Studio

Monday, July 22, 2013

Full Sail University Installs API Vision Console

Full Sail University recently installed 64-channel API Vision console.

Full Sail University’s Studio B is now the official home of a 64-channel API Vision console. The console will be the centerpiece of the university’s Recording Arts Academic Program.

After a rigorous process, Full Sail’s new Vision eventually became the console of choice, primarily due to its distinct analog sound and highly teachable signal path.

Installed on January 2nd, Full Sail has completely integrated the console into its Academic Program and is more than pleased with this next level of professional gear offered to students.

“We are excited to have the API Vision Console installed into one of our on-campus studios,” said Darren Schneider, advanced session recording course director at Full Sail University. “This addition to campus provides another opportunity to work on a professional platform and prepares them with knowledge of the technology they will encounter when pursuing careers in the music industry.”

Founded more than thirty years ago, Full Sail University offers one of the best music programs in the country and is home to over 18,000 students from all over the world.

“We’re honored to have an API console at such a prestigious educational facility,” API President Larry Droppa commented. “Students enrolled in the Recording Arts program learn all aspects of console technique and we’re convinced API products are an excellent way to both teach and understand signal path and signal flow.”

API Audio

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Posted by Julie Clark on 07/22 at 10:19 AM
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Roger Fisher Takes PreSonus Studio One To Heart

Mike and Roger fisher embrace Studio One from PreSonus.

He may not be a household name but if you grew up in a certain era, you know his music. A founding member of classic rockers Heart, Roger Fisher’s opening riff on “Barracuda” has been a prerequisite lick for every fledgling rock guitarist for more than a generation.

Though he left the band in 1980, Fisher has hardly slowed down in the years since, maintaining a busy solo career that has included movie and TV scores, commercial music, and a near-endless stream of projects with his brother Mike.

The brothers recently completed a new project—Love Alive—using Studio One from PreSonus, and as Roger observes, it was more than a little demanding.

“It was our first project using Studio One, and we knew we’d be getting up to speed on a new DAW while we were working on the recording,” he says. “We were also producing video at the same time, and it was our first project using [Apple] Final Cut. So we were learning two new programs at the same time. Needless to say we approached it with some trepidation.”

But, Roger says, Studio One was a breeze to get into.

“Any time you switch programs you have to prepare for a major learning curve, and when you’ve got ideas you want to get down, that can be daunting. But Studio One was really intuitive, and we could see right from the outset that the program had so much to offer.”

The brothers’ recording style is admittedly fairly old school. “We work with all live musicians, so we use Studio One mainly as a multitrack recorder,” says Roger. “I don’t really do any programming or anything, so we mainly use it as a recording, editing, and mastering tool.”

That said, they are happy to embrace new technologies.

“When we finally got our first two-inch machine, we loved what we could do with it,” Roger recalls. “It was a wonderful thing - except for the cleaning, aligning, and demagnetizing every morning. And even though I got pretty good at splicing tape, it’s great to have an Undo button. At the end of the day, you can compare digital to analog all you want, but if it sounds good, and it sounds musical, we’re happy.”

Studio One’s Melodyne integration is another aspect of modern technology the brothers are happy to embrace.

“Frequently when you’re recording a track, you might be thrilled with the performance at the time, but a week or two later, you notice some little stuff that’s out of tune or some other anomaly,” Mike observes. “With Melodyne, you can go in there and use it on a chord and actually see which string is out and make it right. That’s the kind of stuff we could never do in the analog world.”

“As a company, PreSonus has been great to work with,” says Roger. “Support has been fantastic - we’ve developed a few one-on-one friendships with people in the company, and that kind of relationship really makes a customer feel good.”

“The ease of use, being able to just drag-and-drop things so easily - those are the things we like the most about Studio One,” adds Mike. “It’s just so user friendly, and that seems to make things flow faster for us.”

Roger concludes, “Every DAW has a few really great things about it, and a few things that are just frustrating, and in a perfect world we’d all love to be able to take the best aspects of each and combine them. But out of them all, Studio One has the most features, is easy to use, and sounds great. You really can’t ask for more.”

PreSonus

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Posted by Julie Clark on 07/22 at 10:09 AM
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Friday, July 19, 2013

AES Announces First International Sound Field Control Conference

AES’s 52nd International Conference titled “Sound Field Control – Engineering and Perception” in Surrey, Guildford, UK, September 2-4, 2013

Registration is now open for the first AES international conference on Sound Field Control, slated to take place at the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK, September 2-4, 2013.

