News August 18 – 29
Edirol Announces Compact USB Audio Interfaces
Edirol’s new UA-1X (SRP: $95) is a compact USB audio interfacethat replaces the UA-1A. It offers RCA audio input and output, as wellas a combination port that offers both headphone out with volumecontrol and S/PDIF optical output.
The UA-1X includes signal indicators to show when audio signals arepresent, and functions using the standard USB Audio driver includedwith the user’s operating system (PC or Mac). The UA-1X offers audiorecording capability up to 16-bit/48kHz quality.
Other new products from Edirol include the UA-3FX, which offersonboard DSP effects, up to 24-bit/48kHz audio quality, support for bothASIO2.0/WDM and OS standard drivers, and low-latency, direct-monitoringsupport. The UA-3FX includes RCA and S/PDIF connections, one guitarinput and a microphone input. The device is USB bus-powered and comeswith a SRP of $215. In the MIDI department, the company’s new UM-1X andUM-1SX devices replace its UM-1E and UM-1S with the addition of MIDIsignal indicators and a Selection switch to allow the user to choosebetween the Edirol Advanced driver and the OS standard MIDI driver. TheUM-1X offers a complete cable solution from the USB port of thecomputer to the MIDI device. The UM-1SX offers a MIDI input and a MIDIoutput port to allow the user to connect his or her own MIDI cable ofany length. Suggested retail prices: UM-1X, $50; UM-1SX, $45.
Visit www.edirol.com for more information.
DMT Rentals Adds AMS Neve Channel Amplifiers
DMT Rentals has added to its inventory of state-of-the-artconverters, recorders and outboards with the recent purchase of twovintage AMS Neve Model 1081 Channel Amplifiers, which are combinationmic preamplifiers and EQ modules.
“The Model 1081 was first produced in 1972,” said DMT president DougBotnick. “The same circuit provided the mic/line amp and EQ sections inmuch-revered Neve consoles such as the 8048.” AMS Neve has resumedproduction of the 1081 module, using original components andconstruction methods.
“Our new units are supplied as a stand-alone module,” said JayceMurphy, DMT’s general manager, “containing two individual 1081s mountedhorizontally in a 3U rackmounting chassis. Located on the rear panelare XLRs for the transformer-balanced I/Os, a 25-way D-type connectorfor solo, spare switch contacts and unbalanced outputs, plus an IECpower connector.”
“We purchased the 1081 modules because they quite simply have anextraordinary sound,” Botnick said. “Some clients use them on drums orguitars, some use the EQ across a main mix bus, and others want themfor their overall room mics or string mics. For sure, I’ll be usingthem on my own recording projects whenever they’re available. I lovethe fact that the 1081s are virtually identical in every way to theoriginals, including the transformers, but are brand-new without thedirty switches and bad caps you find in a lot of vintage units. The1081s are fantastic with ribbon mics too, because they can be switchedto a 300-ohm input; impedance matching changes the character of vintageribbons.”
The 1081 channel amplifiers were used most recently by scoring mixerSimon Rhodes during recording dates for the new movie Radio,with composer James Horner.
Jane’s Addiction Visits Indre Studios
A special Y100 radio recording for broadcast took place at IndreStudios (Philadelphia) with Jane’s Addiction. Perry Farrell and thegang stopped by and played for a packed house of listeners. Perry sangin the isolation booth until the last song, when he kicked down thedoor and hit the front of the stage. He even danced with audiencemembers. Mike Richelle manned the console for this session.
In other session news, Train stopped by for another installment of”Live from the World Café” with guest host Michaela Majoun. Theband performed songs from their new album My Private Nation,which they are currently on tour promoting, as well as their previoushits including “Drops of Jupiter” and “Meet Virginia.” This session wasrecorded by Indre’s Michael Comstock. 103.9’s “Behind the Beats”session, with host and producer Colby Colb came by with artist/producerPharrell Williams. Best known for being half of the production team TheNeptunes, Pharrell fielded over an hour’s worth of questions fromaudience members on subjects including money, music and love. His newalbum is due out at the end of the summer. Comstock recorded thesession.
Indre rolled out the remote truck and headed over the bridge toCamden, N.J.’s Tweeter Center to Lollapalooza to record Queens of theStone Age for a Y100 radio backstage performance in front of a fans.Engineers Pete Girgenti and Geoff Pawlikowski recorded the event.
Get up to speed on other Indre sessions at www.indrestudios.com.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton Records Book at Interface MediaGroup
To record her latest book, Living History, New York SenatorHillary Rodham Clintonreturned toInterface Media Group (Washington,D.C.)to work once again withdirector of audio Dennis Jacobsen.
Living History is a political memoir in which HillaryClintondiscusses her eight years in the Clinton White House and thewatershed events of her husband’s presidency. The approximatelyseven-hour audio book was released by Simon & Schuster Audio (NewYork City) in conjunction with the hardcover version in June 2003.
Jacobsen worked with Clinton on the session and said, “This makes ita clean sweep for us. Interface has recorded all three of the formerFirst Lady’s audio books. She and I previously recorded Dear Socks,Dear Buddy, a compilation of the most amusing, entertaining andthoughtful letters that children had sent the nation’s First Pets. Mrs.Clinton’s It Takes a Village was also recorded at Interface andwas a national bestseller and received the Grammy Award for Best SpokenWord.”
Jacobsen served as sound designer/engineer and was assisted by sounddesigner Joshua Nelson. They worked closely with Susan Perrin, seniorproducer and director of Simon & Schuster Audio and associateproducer Sarah Ginsberg.
