Recording

November 2013

November 2013

November 2013 cover of Mix magazine

WELCOME

November 2013 Editor's Note: Audio Education Today

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Tom Kenny

It has been a rough couple of years for a lot of people in secondary education, with one headline after another announcing simultaneous class closures and fee hikes at state-run systems, cutbacks at community colleges, stricter entry requirements and higher tuition/costs at many private universities, and a looming student debt crisis that some are predicting will match the bad-mortgage-fueled meltdown of the past five years. Earlier this year, the Atlantic Monthly ran a story titled “Is College Worth It?”...

ON THE COVER

The Blackbird Academy: A New Type of School With an Old-School Mission

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Tom Kenny

Studios have held classes for nearly as long as there have been studios. In a previous generation, studios were the classroom and engineers and techs were the teachers. For decades, across the country, countless recording studios have hosted nighttime classes, equipment certification programs and weeklong workshops within their control rooms and out in the field. The one thing they all seem to have in common is a desire to bring the studio back to the classroom, to re-establish the mentor-assistant/master-apprentice relationship. ...

CURRENT

AES 2013: Small and Energized

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Compiled by the Mix Editors and Wes Maebe

The weather couldn’t have been better for mid-October in New York City, which might help explain the buoyant mood among both exhibitors and visitors at AES 2013. Though the annual AES convention remains relatively small, the aisles were densely packed and the energy seemed more vibrant than it has in years....

FEATURES

Trevor Morris Rising: Music, Tech and a New Santa Monica Facility

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Tom Kenny

Trevor Morris knows and feels music, and always has, from high school days in London, Ontario, that included being commissioned to write a piece for the Pope’s visit, through today as he is working long days preparing for a second season scoring the popular Vikings (History Channel) and a month from the debut of a new Dracula drama for NBC. He’s scored The Borgias, The Tudors (for which he received an Emmy) and Pillars of the Earth for TV, and hit big in film with the success of this year’s Olympus Has Fallen. He also writes videogame scores, the latest being Dragon Age: Inquisition from EA/Bioware, due out next year. ...

Alejandro Fernandez: Phil Ramone’s Last Hurrah Is an International Hit

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Blair Jackson

In early October, Mexican singing sensation Alejandro Fernandez’s latest album, Confidencias, leaped out of the box to Number One on Billboard’s Latin Pop charts, capping the biggest-selling week of Fernandez’s two-decade-plus career as a solo artist. It probably helped that this new offering consists largely of classic songs well-known in Latin America, and that eminent guests help out on three tracks—Christina Aguilera (“Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti,” a hit download and video); Fernandez’s famous father, singer Vicente Fernandez (“Me Olvide de Viver”); and Rod Stewart, of all people (an English-and-Spanish duet big band version of “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out”). Fernandez’s roots are in the Mexican ranchera tradition, but Confidencias is a pop work through and through, and with this album, the ruggedly handsome and versatile vocalist may have found a direction for the next phase of his career....

Desktop Controllers: DAW Manipulation in Compact Form

LIVE

Tour Profile: Pink's Truth About Love Tour

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, By Blair Jackson

Pink is currently embarked on the final 2013 leg of her marathon sold-out “The Truth About Love Tour,” which this year alone has taken her all over the U.S. (hitting some cities twice), Europe and Australia. The extravaganza, some of which has a hip circus vibe, features a five-piece band, two backing singers, seven dancers and very complex production involving multiple screens, glittering sets, wardrobe changes, choreographed dance routines, a small B-stage for acoustic numbers and plenty of aerial excitement which finds Pink somehow—miraculously—singing while hurtling on bungees, turning on a orb cage, somersaulting through space over the crowd and even suspended upside down. Madonna, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry have got nothin’ on Pink!...

Pink's Live Sound Crew for 2013

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, By Blair Jackson

Read more from Pink's front-of-house mixer Dave Bracey and monitor mixers Horst Hartmann and Jon Lewis....

Pink 2013 Tour Gallery

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM

Mix magazine presents exclusive photos of Pink's The Truth About Love Tour, taken at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., in October 2013, by photographer Steve Jennings...

Around the World with Black Sabbath

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz

Metal legend Black Sabbath has been on the road since April, playing arenas and amphitheaters. Veteran engineer Greg Price (pictured) and monitor engineer Myles Hale both use Avid VENUE D-Show and Profile consoles, with P.A. and monitors provided by Clair Global. Local sound companies augment the touring gear and staffing in every town. At press time, for example, the band was in Brazil, where Gabisom provided support....

BRMC Pushes Forward

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Matt Gallagher

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club—guitarist/singer/songwriter Peter Hayes, bassist/singer/songwriter Robert Levon Been and drummer/songwriter Leah Shapiro—has been on the road in the U.S. and Europe for most of 2013 touring in support of its March release, Specter At The Feast. ...

The Rubens’ U.S. Tour

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz

Australian rock band The Rubens (Sam, Elliott, and Zaac Margin, and Scott Baldwin) have been in the U.S. this fall, touring in support of Grouplove, their label mates on Warner Bros. They’ve played a combination of rock and acoustic clubs, which their engineer, Clint Stagoll, says has opened up the band to playing the songs on their eponymous debut album in new ways. ...

MUSIC

Wonder & Lightning: Meet the Duo Behind Janelle Monae and Deep Cotton

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Blair Jackson

What’s in a name? Are the two guys at the other end of my interview phone call Nathaniel Irvin III and Charles Joseph II? Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Chuck Lightning? Deep Cotton? Wonder & Lightning? Control Z? The Wondaland Arts Society?...

