Studio

Monday, January 06, 2014

50 Must-Read Pro Audio Articles From 2013

This article is provided by the Pro Audio Files.

 
Well here we are again. 2013 was fun. We dove heavy into tutorials with the launch of our YouTube channel and our first two in-depth tutorials from Matthew Weiss: Mixing Hip-Hop and Mixing with Compression. Lots of new tutorials on deck for 2014.

We’re also currently redesigning the site, and incredibly excited to share the new design with you. We’ll be switching over within the next month.

It’s become a tradition to do our year-end article roundup. We love sharing useful information and we love supporting our friends. This post lets us do both. And who doesn’t love a good listicle? Have a great 2014.

 
—-
 
Production Advice:

Sonic Scoop:

Randy Coppinger:

Recording Hacks:

Mark Marshall:

Kim Lajoie:

Designing Sound:

The Home Recording Show:

Audio Geek Zine:

ProSoundWeb:

Go here to check out the Top 20 articles on PSW for 2013.

Mix Notes:

Wink Sound:

Home Studio Corner:

Audio Issues:

Behind the Mixer:

The Recording Revolution:

Dan Comerchero is the founder and editor of the ProAudioFiles.com, a community blog where audio professionals from around the world share pro audio related articles, techniques, and advice on recording, mixing, production and more.

Be sure to visit The Pro Audio Files for more great recording content. To comment or ask questions about this article, go here.

 

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Posted by Keith Clark on 01/06 at 03:41 PM
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Friday, January 03, 2014

Lightning Boy Audio Introduces The VOG Plate Reverb

At just over 5 feet tall and 8 feet wide and weighing in at nearly 400 pounds, VOG provides a "shimmer" to recordings with the natural beauty of a real stereo plate reverb

Lightning Boy Audio (LBA) has announced the availability of the Voice of the Gods (VOG) plate reverb.

It’s an analog stereo plate reverb inspired by the classic EMT plate reverb first introduced in 1957. At just over 5 feet tall and 8 feet wide and weighing in at nearly 400 pounds, VOG provides a “shimmer” to recordings with the natural beauty of a real stereo plate reverb.

It also provides a detailed and rich warm analog sound, in contrast to emulators and plug-ins. Lightning Boy Audio takes a classic concept to a new level of high fidelity with our hand wired class A tube amplifiers.

The adjustable dampening panel on the VOG allows the reverb decay time to be set anywhere between 2 to 5 seconds, either manually, or with the optional motorized remote control.

The VOG driver amplifier is a class A, 15-watt mono tube amp that delivers rich single-ended tube tone and features passive EQ controls for bass and treble with also a volume control to push the reverb driver.

The driver amp is loaded with NOS EL84, 12AX7 and 6X4 vacuum tubes, paper in oil caps, and top-quality audio transformers available.

The VOG output amplifier is a class A, push-pull stereo tube amp with separate volume controls and offers the flexibility to connect to the FX return on a mixing board or to the inputs of an A/D converter for digital mixing. A matching pair of high-quality NOS 6922 vacuum tubes, a NOS 6X4 vacuum tube, and premium audio transformers round out the output amp.

Lightning Boy Audio recently completed a VOG install at Schwab Music, a mixing and mastering studio located on the north side of Chicago.

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Learn more about plate reverbs here.


Lightning Boy Audio

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Posted by Keith Clark on 01/03 at 04:40 PM
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Shure Introduces New Entry-Level SE112 Sound Isolating Earphones

Offer consistent, rich sound with deep bass and an optimized nozzle design for listener comfort

Shure has introduced SE112 Sound Isolating earphones, joining the company’s SE line.

Designed for audio pros, musicians and music/audio enthusiasts, SE112 earphones provide Shure quality and durability at an affordable price, offering consistent, rich sound with deep bass and an optimized nozzle design for listener comfort.

Intended for everything from live performance to personal listening, sound isolating sleeves for the SE112 help block ambient noise and prevent outside noise from interfering with the listening experience. Three sizes of soft, flexible sleeves gently contour to ears for a comfortable fit.

The SE112 comes equipped with a durable fixed 50-inch cable, and to further enhance the fit for long-term wear, and keep cables out of the way, the earphones provide an over-the-ear configuration.

“Earlier this year we introduced our premium SE846 earphones with a truly groundbreaking low-pass filter. Now with the SE112s, we have a pair of quality earphones for an even wider range of users and preferences,” says Matt Engstrom, category director for monitoring/listening products at Shure. “No other earphone line delivers the same level of Shure sound quality and comfortable fit—and, at just under $50, the SE112s are the ideal upgrade to the standard earphones you get with today’s popular audio players.”

