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December 1, 2011

December 1, 2011 Mix Issue Table of Contents

December 1, 2011


On the Cover: Paramount Recording Studios, Los Angeles

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Bud Scoppa

Adam Beilenson and Mike Kerns, co-owners of the Paramount Recording Group, the biggest music-dedicated studio operation in L.A.—and quite possibly the biggest on the planet—have gotten to this point by boldly bucking trends. Tellingly, the Paramount Group began to hone its competitive edge in 2000, the year after Napster appeared, sending the music business reeling and dealing a devastating blow to the recording sector as a direct consequence. At that critical juncture, Beilenson and Kerns, a pair of ex-musician L.A. natives who’d opened Hollywood’s Paramount for business 14 years earlier, made a move that seemed foolhardy at the time, buying Ray Parker’s Ameraycan Recording in North Hollywood. …


500 Series Mic Preamps 2011

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Matt Gallagher

With the growing popularity of the 500 Series format, it’s getting more and more difficult to wade through the field of products and make an educated decision. This month’s roundup offers a list of more than 60 microphone preamps available from 45 manufacturers. Use this handy guide to get a quick fix on which features best fit your workflow and desires. …

Bon Iver Tour Profile

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

Front-of-house engineer and production manager Brian Joseph is no stranger to the sound behind Bon Iver—the Justin Vernon band. Having been part of the production process for his latest self-titled album, Joseph is fully aware of how to artfully re-create that record’s lush soundscapes (think Sigur Ros meets down-home Americana) when it came time to take it on the road. …


Tech: New Products, December 2011

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM

Magma has released ExpressBox 3T ($979), the first three-slot PCIe expansion chassis for Thunderbolt™ technology. The expander works with any Thunderbolt-equipped computer and provides three PCIe 2.0 expansion slots (two x8 and one x4) operating at up to 10 Gbps. Using the chassis, users can daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt devices including high-resolution displays. The PCIe card(s) require a Thunderbolt-compatible driver and Mac OS Version 10.6.7 or newer, or Windows 7 using Boot Camp….

TechTalk: What’s In Your Ears?

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Kevin Becka

In my October column (“The Score: Consumers 10, Pros 0”), I talked about how manufacturers like Apple were reaching for the golden “consumer” ring and we, the pros, were being left out in the cold. However, this is not the case in all sectors of our business. Consumer trends and pop culture are driving sales in pro audio. For instance, in the past few years, there’s been a heightened awareness and buzz around portable listening platforms, including earbuds and headphones. …

Ask Eddie: Great Education Expectations

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Eddie Ciletti

This month, I am recovering from the blurry haze that could only result from end-of-quarter finals—late nights of wrapping up class projects, grading papers, entering grades and trying to get back on a regular sleep schedule. You’d think I was a student, hence this month’s stream-of-consciousness thread that includes random thoughts about the education process, links of interest and a few sample “student and reader questions” that have nudged me to do more surfing. Some examples:…

Dangerous Music BAX EQ Review

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Fab Dupont

The BAX EQ is Dangerous Music’s first foray into the world of actual audio “processing.” The brand is well known for pioneering the concept of analog summing with its Dangerous 2-Bus, as well as bringing high-end monitoring systems and mastering consoles to the independent studio market. For this first attempt at a processor, Dangerous Music chose to bring an old-school hi-fi concept to the professional world. …

Lindell Audio 17X Compressor and Limiter Review

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Kevin Becka

I’m writing this review just a week after AES 2011 in New York City where the underlying theme was “hardware and lots of it.” One of the stand-out pieces of gear at the show was the single-channel, Lindell Audio 17X FET transformer-coupled compressor/limiter. Sweden-based Lindell is best known for its high-end Reference Modular I and II three-way loudspeaker systems, so making a compressor is a new venture. …

Neumann KH 120A Studio Monitors Review

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Bobby Frasier

Neumann has been setting standards in front-end transducer technology for 83 years, as well as producing phonograph record-cutting lathes, mixing desks and even rechargeable batteries. Now, the company has entered into the world of speaker manufacturing via an arrangement with Klein+Hummel, a company with a long-standing reputation of producing exceptional speaker systems for recording, mixing and broadcast. Carrying the Neumann logo on their speakers, this tradition will no doubt be continued with utmost German precision, as witnessed in this first product offering….