Jacobsen also mentioned that, in recent months, Interface has workedclosely with a number of prominent individuals on their recorded books,including former Secretary of State/former U.S. Ambassador to the UNMadeleine Albright’s Madam Secretary, due in bookstores nextmonth. (IMG recorded both the abridged version for Time Warner and the24-hour-long unabridged version for Miramax Publishing); both ofSupreme Court Justice Sandra Day O.’Connor’s audio books, TheMajesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice, whichwas released by Random House in April 2003, and Lazy B: Growing Upon a Cattle Ranch In the American Southwest, which the publisherreleasedin January 2002; and Jane Alexander reading America’s Women:Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines byGail Collins for HarperAudio, released in June 2003.
For more, visit www.interfacevideo.com.
Mercury Sound Studios Installs Twin System 5-Fs
Audio post-production facility Mercury Sound (Glendale, Calif.)has just completed a major digital upgrade that included theinstallation of two large Euphonix twin-operator System 5-F audioconsoles.
Mercury Sound was founded in 2001 by industry veteran PaulRatajczak, who also founded Ground Control Studios in 1978; he also hasover two decades of experience as a record producer/engineer and morethan 400 movies to his credit as a re-recording mixer and soundsupervisor.
“In 2002, we felt the time had come for a full digital facilityupgrade,” said Ratajczak. “Our clients demand the best and we wanted tooffer the most complete state-of-the-art digital audio post environmentavailable today. I spent a lot of time looking at every type of audioconsole before choosing the Euphonix System 5s. It was an obviouschoice based on their operational reputation in the industry, ease ofuse and reliability. I also like the way Euphonix is working tointegrate the console to control workstations and their overall rapidresponses to software upgrade suggestions.”
Mercury Sound’s two theater-size re-recording stages areTHX-certified, 5.1-capable for all digital release formats, andequipped with high-speed 35mm film and digital video projection. Eachstage has a dual-operator/computer, 152-channel Euphonix System 5-Fconsole, multiple Pro Tools|HD systems and the latest outboardcomplement. The facility also features spacious ADR and Foley digitalrecording stages and complete digital sound editing suites that arenetworked directly to the central RAID system and to the stages forrapid conforms and changes.
Recent projects at Mercury Sound have included NARC(Paramount Picture), The Devil and Daniel Webster,U-Boat, 18 pictures a year for the Hallmark Channel, and theupcoming three-hour mini-series La Femme and the four-hourmini-series Frankenstein.
RealNetworks Completes Listen.com Acquisition
RealNetworks has completed the acquisition of Listen.com, creatorof the Rhapsody digital music service. RealNetworks also announced thatRhapsody delivered more than 12.4 million on-demand songs to itssubscribers in July, a 13% increase over June.
“We’re delighted to be completing the acquisition of Listen.comtoday,” said Rob Glaser, CEO of RealNetworks. “We’re especially pleasedthat we’re bringing in both Listen.com’s best-of breed Rhapsody digitalmusic service and the world-class team that has been building Rhapsodyfor four years. By combining Rhapsody with other major digital musicassets, such as our Internet radio and jukebox products, we are poisedto create the most compelling digital music experience in theworld.”
“By joining with RealNetworks, we are poised to take our business tothe next level,” said Sean Ryan, now VP of music services atRealNetworks and formerly CEO of Listen.com. “In addition toRealNetworks’ world-class technology, RealNetworks’ broad Internetdistribution fits perfectly with our existing distribution partnerssuch as broadband operators. The continued rapid growth of Rhapsodyshows that we are absolutely on the right path.”
Due to the acquisition, Rhapsody is now offered as RealOne Rhapsodyat $9.95 a month subscription. The service supports more than 350,000tracks available for on-demand listening and more than 240,000 songsavailable to burn to CD. At only $0.79 for any track, Rhapsody offersthe lowest per-burn price available to U.S. consumers. Another featureof the service is that subscribers can build their own Internet radiostations, listen to professionally programmed stations and browseextensive music information and editorial recommendations.
For more, visit www.real.com.
Tekserve Appoints New Audio Sales Director
Christopher Payne, a founding member of Tekserve’s audio team, hasbeen named the company’s audio sales director.
“Payne’s skill and breadth of expertise has helped to build outaudio group’s industry-wide reputation for professionalism. As audiosales director, he will have the opportunity to enhance that reputationand strengthen Tekserve’s position in the audio community,” saidTekserve’s president, David Lerner.
Besides offering Apple technical support and a reseller, Tekservealso boasts audio as a specialty and is a dealer for Digidesign’s fullline of gear. The company also offers audio products from Genelec,Emagic, TC Electronic, Eventide and Blue Microphones, as well as manyothers.
For more, visit www.tekserve.com.
QSC Intros Studio Reference Amp Series
QSC Audio Products’ new SRA Studio Reference Amplifier Series isbased on the company’s flagship DCA Digital Cinema Series.
The three SRA models, ranging from 200 watts per channel to 725watts per channel at 8 ohms, are designed to offer the exactingprofessional cinema reference standards of the DCA Series: crisp,clear, defined highs and seat-shaking lows, with performance optimizedfor demanding production and residential applications.
The SRA Series features an ultraquiet variable-speed fan,individually addressable clip limiters and subsonic filters, balancedXLR connectors, and gold-plated RCA inputs featuring advancedhum-reduction circuitry. The sleek, machined-aluminum front panel isavailable in a choice of brushed silver or satin-black finishes, andits removable rack ears make it equally at home on a shelf or in arack.
The SRA line also incorporates QSC’s HD15 DataPort connector tointegrate with QSControl, QSC’s computer-controlled network audiosystem that facilitates remote amplifier monitoring and control via astandard Ethernet network, or digital signal processing accessoriessuch as the company’s DSP-3. The amplifier also provides a rear-panel12VDC trigger input that interfaces with all popular remote-controldevices.