SE112 earphones carry a 2-year limited warranty and will begin shipping in spring 2014 with a MAP of $49.

Shure

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Posted by Keith Clark on 01/03 at 01:16 PM
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Thursday, January 02, 2014

Pearl-Cohn Magnet High School Launches Next Generation of Producers With Harman

Harman professional products play important role at Pearl-Cohn Magnet High School in Nashville.

The first of its kind in the US, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School in Nashville, Tennessee provides a unique opportunity to students interested in pursuing careers in the entertainment industry. The school offers concentrations in audio engineering, radio production, broadcasting and other media industries.

Fulfilling a key initiative of the project, Pearl Cohn partnered with the Nashville Chapter of the Recording Academy Producers and Engineers (P&E) Wing in late 2012, to build a fully functioning, world-class recording studio, creating the opportunity for students to learn music production skills in a professional, hands-on environment.

The new studio is equipped with Harman Professional’s newest JBL studio monitors, AKG headphones and microphones, Lexicon effects and Crown amplifiers.

The transformation of Pearl Cohn into the Nation’s first Entertainment Magnet High School was the personal project of Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, and Music Makes Us, a music education advocacy group, working to create a world-class learning environment for entertainment arts in Nashville.

Renowned studio designer Steven Durr donated his time and energy to develop the plans and oversee construction of the fully equipped studio.

In a remarkable effort, producer/engineers Jeff Balding, Chuck Ainlay, in addition to Ben Fowler, Julian King, Nick Palladino, Terry Palmer, Matt Schlachter, Jon Randall Stewart, Durr and notable members of the Nashville music community rolled up their sleeves as a valuable subcommittee to put the facility together.

“Music education is so important to The Recording Academy, so when we were approached with the idea of Pearl-Cohn’s studio, we were proud to help in the development, contacting key associates in the music world to construct the first-of-its-kind high school facility,” says Susan Stewart, South Regional Director, The Recording Academy. “The studio became a reality with the help of the generous manufacturers and the community, who bonded together to provide students the hands-on environment they deserve to excel in the music industry.”

According to Sam Lorber, Instructional Designer at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School, the institution was developed with the desire of engaging students with project-based lessons centered on the entertainment industry theme. 

“It was the intention of the school from the start to provide professional-level education. Whether students are going to pursue an audio degree or a career immediately after graduating, they will have the problem-solving, communication and collaboration skills associated with a strong audio-based foundation,” Lorber stated. “With the P&E Wing and Harman, our vision of building the all-encompassing studio has far surpassed what we ever imagined was possible!”

The commissioning of the studio at Pearl-Cohn marks the first installation of the JBL M2 Master Reference Monitors powered by two Crown iTech 5000 HD power amplifiers.

The M2, JBL’s flagship main monitor system leverages 7 patented technologies, JBL’s next generation transducers and its new Image Control Waveguide to deliver exceptional imaging, frequency response and high output to very broad space in the control room. . 

The control room also includes a 5.1 JBL LSR6300 system, while edit rooms are equipped with JBL LSR4300 studio monitor systems.

AKG microphones and headphones include K271MKII and K240MKII headphones, D12 VR drum microphone, C214s, a C414 matched stereo set and three C451B condensers.

Lexicon’s PCM96 Parallel Stereo and Surround Sound Reverb/effect processor was installed. Pearl-Cohn also installed three complete Lexicon plug-in packages.

Pearl-Cohn provides nine audio classes, which have become the most popular courses since the program was established. The studio/audio program has become the centerpiece of a curriculum that includes a student-run record label and publishing company, plus classes in studio techniques for musicians and singers.

Students select a pathway — choosing between careers as producers, managers, engineers, marketing agents, and more — and enroll in classes beginning with a survey of the music industry and progressing into the specific areas of each student’s interest.

“With a student-run record label, a state of the art studio and the support of music industry veterans, the stage is set at Pearl-Cohn for emerging talent to make their mark in the music world. The future of the industry lies within these kids. We are proud to partner with The Recording Academy in support of this project,” stated Mark Ureda, Vice President, Strategy and Technology, HARMAN Professional.

“We want our students to realize their dreams and potential. They enter the program with ambitions and we want them to graduate with the skills that will provide a stepping stone for a successful career in the audio industry and success in life,” Lorber continued. “Having a partner like HARMAN enables us to create a student-centered studio that rivals university and professional facilities. The sound emanating from our studio is superb and we can’t thank our partners enough for helping Pearl-Cohn inspire its students in this top-of-the-line learning environment.”

