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November 1, 2011

November 1, 2011 Mix Issue Table of Contents

November 1, 2011


On the Cover: 45 Years of Ardent Studios, Memphis

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Tom Kenny

Wow—45 years and counting. That’s not easy to do in any industry, let alone one that is dependent on the forces of technological change and the whims of a record-buying public. But Ardent Studios, under the leadership of John Fry and a dedicated, loyal team of creatives, has weathered the ups and downs, branched into new markets over the years, added and dropped studio services, and continually kept an eye on the future. …


Education Directory

Oct 26, 2009 7:28 PM

Audio Jobs | Reality Check

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Barbara Schultz

“I wonder what it would be like if we all became what we wanted to be when we grew up. I mean, imagine a world full of firemen, cowboys, nurses and ballerinas.” That’s a Lily Tomlin quote from an early Saturday Night Live episode. It is funny to imagine, and it’s just as odd to think about what the world would be like if we all became what we wanted to be when we were teenagers. Imagine a world full of guitar gods, celebrity chefs, NBA players and rock ’n’ roll recording engineers….

Charting the Future at McGill

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Gary Eskow

McGill University (Montreal, Quebec) is taking a holistic approach, with one foot in the present and another peeking into the future. Thanks in part to a generous endowment from John Eargle, the institution is establishing itself as one of the most advanced audio research environments in the world. At the same time, the Schulich School of Music has made a determined effort to attract recording industry professionals of the highest order to serve on the faculty. Mix spoke with a few of them, including Richard King…

TRI Studios

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Blair Jackson

During their 30 years together, the Grateful Dead established themselves as audio innovators of the highest order (no pun intended). They were the first group to use top-shelf hi-fi components as part of their SR setup, and among the first to regularly employ monitor wedges. They hot-rodded everything from guitars to amplifiers to loudspeakers in search of cleaner and more powerful sound, and their justifiably legendary Wall of Sound system in the early ’70s remains a model (albeit a financially impractical one) of how to deliver pristine audio to large numbers of people. The Dead also always supported up-and-coming instrument and gear artisan, from Alembic and Doug Irwin on the guitar/bass front, to Meyer Sound loudspeakers and Gamble front-of-house and monitor boards. Guitarist Bob Weir and drummer Mickey Hart were both home studio pioneers. …

Studio Consoles 2011

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Matt Gallagher

Console manufacturers have adapted to our evolving workflows by offering a range of solid products aimed anywhere from large-format studio installations to desktop audio production. Here, we present manufacturers’ current offerings, listed alphabetically. These consoles and audio controllers include a variety of features such as embedded converters, onboard DSP and effects, FireWire, USB and analog I/O, modular design and more. All in these products offer something for every budget and need, so dig in and enjoy….


Tech: New Products, November 2011

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM

The 17X ($2,995) from Lindell Audio of Sweden is a single-channel, transformer-coupled compressor/limiter designed to bring classic 1176-style compression to any track. This FET gain squeezer features a highpass sidechain filter to reduce pumping and a wet/dry Mix control for parallel compression. I/O is simple with a balanced XLR line in and two line outputs, one before and one after the Mix control. The unit also features signal high- and lowpass filters set at 6dB per octave. The unit is made with the best parts available, including Alps pots, Carnhill transformers, Wima caps, Original Fender super-switches, gold-plated XLRs and more….

Millennia and Electrodyne 500 Series Modules Review

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Kevin Becka

Since purchasing a Radial Workhorse 500 earlier this year, I’ve been enjoying the range of modules available for the 500 Series platform. I recently had the pleasure of using three products—the Electrodyne 501 preamp, the Electrodyne 511 inductor-based EQ and a pair of the Millennia Media HV-35 preamps—across a range of applications. What’s great about these and most other 500 Series modules I’ve used in session is how companies have gotten so good at squeezing personality and features into such a small enclosure. …

KRK Rokit RP10-3 Powered Speakers Review

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Mike Levine

Most engineers would agree that it’s counterproductive and dangerous to mix at high SPLs all of the time. However, there are times during the mix and tracking/overdubbing processes when you want to really crank it up. Sometimes it’s just to do a reality check on your mix—if it’s something that’s going to be played back at high levels—or possibly your clients are asking to hear it loud….

IK Multimedia Custom Shop Review

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Michael Cooper

IK Multimedia Custom Shop lets you cherry-pick digital models of guitar amps, cabinets, mics, stomp boxes and rack effects from the company’s collection of guitar-amp simulation plug-ins and combine them to create your own “Greatest Hits” rig. A try-before-you-buy interface and à la carte pricing offer a risk-free shopping experience tailored to any budget….

M-Audio Fast Track C600 Audio Interface Review

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Brandon T. Hickey

With the release of Pro Tools MP this year, users have been buzzing about the possibility of an upgrade to M-Audio’s hardware. The company’s devices were preferred by many over their LE rivals because of its thorough feature sets, abundance of I/O and reasonable prices. The answer has come in the form of the new M-Audio Fast Track C400 and Fast Track C600 (reviewed here) USB interfaces….

