Archive for October, 2010

BLADE Studios…opening January 1, 2011

Welcome to the BLADE Studios Mix blog. BLADE Studios is less than two months away from completing construction on its world-class sound recording studio complex.
The brainchild of world-renowned Grammy winning drummer and producer Brady Blade Jr., and business partner Scott Crompton, BLADE Studios was founded in December 2009. BLADE Studios began construction in late spring of this year, and will open January 1.
We built BLADE Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana to service the growing demand for sound recording studios in Louisiana due to the Louisiana Sound Recording Incentives that provide a 25% cash rebate to artists and producers that complete their sound recording projects in Louisiana. BLADE Studios has an in-house production company to facilitate every detail of the project in order to maximize these rebates to the artist.
Yesterday our architect Russ Berger and Paul Cox our technical wiring specialist visited the site. Russ and Paul are extremely pleased with the quality of construction and we are on schedule to open by year’s end.
Next time, I will talk more about the technical aspects of the studios and the equipment we are installing. If you would like more information on BLADE Studios and the Louisiana Incentives, please visit
Thanks. Scott Crompton, Co-Founder

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AES Preview: Miles in 5.1

Monster Music is about to release fresh 5.1 mixes of Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain and Seven Steps, two of trumpeter’s collaborations with Gil Evans. The mixes were done at Germano Studios in New York by engineer David Rideau using new transfers taken sketches.jpgfrom the original 3-track masters.

I had a chance to listen to the transfered tracks in stereo and they are stunning. I own original vinyl and remastered CD versions of Sketches of Spain and the realism of the newly transfered tracks offers an unparalleled listening experience. For starters, (and I hope this makes the record) Gil Evans gives instructions to the players then counts off Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto De Aranjuez. The transients of the castinets, harp and even the breaths of the flute players are captured faithfully at 96kHz-24-bit and puts you in the room. It literally raised the hair on my arm and is a top 5 listening experience. What’s most interesting is “seeing” the edits they made of the original takes, in one case the right channel dropping dramatically where the tape was cut, but it works in the context of the arrangement and has become part of the feel of the piece.

I can’t wait to hear the final in 5.1. If you’re in the neighborhood, the debut playback will take place at AES in San Francisco on Saturday Nov 6th, 4:30 til 6pm in Room 124 at the Moscone Center.

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Meet Pro Tools HD Native

In the third big product announcement this year, Avid has unveiled Pro Tools HD Native, a product aimed at filling the gap where LE leaves off and Pro Tools HD DSP starts. The new platform has more in common with HD DSP than LE, boasting a redesigned mix engine and greater access to the higher end features of Pro Tools at a fraction of the cost. Pro Tools HD Native consists of Pro Tools 8.5 (Snow Leopard and Windows 7) and a single PCIe card sporting two Digilink connectors each offering 32 channels.

The Pro Tools HD Native system offers:

  • The same feature set as Pro Tools HD DSP (minus TDM plug-ins, Heat and limited to 64 channels)
  • Delay compensation on hardware and software inserts
  • Input monitoring, speed control, destructive recording and Quick/Track Punch
  • The same track count and buffer count as HD DSP (192 tracks, 128 buses)
  • Full access to the new HD IO, HD OMNI, HD MADI plus Legacy “blueâ€? IOs (192 IO, 96 IO etc.)
  • Compatibility with Sync HD and Sync IO, Control 24, VENUE: DShow, MixRack and ProFile, ICON and Video Satellite
  • Lower latency figures than the native DAW competition (1.6 ms roundtrip delay at 64 sample buffer at 96kHz)
  • Full compatibility with RTAS plug-ins
  • Full hardware support for third-party ASIO and Core Audio apps

For near zero-latency monitoring in tracking situations, you can designate a single output as a “low latency monitor path�, meaning audio can be assigned from any input directly to this low latency path without hitting the computer. Once the track is taken out of record or input, it is then routed through the software mixer as usual.

Support for LE and M-powered will remain as is for now. I have a feeling there’s another product in the works but Avid is very tight lipped in this regard. On the downside, it’s not possible to monitor Pro Tools HD Native through the computer’s output without having an IO attached. Another limitation is that you can’t expand the system beyond 64 channels by adding another card. You’ll have to jump to Pro Tools HD DSP to go beyond the maximum.

For now there are three versions of Pro Tools HD specific to each hardware setup. Pro Tools 8.0.4 is for those using Legacy “blueâ€? IOs with HD DSP whereas Pro Tools 8.1 is for those using the new HD IO, HD Omni and HD MADI. Pro Tools 8. 5 is specific to Pro Tools Native. Eventually Avid will integrate all these into one app, but for now you must have the correct software for each setup and can’t easily jump from one setup to the other.

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