Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


June 2013

June 2013


June 2013 Editor’s Note: Don’t Call it Project Studio 2.0

Jun 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Tom Kenny, Editor

I’ve never been a fan of the term “project studio,” and I’m the perfect demographic. In the late 1980s/early 1990s, when New England Digital had passed its zenith, Fairlight was transitioning into a DAW company, and Silicon Valley upstart Opcode ruled the roost with only a hint of Digidesign to come, I was a young assistant editor at Mix. We were in the Bay Area, and despite the long tail of large-format consoles and soffit-mounted mains, even then we could see the coming merger of the audio and computer industries. The transformation was under way….


Class of 2013

Jun 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix

Owner/chief engineer Jason Hearst relocated from Boston to this airy, beautiful new facility in a restored 19th-century grain barn. Despite the rural image that conjures, the facility is situated in downtown Camden, so isolation was an important consideration in the acoustical design by Lou Clark of Sonic-Space ( …


Classic Track: Rick Springfield, “Jessie’s Girl”

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

Onstage at the Hollywood Palladium last winter, Dave Grohl and his Sound City Players performed with a handful of the artists who appear on the soundtrack to Grohl’s Sound City documentary. Rick Springfield had barely started his last number when the crowd began to roar and Grohl interrupted the proceedings to make a point: “Three f—king chords, and you already know! Congratulations, Rick Springfield for writing a song that they only need to hear one f—king second of to know what it is! How do the other four minutes go?” Cue the sing-along: “Jessie is a friend…”…

Capturing the Dark Beauty of The National

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

For a lot of people, it takes awhile for our records to really sink in,” says Aaron Dessner of the moody Brooklyn rock band The National. “We try to make our records interesting in terms of how the songs unfold and develop—the dynamics—and, of course, Matt’s lyrics usually aren’t that obvious, even when they’re fairly direct.” …

Jon Hopkins Releases ‘Immunity’

Jun 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Lori Kennedy

What does East London sound like at 4 in the morning? Producer/musician Jon Hopkins decided to record that very idea outside his studio door on the final night (er, morning) of recording his fourth full-length album, Immunity (June 4, Domino), to both capture the moment and breathe a little life into a particular section of the album’s title track. …

Houndmouth on the Verge

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

Indie rockers Houndmouth have been preaching to the choir: They’ve recently toured with Drive-by Truckers, Alabama Shakes, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, playing their soulful, roots-influenced originals for friendly crowds. Their SXSW appearance was featured on NBC-TV Rock Center program. And now, buzz is building around their debut album, From the Hills Below the City (out June 4 on Rough Trade), which was tracked near their southern Indiana home, in a parsonage in Louisville, Kentucky….

Jason Boland’s Return to Analog

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

With his deep and beautiful vocal backed by a tight longtime band, The Stragglers, Jason Boland rocks classic country, and for his new album Dark & Dirty Mile, he and his producer, Shooter Jennings, insisted on keeping things “classic” on the technical side, too….


Stoked! Sound of the X Games Is Nearly as Challenging as the Sports Themselves

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

When the first Extreme Games were staged by ESPN at the end of June 1995 at various sites in Rhode Island and Vermont, no one could have predicted that it would evolve into a worldwide phenomenon. There were 27 events spread across nine thoroughly unorthodox sporting categories, such as in-line skating, street luge, skateboarding, bungee jumping, biking and others. The event was so successful on every level that ESPN immediately scrapped its initial plan to stage the Games every two years and made it an annual event with a shortened name: X Games. The first winter competition took place in 1997 at Big Bear Lake in California and inspired new interest and respect for snowboarding, freestyle skiing and other daredevil winter sports….

Coachella 2013

Jun 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, Text by Matt Gallagher // Photos by Dave Vann

The 13th Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival took place over two weekends: from April 12-15, and April 19-22. An estimated 90,000 fans trekked to the Empire Polo Club in the Southern California desert town of Indio, Calif., to check out an assortment of rock, pop, hip-hop and electronic dance music from acts including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, Wu-Tang Clan, Vampire Weekend, Dropkick Murphys, Rodriguez, Dinosaur Jr., the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, New Order, Dead Can Dance, Janelle Monae, El-P, Bassnectar, and many more….