Sarah Jarosz ‘Build Me Up From Bones’

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz

For their third album together, roots artist/songwriter Sarah Jarosz and engineer/producer/label exec Gary Paczosa cut all of the tracks in Paczosa’s personal studio in Nashville. Jarosz, who was still in college at the New England Conservatory while she was making the new album, would head down to the studio during school holidays, either to record live with her trio (Jarosz, cellist Nathaniel Smith and fiddler Alex Hargreaves) or to develop musical ideas with Paczosa on her own....

Wild Child with Ben Kweller

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz

Musician and producer Ben Kweller says one of the big draws to working with Austin-based indie-folk band Wild Child is their unique instrumentation. “I’ve always been such a rock guitar guy,” he says, “but this band makes as big a sound as anyone without even touching a guitar.”...

Jon Batiste & Stay Human, ‘Social Music’

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz

A gifted, restless musician with boundless artistic ambition, Jon Batiste is never content with one take, one approach or one genre. His latest, Social Music, offers listeners beautiful, inventive new ways into jazz, R&B, gospel and soul....

Cool Spin - CBGB: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Omnivore Recordings)

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz

This is one of those reviews that could just be a track list. ...

Classic Track: “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied),” Aretha Franklin

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz

“It was all because of fishing,” says engineer/producer Howard Albert about the genesis of the legendary alliance between Atlantic Records and Criteria Studios. It seems that two of the production powerhouses behind Ahmet Ertegun’s Atlantic label—Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd—loved fishing off the coast of South Florida so much that they sought a creative home in Miami....

EDUCATION

Education News & Notes

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By The Mix Editors

Begun in May 2008, under the direction of Professor Jay Henry, a two-time Grammy Award nominee for his engineering and production skills, the Recording Arts and Technology program at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, Calif., prepares students for careers in the entertainment industries of music, television and film, using state-of-the-art music studios and labs for a hands-on learning experience that emphasizes fundamental recording technique and knowledge. Henry recently directed the purchase of two Focusrite RedNet 5 HD interfaces for his Pro Tools|HD systems coupled with three RedNet 2 16-channel analog I/O interfaces for his main recording and satellite mixing rooms....

Mix Education Guide 2013

COLUMNS

Robair Report: Life Lessons From the Trenches

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Gino Robair

Maureen Droney dropped this gem in my lap during a meeting at the 2013 AES show in New York City. Currently the Senior Executive Director of the Recording Academy’s P&E Wing, Droney’s engineering résumé is enviable to anyone in the biz and includes albums by Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Herbie Hancock, Santana, Huey Lewis and the News, and Bobby McFerrin among many others. My curiosity was piqued....

TechTalk: Race to the Middle?

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Kevin Becka

I love consoles. I like a good controller, too, especially when they’re done well. I just got back from AES and for the second time this year got up close with Yamaha/Steinberg’s Nuage. It has an elegant, hands-on interface and is great for certain types of production work. But for recording, there’s nothing like the hands-on touch a console brings to a session. There’s a certain quickness and confidence you can feel when reaching for integrated preamps, faders, EQs and processors. It brings the stress of a session down, while boosting creativity for both the engineer and talent. ...

TECH REVIEWS

New Products
 

API THE BOX: New Small-Format Console, Same Legendary Sound

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Wes Maebe

We all know the API brand from the 1970s classic consoles, Lunchbox series processors, Legacy, Vision and 1608 desks. It’s safe to say that API has a reputation for building recording consoles and outboard equipment that deliver a recognizable thick, warm analog sound. It is an “expensive” sound that, for a long time, was financially out of reach for most. While the Lunchbox made it possible to get “that” API sound, it was still a long reach to a full API console. With the introduction of THE BOX, API has landed in the mid-ground, finally manufacturing an affordable, small-footprint console....

Universal Audio, Millennia and Waves: Three Mastering EQ Plug-ins

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Tim Dolbear

As engineers, we are always looking for the “Magic Button” to bring that polish to our work, something to take our recordings to the next level in our search for audio perfection—but more EQ plug-ins? Yes! And these three EQs are a great way to add mojo to your finished product. For the most part, the Pultecs, NSEQ-2 and RS56 plug-ins are mastering EQs, meaning they are at home performing wide sweeping tonal shifts on an entire mix rather than surgically cutting specific frequencies on a single track....

Slate Digital Virtual Buss Compressors: Plug-in Bundle Gives Classic Hardware a New Spin

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Michael Cooper

Many plug-ins that model vintage hardware strive to emulate the original item’s complete sonic and functional attributes, warts and all. Slate Digital’s Virtual Buss Compressors, on the other hand, cherry-picks the best and jettisons the rest. Each of the three compressors included in the bundle is either a modified model of a single hardware unit (attempting to improve its sound or function) or combines the best traits of various compressors to create a hybrid processor....

Yamaha HS8 Active Studio Monitor: Crystal-Clear, Wide-Range Response at an Affordable Price

Nov 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Michael Cooper

Seven years ago, I reviewed Yamaha’s HS Series monitors (the HS50M monitor and HS10W subwoofer in Mix’s April 2006 issue) and was mightily impressed. The overriding hallmark was an eminently crystal-clear sound when placed on console-top shelves—positioning that defenestrates most other monitors’ clarity of reproduction. Nevertheless, Yamaha saw room for improvement. The HS Series has been updated, with better performance promised for the three full-range monitors and subwoofer comprising the product line. For this review, I took a stereo pair of the largest two-way model, the HS8, for a spin....

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