For more, visit www.qscaudio.com.
PAD, Munro Acoustics Design Boston Skyline Studio
Pete Peloquin and Todd Harris, the owners of Boston SkylineStudios, hired Professional Audio Design (PAD) to design their newfacility.
“We had a dream to build a world-class studio in the Boston area andthe folks at Professional Audio Design helped us put it all together,”said Peloquin. “We knew we needed an SSL board and top-shelf recording,editing and outboard rack equipment, but wanting and actualizing aretwo different things, and that is where PAD came in. They literallytook our dream and helped to create a high-end professional environmentto serve the entire music industry. We couldn’t be happier with theresults.”
The owners’ top priority was to create a comfortable space to workon projects that range from solo piano to a full-blown band. While PADhandled the system integration, design and wiring installation, MunroAcoustics was recommended by PAD to develop the control room layout andacoustics treatments.
“Choosing Munro Acoustics was a brilliant stroke by PAD,” saidHarris. “Munro fulfilled our primary objective of creating the bestroom in New England. The studio room has wonderful acoustics thatenhance the performance value of our clients and is set to handlenearly any size job. The control room is highly accurate in its soundreproduction, allowing engineers to capture and shape the sound theywant without coloration.”
Studio A consists of a large recording room with two isolationbooths attached (a third is under construction) and the control room.This room features a SSL 4064 G+ console, Dynaudio M4+ monitors, aStuder 2-inch analog tape machine, Neve preamps and equalizationequipment, and a Pro Tools|HD recording/editing system. Studio A wascompletely rebuilt for this upgrade.
“I had experience working with PAD while teaching audio and media,and was impressed with their capabilities, so choosing PAD to designand equip Boston Skyline Studios was a ‘no brainer,'” explainedPeloquin. “PAD delivers high-quality professional service from thestart and throughout the entire design, construction and start-upprocess. But perhaps most importantly, PAD continues to service andsupport Boston Skyline Studios as it begins its commercial operation.The live room is great, the control room is great, but the job isn’tfinished with PAD. They continue to back up all of the systems with theprofessional support and expertise required by a world-class,commercial recording studio.”
“People and groups are coming to look over the facility and areawestruck by what we’ve created,” said Harris. “Our hats are off to PADfor their great work.”
SugarHill Hosts The Children
The remaining members of The Children reunited to record GaylanLatimer’s “Think of Me” for the SugarHill Recording StudiosTribute compilation CD. The project was tracked and mixed in StudioA, where it started on analog tape with Dolby SR and then transferredto Pro Tools for further overdubs and mixing. Chief engineer AndyBradley and engineer Michael Martin worked on the session. The trackwas produced by the performers (Latimer/Louis Cabaza/Kenny Cordray/KurtLinhof/Jim Newhouse) and Bradley.
The original version, which Huey P. Meaux produced, was a Top 40 hitin 1966 for Latimer on MGM Records. In 1976, it became a Top 20 countryhit when Freddy Fender released a version that Meaux produced atSugarHill. Latimer filled in as lead vocalist for the original leadvocalist of The Children, Steve Perron, who passed away in 1973.
For other recent sessions at SugarHill, visit www.sugarhillstudios.com.
Skywalker Sound Upgrades Z-Systems Router
Skywalker Sound, a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, recently upgraded to aZ-Systems Detangler Proz-128.128r asynchronous digital router in itsScoring Stage.
“We started out with a z-64.64r a couple of years ago. When we wentthrough an upgrade this past fall that necessitated adding several newpieces of digital equipment,” said Leslie Ann Jones, director of musicrecording and scoring at Skywalker Sound. “So we upgraded to thez-128.”
The Detangler Pro Series of AES/EBU digital routers are fullyasynchronous, allowing them to handle multiple sample rates at the sametime. The additional equipment installed on the Scoring Stage at theend of last year functions at a multiplicity of sample rates, from 44.1to 192 kHz. With the new equipment also including a large DigidesignPro Tools|HD system and six channels of Pacific Microsonics Model Twoconverters, the increased number of channels that must be handlednecessitated an increase in the capacity of the Z-Sys Detangler.
“We are constantly going back and forth, sometimes on the samesession, between the Euphonix R1 and Pro Tools, as well as the TascamMX-2424 and Benchmark converters, which can and will be used foranything,” explained Jones. “Sometimes, the Benchmarks are used as afront end for 24-bit DATs, sometimes they’re used as the front end fora Genex recorder or Pyramix workstation. And often the Benchmarks andthe Model Twos are used at the same time. Anything goes here.
“We also have router lines throughout the control room, stage andall the iso booths,” continued Jones. “We don’t want to dictate wheresomeone might want to work by virtue of having lines in only one or twoplaces. So, we wired lines in many places and they’re all available onthe router.”
For more on the router, visit www.z-sys.com.
Dolby Laboratories Documents 5.1-Channel Music ProductionTechniques
Three years after the launch of the new multichannel musicdelivery formats, many artists, engineers and producers are stilllooking for fundamental information on how to best mix and manage musicin the multichannel environment. Now available, Dolby Laboratories hasauthored a primer for the professional music production community onbest practices for this rapidly developing market. Available as a freePDF download, “Dolby 5.1-Channel Music Production Guidelines” presentsa technical blueprint for creating music in 5.1 channels. The documentguidelines can be found at www.dolby.com/tech/Multichannel_Music_Mixing.pdf.
The publication covers a range of topics such as proper equipmentand speaker placement, calibration for proper monitoring, metadataplanning and implementation, program interchange guidelines and anexplanation of the many new terms spawned by 5.1-channel production. Italso provides accurate information that dispels myths concerning bothcenter and LFE channel usage. Mix and mastering data sheet templatesfor 5.1-channel projects are also included.