TechTalk: WYSI (Not Always) WYG

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Kevin Becka

One of my rules when writing a product review is to never ask the price until the end. I’ll do everything I can to stay away from the figure after the “$” because I don’t want it to affect my perception of quality. Not so much in studio products, but in the audiophile realm, the idea “it’s expensive so it must be good” is king and drives sales. Now this isn’t to say that something expensive isn’t the absolute top of the heap, but it’s not always true. …


Keb Mo

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Tom Kenny

Keb Mo, it turns out, is a hands-on guy. And his engineer, John Schirmer, is something of a jack-of-all-audio-trades. So when they decided to leave L.A. for Nashville in 2010, and the original plan to buy a house with a studio already in place fell through, they decided to build their own. Two, actually, with almost identical technology complements. …

Classic Tracks: Mudhoney “Touch Me I’m Sick”

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

Jack Endino has been in the press an awful lot in the past few months. With the 20th-anniversary celebration of Nirvana’s Nevermind, everyone wants to find out just how he recorded their debut album, Bleach. But before he handled that project, Endino was jump-starting his producing career with EPs for Soundgarden, Green River and Mudhoney, whose debut single, “Touch Me I’m Sick,” gets this month’s “Classic Tracks” treatment. …

Oberlin Beefs Up Studio Space

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music’s new recording facility/performance venue, the Joseph R. Clonick Studio, was built for surround sound and offers a Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console, a 24-track analog mixer with Tonelux Shadowmix fader automation housed in a Sterling Modular Systems custom piece. …

Saga Recording Grows

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

To accommodate the growing number of singer, songwriters and groups booking Saga Recording (East Vancouver), owner/operator Michael Nowak hired Russ Berger Design Group to design a space that fits between a large multiroom facility and a small project room. The space features a 22×13-foot control room (where most of the tracking and vocals are done, per Nowak’s recording preference), a 15×10-foot live tracking room and a foyer with glass-panel doors that is wired for use as an iso booth. The control room features Logic and Pro Tools, with monitoring by Event Electronics. …

Tempest Turns 30

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Mix Editors

Tempe, Ariz.–based recording engineer Clark Rigsby is celebrating 30 years of success in his Tempest studio. Rigsby has recorded many of the top names in music, including Tower of Power, Steve Gadd, World Saxophone Quartet, Kim Wilson, James Moody, Jimmy Smith, N.Y. Philharmonic Principals, Joe Allessi and Phil Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, George Coleman and Glen Campbell, among others. The key to the Rigsby/Tempest longevity? Simple. “We put music first and we make it with real people,” answers Rigsby….

SSL for Abbey Road Online Mixing Service

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

To help celebrate 80 years in the biz, Abbey Road Studios (London) has opened its new production/mix room, Studio 52, which features an SSL Duality SE board. In addition to the traditional client-attended sessions, the new space will help with the workload from the studio’s new Online Mixing Service, where clients book mix sessions online and upload pre-recorded files…


Colbie Caillat Tour Profile

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, Photos and Text by Steve Jennings

Out in support of her latest, All of You, singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat brought out a stellar backing band at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Mix caught up with the crew, who are relying on house-provided gear….

Ben Harper and the Relentless7 Tour Profile

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

When I learned that for the latest round of Ben Harper & The Relentless7 dates, front-of-house engineer James Shaw and monitor engineer Ricky Leon were contending with house-supplied gear, I was a bit surprised. A five-piece rock band, dueling electric guitars and a very specific sound—I would have thought that the tour would have been using a sound company to help create consistency from gig to gig. But when Mix caught up with the tour at San Francisco’s Warfield Theater, this proved to be unfounded concern….

FixIt: Kid Rock Front-of-House Engineer Steve Cross

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM

[Avid ReVibe] is versatile enough for all my needs in this show. With the exception of one “effect” verb, I try to keep all the verbs for the vocals and instruments very similar in type and decay. If I move from a large hall to a plate verb, I make that change for all verbs and then tailor the times to get them to layer nicely with each other. Another plug-in I use a lot is the Crane Song Phoenix. It has a nice way of bringing things forward in a mix without simply turning them up. Other than that, there are lots of delay cues that use the Avid delay. I use channel compression where needed, but no compressor plug-ins at all….

Iridium Club | Live From the House of Les

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

Though still considered a nascent technology, concert Webcasting—especially in a festival atmosphere—can be a great marketing opportunity or alternate revenue source for artist and venue. Always keeping an eye on the future, Iridium Club (New York City)—the home of the late Les Paul—has begun a series of Webcasts featuring performers gracing the long-storied club’s stage….

