Archive of the Recording Category

Ian Cross Picks Barefoot Sound for New Janet Jackson Album

Mobile Studio with MM27 Monitors Travels the World

Pictured in his Los Angeles studio with his vintage API console and Barefoot MM27 monitors is producer/engineer Ian Cross. Photo by David Goggin.

Leading producer/engineer Ian Cross, known for his work with Usher, Gwen Stefani, and Jessica Simpson, has embraced the Barefoot Sound MM27 monitors for his latest project with Janet Jackson. When the Barefoots are not traveling around the world to accommodate Jackson’s touring and recording schedule, they rest atop his vintage API console in Los Angeles.

“When I first heard the Barefoots,” says Cross, “I noticed how controlled the low end frequencies were, and how connected the low end was to the rest of the spectrum. It’s a speaker that does everything a near field monitor should do, but it has that extended low end and it’s not coming from a corner of the room, it’s not bouncing off everything, it’s focused and coming right at you.”

Ian Cross was born in Nepal while his parents were working for the US foreign service and the international school system. His father pioneered the introduction of radio to the remote locale, and while there Cross learned about music not through records and radio, but from local musicians. After the family moved back to Phiiladelphia when he was eight, Cross pursued a music career and as a teenager his band, Briklin, was signed to A&M Records.

The producer/engineer who worked with Cross and his band was Grammy-winner Neil Dorfsman, known for his work with such artists as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. “Neil taught me a lot and he inspired me to want to make records. He was so good at what he did, that I started to think about music in a different way.”

Fast forward to Cross’ move to Los Angeles in 2003 and his introduction to superproducers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who immediatley recognized his talent with Pro Tools for vocal sessions. “I got to sit next to Jimmy for a number of years and he was like the Ph.D. in learning how to get what you needed vocally from a singer,” Cross recalls.

Before settling in with Barefoot Sound, Cross had tried out virtually every brand of monitor in some of the best recording studios in the world. “The music I do, modern R&B music, has a lot of extended low end,” he explains. “That can really wreak havoc on what you’re doing if the studio isn’t properly tuned with the low end and the full range of frequencies. Most sub-woofers are just an afterthought in a recording studio. They absolutely just stick them in there to make somebody happy. It drives me crazy.”

Cross is presently working exclusively with Janet Jackson on her forthcoming much anticipated album, her first since “Discipline” (2008). He describes Jackson’s reaction to Barefoot Sound: “I started playing a song called ‘I Get So Lonely’ and she stopped me and said, ‘Where is the low end coming from?’ I said, ‘The speakers, that’s what you’re listening to.’ She said, ‘Those speakers are the only thing we’re listening to right now?’ I said, ‘That’s just the speakers.’ She was instantly sold.”

In addition to working with Barefoot monitors at his own studio in LA, Cross travels the world with Janet Jackson, his Barefoot monitors, and a mobile studio comprised of Pro Tools HD Omni, API Neve, API compressor, a vintage 1962 Telefunken Ela M 251, and a Tube Tech CL1B compressor.

“I feel the Barefoots give us the most accurate representation of what we’re doing at any time. It doesn’t leave me or Janet with any second guessing. There is something special when the artist you’re working with is really, really comfortable with the way their voice sounds. I can tell you Janet’s voice sounds completely marvelous on these speakers. I feel like before Barefoot there was no speaker that really presented her voice correctly, because she has so much detail, even when you’re around the 11 or 12K range that makes her voice really special. Yes, I think it’s the happiest she’s ever been. It’s certainly the happiest we’ve ever been with monitoring and listening to the music we’ve been working on.”

Read the entire Ian Cross interview and learn more at the new Barefoot Sound website: http://bit.ly/1k7CjmG

Learn more about the Barefoot Sound MicroMain 27 monitors at :
http://vintageking.com/barefoot-sound-micromain-27-gen2-pair

ABOUT BAREFOOT SOUND
Barefoot Sound was founded by Thomas Barefoot with the goal of creating a new breed of studio monitor. While project studios were sprouting up all over the world, filled with outstanding gear, yet with limited space, Thomas Barefoot recognized the need for a speaker that could transcend the traditional distinctions between nearfield, main and mastering monitors. Translating effortlessly and never requiring second guessing , Barefoot Sound monitors are recognized throughout the music industry as multifunctional masterpieces. By creating one studio monitor that fits into a small physical space with leading edge technology and astounding clarity, Barefoot has set a new standard. Handcrafted in the USA.

For more info visit: http://www.barefootsound.com tel: 503. 894. 8602

Composer and Sound Designer Richard Devine Switches to Dangerous DAC & Monitor ST Controller

Atlanta-based electronic music and synthesizer wizard switches his monitor controller to the Dangerous Music Monitor ST & DAC ST and is astounded by the quality upgrade —

Richard_Devine studio

Richard Devine in his Dangerous Music equipped studio

Edmeston, NYJuly 29, 2014Richard Devine is renowned as an electronic music composer and producer, as well as sound designer extraordinaire. From his Atlanta, Georgia studio, and his company Devinesound, he specializes in the creation of custom sound, music and audio environments for film, television, video games, audio hardware and software, interactive web-based environments, and more. Devine recently switched out his monitor controller for the Dangerous Music Monitor ST with the integrated Dangerous DAC ST D-to-A converter in his massive electronic music studio. “I realized I needed to get a separate DAC that could accommodate multiple digital sources and at the same time output clean transparent audio with a non-fatiguing sound, I didn’t hear any distortion, and could hear so much detail even monitoring at the lowest listening levels,” says Devine.

