Archive for May, 2011

Harrison Releases Mix Bus 2.0

Harrison has released V2.0 of their Mix Bus DAW.
New mixer features include:mb2_all_mixer.jpg

- 8 Mix Bus Sends
- Plugin Effect Control Sliders allow you to map plugin controls directly to controls on the mixer strip.
- Input Trim, Makeup Gain, Sidechain, and Master Limiter controls are now available directly from the mixer window
- Improved Mixer navigation and display, including narrow mixer strip and the ability to show/hide Mix Buses as needed
- New Phase-Correlation meter on the Master Bus displays mono compatibility of the stereo mix
- Polarity buttons on the top of every mixer strip
- Plugins, sends, inserts and the fader now appear in a single redirect box at the top of the mixer strip

It is available June 1st for $219 via direct download

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Catching Up With Bash

You dig a deep groove, I know that. Ergo, you’re a fan of Bashiri Johnson, right? Since 1986, when he was tapped to add percussion tracks to Madonna’s “Holiday,” Bashiri, who grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, has been on the top of everyone’s list. I’ve known Bash for over 20 years and have been fortunate enough to have his talent on a number of my own recordings. We caught up by phone the other day.

Gary Eskow: “Bash, for those who aren’t familiar with your background, could you sketch in a few details of your early training as a musician?”

Bashiri Johnson: “I grew up in Bed-Stuy and was bused to a school in Bay Ridge. That experience turned out to be quite beneficial to me in terms of my musical development. It was a nice, bi-cultural way to learn. In my neighborhood I’d hear Sly and James Brown, and over in Bay Ridge I was exposed to The Who, Hendrix, and the Beatles.”

GE: “What instruments did you initially learn to play?”

BJ: “I played some flute and recorder in school, took some piano lessons as well, but I really got serious when I took up the conga drums.”

GE: “What players influenced you early on?”

BJ: “As far as drumming, Max Roach and Tony Williams. I met Tony once and it was great! On the percussion side, Ralph MacDonald and Olatunji were big influences. I had two important mentors, Big Black and Mtume.”

GE: “Your work with Madonna led to a break out period for you. Could you tell us a bit about this time in your career?”

BJ: “After “Holiday” I played at the first Live Aid concert in 1986. In short order I worked on Luther Vandross’ first album, “Never Too Much,” and Whitney Houston’s first, “You Give Good Love.” Word got out about this young percussionist, and the calls started to come in.”

GE: “What’s the most essential aspect of the groove?”

BJ: “Your connection to yourself, I’d say. To be able to express yourself through an instrument- any instrument- you have to have that.”

GE: “What’s the biggest mistake that project studio producers make with regard to drums and percussion?”

BJ: “Not checking in with someone who does this stuff every day. Loops and sample libraries are great; I’ve made some of them myself [“Ethno Techno,” http://www.ilio.com/products/ilio-samplelibrary/, “Liquid Grooves,” http://www.ilio.com/products/spectrasonics-samplelibrary/liquidgroovesgc/). But you can’t simply rely on loops- you need a second opinion from someone who has an expertise in that field if you want to end up with percussion parts that are perfectly tailord to a song. If I’m producing a track in my studio I may have an idea for a guitar part. I’ll put something down on a keyboard but I’ll always look for a player to flesh it out. Everyone needs a second opinion, and I think that’s especially true in the area of rhythm.”

GE: “You’ve worked in many of the major studios and have had your own project studio for years. What’s your take on the state of the industry, and where does the majority of your work come from these days?”

BJ: “Most of my work takes place right here in my own room. People will send me files over the internet, or drop off DVD’s and drives. I’m still working in studios around town as well. In fact, I just finished working on Ja Rule’s new record up at Daddy’s House, Diddy’s room in midtown Manhattan. I get calls from producers who work in Avatar and other studios, and lots of private facilities as well.

“I think there’s still room for growth in the large room environment. The challenge for them is to show value to the coroporate interests that control the business.
We all know how inexpensive it is to make a record using someone who builds a beat on a drum machine and have a few tracks added on top of it, then release the record as an mp3 file. There’s nothing wrong with that. The music business should be a mix of everything; the mad scientist should be able to crank out fine work at a computer, but there should also be room for Phil Ramone to produce a large orchestral track in a big room.”

GE: “What are you tracking to these days in your studio?”