Miranda Lambert

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Blair Jackson

On Miranda Lambert’s new album, Four the Record, she continues to cultivate her image as a tough, defiant hellion—she rose to prominence in the country music world through songs such as “Kerosene,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Gunpowder and Lead” and “Time to Get a Gun.” On the new record’s propulsive “Fastest Girl in Town,” she sings: “You’ve got the bullets, I’ve got the gun/I’ve got a hankering for getting into something/I hit the bottle, you hit the gas/I heard your ’65 can really haul some ass.” There are a few other numbers that show some serious ’tude, as well….

Carole King | A Holiday Carole

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Barbara Schultz

Louise Goffin describes the relationship between artist and producer as being “a little like the recording artist is the child and the producer is the adult.” It’s a bit ironic, considering that Goffin, a longtime recording artist/composer, just produced her first full-length album project—for her mom, Carole King….

Classic Tracks: George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set on You”

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Blair Jackson

After George Harrison’s mellow Gone Troppo album bombed upon its release in 1982, the former Beatle all but announced his retirement from the music business, noting that he was going to concentrate on his burgeoning film operation instead. Beginning in 1979, his HandMade Films company helped produce such movies at Monty Python’s Life of Brian, The Long Good Friday, Time Bandits, The Missionary, Mona Lisa and others. …

No Allusion About Auralex

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

When Allusion Studios (Tucson, Ariz.) head engineer Jim Pavett made the call to overhaul the space—including the control room, live/drum room, vocal booth, iso spaces and lounge—he logged onto Auralex’s site to fill out the Room Analysis Plus service. This program allowed him to download an audio file with a swept sine signal from 20 to 20k Hz. Pavett then recorded the sweep with an omnidirectional measurement mic and forwarded it, with the Personalized Room Analysis Form, direct to Auralex for examination….

Converse Rubber Tracks Studio

Jan 1, 2012 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

Converse is reaching out to aspiring musicians by offering free recording sessions (usually one to two days in duration) with its onsite engineers at the recently opened Converse Rubber Tracks (Brooklyn). GC Pro Nashville account manager Billy Walker sourced all of the recording studio and live performance venue’s gear, working alongside Horacio Malvicino and Malvicino Design Group (Forest Hills, N.Y.), who did the acoustical design and treatment for both rooms. Inside the live performance space are a QSC KLA line array and Allen & Heath W316:2DX Wizard mixer. The studio features a Pro Tools|HD2 PCIe Accel system and Ocean Way HR3 tri-amplified monitor system. …

Mastering Ignacio Val

Jan 1, 2012 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

Symbiotic Records recording artist Ignacio Val has just completed mastering on his debut self-titled album at Bernie Grundman Mastering. The album was produced by Scott Pounds and engineered by Fausto Juarez at Lamat Studios (Glendale, Calif.). Mastering engineer Joe Bozzi received the 24-bit/44.1k split-mono WAV files, approaching his mix as if it were a rock album. …

Mastering Hits at Zeitgeist

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Matt Gallagher

While New York City mastering engineer James Cruz celebrated the third anniversary of his facility, Zeitgeist Sound Studios (Queens, N.Y.), his longtime client, Puerto Rican hip-hop band Calle 13, won nine Latin Grammy Awards for 2011, including Album, Record and Song of the Year for Entren Los Que Quieran. Cruz also mastered Calle 13’s Los De Atrás Vienen Conmigo, which in 2009 won a Latin Grammy for Album of the Year. Cruz’s studio is outfitted with a Magix Sequoia workstation and gear from Z-Systems Audio Engineering, Algorithmix, Prism Sound and more. His clients include Beyoncé, the Music World Entertainment label, Grammy Award–winning gospel duo Mary Mary and many others. …

Nieman Brings in API

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

Juno Award–winning composer/producer Ian Nieman recently brought in an API 1608 console for his Canadian studio, Nieman Music, where he can be found creating hits and remixes for the likes of Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado, Jason Derulo and many others….