“The end results that I’ve gotten in the last few months that I’ve used the Monitor ST are incredible,” he adds. “The ST and DAC ST are one of the best investments I’ve made in my studio. I’m a complete believer, it’s blown my mind.”

Devine has already completed several projects using the Dangerous DAC and Monitor ST including sound design and effects for the video game Wolfenstein: New World Order, trailer music for Twisted Tools DarkMorph Sound Effects Library, and the new iPad app “iMPC“-based on the iconic MPC-60 line of drum machine/samplers-for Retroymns and Akai Professional.

Testing 1, 2, 3…
To check the sound of the Monitor ST and DAC ST Devine did some very specific listening test, “I A-B’d the Dangerous gear against my Apogee DA conversion, and also did some comparison tests with the U.A. Apollo, and UFX RME card; and the DAC ST was just spot-on gorgeous.” Devine noticed a marked improvement in sound quality at low volumes with the Monitor ST as well, “I like to mix at lower volumes, and with the ST even at low volumes you get all that macro, beautiful detail, which was interesting to me. I thought, ‘Wow! There’s an immediate difference!’” With his previous controller the quality was not so good at lower volumes, but that is solved with the Dangerous Monitor ST. “I understand now, I’m a believer,” he says, “Having a dedicated DAC for monitoring is essential, especially with these features.”

“I did some tests where I was mixing for longer periods of time and I realized I’m not getting any ear fatigue. The DAC ST and Monitor ST combo has this very silky, clean presence. I don’t hear any distortion. It has a Hi-Fi quality to it.” Devine wondered if there was some kind of distortion in the DA conversion with his previous monitor controller that was causing fatigue in the past. Whatever it was, it’s not present with the Dangerous Music gear, “It’s become a non-issue now,” says Devine.

Detailing his first experience with the Monitor ST and DAC ST, Devine recalls, “I was using another monitor controller before this and I was using the D-A converter in it, and I was always unhappy with the sound quality, I couldn’t really put my finger on what was going on. When I got the Dangerous Music Monitor ST and the DAC ST it was an immediate night and day difference, I was actually shocked! Because in my head I was thinking, ‘I wonder how much of a difference it’s really going to be: huge difference, small difference, or something I am not going to even notice?’-Because the other controller made the claim that theirs was ‘completely transparent’, but it didn’t sound transparent to my ears. Immediately when I first hooked up the Dangerous gear I was in shock for the first 20 minutes, it was like ‘Wow!’ And then I felt kind of stupid, ‘How did I neglect one of the most crucial components of my signal chain, my monitoring solution? How did I overlook this for so long?’ Which is absolutely just as important as the monitors and the room you’re mixing in. So I was glad to get the ST, it has such a transparent, clean sound.”

Regarding the ST remote’s programmability, Devine also appreciates the ability to store level settings, “It’s so cool that you can set up each of your input and output settings and store them. That’s genius. It’s so nice to have that flexibility all built-in to the remote. It seems like Dangerous Music have thought out really well all the scenarios that you might run into, and it’s very elegant and graceful how they’ve done it. It offers so much more than what my other controller did. I can’t tell you how happy I am!”

Project Usage: A New World Order
“I finished designing sounds for a game called Wolfenstein: New World Order, and I was tasked to make all these impact sounds, sounds that have a lot of low frequency content, a lot of metallic resonating drones, a lot of sounds of actual metal that I recorded,” he explains. “So there was a lot of low-end material, a lot of subwoofer action, because they wanted the sounds to be bigger than life. I have a wireless Bluetooth bar speaker system that’s in the middle of my monitoring area that I do references on for TV work and video games, to test what people might listen to on more of a conventional Hi-Fi-like system. And what was great about using the Monitor ST is that I was able to very quickly do comparison tests with the subwoofer and soundbar setup to see how accurate the bass levels were. And they translated almost perfectly every time for me, which was exactly what I was looking for. So I feel that I can trust the Monitor ST. You feel a lot more comfortable and confident in what you are doing if you can trust the equipment you are working on. I feel that I can be creative and not worry that there’s something not correct in the signal chain, something causing distortion, or jitter in the clock. Transparency is truth to me and I feel that the Monitor ST has revealed everything to a point where I can very-well trust it.”

