Wednesday, December 17, 2014
WavesLive Mixing Master Classes Coming Up At Soundcheck Nashville
Top mix engineers to share insights and techniques, panel discussions and more
Waves Audio will be holding a two-day WavesLive master class event at Soundcheck Nashville, January 12 and 13, 2015.
The master classes will feature top live sound engineers Sean “Sully” Sullivan (Beck, Norah Jones), Pete Keppler (Nine Inch Nails, Katy Perry), Zito (OneRepublic, Backstreet Boys), and Stephen Bailey (Matt Redman, Rend Collective), as well as post-production mixing engineer Jeremiah Clever (Elevation Church).
The presenters will show how to integrate Waves plug-ins into live mixing consoles, offer an up-close look at plug-in “problem-solvers,” and demonstrate how they use Waves plug-ins in their live and studio mixing sessions.
Each day’s presentations and workshops will be followed by an open Q&A session. Waves product specialists Luke Smith, Johnny Mann and Noam Raz will also be on hand to provide in-depth information on Waves plugins and their integration into live systems using the Waves MultiRack application.
Soundcheck – Studio B
750 Cowan St.
Nashville, TN 37207
Each day will have a different focus and may be attended separately.
January 12, 12 pm–5 pm: Waves Solutions for Houses of Worship
—The DiGiGrid Product Line, Overview and Demos
—Speech Intelligibility in the Studio and Live (panel with Pete Keppler, Jeremiah Clever, and Steven Bailey).
—Mixing with Plug-Ins Workshops:
1) Using Waves Tools for Post-Production at Elevation Church (presented by post-production mixing engineer Jeremiah Clever)
2) Mixing Matt Redman (presented by FOH engineer Stephen Bailey)
3) Mixing Katy Perry (presented by FOH engineer Pete Keppler)
January 13, 10 am–2 pm: Waves Solutions for Live Sound
—WavesLive Solutions, Overview and Demos
—The SoundGrid Audio Network
—Loudness (panel with Pete Keppler, Sean “Sully” Sullivan and Zito)
1) Mixing with Plug-Ins Workshops:
2) Mixing Katy Perry (presented by FOH engineer Pete Keppler)
3) Mixing Norah Jones & Beck (presented by FOH engineer Sean “Sully” Sullivan)
4) Mixing OneRepublic (presented by FOH engineer Zito)
Go here to sign up and to ask questions about the WavesLive Mixing Master Classes in Nashville.
MOTU Ships Windows Support for AVB Audio Products
Connect MOTU interface to a USB 2.0 or 3.0 port on PC for multi-channel audio I/O with any ASIO- or Wave-compatible host software
MOTU is now shipping Windows 7- and 8-compatible USB 2.0 ASIO and Wave drivers for its new line of AVB-equipped audio interface products, including the 1248, 8M, 16A, 24Ai, 24Ao and Monitor 8.
Users can connect their MOTU interface to a USB 2.0 or 3.0 port on their PC for multi-channel audio I/O with any ASIO- or Wave-compatible host software.
“We’re excited that Windows users can now take full advantage of MOTU’s groundbreaking deployment of AVB audio interface technology in these award-winning products,” says Jim Cooper, director of marketing at MOTU.
The Windows driver installer is now available as a free download to all MOTU AVB interface owners at motu.com/avb, where a free download of MOTU’s AudioDesk 4 workstation software for Windows is also available.
Concurrent with the Windows driver release is another “one-click” field-upgradable firmware update for all MOTU AVB audio interfaces that introduces several enhancements, including optional stereo TOSLink (optical S/PDIF) support for MOTU’s 1248, 8M and 16A models.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Riedel Appoints Robert Pennington As U.S. Sales Manager, Broadcast, East Coast
Assisting customers in selecting and implementing the company's product portfolio of networked communications and signal transport solutions
Riedel Communications has named Robert Pennington to serve as its U.S. sales manager, broadcast, for the East Coast, where he is assisting customers in selecting and implementing the company’s product portfolio of networked communications and signal transport solutions.
“With unusually rich experience across broadcast production, networked communications, systems integration, and the broadcast and pro AV technology supply business, Bob is equipped to approach each customer and application with valuable insight,” states Christopher Street, general manager, North and Central America, at Riedel Communications. “For more than 25 years, he has been immersed in the East Coast media industry, and his exceptional knowledge and experience in this area will be immensely valuable as we continue to introduce innovative new communications and signal-transport solutions to North American customers.”
Pennington began his professional career as a broadcast television news producer at WCIV-TV in Charleston, SC and at WTOV-TV in Steubenville, OH. While with WCIV-TV he also served as camera operator, video editor, and microwave and satellite remote live truck operator. Pennington later served as program director for MDTV at West Virginia University, where he helped to design and supervise a multisite telemedicine program and worked to help standardize the university’s classroom technologies.
