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March 2013

March 2013


March 2013 Editor’s Note: Travels Old and New

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

Over the past 30 days, which roughly coincides with the cycle of putting together this issue of Mix, I seem to have bounced back and forth from old school to new skool, reverence to discovery, historic to the here-and-now. It wasn’t planned; it just happened. And it all took place in the recording industry….


On the Cover: Vintage King Los Angeles

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

In a technology industry that has maintained its foundation built on boutique gear, VKLA makes sense. The mom and pop pro audio stores, the ones based on personal contact and trusted opinion built up over years, have all but disappeared, replaced by larger retailers with discounted prices and vast selection. That’s how the world works, and it has happened in nearly every industry. VKLA, however, has chosen to swim upstream in this age of Amazon, opening a brick-and-mortar showroom based on comparison shopping and instant evaluation. In the relatively tiny retail world of pro audio, their bet is paying off. …


Going to ‘Sound City’

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

It all started with this idea that I wanted to tell the story of the board,” says musician and (now) filmmaker Dave Grohl in his documentary Sound City. “The conversation became something much bigger: In this age of technology, where you can simulate or manipulate anything, how do we retain that human element?”…

Wayne Shorter: Live, ‘Without a Net’

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

The incomparable tenor and soprano saxophonist Wayne Shorter may be turning 80 this August, but he’s not slowing down and his music is every bit as vital as ever. His latest release is the live Without a Net, featuring the amazing acoustic group he’s fronted since 2000—Danilo Perez (piano), John Patitucci (bass) and Brian Blade (drums). …

They Might Be Giants, ‘Nanobots’

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

You can count on They Might Be Giants; for more than a quarter century, they’ve been making smart and quirky albums….

Milk Carton Kids, ‘The Ash & Clay’

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

The latest release from the Milk Carton Kids, The Ash & Clay (Anti) evokes nothing so much as stripped-down Simon and Garfunkel: the sweetness and beauty of two voices singing in harmony, the delicate interplay of two acoustic guitars, and the beauty and strength of great songwriting….

Classic Track: The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today”

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

Not too many people these days know about the Chamber Brothers, but when their first Columbia album, The Time Has Come, was released in late 1967, it was a very big deal….


George Strait and Martina McBride

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

The adulation for George Strait has to be experienced to be believed. The stats are amazing: 66 Number Ones, 20 Platinum records, 72,000-seat sellout in Houston this month. But numbers don’t prepare you for the roar that accompanies his entrance into an arena. It’s like teenage girls greeting N’Sync in 1999, no lie…except these are cowboys, and the roar has a bigger low-end….

Little Big Town

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

Little Big Town is on the cusp right now, that magical place where 14 years of hard work on the road is about to pay off. You can feel the buzz. The CMA Award for Single of the Year, “Pontoon,” a track from the September 2012 release of Tornado, the Grammy last month for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for the same song. A Letterman appearance. Last summer opening for Rascall Flatts, this summer out with Keith Urban. It’s happening….


Mix Regional: Austin – News & Notes

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

SXSW, The Relatives, Wayne Hancock, East Cameron Folkcore, Oz Noy, Bassmaxx, and Gary Clark Jr. are covered in Mix Regional: Austin…

Willie Nelson: New Album, Big Changes for Country Legend

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

Since 1995, engineer Steve Chadie has been working on Willie Nelson’s (and other) projects at Pedernales Studio, 30 miles outside of Austin. Nelson’s latest, Let’s Face the Music and Dance, is a sweet, fresh interpretation of traditional pop songs, including “Walking My Baby Back Home,” “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love,” and of course the romantic title track, written by Irving Berlin and introduced by Fred Astaire in 1936….

Mix Tips: CJ Eiriksson

Mar 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix

Eric Jarvis, president of the Texas chapter of the Recording Academy, turned Mix on to CJ Eiriksson. We had asked about Austin, and he came back with a list of what’s going on, who’s hot. “CJ might be the ideal subject,” he said, “He’s starting to write a lot, too, with everyone from Alien Ant Farm to up-and-coming Austin hip-hop artist Zeale.” …


3 Studios, 3 Budgets: What Would You Buy?

Mar 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Markkus Rovito, Kevin Becka, and Wes Maebe

Technology changes so rapidly, and equipment prices come down so dramatically, that once a year we like to revisit a popular Mix feature where we ask three writers, “If you had x amount of dollars, how would you outfit your studio?” The only common assumption? We don’t make them buy a computer; we presume they are already working with their favorite.

