Wednesday, September 04, 2013
MG Sound Studios In Vienna Hosts Massenburg Master Class
Studio celebrates new Andy Munro designed facility and 20th anniversary
MG Sound Studios in Vienna recently hosted a 2-day workshop with famed producer/engineer and gear designer George Massenburg.
The studio complex is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and it’s newly completed facility designed by Andy Munro. Massenburg’s master class featured the live recording and mixing of top Viennese musicians, with close attention paid to microphone technique, editing, processing and mixing.
“We concentrate on a real recording project with every facet from rehearsal to final mixing,” comments Massenburg. “We’ve done a number of workshops here in Vienna, working with some of the finest musicians in the world.
“And what a treat to hold this session at the new location in this incredibly well-designed studio complex with my good friend, the co-founder and chief engineer Martin Bohm.”
MG Sound houses seven new studios equipped with the latest in digital recording systems, vintage analog gear, as well as two Solid State Logic consoles.
Studio designer Andy Munro, who designed the original facility 20 years ago, adds, “The new studio accommodates the full spectrum of audio work for records, broadcast, advertising and film. The studio and it’s highly professional team bring in an amazing range of clients from BMW to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. And now they have Austria’s first purpose built 7.1 film mixing studio to meet the full Dolby standard for re-recording.
:There are also live rooms geared for acoustic instrumentation and orchestral film music, as well as suites for voiceover and post-production. These capabilities are unmatched in Austria, a country with a wealth of first class facilities.”
In addition to feature film mixing and broadcast projects, MG Sound recently hosted sessions for Depeche Mode, Bon Jovi, and Ryan Leslie—known as the Black Mozart. Past clients include Hans Zimmer, Bono and the Edge, the Rolling Stones, Placido Domingo, Whitney Houston, and Sarah Brightman, among numerous other international hit makers. The studio is located in the historic First District of Vienna, home to celebrated concert halls, museums, fine restaurants and luxury hotels.
The Massenburg Master Class was organized by Thomas Riedmeier of CML Studio Munich and George Massenburg Labs European representative Bernard Frings.
The following video features an interview with Andy Munro by Mr. Bonzai:
MG Sound Studios
In The Studio: Drum Damping Techniques
Effective ways to get drum sound firmly under control
What Is Damping?
Damping (or dampening if that’s how you roll) is controlling the decay and overtones of a drum. Damping the drum is NOT a way to deal with a poorly tuned drum.
Knowing how to effectively control the sound of the drums through damping is essential for every drummer, producer and recording engineer.
Here I’ll cover some inexpensive products, some do-it-yourself options, and then some kick drum specific methods. This article is dealing with recording live drums, not damping and muffling for practicing.
Moongels—These are great inexpensive, reusable jelly pads that stick to the top head of the drum to control the ringing.
Super simple to apply. I like these a lot. Two sets should last you for years. These work best on the top head of a snare or tom and fall off the bottom.
O Rings/E-Rings—These are my favorite method of damping toms. They’re thin clear plastic rings that sit on top of the drum head. I love the instant gratification they provide.
On snare it’s not always my favorite sound, and can get in the way for brush work. They’re also inexpensive and should last a long time unless they get folded or bent.
Do It Yourself Options
Gaffer tape or masking/painter’s tape—NEVER use duct tape or electrical tape on drums, it’s just gross. Gaffer (Gaffa), masking tape or painters tape will apply and remove cleanly from the drum.
There are a couple techniques for using tape to damp. Try making a loop of gaffer tape sticky side out, stick it about an inch from the rim. With masking or painters tape take a 4-inch strip folded so there is a small “handle” for easy removal.
I’ll tend to use tape on the bottom of toms if E-Rings aren’t enough. You can also use tape on cymbals if they’re too ringy/washy.
Reused O-ring made from an old drum head—Next time you change your drum heads, cut them into O-Rings. Cut off the outer edge and the center. This costs nothing just some time.
Cotton balls – I once heard of putting a few cotton balls inside a tom to very naturally reduce the sustain time of the drum. Sounds like a good trick but I haven’t yet tried it.
Kick Drum Specifics
Pre-damped heads – There are a wide variety of drum heads available with damping built-in.
One of the most common is the Evans EMAD 2 which is a normal drum head with a plastic ring and foam damping insert. I really like the sound of these heads. Aquarian and Remo also have nice pre-damped heads.
Inside the kick – From pillows to more advanced systems, there are a lot of options inside the kick drum.
