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September 1, 2011

September 1, 2011 Mix Issue Table of Contents

September 1, 2011


Tech: New Products, September 2011

Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM

Steinberg has released the RND (Rupert Neve Designs) Portico 5033 and RND Portico 5043 ($799, bundle), two signal-processor plug-ins reflecting the close cooperation between Rupert Neve, Yamaha and Steinberg. The RND Portico 5033 is a 5-band equalizer with three fully parametric filters and one band each of high- and low-shelving filters. The RND Portico 5043 plug-in is a high-end compressor featuring two entirely different characteristics: feed-forward and feed-back. …

Peavey ReValver MK III.V Guitar-Amp Simulation Software Review

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

When it bowed a couple of years ago, Peavey ReValver MK III guitar-amp simulation software garnered a lot of rave reviews for its tube-like tone and the ability to tweak its virtual electronics right down to the component level (for example, modifying the plate load of its simulated tubes). ReValver MK III.V—a paid upgrade from MK III—adds seven new amps, the Budda Budwah effect and Peavey VCL-2 compressor modules, to the mix. (See Fig. 1.) It also more than quintuples the number of convolution-based speaker simulations to 778, counting impulse responses that incorporate variations on microphone choice and position for the same cabinet. …

Ingram Engineering MPA685 Microphone Preamp Review

Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Barry Rudolph

Ingram Engineering’s MPA685 dual-channel microphone preamp is a large, two-rackspace (14 inches deep) unit that’s handmade in the U.S. and features three switchable input-impedance choices and up to 76 dB of gain. Changing the input impedance presented to a microphone by the preamp alters the mic’s sound and operation. For the recording engineer, having this ability expands the range of sounds possible from any microphone. …

Roland VR-5 A/V Mixer and Recorder Review

Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Brandon Hickey

The boom in streaming video has opened up all kinds of new opportunities for audio professionals, and the tools are coming out to make quality audio-based video productions. Case in point: The Roland VR-5 provides a simple, one-box strategy for full-on, multi-camera video production with audio. The features not only negate needing a generous complement of hardware, but also a specialized set of skills and knowledge. With applications ranging from multi-camera capture of live events to live switching of video displays during concerts or church services, the VR-5 can capture a production to an SDHC card, generate live analog or HDMI video, or connect through USB to a computer for instant streaming on the Web. …

Waves Audio OneKnob Plug-Ins Review

Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM, Mix, By Steve La Cerra

As the name implies, the OneKnob Bundle from Waves is a collection of plug-ins designed for quick and simple operation through use of a single knob (though some also include a pushbutton). The package includes seven plugs and is available only in Native format, supporting sample rates up to 96 kHz. Two OneKnob plug-ins—Louder and Pressure—support sample rates up to 192 kHz. An iLok is required for authorization. …

Ask Eddie: In Search of Semiconductors

Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Eddie Ciletti

Many of the questions I receive on a regular basis involve the often-frustrating process of searching for replacement parts. This month’s reader question comes from someone who is also a friend. Darron Burke of Makeshift Studio teamed up with local Boston-area artist/technician Kevin Micka after a series of emails did not reveal the hidden secrets of a troubled unit. …

TechTalk: Audio Is More Than Audio

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

While I’ve always tried to center my career goals around creating music, it hasn’t always worked out that way. Fifteen years ago, the titles Educator, Magazine Editor and Video Editor/Producer weren’t even close to being on my list of “Top 10 Skills You Should Develop by 2010.” And while I wouldn’t call the video bit necessary for survival, it’s the one I’m having the most fun with right now. It allows me to communicate on a new level that, thanks to the Internet, is the hottest ticket in town. …