On his sound design work, Devine has need for just what the DAC ST delivers, easily selectable inputs, “I use multiple sources for sound design and TV projects, I switch around from Pro Tools to Nuendo, to Logic, there’s lots of formats using various hardware. So I wanted to have a system where I could switch between having 4 different sources digitally and several analog sources that I could A-B against really quickly, and the ST was perfect for that. I have an Airport Express modem running into one port of the DAC ST so I can monitor iPod, iPhone, and then I have a CD player and analog outputs from my main mix down card, my Universal Audio Apollo. Then I have another source, my Yamaha DM2000, where I have all my synths and drum machines connected. It’s nice to be able to level match all these sources, you can do that very quickly with the ST remote. You have a reference of how loud things are irrespective of different devices that you have connected to the ST. I think that is really cool. The Monitor ST has been a dream.”

Dangerous Details
In his studio Devine uses several speakers including the Genelec 8250, with auto calibrated DSP and the Genelec sub, the Avantone Mix Cubes, and he is planning on getting a third pair of monitors. The Monitor ST can control switching between all three at the touch of a button on its remote control. “I have separate on and off switches for my Genelec sub, but what’s nice about the ST remote that I really love is that it’s all in one place, everything is easily right at your fingertips,” states Devine referring to the dedicated Subwoofer on and off and the subwoofer lo-pass filter buttons on the ST remote.

On the ST’s headphone monitoring, Devine says, “The headphone output is really nice and beefy and loud, it’s pristine, and you hear all the dynamics really well. I like to do a lot of headphone tests when I’m doing a mixdown on any project. I was pleasantly surprised about the headphone amp level, it has a super loud and clean, clear, and transparent un-fatiguing sound.”

Remembering how he first heard about Dangerous Music equipment, Devine explains, “I have a friend that’s a mastering engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area, Shawn Hatfield, and he’s mastered a good number of records for me. He used to be a producer making electronic music back in the early 90s like me. He’s got an incredible setup and an incredible set of ears for mastering electronic music. I had many discussions with him about correcting certain things in my studio and I noticed that he used the Dangerous Music gear and I was curious about that. He said it’s ‘mastering grade studio gear’ and said you ‘just can’t go wrong’ with it. He has the BAX EQ, and the Liaison to switch the signal chain up, he swears by that. He’s a firm believer. He raved about Dangerous Music to me: ‘If you want clean, pristine results without any kind of coloration – transparent and rock solid – you should check this gear out.’ That’s a good enough recommendation for me! If Shawn digs it then I will definitely go check it out. I really trust his ears.”

For more information about Richard Devine visit his website at: http://devinesound.net/

About Dangerous Music
Dangerous Music, Inc. designs and builds award-winning hardware products that are indispensable to any DAW-based recording, mixing or mastering environment. The Company pioneered the concept of the dedicated analog summing buss for digital audio workstations with the Dangerous 2-Bus in 2001. Today, Dangerous Music offers a wide range of products for recording, mastering, mixing and post-production facilities, all designed and built with mastering-quality standards and a practical aesthetic. Key products include the Dangerous 2-Bus and 2-Bus LT, Dangerous Monitor ST-SR, Dangerous D-Box, Dangerous Master, Dangerous Liaison, Dangerous Monitor, Dangerous Source, Dangerous BAX EQ, and the Dangerous Compressor.

For more information on Dangerous Music visit www.dangerousmusic.com phone 845-202-5100 or email: info@dangerousmusic.com

All trademarks are the property of their respective holders. Description and specifications are subject to change without notice.

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Video Devices PIX 260i Captures Footage Fit for a King as Part of The Royal Society Headquarters Refit

LONDON, JULY 30, 2014 – When The Royal Society in London was looking to refit the audio and visual facilities in two rooms at its headquarters at Carlton House Terrace in London, it turned to Video Devices, mission-critical video products by Sound Devices, and its PIX 260i for its video recording needs.

A fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists and the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, The Royal Society acts as a scientific advisor to the British government, receiving a parliamentary grant-in-aid. Installed by Winchester-based AV integrator Whitwam, and provided through Shure Distribution UK, The Royal Society fitted three PIX 260i’s in its largest gallery, the Wellcome Trust lecture theatre, to capture video from the four cameras installed in the space. Throughout the year, members of the Society give presentations in the various lecture halls. Many are broadcast, recorded and archived. In addition, the organization installed two Shure SCM820 eight-channel automatic audio mixers in the dining rooms as part of its improved sound reinforcement efforts for speeches and awards.

The rack-mounted PIX 260i is a file-based audio and video recorder that seamlessly replaces tape-based video decks in production and post-production environments. The Video Devices PIX 260i also offers 32 tracks of audio recording and playback as well as control from browser-capable computers and tablets. It records QuickTime files in either Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD video formats. Files recorded in these intra-frame codecs are ready for editing directly from the recorder in such common editing environments as Avid, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere, eliminating time-consuming transferring and transcoding. For color-critical applications, the PIX 260i supports Apple ProRes 4444 through its 12-bit, 4:4:4 3G-SDI I/O. Users can also play out files from the PIX 260i for real-time applications.