BJ: “I’m running ProTools 8 and will soon upgrade to 9. I still use a Yamaha O2R as a front end. We’ve got lots of great mics and we record everything through a Neve 1073 mic-pre that I love. I’ve got lots of midi gear here, and everything other than percussion and vocals I engineer myself. When I need an engineer I like to call on Darren Moore, Carlos “Storm” Martinez, or Sheldon Goode.”

GE: “Bash, I know you were working with Michael Jackson at the time of his death. What can you tell us about him, and that moment in your career?”

BJ: “Looking back on that bubble moment, it almost seems out of time and space for me. When I look at the film “This Is It,” and the pictures I took during rehearsals, it’s like a dream. I was working with one of the kindest, gentlest, and most talented artists I’ve ever come across. Michael was the most humble guy I’ve ever seen, thankful to everyone he came across; the rigger, the fire department, the dancers, band, the lighting director, you name it, he made sure they all knew they were appreciated.

“When he got on stage and went to work, that was the highest standard of excellence I’ve ever been around. He made you rise above your normal level, and if you didn’t Michael would notice and mention it to the individual, or share them with the musical director or choreographer. He made his opinions known in a loving way. You’d make your adjustments and try to measure up to his standards.”

GE: “People looking to add your talents to their tracks can reach you through your website, http://www.bashirijohnson.com. What advice can you give to midi composers who are trying to develop their skills in the percussion area?”

BJ: “Do some research. Wade through YouTube and iTunes and use these sources to study the masters of percussion. Don’t settle for the four or five percussion samples that happen to be in the box you’re using. Discover the sounds that are right for the particular piece you’re working on.”

GE: “And stay in touch with yourself, right?”

BJ: “Right!”

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A Conversation With Chris Ludwig

A number of reputable companies build digital audio workstations, and ADK Pro Audio (www.adkproaudio.com) is one of them. I’ve purchased several DAW’s from ADK, based largely on the relationship I developed with Chris Ludwig when he worked at the East Coast Music Mall in Connecticut. Chris knows a lot about computers, music software, and industry trends. We recently spent some time talking about the state of the industry.

Gary Eskow: Chris, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Chris Ludwig: “I’m originally from Connecticut and have been a musician of questionable skill since I was in high school! I’ve been using computers for music- mostly Ataris and PC’s- since about 1993. PC’s let you do a lot more tinkering, so I’ve spent a lot of time under the hood with them, usually by learning the hard way! I’ve also been using Cubase since it was on the Atari platform, and have never really found a viable alternative to it.”

GE: How did you get into the retail music business?

CL: “I started working at the East Coast Music Mall in the late 1990’s. While there, Morgan Pettinato, one of the owners, had me design and build custom DAWs. We built many, many systems for the awesome but doomed Ensoniq/EMU Paris system. Testing and configuring the large multi-PCI card configurations for Paris under Windows 98 and XP was a test of fire!

“I left ECMM in 2005 for ADK Pro Audio. ADK is large and more centered around building DAWs; it’s not a music store than happens to build DAWs. I’d like to think that since I’ve come to ADK I’ve had something to do with developing the company’s reputation as a builder of custom DAWs, and I’m pretty sure at this point we have become the largest in overall sales volume of any of the dedicated DAW builders. We’ve accomplished this while expanding and improving our support and service, rather than cutting back in these areas, which seems to be the norm now in the industry.

GE: Where are we right now in term of computer speed, compared to where you expect the industry to be in the next four or five years?

CL: “I think the biggest changes coming in the couple years will be Intel’s Light Peak/Thunder Bolt technology. It’s already starting it show up on some Macs and will be popping up on PC systems towards the end of the year.

“This technology holds a lot of potential for high bandwidth devices such as multi-drive raid arrays and large I/O high definition audio and video devices. You probably won’t see any major devices until 2012, though. There will also be a replacement for the current i7/x58 chipset that should offer a 30% or more jump in speed. “

GE: Will native DAW’s ever completely eliminate the need for external hardware, other than audio interfaces?

CL: “They are getting pretty close to the reliability and capability of digital mixers, providing you’ve got the right combination of audio hardware and software. With the right system set up the round trip latency is very close to that of a digital mixer, but this will be the case with the higher audio interfaces only.”

GE: What is the most obvious mistake that most people- even folks who have had them in the past- make when it comes to purchasing a digital audio workstation?

CL: “Something that I run across a lot is having to talk someone out of making the decision to purchase a system that’s overkill for their needs and then skimp on the audio hardware sound quality and performance; this is especially important in the case of a user who’s only doing audio recording and wants to improve the quality of their productions. The vast majority of the time they will get far more satisfying results buying a mid-priced/powered system and applying the rest of their budget towards a better audio interface, and the highest quality AD/DA, and mic-pres they can afford.