Subsequent roles with systems integration firms and resellers included that of branch manager and account executive at Seneca Communications and account executive at Video Central South. He later served as sales manager and product specialist at Anton/Bauer, commercial products manager for Sima Products, and in business development and sales roles at Texolve Digital.
Pennington is based in Connecticut and reports directly to Street.
Tracktion Launches MARKETPLACE In-App Retail Site (Video)
Enables purchase of third-party musical effects and instruments from within Tracktion 5 environment
Tracktion Software Corporation (TSC) has announced the addition of the MARKETPLACE retail portal to its Tracktion 5 music production software, enabling the purchase of third-party musical effects and instruments from within the Tracktion 5 environment.
Downloads are managed in the background, allowing users to continue to work on projects without interruption.
“MARKETPLACE is a conduit for connecting DAW users with content,” explains TSC’s James Woodburn. “The paradigm exists elsewhere in our on-line economy but for some reason has yet to appear in the professional audio market – until now. MARKETPLACE greatly simplifies and expedites the laborious task of searching out, purchasing, downloading and installing new plug-ins and sounds. By handling much of this process in the background, Tracktion 5 users are able to make quick choices and then carry on with their creative flow.”
Powered by Amazon Web Services with global transactions handled by PayPal, MARKETPLACE is a secure on-line retail site. Tracktion 5 users need only download the latest Tracktion build (v5.4.2+), open the new MARKETPLACE tab and explore.
MARKETPLACE can also be accessed outside the Tracktion 5 application at https://marketplace.tracktion.com/app.
Tracktion Software Corporation (TSC)
Monday, December 15, 2014
LOUD Technologies Appoints Jason Tan As Mackie APAC Product Specialist
Joins company after lengthy career in live sound, recording and production
LOUD Technologies Music Gear Group has appointed Jason Tan to the position of Mackie product specialist for the APAC region.
Based in Singapore, Tan joins LOUD after more than 20 years in the professional audio industry.
In addition to a lengthy career in live sound and recording, he is the founder of Eastwardaudio, one of the region’s major production facilities, where he oversaw productions for Universal Music, Sony BMG, EMI, Pony Canyon, and other major labels, as well as film scores and corporate clients including Coca Cola, Lexus, Hitachi, and Motorola. Singapore’s National Arts Council also appointed Tan as a mentor to its youth music program.
“Jason brings a wealth of Pro Audio experience to the table, from both a distribution and an audio engineering/production perspective,” states Rohan Smith, LOUD director of APAC Music Gear sales. “His technical and training expertise is first class. I am confident he will add significant value to all of our distribution partners’ businesses as we drive forward with new, groundbreaking products.”
Tan adds, “Working with LOUD is like a dream come true. I’ve used Mackie and Ampeg products since I began making music. I can’t remember how many hours I’ve spent making and mixing music with Mackie gear. It’s fantastic working for a company at the forefront of pro audio technology. I’m looking forward to supporting the events and activities of Mackie’s great partners in the region.”
Nevada College Audio Recording Program Educates Students With Waves
College of Southern Nevada utilizes both plug-ins and DiGiGrid audio interfaces
The College of Southern Nevada (CSN) utilizes Waves Audio plug-ins as well as DiGiGrid audio interfaces as an integral part of its educational process in its Audio Recording Technology program
In addition to a vintage Trident Series 65 and Pro Tools 11 HD3, one of the department’s primary control rooms, is outfitted with a Waves Diamond bundle, a DiGiGrid DLS, and Waves SoundGrid Studio software.
“The main reason for getting the DiGiGrid DLS was to update our second control room, called the ‘Trident Room’ due to its having a vintage Trident Series 65 console,” explains John Jacobson, Audio Recording Technology professor at CSN. “We have a recent Mac and have just upgraded to Pro Tools 11. But the three interfaces in the Trident Room are ‘legacy’ ones: Digidesign 96 and 192, and an Apogee Rosetta 800. These will not work with Pro Tools 11, and the cost to replace them was more than we could afford. Adding the DiGiGrid DLS interface was a cost-effective way to upgrade our Pro Tools system.
“In addition, Jacobson continues, “the DLS (and SoundGrid Studio software) do indeed provide near-zero latency and function as advertised. I haven’t used the DLS’s processing-sharing capability yet, but that may very well come into play as we continue to expand and rearrange our facility at CSN. As innocent as the DLS front panel appears, it does warrant us calling it the ‘Magic Box’.”
Another control room at CSN, called the “Nomad Room,” offers a portable, self-contained digital recording system with a Waves Native Power Pack and Pro Tools 11 Native, while the “Lab Room” has three iMac recording systems, each with a Waves Native Power Pack and Pro Tools 11 Native.