Held within a short distance of London’s major international airports, this conference aims to bring together engineers and perceptual scientists from around the world to share their research in this fast-moving field, and to discuss the numerous interactions between acoustics, signal processing, psychoacoustics and auditory cognition.

“This is an unmissable event for anyone involved in the active control of sound fields, whether as a researcher, developer or practitioner,” explains Conference Chair Francis Rumse. “This is going to be a major theme of audio product development and design over the next ten years, and the personalization or customization of sound fields using audio technology is a becoming a really big deal.

” We’ve accepted over 40 contributions, including a number of invited presentations from the leading minds on beam forming, arrays, sound zones, spatial issues, perception and signal processing, and there’ll be some fascinating workshops and demos for people to experience the issues first-hand.”

Three fine keynote lectures from leading experts go hand-in-hand with live demonstrations and workshops on the interface between perception and engineering in this fast-moving research field. Keynotes include Professor Steve Elliott of the ISVR in Southampton, UK, who will give an introductory tutorial on “Active control of sound fields”; Professor Armin Kohlrausch of Philips Group Innovation and Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands, on “Evaluation of spatial sound fields; how far can we get with perceptual models?”; and Dr Frank Melchior, Head of Audio Research, BBC, UK, to discuss “Creative Sound Field Control.”

Sound field control enables the active management of audio delivered in an acoustical environment. Sophisticated signal processing and reproduction tools increasingly enable the engineer to tailor the sound field for specific applications, occupancy or listeners’ requirements.

This can include the creation of independent sound zones in listening spaces, the active control of noise, personal communication systems, the electroacoustic manipulation of auditorium acoustics and the generation of complex spatial sound fields using multi-channel audio systems.

Discover the preliminary program and make your travel plans now to visit the UK in early September. Low-cost accommodation has been arranged in high-quality ensuite university rooms for conference delegates. Find out more and register for the event at the conference website: http://www.aes.org/conferences/52/. Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AES.52 and follow us on Twitter at #AES_SFC.

AES

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Posted by Julie Clark on 07/19 at 06:31 AM
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Winners For Global Rockstar Competition Receive AKG Prize Package

Artists can upload their original songs until August 5 -- the final winner will be decided by social media voting and will receive an exceptional AKG prize package.

With a vision to bring international musicians together in a peaceful and fair contest, the Global Rockstar competition will once again rely on social media to find the best new musicians around the world.

Bands, singers and musicians from all genres are invited to upload their original compositions to be put up against fellow international artists in an online voting contest. The Global Rockstar winners receive a prize package from Harman’s AKG, in addition to international recognition.

“We launched Global Rockstar simply because we love music,” stated Christof Straub, Founder of Global Rockstar. “There is so much undiscovered talent that is worth a listen and we hope to provide a stage for all artists who believe in their art.”

To ensure a fair outcome during the contest, a jury formed of social media users and an expert panel of music business professionals will choose those who advance throughout the contest. The highest voted songs and additional “wild card” votes from the panel will be in the running for $10,000 and an AKG prize pack worth more than $15,000, which includes: numerous D5, D7 and C214 microphones, K271 and K171 headphones and WMS470 instrument and vocal wireless system sets.

For their loyalty, activeness and support, fans are also eligible to win AKG prizes.

“Our motivation for supporting the Global Rockstar competition is its offering of a professional competition for young, up and coming musicians and an opportunity to present themselves internationally without a major recording deal,” said Walter Ruhrig, Artist and Key Customer Relations, AKG. “With AKG’s professional line of mics, headphones and wireless systems, these artists will be able to continue pursuing their dreams with professional-grade equipment, bringing out their best sound possible!”

For more information and to register for the Global Rockstar competition, please visit: https://www.global-rockstar.com. Artists can upload their original songs on the site up to August 5, 2013.

National pre-selections will end September 2 and one national winner from each country will be chosen for the global finals, which run from September 2 through December 20.

AKG

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Posted by Julie Clark on 07/18 at 10:50 AM
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Avid Releases EuControl Version 3.0 Software

Free upgrade provides new level of creative control, supports Pro Tools 11 and more

Avid has released EuControl Version 3.0 software, a free download that offers significant speed, performance, and reliability enhancements to Artist Series control surfaces. It also supports Pro Tools 11.