Mastodon All Access

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, Photos and Text By Steve Jennings

Hard-rockers Mastodon brought their high-energy set to San Franciso’s Warfield Theater in early November, part of a slew of fall tour dates to promote their latest, The Hunter. Mix caught up with the crew, who are relying on house-provided gear. At the San Francisco gig, Rob Lightner manned the venue’s Yamaha PM5D-RH, using the X-Hall and X-Plate for drums and vocals, along with the Voice Doubler and Reverb Flanger for certain songs. …

Cheap Trick Tour Profile

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Tom Kenny

Decidedly analog. No backing tracks. No vocal tuning. Twenty-eight inputs for the band, a few more for orchestra. Ten fingers on 10 faders. Not too loud. Just a great rock ’n’ roll mix for a great rock ’n’ roll band—Cheap Trick playing Dream Police at L.A.’s Greek Theater….

FixIt: Dolly Parton Monitor Engineer Jason Glass

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM

I’m using scenes extensively [on a Midas PRO9] as I have a lot of changes happening on layers that are out of sight and out of mind while I’m paying attention to Dolly. It really simplifies the show for me; it’s also reliable and consistent. If I have a cue in the show, it’s exactly when I recall the scene instead of dialing it in on the fly. I also love the POPulation groups: Everything I need is always right in front of me, just where I want it to be. I work so that the console’s Area B on my right is always Dolly, with my left hand for the band’s channels. …

2012 Live Sound Events

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

On February 1-3, 2012, the second-annual Event Live Expo will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, coinciding with the Club + Venue Design Expo, and Pollstar’s Live! 2012 and the 23rd annual Pollstar Awards. The expo is free to all attendees who pre-register for entry passes online or register for Pollstar Live! 2012. The exhibition showcases industry tools for live event professionals involved in all aspects of the industry and includes booths and displays for staging, sound, lighting and A/V, as well as supporting services. The Club + Venue Design Expo is a conference for professionals involved with interior design, technology, installation and services of mid-sized entertainment venues (up to 7,000 capacity)….

Martina McBride | Playing for Awareness

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

At the end of October, Martina McBride wrapped up her ELEVEN Across America Powered by Amtrak tour, boarding a train for a four-day, 11-city trek to celebrate the launch of her latest effort, Eleven. In conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Pink Together Express train is supported by General Mills, whose “Pink Together” campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of breast cancer. The company contributed $1,000 to each of the local Susan G. Komen Affiliates along the tour. Her final stop in New York City saw McBride performing a private concert atop the Empire State Building. …

QSC Covenant Church Installation

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

Covenant Church is the first house of worship in the U.S. to purchase QSC’s new KLA Series fixed-accurate active line array system, employing it across the church’s five Dallas-area campuses. The system will be in use in both indoor and outdoor events and comprises six KLA12 two-way/12-inch loudspeakers and four KLA181 18-inch subs. In addition, six K12 two-way/12-inch active loudspeakers are in use as outfill or stage monitors. The system’s first outing was for the church’s annual Block Party outdoor event in late July. …

Soundcraft Mixing With Professionals Recap

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

Soundcraft recently wrapped up its first U.S. Mixing With Professionals series, starring front-of-house engineer Gert Sanner (Deep Purple). “It was great fun to go to L.A. [Harman’s headquarters in Northridge, Calif.], and the ‘Mixing With Professionals’ sessions were very successful,” Sanner says. “We had a good mixture of participants from both the rock ’n’ roll world and the house-of-worship world. So it was people from all walks of mixing, so to speak.”…


‘The Muppets’

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Matt Hurwitz

When an actor’s foot is made out of felt, what does he sound like going up a flight of stairs? If your actor is green and has friends named “Fozzie” and “Miss Piggy,” he can’t sound like the rest of us—but if he’s out in the real-world world, he can’t be too far off, either….