PIX 260i recorders can be controlled from browser-capable computers and tablets. When connected to a data network, transport controls and setup menu controls are available on the Video Devices PIXNET, which offers IP-addressable control of one or multiple PIX 260i recorders. Users can group multiple units for simultaneous control. Data drives connected to the PIX 260i are also accessible on Ethernet-based networks as read-only SMB shares, opening up endless possibilities for file sharing. Files can be copied from any PIX 260i located on a network, enabling access from across a room or the globe. Up to four SATA drives can be connected to the PIX 260i simultaneously. For RAID-type redundancy and to eliminate the need for post-record copying when multiple copies are required, users can record to all four drives simultaneously.

Building on the company’s deep heritage in production sound, Video Devices has infused the PIX 260i with 32-track record/playback capabilities. In addition to 16 channels of embedded SDI audio and eight channels of HDMI audio, the PIX 260i also accepts eight channels of line-level analog I/O and eight channels of AES digital audio. Using Audinate’s Dante, the PIX 260i accepts and transmits up to 32 channels of audio over Ethernet.

The PIX 260i includes a built-in Ambient Clockit time-code generator and reader with genlock output for rock-steady multi-camera and double-system sound applications. In addition to generating ultra-stable time code, time code can be read from the SDI stream, the HDMI stream or from an external source. It also includes a sophisticated scaler and frame-rate converter. Regardless of the incoming signal, the PIX recorders can record the signal after up-, down- or cross-conversion at the same or a different rate. Hardware-based 3:2 pull-down removal and anamorphic conversion is also available. PIX 260i’s convenient half-rack, 2U chassis dimension allows it to be easily integrated into any existing environment. It is powered by 10-27 VDC through its four-pin XLR connector.

Video Devices, a brand of Sound Devices, includes digital video recorders and related products that address a range of multiple-source video productions, including fast-paced, mission-critical studio applications, live sports, live events and mobile production. Sound Devices, LLC designs and manufactures portable audio mixers, digital audio recorders and related equipment for feature film, episodic television, documentary, news-gathering, live event and acoustical test and measurement applications. Founded in 1998, the company designs and manufactures both brands from their Reedsburg, Wisconsin headquarters, with additional offices in Madison, WI and Highland Park, IL. For more information, visit Video Devices and Sound Devices websites, www.videodevices.com; www.sounddevices.com.

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ONE YEAR IN, FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY’S API VISION IS A GREAT MATCH FOR STUDENTS

WINTER PARK, FLORIDA: Full Sail University’s flagship recording arts degree program, among the best-known and most-respected in the pro audio industry, commissioned a fully-loaded, 64-channel API Vision analog console. The new console went into Studio B of the university’s extensive studio complex just over a year ago, and has since been used for session recording courses. In addition to providing students with clear-cut examples of signal flow, the console provides the classic analog sound that continues to be revered as a benchmark of excellence in professional audio.

“The Vision a great match,” said Darren Schneider, session recording course director at Full Sail University. Schneider teaches students about signal flow, taking advantage of the Vision’s comprehensive signal path to illustrate his lessons. “Signal flow is easy to ‘see’ on the Vision,” he said. “We run it in-line, and every section falls in order – from the preamp, to the compressor, to the EQ, to the assignments. API also built us a custom switch which allows the compressor to insert pre- or post-EQ, which is also instructive.” Schneider notes that the Vision’s ability to simultaneously mix in stereo and surround also lends itself to new educational perspectives.

“Both our new and advanced students benefit from working with API’s undeniably great sound,” said Dana Roun, education director of audio arts at Full Sail University. “Just walking into the room is an experience for first-timers. As more and more students come in with exclusively digital experiences, the sight of the console inspires them. The sound is something most of them have never experienced before.”

Reliability is a big deal for Full Sail University, which operates 24/7. “The Vision has been used nonstop since it went in. There has not been a single problem… not a bum knob or switch… nothing! It’s been perfect!”

“Exposure to API gives our students real life experience with the analog sound that everyone in the industry talks about,” comments Schneider. “It enriches, and often changes, their perspectives.”

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 45 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series, 1608 and THE BOX recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.
www.apiaudio.com

ABOUT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY Full Sail University is an award-winning educational leader for those pursuing careers in the entertainment and media industry. Founded in 1979, Full Sail has been recognized as one of the Top Five Game Degree Programs by Electronic Gaming Monthly, one of the Best Music Programs by Rolling Stone Magazine, and one of the Best Film Programs by UNleashed Magazine. Recently, Full Sail received the “21st Century Best Practices in Distance Learning Award” from the United States Distance Learning Association, was named the “School/College of the Year” by the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges, and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Social Media Colleges by Studentadvisor.com.

Full Sail offers on-campus and online Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree programs in areas related to animation, art, business, education, graphic design, film, marketing, web development, music, recording arts, sports, and video games. Full Sail graduate credits include work on OSCAR®, Emmy®, GRAMMY®, ADDY®, MTV Video Music Award, and Spike VGX Video Game Award nominated and winning projects.

www.fullsail.eduwww.twitter.com/fullsailwww.facebook.com/fullsailuniversity

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TRANSAUDIO GROUP TO DISTRIBUTE BETTERMAKER’S UNIQUE ANALOG EQUALIZERS WITH PLUG-IN REMOTE CONTROL

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: TransAudio Group, U.S. distributor of high-end professional recording equipment, is pleased to partner with Bettermaker, the creator and manufacturer of the world’s first analog equalizers that can be controlled, automated, and recalled from a plug-in or Eprom. The Bettermaker’s flagship EQ232 possesses two (strictly analog) audio channels, each with a mastering-quality switchable high-pass filter, Pultec-style passive equalization, and clean parametric equalization. The modular 500-series EQ502P and EQ542 possess only the passive equalizers and only the parametric filters, respectively, and are also stereo.