GE: Does any plug-in on the market do a really good job emulating analog tape saturation?

CL: “The Universal Audio Studer a800 plug-in is the best thing I’ve heard other than Endless Audio’s Clasp which is technically a hardware/computer tape machine hybrid.

GE: Has NI’s Kontakt 4 become the de facto sample playback app? Do you think it will be challenged in the near or long term?

CL: “K4 certainly seems to be the winner in this area. There are not really any competing workstation sampler programs out there that compare to it in terms of features and compatibility.

“Halion 4 looks interesting but most of its features seem designed for Cubase and Nuendo users- which is fine since I am one!- but that decision by Steinberg may limit the product’s user base and the number of manufacturers who will choose to develop libraries for it.

“I disliked all the previous version of Halion so it will be a hard sell for me. I do like the new Halionsonic a bunch which is based on Halion 4, so there is hope.”

GE: Where do things stand now in terms of the Mac/PC debate?

CL: “At this point Apple and PC’s are using virtually the same hardware. The differences are coming down more to the OS and BIOs/EFI with respect to the question of one platform performing better than the other. Your readers can find more details and see benchmark results on this site: http://www.dawbench.com/win7-v-osx-1.htm.”

“Die-hard Apple users will always be getting a faster system whenever they buy a new model, so for them it doesn’t really matter if the PC is faster, just as stable, and half the price; you will not talk them out of the Mac no matter how much data you give them showing PCs working better; they want what they want!

“I rarely get those calls though. We get a lot of calls from Mac users wanting to switch to PC at this point, especially those who are doing a lot of virtual instrument work. With regard to 64 bit application and development, PC technology has had a four year head start on Apple.”

GE: Has 64 bit edged out 32 bit at this point? Are developers still releasing product in 32 bit format?

CL: “We have only sold Windows 7 64 bit since Windows 7 was released and the majority of the Windows Vista systems we did were 64 bit. Virtually all of the audio hardware manufacturers have fully functional 64 bit drivers available. Legacy hardware devices from companies that no longer exist do present problems and we’re sometimes unable to provide 64 bit drivers for their products. There are only a couple software plug-in manufacturers at this point that do not either have full 64 bit versions or 32 bit versions that work in 64 bit host; companies that do not have 64 bit host compatible plug-in at this point IMHO just plain look foolish and out of touch.

“Universal Audio would be a good example of a company that does the right thing and makes sure their products works with all current programs both 32 bit and 64 bit. Waves would be an example of a company that does none of the above and seem completely resistant to developing 64 bit.”

GE: Are cheap microphones from China and elsewhere giving the high priced mics a real challenge these days? Are they gaining market share?

CL: “The glut of Chinese-made mics is probably doing more to negatively affect the sales of Chinese mics than anything else! Most of the high end microphone manufacturers seemed to have gotten used to and adapted to this new reality. Some of the more well-known Chinese mic companies are actually starting to focus on the quality a bit more, and as a result people are getting more accepting of them.

GE: What software, or companies, do you find most interesting these days?

CL: “Vienna Instruments, Native Instruments, Universal Audio, Steinberg, Voxengo, and Celemony currently top my list. There’s also a bunch of other smaller shareware and freeware plug-in people who are doing cool stuff- too many to mention.”

GE: Anything else you’d care to comment on?

CL: “The tech support, teaching and training possibilities are totally being neglected by audio/video software manufacturers. Every single one of the software developers need to work on their quality of support. The best support you will get from any of the companies just plan sucks and is getting worse! [please Chris, tell it like you see it!] I would rather see them focus on generating revenue on from quality support, teaching and training.

“There’s the desire to release a new version each year so people will think the manufacturer has made something new, when all they’ve done is change the color scheme and add a couple features that half the time are broken at launch- and the product developers still haven’t fixed major bugs in the previous version!

“As part of our support here at ADK we act as a first level support for any of the products we sell. We do everything from showing the customer how to install and set up some piece of software or hardware all the way up to teaching them how to integrate a remote desktop between multiple systems. We’ll even help our customers with things like sorting out grounding issues and digital clock configurations; we deal with every technical issue that our clients are likely to encounter.

“Many calls we get are from desperate users who have reached a dead end with a software company. They call us up to sort things out, which in most cases we do either by spending the time that the software support company did not provide to isolate the issue and resolve it either though a fix or work around. If they are already an ADK customer this service is already covered under the life time tech support that comes with all of our systems. In most cases people would never receive anything more than a generic response from the company and no technical support.

