By Steve Harvey. While the precise definition of the Baby Boom has evolved over the years, the fact remains that, as reported by research company Nielsen, 70 percent of the disposable income in the United States is now controlled by a significant chunk of the population that ranges in age from mid-50s to early 80s. Nostalgia is a booming business—pun intended—and the affluent Boomer generation has become a target-rich environment for the media and entertainment industry.
By Anthony Savona, photos by Drew Gurian. It’s a pretty simple thing to twist a knob or ride a fader. Harder, though, is moving them all in the right combination to the right place to get the sound just so. And the “just so” depends on who is at the helm—the big-picture producer, the technically precise engineer, or the feel-for-it mixer. It must be even more difficult when all three of those types inhabit the same body, as they do with multi-platinum producer/mixer/engineer Chris Tabron.
By Jim Beaugez. Malaco Studios has survived industry upheaval, streaming and plenty of pop-music trends to thrive as an independent soul, blues and R&B mecca after 50 years. But the home of hits like “Mr. Big Stuff,” “Groove Me” and “Ring My Bell” almost didn’t survive after a tornado blew away much of its Jackson, Miss., headquarters.
By Eric Rudolph. “Once, not long ago, a group of musicians came to Israel from Egypt; you probably didn’t hear about it, it wasn’t very important.” So begins The Band’s Visit, the unusually quiet, intimate Broadway musical that’s made an outsized impact on audiences and critics. begins The Band’s Visit, the unusually quiet, intimate Broadway musical that’s made an outsized impact on audiences and critics.
By Barbara Schultz. Some collaborations are one-offs, but happily, the musical friendship between rock ’n’ roots great Ben Harper and blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite is still going strong. Harper and Musselwhite’s first album as a duo, Get Up! (Stax, 2013), earned them a Best Blues Album Grammy, and became a Top 10 rock album, as well as the Number One blues album in the United States. Now a second effort, No Mercy in This Land, builds on the studio magic they created, and on the time they spent touring and gelling with their band.
By Barbara Schultz. Friends often ask engineer/producer Sheldon Gomberg how he stays positive in spite of what he’s lost. Once an in-demand bass player, Gomberg, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, is now relegated to a scooter. Sessions and tours are off the table since he lost his fine motor skills. The abilities that led him to play alongside Warren Zevon, Rickie Lee Jones, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and so many others are behind him. But his music career remains strong.
By Barbara Schultz. In the audio world, Sylvia Massy is as famous for her radical recording techniques as she is for her award-winning projects with Johnny Cash, Tool, System of a Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prince and others. And in pro audio’s great tradition of mentoring, Massy often shares her techniques and experiences via a lively social media presence, industry events, her book Recording Unhinged, and her former “Gear Stories” column in Mix.
By Matt Hurwitz. Supertramp arrived on the scene in 1969, with its most-beloved main lineup falling into place in 1973 behind founders Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies. Ken Scott produced two albums in 1974 and 1975, but it was their fifth album, Even in the Quietest Moments, in 1977, that lifted them to superstardom, due in large part to Hodgson’s uplifting, magical hit single, “Give a Little Bit.”
By Steve Jennings. Miranda Lambert brought her Livin’ Like Hippies tour to the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., on February 8, with a full Clair Cohesion P.A. system and a couple of Yamaha PM10 consoles at FOH and monitors. Lambert wrapped the tour at the end of March, but will be back out in July with the Bandwagon Tour.
By Tom Kenny. Clear-Com, which celebrates its 50th anniversary on April 18, was founded due to the simple fact that in 1967, in the San Francisco Bay Area, rock concerts became too crowded and awfully loud. And it happened seemingly overnight. With all the nostalgia surrounding the Summer of Love, it’s easy to gloss over the fact that there really was no live sound industry at the time, at least not as we know it today.
REGIONAL: Southwest U.S.
Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart in Session for “Black Coffee,” Studio at the Palms; Update from Beacon Hill Studios; Saltmine Studio Oasis; Dust & Stone; The Tone Factory Recording Studios; D.I. Recording Studios; Brickroad Studios; Allusion Studios; Waterworks Recording; Tucsound
Roundup of what's new in recording and SR tech for April 2018. Manufacturers include Amphion, Black Lion Audio, Soundtheory, Sonnox, ADAM Audio, Transformizer, CEntrance, Louder Than Liftoff, Bassboss, d&b, RAT and Renkus-Heinz.
By Steve La Cerra. JBL’s 7 Series takes advantage of technology developed for the company’s flagship M2 Master Reference Monitor and comes in at a much more accessible price. The 7 Series’ patented Image Control Waveguide, introduced in the M2, was developed to provide a wide, precise stereo image while ensuring a seamless transition between the low- and high-frequency drivers.
By Brandon T. Hickey. When Mackie released the Big Knob in 2005, it was a groundbreaking product. At the time, working entirely in the box was still new terrain, and people were starting to look at what parts of a large-format console they deemed necessary. Since then, a few competing products have stepped up to challenge the Big Knob at its price point, but the original has maintained its popularity.
By Michael Cooper. If you have ever wanted to change a song’s arrangement after it’s been recorded, zplane’s reTune plug-in provides a shortcut. Instead of calling back the musicians to re-record the tune, you can use reTune to independently change each pitch in your tracks—whether monophonic or polyphonic, in melodies or chords—to any other pitch.
By Brandon T. Hickey. Kii Audio was founded in 2014 by a team including Bruno Putzeys, the designer of the Grimm Audio LS1. This compact audiophile speaker received warm reviews due to its ability to deliver a wide frequency response with great accuracy, especially when considering its relatively small size. The Kii Three aims to build on these strengths, delivering an even more compact reference monitor meant to reproduce sound on par with soffit-mounted main monitors or tower speakers found in mastering suites.
By Kevin Becka. I fell into audio journalism out of necessity. My drive was always music, which led me to L.A., first as a guitar player, then working construction on two studios—which led to becoming a recording engineer. Then came the 1994 Northridge earthquake, where I lost a house and chose to move closer to family in Arizona, a place I swore I’d said goodbye to forever. After 18 years, Los Angeles indeed proved too much for the man.
By Tom Kenny. Every month, for more than a decade, I’ve spent odd moments at odd times of the day thinking about an appropriate theme for this opening space. It might come to me in the shower, on the BART train. It’s harder than it might look, trust me. The theme might be tied to the cover story, the time of year, a breaking technology or simply something I’ve encountered in my travels around pro audio. This month I kept coming back to words like mélange, hodgepodge and mashup, as a few disconnected events came my way, with no easy way to unite them. So here they are.
By Margot Douaihy. From using an app to order your morning latte to reading an ebook before bed, we’re living more of our days—and our lives—online. As digital footprints grow and cyber infrastructures mature, more industries are exploring potential uses for blockchain. Blockchain is shared ledger technology for recording transactions and protecting the integrity of digital information.
By Clive Young. Blockchain as a concept has been making noise (perhaps a low rumble) across the music industry for a few years now, but hasn’t made significant inroads into the pro audio world—yet.