IMO all kick drums should have some kind of damping to sound good. You can take a blanket, fold it and place it inside so its just touching the batter head. Place something heavy like a sandbag or cement block on top so it doesn’t slide away during the performance.
I’ve read that some people will partially fill their kick with shredded newspaper but that seems really silly to me. A chunk of acoustic foam will work nicely as well.
Jon Tidey is a Producer / Engineer who runs his own studio, EPIC Sounds, and enjoys writing about audio on his blog AudioGeekZine.com. To comment and ask questions about this article go here.
Novation Announces New Launch Control Compact Controller
Designed to be a partner to Launchpad
Novation has announced the new Launch Control: a robust, compact controller with 16 assignable knobs, eight 3-color launch pads, and four function keys that’s designed to be a partner to Launchpad.
Launch Control’s knobs provide fluid control of filters, levels, and effects while using launch pads for muting, effects activation, or launching clips and scenes. Eight factory and eight user templates provide instant control of multiple instruments and effects without remapping.
Launch Control comes with Ableton Live Lite in the box and works with all major music software, as well as with iPad via Novation’s free Launchpad app to trigger the included loops and samples and control effects. Launch Control connects directly to iPad with the Apple Camera Connection Kit (not included) and it’s powered by the iPad.
Launch Control works with all major music software on Mac and PC and is fully class-compliant, controlling MIDI-compatible software like Ableton Live, Cubase, Reason, Logic and FL Studio with no need for drivers. And both Ableton Live Lite and an extensive Loopmasters sample pack are included.
—Compact control surface with 16 knobs and eight 30-color launch pads
—Partner for Novation’s Launchpad, Ableton Live and FL Studio, plug and play with the built-in mappings
—Integrates with the Launchpad app for iPad, control volumes and filters with the knobs and trigger FX and clips with the pads
—Tough, portable and bus-powered, even from an iPad
—Eight factory templates and eight user templates for creating and saving control setups
—Comes with Ableton Live Lite and an extensive Loopmasters sample pack
Pricing: $124.99 MSRP / $99.99 at dealers.
Further specific information about Launch Control is available here.
IsoAcoustics Debuts ISO-L8R430 Acoustic Isolation Stands For Large Studio Monitors
Decouples the loudspeakers from the supporting structure and eliminates sound transmission
IsoAcoustics announces the availability of the new ISO-L8R430 acoustic isolation stand, designed to support large loudspeakers and studio monitors in both the professional and project studio environment.
The ISO-L8R430 stand decouples the loudspeakers from the supporting structure and eliminates sound transmission, improving definition and overall imaging.
IsoAcoustics patented isolation technology allows the loudspeakers to literally float in free space, resulting in the elimination of energy transfer to the surrounding surfaces while maintaining all movement on-axis.
““IsoAcoustics has long been focused on developing products which allow professionals the ability to bring out the very best in their sound system,” says IsoAcoustics founder Dave Morrison. “We are tremendously excited to offer the new ISO-L8R430 stands to the recording community, giving professional and project studios the ability to bring out the best in their large speakers and studio monitors.”
Measuring 17 inches in width and 9 inches in depth, the ISO-L8R430 stands offer a variety of tilt adjustments, and are designed to support large studio monitors of 100 pounds. They are available at retailers throughout the U.S., Canada and many other countries worldwide.
The MSRP is $109.99 (U.S.).
IsoAcoustics stands provide superior acoustic isolation and enhance the sound clarity of virtually all speakers and amplification systems, including monitors for the professional studio and sound reinforcement, home theatre systems, musical instrument amplifiers, subwoofers and large monitors. AlI IsoAcoustics stands are built with a unique, patented isolation technology that allows speakers to float in free space, resulting in authentic, clear uncolored sound.
For more information, visit http://www.isoacoustics.com
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
In The Studio: An Interview With Legendary Engineer Al Schmitt
A focus on microphone selection and approaches from a master
Here’s an excerpt of an interview that I did with legendary engineer/producer Al Schmitt that’s featured in the second edition of The Recording Engineer’s Handbook.
After 18 Grammys for Best Engineering and work on over 150 gold and platinum records, Al Schmitt needs no introduction to anyone even remotely familiar with the recording industry. Indeed, his credit list is way too long to print here (but Henry Mancini, Steely Dan, George Benson, Toto, Natalie Cole, Quincy Jones, and Diana Krall are some of them), but suffice it to say that Al’s name is synonymous with the highest art that recording has to offer.
Do you use the same setup every time?
