By Tom Kenny. When Power Station New England opened back in 1995, two-and-a-half hours east of New York City in the bucolic seaside town of Waterford, Conn., the music and recording industries were in a much different place. The recording industry was booming, so it didn’t inspire that much interest when an unknown company, one not even in the entertainment world, licensed the original design and naming rights from Tony Bongiovi and Bob Walters for the famed Studio A, and went about building a board-for-board replica. It seems odd, and a bit counterintuitive, but now that the production climate has changed, the powers behind Power Station New England decided that the time was right to rethink, revamp and essentially reopen their facilities, 22 years after their debut.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: Bringing Soul Back to the Studio with Producer/Engineer Richard Swift
By Barbara Schultz, photos by Richard Swift. When Mix covered one of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ sold-out concerts in San Francisco in 2016, the group segued from their explosive hit “SOB” into The Band’s “Shape I’m In,” and back again. This moment spoke volumes: Rateliff & The Night Sweats have taken a page from the legendary Band’s book, playing soul music through their own filter.
By Kevin Becka. This year’s NAMM show was a jaw-dropper in many ways. It broke all records, with more than 115,000 attendees visiting more than 2,000 exhibitors showing 7,000-plus brands, while at the same time the new 100,000 square foot, two-story audio hall brought more exhibitor organization, and lower SPL to the event than ever before.
By Barbara Schultz. Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan have co-founded beloved roots bands (Nickel Creek for Watkins, Crooked Still for O’Donovan) and have released nine solo albums among them. As is so common among world-class bluegrass musicians, these multiple-Grammy winners have also shared the stage and studio with scores of other artists. But it was during an impromptu performance at the Telluride festival in 2014 that they realized that when they combined their talents, they had lightning in a bottle. The trio found that they harmonize beautifully together, and they share not only superb musicianship, but also a subtle avant-garde bent.
By Lily Moayeri. At first glance, many aspects of Alfie Agnew’s life seem at odds with each other. As the sometime guitarist for the Southern California rock groups D.I. and The Adolescents, Agnew is a punk rock institution. He is also a math professor at California State University, Fullerton. His Orange County home is located on a quiet, removed residential street, yet it is here that he makes wild noise with his latest group, Professor and the Madman, a venture with returning cohort Sean Elliott. Disintegrate Me is the pair’s third album, all three featuring The Damned’s Rat Scabies on drums; this time around Paul Gray played bass.
By Sarah Jones. “Master of Puppets,” Metallica’s third album, was released in March 1986 as the band’s major-label debut. Five years into their careers, they were maturing as artists, with all four members—frontman James Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett, bassist Cliff Burton and drummer Lars Ulrich—contributing equally to song material.
By Mark R. Smith. In recent months, new wave legend Paul Weller has been presenting current selections from his vast catalog―selections that are, as always, mostly devoid of nostalgia―during his “A Kind of Revolution” tour. The tour concluded with a series of arena shows in the U.K.; the closing night performance was March 3 at London’s O2 Arena. Weller is more of a cult figure in the United States, which means the venues he plays here are smaller. Case in point: Washington, D.C.’s 1,200-seat Lincoln Theatre. That’s where Weller’s longtime FOH engineer, Andrew “Ange” Jones, got to work in what he termed a “unique” venue.
King Electric Hosts Refugee Musicians, James McMurtry Records at El Pres, Plus Arlyn Studios, Austin Signal, ‘62 Studios, Space Rehearsal & Recording Studio, Eclectica Studios, Altavista Studio, Estuary Recording and 5th Street Studios
By Strother Bullins. Here are the latest offerings in studio microphones from some of the best, most interesting and innovative manufacturers in professional audio today. This is by no means a comprehensive list, as there are dozens of other laudable mics out there. These are simply some noteworthy recent models that caught our eye.
By Alexander Brandon. I have been a professional in game audio for nearly 25 years and have observed its tool progress since the formative years of the now-ubiquitous Unreal engine. (I even helped design the Unreal 1.0 audio engine.) And because of how quickly game technology changes, it has taken nearly that long for pro audio and game audio to forge a relationship.
By Michael Cooper. The outstanding MOTU 8D fills an important niche unaddressed by other I/O boxes. Featuring no preamps or converters (save for those serving a front-panel stereo headphone jack), the 8D relies solely on digital interfaces for I/O and networking. There are eight channels of AES/EBU (four in and four out), eight channels of S/PDIF, high-speed USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0 and iOS) and AVB-TSN.
By Barry Rudolph. Since its inception in 2004 as a stereo-only unit, the Avocet Discrete Class-A Monitor Controller has evolved through revisions and functional enhancements to become Crane Song’s most successful product, with the Avocet IIA the pinnacle of Dave Hill’s design. Reviewed here is the Avocet IIA stereo system, comprising a two-rackspace audio chassis connected (over a 25-foot cable) to the Avocet Remote II tabletop unit.
By Steve La Cerra. Audio-Technica’s AT5047 is the newest member of the company’s 50 Series of premium, handmade condenser microphones. Sharing a design similar to that of the AT5040, the AT5047’s capsule features four rectangular diaphragms, this time delivering their output via transformer-coupled circuitry. (The AT5040 employed transformerless electronics.)
By Barry Rudolph. The BG2 is a handmade, all-tube, single-channel compressor that uses a twin-triode 6BC8 as a variable-mu gain-changing element followed by a push-pull pair of 6V6 beam-power pentodes for its output stage. The gain-reduction stage and 6AL5 tube circuit are similar to the Abbey Road RS124 (which was adapted from the vintage Altec 436C), while the output stage is like old RCA BA6-A or Gates Sta-Level units.
By Kevin Becka. “Protection” as a theme covers more than just ears.
By Tom Kenny. Two-and-a-half hours out of Penn Station, on the Amtrak line to Boston, the train stops in New London, Conn., in the southeastern part of the state. Boston is about two hours further on, and Providence, R.I., is a short, one-hour drive to the northeast. It’s October 2017, and Power Station New England, celebrating 23 years by initiating a massive overhaul of its technical backbone, is having an “opening” party. It’s about 10 minutes away by car, after a stop at the nearby hotel in Waterford. So smooth and simple. I could smell the wind from the sea; even the landscape felt relaxing after a week in the city. It almost made me want to turn off my phone.
During the course of putting together this month’s cover story, Mix learned that the three men pictured on the cover all had worked with Prince at one point or another, a fact they discovered the first time they met each other a couple of years ago at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. While they all had memories to share, producer/engineer Evan Bakke, now director of engineering at Power Station New England, took the prize.