“The next most common call we get is from customers who are trying to figure out how to do something in the software that was either poorly documented or not documented at all. Many of these people are more than happy to pay for this teaching and I really think it should be the software company using this as a revenue source and not pawning it off on some third party company that either over charges or just does a plain crappy job of it.

“In many cases these companies could easily improve the quality they provide at a minimal cost, simply by making a better use of web resources. The actual support staff should be manning forums and blogs, providing more than a general administrator or marketing rep is capable of, which is all that most of them seem to offer at this point.

“Still, that gives ADK Pro Audio the opportunity to step in and show all of the services that we can provide, and we’re happy to do so!”

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Catching Up With Jon Pousette-Dart

Back in junior high school there were plenty of reasons to dislike Jon Pousette-Dart. Tall, blessed with Prince Valiant good looks, he had a gilded tenor and a smooth hand on the guitar. But he was confident, not arrogant, and when we rehearsed the theme to “Peter Gunn,” or Santo and Johnny’s “Sleep Walk,” he flashed a winning smile. So we gave him a pass!

After graduating from high school Jon spent a year at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. He met John Troy, formed a band, and by 1975 was riding the country rock wave. “What Can I Say?,” the single from the Pousette-Dart Band’s first LP was all over the airwaves that year, and “Fall On Me,” the single from the follow up album, “Amnesia,” got a lot of play as well. Still…

“We all felt that the title track (“Amnesia”) would have pushed the band all the way through,” says P-D. “But Richard Torrance had the up tempo slot in that quarter so our label released “Fall On Me,” instead. It was a mistake, but what can you do?”

P-D’s maintained a loyal following throughout the years, still tours regularly, and just released his newest album, “Anti Gravity,” which can be purchased through his website, http://www.pousette-dart.com. Several years ago Jon, who lives with his wife Dawn on the upper west side of Manhattan, set up shop in his parents’ old home just north of the city. Richard Pousette-Dart is widely recongized as one of the 20th century’s most prolific and gifted painters, with a reputation that continues to grow several decades after his death. His large studio makes a perfect space for a studio.

“I knew I wanted to build a studio here, and when I was ready to move I contacted a company in Alanta- honestly, I forget their name- and sent them down a set of measurements and photographs of the space. They sussed out what we needed and designed acoustic tiles and flooring. We put a layer of Dynamat under plywood, and I was going to put own another hard wood floor, but I was impatient and liked the way things were sounding so we just put rugs over the plywood.

“An artist and carpenter, Peter Artin, and I did all of the duct and climate control work. Neil Davidson helped design the entire studio and did all of the wiring and power supply work. His company is NEM Audio, and I recommend them highly.”

A Pro Tools HD9 workstation running on a Mac Quad Pro, with a Pro Control surface, lies at the heart of Jon’s studio. “I’m pretty adept at getting the sound I want when I’m laying down my guitar and vocals. I might track my guitar parts to a click and have Eric (Parker) add drum parts later on on. Most of the time, though, I prefer to record the entire band live, and under those circumstances I’ll always bring in an engineer.”

The current Pousette-Dart Band- Eric Parker on drums, Paul Socolow on bass, and Jim Chapdelaine on guitar, has been together for about a decade. “It’s hard to compare the early band with this one,” says P-D. “Back then we lived together for such a long time, it was like a marriage. We spent so much time on the road, it was very deep rooted. But we ran into difficult times because of some poor decisions by our label, and it affected our ability to stay together.

“This band is amazing. Paul Socolow’s played with many great artists, particularly in the jazz area. Eric Parker is a drummer that everyone familiar with the field knows about, and what can I say about Jim Chapdelaine? You know Jim, he’s amazing, right?”

Hartford, Connecticut native Jim Chapdelaine is a multi-threat all right. “Jim’s one of those rare people you meet who have the heart, soul, depth and intelligence that allows them to hit the mark over and over again. He’s equally proficient as a musician, producer, and mixing and mastering engineer. He wears all those hats without any of the roles becoming obscured or unfocused.”

The current album was recorded at P-D’s place, in Jim Chapdelaine’s studio, and in Nashville. “Gary Nicholson produced several tracks, so we cut them at his studio in Nashville. Everything was mixed and mastered at Jim’s place.”