Although its 100% handmade construction and stunning sound quality puts it in league with the very best boutique analog equipment on the market, Bettermaker’s unique niche is plug-in control (available in RTAS, 32-bit or 64-bit VST, and AU), which gives it all of the convenience of a digital plug-in, including automation and recall. The plug-in provides an A/B comparison feature, which goes beyond “bypass/in” to allow comparison of two separate equalizer settings. It’s also worth noting that engineers who aren’t using the plug-in can still store up to 399 presets for instant recall from the front panel via Eprom.

Marek Walaszek, an accomplished mix engineer, producer, and DJ based in Warsaw, Poland and the chief engineer and owner of Addicted to Music Studios, conceived, prototyped, and is now manufacturing the Bettermaker. “It started with the dream of a stereo Pultec that I could use on my stems or my master bus,” explained Walaszek. “Because I’m a mix engineer, I mostly work with other people’s session files. I recognize the convenience of recall – I can work on a mix, send it to the client, and then make requested changes weeks later. I wanted that same convenience in my outboard gear.” Walaszek got together with a friend and began prototyping his vision for a best-in-class analog equalizer that could gracefully accommodate the modern workflow.

After the usual false starts and an abundance of tinkering, the Bettermaker emerged and quickly found an eager audience. Grammy Award-winning engineers, such as Bob Katz, Jaycen Joshua, Dave Pensado, and Jimmy Douglass, as well as mastering engineers, such as Tim Boyce and Ludwig Maier, immediately put the Bettermaker in their “indispensible” racks and praised it loudly. The industry as a whole took notice as well: the Bettermaker earned a Resolution Award nomination in 2013 and won the Music Tech Excellence Award in 2012 and NAMM’s Best In Show award in 2013.

“As often happens with great inventions, it may seem obvious in hindsight,” said Brad Lunde, president of TransAudio Group. “There is, of course, tremendous value in great analog processing paired with plug-in control, automation, and recall. But I should also emphasize that the Bettermaker is not merely a gimmick. The Bettermaker’s sound quality would win converts and awards in its own right, and the plug-in functionality is well designed and robust. These two zero-compromise features come together in the Bettermaker to create something extraordinary. We at TransAudio Group were excited to learn that Marek is already cooking up new Bettermaker products that will pair analog audio circuitry with plug-in control!”

In addition to the three “stock” Bettermaker models (the EQ232P rack mount with all equalizer channels, the modular EQ502P Pultec section, and the modular EQ542 parametric section), Bettermaker offers two optional modifications of the flagship EQ232P. The first option converts its dual mono operation into M/S operation, a popular choice among mastering engineers. The second option forgoes the front panel controls entirely (at a cost savings) for users who plan to use plug-in control exclusively. These two options can also be combined.

ABOUT TRANSAUDIO GROUP TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor and/or U.S. sales and marketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges on TransAudio providing dealers and end users with a higher standard of product expertise and support far beyond the norm.www.transaudiogroup.com

The Bettermaker products are now shipping.
MSPRs: EQ502P: $1,775.00 • EQ542: $1,775.00 • EQ232P: $6,100.00

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UK MIX ENGINEER MICHALIS “MsM” MICHAEL OPTS FOR METRIC HALO PLUG-INS FOR QUICK, GREAT-SOUNDING ITB PROCESSING

LONDON, ENGLAND: Michalis “MsM” Michael is a UK-based mix engineer with a growing and eclectic list of credits that includes several Top-20 singles, a number-one single, notable work on Diddy’s Last Train to Paris and going on to assist the chief engineer of the Grammy Award-winning J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. His work while assisting necessitated travel, which motivated Michael to shift his workflow from reliance on hardware processing. These days, he mixes almost entirely in the box (ITB) and relies on Metric Halo plug-ins to deliver sonically-solid sounds with zero hassle. His recent work on Tom Prior’s Bad Advice EP to be released later this summer, which was produced in part by former Arctic Monkeys bassist Andy Nicholson, exemplifies Michael’s new workflow.

Born into a family of professional guitar and bouzouki players, Michael was immersed in music from an early age. “My dad taught me to play guitar, but I was always more fascinated with the amp and the guitar effects than with the instrument itself,” he said. “That led to early experiments with DJ’ing (bedroom DJ’ing as I was only 14!) that got me deeper into technology. Then a friend of a friend told me he was selling a Soundcraft 32-channel mixer, and I was so impressed by how it looked that I gave him my bike for it. I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it, but curiosity eventually led to me recording.” Michael built himself a good reputation for engineering that organically morphed into a mixing career. “Once I started mixing, I just never really stopped.”