Joss Stone, Dave Stewart Get Loose at Blackbird

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

At the ripe old age of 24, Joss Stone is already a wily record industry veteran. The gritty and passionate British singer made her initial splash in her mid-teens with the trans-Atlantic hit album The Soul Sessions, which played beautifully into England’s long love affair with American R&B, and in retrospect helped pave the way for later UK “blue-eyed soul” sensations such as Amy Winehouse and Adele. More chart successes followed in Britain and America. She’s been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards and always seems to be available for high-profile benefit concerts when they crop up, from Band Aid to Live 8 to Live Earth, and many more. She’s nearly as famous for her collaborations as her own records, having worked with everyone from Melissa Etheridge (a heart-stopping duet on two Janis Joplin tunes at the Grammys) to Herbie Hancock, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Common, Jeff Beck and countless others. What could be considered her ultimate collaboration—the group SuperHeavy, featuring Stone, Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, Damian Marley and A.R. Rahman—is hitting the stores this month. …

Chrstina Perri

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

There have never been so many ways to have a hit. Take Christina Perri’s surprise 2010 smash “Jar of Hearts.” On June 29, 2010, Perri was an unknown 24-year-old singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles. Originally from the Philadelphia area, she’d knocked around L.A. for a couple of years looking for a break, moved back to Philly near the end of 2009, wrote the emotional “Jar of Hearts” during her time there and then returned to L.A., where she worked as a waitress by day and did some recording. …

Classic Tracks: Charlie Rich “Behind Closed Doors”

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

Charlie Rich had made the rounds. He’d joined and left several labels by the time he signed with Epic in 1967 on the recommendation of producer/executive Billy Sherrill. He’d worked as a session musician, playing piano for Judd Phillips’ Judd Records, and then for Judd’s brother Sam at Sun Records and the Phillips International label, where he also wrote and recorded a few cuts of his own, including the Elvis-esque hit single “Lonely Weekends.” And he’d done “Big Boss Man” for RCA/Groove and “Mohair Sam” for Smash Records. …

Extreme Mastering Makeover

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

When Extreme Music (London), the production music arm of Sony ATV, wanted to upgrade its layout and acoustics in its new mastering facility, the staff turned to White Mark, which employed its Fast Studio construction method, bringing the goal to fruition in just seven days. …

Heading North Goes to ‘6’

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

Mastering engineer Ron Skinner’s Heading North Mastering (Toronto) now boasts the SADiE 6 software platform. “The most important change is the ability to switch from SADiE hardware to native hardware and back again,” says Skinner. “This is especially helpful when clients bring in their own I/O. SADiE 6 also gives me the ability to record on any CD burner; not being tied to my Plextor has been great and gives me more options. Clients are astounded at how quickly and accurately I can make an edit. …

Hideaway Studio

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

Welcoming such artists as Snoop Dogg, The Matches and others for personal use, The Hideaway Studio’s (Minneapolis) founder, producer/engineer/mixer Joseph Mabbott, is opening the space’s doors to the music-making public. Incoming clients can take advantage of the Pro Tools|HD Accel 2 and 3 systems; monitoring through Tannoy, Yamaha and Mackie speakers; and a jam-packed mic closet and numerous effects. The studio also offers video production support. …


Sir Paul McCartney Tour Profile

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

For the past 22 years, front-of-house engineer Paul “Pab” Boothroyd has had the best seat in the house for Sir Paul McCartney’s world tours. Granted, he has to work while the rest of the world gets to sit back or bop along, but he wouldn’t change chairs with anyone. It’s too good a show to miss. Mix caught up with the tour in mid-July at Yankee Stadium—McCartney’s return to New York City—to kick off his new On the Run tour, which spotlights hits from his near-50-year career. …

Pink Martini Tour Profile

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

Mixing for a 12-piece band can be challenging in itself—especially one that smoothly transitions from Cuban jazz to classical chamber music—but when Pink Martini throws in a full symphony orchestra, front-of-house engineer Pete Plympton’s board becomes quite full. Fortunately, Plympton isn’t about to break a sweat, having been one of the studio engineers on the band’s first album back in 1997 and having done their live sound ever since. Mix caught up with the crew at a July performance at San Francisco Davies Symphony Hall with the San Francisco Symphony. …