He made his name in the age of vinyl, but Jon Pousette-Dart has had no problem adapting to the changing tides. “The mechanics of selling music has changed dramatically, everyone knows that. Downloading has changed the profile not only of how music is bought and sold, but the way that it’s listened to as well. People don’t have the patience to sit down and absorb an entire album at one sitting. They buy individual tracks. That puts the burden on artists to come up with good material. You can’t release a few strong cuts and put filler songs around them, and we’ve avoided that trap, I think, on this album.”

Taking the prettiest girl in the 8th grade for a ride might be a prize beyond reach at this point, but Jon Pousette-Dart has plenty of fuel in the tank, and dreams to spare. “I want to keep doing what I love doing! My main goal is to keep performing live. That’s what keeps me connected, it teaches me what’s right and wrong with my writing. We’ve been getting a very positive response to the material from the new album, and I’m grateful for that, and to be playing with such a great band.”

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From “Love Shack” to His Shack an interview with Tom Durack

Aspiring engineers look for the project that will put them on the map, and Tom Durack (www.tomdurack.net) found it in 1989 when he mixed the B-52’s smash single “Love Shack.” A native of Livonia, Michigan, a Detroit suburb, Durack played some guitar in high school, but his keen interest in hi-fi equipent led him to take an entry level recording class at a local studio. “I was thunderstruck the first time I walked into the control room,” says Durack. “Between the console, the big speakers, the 2″ tape machines, the aroma of the Scotch 250 … to me it felt like a cross between being on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise and at the controls of the most badass stereo system I’d ever seen. I felt like I’d found my element in a way I hadn’t before, even if I had no idea how anything in that room worked.”

Durack interned for several local engineers and when one of them, Rick Kerr, moved to New York he called Tom to let him know that if he was serious about pursuing a career in the recording business he would help him secure a position at Planet Sound in Manhattan. “It was an incredible opportunity and I took it. This was in 1984. I worked at Planet for six or seven months as an assistant engineer and then with engineer Jack Nuber’s help moved to Skyline Studios on 37th Street, where I worked for the next five years. There I continued to learn my craft at the sides of more great engineers, among them Paul Wickliffe (Skyline’s owner), and James Farber, who was Nile Rodgers’ engineer when Nile moved his base of operations from what was then The Power Station (now Avatar) to Skyline.”

Tom became Rodgers’ first call engineer during the period when Nile was tapped to produce half of the B-52’s “Cosmic Thing,” album (Don Was produced the other half). ”I recorded and mixed Nile’s material (including the single “Roam”) and then was asked by the band’s management if I would be interested in remixing Don’s half as well, in order to lend more cohesion to the sound of the album overall. Among the tracks I mixed on that half of the album was “Love Shack”.

Gary Eskow: “What impact did “Love Shack” have on your career?”

Tom Durack: “The success of that single and albumgave me a lot of exposure and launched my career as an independent engineer. I spent the following 10 years traveling and working extensively overseas, particularly in Japan where I recorded and mixed dozens of projects for Masahide Sakuma, one of that country’s most prolific and respected producers.

“But the combination of the internet file-sharing phenomenon, the ascent of affordable digital audio hardware and software, plus the events of 9/11 all helped bring that chapter of my career to a close. In 2002 I put together my own first Pro Tools system and started mixing projects from my first home studio. A few years later one mix client asked if I couldn’t also master his album, and it went well enough that word of mouth began to bring mastering inquiries from other indie artists too, and before long I was mastering more projects than I was mixing. This is the business that I’ve been growing ever since – mixing and mastering via the internet for clients (primarily independent artists) around the world.”

GE: “What percentage of your work involves mixing, and what percentage is taken up with mastering?”

TD: “Currently the split between mixing and mastering is about 50/50.”

GE: “Please describe your project studio set up.”

TD: “In my personal studio I work 100% in the box. Pro Tools is my platform of choice for mixing and for the editing, EQ, and whatever compression might be involved in the mastering process. The plug-ins I reach for most often are from SoundToys, PSP, Massey, and URS, among others. For mastering project assembly and final delivery of DDP filesets I use Sonic Studios’ PreMaster CD. Dynaudio monitors, Sennheiser headphones, and my ears complete the equation.”

GE: “What percentage of your work is done in your studio, and how much is conducted in the field or in outside studios?”

TD: “All of my mastering work is done in my studio, as is the vast majority of the mixing I do. For recording projects my favorite studios in the area currently are Hal Winer’s BiCoastal up in Ossining NY, and The Magic Shop and Patrick Dillett’s room here in Manhattan. But since so much of what I do these days is either mixing or mastering and because my own room is so tailored to my tastes, I don’t get out to other studios as often as I might like anymore.”