That Soundcraft 32-channel mixer grew, so to speak, into a full-fledged studio that, until a few years ago, was loaded with sought-after hardware. “Once I started working for Edward Nixon, the chief engineer of the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, I was assisting rather than running a studio and slowly I saw a more efficient way of mixing and found I simply didn’t need most of my hardware,” Michael said. “That stuff was more about indulgence. So I literally sold it all and mix mainly ITB now. I’m slowly adding some bits of gear that I LOVE, but I almost had to strip it back to the basic fundamentals and learn to use just my ears. That was a great lesson for me. Any hardware I use is an ‘extra’ now. I rely on good plug-ins.”

However, in an industry awash in plug-ins, few qualify as “good.” “I like plug-ins that let me get on with work without thinking about the details too much,” he said. “Mixing is about instinct, and if there’s something that stands in the way and slows me down, I don’t want to know about it. I like to hear good sounds and I like to hear them fast. I get that from Metric Halo plug-ins: simple layouts and quick results. In the hardware world, if a compressor was too fiddly or not doing what I wanted, I’d quickly move on until I found one that worked. Then I’d rely on it and it would become a staple of my workflow. That dynamic is accelerated in the plug-in world because it’s much quicker to just change a plug-in than it is to re-patch hardware. That makes instant gratification with plug-ins very important. Metric Halo plug-ins sound great right away and it’s easy to dial in the right parameters.”

Michael heard a lot of buzz about Metric Halo’s flagship ChannelStrip plug-in, which combines multi-band parametric equalization with flexibly-keyed dynamics processing. “There’s a lot to be said about ChannelStrip, and that’s why it’s been a go-to for over a decade,” he said. “I expected great things – and I wasn’t disappointed, but I was surprised by how great the gate works. I’ve struggled to find a gate that works well on poorly recorded drums, which I have to deal with from time to time. ChannelStrip’s gate works faster than anything I’ve tried before with no compromise in sound quality.”

Michael’s other Metric Halo plug-in favorites are Character, Precision DeEsser, and TransientControl. “Character is great,” he said. “I just throw it on a dull source and drive it – simple. There are plenty of ‘characters’ to choose from and it works without affecting the gain, which is always a mind game. The Precision DeEsser lets me de-ess precisely – how ironic! It’s my go-to. I’ve tried lots of de-essers; some are simple and fast but affect the sound too much. Others sound good but take too much time to set up properly. Precision DeEsser strikes the right balance. TransientControl helped me out on Tom Prior’s EP. There were a few synth bass lines that were a bit too ‘stabby.’ I needed more sustain without losing the impression that they were supposed to be ‘stabby.’ TransientControl worked perfectly.”

“It’s easy for audio professionals to get into the techy details of sound, and that’s fine. But I always try to remind myself that the majority of the world doesn’t care HOW the record was made – they just want to enjoy music. Remembering that music is about emotion and not technical details is an invaluable perspective when mixing,” he concluded.

ABOUT METRIC HALO Now based in the sunny city of Safety Harbor, Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware.

www.mhlabs.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MICHALIS MICHAEL
www.msmengineer.com
www.zman.co.uk/clients/michalis-’msm’-michael.aspx

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Flux releases IRCAM SPAT v3 for AAX/AU/VST

Flux completes migration to v3 with the release of SPAT v3 adding support for AVID AAX and 64 bit systems.

Oceanside, California, USA – Flux Sound and Picture Development of Orleans, France is proud to announce the release of SPAT v3, a positional audio plug-in combining three independently definable surround reverbs in a single plug-in with the ability to position and animate, with full automation, mono and stereo sound sources within these reverberant spaces.

SPAT may also be used to position and animate sources with all reverbs disengaged. This advanced feature set makes SPAT an indispensable tool for post-production professionals for ADR.

SPAT has been embraced by many within the community of orchestral composers as a tool for placing instruments on a virtual performance stage for position-correct and convincing orchestral emulations.

SPAT v3 adds support for AVID’s new AAX Native plug-in format. In addition to AAX, Audio Units and VST remain supported on both Mac and Windows. SPAT v1 remains available for users of RTAS systems.

All Flux v3 audio tools support both 64 and 32 bit systems with sample rates up to 384K. The Flux v3 platform delivers exceptionally rich, informative and responsive metering with near zero CPU cost by distributing UI processing to your systems’ GPU. All Flux audio tools are 8-channel ready for surround applications up to 7.1. The only exception is the distinctly named Stereo Tool freeware.

SPAT v3 is available to current SPAT users for no charge. Download SPAT v3 here: www.fluxhome.com/download

In celebration of both the release of SPAT and the completion of the Flux migration to v3, Flux is offering SPAT, the IRCAM TOOLS bundle containing SPAT and all upgrades to SPAT at a 30% discount, effective immediately.

Locate an authorized dealer for Flux and IRCAM Tools by visiting the exclusive Flux US distributor: www.AudioSage.com.

