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December 2013

December 2013


December 2013 Editor’s Note: Early Adopters

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

There used to be a relatively simple delineation among creatives who use technology in their daily lives: those who are “early adopters” and those who take a “wait-and-see” approach. Each camp has their reasons, generally having to do with the way their overall system is set up, their workflow needs and their general take on the expected bugs and fixes and what they are willing to live with in order to have the newest version, most recent rev, or all-new product of the year….


DTS Headphone:X – An 11.1 Experience That Brings the Consumer Into the Mix Room

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

It’s one of the most impressive demos you will hear. Stellar, dynamic, full-range music. Familiar-yet-somehow-all-new technology. And a Wow! factor that keeps professionals and passers-by alike talking long after they walk away. …


Mastering on the Cutting Edge: Quality in the Age of Low-Res, Low Budgets and Multiple Formats

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

We should all give thanks for mastering engineers. Despite small budgets, low-resolution distribution, level wars and the DIY democratization of the recording business, the engineers on the back end of record making are still on the front lines in the fight to protect the sonic integrity of our music. It’s inspiring to see the ways these pros serve as leaders, helping to develop standards and practices for high-res downloads, mentoring newer engineers, and educating clients about ways to make their music the best it can be….

When Musician Becomes Master: 40 Years Later, Capitol Engineer Cuts His Own Tracks to Vinyl

Dec 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix

Ron McMaster’s life has come full circle twice over, intersecting in the intimate setting of the George Augspurger-designed room he has worked in for almost 30 years at Capitol Mastering. First, the resurgence of vinyl has made Capitol’s sole disc-cutting engineer as busy as he was when he started cutting lacquers in the 1980s. This past year, he worked on a project he never would have dreamed of doing for Jack White’s label, Third Man. Namely, he got behind his lathe and cut lacquer for songs he recorded at 19 years old with his band Public Nuisance, for an album that got shelved and forgotten by the music industry 40 years ago….

Heavyocity for Heavy Melodies: Sound Design, Composition and VI Creation

Dec 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Gary Eskow

In a previous life, Neil Goldberg, a founding member of Heavy Melody Music, was a guitarist with the cult metal band Annihilator who once turned down Sharon Osbourne when she offered him an audition for Ozzy’s band. The time wasn’t right. …

Sound for Picture – Ender’s Game: Earth vs. Alien Creatures in Future Space Wars

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

Ender’s Game, director/screenwriter Gavin Hood’s ambitious and arresting film version of the best-selling 1984 science fiction book of the same name, has deservedly received rave notices for its imaginative depiction of life on enormous space stations, mock battle exercises in a zero-gravity geodesic sphere and intergalactic wars involving thousands of spaceships. Those are just three of the environments and situations that challenged the sound team. Then there’s also the fiery destruction of a planet, a wild videogame within the story, a prominent insectoid figure, futuristic weapons and vehicles, implications of mental telepathy, and scads of assorted rooms, chambers and atmospheres in space and, briefly, good ol’ planet Earth. This was most assuredly a CGI designer’s playground, but it was also an amazing sound canvas to work upon, too….


‘The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records’: Remastering American Voices, in Mass Quantities

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

Paramount Records, above and beyond any label from the time period, had the very worst sound quality and the very worst pressing technology available,” states restoration/remastering engineer Christopher King of Long Gone Sound Productions. “Most of the recordings were done using the cheapest materials; I think they even ground up chairs and tables and threw them in with the shellac mix to make it go a little further.”…

Classic Track – Lou Reed, “Dirty Boulevard”

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

Few songwriters have captured the spirit of New York City better than the late, truly great Lou Reed. Okay, it wasn’t always the most flattering portrait of the city—no carriage rides in Central Park—but it was always honest and true; the dark underbelly rendered in frank minimalist poetry….

Lewis Watson Records ‘Some Songs With Some Friends’

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

This four-song EP from singer Lewis Watson features the guitar-and-vocals-focused opening track “Even If,” which was engineered by Jonathan Gilmore, and produced and mixed by Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Foals). All other songs were produced, recorded and mixed by Richard Wilkinson, whose credits include Adele, Kaiser Chiefs and others….