Harman
JBL
AKG
Lexicon
Crown

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Posted by Julie Clark on 01/02 at 03:24 PM
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Apogee Announces Symphony Thunderbolt Compatibility With Apple’s New Mac Pro

Works with Logic Pro X and all other Core Audio compatible applications on Mac

Apogee Electronics has announced that its multi-channel Thunderbolt audio recording system with Symphony I/O and Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge is fully compatible with the new Apple Mac Pro.

Apogee’s Symphony System (Symphony I/O and Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge) offers up to 64 channels of AD/DA conversion to any Thunderbolt equipped Mac computer.

Since its release in 2011, Symphony I/O has become the interface for numerous engineers and artists. Working with the power of the new Mac Pro, the speed and bandwidth of Thunderbolt, and creative possibilities of Logic Pro X, the Symphony System is a top professional audio workstation available for the Mac.

Symphony I/O + Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge highlights:

—Connect Symphony I/O to any Thunderbolt-equipped Mac

—Up to 64 channels of I/O with Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge

—Up to 32 channels of analog I/O in a single Symphony I/O

—44.1-192 kHz/24-bit

—Latency = 1.8 ms at 96 kHz/32 buffer

—Two Thunderbolt ports for connecting additional peripherals

—Works with Logic Pro X and all other Core Audio compatible applications on Mac

—Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge is certified by Intel

—Made in the USA

Symphony I/O price starts at $2,496; Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge price is $995.

Apogee Electronics

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Posted by Keith Clark on 01/02 at 02:26 PM
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Aphex Announces USB 500 Rack Now Shipping

Rack is a USB audio interface for 500 Series modules

Aphex is now shipping the new USB 500 Rack, a USB computer audio interface and analog rack for up to four 500 series modules.

The USB 500 Rack facilitates the use favorite 500 Series mic preamps as inputs to a DAW, individually or chained to form a channel strip. In addition, processor modules such as EQs and compressors can be routed in a DAW as hardware inserts.

In addition, the USB 500 Rack can act as an analog 500 Series rack via its balanced XLR connectors.

“We expect our USB 500 Rack to really open up people’s 500 series workflows by connecting traditionally analog modules directly to the computer,” says Aphex chairman David Wiener. “When we showed it at AES, a number of 500 series makers told us how excited they are that we are releasing such a revolutionary unit.”

Other features of the USB 500 Rack are its Monitor section (with Mono and Dim controls), high output headphone amps (based on those of our acclaimed HeadPod 4), MIDI I/O, and up to 96 kHz operation.

Aphex

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Posted by Keith Clark on 01/02 at 02:15 PM
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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

PSW Top 20: Most-Read Articles Of 2013

Be sure to cast your votes in the 2014 PSW Readers Choice Awards.

 

As we turn the page on 2013, we present the 20 articles that were the most-read over this past year on ProSoundWeb, based upon total page views.

Note that some of the articles that delivered top results over the past 12 months were actually written and posted well over a year ago, but they continue to prove of high interest and value to our worldwide readership.

In addition, some very popular articles posted more recently have not had as much time to accumulate traffic as others that have been posted for a longer period of time. We suspect you’ll see some of those fine articles on next year’s list.

Without further adieu, here are the top 20 articles on PSW for 2013.

Thanks for reading, and here’s to a great 2014!

 

 

Most-Read Articles #20 - #16 (Posted Thursday, December 26)

#20: Frickin’ Lasers: Exploring Better Drum Sound
By Andrew Greenwood

#19: Making It Sing: Microphones For Lead And Background Vocals
By Gary Parks

#18: Church Sound: Understanding And Effectively Using Parallel Compression
By Mike Sessler

#17: Four Suggestions For Surviving In The Pro Audio Business
By M. Erik Matlock

#16: Loudspeaker Design Trends: The Latest In A Constant Cycle Of Innovation
By Craig Leerman

Most-Read Articles #15 - #11 (Posted Friday, December 27)

#15: FIR-ward Thinking: Examining Finite Impulse Response Filtering In Sound Reinforcement Systems
By Pat Brown

#14: The Keys To Becoming A Great Technical Artist
By Mike Sessler

#13: Energy & Exposure: Presenting the Audience With The Optimum Balance
By Dave Rat

#12: Critique Your Mix By Asking These 11 Questions
By Chris Huff

#11: Dialing It In: Delivering Consistent Concert Sound For Paramore
By Kevin Young

Most-Read Articles #10 - #6 (Posted Monday, December 30)

#10: Legitimate Leslie Substitute? Inside The Neo Ventilator
By Danny Abelson

#9: An App For That: Recent Developments In Digital Console Software
By Craig Leerman