Al Schmitt: I usually start out with the same microphones. For instance, I know that I’m going to immediately start with a (Neumann) tube U 47 about 18 inches from the F-hole on an upright bass. That’s basic for me and I’ve been doing that for years. I might move it up a little so it picks up a little of the finger noise.
Now if I have a problem with a guy’s instrument where it doesn’t respond well to that mic then I’ll change it, but that happens so seldom. Every once in a while I’ll take another microphone and place it up higher on the fingerboard to pick up a little more of the fingering.
The same with the drums. There are times where I might change a snare mic or kick mic, but normally I use a (AKG) D112 or a 47 FET on the kick and a (AKG) 451 or 452 on the snare and they seem to work for me. I’ll use a Shure SM57 on the snare underneath and I’ll put that microphone out of phase. I also mic the toms with (AKG) 414s, usually with the pad in, and the hat with a Schoeps or a B&K or even a 451.
What are you using for overheads?
I do vary that. It depends on the drummer and the sound of the cymbals, but I’ve been using (Neumann) M 149s, the Royer 121s, or 451s. I put them a little higher than the drummer’s head.
Do you try to capture the whole kit or just the cymbals?
I try to set it up so I’m capturing a lot of the kit in there which makes it a little bigger sounding overall because you’re getting some ambience.
What determines your mike selection?
It’s usually the sound of the kit. I’ll start out with the mics that I normally use and just go from there. If it’s a jazz date then I might use the Royers and if it’s more of a rock date then I’ll use something else.
How much experimentation do you do?
Very little now. Usually I have a drum sound in 15 minutes so I don’t have to do a lot. When you’re working with the best guys in the world, their drums are usually tuned exactly the way they want and they sound great so all you have to do is capture that sound. It’s really pretty easy. And I work at the best studios where they have the best consoles and great microphones, so that helps.
I don’t use any EQ when I record. I use the mics for EQ. I don’t even use any compression. The only time I might use a little bit of compression is maybe on the kick, but for most jazz dates I don’t.
How do you handle leakage? Do you worry about it?
No, I don’t. Actually leakage is one of your best friends because that’s what makes things sometimes sound so much bigger.
The only time leakage is a problem is if you’re using a lot of crap mics. If you get a lot of leakage into them, it’s going to sound like crap leakage. But if you’re using some really good microphones and you’re get some leakage, it’s usually good because it makes things sound bigger.
I try to set everybody, especially in the rhythm section, as close together as possible. I come from the school when I first started where there were no headphones. Everybody had to hear one another in the room, so I still set up everybody up that way. Even though I’ll isolate the drums, everybody will be so close that they can almost touch one another.
What’s the hardest thing for you to record?
Getting a great piano sound. You know, piano is a difficult instrument and to get a great sound is probably one of the more difficult things for me. The human voice is another thing that’s tough to get. Other than that, things are pretty simple.
The larger the orchestra the easier it is to record. The more difficult things are the 8 and 9 piece things, but I’ve been doing it for so long that none of it is difficult any more.
What mics do you use on piano?
I’ve been using the M 149s along with old Studer valve preamps on piano, so I’m pretty happy with it lately. I try to keep them up as far away from the hammers as I can inside the piano. Usually one captures the low end and the other the high end and then I move them so it comes out as even as possible.
It sounds like you’re a minimalist. You don’t use much EQ or compression.
No, I use very little compression and very little EQ. I let the microphones do that.
What’s you’re setup for horns?
I’ve been using a lot of (Neumann) 67s. On the trumpets I use a 67 with the pad in and I keep them in omnidirectional. I get them back about 3 or 4 feet off the brass. On saxophones I’ve been using M 149s. I put the mic somewhere around the bell so you can pick up some of the fingering. For clarinets, the mic should be somewhere up near the fingerboard and never near the bell.
How do determine the best place in the studio to place the instruments?
I’m working at Capital now and I’ve worked here so much that I know it like the back of my hand so I know exactly where to set things up to get the best sound. It’s a given for me here. My setups stay pretty much the same. I try to keep the trumpets, trombones and the saxes as close as possible to one another so they feel like a big band. I try to use as much of the room as possible.
I want to make certain the musicians are as comfortable as they can be with their setup. That means that they have clear sightlines to each other and are able to see, hear and talk to one another. This means having all the musicians as close together as possible. This facilitates better communication among them and that, in turn, fosters better playing.