Baltimore SoundStage Opens

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

Baltimore SoundStage, a new performance space, will open at 124 Market Place in Baltimore’s inner harbor on Labor Day weekend. The new venue is as collaboration between New York City’s HighLine Ballroom and the management team responsible for opening Baltimore’s Bourbon Street live music venue. The room will have a scalable capacity of 500 or 1,000 for standing room shows and 500 for seated shows. …

Blue Note Upgrades

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

Due to the location of jazz club Blue Note’s stage, house engineers must contend with three mixing zones to compensate for the position of the instruments onstage. Petrix owner Amit Peleg, who was brought in to handle the system upgrade, knew that he had to go with DSP-based amplifiers, selecting Yamaha TXn amps (with custom DPS settings) and two dbx DriveRack 4820s. In addition, the club upgraded its Yamaha M7CL digital consoles to Version 3 software (allowing for multitrack recording) and StageMix. The entire sound system is digital; the only points of conversion are A/D at the stage box input and back, and D/A at the output of the amplifiers. Everything in between is digital either via EtherSound or AES/EBU. The system is completely networked for both signal and control. …

FixIt: The Fray Front-of-House Engineer Jon Lemon

Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM

On the [opening dates for] U2 shows, the main end of the P.A. had two lefts and two rights—flown side by side—so one system was doing all the vocals and all the guitars, and the outside system was doing all the drums, bass, keyboards, etc. Normally, on my left and right I would have a Waves hardware piece, the BCL—the one with the Renaissance Compressor, a Maxx Bass and an L2 Ultramaximizer….

Sensaphonics Michael Santucci

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

Sensaphonics founder and audiologist Michael Santucci is the new lead audiology advisor to Hearing Health Science Inc., a start-up company specializing in hearing research and therapy. HHS is set to launch Soundbites™, a patented nutraceutical supplement that has shown clinical promise in preventing noise-induced hearing loss. Used with hearing protection, its inventors claim Soundbites has the potential to reduce hearing loss by up to 50 percent. …

iLive Thrives at Soundcheck Austin

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

Rehearsal facility Soundcheck Austin (sister company to Soundcheck Nashville, where the Mix Nashville event is being held in 2012) installed Allen & Heath iLive-T112 digital mixing systems (one for each of its six rooms) and an iLive-T80, providing full digital mixing setups. Operations manager Greg Morton selected the boards and is responsible for fulfilling the needs of incoming clients, including, most recently, Lauryn Hill and Edie Brickell. …

Sound for Picture

Creating the Sonic Worlds of ‘Terra Nova’

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

It’s a great gig to land if you work in sound for picture. A hotly anticipated sci-fi series with the name Spielberg attached. A plot set in the future and the prehistoric past, opening up all kinds of sound-design possibilities. Machines and gadgets, weapons and vehicles, nature and science, humans and dinosaurs. Supervising sound editor Michael Graham, MPSE, knew that he and his team at Smart Post Sound (Burbank, Calif.) were in for an exciting challenge when they picked up Terra Nova. But there was one catch. …

The Magic of De Lane Lea

Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Wes Maebe

I think that at some point every young aspiring sound engineer dreams of being involved with film. All those loud explosions, fantastic string arrangements, fast edits and, most of all, ginormous mixing desks. So when I moved to London as a student in the early 1990s, I walked past De Lane Lea dreaming of working on the next Bond movie. …

Movie Sound Effects | Cars! Weapons! Machines!

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

From the clang of a sword to the roar of a monster to the rev of a car engine, Hollywood directors depend on sound designers and sound effects editors to craft the sonic elements that help add impact and interest, set the mood or ratchet up the terror of a scene. Working with Foley artists, re-recording mixers, composers and others, the creators of film sound effects have challenging jobs that require imagination, creativity and technical abilities, not to mention a great ear. …

Film Mixers on the Move

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

It was a summer of musical chairs in Hollywood as a couple of high-end post facilities announced the hiring of A-list recording mixers to their teams. In July, Technicolor announced the hiring of Scott Millan and Greg P. Russell as its theatrical sound mixing duo for the company’s new sound mixing stages located at Paramount Studios. Meanwhile, Michael Keller has returned to leading independent sound company Todd-AO in Hollywood, and will team with re-recording mixer Mike Prestwood Smith. Keller has mixed more than 75 films, including Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Roland Emmerich’s 2012 and Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. Keller and Prestwood Smith are currently mixing Abduction for director John Singleton and Lionsgate. …

Ready for Football!