Finally, the department’s main control room is equipped with an SSL AWS900 console, Pro Tools 11 HDX, and a Waves Diamond bundle.
Friday, December 12, 2014
In The Studio: Eight Key Mixing Mistakes—And How To Avoid Them
Most recording musicians, engineers and producers are well aware what a difference mastering can make to our mixes. And as we’ve discussed in previous columns (such as Audio Mastering Basics: Taking Your Music That Extra Step), mastering is an art form in itself, and is best placed in the hands of a specialist.
But even expert mastering engineers can only accomplish so much, and it’s largely dependent on the raw materials they’re given to work with. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the top mistakes people make in preparing their mix for mastering, with the help of veteran mastering engineer of Universal Mastering Studios West, Pete Doell.
1. Too Much Bottom
Excessive low-end is probably one of the most common problems in mixes coming from project studios. Usually this is directly related to the mixing environment. The average home studio or project room is lacking in real acoustical treatment is and rife with reflective surfaces and bass traps.
The result is an uneven response across the bass spectrum, with some notes being overemphasized and others being practically inaudible. This translates to a poorly balanced low end in your mix.
Doell offers an important pointer: “The most egregious mistake is that people’s monitors aren’t placed properly,” he says. “Speakers need to be as far apart from each other as you are from them. So if your mix position is, say, three feet from either speaker, the speakers should be exactly three feet apart. Moreover, if the speakers are too close or too far from a wall, the apparent bass response will be off.”
2. Terrible Treble
On the other end of the spectrum, high-end can also cause its own issues. While not as hard to hear in the project studio environment, those high frequencies can show up differently during the mastering phase.
A de-esser, like the Precision De-Esser Plug-In, is a good way to nip sibiliance in the bud before mixing.
“Most mixes will want a bit of ‘polish’ or ‘shine’ in mastering,” says Doell. “When this good stuff is applied, sibilance can really creep up. Do yourself a big favor and de-ess your vocals, maybe even your hi-hat just a bit, even if you don’t hear too much of an issue. Your mastering engineer will thank you.”
The bottom line, as Doell points out, is to use EQ wisely and sparingly.
3. No Dynamic Range
This is probably one of the most discussed topics in modern music mixing circles. Over the past decade or so, the quest for radio airplay has created a battle for attention that has manifested itself in loudness – the perception being that louder the track, the more it will grab the listener.
It’s a mentality that started with TV and radio advertisers (notice how a loud commercial gets your attention) and is a direct result of today’s vastly improved compressor technology, which has enabled us to create “radio mixes” where everything is loud, punchy and in your face.
The problem with pumping up the apparent volume on your mix this way is that it works by compressing the dynamic range of your tracks. Dynamic range is defined as the difference between the loudest and softest sounds in your track.
Ideally, the tracks you deliver to the mastering house should have peaks of around –3 dB for the loudest material (for example, a snare hit), while the rest of the track should average in the –6 dB to –8 dB area. That would give your peaks somewhere around 3 dB to 5 dB of dynamic range.
The problem with compressing dynamic range (or, equally hazardous, normalizing a track’s relative volume), is that you effectively rob your mastering engineer of the resources to do their job.
A good mastering engineer applies meticulous use of multiband compression – bringing up the punch and presence of the bass, adding clarity and sparkle to the high end – all by using different compression algorithms for different spectral bands.
Many inexperienced mixers will apply a “mastering compressor” plug-in, using a preset that creates a loud but muddy low-end, a bright and aggressive high-end, and little room for the mastering engineer to add — or de-emphasize — anything.
“Sometimes clients desire a ‘loud’ mix, but they have done little or nothing to control the dynamics of their mixes,” says Doell. “I like the analogy of getting a super sexy paint job for your car — asking the mastering engineer to do the entire job with one ‘coat of paint’ is not the smartest move. Layering the limiting (by compressing the vocal, bass, snare, for example) will allow a MUCH more gorgeous detailed, deep shine on the final product!”
On a related note, try to avoid over-compressing individual tracks for the same reason. Often a mastering engineer will get a track that’s well within dynamic range, but with a vocal track that’s been normalized to the verge of distortion. Again, it leaves little room for mastering to bring out any subtlety or nuance in that vocal.
4. Lack of Panning
It’s important to give your mix some dimensionality by balancing different elements within a nice, wide, stereo field. All too often, people tend to pan everything at or near the center, creating a cluttered-sounding mix that lacks definition. While certain elements should typically be centered (kick, snare, vocal and bass come to mind), panning is a great way to achieve separation between guitar parts, background vocals and other parts of the mix.