‘The Art of Flight’ | Flying in 7.1 Surround

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Tom Kenny

Dolby Labs recently hosted a media screening of the Curt Morgan–directed action sports movie The Art of Flight (Brain Farm Digital Cinema, Red Bull Media House), ostensibly to showcase two technologies: the company’s new video reference monitor and 7.1 True HD. They scored on both levels, with stunning, consistent picture and a pulsing music-driven soundtrack. Snowboarding legend Travis Rice and friends are the focus, with the film following them to helicopter drop-offs on mountain peaks throughout North and South America, but the picture and sound definitely take center stage….


Clink, P&E Wing

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, Compiled by Sarah Benzuly

The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing’s 2011-2012 Steering Committee includes newly appointed co-chair Mike Clink (pictured) working with third-year co-chair James McKinney, Chuck Ainlay, Carlos Alvarez, Richard Burgess, Ed Cherney, Bob Ludwig, Sylvia Massy, Phil Nicolo and Dan Workman. This committee is the leadership group of the P&E Wing, and researches and recommends solutions for technical and economic issues facing today’s professionals….

Elias Adds Music Library

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, Compiled by Sarah Benzuly

Elias Arts LLC’s new division, The Elias Music Library, includes more than 4,000 tracks available in catalog form, available for licensing on a non-exclusive basis at library pricing. Elias Music Library chairman, Jim Long (founder of FirstCom and OneMusic), says that a team is in place to create specifically for this catalog, which is geared for audio/visual applications….

SPARS SoundBite | Make Mine High-Res

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By David Glasser

It’s hardly news that the marketplace for music is much different than it was when many of us started in this industry and built our studios and businesses. Our capability to produce audio to the highest technical standards is easier than ever, even as the trend has been to consume music at low resolution. But this is changing, at least incrementally, as high-resolution downloads are available for sale from several Websites. When iTunes starts to offer 96k downloads, the market for high-quality audio will greatly increase….

Tarsia Brings Home SPARS Legacy Award

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, Compiled by Sarah Benzuly

Philadelphia native and recording studio entrepreneur Joe Tarsia received the SPARS Legacy Award before a packed house of industry peers at New York’s The Four-o-Four during the Mix@AES festivities during the 131st AES convention. SPARS president Kirk Imamura, president of Avatar Studios, introduced Tarsia, who then received his award from Kenny Gamble (half of the writing/producing duo of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff). With more than 180 Gold and Platinum records to his credit, Tarsia is credited as the “father of the Philadelphia sound.”…

Visible Music College Opens

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, Compiled by Sarah Benzuly

Memphis-based Visible Music College, a music and worship arts college, had its grand-opening celebration on October 18, 2011. Visible purchased the Francis Gassner–designed building from the Greater Memphis Chamber in December 2009 and began a capital campaign to renovate the building. The college’s move into the building marks the completion of Stage 2A, which included renovation of floors one through four for the basic operation of the college. Sponsorship of rooms and named gifts throughout the building achieved this stage of the campaign. Stage 2B involves funding the renovation of the basement for recording studios and the fifth floor for a college resource center. …


Editor’s Note: What’s in a Column?

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Tom Kenny, Editorial Director

A little over six months ago, I called our longtime technical editor, Kevin Becka, and asked him if he might be interested in writing a back-page column. It has to be technology-related, I told him, with stuff about gear that people use every day. I really wasn’t much clearer than that. “Sure,” he said. “Let’s talk about it. But I’m not sure that I’m really a columnist.” “That’s okay,” I countered. “I’m not really sure what the column is supposed to be.”…