“This document gives a well-rounded technical overview for thoseproducing music for 5.1-channel delivery to consumers,” stated JohnKellogg, general manager for multichannel music at Dolby Laboratories.”Dolby will update it regularly as new and better techniques forcreating surround music mixes evolve.”
Recording Academy’s Pacific Northwest Chapter ElectsLeadership
The Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Recording Academy (Seattle)announced the results of its chapter officers and Board of Governors.Replacing Glenn Lorbiecki, who stepped down from the position followingtwo consecutive one-year terms, David Meinert, a current AcademyGovernor, was elected the Pacific Northwest Chapter president. Meinertis the owner of Fuzed Music, an artist-management company thatrepresents Maktub, the Master Musicians of Jajouka, The Catheters andMountain Consolidated.
“Our new chapter president, David Meinert, and his cabinet willbring a wealth of industry expertise and many diverse relationships,”said executive director Deborah Semer. “I look forward to working withour officers and governors to create an exciting slate of programs andservices for our membership over the coming year.”
Robert Santelli, the new first VP, is also the Experience MusicProject’s director and CEO. Santelli has written seven books on rock’n’ roll and the blues, including The Big Book of Blues andThe Best of the Blues. David Sabee, secretary/treasurer, is acellist with the Seattle Symphony and a founding member of the SeattleChamber Players. He is also the founder of Seattle Music and hasbrought more than 150 scoring projects to the Northwest, includingMr. Holland’s Opus and Die Hard With a Vengeance. GlennLorbiecki, trustee, is the president/CEO of Glenn Sound, a multiroomA/V post-production facility in Seattle. As an artist, Lorbiecki isworking on his third album as the guitarist for Tony Gable and the 206band. Keith Olsen, also a trustee, is the current president of PogologoCorporation, and has more than 39 Gold albums in his career, 24Platinum and 14 multi-Platinum.
Jane Peck, alternate trustee, runs Let’s Play Stella Records. Shewas instructor of voice at Cornish College of the Arts, where shebecame chair of Music in 1985. Jovino Santos Neto, alternate trustee,is currently the associate professor of music at Cornish College of theArts. Neto tours worldwide as a solo pianist and also leads his ownensemble in concerts. Marlette Buchanan, VP, is a recording vocalistand is currently the arts manager for Pierce County and a member of themusic faculty for voice at Pacific Lutheran University. Tony Gable, VP,is a recording and performing percussionist who has played with KennyG.
In addition to the officers of the chapter, music industryprofessionals in the Northwest make up the diverse Board of Governors.Bryan Bell, engineer, producer, technologist and musician who hasworked with Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Neil Young; SteveBerlin, a four-time Grammy-winning producer and the saxophonist withLos Lobos; Carla DeSantis, founder of Rockrgrl magazine; SueEnnis, songwriter with Seattle rock band Heart and feature films TheGolden Child; Janie L. Hendrix, president and CEO of ExperienceHendrix; Jon Kertzer, director of Smithsonian Global Sound andproducer/host on KEXP 90.3 FM; Hummie Mann, two-time Emmy Award-winningcomposer and arranger; Jonathan Moore, wordsayer of the pioneeringmusical group, Source of Labor; Alicia Rose, director of sales andmarketing of NAIL Distribution; Garey Shelton, bassist, engineer andproducer (Grammy-winning album by Tingstad & Rumbel, AcousticGarden); and Susan Silver, owner of Susan Silver Management(Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Screaming Trees).
For more, visit www.grammy.com/pacificnw.html.
DeepMix Remixes Two Songs for ‘Spy Kids: 2’
Dave Curtin and partner Brad Colerick—the duo who formDeepMix—contributed two remixes to the Spy Kids 3-D: GameOver.For the soundtrack, Curtin remixed the title song, “GameOver,” and the title song from Spy Kids 2, “Isle of Dreams.”
All three Spy Kids films were written, directed and edited byRobert Rodriguez, who also scored the film and wrote the two songsremixed by DeepMix.Curtin received the original Pro Tools sessions onwhich Rodriguez created the tracks. “We were able look at all thetracks and then handpick what we liked about each thing,” said Curtin.”We thought the vocal was a great element, which wasn’t featured asmuch in the original versions, so we brought it way up in the mix andfiltered it.”
Curtin’s main task was to ensure that both remixes, while having avibrant life of their own, remained true to the film’s spirit. Workingalongside engineers Jim Goodwin and Weston Ganucheau of Eggchair Music,Curtin crafted two pulsating, invigorating and youthful tracks. Bothsongs feature the vocals of Alexa Vega, who is the teen star of allthree films. “We had to walk a fine line,” explained Curtin. “It’s thekind of thing that Radio Disney would really like, but it could also beplayed in the clubs. It appeals to a wide demographic, where a15-year-old is going to like it, as well as a 25-year-old. It waschallenging to achieve the right balance: If it sounded too much likebubble gum pop, not everyone would like it, and if it sounded toomature, then the kids wouldn’t understand it.”
For “Isle of Dreams,” Curtin added a more energetic drum loop andcreated a pulsating rhythm. He and his team of engineers rearranged thesong, added new elements, such as records scratches and vocal effects,and created a more contemporary sound.
Abbey Road Installs ADAMs
ADAM Audio recently installed a S3-A 5.1 system at Abbey RoadStudios.
According to Peter Cobbin, who chose the system for Abbey Road, “Iwas working on the Lord of the Rings DVD with my Nautilus 5.1set up, but I needed to have a reference for my stereo mix, as well. Sothat was actually the first time I checked the S3-As out. I then usedthem on a project with Paul Shwartz, and we both liked them. But thecrunch or acid test was to hear them on a rock ‘n’ roll project,because that’s the other requirement for me: to be able to havesomething that works with pop/rock music, as well as orchestral orclassical/film. This is why I then tried them with the U2 project thatI was mixing [which is for the band’s live DVD due out later thisyear].