#8: How To Open Up Space In A Studio Mix
By Matthew Weiss

#7: Million Dollar Sound: Analog Style For Elton John At The Colosseum
By Greg DeTogne

#6: Everyday Carry: The Right Tools For The Job
By Craig Leerman

Most-Read Articles #5 - #1 (Posted Tuesday, December 31)

#5: Mixer Inside The Mixer: Applications Of Console Matrix Sections
By Craig Leerman

#4: From Simple To Complex: The Wide World Of Drum Techniques
By Bruce Bartlett

#3: 50 & Counting: Sonic Truth For The Rolling Stones Latest Tour
By Danny Abelson

#2: 10 Things About Sound You May Not Know…
By Bobby Owsinski

#1: Seven Obscure Mixing Techniques Used By The Pros
By Matthew Weiss

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Posted by Keith Clark on 12/31 at 06:08 PM
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

AMI Entertainment Releases 2013 List Of Most Popular Jukebox Music

Van Morrison, Guns N' Roses, and Blake Shelton top the charts

AMI Entertainment Network has released its annual list of the year’s most popular jukebox music, with the data for the list drawn from AMI’s network of digital jukeboxes and library of millions of songs.

2013 was a year of nostalgia for the AMI audience, as the top five most-played songs of 2013 were all recorded before 1990.

Claiming the top spot for 2013 was Van Morrison’s soulful jam “Brown Eyed Girl,” a legendary 1967 song that kicked off the singer’s solo career and continues to make regular appearances on AMI’s year-end charts.

Guns N’ Roses joined perennial favorites The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Janis Joplin to round out the top five. Meanwhile, the most popular song of 2012 — Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” — failed to crack the top 50, sinking all the way to #82.

The top albums of 2013 were similarly old-fashioned, with greatest hits albums from Guns N’ Roses and Lynyrd Skynyrd placing #1 and #2, respectively.

Eric Church’s hit 2011 album Chief remained on the charts for yet another year, falling only one spot from the 2012 list to come in at #3. Chief was followed on the charts by a string of greatest hits albums from classic artists like Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Seger.

The list of the top new songs of 2013 also granted a intersting view into the latest artists captivating jukebox audiences.

2013 proved to be a banner year for country singer Blake Shelton, with his new releases “Boys ‘Round Here” and “Sure Be Cool If You Did” topping the charts at #1 and #3, respectively.

Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” came in at #2, while new tracks from Florida Georgia Line, Daft Punk, and Drake also placed in the Top 10. New Zealand’s teenaged singer-songwriter Lorde also placed highly with her #1 hit song “Royals,” which came in at #9.

The AMI Entertainment Network has been developing entertainment solutions for bars and restaurants for more than a century, from the dawn of the jukebox to the digital age.

AMI

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Posted by Keith Clark on 12/24 at 07:58 AM
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Monday, December 23, 2013

In The Studio: Mic With Your Ears, Not Your Eyes

Place it where the instrument sounds best, not where the mic looks best
This article is provided by BAMaudioschool.com.

 
Often, a young engineer will start to position microphones based on what they see done by others or read in a magazine. Sometimes they experiment and move the mics to see if the sound improves, but usually once someone ends up with a mic setup they like they stop trying to improve it.

There are certain standard approaches that have been successful, but even these approaches should never be considered “etched in stone.” Always experiment, especially if it just means putting up a second mic to try a new position without moving the mic you are already happy with.

Once upon a time I had fallen into a typical routine of going with what I was told worked or what I watched the engineers I had assisted use. 

I was recording piano with a pair of matching mics in an XY pattern around the hammers. I knew of many approaches (another mic at the far end of the piano and then pan that mic over to the bass side of the stereo spread, pair of PZMs taped to the piano lid, throwing mics under, over, and in the holes, etc). 

Sometimes I would use a pair of mics just outside the lid but only when I could get away with more warmth and less percussive clarity.

One day I was working with the talented pianist Warren Wolfe. I was setting up my mics and he said, “You know, nobody ever wants to hear my advice to get the best piano sounds, they always just put mics in the same places.”

I stopped what I was doing, looked him right in the eye and said, “OK, tell me.”He then said, “All you have to do is to put your head in the piano and listen. Where it sounds good is where you put the microphones.”

So I moved the mic stands out of the way and listened while he played. Fortunately he played in a way that allowed me to hear how the different sounds from the piano at different ranges and volumes bounced around the piano box…the resonating chamber. 

I then put mics where my right and left ears where (very different from the tight XY I usually used) and played with the angles until I felt they were closer to my actual ear positions.  When I threw up the faders, I was blown away.