GE: “Where do you stand on the analog vs. digital issue, and when you are working in the digital domain, what sampling rate do you generally use?”

TD: “The decision to work in the analog or digital domain depends somewhat upon the project, but generally I prefer to record basic tracks to analog tape when possible, particularly for rock projects. It’s not a question of fidelity, though – I do it for the character of tape. This isn’t a unique point of view at all, but for me the way that good tape on a well-calibrated machine behaves when you hit it hard with drums, percussion, rhythm guitars … the non-linearity, the compression characteristics of tape still sound like rock to my ears in a way that digital does not.

“As to digital, whether I’m starting a project from scratch in Pro Tools or transferring analog tracks for further overdubs and mixing I like to work at either 88.2 or 96kHz. To my ears these are the sample rates at which the fidelity differences between good digital and good analog effectively disappear. 192kHz is, for most of the work I do, overkill.”

GE: “The project studio revolution- which began with MIDI composers using ADAT machines to record basic tracks that would then be mixed in a “real” studio- continues to expand. The mastering studio has historically been seen as the last bastion. Bob Ludwig, a fan of yours, once told me that he spent a fortune on his floor alone- I think it was 100k. Can a guy working in a project studio environment ever compete with a facility like that?”

TD: “Well, as a mixer I’m lucky enough to have been Bob Ludwig’s client on several occasions over the years. His room at Gateway is without question the finest monitoring environment I’ve ever been in, and I know quite a few other people who feel the same way. Bob’s room design and equipment choices combine as a single system in a way I’ve not seen or heard anywhere else. The experience of listening there – especially to music you’ve worked on, spent a lot of time with, and know well – is a revelation.

“That said, I think what’s necessary for good work is being able to listen within a firm and trustworthy frame of reference. Bob’s space at Gateway is a wonderful complement and testament to his amazing ears and talent. But a simple yet crucial ingredient in his recipe for great work, I think, is the fact that he’s spent thousands and thousands of hours listening in that room and knows exactly what he’s hearing, just as I imagine he must have done in his earlier room at Masterdisk. Compared to either of those operations my own is extremely modest to say the very least, but the combination of my room and signal chain is one I’ve grown to know intimately through years of critical listening. Just as Bob does his, I’m able to rely upon my own frame of reference here to allow me to shape my work in a way that translates well to the outside world.”

GE: “How have the changes in recording technology changed the way you work over the last five or ten years?”

TD: “The evolution of applications like Pro Tools combined with the reach of the internet enables me to mix and master music for clients all over the world from the comfort and familiarity of my own workspace. Likewise my clients are able to evaluate the work in the familiarity of their own spaces, be it their studio, their home, car … wherever they’re comfortable listening and trust what they’re hearing. My client and I may be listening in different environments and on different equipment, but again, if they are reliable frames of reference for each of us – if we each know and trust what we’re hearing – the combination makes for a very enjoyable – and very efficient – way of working. And of course using the internet means we can trade mixes, masters, notes, and feedback across the planet more or less instantly, all with very low overhead and no jetlag for anyone involved.

“What I mostly anticipate in the near future, at least for the technology I use, is just further refinement. Faster processors, 64-bit versions of applications like Pro Tools and the plugs-ins I use will all bring improved performance, as will solid-state drive technology as it matures and becomes more cost-effective.”

GE: “Finally, Tom, we all know that the music industry has been going through some significant changes. What’s your take on the state of things in our business today?

TD: “We’re in a state of flux for sure, musically, technologically, business-wise … no news there. It’s hard to say where the industry going but I’m excited to find out and hope I can continue to adapt to the inevitable changes. For now my tiny corner of it appears to be thriving, and I’m grateful for that. I have a wonderful and growing clientele and feel luckier than I can say to be able to contribute something of my own to the making of so much good music.”

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Dream Rig

I’m tracking a record at my studio this weekend with this rig of preamps and compressors I have in for review. I’m using the Radial Workhorse 5000 which made my list of Top Gear of the Noughties. In the Workhorse, I’ve got some great 500 series modules from Radial including the Power Pre preamp, JDX DI, X-Amp Reamp and XTC Reamp. I also have the Inward Connections Magnum Preamp, Vogad and Brute compressors and the DACS MICAMP 500. I just asked Eben Grace if I could get an m501 and he said they were just coming off the line and there was one on the way. I’m very excited about having all this firepower at my fingertips for drum, bass, keys and vocals. I’ve already had the Radial Power Pre and Inward Connections gear in session and they are spectacular. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage here and in Mix.

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