Speaker Isolation

Mar 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, Kevin Becka

Generally, when you’re talking about acoustic treatment, it means first figuring out where your room’s problems lie and then doing a general or focused application of material on walls, corners and ceiling to remedy the problem. This of course comes with the residual hit on your wallet. But there is one affordable acoustic treatment anyone can bring to their setup that will instantly improve the sound of their system: Speaker isolation. …

Jeff Bhasker’s Amazing Year

Mar 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Bud Scoppa

>In 2012, producer/songwriter Jeff Bhasker turned over a new leaf, as his run of hits with top R&B/hip hop artists—including Alicia Keys’ “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart,” Jay-Z’s “Run This Town,” Drake’s “Find Your Love,” Beyoncé’s “Rather Die Young” and Kanye West’s “All of the Lights”—led to projects with top acts in far different genres, including the Rolling Stones’ “Doom and Gloom,” Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die and Some Nights, his wildly successful collaboration with the previously obscure band fun. The latter resulted in sales of close to a million albums and more than 10 million tracks between “We Are Young” and the title song, according to SoundScan, leading to a Best New Artist Grammy for the band and a Song of the Year gramophone for “We Are Young,” shared by the co-writers—the three band members and Bhasker. …


Robair Report: Let Them Make Music

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

During the MIDI 30-year Anniversary panel discussion at NAMM 2013, featuring Dave Smith, Tom Oberheim, Alan Parsons, Jordan Rudess, George Duke and Craig Anderton, the question was raised whether MIDI democratized the music-making business “so that anybody can make bad music.” While it may seem like there’s already too much crap being generated, and that the noise level of new releases has far exceeded our audience’s bandwidth, Anderton reminded the panel’s attendees that it is important for people to have the ability to express themselves musically. “When you make music, you learn about yourself,” he noted. I absolutely agree. …

TechTalk: The Price of Capability

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

Some recent observations have gotten me thinking about how we as audio pros must adapt to gear as it becomes more capable. The price we pay is the learning curve, constructing new ways of working and, of course, experiencing some frustration. …


Steinberg Cubase 7 DAW Software

Mar 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Jami McGraw

If you’ve used the term ASIO or VST, then you are referring to a technology developed by Steinberg Media Technology GmbH, a professional audio stalwart since 1984. Whether you are an Atari platform veteran or a Cubase newcomer, it doesn’t take long to see why Steinberg’s attention to detail has served them so well, especially when it comes to the company’s latest release….

DPA 2011C Twin-Diaphragm Cardioid Microphone

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

DPA Microphones is known for its high-performance, uncolored transducers for studio recording, broadcast and live performance. The 2011C is targeted at Live Sound users, but as we found out, it’s an able performer in the studio, as well. The mic handles an incredible 146dB SPL and has a small footprint due to the short MMP-C body. The mic is part of DPA’s Reference Standard group, meaning the capsule and body unscrew for easy integration with other DPA products, such as the higher-end MMP-A or MMP-B bodies, or the 4000 Series capsules. This is a system you can grow with….

Mercury Grand PreQ15s

Mar 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Brandon Hickey

Mercury Recording Equipment Co. is the brainchild of David Marquette, founder of Marquette Audio Labs. Since 1994, Marquette Audio Labs has been giving new homes to classic console components in custom, rack-mounted housings, fit for the modern studio. Having a strong familiarity with vintage gear, Marquette began creating handmade, modern tributes to his favorite designs under the brand name Mercury. His first designs addressed popular classics like the Fairchild 660 and Pultec program equalizer, but eventually led back to familiar home turf in re-creations of console components. …

Softube Grand Channel

Mar 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Michael Cooper

Over the past few years, the Swedish software company Softube has built a sterling reputation for creating DAW plug-ins that model tube gear with punctilious precision. Their newest product, Grand Channel, emulates the Summit Audio TLA-100A Tube Leveling Amplifier and EQF-100 Full Range Equalizer (a passive equalizer with tube output stage). The two processors can be used in composite configuration (the Grand Channel) or as discrete plug-ins….

NAMM 2013: A Whole Lotta New!

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

The foot traffic seemed about the same as NAMM 2012, as did the general enthusiasm from attendees. But at NAMM 2013, held in late-January in Anaheim, there were definitely a lot more new product introductions. It started with a PreSonus pre-show debut of 10 new products, including new monitor lines for live and studio, through Music Group’s matching 10 and Aphex with a handful more, DiGiCo and Waves, Universal Audio, a big new speaker from JBL. There was a lot to look at….

Mix Guide to Microphones March 2013