I start by setting members of the rhythm section up as close to each other as possible. To get a tight sound on the drums and to assure no leaking into the brass or strings’ mics, I’ll set the drums up in the drum booth. Then I’ll set the upright bass, the keyboard and the guitar near the drum booth so they all will be able to see and even talk easily to each other.
If there’s a vocalist, 90 percent of the time I’ll set them up in a booth. Very few choose to record in the open room with the orchestra, although Frank Sinatra and Natalie Cole come to mind.
If you had only one mic to use, what would it be?
A 67. That’s my favorite mic of all. I think it works well on anything. You can put it on a voice or an acoustic bass or an electric guitar, acoustic guitar, or a saxophone solo and it will work well. It’s the jack of all trades and the one that works for me all the time.
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 blogs. Get the second edition of The Recording Engineer’s Handbook here.
Guitarist Steve Stevens Relies On sE Electronics VR1 Microphone For Private Production Studio
Guitarist and songwriter finds Voodoo VR1 passive ribbon microphones essential to private production studio setup.
An sE Electronics Voodoo VR1 passive ribbon microphone is an essential component in the recording signal chain at a private production studio owned by guitarist and songwriter Steve Stevens, best known for his collaborations with Billy Idol over the past three decades.
Stevens, a virtuoso guitarist who is equally skilled at hard rock, pop, blues, progressive rock, new wave, jazz fusion and flamenco, is currently writing new material for the next album release by Idol, with whom he recently toured the United States.
Stevens, who has also recorded with Michael Jackson, Ric Ocasek, Robert Palmer and many others over the years, reports that fellow guitarist Pete Thorn, a self-styled “guitar nerd,” initially recommended the VR1 microphone to him.
“Pete’s got impeccable ears, and if he says you should check something out, chances are it’s going to be really, really good,” he says. “sE were totally helpful in recommending the right microphone for my needs. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the microphone and the company.”
Stevens often works alone in his Avid Pro Tools and Apple Logic Pro-based songwriting studio and consequently has to engineer all of his own recordings.
“I have other ribbon microphones, and they require—for me, at least—exact placement. Pete said a selling point of the VR1 was that you could put it anywhere on any speaker and it would sound really, really good. I thought, that sounds exactly like what I need!”
He continues, “I’m a songwriter, not an engineer, and whatever gets me there the quickest is what I’m going to use. That’s why I like this microphone—it’s a no-brainer.”
When recording in his project studio, Stevens typically uses a combination of two microphones on his guitar cabinet, an industry standard dynamic mic and the VR1, positioned in the center of the loudspeaker cone.
The VR1 is brighter in tone than another more expensive ribbon microphone with which he has recorded at other studios, reports Stevens, and as a result more of the track recorded using the Voodoo tends to end up in the mix.
The VR1 offers a wide-open frequency response of 20 Hz—20 kHz, due to the implementation of a patent pending mechanical device designed by Siwei Zou, the CEO of sE Electronics.
“That other ribbon mic is really dark. Usually you record it in combination with a 57 and only end up using about 25 percent of the ribbon to 75 percent of the 57. But with the Voodoo, sometimes I end up really favoring it in the mix,” he says. “It’s a bit more forgiving than that other mic.”
Stevens first came to the public’s attention with his guitar playing and songwriting on Billy Idol’s breakthrough hits of the early 1980s, which included “White Wedding,” “Hot in the City,” Rebel Yell” and “Eyes Without a Face.”
He later played on “Dirty Diana,” on Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album, also appearing in the music video; recorded several solo albums; played and co-wrote songs on the debut solo album by Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe, “Exposed;” and recorded two albums with super-group Bozzio Levin Stevens, alongside drummer Terry Bozzio and bass player Tony Levin.
Most recently, Stevens once again teamed up with producer and film soundtrack composer Harold Faltermeyer on an instrumental anthem for the Flying Bulls, Red Bull’s collection of vintage aircraft, aerial acrobatic pilots and skydivers.
Faltermeyer is best known for two iconic pieces of film music: “Axel F,” which he wrote and produced for the 1984 film “Beverly Hills Cop,” and 1986’s “Top Gun Anthem,” on which Stevens played, sharing the Grammy Award with Faltermeyer for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
The pair premiered their new Flying Bulls anthem at the Scalaria Air Challenge in Austria in mid-July, performing on the wing of a moored Dornier seaplane.
