BACKING THE BOSS
You featured FOH chief engineer John Cooper in your November 2002 issue (page 156). On December 16, I had the rare occasion of being a guest of John's and Audio Analysts systems engineer Kurt Joachimstaler's at the Bruce Springsteen concert in Columbus, Ohio. I sat directly behind the main FOH board (all-digital Yamaha PM-1D console), and I watched Mr. Cooper work his magic orchestrating their new 80-cabinet JBL VerTec line array cabinets, as well as the 32 VerTec subwoofers, to create a sound so amazing from Bruce and the E Street Band that, in my opinion, has simply never been heard before in live sound. I am certainly not an audiophile on the level of those two gentlemen, but those of us there that night will never forget the sound quality, including the amazing low-end sound of the band. The audience was spellbound.
More important, John and Kurt were fantastic artisans of their audio craft. They were great representatives of the audio industry. And they were rightfully proud to be associated with such a great tour.
Soon, every concert will have to “step up” and produce this new level of sound, which blows away anything I've ever heard from a live performance. The public will demand it, and the music industry will greatly benefit.
However, the star of the show was Mr. Cooper at the helm of the ship. I watched him as Bruce deviated from his concert playlist four times, and he was as cool as he could be adjusting his computerized master settings flawlessly. On one occasion, Bruce dumped a full-band, up-tempo song for a quiet piano solo. (Bruce doesn't play many of these.) The audience never knew.
I wonder how many fans who packed that hall knew the amazing talent that is not only working on the stage but behind the stage in order to offer them the finest in audio sound and quality.
VP, The Parchment Group Inc.
HEY, PORTER! HEY, PORTER!
In Blair Jackson's article “Elvis: Still Number One!” (December 2002), I was surprised that not once did it mention Bill Porter, the original engineer of over half of the tracks on the 30 #1 Hits CD. Without his expertise, a lot of extra work would have to be done by David Bendeth and Ray Bardani. The reason this surprises me is due to the fact that Porter was a pioneer in his day with hundreds of charting hits to his name, including most of the tracks on the Elvis compilation. Give credit where credit is due and show your appreciation for true engineering talent.
Porter has taught three of my audio classes, and to him, I am forever grateful.
Webster University audio student
St. Louis, Mo.
PUT THE ART BACK IN A&R
George, your December 2002 editorial is right on the money. Perhaps some investment in the development of artists could reinvigorate sagging CD sales figures. The record labels are so market-driven in their efforts to mass-clone whatever is selling that the art is being left out of artist, as well as the repertoire being left out of A&R. Your editorial is a key forum to remind us all that regardless of what tools we use to ply our trades, the music is still what we need to be passionate about.
MediaMatrix sales manager
The best two years of my engineering career were spent at Tom Dowd's side during the Criteria/Atlantic South era. Almost daily, I was witness to his magic: his ability to draw performances from artists that even they didn't think was in them. Tommy's passion and enthusiasm touched everyone around him, and he was, above all else, a gentleman.
Cooper City, Fla.
I just finished reading Paul Lehrman's article on DV video/audio capture (“Insider Audio,” December 2002) and have a quick question: Perhaps I didn't read thoroughly enough, but I didn't see any description of how to control the playback of video from a second (Mac) computer without using the Gallery software once you've captured video with the ADVC-100. Is there a third-party 9-pin USB box or some other way to get iMovie or even Final Cut Pro to sync playback to my DAW? Or do you simply hook up another MIDI interface to the second ‘puter and run it in “dumb” chase? I use several platforms: “Poor Tools,” DP3 and Mackie HDR across two control rooms.
Just curious. You got me all excited about not having to pony up for two Meridian board sets!
Hi, Glenn. If you want the DAW to be the master, then you may need the Gallery software to drive video on a second computer. But it's possible that you can get away without it: I don't think iMovie will sync to MIDI Time Code, but Final Cut Pro probably can; in which case, you can have your DAW send MTC, put a simple MIDI interface on your second computer and let Final Cut chase the timecode “dumb,” as you say.
My goal is to have the video be the master because that's the way I like to work; in that case, you can use either iMovie or Final Cut Pro — once you figure out how to get a SMPTE stripe onto one of the audio tracks, you don't need the Gallery software or a second MIDI interface.
Hope that helps.
— Paul Lehrman
SING IT AGAIN, STEPHEN
I've always enjoyed Mix because you represent the professionalism, merit and dedication of the music industry. I have read your magazine and especially “The Fast Lane” for years. Mr. St. Croix's November article was by far one of the most truthful and inspiring I have read. A note that is a little flat with soul is better than the exact right note just “sung.” And he asks the right question at the right time in this bad, bad era of popular music: “Where is the feel?”
It used to be, even in pop music, that you sang a song of heartache to get it off your mind, to share with others so maybe you wouldn't hurt so much. Simple, honest, direct and maybe off-pitch, or maybe the lyric was off in timing. Listen to “Leader of the Pack” or “Crimson & Clover” or “Pale Blue Eyes” — they all have mistakes, but they are good mistakes.
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