“It’s always good to pan some elements of the mix just a bit off to one side,” says Doell. “If you have a blend of guitars, horns, backing vocals, etc., keeping the middle less cluttered allows your ear to hear more distinctly all of that cool production you’ve worked on. You’ll also need less EQ and effects to pick these things out in the mix.”
5. Phase Problems
With most DAWs offering unlimited tracks, the temptation to record everything in stereo is strong, and elements like a nicely-recorded stereo acoustic guitar can add depth and character to a track.
But be careful to check your mixes in mono to avoid phase cancellation from poorly-placed mics. Only by soloing the stereo tracks will you be able to hear whether certain frequencies “disappear” when the two channels are summed to mono.
Taking a moment to check and correct phase issues as you go will head off lots of problems down the road.
It’s not just stereo-miked instruments that can fall victim to phase cancellation. According to Doell, “Often I’ll get a track with ‘hyper-wide’ elements in the mix that achieve that ‘outside the speakers’ effect by making one side out of phase. Just try hitting the mono button and watch that cool keyboard, string pad, background vocal stack, whatever, totally disappear. Even if you never anticipate having any need for mono (AM radio anyone?), when you do this, your balances aren’t what you think!”
This same principle also applies to reverbs. It’s all too common to have that lush hall you placed on the vocal just vanish in mono.
6. Poor Vocal Placement
It’s hard to be objective on placing vocals in a mix, particularly if it’s your song. After all, you know the lyrics, so it’s easy to forget that other people don’t.
And in most cases, a track can sound equally “right” whether the vocal is sitting a bit in front or a bit behind the track. Many pros will do two or three alternate mixes of a track, one with the lead vocal a bit up, one with it a bit down, and one in the middle. It’s a luxury of choice that most mastering engineers are happy to have.
7. Misaligned Tracks
This one is a no-brainer. When you send stems (separated groups of tracks, like drums and bass, guitars, backing vocals) to mastering, make sure they all start at the same place. “This is another pet peeve of mine,” says Doell. “If the lead vocal doesn’t come in until 0:30, that stem should have 30 seconds of silence at the top.”
8. Not Knowing Your Room
“I always like to start my mixing day by listening to some records I know and love — ideally in the musical style I will be working in — in the seat I will be sitting in to mix, and over the same D/A converter,” says Doell. “Then I will be much more readily comparing apples with apples. I am blessed to work in a ZR Acoustics (Zero Reflection Acoustics by Delta H Design, Inc.) room at Universal Mastering. But if I am working elsewhere, it’s important to know how the room I am working in is participating in what I am hearing, before I start making any decisions.”
As you might imagine, there are countless other stumbling blocks that can trip up your mix and make life challenging for your mastering engineer – certainly far more than we can list in this column. As always, the bottom line is to use your ears, listen carefully, and learn the rules before you break them. If all else fails, keep the potential mistakes above in mind, and you’ll be on your way to better results.
For more mastering tips and tricks, check out Pete Doell’s Mastering Tips with Precision Mastering Plug-Ins.
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. This article is courtesy of Universal Audio.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
API 1608 Provides A Great Foundation At The Blackbird Academy
Students learn the basics of pro audio sound quality and signal flow using the classroom’s 1608 and then apply that knowledge in Blackbird Studio’s control rooms
The API 1608 analog console at the center of The Blackbird Academy’s 30-seat classroom has scarcely been idle since the school opened its doors in 2013.
The academy, an extension of the top-flight, multi-room Blackbird Studio in Nashville, is owned and operated by recording engineer John McBride and his wife, country music superstar Martina McBride. Students in the program learn the basics of pro audio sound quality and signal flow using the classroom’s 1608, and then apply that knowledge in Blackbird Studio’s control rooms, which include a 32-channel API 1608 and two large-format API Legacy Plus consoles.
“The API 1608 sounds great, and serves as the perfect foundation for our students to build from,” says Kevin Becka, instructor and co-director of the academy. “Before arriving at Blackbird, most of our students got into audio using their own computers with inexpensive interfaces. They’re shocked at how the act of simply plugging in an instrument to the clean signal path and transformers of the 1608 can make it sound. We’ve come to call the effect, ‘API Love’. The construction of the 1608 is well thought-out and executed – everything about it is solid.”
The classroom is designed to give students a co-pilot’s view of everything the instructor is doing. Video cameras mounted above the 1608, and display the view on 65-inch screens. Each student uses an academy-issued iPad with custom-created apps, providing descriptions of every aspect of the studio, and how those aspects connect with gear in Blackbird’s dedicated control rooms.
Outside the classroom, students disperse into the control rooms of Blackbird Studio for smaller classes, and execute independent projects. “These are the very same control rooms that are regularly attended by some of the biggest names in the music industry,” Becka explains. “It’s a unique experience for the students to go into those rooms and know that yesterday, Tim McGraw or Keith Urban were in the same room. Learning signal flow on the classroom’s API 1608 transfers directly to Blackbird’s two API Legacy Plus consoles.”