Posted by Julie Clark on 09/03 at 11:12 AM
Friday, August 30, 2013
In The Studio: Taming A Harshly Distorted Electric Guitar (Includes Video)
Keeping what you want while eliminating what you don't
One of the challenges when mixing a heavily distorted guitar is that sometimes it can sound a little bit harsh or brittle. This might be when the player slides his fingers across the strings, or maybe some fret noise comes into the performance — or even just certain notes/harmonics that are a bit unpleasant or too resonant.
You can try to notch out these frequencies with a conventional EQ by finding the parts of the performance that sound bad, finding the specific frequencies that sound bad, and reducing them by 3 or 6 dB.
However, a conventional equalizer is going to pull out those frequencies across the entire performance. So if there are parts that sound great, you’re still pulling out that harmonic content across the entire performance when you really just want to pull it out during parts that sound harsh. This is where a de-esser comes into play.
Conventionally a de-esser is used for vocals. When the singer makes “Sss” sounds, the idea is that the compressor is going to reduce the amplitude of those “Sss” sounds at the frequency you set, while letting the rest of the performance come through unprocessed. It’s a perfect application in this situation with a harsh distorted guitar, because it basically acts as an adaptive equalizer.
So if the performance gets a little too harsh, the compressor is going to turn those harsh parts down. However, when it’s not too harsh, it maintains the tone that you want to keep.
Check out the video tutorial below, where I use a Waves C-1 compressor with frequency-specific sidechain settings to tame a harsh distorted electric guitar.
Eric Tarr is a musician, audio engineer, and producer based in Columbus, OH. He is a Ph.D. student at the Ohio Sate University in electrical and computer engineering studying digital signal processing.
Be sure to visit The Pro Audio Files for more great recording content. To comment or ask questions about this article go here.
KRK Systems Releases ROKIT Generation 3 Studio Monitors
Optimized waveguide, extended tweeter response and upgraded amplifier
KRK Systems, a Gibson Pro Audio brand, has introduced ROKIT Generation 3 studio monitors (ROKIT G3), available in 5-, 6-, and 8-inch options.
As with all KRK monitors, the ROKIT G3 is outfitted with a lightweight yellow composite woofer that achieves very good dynamics.
KRK’s unique tuning process that treats the woofer, cabinet and port as a single, integrated whole provides vocal clarity with extended bass response. Additionally, a re-designed radius cabinet baffle minimizes diffraction.
The ROKITs’ reliable, analog, bi-amped, class A/B amplifier has also been enhanced to maximize headroom while retaining minimal distortion.
Each monitor in the ROKIT G3 line also has an upgraded 1-inch silk-dome tweeter that provides response up to 35 kHz, coupled with KRK’s optimized, proprietary waveguide technology for enhanced stereo imaging.
“This latest generation is a natural evolution of the company’s design philosophy: deliver natural, balanced spectral response, with low distortion and superior imaging,” says Gus Jursch, director of operations for Gibson Pro Audio. “We designed the ROKIT G3 line not just to the highest sonic standards, but to achieve a level of versatility that allows all users take their mixes to the next level, regardless of musical context.
“High- and low-frequency amplifier adjustments allow tailoring the monitor to taste, as well as provide a better ‘fit’ to individual room acoustics; the extended, accurate high and low frequency response results in mixes that translate over a wide variety of playback systems.
“What’s more, the new line maintains the ROKIT reputation as being ideal for a wide range of users, from those starting out in desktop recording to pro-level mixing and mastering engineers.”
The KRK ROKIT G3 line ships worldwide on September 1, 2013. For more specific information, go here.
Gibson Pro Audio
Mix Engineer Richard Furch Uses Metric Halo Channel Strip Plug-In On All Channels
Mix Engineer Richard Furch uses Metric Halo Channel Strip plug-in on most channels when working on a mix.
Seasoned audio engineer Richard Furch has worked on numerous Grammy Award-winning albums for the world’s leading pop, R&B, and rap artists.
His client list includes Prince, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Tyrese, Frank Ocean, OutKast, Macy Gray, Usher, and The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. He has also worked with a slew of prominent rappers including Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, The Game, Rick Ross, and Ludacris.
He recently mixed India.Arie’s album SongVersation and Chrisette Michele’s album Better almost their entirety.
As with everything he mixes, Furch began with an instance of Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip plug-in on every channel of every song he mixed on both albums.
Because it can be either transparent and surgical or colored and organic depending on his needs, Furch bases his workflow and sound on ChannelStrip.
“I love the perfect combination of transparent when I need it, but ‘analog smooth’ when I want it,” he said. “With everything flat, ChannelStrip is truly transparent. I’ve loaded a dozen or so instances in series and compared the output to the original – it was indistinguishable.