Jeff Bridges & The Abiders

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Tom Kenny

The Jeff Bridges tour this fall that popped up on a lot of national TV and in some select West Coast wineries sure looked like a lot of fun. Like a bunch of guys getting together on the back porch at Hollister Ranch, working through a playlist they all know through and through. There were songs from Crazy Heart, sprinkled with a number of tracks from his recent self-titled album, some of them co-written by Bridges. …

Meyer Mixing Workshops Online

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

Buford Jones, front-of-house engineer and founder of Meyer Sound’s Nashville office, has been promoted to live audio and education specialist, where he will focus on bringing his Mixing Workshop seminars online. Taking his place, Lee Moro is the new touring liaison and manager of Meyer Sound’s Nashville office at Soundcheck Nashville….

MOM Gets QSC Treatment

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

Part of an A/V system integration for Budapest’s MOM Cultural Center is a QSC ILA line array system, with a dedicated SC28 system controller to optimize and control L/R hangs of six WL2081-i models and two WL118-sw elements per side, powered by RMX5050HD, RMX4050HD and RMX2450 amps. QSC’s Hungarian distributor, Interton Electroacoustics, worked with acoustic consultant András Kotschy and contractor Market Ltd. “We ran the main system in a tri-amp-plus-sub configuration using the recommended settings, but with some EQ fine-tuning to meet the needs of the operators,”says Interton design engineer Ferenc Volár….

DBS Supplies the Vibes

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

DBS Audio Systems (Coatesville, Pa.) handled sound for the Gathering of the Vibes festival in Bridgeport, Conn., that featured Further, the Levon Helm Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Jane’s Addiction and many more. The multi-faceted sound company brought in a Meyer MILO array with four M’elodie cabinets underhung per side. …


The Rum Diary | Frogs and Fiats

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Matt Hurwitz

Coquis: the tiny little chirping-frog natives of Puerto Rico. In San Juan, where Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary was filmed, they are literally everywhere—even on the soundtrack—whether one wants them there or not. But supervising sound editor Mark Mangini (Soundelux) did want them there, just under the control of the sound department. “With the soundstages they shot in down there, they couldn’t get rid of them,” Mangini explains. “We never had a properly clean dialog track.”…

Pearl Jam ‘Twenty’

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Blair Jackson

Seattle rockers Pearl Jam are celebrating their 20th anniversary in style—with a new music-heavy documentary, Pearl Jam Twenty, directed by Cameron Crowe, which was released briefly in select theaters, turned up on PBS in late October and is now out on DVD; a double-CD soundtrack album compiled by Crowe; and even a big, photo-filled coffee table book devoted to the group. All this from a band that has traditionally been boldly pushing forward at all times and gaining momentum with each passing year….


EAW Mourns the Loss of Moray McMillin

Sep 22, 2011 7:47 PM

Dallas Baptist University | Education Opportunities in Dallas

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

Recently completed, the new 12,000-square-foot Joan and Andy Horner Hall (at Dallas Baptist University) includes a 2,400-square-foot recording studio designed by Russ Berger Design Group, and features an Avid D-Command 24 console and Pro Tools. Recessed sliding glass doors in the adjoining soundstage can be opened up to enlarge the studio space. Two smaller control rooms let students mix projects independently from the main studio. Storage and a central equipment room complete the facility….

Hideway Studios Calling All Interns

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

Recently opened to the public (see Mix September 2011 Music “News and Notes”), The Hideway Studio (Minneapolis) is expanding its internship program. As part of the day-to-day experience with studio processes and operations, interns sit in and assist on recording sessions and engage in session setups and tear-downs for tracking, which will include miking, patching and Pro Tools operations. Additionally, students sit in on and observe mixing sessions and learn techniques for successful mixes….

Poetic License: Ode to Compressor

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Michael Golub

A sound from a source entered the air/I compressed said sound with a ratio fair./Then compressed again in a mix-down mode/And compressed again as I mixed the full load./It went to mastering and a CD was pressed./And guess what my friend? It got compressed./You’d think the journey would end there,/But guess again. Twas compressed on air./I must admit I find it strange/That music is minus dynamic range….

SPARS SoundBite | Mentorship

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sherri Tantleff

I was lucky enough to have not one but two mentors. These incredible women taught me not only the logistics of my job and the industry, they also taught me the subtleties of how to navigate through them. I learned when to react and when to lay low. They gave me tips on how to deal with different types of people and challenging situations. I wanted to be just like them and emulate their style and poise. They were my education after my education, and they appeared at different times in my career. …


Editor’s Note: Jack of All Trades

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Tom Kenny, Editorial Director

At least a couple of times a year, for the past 20 years, I find myself in conversations where an engineer, producer, studio owner or manufacturer will say, “These schools have to stop! There are no jobs out here!” Then I talk to the schools and the truth is, there are jobs out there, all kinds of audio jobs, and students are getting hired. There may be fewer behind a console at a commercial facility, but the schools know this and they continually make adjustments to their curriculum as the job market changes. …