“For their size, the S3-As have an unbelievable bottom end,” Cobbinsaid. “You can hear the depth in the music: It’s very threedimensional, rather than just sounding flat. And from a criticalmonitoring point of view, sitting right in the middle, they offer theclassic stereo imaging for mixing.
“The other thing is, because I do so much work in surround, I havebeen looking for a near-field monitor that I can use comfortably in a5.1 set up,” Cobbin continued. “The requirement for this is that allmonitors [excluding the sub] have to be the same, of course. and,finding something that offers a considerable depth without being toobig is a real advantage. So, having tried the S3-As in stereo, Ithought I would try them out in 5.1, and I was absolutely blown away bythe generous sound field in a surround context. I am genuinely excitedby the S3-As. I believe that they are a great product and wouldrecommend them to anyone.”
For more, visit ADAM online at www.adam-audio.com.
Weston Entertainment Joins Forces with the ElefanteBrothers
In a multi-million-dollar deal, San Antonio, Texas-based WestonEntertainment has acquired a major portion of ownership in recordingstudio The Sound Kitchen. Located in the booming Cool Springs area ofFranklin, Tenn., The Sound Kitchen is the largest recording facility inthe Nashville market and the second-largest recording facility in theSoutheast. In recent years, The Sound Kitchen has become the venue ofchoice for recordings by such artists as Lee Ann Womack, Brooks &Dunn, Faith Hill, Bruce Springsteen, Jewel, Amy Grant, Vince Gill,Jonny Lang, Elton John, Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith andmany others.
As part of the new agreement, Weston Entertainment has also acquireda major stake in 3.1 Productions, the production company owned andoperated by Grammy- and Dove Award-winning songwriters/producers Johnand Dino Elefante. “Weston Entertainment is excited about partneringwith John and Dino Elefante and acquiring a major stake in what we feelis one of the finest recording complexes in the world,” said GreggWeston, chief manager of Weston Entertainment. “We believe that thesynergy between The Sound Kitchen and our other interests, along withthe fusion of our new relationship with 3.1 Productions, will bring asignificant contribution to the industry.”
Longtime business affairs manager David Del Sesto has added generalmanager responsibilities to his credits at The Sound Kitchen, and heemphasized that “clients can expect the same high level of service thatthey have always experienced at The Kitchen. The entire staff isstaying onboard and the meals won’t stop at The Sound Kitchen.”
Janet Leese, who joined The Sound Kitchen from Quantegy, is thestudio manager of the facility. Leese had previously served asproduction coordinator for producer/songwriter David Malloy (RebaMcEntire, Billy Gilman, Andy Griggs, Kenny Rogers). “Janet has manygreat relationships within the entertainment scene and will benetworking with her vast list of national contacts to take The SoundKitchen to the next level,” added Del Sesto.
“While we will still be very involved in the day-to-day at The SoundKitchen, this new agreement will give Dino and myself more time tofocus on our production work,” said John, the former lead singer of therock band Kansas, who founded 3.1 Productions with his brother Dino.The Elefante brothers have written and produced hit songs for labelssuch as Atlantic, A&M, Benson, Curb, EMI, Word, Epic, WarnerBrothers, Reunion, StarSong and many others. As producers, they haveworked on over 150 pop, rock and Christian albums, and have publishedover 400 songs, with multiple Gold and Platinum credits. “John and Ihave been honored through the years to work with many friends andcolleagues at The Sound Kitchen, and we will continue to do all of ourproduction work there,” said Dino. “We at 3.1 Productions, along withWeston Entertainment and Gregg Weston, feel that the opportunity todevelop quality artists for pop release is now and needs to beaggressively pursued. We’re very excited about our future as an A&Routsource and artist-development resource.
A virtual tour of the facilities and descriptions along with a gearlisting can be found at www.soundkitchen.com.
Bill Daly, ProMix Elecrotec Honored for Contributions to EmmyWin
Bill Daly, an audio designer/mixer and employee of ProductionResource Group’s ProMix Electrotec subsidiary, has been honored byPeter Baird, production mixer for The Wayne Brady Show, for hiscontributions to an Emmy Award received by Baird for OutstandingAchievement in Live and Direct-to-Tape Sound Mixing on the show. Inaddition to its audio award, the show won Emmys for Best Talk Show andBest Talk Show Host.
Other television shows supported by Daly through PRG have includedfour of the six Survivor finales and the remote productions ofWheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.
For more, visit www.prg.com.
Dane Davis Uses Sennheiser Mics for ‘Matrix 3’
Sound designer Dane A. Davis, who is currently working on TheMatrix: Revolutions, has been working with Sennheiser mics.
Davis continually amasses sound effects in the Danetracks library.While collecting sounds for use in the third Matrix installment,in which the machines invade the humans in the city of Zion, one of themachines being recorded exacted its revenge on a pair of Sennheiser MKH800-P48 variable-pattern condenser microphones. Subsequently repairedby Sennheiser, they have now been returned to active duty.
“We never intentionally abuse mics,” said Davis, “but we put them inall kinds of difficult situations. Considering that we’re firing50-caliber rifles and machine guns and cannons at targets within a fewfeet of these mics, it’s pretty amazing how rarely they getdamaged.