“Because of that, I don’t hesitate to put on extra instances to automate small fixes as needed. For example, there were moments in India.Arie’s vocals where she got a little too close to the mic or one of the syllables lacked the presence it should have.
“I could leave the ChannelStrip instance that gave me the overall balance just as it was and punch in a new instance just for a particular correction.”
Furch maps the controls from the ChannelStrip on each Pro Tools channel to the Avid C24 Pro Tools control surface that organizes his workflow. “ChannelStrip is essentially my board… any other plug-in is a flavor,” he said.
In the course of using ChannelStrip for so many years, Furch has developed his own flat preset that serves as a speedy jumping-off point. Strategic equalization frequencies, cut-offs, and bandwidths together with compression ratios, side-chain settings, and decay times make it easy for him to pop in one of several tricks that instantly take tracks to good places.
For example, if he finds that he’s losing a particular instrument in the mix, he enables the compressor with his preset parameters and the auto gain make up “lifts out the sound of the mix a bit.”
He continued, “I used to do that when I mixed on SSL consoles, but no other plug-in – not even SSL emulators – could replicate that trick quite this way and keep the gain exactly steady. ChannelStrip does.
“In addition, I often employ the high-pass filter on the compressor side chain and then lower the cut-off frequency to get more compression. It’s like a second threshold control, but it has its own, uniquely musical effect.”
On SongVersation, Furch employed ChannelStrip’s high shelf EQ – as he often does – to add clean “air” to the high end of several tracks, including India.Arie’s vocals.
“It’s such a wide shelf,” he explained. “I leave the frequency way up at 20kHz, but it has a smooth effect all the way down to 8kHz or so. When I lift it up, the track becomes airier and more lively. The quality of the shelf is so good that it’s never obtrusive.
“In fact, that’s one of the first things I do when I start a mix. I find the tracks that don’t seem as lively as they should be and use the high shelf. Because India.Arie’s vocals are so critical, because they have to be forward and warm, and because they need some sizzle at the top, I used ChannelStrip to really create her sound.”
Similarly, Furch asks his assistant to pre-condition every mix by employing the ChannelStrip high-pass filter to remove all low-end sounds or energy that aren’t actually serving a musical purpose.
“The filter itself seems colorless,” he said. “I can pull out a lot of rumble without affecting the quality of the musical low-end information. I used that technique on Chrisette Michele’s new album – especially on the backing vocals.
“There, I raised the cut-off quite high, since it’s great at cleaning up the sound without making it too lean. With the new real-time analyzer built into ChannelStrip3, it’s easy to see where to place the cut-off. It’s nice to feel comfortable knowing I’m in the right place.”
But for Furch, Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip isn’t merely for surgical fixes. “When I start working with the parametric EQ, I can really hear that pleasant analog feel that ChannelStrip is able to deliver. I typically crank up the gain and sweep the frequencies to quickly identify the right center point.
“It’s like ChannelStrip zooms in on the sound. Then I can relax the gain and everything sounds so precise. Most of the time it only takes a few dB. It’s very responsive,” he concluded, “a powerful weapon of mass sound manipulation!”
FOH Engineer/Producer Brad Divens Chooses Waves Plugins
FOH engineer/producer Brad Divens chooses live tools from Waves Audio.
Front-of-house engineer/producer Brad Divens (Garbage, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Jane’s Addiction, Linkin Park) is one of a growing number of engineers turning to live tools from Waves Audio.
Divens notes, “When working with platinum Finnish rock act HIM, Waves plugins allow me to be as creative with my console layout as my imagination can dream up. I love the ability to use SSL E Channel on the drums and SSL G-EQ on the keyboards, API 550B and the CLA 3A Compressor/Limiter on bass and the VEQ4 and Renaissance Axx on guitar.
“Parallel compression on the drums is something I have been doing for a while now using the SSL G-Channel Buss Compressor and the PuigTec EQP-1A on the drum group and also on the parallel drum group. With Waves plugins I’m able to create the signal chain very easily.”
As with any act, HIM presents certain unique challenges, and Waves plugins are there to help.
Divens elaborates: “With HIM I have a very dynamic singer, Ville Valo, and I also have wedges, side fills and back line – all competing with the lead vocal. The C6 Multiband Compressor allows me to compensate and adjust on a song-per-song basis, depending on what is going on around Ville and also the style in which he is singing.