Stage Tec Nexus Star Routing System Central To Operations At 3G Productions
Efficient management of analog and digital audio signals throughout all aspects of production
3G Productions, a multifaceted production company with offices in Las Vegas and Los Angeles that is involved in live production, sound equipment rentals, equipment sales, and installed sound, relies upon audio signal routing and management technology from Salzbrenner Stage Tec Mediagroup.
“Our Nexus router resides in two TV studios,” explains Keith Conrad, director of marketing/controller for the company. “We have one in the U.S. and the other in Europe. The Nexus system also travels around the world for shows done in all types of remote locations, such as stadiums or trade shows. The router that we’re using for our live show applications has a Nexus Star at the center of the system, which includes a dual matrix for routing inputs to outputs.
“Our system is equipped with three of Stage Tec’s RFOC optical interface cards,” he continues. “These connect to multiple base devices that are located at front of house, stage, and remote areas where the talent is located. We use all types of audio transport to get signals in and out of the Nexus. These include analog, AES digital, Dante, and MADI.
The router is currently being used primarily as the front end for broadcast events, used to collect all of the analog and digital inputs from all over the broadcast and to be able to route those signals quickly and efficiently to all of the various locations of the production—from the ACR (Audio Control Room) to front of house and monitors.
“We’re also tying the router into our communications systems to seamlessly route communications to different areas of the production,” Conrad adds. “By taking this approach, we don’t have to run separate cables and make hard patches.”
He notes that the most appealing aspect of the Nexus router is the ability to keep the same front end—analog and digital I/O—and easily switch out the consoles that are being used for any given project. For example, sometimes a Yamaha CL1 or CL5 digital console is the best option, based on the nature of the application and the real estate available. With the use of the Dante card, 3G can easily change out the console and keep all of the routing in place for both inputs and outputs to the drive rack and amplifiers.
“Equally important,” Conrad notes, “with the MADI cards, swapping out large frame digital consoles such as those from Soundcraft, Studer, and Midas is a piece of cake.”
In addition to its signal management flexibility, he’s also enthusiastic about the Nexus router’s audio performance: “One of my favorite parts of the Stage Tec Nexus router is its mic preamps. Sonically, these mic pres blow away the stage boxes offered by live sound consoles.
“By interfacing our equipment via Dante or MADI cards, we end up having the best sounding sound reinforcement consoles you will ever hear. The next best part of the Nexus router’s mic pres are the splits. Being able to have four discrete head amps for each mic input alleviates the need for a copper splitter, which saves us time and space on productions.”
Salzbrenner Stage Tec Mediagroup
Acoustica Releases Mixcraft 7 & Mixcraft Pro Studio 7 Production/Multitrack Software
Now available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, as well as offering a new interface, live loop and sample triggering, and much more
Acoustica has announced the release of Mixcraft 7 and Mixcraft Pro Studio 7, an updated version of the company’s flagship recording software now available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, as well as offering a new interface, live loop and sample triggering, audio warping and quantizing, enhanced control surface support, plug-in management, hundreds of new loops and samples, new virtual instruments and effects, and dozens of other improvements.
The new Performance Panel is intended for composing and performing music both live and in the studio, allowing real-time triggering and automatic synchronization of audio loops, MIDI clips, and samples. The panel can be manipulated using Novation’s Launchpad controller, a MIDI controller, mouse, or computer keyboard.
Mixcraft 7 offers support for Mackie-compatible control surfaces, as well as Frontier Design Group’s Tranzport control surface, and can be easily configured to work with any MIDI controller. Mixcraft 7 can also be controlled from across the studio using the free Mixcraft Remote app for iOS and Android devices. And, it also includes Copula, an advanced time-stretching and pitch-shifting technology.
Mixcraft 7 Overview:
Offers unlimited MIDI and audio tracks, dozens of virtual instruments and effects, video editing, mixing and mastering, a streamlined interface, and over 7,000 loops, sound effects, and drum samples. It also includes two new samplers, the Alpha Sampler and Omni Sampler, and two big-sounding new virtual instruments, G-Sonique’s Renegade Analog Monster and AAS’s expressive new Journeys instrument. Also included are new film score loops from Dj Puzzle, as well as a large library of acoustic and synthetic drum samples by Los Angeles artist and producer Shok. Price: $89.95
Mixcraft Pro Studio 7 Overview:
Includes more than $1,100 worth of plug-ins. Highlights include BeatRig’s Sidekick 6 sidechain compressor, Studio Devil’s Virtual Bass Amp, QuikQuak’s Glass Viper, and ME80 V2, plus a large suite of new mastering effects from G-Sonique. Mixcraft Pro Studio 7 retains all of the virtual instruments and effects found in Mixcraft Pro Studio 6, including Memorymoon and ME80 vintage analog synthesizers, Pianissimo grand piano, and dozens of high-end effects, including mastering tools from iZotope, G-Sonique, and ToneBoosters. Price: $164.95
New Mixrcraft 7 and Pro Studio 7 are available from Acoustica’s online store, located here.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
IsoAcoustics Introduces Aperta Aluminum Stands For Acoustic Isolation Of Studio Monitors
Outfitted with unique integrated tilt adjustment that enables the user to dial-in the optimum tilt angle
IsoAcoustics has introduced Aperta, a new line of sculpted aluminum acoustic isolation stands designed for medium-sized professional studio monitors and loudspeakers.