About Flux
Flux Sound and Picture Development of Orleans, France are developers of advanced software audio tools compatible with all major DAWs. Flux specializes in advanced dynamic control, rich real time analysis and EQ. Flux produces the IRCAM Tools line of psychoacoustic post-production tools in collaboration with the prestigious IRCAM Institute of Paris.

NUAGE Road Tour and Nuendo Masterclass at RSPE Audio Solutions

BUENA PARK, Calif.—A Yamaha NUAGE Demo and Nuendo Masterclass will be held by top Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems and Steinberg engineers and hosted by RSPE Audio Solutions on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at 4130 Cahuenga Blvd. #210, Universal City, CA. The event is free of charge.

A joint collaboration between Yamaha and Steinberg, the NUAGE Advanced Production System is the brainchild of workflow efficient hardware and Nuendo 6 software operating together in perfect harmony. Offering unprecedented productivity and flexibility as well as premium audio quality in an innovative design, NUAGE is making waves across the world.

David Lees and Marcel Mauceri from Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. will be on hand to demonstrate the new Yamaha NUAGE production system along with a Nuendo masterclass presented by Steinberg’s Greg Ondo discussing the latest news, tips and tricks in Nuendo. Plus get hands on with Yamaha’s Nuage, the dedicated, scalable, DAW control surface/recording mixer for Nuendo.

Spots are limited so registration is required at: https://www.eventbrite.com/register?orderid=321450975521&client_token=a2951db3596148c782f325bc5a917688&eid=11858933389

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Ethan Mates Upgrades His Personal Studio with SSL Matrix

“Bottom line is, I can get stuff out of my room now that’s big-studio quality…that, to me, is the biggest thing”

LOS ANGELES – Solid State Logic is proud to announce that mixer, engineer and producer Ethan Mates has entrusted the SSL Matrix to deliver big-room results in his newly relocated purpose-built private studio. Mates has been using SSL equipment since the early 1990s, when he meticulously sliced and diced composite vocals in 4000G+ rooms for the biggest pop divas of our time, under the tutelage of Ric Wake in New York. A few decades and a cross-country trek to Los Angeles later, he’s had the pleasure of recording and mixing for acts like Tupac Shakur, Korn, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stone Temple Pilots, The Doors and many more. Threading much of this, Mates has also been an indispensable production member of nu-metal/rapcore outfit Linkin Park. For the group’s sixth studio album, The Hunting Party (2014, Warner Bros/Machine Shop), Mates recorded much of the material at Larrabee’s new Studio 4 on its classic 4000G, with Andy Wallace handling mix duties in their 9080K room. Meanwhile, Mates was looking for just the right console to tie his home facility together. He chose the SSL Matrix SuperAnalogue™ console to deliver the classic analogue SSL sound and flexibility he’d come to demand.

“I’ve always had some kind of studio at home, but I’ve never really mixed there – just tons of editing, production, programming, and writing for film and things like that,” says Mates. “I didn’t want to be completely in-the-box anymore. In searching for my console, I knew I wanted to have an SSL stereo bus, so that I would be summing through an SSL. That was imperative to me. Matrix just seemed like the obvious choice. The first couple of projects I mixed on the Matrix were smaller, more organic sounding, and I ended up taking it as a challenge to mix them the way that I used to do — rough mixes and just mixed it all by hand. I’m still learning things like A-FADA mode, but it was a really cool experiment…and a lot of fun. I really like having the routing capabilities of Matrix and the dedicated tactile monitor section. The big green button for flipping between analogue and Pro Tools® control is awesome. It makes a huge difference to my hybrid workflow! Plus, I totally love having 40 inputs on mix down, should I need them, and I have the Matrix effects returns all filled up with Pro Tools outputs. So, it’s just a really nice package for what I need.”

Mates recalls the first time hearing Matrix summing in action, saying it took him back to the 9K series. “You know, how SSLs have that familiar kind of mid-range area. Well, I just put up some stuff through the 2-mix, that I knew what it sounds like at the studio and was like, yeah, this sounds like SSL, this sounds totally familiar to me. Nothing exaggerated and nothing new, just familiar. I totally feel like I’m working on an SSL console with Matrix. The summing just lends this beautiful, collective, cohesive distortion. You know, one of my main problems – and that of all engineers, I think – inside the box has not always been the sound of individual channels, but rather summing through master faders. That’s when things start to fold and not be as big and cool anymore. The more you can spread out the mix and have it in the analogue domain, just so that it has that extra headroom to breathe, the better. With Matrix, that classic clean wide-open SSL sweet spot is clearly there. That’s the key to the whole thing for me.”

With a regained trust in his private studio, Mates views Matrix as both a wise music choice and great business decision. “I’d say maybe one out of every six clients that I have has the budget for me to sit in a huge room for $1,200 a day mixing,” he adds. “It’s just reality. So, if I’m not going to be in a huge studio, or I don’t want to pay $2,000 a month in air conditioning and electrical bills to have a G in my room, this to me is the best possible solution. Even if I’m just doing rough mixes or programming and I need to send somebody something, just being able to have the kind of quality that translates to other SSL studios all the time – it’s very important. So much of having skills as a mixer, producer or whatever is about having a foundation that you can work off, where there are just certain things that you know are right and sound right! When you’re mixing in-the-box, you’re constantly second-guessing your decisions. Having something like Matrix, where it sounds immediately familiar and I know how hard I can hit the bus and I know what the gain staging is going to be like, it just really makes you feel at ease and not have to worry about it at all.”

