQ options for the installation, broadcast, cinema and tour sound markets.”
John Richards, CEO of Oxford Digital Limited, adds, “We are delighted to enter into this agreement with Harman and look forward to working with their team as we help them integrate these technologies across their professional audio product platforms.”
“Harman’s determination to provide audio professionals with professional-grade tools that couple excellent sound and improved productivity drives us to partner with category leaders like Oxford Digital. We are pleased and proud to announce this exclusive licensing agreement in the professional audio marketplace,” Ureda concludes.
Oxford Digital Limited spun out of Sony Corporation’s Pro Audio Lab, Oxford in 2006 as a technology company, specializing in digital audio signal processing for the mobile and consumer equipment sectors including a complete end-to-end solution for audio processing for semiconductor manufacturers.
Recent awards include the British Engineering Excellence Award for Product of the Year and the National Microelectronics Institute Award for Innovation.
Oxford Digital Limited