The sound was full, and had a more intimate sound than when I used outside mics (click here for an example).  Now I always move my head around inside the piano while the musician played not only wide range material but the actual parts and ranges they would be playing that day. 

Sometimes I went back to the XY over the hammers or pair just outside the box, but in general I always found places in the piano I liked.

I now find it especially helpful to listen to all instruments before placing the mic, often getting weird looks from the musician while I walked around them getting closer and farther and moving my head up and down searching for the sweet spots (you would be surprised there can be more than one, each slightly different). 

Even guitar amps deserve listening to as each speaker sounds slightly different. Yes, you can accomplish the same thing by having someone moving mics around from an eye driven position while you listen in the control room until your mic hits the sweet spot, but doesn’t it make sense to go find the sweet spots first?

Sometimes you may need to find different spots that emphasize different parts of a sound, or even different parts of a sound that must be captured independently. 

A good example of this is how I record Sanshin, which sounds sort of like a fretless banjo made of snake instead of paper played with rhythmic syncopated notes rather than arpeggios. 

When I walked around and listened while the Rinken Band played, I noticed a spot where it sounded rich, and that within that spot I could easily hear both an attack and a throaty twang. To capture that I used a condenser for the highs and an old ribbon for the throaty twang, both in the sweet spot I prefered. 

Rinken told me nobody had every captured the real sound of the Sanshin before. Had I not listened first and in doing so learned what was important to capture I would have ended up with something typical (thin) rather than strong.

In general, you are best off moving your head around the area of an instrument (including above and below, close and far), then placing the microphone where your ear hears the best sound. 

Start with suggested positions, but put your head there and listen before you automatically put a mic there and assume it is the best starting placement.

The key to mic placement is understanding what you are tying to capture, choosing the right mic and finding the location and positioning to most strongly capture the sound source. 

You may have to make sacrifices for the performance (moving the acoustic guitar mic because the musician is wildly throwing his picking arm around) or sacrifices due to available microphones (etc) but you will always capture the music if you mic with your ears instead of your eyes.

Bruce A. Miller is a veteran recording engineer who operates an independent recording studio and the BAM Audio School website.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 12/23 at 10:46 PM
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Friday, December 20, 2013

Line 6 To Be Acquired By Yamaha Corporation

Yamaha will operate Line 6 as a wholly owned subsidiary

Yamaha Corporation and Line 6, Inc. have announced a definitive agreement for Yamaha to acquire Line 6, expanding Yamaha’s portfolio of modeling guitar processing products as well as pro audio equipment.

Line 6 pioneered the digital modeling guitar amplifier in 1996, and continues to deliver innovative products and technologies, including POD multi-effect processors, digital effects, guitar amplifiers, modeling guitars, a range of professional instrument and microphone digital wireless systems, digital live sound mixers, loudspeakers, and iOS interfaces.

Under the terms of the agreement, Yamaha will operate Line 6 as a wholly owned subsidiary to fully realize the compelling opportunities for the two brands with Line 6’s operations continuing as before and its management team remaining in place.

“I’m very happy that Line 6, which has been creating innovative products and creating new market opportunities consistently over its history, will become a member of the Yamaha group,” states Takuya Nakata, president of Yamaha Corporation. “We look forward to accelerating our growth strategy by pursuing the beneficial effects from both companies and by utilizing Line 6’s core brand power centered on guitarists that is so highly regarded worldwide as well as its unique technology, planning and development capabilities.”

“For over 30 years of developing products, and even further back to my earliest memories as a developing musician, Yamaha has been the brand for which I have always had the most respect,” says Line 6 co-founder and chief strategy officer Marcus Ryle. “Yamaha has consistently set the standard in our industry for quality and innovation, and I am very proud for Line 6 to now be a part of this incredible legacy.”

“Yamaha’s acquisition of Line 6 will help accelerate the realization of our vision to drive innovation for musicians across the globe,” says Line 6 CEO and president Paul Foeckler. “We’re proud that Yamaha recognizes the innovation and value in our people, IP and processes and we’re excited about the opportunities ahead to expand our reach”

Outline Of Agreement

1. Based on the resolutions adopted by the Line 6 board of directors on December 19 and the Yamaha board of directors on December 20, a definitive agreement has been executed regarding the acquisition of all of the capital stock of Line 6.

2. Yamaha will acquire all of the capital stock of Line 6 owned by the founders, venture funds and employees.

3. The transaction is expected to be completed during January 2014 after receipt of customary regulatory approvals.

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC served as financial advisor to Line 6, Inc. and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Line 6, Inc.