“The PAZ Analyzer is also a big help in a setting where I’m not carrying a full FOH package. It allows me the ability to spot something in the mix as opposed to thinking it might be a PA problem.”
On the road and at home in the studio, Divens is a Waves fan through-and-through.
“My absolute must have Waves plugins are SSL 4000 Collection, API Collection, CLA Classic Compressors, V-Series, NLS Non-Linear Summer, C6 Multiband Compressor, Q10 Equalizer, and Doubler,” he concludes. “Having the Mercury bundle allows me to use all the outboard gear I’ve ever wanted to use in a live setting without actually having to carry it. I’ve got all the greats right at my fingertips. Pure sonic bliss.”
Posted by Julie Clark on 08/30 at 09:45 AM
DuraTruss Introduces Lightweight, Heavy Lifting Goliath-Studio Crank Stands
The new Goliath-Studio crank stands are heavyweight performers when it comes to supporting loads.
The new DuraTruss Goliath-Studio crank stands can be considered lightweight in terms of how easy it is to lift them, or how affordable it is to transport them. But when it comes to supporting loads, the new stands are true heavyweight performers. The secret is in their unique winch-free design.
“A good crank stand should lift a heavy load, not be a heavy load to lift,” said Ken Kahn, president of Global Truss America, the exclusive US distributor of the Goliath stands. The advantages these stands offer are so great, we’re confident they’ll be widely accepted in the market.”
The new stands feature an ingenious direct drive, rack and pinion design in place of the traditional (and heavy!) cable found on old traditional stands. This innovation allows the new DuraTruss Goliath-Studio Stands to offer greater lifting power and a lighter weight along with fewer maintenance issues, which will expedite work at job sites in addition to saving money on shipping costs. .
Being lightweight, the DuraTruss Goliath-Studio stands are easier to lift and carry—plus they eliminate problems with broken winch cables on crank stands. Made with lightweight aluminum components, the DuraTruss Goliath-Studio stands range from 50 kg to 200 kg in weight.
Yet, despite their convenient light weight, the stands are capable of some very heavy lifting. The largest model in the line can lift up to 5 meters, an impressive and unique achievement for any stand in this weight class.
The hard working stands also offer an unprecedented level of safety, thanks to their special auto break system. DuraTruss Goliath-Studio stands are made in compliance with the German BGV-C1 regulations for event safety, and most are TÜV approved by TÜV Saarland.
Aside from saving money on shipping, the new lightweight stands also control downtime and maintenance costs, since there are no splits or bolts which can become lost or bent. The DuraTruss Goliath-Studio stands are ready for immediate shipment.
Posted by Julie Clark on 08/30 at 09:15 AM
Thursday, August 29, 2013
PreSonus Now Shipping New Studio One 2.6 DAW Software
Offers advanced integration features as well as 50-plus improvements
PreSonus is now shipping Studio One 2.6, a significant upgrade to the company’s digital audio workstation software for Mac and Windows that adds integration with PreSonus StudioLive AI-series mixers, Nimbit and SoundCloud, as well as more than 50 other improvements and workflow enhancements.
Upon launching, users will notice that the Start page has been enhanced. A new Nimbit dashboard on the provides access to up-to-date Nimbit user account statistics (number of fans, number of active promotions, and sales) directly from Studio One. In addition, the user receives help messages on how to engage with fans and customers and boost sales.
A new SoundCloud dashboard displays key statistics from a user’s SoundCloud account, as well as a scrolling display of the SoundCloud activity stream.
Further, when recording to the newly updated Capture 2.1, users can now save StudioLive AI mixer scenes along with the Capture audio. In Capture, this means audio can be played back through the mixer using the original scene that was in use during recording, even if it was recorded on a different StudioLive AI mixer.
When a Capture 2.1 session is opened in Studio One 2.6 Artist, Producer, or Professional, and a mix scene is present, all the fader, pan, mute, and Fat Channel settings for each track are automatically imported into Studio One.
What enhances this is the new Fat Channel Native Effects plug-in, which is a native version of the StudioLive 32.4.2AI mixer’s Fat Channel, including the gate, compressor, limiter, and four-band fully parametric EQ. With the plug-in and the saved mixer scene, users can play tracks using the same processing and settings that were being used during recording, even without a StudioLive mixer available.
The Fat Channel presets are compatible with their StudioLive AI counterparts and can be exported from Studio One to a StudioLive AI mixer via Universal Control. The Fat Channel plug-in also is a regular Native Effects plug-in, so its powerful processing can be used on any Studio One tracks and mixes.
