Letters to Mix

NIN DIY Thanks for the interesting interview with Trent Reznor. It was nice to read an article that actually delved into the technical side of his music,


Thanks for the interesting interview with Trent Reznor. It was nice to read an article that actually delved into the technical side of his music, and not the rock star lifestyle that seems to captivate so many of today's music fans. Frankly, I don't care too much about what the man does in his free time. I care about his music, his technique and his insight. It was also nice to learn that his DVD and live album were the result of his legendary DIY attitude; it gives faith to those of us slogging it out in the trenches that the only limitations we face as musicians are the ones we set for ourselves.

Like assistant editor Robert Hanson, I also saw NIN for the first time in 1994, and bought Master Trax Pro for the Macintosh six months later. And things haven't been the same for me since. Small world…
Brian Stillman
New York City


Please give me five minutes and read this. Who am I, you ask? I am a reader of Mix and I hope to share my experience with you and your readers. In the '70s, I and three other women were going to have the first all-girl rock band to make it. We recorded an album and did the New York circuit, but we never became famous. Today, after 30 years, three of us still get together at least three times a month and write, play and record our own music. I decided one day to become my own recording engineer with the help of Mix magazine. At first, the recording industry was very intimidating to me. The only thing I knew about recording was placing a little boom box in the middle of practice and pressing Play, Record and Stop. It's been two years, and I went from a Yamaha MD 8 to a Tascam 2424 with a [Ramsa] DA7 mixing board. Thanks to your informative articles and many recording tips, I have reached new plateaus.

I just thought you and your readers would like to hear from us undiscovered but talented musicians. We don't have a list of credits after our name, but I bet you would be impressed by our creativity and talent. I owe a lot to Mix, and I will continue to be a faithful reader. I will leave you and your readers with this advice: Put no limitations on your ability to learn. Your desire will take you as far as you want to go.
Pat Briand
Mount Arlington, N.J.


Two recent developments have collided and raised important questions for the recording professional. Those two developments are the rapid growth in “portable studio” technology, and the paradigm shift in travel procedures, still in evolution, following the September 11 attacks. With more and more baggage being X-rayed, scanned and generally shuffled around by hands lacking ESD straps, what is going to be the impact on the traveling music professional who now fits his studio into two briefcases?

In the near future, hard drives, floppy disks, memory cards and data tapes, among other studio essentials, will likely be impossible to transport by commercial airline, or possibly by other modes of transportation, without getting zapped in some way by the increasingly intrusive, and increasingly powerful, baggage screening technologies. Obviously, mailing/shipping everything is an inconvenient alternative, and that method may be affected in similar ways.

Can you write an article on the impacts of the present and future in baggage screening technology on the present and future of portable studio technology?
Via e-mail

Our sound reinforcement editor, Mark Frink, wrote about these issues in the article “Touring in 2002,” which appeared in the Live Mix section of last month's issue. If you didn't save your copy, check out the story atwww.mixonline.com.


HHB USA alerted me to a letter by Brit Fader in the January 2002 issue of Mix, which referred to a supply problem with the Analog Devices SSM2017 preamp chip, which we use in our VTC console. As we don't receive Mix magazine anymore, I would have been unaware of this letter unless HHB had spotted it.

I'm a little surprised and disappointed that no one from Mix contacted us to check the details of this before running the letter. I would have given you the whole story, which is:

  • We secured a healthy stock of these chips once we were aware that they were going out of production. And you can still find them on the open market — they are expensive but can be sourced.
  • THAT Corporation has developed a direct plug-in replacement for the 2017 (called the 1510), details about which can be found at www.thatcorp.com. We are expecting the chip to reach the UK shortly.
  • We also have the option of designing a small plug-in PCB that contains a discrete mic preamp circuit, which would plug into the space the SSM2017 currently occupies on the VTC. This third option would only be necessary in the highly unlikely situation that the THAT chip doesn't come to market and our SSM2017s are finally exhausted some way down the line.

We've designed the 2017 out of all-new products in the past 18 months, so our reliance on the chip has been greatly reduced in any case.

As you can see, we have pre-planned and are fully able to continue manufacturing and supporting the VTC and any other product of ours that contains the 2017. The withdrawal of chips from production is a problem all pro audio manufacturers face, but we like to think that we cope with it in a professional manner.
Howard Jones, sales and marketing manager
TLA Audio Ltd.

I just saw your letter to Mix magazine regarding the obsolescence of the SSM2017 mic preamp chip. A company called THAT Corporation, www.thatcorp.com, has a pin-for-pin replacement chip for the SSM2017, the THAT 1510. Also, an Analog Devices distributor's representative assured me Analog Devices will produce a new 2017 replacement, the SSM2019. I do not have a release date as of yet.

As an audio console manufacturer, we have lobbied hard to get Analog Devices to make a replacement because we have literally thousands of the SSM2017 in the field. Also, retooling multiple circuit cards is not an inexpensive proposition! Hope this information helps.
Paul Picard, technical support


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