Yamaha Corporation
Line 6

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Posted by Keith Clark on 12/20 at 02:43 PM
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Eventide Offering Trial Version Of Mood, A New Plug-In That Gauges Emotional Content Of Music

Mood analyzes music, including key, spectral content, tempo, dynamics and additional aspects, to create a set of "descriptors," which are then compared to a data base

Eventide has announced the release of a trial version of Mood, a plug-in that characterizes the emotional content of music.

Mood analyzes music, including key, spectral content, tempo, dynamics and additional aspects, to create a set of “descriptors,” which are then compared to a data base. The data base has been populated by people listening to and rating pop songs.

Mood displays, in real time, the relative intensity of four emotions - angry, calm, happy and sad. The intensity of these emotions are output as MIDI and OSC values which could be used, for example, to control the brightness and color of lights on stage or in a dance club.

While a computer algorithm can analyze audio, it cannot, on its own, map the results of the analysis to how the audio will make someone “feel.” Training of the computer is done by asking people to listen to examples of songs that make them “feel” a certain way and having them judge the degree of each emotion.

The algorithm then analyzes these rated songs to determine those characteristics involved in eliciting specific emotions. This process creates the “descriptors” that can then be used to analyze a new submission/song.

After months of training, the company believes that Mood is ready to be introduced to, and trained by, a wider audience. The plug-in includes a link that makes it easy for users to provide feedback and to let Eventide know which songs “fool” Mood.

“Mood is a bit whimsical and no doubt some will question why we bothered to create the plug-in. The fact is that audio analysis is at the heart of what we do and we were curious to explore the possibility of using signal analysis to map musical content to emotion,” says Eventide’s Tony Agnello. “We were also inspired by a well-known producer who, upon learning of the idea, said we were ‘nuts’. Fair enough.”

To date, Mood has only been trained on “pop” songs. Solo voice, solo instruments, jazz and classical music will not yield meaningful results. Training is ongoing, however, and the company hoping that people will download the plug-in and help them improve it.

As a result, Mood is available for immediate download at no cost for a 90-day trial period. Click here for more information.

 

 


Eventide

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Posted by Keith Clark on 12/20 at 09:22 AM
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Mezzo-Soprano Stephanie Blythe & Meyer Sound Pioneer Recording Technique (Includes Video)

Constellation optimizes acoustic environment for high-resolution music recording

Meyer Sound has collaborated with legendary mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and pianist Craig Terry in the release “as long as there are songs,” a collection of some of America’s greatest classics.

This is the first full album to be recorded using a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system and features a proprietary recording technique developed by company CEO and co-founder John Meyer. The technology provided a performance environment optimized for the artists, while giving listeners of the record an exceptionally accurate sense of being “in the room” with the performers.

“We live in a digital age when most people listen to music with high compression and limited bandwidth, and this is an issue close to musicians’ hearts,” says Meyer. “My job is to give artists like Stephanie the tools that bring her closer to her audiences. With this recording, we returned to what some may consider the ‘old school’ recording style, where musicians play together in the same room, and listeners can trust that they are hearing the performance at its fullest—nothing more, nothing less.”

The recording took place in Meyer Sound’s 57-seat Pearson Theatre. Using the room’s Constellation system with its variable acoustic capabilities, Meyer Sound engineers worked closely with Blythe and Terry to create a customized acoustic environment. During the recording, they performed comfortably without the interference of close-field microphones or headphones.

Full takes were recorded natively at 24/96 resolution. A third of the songs were captured as entire, unedited takes, with minimal edits made to the other tracks. No post-process filtering or compression was done during the capture or mastering process.

“The Meyers’ incredible spirit of generosity combined with their technology allowed us to create a recording with a sound that is honest, generous and real—a disc that magically transports listeners from their car or couch to the feeling of being at our actual live performance,” says Blythe.

The collaboration between Blythe and Meyer Sound began with an introduction of the two by Cal Performances Director Matías Tarnopolsky, who continues to serve as an advisor. Evans Mirageas served as executive producer, and Ian Watson was music editor. John Meyer led the technical team as recording consultant, working with engineers John Pellowe and Miles Rogers, both of Meyer Sound.

John Meyer has been devoted to building audio technology that faithfully reproduces and delivers sound of the highest quality to audiences worldwide. His 2005 recording of Aashish Khan and Zakir Hussain’s “Golden Strings of the Sarode” was nominated for a Grammy.

Purchase “as long as there are songs” on innova Recordings (here) and Amazon (here).

 


Meyer Sound

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Posted by Keith Clark on 12/20 at 09:07 AM
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lynx Studio Technology Produces Informational Video On Thunderbolt

Company co-founder Bob Bauman discusses Thunderbolt technology and the new Aurora and Hilo models

Lynx Studio Technology has produced a video that explains how Thunderbolt technology has been implemented into the company’s Aurora and Hilo AD/DA converters.