More about Ethan Mates: www.ethanmates.com

Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast, live and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: www.solidstatelogic.com.

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Sound Devices 970 Takes a Ride with Renowned Audio Mixer for New Semi-Animated Children’s Series

Digital Recorder Gives Richard Lightstone 64-Track Dante™ and MADI-Equipped Multi-Track Audio Capabilities

LOS ANGELES, JULY 23, 2014 – When Sound Mixer Richard Lightstone was looking to upgrade his audio cart with a Dante™-compatible digital recorder for Disney XD’s semi-animated children’s program Kirby Buckets, he turned to Sound Devices’ new 970. The Sound Devices 970, the company’s first-ever audio-only rack-mounted solution, boasts an impressive 64 channels of Dante and MADI.

As an industry veteran, Lightstone has long been aware of Sound Devices and its storied name in the industry. “I certainly know the Sound Devices reputation with their earlier products,” he says. “I had originally looked at their Video Devices PIX line and was considering it, but once I heard about the 970, which was strictly devoted to audio, I jumped at the chance to get a hold of it. The great advantage of using the 970 with Dante is that I can remove a huge amount of cable from my sound cart. Also, the sheer capacity of the 970 in terms of its high track count really made it stand out from the other products I looked at for this project.”

For his audio recording needs, Lightstone networks the 970 with his Yamaha O1V96 via Dante, which allows him to record up to 16 channels. “I’m recording an average of about eight tracks a day on this project and have even gone up to 13 on a couple of episodes,” he notes. “The 970 can handle this and so much more. While I’ll probably never get to the 64-channel max on this particular project, it’s great to know I can, if needed. Also, as this is a kids’ show, we only have the child actors for a short amount of time each day of shooting, so having the ability to have as many ISO tracks as possible is a real benefit.”

Lightstone’s cart also includes two Lectrosonics Venue wireless racks and a range of microphones, including Schoeps CMIT5U shotgun microphones, COS-11D lavalier mics and the DPA d:screet™ 4071 and 4081 microphones.

He simultaneously records to both an SSD and CF card which are mounted via the Sound Devices PIX-CADDY and PIX-CADDY CF respectively. As with the majority of TV programming today, Kirby Buckets is shot in HD. This requires Lightstone to hand over the CF card at the end of each session to the digital technician for transfer onto the master hard drives that go to editorial. The 970’s simultaneous multi-drive feature is a significant benefit in terms of streamlining on-set workflow, while being able to continue to record throughout the transfer process.

“I also have the benefit of Sound Devices’ excellent customer service,” concludes Lightstone. “They are quick to address any potential issues and their software updates are easy to download. They really work well with their users to make sure that they are at the cutting edge of current technology. They really understand the marketplace, and consistently build top-of-the-line gear.”

Sound Devices’ 970 records 64 channels of monophonic or polyphonic 24-bit WAV files from any of its 144 available inputs. Inputs available include 64 channels of Ethernet-based Dante, 64 channels of optical or coaxial MADI, eight channels of line-level analog and eight channels of AES digital. The half-rack, 2U device simplifies any application requiring high-quality, high-track-count audio recording, including drama and reality production, and live concert recording. The 970 records to any of four attached drives, which include two front-panel drive bays and two rear-panel e-SATA connected drives. Material can be recorded to multiple drives simultaneously or sequentially. With its built-in, rock-steady Ambient Recording Lockit time-code technology, the 970 is well-suited to operate as a master clock.

The Sound Devices 970 features an embedded Web-based control panel for machine transport and setup control over Ethernet-based networks, as well as file transfer over the data network with SMB. File metadata editing of scene name, take name, notes, track names, and reel folders can be done during, before and after recording across all drives. In addition to RS-422 and GPIO control, the unit also acts as a bridge between analog, AES digital, MADI and Dante interfaces. Sound Devices 970 is designed with a large five-inch screen for metering of up to 64 tracks and fast and intuitive menu control. It also features the Sound Devices proprietary PowerSafe and FileSafe technologies.

Sound Devices, LLC designs and manufactures portable audio mixers, digital audio recorders and related equipment for feature film, episodic television, documentary, news-gathering, live event and acoustical test and measurement applications. Video Devices, a brand of Sound Devices, produces digital video recorders and related products that address a range of multiple-source video productions, including fast-paced, mission-critical studio applications, live sports, live events and mobile production. Founded in 1998, the company designs and manufactures both brands from their Reedsburg, Wisconsin headquarters with additional offices in Madison, WI and Highland Park, IL. For more information, visit the Sound Devices and Video Devices websites, www.sounddevices.com; www.videodevices.com.

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