Aperta, the Italian word for “open,” describes the stands’ stylized design that creates open space and complements their surroundings, as well as the spatial openness in sound and the clarity in music that they deliver.
As with all IsoAcoustics isolation stands, the Aperta line incorporates the company’s patented “floating design,” combined with a unique integrated tilt adjustment that enables the user to dial-in the optimum tilt angle, with fine gradation markings provided to ensure the precision of the angle adjustments.
Overall size is 6.1 inches (w) by 7.5 inches (d), and the stands can accommodate loudspeakers weighing up to 35 pounds.
“IsoAcoustics continues to achieve new levels of design and performance in isolation,” says Dave Morrison, CEO of IsoAcoustics, “We are very pleased to introduce the stylish new Aperta to the professional marketplace.”
Packaged as a pair, the Aperta stands are available in both black and aluminum. Retail price for a pair is $240 (U.S.)
The new IsoAcoustics Aperta line will be on display at the upcoming Winter NAMM show in Anaheim at booth 6844 in hall A.
Sound Devices Names Ed Capp As Vice President Of Sales
Company veteran brings high level of technical expertise and leadership experience to position
Sound Devices has named Ed Capp as its new vice president of sales, where he will oversee and manage the company’s global sales team, further promoting the entire range of products while continuing to strengthen the reseller and distributor network.
“Ed has worked with us for 12 years, and has always been a solid member of our sales team and company,” says Matt Anderson, president of Sound Devices. “We look forward to his continuing leadership and commitment to fostering big growth for Sound Devices.”
During his tenure with Sound Devices, Capp has been instrumental in expanding the company’s reach around the world. In addition to developing the Southern California market in the U.S., he has played a significant role in cultivating Sound Devices’ strong presence in Asia.
Sound Devices a;sp launched its Video Devices brand earlier this year, with Capp playing a key role in this process in expanding the company’s global sales network and develop the right sales channels to address this new market. In addition, he was also tasked with working more closely on the company’s overall sales management strategy and customer service to ensure that it could support and meet its growing customer needs.
Prior to Sound Devices, Capp held a myriad of positions in a range of AV-related industries, including large corporate AV meetings and events, and mixing for broadcast and live events. He also served as the U.S. regional sales manager for Shure. Capp holds a communications degree from Emerson College in Boston, MA.
New MOTU Monitor 8 Combines Monitor Mixer, 6-Channel Headphone Amp & Audio Interface
Can serve as a primary audio interface and monitor mixer in the studio, as a complete monitoring solution for live performance, or as a dedicated monitoring component
MOTU has debuted Monitor 8, a 24 x 16 x 8 monitor mixer, 6-channel headphone amplifier and USB/AVB audio interface with console-style 48-channel mixing and DSP effects. It’s shipping now.
With analog audio quality based on the award-winning design of MOTU’s 1248, 8M and 16A AVB interfaces, Monitor 8 can serve as a primary audio interface and monitor mixer in the studio, as a complete monitoring solution for live performance, or as a dedicated monitoring component of a MOTU AVB audio network system.
“Monitor 8 is a one-stop solution for high-quality stereo monitoring through speakers, headphones, and in-ear systems,” says Jim Cooper, director of marketing at MOTU. “With large console-style mixing and Wi-Fi control, Monitor 8 is equally well suited for both studio operation and live performance situations.”
Users can create multiple mixes from a variety of inputs, including 8 channels of high-quality balanced (TRS) analog, 16 channels (2 banks) of ADAT optical, 32 channels of audio streamed from other MOTU interfaces on a connected AVB audio network (if present), and host software audio channels coming from the computer over USB or AVB Ethernet.
All of these inputs can be mixed to eight stereo output groups: main, aux and monitor groups A thru F. XLR main outs and balanced 1/4-inch aux outs can feed primary and secondary studio monitors or PA speakers. Users can then set up six additional, independent monitor groups, each with multiple mirrored outputs that include two sets of 1/4-inch headphone outs (front and rear panel), a summed 1/4-inch mono output, and, on groups A-D, balanced stereo quarter-inch outs. All told, monitor mixes can be sent to 12 sets of headphones, six stage monitors, four stereo in-ear modules (or other stereo line level destinations) and two sets of powered speakers.