In a conversation between Lynx co-founder Bob Bauman and chief hardware engineer Mike Nicoletti, a wide variety of topics are covered to explain the advantages of Thunderbolt connectivity and how Lynx integrated this technology. The HD video is featured on the Lynx Studio Tech YouTube channel and is also available for viewing below.

“The Aurora TB and Hilo TB models use the second generation Thunderbolt technology from Intel, Cactus Ridge,” states Phil Moon, Lynx vice president of sales & marketing. “This offers Lynx key feature advantages over the early-to-market Thunderbolt devices that have been available in 2012. Just one of the advantages is that the LT-TB is the first pro audio Thunderbolt device to allow six converters on a single Thunderbolt port.

“In this video Bob does a great job of explaining Thunderbolt in a clear, non-technical manner,” he continues. “This is an ideal interface technology for low latency, high channel count audio and this video is a must see for anyone considering Thunderbolt. Bob also talks about using the Aurora TB models with the new Mac Pro from Apple, which has six Thunderbolt ports.”

Topics discussed in the video include:

·      What is Thunderbolt?
·      Thunderbolt’s unique advantages for audio.
·      Lynx implementation of Thunderbolt technology for Aurora and Hilo.
·      Thunderbolt connection with PCI Express technology and why that is important.
·      Use with both Apple and Windows computers.
·      How this is different from some of the early-to-market Thunderbolt products currently available?
·      What is Thunderbolt 2 and why the LT-TB is compatible with this?

Lynx Thunderbolt products include the Hilo TB models in black and silver, the Aurora 8 TB, Aurora 16 TB and Aurora 16 VTTB. The LT-TB card can also be purchased separately and installed in any existing Aurora or Hilo converter.

 

 

Lynx Studio Technology

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Posted by Keith Clark on 12/19 at 10:59 AM
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Full Sail University Selects Avid For On-Campus Post-Production Facility (Video)

A preeminent educational leader in the media and entertainment industry, Full Sail University relies on proven and trusted Avid solutions to train future media professionals

Avid announced that Florida-based Full Sail University, an innovative leader for education in the media and entertainment industry, has furnished its on-campus post-production facility with a complete end-to-end Avid workflow.

The university is now equipped with the most proven and trusted technology to ensure students gain the relevant and valuable industry expertise they’ll need for future success.

“As a leader in media and entertainment education, Full Sail University has demonstrated a commitment to preparing students for the demands of an ever-changing and highly competitive media landscape,” said W. Sean Ford, vice president of worldwide marketing and CMO, Avid.

“With Avid’s proven and trusted solutions, Full Sail students will be training on the tools most relied upon by the industry’s preeminent creative professionals, broadcast organizations, and post-production houses to produce, collaborate and share content.”

Full Sail students benefit from the high-performance audio mixing capabilities of Avid System 5, the state-of-the-art of digital audio console design, which give them critical experience in mixing large-scale feature films, shorts and other media projects with a tightly integrated, efficient workflow. System 5 has been the console of choice on numerous Academy Award-winning and nominated projects, including The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The King’s Speech, and Gladiator.

“The Avid System 5 console provides a flexible intuitive workflow, which enables us to better support the student and professional projects here at Full Sail,” said Michael Orlowski, dubbing stage engineer at Full Sail University. “One of my favorite things about the System 5 console is its compatibility with our Project LaunchBox initiative, allowing students to connect their laptops directly to the System 5. They can begin a project at home or on campus, then bring it to our Dolby approved Dubbing Stage for the final mixing. When we complete the mix, the students can take all of the audio and automation with them, thus providing a seamless experience.” 

The new investment is comprised of one Avid System 5 console that augments Full Sail University’s existing Avid Pro Tools|HDX audio mixing and editing system, Avid Video Satellite software, and the Avid ISIS 2000 storage solution.

View the Avid System 5 console installation (time lapse) at Full Sail University:

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Posted by Julie Clark on 12/18 at 09:41 AM
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

In The Studio: Tips For Better Take Management

One of the major differences between an aspiring producer and an established one...
This article is provided by the Pro Audio Files.

 
One of the major differences I’ve seen between an aspiring producer and an established producer is simple playlist (take) management. Great producers will usually have a very clean session in regard to organization and take management.

Gizmos
Technology is great. It allows us to do things that have never been done before, all in the comfort of our own homes. But when is it a hinderance? When do we become a prisoner of all the possibilities? When do we start to drown in endless options?