EuControl 3.0 offers deep, tactile control over various audio and video software using Avid EUCON (Extended User Control) high-speed open control protocol, to speed up editing and mixing tasks. EUCON has been adopted by many leading software developers.

EuControl Version 3.0 Software is available for free download now here.

Avid

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/17 at 01:25 PM
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In The Studio: How EDM Is Changing Mixing And Mastering

There's a different kind of finesse involved in its creation
This article is provided by Bobby Owsinski.

 
Both mixing engineers and mastering engineers are tied at the hip, though many don’t realize it.

Yes, it’s true that many mastering engineers are dependent upon a mixer’s business to keep the doors open, but that’s been changing, since many times there’s a shoot-out between mastering engineers to see who gets the gig.

Usually, the one who can provide the loudest master wins (there’s that loudness war again).

But that’s not the real issue, nor where mixing and mastering engineers are mostly tied together. In fact, the concept of a separate specialized mixing engineer and a creative mastering engineer both began at nearly the same time during the late 70s, and continued to grow in prominence from that point until today.

Before then, engineers were somewhat interchangeable and came with the studio that you rented. Usually the same engineer that recorded the project would mix it, since the projects were generally short (as in a few weeks) to begin with.

As for mastering engineers, they were just part of the process of transferring the audio signal from tape to vinyl disc (and later CD). It wasn’t until legends like Bernie Grundman, Doug Sax and Bob Ludwig began to make mixes sound better, and louder, than the mixer could, that the mastering engineer came to be what he is today—the last part of the creative process.

But EDM is changing all of that. Today there’s less perceived need for someone to mix an EDM track. The writer/programmer gets the sound he wants right from the start of the track, and since the kick and bass are already out in front and have a lot of impact, most feel that there’s no reason to hire a specialized mixer for that particular bag of tricks.

The same goes for mastering engineers. Thanks to some great tools from a variety of plug-in companies like Waves, Slate Digital, Universal Audio and iZotope to name a few (the same tools that many mastering engineers use), EDM mixers can pretty much make their mixes as loud as needed, so it’s not surprising when they ask, “Why do I even need a mastering engineer?”

One of the things about EDM is that there’s a different kind of finesse involved in its creation from what a great many of the industry veterans are used to, where manipulation of the sound is encouraged and celebrated, and distortion is viewed as simply a byproduct of that manipulation.

That’s the antithesis of most mix and mastering engineers that don’t deal in EDM, where in their world distortion is something to be avoided. In fact, getting impact from the rhythm section without it is almost revered.

As my buddy (and mixing legend) Dave Pensado recently expressed to me, “We’ve (mixers) been too concerned with sonic quality, and it’s hurt mixers when it comes to EDM as a result.” It should be noted that Dave is one of the few mixers who does a fair amount of EDM, so he can speak with some authority on the subject.

Is this trend going to kill the market for mix and mastering engineers? Probably not. When it comes to music made by real instruments instead of samples and loops, it takes a great deal of expertise that only comes from experience with that type of music. I have a friend who creates fantastic electronic music, but is hopeless when it comes to either recording or mixing real instruments (especially the drums).

In many ways, it’s apples and oranges, but EDM is an ever-growing musical genre that now dominates the music business. As Aaron Ray, a principle in the management company The Collective said last week during a talk that I attended, “EDM has decimated rock. It’s now an entirely different business.”

The point of this post is to open up the eyes of those in our business who may be a little too tied to the past way of doing things, since there’s a whole genre of music that’s mostly ignoring you. In the end, we’re all in a service business and the client is still king.

It’s great to have principles, but if you hold them too tightly, you might find yourself not working as much as a result. If a client wants something that violates your aesthetic sense, in today’s world, you might consider suppressing your arty urges and give them what they want, because there’s a whole group of people right behind you that are more than willing to do just that.

Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. For more information be sure to check out his website and blog.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/16 at 02:33 PM
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API Names MI Corp 1608 Distributor

The API 1608 is featured in its own demo room at MI Corp headquarters.

API Audio has named MI Corp as its Korean representative, making the 1608 console available to an entire market that was previously untapped.

MI Corp experienced much initial success with API products such as the Lunchbox, 500 Series modules and the 3124+. As they began to design recording studios, it was clear there was a market for the API 1608 console.