Studio One has long integrated with Mackie Control/HUI-compatible hardware controllers; in version 2.6 (all varieties, including Studio One Free), this support has been considerably enhanced. Mackie Control/HUI integration now includes Send slot navigation, Sends support, Control Link mapping, momentary Mute/Solo, Track Edit mode, FX Bypass mode (EQ Button), add insert/send/instrument, plug-in/instrument list and preset list navigation, and more.
The metronome features have been enhanced significantly, including accent and offbeat click, convenient click-track rendering, custom click samples with drag-and-drop and menu options, and even save all metronome settings, including click sounds, as a preset. A visual numerical count-in is provided when the user hits the Record button.
Studio One Professional users will also find enhancements to the Project page. A new CD time display shows the current CD length ofthe project, and the Transport bar shows relative song position. The update also delivers improved ISRC text input.
Version 2.6 also adds a long list of workflow and editing improvements, enhancements to the MIDI engine, and more. For more about Version 2.6, go here.
23rd Annual Parsons Audio Expo Slated For This Coming November
Expo will include Yamaha Rolling Showroom with NUAGE, and more
Parsons Audio (Wellesley Hills, MA) will hold its 23rd annual EXPO this coming Thursday, November 14, from 10 am to 7 pm at the Dedham Holiday Inn in Dedham, MA.
Parsons Audio, a leader in offering professional audio products in the New England area, will begin the day with Professional Development Workshops taught by industry leaders and focusing on trends. At noon, the manufacturer exhibit floor opens with product representation from all of the professional audio manufacturers represented by Parsons Audio.
This year, the expo will include the Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems Rolling Showroom with the new NUAGE system. Yamaha staff will be on hand for presentations and demonstrations.
NUAGE, a joint collaboration between Yamaha and Steinberg, is a hardware and software system that adds the power of the Audinate Dante audio network to world-class recording, post production, live to tape broadcast, and house of worship recording for re-broadcast.
“We enjoy keeping our customers and potential customers up to date on what is new in the professional audio market,” states Roger Talkov, general manager, Parsons Audio. “The Professional Development seminars are extremely useful In providing the latest industry trends.”
For more information go to www.paudio.com/expo
Yamaha Commercial Audio
In The Studio: An Uncommon Cure For A Muddy Mix (Includes Video)
Addressing an element that can detract from clarity
In this video, Joe Gilder shares an uncommon cure for a muddy mix. Of course, there are numerous cures for the problem—a lot of it depends upon the specific cause of the problem. There are so many variables.
But here’s one you might not be thinking of, and it can lead you on a “wild goose chase” if it’s not addressed early: reverb. As helpful as reverb can be in enhancing a mix in any number of ways—adding fullness and depth and so on—it can also cause some problems, detracting from the clarity of the track.
Joe provides a discussion of the problem and then some solutions to address it.
Joe Gilder is a Nashville-based engineer, musician, and producer who also provides training and advice at the Home Studio Corner. Note that Joe also offers highly effective training courses, including Understanding Compression and Understanding EQ.
3G Sounds Introduces Sample Delay Calculator iOS App For iPhone
Reference calculator for time-aligning loudspeakers and microphones in the free-field
3G Sounds has introduced its first iOS app for iPhone, the Sample Delay Calculator, a quick and easy reference calculator for time-aligning loudspeakers and microphones in the free-field, for both live sound and recording applications.
The app tackles problems caused by the difference in the propagation speed of sound through air and electricity down a copper cable when dealing with a coherent sound. This causes audible blurring of transients and comb filtering, or even a distinct echo in the instance where the time of arrival differences are greater than 50 ms.
The problem also effects recording, whereby microphones capturing a single source may have great distance variations between them, for example in orchestral applications. By delaying the spot mic on an instrument to the main array, the engineer can ensure that the sound will arrive time coherently when printed onto tape, thus improving the clarity of the mix.
Developed by Chris Kalcov and Grace Zarczynska, the app works based on the simple Speed = Distance/Time equation, but fully expanded using the most accurate derivations to compensate for other imperfections including air temperature. It specifies the required delay in milliseconds and samples, which can then be input into a digital mixer, DAW or loudspeaker management controller. More importantly it streamlines workflow and saves having to carry a scientific calculator to the next gig.
The Sample Delay Calculator app will be available for £1.49 beginning August 30 (tomorrow) at the Apple Store here. (direct link)
An Android version of the app will be available soon.