“We’re always trying to find new sounds,” he continued. “A lot oftimes, these are new machines that haven’t been recorded before.”Having captured the sounds of an arc welder, the next session involvedan electronic discharge machine. “The arcs are normally very tiny,unlike the arc welding, where I was deliberately disintegrating allkinds of small pieces of metal. This machine made these tiny arcs thatare normally submerged in solvent. It made unbelievably cool,electronic gurgling sounds. The arcs were only about one-eighth of aninch long, and although the solvent would sometimes spatter, nothingseemed to go through the screens of the 800s, which were set up about10 inches away in an X-Y pattern pointing at the arc. These tiny arcsmust have been throwing microscopic pieces of hot slag out, and maybethe 48-volt charge across the capsule attracted it and somehow pulledit through the screen onto the capsule. It seems so far-fetched, butit’s the only explanation. There were little pieces welded to thecapsule.”
“For that tiny of an amount to get through the screen of themicrophone and adhere to the capsule, it would have to be microscopic,”agreed Danetracks technical engineer Del Martin.
The recording setup also included a Pro Tools|HD system. “We doalmost everything at 192k now, especially when we’re using theSennheiser 800s, because they have an absolutely lovely, extendedhigh-frequency response,” Davis noted.
For more information, visit Sennheiser online at www.sennheiserusa.com.
EARS Audio Distribution Introduces Ultrasone HFI-550
The Ultrasone HFI-550 Beatmaster professional headphone is nowavailable in North America. Ultrasone headphones are distributed in theUnited States, Canada and Mexico by EARS Audio Distribution LLC, anewly formed company that is co-founded by Linda Albright, soleproprietor of Franklin, Tenn.,-based EARS Audio, a professional audiosales and rental company since April 1984.
The HFI-550 Beatmaster is a foldable, closed-back, circumauralstudio headphone featuring Ultrasone’s patented S-Logic NaturalSurround Sound technology and is available in reduced magnetic fieldemissions versions incorporating ULE(tm) Ultra-Low Emissionstechnology. The Beatmaster offers a frequency response of 15Hz to 22kHzand an impedance of 32 ohms, and can handle sound pressure levels up to100 dB.
Unique to Ultrasone, S-Logic technology utilizes decentralizedtransducer positioning to create a 3-D sensation without usingprocessing, producing a broad, stereophonic surround soundfield that islocated in front of the listener. Also, listeners perceive the samevolume with sound pressure levels at the eardrum reduced by up to 40%.All Ultrasone headphones are available in versions that offer twolevels of shielding against EMF radiation in accordance withinternational and German standards. Ultrasone LE Low-Emissions versionsoffer a reduction of up to 60%, while ULE Ultra-Low Emissions modelsreduce EMF radiation by as much as 98%.
For more information about Ultrasone, visit www.ultrasone.com.Ultrasone AG and EARS Audio Distribution LLC will be at Booth #843 atthe 115th AES Convention (Jacob K. Javits Center, New York City,October 10-13, 2003).
Soundworks’ New Studio Incorporates SSL Board
Studio owner Tony Espinoza recently built a major facility in SanFrancisco that incorporates a Solid State Logic SL 9000 J SeriesSuperAnalogue Console.
“I have an extensive background in music technology and, throughinvolvement with the Internet business models for the music industry, Idecided to build San Francisco Soundworks, a studio with a differentviewpoint,” said Espinoza. “The main room is designed around the 9000 JSeries because of the legendary sound the board produces.”
San Francisco Soundworks offers four control rooms that offer thePro Tools|HD system. The main room has Pro Tools|HD and the 9072 JSeries for tracking and mixing, while the other three will be used forproject development.
“Three of the control rooms will be very inexpensive to rent, so weexpect them to be busy all the time,” Espinoza said. “The vision hereis to experiment with various artists and music styles to help define anew sound, using the 9000 J room to finish internal projects and toservice established acts. For the established acts, they no longer needto migrate out of the area to mix their projects. For new acts, ourgoal is to work with artist management and bring talented artists tothe Bay area.”
The building was an existing post-production facility and home tothe Gumby cartoons. Espinoza purchased the building, renovatedthe workspace and added three stories to the building for living spaceand a large lounge for studio clients. “The idea is that we are goingto try and build a community center around the studio, with producersand artists and acts going through all the time,” said Espinoza. “Somepeople say that you can’t compete with home studios, and I think thatis all wrong. We aren’t competing, we’re enhancing. To do greatrecords, you still need great acoustics to capture sounds, anacoustically controlled room to mix the sound and a great-soundingboard.”
Iso-Wall System Sound-Proofing Kit Now Available
Acoustic Sciences Corporation (ASC) is making available itsproprietary recording studio wall and ceiling construction system in ado-it-yourself soundproofing kit.
The company is now offering individual studio owners and buildingcontractors the proprietary ASC Iso-Wall System. Originally developedfor larger commercial recording studios, the Iso-Wall System Kitprovides for the construction of exceptionally quiet music productionrooms. Equally important is the system’s ability to contain soundwithin the room and minimize sound leakage to other areas in the homeor work facility.
The Iso-Wall system utilizes construction-grade,vibration-absorbing, visco-elastic WallDamp polymer tiles and isolationstrips. Additional components of the soundproofing system includedamped resilient channels, perimeter gaskets, wall-bearing felt andconstruction-grade acoustic sealant.
The Iso-Wall system is available at $4 per square-foot of surfacearea, and is easy to install by any contractor or as a DIY project.Various kits are available to accommodate a wide range of room sizes,and the various Iso-Wall components can be shipped via UPS anywhere inthe U.S. or internationally.
For more, visit ASC online at www.acousticsciences.com.