Monitor 8 operates without a computer as a stand-alone mixer and headphone amp, but it can also function as a universally compatible AVB or USB 2.0 audio interface that is USB 3.0 and iOS compatible.
DSP delivers large console style mixing with 48 channels, 12 stereo buses, and 32-bit floating point effects processing, including modeled analog EQ, vintage compression and classic reverb. For stand-alone mixing, users can control Monitor 8 over Wi-Fi from web app software running in their favorite web browser on an iPad, iPhone, tablet, smart phone, and laptop — or several devices simultaneously for multi-user control of the Monitor 8’s multiple mix buses.
Users can mix and match Monitor 8 with MOTU’s other AVB interfaces, with their complementary I/O configurations, to build a customized AVB audio network system.
Monitor 8 is now shipping. Price is $995 USD.
In The Studio: Go Direct Or Deploy Mics For Electric Bass?
My first day as a real engineer rather than an assistant was all about bass. The engineer (who was the studio manager as well) took a break after we recorded basic tracks on a Salsa song.
Before leaving the room he told me to punch where the bassist wanted. I started, and was easily able to hear and punch individual notes rather than whole phrases. A few times I disagreed about which note was pulling the groove off but punched where I was told anyway.
After doing the punches, the bassist and producer agreed that we should have punched what I indicated instead, and we had to punch both notes…the one that was originally out and the one we “fixed.”
After a while, I realized that the engineer should have returned. I turned around to see him sitting in the back of the room watching. When I jumped up and said, “Oh sorry, I didn’t see you” he told me, “I’ve been watching…sit back down, ‘cause it’s now your gig.”
In order to be able to punch the bass, you have to capture it first. There are two aspects to recording electric bass—direct or putting a mic in front of the bass amp’s speaker.
Recording electric bass using a direct box is rather simple. The problem many people encounter is too much compression. I tend to use slight compression to smooth out the transients (usually caused by popping techniques and uneven notes) rather than try to force every note to be the exact same volume.
Although I know many people that automatically crank up as much bottom as possible on every direct Bass they record, I usually add a little 100 Hz (when needed) and also a little bump at around 3-5k (again, when needed) so the “note” comes through more clearly. Sometimes I will add a little higher frequency to hear more of the “finger attack” or “pick.”
My favorite signal path for recording direct electric bass is a Neve 1073 or 1081 mic pre going into an LA2A, with just enough compression that the needle stays at zero but drops down no more than 2-3 dB at times.
The trouble with trying to compress and squeeze every note to be the same volume when recording is that you may end up losing some of the tone and dynamics of the performance.
Note: You can always compress more, or differently, during the mix. Although you may be able to make a “flat” sound more full, you can never undo compression.
I remember, in the analog days, trying to experiment with how to record bass so that the bottom did not saturate the tape. At one point I even tried dropping the bottom and boosting the top when recording, then reversing that process on playback (sort of like Dolby).
For that experiment I used an API EQ, dropping 100 Hz and boosting 10 kHz going into the tape machine, and another API with opposite settings coming out. Of course I recorded the bass on another track straight, without the EQ changes. The track with the EQ had a “rounder” bottom end, but the track recorded straight had a thicker lower midrange that worked better in the mix.
Now that the whole world is digital, tape compression is not an issue (so I recommend just going straight without playing the EQ-in/EQ-out game). Oh, if you hear a strange occasional buzz on the bass that you can’t track down, see if anyone is using a copy machine in the studio. I once spent an hour tracking down a buzz before noticing it only happened when someone in the lounge was making a copy.
Going With Mic(s)
The trouble with putting a mic directly in front of a bass amp speaker is that although you do get some bottom due to the “proximity effect,” the real bottom of the bass needs much more room within which to develop.
If you mic far enough for the low sound waves, you may introduce a slight delay. What I prefer to do is stick a mic close to the cabinet as well as one a few yards away for the real bottom. Sometimes I just use the far mic.
In either case, it’s very important to make sure the far mic track is moved earlier, either by sliding the track back (if you are digital) or flipping the tape and bouncing in Repro (if you are analog).
I was recording a famous jazz fusion band, and we just finished all of the basic tracks (so all of the drum and other mics were still out). We took care of some bass punches and I flipped the tape and bounced in Repro so I had an “early” bass track to send into the bass amp.
I miked the bass cabinet with just a far Neumann U 47 microphone, and sent the early bass track through a delay on the way to the amp so I was able to tweak the time and really lock the amp sound with the direct one (I intended to combine them when mixing).