“MI Corp is designing prominent recording studios and meeting the most difficult demands of sound engineers,” said Sunny Park, Manager of the Import Department. “Many engineers [in Korea] would like to own and operate an API 1608 console.”

As a result, the authorization to sell the 1608 console began. The 1608 that was shipped just a few weeks ago and is currently featured in its own demo room at the MI Corp headquarters.

Situated in the Gangnam-Gu area of Seoul, MI Corp originated as a musical instrument distributor back in 1997. As of 2009, they began to expand their services, aiming to become a leader in the multi-media industry. Expanding to professional audio and video, as well as the architecture and design of studios, they have been known as MI Corp ever since.

Sales director and former recording engineer, Ted Suh, was familiar with the API reputation and knew the impact it would have in Korea – API soon became a fundamental part of their inventory.

“In the current digital audio equipment market, customers missed analog music equipment. We think API is the leading company, not only for consoles, but analog modules,” said Park.

API Audio

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Posted by Julie Clark on 07/16 at 12:28 PM
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Monday, July 15, 2013

In The Studio: Deciding On The “Right” Computer (Includes Video)

It's best to think in terms of a system...
Article provided by Home Studio Corner.

 
Before you can even think about releasing your first quadruple-platinum album, you’ll need some way to record it. For years, big ‘ol tape machines ruled the recording world. I’ve got a buddy who laughs at how much much useless information from “the analog days” is taking up valuable space in his brain – things like like how to align a 2-inch tape machine.

While it used to take up to several hours just to set up the studio for recording (aligning tape machines, zeroing out the console, setting up the patchbay), now I can walk into my studio, flip on a power switch, double click on an icon, and I don’t even have time to make coffee before my studio is ready to start recording the next “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Thank God for computers. Sure, they bring in an entirely different level of complexity, but they allow the average Joe to spend a few hundred bucks and have (in many ways) the same capabilities as the big analog studios that cost thousands upon thousands of dollars. Having a “home recording studio” simply wasn’t feasible for most people 20 years ago. Now I’m amazed at the music we are able to produce from a bedroom in an apartment.

The other side of that coin, however, is that it becomes just as easy for horrible musicians to record themselves. This is a topic of another discussion for another day. I’m operating under the assumption that you are planning to use your home studio to make good music. Make good music.

So what computer should you get? The majority of the time, your home computer will have plenty of power to run most recording programs out there. I’m not going to give an exhaustive list of specs and requirements, because that changes every few months.

For the purpose of this article, suffice it to say that you should consult the manufacturers’ websites. They all have a “minimum requirements” page that should be helpful, especially if you’re going to buy a new computer. Please, please, PLEASE do yourself a favor and research software requirements before buying your computer. You’ll be glad you did.

That being said, one HUGE thing you can do to beef up your current (or brand new) computer is add more RAM. RAM is where the magic happens. That’s where all your audio will be processed, so the more the merrier.

Mac or PC?
Ah, the age-old question. All the Mac guys are touting the superiority of their machines. All the PC guys are trying to prove that theirs are just as cool. I’m a Mac guy myself, but I’m not so naive as to think that owning a Mac is the only way you can possibly produce anything creative.

What I will say is this. One reason Apple computers tend to get the reputation of being more “stable” is because they’re all the same.

Think about it, how many stores do you know of that build Apple computers? None. They’re all built by Apple. They all have the same components. PCs, on the other hand, can be built by just about anyone. You could order the same computer (same processor speed, same amount of RAM) from Dell, Gateway, HP, and Walmart, and each one would be completely different from the next, even though they all have similar specs.

Of course, you can also build one yourself. You can order in parts and make this Frankenstein beast, all for relatively little money.

If you were to buy all these computers mentioned above and install the same recording program on each, chances are it wouldn’t work on all of them. Heck, there’s a good chance it wouldn’t work well on any of them.

Why? Because recording software is much more demanding than a word processor program. Most PCs are built for office use, running spreadsheets, checking email, NOT streaming tons of audio data back and forth.

Also, the computer (normally) needs to communicate with an external device (audio interface), which can prove to be troublesome. (After all, it’s hard to get your computer to see a printer sometimes, what about an audio interface with all sorts of ins and outs on it?)