Coachella 2013 Photo Gallery

Apr 24, 2013 3:46 PM

This year, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival took place over two weekends: from April 12 through April 14, and April 19 through April 21. Fans from around the globe trekked to the Empire Polo Club in the Southern California desert town of Indio, Calif., to check out a variety of rock, pop, hip-hop and electronic music from acts including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wu-Tang Clan, Dropkick Murphys, Rodriguez, Dinosaur Jr., Richie Hawtin, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Dead Can Dance, Janelle Monae, El-P, Bassnectar, and many more. Look for coverage of Live Sound for Coachella 2013 in the June issue of Mix. Enjoy our exclusive online photo gallery from photographer Dave Vann!…

Mix Guides: The New “Big” Near-Fields

Studio Furniture & Accessories

Jun 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix

Big residential commercial studios, small Midtown private rooms, post houses in L.A. and recording schools across the country—they all need furniture and studio accessories, ranging from console workstations to equipment rack (and computer) sound isolation. For their part, the manufacturers of studio accessories must constantly adapt to changing production styles and digital workflows. You don’t see many frames being built for SSL 9000 K Series these days, but there is a big demand for Avid MC Control housings, and Steinberg’s Nuage has a nice new home at Argosy……


Chicago News & Notes

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

Wilco’s Chicago studio, The Loft, recently installed vintage Neve 5432 (pictured) and BCM-10 consoles, as well as API 512s, Genelec 1031As, Studer Gold Series A827, AKG BX-10 and Pro Tools HD. The studio also acquired outboard gear from Manley, Electrical Audio, Universal Audio, dbx, Empirical Labs, Daking, Tube Tech, Retro and Chandler, as well as microphones by Neumann, Royer, AKG, EV, Shure, Coles and Sennheiser….

Chicago Session News

Jun 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix

Lo-fi rockers Fake Limbs tracked their upcoming album in the Studer A-820 MCH-equipped Studio A, with Greg Norman producing and Jon Sao Paolo engineering. Because the band tracked everything at once, lead singer Stephen Sowley’s vocals were sent through a P.A. with old Traynor drivers in Center Field (the live room) with the guitar amps. In his own room (Alcatraz), Sowley’s vocals went through two mics, with one overdriving the Yamaha E1010 delay……

MixTips: Steve Kovacs

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

Steve Kovacs picked Chicago. An Arizona native and Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (Phoenix) graduate—with further studies in Music Theory and Composition at Berklee College of Music—he targeted Chicago, based on a longtime love of the city’s blues tradition and its alternative/indie emergence with the Pumpkins, Ministry, Wilco and the like….


Isham, Abbey & Jackie: The Old-School Score for ‘42’

Jun 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Matt Hurwitz

When Jackie Robinson took the field as the first African-American baseball player in the major leagues in 1947, it was a momentous event in baseball—and American—history. Moviegoers reliving that moment in director Brian Helgeland’s April release, 42 (Warner Bros.), will get a little extra push from composer Mark Isham into how they perceive Robinson’s experience….

Megatrax Revamps, Opens Up L.A. Studios

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

Megatrax Production Music knows how to get great sounds, tracks that will pop out of the radio, the small screen or the big screen. And after more than 20 years, the company certainly knows about workflow. They have to. At any one time, the amount of music running through the facility, either in production or post-production, can seem mind-blowing….


Audio-Technica AT5040 Microphone

Jun 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barry Rudolph

The AT5040 is a cardioid-only, side-address condenser vocal microphone that uses an all-new proprietary design and technology. With a hybrid design that combines the desired qualities of large-diaphragm condensers with the many inherent advantages of small-diaphragm condensers, the AT5040 is first in a new line of 50 Series studio microphones….

Three 500 Series EQs

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

Hardware, especially portable hardware, is a hot category in audio manufacturing, and the 500 Series format has truly become a juggernaut. It seems every trade show cycle reveals at least a handful of new preamps, compressors, EQs and special-category problem solvers for the vertically inclined. The three EQs reviewed here each bring their own personality and enticements to the game. All are worth a listen, and as you’ll find, can excel across a wide range of applications….

Monkey Banana Turbo6 and Turbo10s

Jun 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Bobby Frasier

>Monkey Banana speakers are designed by two engineers and studio owners, in the town of Schliengen in the southwestern part of Germany, then manufactured in China. The Turbo Series is being rolled out with a 4-, 5-, 6- and 8-inch woofer (all using the same 1-inch tweeter), and a 10-inch subwoofer. The review units were two Turbo6 monitors with the optional Turbo10s subwoofer. The speakers come in red or black….

New Products June 2013

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

The largest speaker in JBL’s studio monitor line, the M2…


Robair Report: Waves of Innovation

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

There’s a scene in the film All the President’s Men where Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, need to research a name they received from their anonymous source, Deep Throat. So they immediately head for a stack of phone books and leaf through them furiously….

TechTalk: Which Comes First – Treatment or Gear?

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

I recently had a conversation with sound designer/producer Rick Allen, who has a high-end studio at home. Rick produces original audio collections for film, radio, TV, video, advertising, Web development and gaming, and he has become concerned about the lack of treatment in his studio. As our conversation developed, I asked him about his room size (22x19x8 feet) and gear. He’s oriented to the 22-foot wall with Pro Tools as his main DAW; he uses a variety of virtual and analog instruments in his daily work….