G&E Music Work on ‘Charlie’s Angels Uncensored’
Recent renovations to G&E Music’s New York City studio enticedproducer/director Billy Taylor and his CTB Films to call on G&E toexecute an aggressive mix on the high-energy audio tracks forCharlie’s Angels Uncensored, a half-hour movie preview thataired in June on MTV. An MTV-style preview of the latest movie,Charlie’s Angels Uncensored encompassed an intense musicalscore, requiring an energetic mix from G&E’s Brian Quill. G&Ealso recorded voice-over narration with MTV VJ, Su Chin Pak.
Quill received an OMF from editor Steve Beal at Keyframe Post on aweekday morning and finished the mix that day for the premier thefollowing evening. Quill miked the MTV VJ with a Neumann TLM 103 inG&E’s newly installed VO booth and ran the vocal through an AvalonVT737 and into the Pro Tools MIXPlus system. The multitrack audioincluded many sound effects, movie clips and excerpts from songs byJurrasic 5, The Strokes, Sum 41, Jay-z, Wu-Tang, Santana and more.
“They wanted the mix to have a ‘Top 40’ rock, MTV kind of vibe,”said Quill. “There are all these chicks flying through the air,explosions and fight scenes: very aggressive, quick cuts and changes.And as this second Angels‘ movie is bigger and more extreme,they wanted me to illustrate that in the mix. I had to make sure a realenergy was maintained throughout; it had to really punch.”
To make the score really “punch” and blend in the narrationsmoothly, Quill applied some new tools, including Waves 4.0, using thenew L2 ultramaximizer and Renaissance compressor extensively within ProTools. With the facility’s recent renovation, G&E’s mix-to-picsetup has been refined with an NHT Pro surround monitoring system,Audient ASP 510 surround sound controller, Yamaha NS-10s and Sony32-inch Wega Trinitron.
Taylor, along with co-producer Sean O’Brien and segment producerColin Moore, spent time at G&E providing direction for Quill whenneeded and were pleased with the studio environment, as both a mix roomand a comfortable place to hang out. “The studio really worked outbrilliantly,” added Quill. “We couldn’t have really done the gig beforethis upgrade. Not only was it a huge success, but the guys felt reallyrelaxed working here.”
For more on G&E Music, visit www.gemusic.com.
Disc Makers Intros DAD for Indie Musicians
Disc Makers has announced DAD (Digital Audio Distribution), aservice that provides independent bands and artists the opportunity tosell their songs online on sites like Apple’s iTunes Music Store,Listen.com’s Rhapsody, AOL’s MusicNet, Emusic and newcomerBuyMusic.com.
“It usually takes awhile before breakthroughs in music distributionare available to independent musicians, but with DAD, Disc Makers isahead of the curve,” said Tony van Veen, VP of sales and marketing forDisc Makers. “Our goal is simple: to give independent musicians thetools they need to sell more music.”
In order to qualify for this program, an artist needs to have a CDout on the market. Once an artist completes the sign-up process, he/sheautomatically gets his/her CD(s) distributed through CD Baby. CD Babywill administer the program and use its encoding and tracking system todistribute and monitor CD sales, keeping 9% of the net income generatedfrom online digital sales.
The DAD service is free with new CD orders with Disc Makers.Theservice is also available to artists who do not make their CDs withDisc Makers for $75.
For more information on Digital Audio Distribution (DAD), visit www.discmakers.com/dad.
Cycling ’74 Releases Windows Version of Max/MSP
San Francisco-based Cycling ’74 announced the release of itsWindows versions of the Max and MSP graphical programming environments.Max and MSP are now cross-platform products with both Mac OS andWindows versions in the same package. Customers who purchases afterJuly 1, 2003, will receive the cross-grade product for free.
Max allows a user to build programs ( “patches”) by connectinggraphical objects together. Some objects perform calculations andothers make up the user interface of the program. MSP adds a large setof objects that connect together to make audio patches where signalsflow from one object to the next. The Windows version of the softwareallow for cross-platform development of applications. Max/MSP patchesdeveloped on one platform will open seamlessly on the other, and useconsistent abstractions for all types of media protocols andinterfaces, including MIDI, digital audio soundfiles and interfaces.The Windows version supports PCs running Windows XP with audio devicessupported by .WAV or ASIO. Max/MSP hosts ReWire devices and VSTplug-ins, and supports all major audio file formats. Features areessentially identical between the Windows XP version and the currentversion of Max/MSP for Mac OS X. Users will be able to develop theirown Max or MSP external objects written in C, and distribute their workto others using the free MaxMSP run-time application. Support fordeveloping VST plug-ins on Windows will be available shortly.
MSRP: Max, $250; and Max/MSP, $495. Customers who purchased beforeJuly 1, 2003, will have the option to purchase a $29 crossgrade. Formore, visit www.cyling74.com.
Horizon Christian Fellowship Installs Soundcraft Board
Horizon Christian Fellowship, a Calvary Chapel affiliated churchin Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., recently finished a complete upgrade of itssanctuary sound system, which included the installation of a newSoundcraft MH4 mixing console.
Michael Mendoza, Horizon’s head audio engineer said this about theredesign: “Bob Botsford, our senior pastor, and I had a discussionabout the major ‘holes’ with our former system: hot spots and quietareas. We wanted to install a system that would be of exceptionalquality and value without compromise. This new system is very balancedthroughout the entire room, which is impressive because it’s a somewhatacoustically challenging environment. Everyone here is much happierwith the current setup. It’s truly meeting all of our needs.”
Specified and installed by All American Audio Visual (AAAV), the48-mono/4-stereo-channel MH4 is set up in the rear of the sanctuary andutilized to provide both FOH and monitor mixes for the 700-seatfan-shaped room. The console’s matrix sends are also employed toprovide feeds for tape and video recording in addition to deliveringaudio signals to other areas around the facility, such as lobbies andrestrooms.