This is why PCs have gotten a bad rap in the music industry. If I was a software developer, I would love to develop for Mac only. Why? Because I would only need to develop the software to work with a certain processor, motherboard, etc. I wouldn’t have to make various versions for each motherboard out there on newegg.com.

That being said, I wouldn’t completely write off PCs. As I mentioned earlier, chances are (with a little tweaking) you can get your PC to work well for recording. However, be ready to do some fiddling and handholding to get it working.

If you’re looking to buy a PC, then I would seriously suggest looking at one of Sweetwater’s Creation Stations. These are built from the ground up to work with all the major recording platforms out there. They’re a bit more expensive, but they’re made by folks who know music technology, AND they’re super quiet. I’ve heard of many a person building his own recording PC, only to find out that it sounds like a rocket ship taking off. Yep, that’ll pretty much ruin a recording.

So…which is better?

If you put a Mac and a good, comparable PC (like a Sweetwater Creation Station) side by side, you would not see much difference in performance. Those guys over in Silicon Valley have come up with some ridiculously fast processors, so there’s a lot you can do with computers today that you couldn’t even do five years ago, both on a Mac and a PC.

The Deciding Factor
I could build an entire website around the Mac vs PC debate, but I don’t want to. The biggest deciding factor for you is this – what software are you wanting to use?

It does you no good to research Macs when you want to use Sonar recording software (which is PC only). It’s just as bad to research PCs when you have your sites set on Digital Performer (which is Mac only).

I’ll get into the various recording platforms in the next article, so keep in mind that when thinking about a home recording studio, you need to think in terms of a system. Too much focus on one component could lead you down the wrong path if it doesn’t fit in with your vision for the entire system.

 

 

 

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.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/15 at 03:01 PM
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Friday, July 12, 2013

In The Studio: How To Enhance Drums With Parallel Distortion

Beef up thin sounding drums using parallel distortion
This article is provided by the Pro Audio Files.

 

Matthew Weiss recently wrote an article called Seven Advanced Mixing Techniques That Can Get You in Trouble, and there was some confusion over the first tip about using multiple outputs for group sends so we made a video to break it down.

The idea is that by using multiple outputs for each element of a drum kit, you can control a separate drum balance exclusively feeding your processed track without affecting the balance of your main drum group.

So if you want a ton of kick drum feeding just the distortion plug-in on a parallel track while keeping the original drum kit balance going to your main drum group, this routing allows for that.

Check out the breakdown below to see how you can beef up thin sounding drums using parallel distortion.

 

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. Matthew Weiss engineers from his private facility in Philadelphia, PA. A list of clients and credits are available at Weiss-Sound.com.

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

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/12 at 03:35 PM
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Apogee Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge Interface For Symphony I/O Now Shipping

Pairs Symphony I/O with speed and bandwidth of Intel’s ThunderBolt technology

Apogee Electronics has announced that the Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge 64-channel interface for connecting Symphony I/O to any Thunderbolt-equipped Mac computer is now shipping worldwide.

It allows Symphony I/O to be paired with the speed and bandwidth of Intel’s ThunderBolt technology. 

Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge connects Apogee’s flagship audio interface, Symphony I/O, to any Thunderbolt equipped Mac for true Thunderbolt compatibility and performance. It’s capable of up to 64 channels of input and output at sample rates up to 192 kHz

Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge includes two Thunderbolt ports for taking advantage of the Thunderbolt protocols ability to daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt devices. This allows for devices such as hard drives and DisplayPort monitors to be connected in series with Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge to the Mac via a single Thunderbolt port.

Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge will also connect Apogee’s X-Symphony equipped AD-16X, DA-16X and Rosetta Series converters to Thunderbolt Macs for legacy compatibility. Existing users of these devices need to update to the most current software/firmware available on Apogee’s website before connecting to Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge. 