The bassist of the fusion band was scheduled to be interviewed and photographed, so as a goof we put every single mic around the bass cabinet. The photographer was amazed and snapped away at the bassist posing by his rig…never realizing that the only mic that was really being used was the lone U 47 in the distance.
In closing, reflections on a couple of great bassists I’ve recorded:
Marcus Miller: What can I say? Marcus is amazing, and we developed such a close relationship that he was able to stop playing, look at me, and then play a single note. Because I was always paying close attention I would usually know the note he was talking about and be able to rewind then punch into record at that note (of course sometimes he would play me the phrase before the note he wanted punched).
One day he was recording a bass solo through a Marshall amp. The amp blew (complete with light show) in the middle of a phrase. A half hour or so later when the amp was repaired (after we took a break), I rolled back to the beginning of the phrase and then punched in right at the note the amp blew on. Marcus played through seamlessly, as if the punch was seconds after the original performance rather than over 30 minutes.
By the way, people often ask me what chorus I used on certain phrases of “Mr. Pastorius” on the Miles Davis “Amandla” album. That was no chorus, that was Marcus doubling his parts so closely people thought it was an effect on a single track.
Bootsie Collins: When I recorded Bootsie, he was playing a bass with three outputs. Each output went into a different effects chain, and I substituted my Mutron III envelope filter for the box he had (his Mutron had long since died). Although I was told that people usually combined the three signals into one recorded bass track (and the producer suggested I do so as well) I had enough tracks to record each output on a separate track.
When I mixed, I started by getting general sounds, then automating the balances between all three outputs on a part-by-part basis. The sound was great, and I was able to emphasize different aspects of each output as well as each sound combination. (Bootsie played a very funky guitar as well, with his foot stomping the beat as he played).
Bruce A. Miller is an acclaimed recording engineer who operates an independent recording studio and the BAM Audio School website.
Yamaha NUAGE Creates Less Of A “Grind” For LA Audio Post Facility
Grind Music and Sound in LA utilizes new production DAW system for sound design and mixing for adventure sports and documentary films/television
Grind Music and Sound, an audio post-production facility in Los Angeles that specializes in sound design and mixing for adventure sports and documentary films and television, recently implemented a Yamaha NUAGE production DAW system.
Co-owners Michelle Garuik and Sangtar Heer had been researching consoles and DAW controllers for some time, not finding anything that really fit all of their needs until NUAGE.
“The tactile surfaces give us so many solutions for our different ways of working,” Garuik says. “After mixing ‘in the box’ for years, it’s great to have instant access to deep features in Nuendo with just a touch of a button.
“It’s also nice to have different ways to perform tasks enabling us to work faster and more intuitively,” she continues. “The mixing integration with Nuendo is fantastic in speeding up our workflow. With project deadlines having faster and faster turnarounds, NUAGE lets us meet the demands of our partners and makes mixing even more fun.”
They evaluated NUAGE at the recent AES show in LA, getting a private demo from Yamaha’s Marcel Mauceri, and then took in a more intensive demo at Hollywood Sounds Systems, presented by audio tech Brett Grossman, and Yamaha district manager David Lees.
“NUAGE’s deep integration with Nuendo was an immediate draw,” says Garuik. “It’s much more than faders, pan-pots and the usual four to five things you find on most controllers. Anything you need to do in Nuendo, you can access on NUAGE. Also, the fact that it is a Yamaha Commercial Audio product was another plus for us. Having mixed on Yamaha consoles in the past, we were already familiar with the build quality and support.”
Garuik adds that the ability to store different setups for their individual project needs is a huge plus. Mixing a 5.1 television documentary has a very different setup than mixing a music album, and the ability to switch quickly and seamlessly between those setups was paramount in their decision. The pair has been using Nuendo daily since its inception, first introduced to it at AES in 2000 where their journey began with version 1.0. They’ve also utilized Cubase since the 1990s.
With Garuik specializing in mixing action/adventure sports projects, some of Grind Music and Sound clients include Red Bull, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, NBC Sports and Specialized Bicycles.
“Our first television mix on NUAGE was for Fox Sports Training Day ‘Team Alpha Male’ episode, and it went amazingly well,” Garuik notes. Grind staff set up the system with assistance from Hollywood Sound’s Grossman on a Friday, spent Saturday programming quick keys and setting up system preferences, and on Monday, mixed the 22-minute episode.
“The mix went very smoothly, and having access to 16 faders at once, really sped up mixing for me,” she says. “The master unit rocker wheel was a dream to edit with; cleaning up edits was faster with less clicking. I was also very impressed with the monitoring integration of NUAGE and the I/O Nio500-A16 unit. The sound was impressively clear.”
Grind Music and Sound
Yamaha Commercial Audio