Mendoza continued, “The MH4 is very intuitive and simple to operate,which is important in an environment like this where volunteers oftenhave to run it. When you mute a channel, everything’s muted; you don’thave to worry about double-checking your auxes and all that kind ofstuff. The VCAs and mute groups are terrific. The board is also niceand quiet, not to mention very forgiving. I love the mic pre’s on thisdesk: They sound wonderful. With our previous console, after about 30minutes of listening to it, I’d be tense and experiencing ear fatigue.I could listen to the MH4 all day and be fine.”
AAAV also installed a pair of BSS FDS-366 Omnidrives at the housemix position to handle EQ, delay and other loudspeaker processingfunctions. “I love the Omnidrives,” said Mendoza. “We went with a ‘lessis more’ approach and replaced a whole rack full of processors withjust these two pieces. They’re great-sounding little units.” Also neware QSC PowerLight amplifiers, which are driving a new loudspeaker rigcustom-built by AAAV.
alchemy/east Sets Up Shop in New York
New York City composer John Petersen recently launchedalchemy/east music house in the Long Island town of Sagaponack, N.Y.Soon after opening its doors, editor/director John Zieman dropped by toscore a high-profile documentary for The Friends of the HighLine, a short film for the “Designing the High Line” exhibition inVanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station. The 12-minute film is part ofan installation that showcases the results of the extremely populardesign competition for the future of this rail relic.
“I wanted to create a studio that would offer my clients NewYork-caliber music services in an easygoing, resort-style atmosphere,”said Petersen about the new site. “I still had the option to either usemy studio in the city or come out to Sagaponack to compose. Technologyhas come such a long way that I can instantly upload whatever I amworking on to anywhere in the world. But, also, I was hoping that, if Ibuilt it, they would come.”
Petersen began renovating the new space and installed a new Mac G4with Digital Performer, a Synclavier, a Mackie D8B digital mixingconsole, and a host of software plug-ins and sound-processing equipmentearly this May.
Petersen created an engaging score that supports the film’s messagewith a fusion of musical styles. Atmospheric and rhythm-infused musicunderscore the film’s documentary style, while transitions intopop-country accompany many of the historical images and beauty shots.Petersen’s modern rockabilly riff helps end the film on a highnote.
With Avid DV Express on his new Mac PowerBook G4, Zieman brought thefilm edit to the mix. “I’ve worked with John for years, he brings asurprising vision to every new project,” said Zieman. “His new studiowas amazingly ready to go, with not one problem.”
For more information on the project, visit www.thehighline.org. For more information onalchemy/east, call 631/537-7446.
Symetrix Named Creston I(2)P Partner
Symetrix has become a member of the Creston Electronics IndustryIntegration Partnership I(2)P. The I(2)P program facilitates theseamless integration of manufacturing members’ equipment with Crestronsystems.
Through its I(2)P program, Crestron pursues an open-platformapproach that allows partner products to perform to theirspecifications as plug-and-play devices in a Crestron systemenvironment. “The addition of Symetrix to Crestron I(2)P initiativeallows our mutual dealers to seamlessly incorporate Symetrix productsinto a Crestron system environment,” said Chris Wildfoerster, directorof market development for Crestron. “Symetrix dealers can easilydownload the Symetrix I(2)P Certified module from the Design Centerportion of our Website for easy integration into their system.” Theoperating system supports any combination of UDP/IP, TCP/IP, RS-232,IR, 422 and 485 communication methods to allow any number of devices tobe seamlessly integrated into the environment.
Membership in the I(2)P program allows the Symetrix SymNet AudioMatrix family of network, linkable audio matrix DSP processors to becompletely integrated with Crestron control products. Designed for theinstalled sound market, SymNet is a modular, networkable DSP-basedmixing, routing and audio processing system that includes the ControlI/O system accessory, which expands SymNet’s ability to control and becontrolled from external devices such as RS-232 media controllers fromCrestron.
“We had always intended for the SymNet system to be compatible withCrestron controllers,” said Jim Latimer, director of sales forSymetrix. “It is now that much simpler for an installer to access thenecessary resources to integrate Crestron control into a SymNetdesign.”
For more, visit www.symetrixaudio.com.
Bob Power Produces at Avatar Studios
Bob Power recently co-produced and recorded a jazz project withbass luminary Meshell NdegeOcello for Verve Records. Tracked in AvatarStudio’s Studio A, guests included a diverse roster of jazz greats,including Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Garett, Joshua Redman, Oliver Lake,Neil Evans (of Soulive), Larry Goldings and Cassandra Wilson. Powermixed in Sony’s (New York City) Studio D.
Also in at Avatar’s Studio A were producer Russ Titelman tracking anew Epic Records release by Cyndi Lauper. Bill Whitman engineered thesessions with help from Peter Doris. In Studio B, engineer/producerKevin Killen completed mixing of Elvis Costello’s latest recordAGAIN. This time it was mixed for 5.1 surround. Peter Dorisassisted. Engineer Chris Shaw recently finished mixes for VagrantRecords act No Motiv with Brian Montgomery assisting. In Studio C,Telarc Records stopped by with Titelman and artist John Pizzarelli. Thenew album was engineered by Robert Friedrich and was recorded entirelyin the DSD format for 5.1 surround. Montgomery assisted. Producer ToddBarkan has taken residence in Studio C, churning out records for singerSimone, Dave Hazeltine, Jay Leonhart, Charles McPherson and Ian Shaw.James Farber engineered the sessions with help from Aya Takemura.Working in Studio D were producer/DJ Premier tracking and mixing withnew artist Roscoe. with engineers Eddie Sancho and Avatar’s AnthonyRuotolo.
For more, visit Avatar online at www.avatarstudios.net.