Highlights:
—Connects up to 64 channels of Apogee I/O to any Thunderbolt-equipped Mac
—Operates at sample rates from 44.1-192 kHz
—Compatible with Symphony I/O and X-Symphony-equipped Rosetta 800, 200, AD16X and DA16X.
—Latency = 1.8 ms at 96 kHz/32 buffer
—Two Thunderbolt ports for connecting additional peripherals
—Two PC-32 ports for connection to Apogee interfaces
—DC Input - 12V DC 30W (power supply included)
—Status LEDs to verify proper system configuration at a glance
—Works with any Core Audio compatible application on Mac including: Logic, Pro Tools, Ableton Live
—Certified by Intel
—Made in the USA

System Requirements:
—Audio Interfaces: Apogee Symphony I/O, X-Symphony-equipped Rosetta Series or X Series interface
—Computer: Thunderbolt-enabled Mac computer, including MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac
—Thunderbolt cable
—Mac OS: 10.7 or later
—Power: DC Power supply included

Price: $995


image


Apogee Electronics

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/12 at 10:46 AM
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Four Suggestions For Surviving In The Pro Audio Business

A few things I should have learned in the early days...
This article is provided by The Art Of The Soundcheck.

 
One of the first things I think I need to get into is money. They aren’t going to teach you the real money side of the production world in tech school.

The conservatory, Full Sail or wherever…They aren’t going to get into the survival side of it. I spent most of my career broke. It creates a strain on your mind, your wallet and your family.

Just want to share a few things I should have learned in the early days.

First. Figure out what you want to do. Why are you in this business anyway? Whether you are a road warrior, veteran tech who has sold his soul to a large manufacturer, or teenage church sound volunteer—why? What provoked you to take on an insane career choice like this?

If the first thing that falls out of your mouth is money, this conversation is over now. Just get up from where you are and go find something else to do. Seriously. Right now. For every guy who has a six-figure income with a studio, touring company, label or theme park, there’s probably a thousand who still qualify for food stamps.

The people out there who make that big money usually have one of two scenarios. They got a big break after years of proving themselves, learning their trade, maintaining their good attitude and doing whatever it took to pull off their gig—or—they started off rich and lie about where the money comes from.

Very few people get rich by just working their butt off as a tech. Getting really, really, really good at it won’t do it either. It’s called a business for a reason. Learn business. Learn to negotiate effectively. Learn to make deals. Be a great steward of the business you work with. Take great care of their stuff. Don’t plan to be someone’s second engineer as a career move.

If you do this because you love it, then do it. If the gear and shows and people in this world appeal to you. If your heart races when you create something or pull off a flawless event. If anything about this works is pushes your buttons and makes you feel like you just have to be in it. Then give it all you have. Learn the business side if you like to eat and sleep indoors.

Second. Know your industry and the seasons. It took me over eight years to figure this one out. I worked in various parts of the pro audio production world for about 18 years. Ten of those years included traveling as a hired gun sound tech. I made pretty good money doing it. Not crazy good, but impressive to most people. I was doing local work at the same time. When I wasn’t out of town, I had other projects I worked on.

About eight years in, I had to deal with the fact that I was constantly broke or behind on the bills. How the heck was that happening? We weren’t extravagant. Lived pretty cheap. My normal check for a long weekend run was enough to pay almost all the bills each month. Day rate looks really impressive until you average it out. Once I realized this, it was revelation. Duh.

My main clients worked with their main clients on rallies, concerts and events that were primarily outdoors. They apparently didn’t like it too hot or too cold for these events.

Thus we worked most of those events in the spring and fall. I was regularly on the road 10-15 days each month of those seasons.

I also had installation work and small shows year round. The installation work made almost enough to pay all the bills each month, alone.

Do you see where this is going yet? For three months, I had traveling and local work to get paid on. Then the next three months I only had local. Then it started over. Rolling good for three months, broke for three months.

Honestly. It took years to figure that pattern out. Because I didn’t know my industry or the seasons. Almost every tech out there struggles during November and December. It’s always harder to get gigs when there are none. Really. Learn to use the seasons to your advantage, learn to watch them.

Third. Learn to save money. It’s not going to flow like a river 365 days a year. It’s not going to mean living off Ramen noodles every week either. But it will usually bounce back and forth. At least until you get well established.

Figure out what your normal cost of living is. Save as much as possible. Don’t spend it if you don’t have to. Play defense with your money. Don’t let the smooth talker with that shiny new toy have it unless you have no choice.

Don’t take on debt or credit based on that day rate or how rich you plan to be. Credit cards can dig a hole you never get out of. Drive that car another year. Don’t eat steak dinners every time you get a check. Hold on to your cash as long as you can.

Fourth. Learn to see opportunities. There are plenty of ways to make money during the down time. Don’t sit there, broke, complaining about money. Find something.