Billie Joe and Norah’s Harmonious ‘Foreverly’

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

“Billie had been listening to this record and had grown attached to it,” explains Chris Dugan, the go-to engineer/mixer for Billie Joe Armstrong’s projects, with and without Green Day. The album referenced is The Everly Brothers’ Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, a collection of folk standards originally released in 1958. Armstrong was so enamored that he decided to make his own faithful version of the entire album….

Ry Cooder and Friends Captured Live

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

Ry Cooder recorded his first live album, Showtime, back in 1976 at San Francisco’s intimate Great American Music Hall. His latest, Live in San Francisco, comes from a pair of shows at the same venue in the summer of 2011, fronting a dynamite band that includes Cooder band alumni Terry Evans and Arnold McCuller as backup singers and the incomparable Flaco Jiménez on accordion, Ry’s son Joachim on drums, a 10-piece Mexican banda, and others. …

Cool Spin – Vienna Teng, ‘Aims’ (Soltruna Records)

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

For her fifth studio album, singer/songwriter/keyboardist Vienna Teng has paired with producer/musician Cason Cooley to create a texturally rich and stylistically diverse album that’s heavier on electronics and sampling than her previous efforts, but is still carried by her pleasingly elastic vocals and compelling songwriting….


Michelle Sabolchick: FOH and

Dec 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix

Mix was recently invited out to the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, Calif., at the tail end of Melissa Etheridge’s fall tour. It was a rock ’n’ roll show—loud and clean, clearly defined guitar and punchy drums with a solid low end. At FOH was Michelle Sabolchick, who besides Etheridge has been out with Indigo Girls, Jewel, Gwen Stefani, Big Time Rush, Mr. Big and, most recently, Goo Goo Dolls….

Jessie Ware

Dec 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix

British pop/soul/R&B vocalist Jessie Ware has been making rounds in Europe and North America at festivals and mid-size concert venues since the August 2012 release of her debut full-length album, Devotion (Island Records). For her fall 2013 tour of North America, Ware and her band—Dornik Leigh (drums), Joe Newman (guitar) and Alex Bonfanti (synth and bass)—have been traveling with front-of-house engineer Johnny Dodkin and monitor engineer James Livingston….

Thunder Audio Opens Nashville Office

Dec 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix

Live sound reinforcement provider Thunder Audio (, based in Livonia, Michigan, has opened a new office in Nashville in conjunction with CTK Management. …


Robair Report: Special Delivery

Dec 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Electronic Musician, By Gino Robair

Hey, I have something for you.”

As I’m leaving a recent music industry event in San Francisco, a colleague reaches into the inner pocket of his coat and produces a chocolate bar wrapped in bright, yellow psychedelic paper. The name of a mutual friend is printed on the wrapper, along with the title and artwork from his new album….

TechTalk: Top Gear From 2013

Dec 1, 2013 9:00 AM, By Kevin Becka

The last 12 months have been an interesting ride for our business. Dealers I questioned at Winter NAMM were lukewarm about business, but just eight weeks ago at AES, the news was more upbeat and the show revealed a lot of great new gear. No matter how 2013 treated you or your business, it’s been a great 12 months for gawkers and buyers alike….


Northeast U.S. News & Notes

Dec 1, 2013 9:00 AM

Northeast U.S. Session News

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

Owner/composer Jamie Lokoff has been writing commercial scores for NBC Sports, Century 21, Planet Fitness, Thomson Reuters and Stetson in Studios B and C, with co-owner Tommy Joyner producing…Pegi Young and the Survivors worked on new material in Studio A with Joyner engineering and Niko Bolas producing in Studio A at an SSL 4048 E/G Console onto a Studer A-827…String arranger Larry Gold recorded strings for Pink, R. Kelly, Daughtry, Justin Timberlake and Kanye West in Studio A…

Professional Audio Design: A Systems Approach to Outfitting the High End

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

It’s good to check in with Dave Malekpour, founder and president of Professional Audio Design in Boston, every couple of years. He’s an equipment dealer, yes, and while he sells a lot of gear regionally, and he does sell plenty of black boxes, his primary focus for the past 20 years has been on the high-end studio market, particularly the core of Room Design, Monitors and Consoles. …