Established producers often have a lot of clarity within their sessions. They’re not concerned with countless possibilities, rather the best option.

This means when it comes to comping tracks and saving takes, decisions are made quickly.

Saving 20 takes per part may seem like a reasonable idea to many. What if you want a different variation on the part? Not sure the timing is locked? Not sure which take has the best tuning? What if? What if? What if?

Too many “what if’s” lead to a muddy production. It’s important to make decisions. Clarity throughout the process is important. Firstly, because it affects the performances.

A guitar chord that’s off is going to trigger the bass note to be off and then the percussionist has a hard time locking in. Before long, you have a session where the whole band is a little shaky. Not making decisive decisions can create a spiral effect on the stability of the production.

Momentary Lapse Of Reason
There is also the memory lapse effect. You record a bunch of takes and while you’re working, everything seems clear in your mind: Take 12 had a good bit, take 15 was mostly good, but you want to grab the beginning from take 4.

If you put the song down for a few days and come back to the session it’s going to be hard to remember the nuances between takes.

Commit. If it’s still not good enough, re-track it. At this point, you’re better off getting a single take then a patched edit for the sake of feel. I’m always in favor of replaying the part rather than extensive edits. It will take the same amount of time and the full take will still sound better.

Worm Hole
Aspiring producers/musicians get caught in the trap of playing too much and not listening. I like to set a rule of stopping after 4 takes and giving a really good listen. Don’t set record to do an endless loop. Loop recording means you’re not listening and most likely spacing out at times.

Perspective
It’s hard to hear the music the way it really sounds while you’re playing. This is another reason why you need to stop and listen as often as you can. If you’re the producer and player your perspective is biased.

When you stop, put your instrument down and trust your ears. Listen, make notes, and re-take. Don’t be noodling on your instrument while listening. This is the only way to make really fine adjustments. It may seem like it’s the long approach, but in reality, it will save you time.

Hit It
Here is how I like to track a vocal session.

First, I’ve taken time to choose the correct mic, preamp, compressor, incense, tea, lighting and dialed in a headphone mix. (Note: It’s very important to have a great headphone mix. It will result in less fatigue and frustration from the performer.)

Next, I like record a couple of full passes before we even think about punches. Let the performer get into the vibe of the song.

After 3-4 takes, stop. Take a few second break for water and then listen. Before we listen, I make sure we both have a pencil and paper. As we review each take, we write notes of what we liked or didn’t.

Listening to 8 takes in a row is overwhelming! It’s too much to digest. Plus, I’ve heard that if you listen to 9 takes in a row it could cause bowel irritation. Ok, I made that up. But, if I have to listen to 9 takes in a row of the 3rd part background vocal I’m going to be calling my friend Johnny Walker Red… And we’re gonna have a loooong chat, if ya know what I mean.

When the last take has completed playing, we compare notes and see if we have a comp. In the event the overall performance is not there, we repeat the 3-4 take run, break, then listen, take notes, comp.

If we just need a few bits, we comp the the take and punch in where needed. Notice I mention we comp BEFORE we punch!

Performance Drift
There is something I like to call “Performance Drift.” This is when the artists’ performance changes dramatically from the first take to the last. Volume, expression, and enthusiasm may have shifted during flight. Limiting tracking to 3-4 takes at a clip prevents performance drift as there will be breaks and reviewing that keeps it fresh.

Hash It Out
Don’t use recording as your practice. Need to review something because it’s not right? Stop playback and run it. Work it out. Be prepared and ready when the red light is on.

Don’t have the mindset of “I’ll fix it later.” The performance will always suffer. Even though we know comping and punching is an option, it’s good to pretend that it is not. A coherent take will always sound better.

Binary Composting
Don’t be a take-hoarder. Go ahead and delete! Don’t be afraid. Why live in the past, when you can be in the present? Last take only so-so? DELETE.

It’s also good idea to delete all unused audio from your sessions. It’s no use carrying around that baggage. No reason to have 20 gigs of audio that you’re not using. A bloated session is harder to backup or track down a file if need be. Plus, it takes longer to load.

If you’re not using it, send it off to greener pastures (aka your trash bin). Think of it as composting for 1’s and 0’s. Dare I say binary composting?!?!

Adios
Before I tell the musician a session is over, I make sure I have a comp I can live with. It should include all crossfades and edits cleaned. I want to know I have the part and what it sounds like. Leave nothing to the imagination…except which island your summer home will be on after your single blows up.

 
Mark Marshall is a producer, songwriter, session musician and instructor based in NYC.

Be sure to visit The Pro Audio Files for more great recording content. To comment or ask questions about this article, go here.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 12/17 at 04:05 PM
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