For me, it was eBay. During a very bad season, I desperately needed money. I had been hoarding gear for years. That mountain of gear made my house payment for almost a year. Sacrifices are unavoidable sometimes.

I also worked part time for a small chain of music stores. They needed help with their pro audio side and I needed some more income. They got a new pro audio division, I got paid. The other thing it did for me, was keeping me alive.

You will never get good at anything you don’t do regularly. The installation work was hard some days, but it kept me working and learning. It helped me become better at what I did. Sitting at home watching cartoons does not make you more valuable.

M. Erik Matlock is a 20-plus-year veteran of pro audio, working in live sound, install, and studios over the course of his career, as well as owning Soundmind Production Services. Erik provides advice for younger folks working (or aspiring to work) in professional audio at The Art Of The Soundcheck—Random Stories and Wisdom from an Old Soundguy. Check it out here.

 

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/12 at 08:55 AM
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Focusrite Launches New iTrack Studio For Recording Music On iPad

Also offers full Mac and Windows compatibility

Focusrite has announced the launch of iTrack Studio, a complete system for recording music on Apple iPad (or Mac/Windows computer).

Based around Focusrite’s iTrack Solo – a 2-input, 2-output computer audio interface incorporating the company’s mic preamp technology – the iTrack Studio kit includes closed-back monitor headphones, a studio-quality condenser microphone with included XLR mic cable, and a long 30-pin device link cable to connect the interface to the iPad.

Record both channels to Tape by Focusrite, a free new app available Autumn 2013 from the App Store.

iTrack Studio includes Focusrite’s metal-cased iTrack Solo, with dual inputs for recording instrument and vocals simultaneously. Dual outputs drive monitors and the included headphones for an accurate impression of what’s being recorded. Audio quality ranges up to 24-bit, 96 kHz.

The packages comes with a 30-pin device link cable for connection to an iPad and can be connected to iPad 4 and iPad mini via an inexpensive lightning adapter – it can also connect via USB to a Windows or Mac computer.

The included CM25S condenser microphone is styled to match the interface and comes with an XLR mic cable. The HP60S monitor headphones have a closed-back design to effectively isolate the listener from the external environment.

Use iTrack Studio with Tape by Focusrite, the free app for iPad, as well as Garageband, Cubasis, or any number of existing iPad recording apps.

Availability is September, 2013. MSRP is $249.99, $199.99 at dealers.


Focusrite

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/12 at 07:35 AM
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

RE/P Files: Mixing Stereo Monophonically

Exploring the additive effect of audio information of equal intensity on both stereo channels

From the archives of the late, great Recording Engineer/Producer (RE/P) magazine, this feature provides an interesting snapshot of recording methods and techniques circa May 1970. (Volume 1, Number 1). The text is presented unaltered.

A short while ago a mild furor was generated when AM radio stations began to receive stereophonic promotion records and discovered to their horror that the soloists were 3 dB or more too loud when the stereo discs were played monophonically.

It was quickly determined by these broadcasters that an instrument or voice which was recorded with equal intensity on both of the channels would encounter the effects of simple addition of the two portions and become at least 50 percent too loud.

To overcome this “oversight,” Howard Holzer, audio engineer, developed a device which is inserted into the disc mastering system and detects information appearing with equal intensity on both of the incoming sources, automatically suppressing it without affecting the other program material.

While this approach is certainly worthwhile, if not mandatory, the fact that the recordists made its advent necessary is inexcusable.

Ten years ago this writer produced, without even the benefit of today’s “mix down,” a two-channel stereo master of a vocalist backed by a 30-piece orchestra. The tape was transferred to stereo disc, but no mention was made of the disc being stereo.

It was sent to many AM radio stations and was bought by the public for play on home stereo and monophonic record players… for it was assumed by the users that the album was available only in monophonic format.

Not a single report was ever received from any user to the effect that the vocalist was too loud under mono listening conditions. The disc played perfectly and no one noticed anything unusual. Why?

Because there was nothing unusual… except in the method of splitting the vocalist between the two channels.

Some, although unfortunately not enough, sound mixers already were aware, way back then, that the additive effect of audio information of equal intensity on both stereo channels could be avoided by splitting the source to both channels in unequal amounts.

To be precise - it was discovered that if you split the soloist in such a way that he is 3 dB (or more) ” hotter” on one channel than on the other, the cumulative effect when the stereo recording is played monophonically is minimized to the point of being unnoticeable.

In fact, with exactly 3 dB difference in levels, and with the level of the louder channel set for proper balance between orchestra and soloist (letting the weaker portion of the split source fall where it may on the other channel) not only is there no noticeable additive effect when listening monophonically to the stereo recording, but when listening in stereo it is impossible for the consumer, and for most experts, to tell that the soloist is not split equally between the channels.

A unique console specified by this writer and designed and built by Charles S. Broneer, provides splitting of any source to any pair of output lines in any ratio except 50-50. The console purposely will not allow the latter; the closest to this that it permits is a split with the 3 dB intensity difference between channels.

It has thus been positively established that with a console capable of providing other than 50-50 splitting, a two-track recording will reproduce perfectly in a stereo or monophonic system, and without the requirement of expensive and critical supplementary devices which should never have been necessary in the first place.

Editor’s Note: This is another in a growing a series of articles from Recording Engineer/Producer (RE/P) magazine, which began publishing in 1970 under the direction of Publisher/Editor Martin Gallay. After a great run, RE/P ceased publishing in the early 1990s, yet its content is still much revered in the professional audio community. RE/P also published the first issues of Live Sound International magazine as a quarterly supplement, beginning in the late 1980s, and LSI has grown to a monthly publication that continues to thrive to this day.

Our sincere thanks to Mark Gander of JBL Professional for his considerable support on this archive project.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/11 at 09:14 AM
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TASCAM Introduces TH-2000 Professional-Grade Headphones

Closed back isolating design furthers clean sound

TASCAM has introduced TH-2000 professional headphones, providing powerful bass response joined by brilliant mids and crystaline highs.

TH-2000 headphones offer comfort for hours of listening and use, as well as durability for security and longevity.

A foldable design provides easy, compact transport. The circumaural ear cuffs are joined by an industrial strength, but flexible, headband. The closed back isolating design furthers the goal of clean sound.

A supplied black leatherette bag provides added protection for the headphones when not in use, and it also eases transport. A screw-on 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch (3.5 mm to 6.3 mm) adapter is also supplied.

TH-2000 Specifications:
• Driver Diameter: 53 mm
• Impedance: 60 ohms
• Sensitivity: 101 dB (± 3)
• Frequency Response: 18 Hz – 22 kHz
• Max Power: 1800 mW
• Cable Length: About 5 feet (1.5 m); coiled cable is 13 feet (4 m) when fully extended

TASCAM

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/11 at 08:56 AM
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Chandler Limited Celebrates 10th Anniversary Of TG2 Pre Amp/DI

Recreation of rare preamp from EMI recording and mastering consoles used at Abbey Road Studios

Chandler Limited is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the TG2 Pre Amp/DI, which is a recreation of the rare EMI TG12428 pre amp used in EMI recording and mastering consoles, developed for use in London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios in the late 60s and early 70s.

The TG2 Pre Amp/DI has become one of the company’s bestselling products and is routinely used by leading artists and recording engineers.

It offers a creamy, smooth tone with a surprisingly open, clear top end. The sound, as described by many users, has the “warmth” and punch of a classic Neve, but with a top end that takes the sound to the next level. Many recording professionals have commented on the TG2’s small rise in its top end frequency response and the warmth-inducing distortion that contributes to its sound.

Over the years, Chandler Limited’s TG2 Pre Amp/DI has found its way into the recordings of many notable artists, including Paul Simon and Katy Perry, as well as the bands Green Day, Garbage, and Kings of Leon. 

Wade Goeke, owner of Chandler Limited as well as the company’s chief product designer, has redesigned the original EMI equipment used at Abbey Road Studios and made improvements to allow for modern day use. As a result of Goeke’s efforts, the sound of the original equipment lives on as part of the Chandler Limited inventory of Abbey Road recreations.

“I’m extremely proud of the TG2,” states Goeke. “The analog warmth that products such as the TG2 bring to today’s digital recording process is a perfect example of how the classic sounds of the past remain both valid and highly desirable today.

“Over the years, the TG2 has garnered praise from many of the top artists and engineers in the music industry—including engineers at Abbey Road Studios— and it has been a consistent seller for us. The TG2 has, without question, been a defining product for Chandler Limited.”

Find out more about the TG2 Pre Amp/DI here.


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Chandler Limited

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/11 at 08:23 AM
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