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

When Full Sail University launched its partnership with ESPN in late 2010, the goal was to get students involved in real-world production—audio, video, gaming, motion graphics; everything that goes into a professional program. The relationship has paid dividends right away, as 56 students—along with a jersey-wearing crowd from the community at large—took part in a multi-day shoot in mid-July for the opening video sequence of Hank Williams Jr.’s hit song “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Monday Night” for ESPN Monday Night Football. …

Abbot Mixes ‘X Factor’ on Yamaha DM2000

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

The X Factor will make its U.S. debut on Fox September 21, and Michael Abbott, owner of All Ears Inc., has chosen a Yamaha DM2000 for the broadcast mix of the audition phase of the production taped in Los Angeles, Dallas, Newark, New Jersey, Miami and Seattle. Sweetwater Video/NEP provided the audio/video facilities. The Simon Cowell–created show went across America to find the next global superstar or group who will ultimately win a $5 million Sony Music recording deal. …


Jerry Ragovoy, 1931-2011

Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM, Compiled by Sarah Benzuly

Jerry Ragovoy, the songwriter behind “Time Is on My Side” and “Piece of My Heart,” among many others, passed away from complications following a stroke. Ragovoy and Herb Slotkin set up Grand Records to release tracks from The Castelles, including “My Girl Awaits Me” and “This Silver Ring.” The label could not replicate the success of those albums, and so Ragovoy joined Chancellor Records (Philadephia) for a brief time and eventually moved to New York City, where he worked with songwriter/producer Bert Berns …

Wire Road Studios Opens

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

Houston’s music community came out in force to celebrate the grand opening of Wire Road Studios on July 31. After sipping on drinks and snacking on Texas-style appetizers, guests took a tour of the new Russ Berger Group–designed facility, which features two recording studios and a video editing suite. During the tour, three bands—Hazy Ray, Trucker’s Choice and Mantis—recorded in the live room. Evesborough Films, which works out of the Wire Road video editing suite, showcased its video production talent with a montage of its latest work, including music videos for hip-hop artists in the Wire Road family. The studio is now officially open and booking recording projects …

Parsons School at the Village

Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Mel Lambert

Addressing an audience of 16 musicians, engineers and producers, the latest Alan Parsons Master Class at The Village Recorders in West Los Angeles during late July expanded upon techniques outlined in Parsons’ Art & Science of Sound Recording DVD series. Produced by Julian Colbeck from Keyfax NewMedia, the two-day Level 3/Advanced Session included a live tracking date “Do You Live At All,” with Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Nathan East on bass, Michael Thompson on guitar and Rami Jaffee on keyboards, followed by instrumental overdubs, plus lead, harmony and background vocals from P.J. Olsson. Event co-sponsors included Vintage King Audio, Audio-Technica, Universal Audio and Yamaha. …

SPARS SoundBite | Film Is a Sound Idea

Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Jonathan Pekar

At Ardent Studios, our job is to create entertainment­—any way possible. While we are rooted in the foundations of rock ’n’ roll from our 45 years in Memphis, we have seen the power of the visual. Sound and picture have gone hand-in-hand since the 1920s, and today the relationship is even closer. There isn’t a music industry or a film industry anymore, and soon there won’t even be a traditional broadcast industry. There is just the entertainment industry. The demand for video content—with superior audio—is exploding with the advent of streaming and downloads….


On the Cover: Pianella Studios

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

After years of using a converted walk-in closet in a rental in Malibu, Calif., as a demo production studio, Oscar-nominated film composer Marco Beltrami (The Hurt Locker, 3:10 to Yuma and the upcoming remake of The Thing) decided it was time to build the kind of facility that would provide him and his sound designer/co-composer, Buck Sanders, a place to compose, record and mix final score recordings. …

Editor’s Note: Sound and Picture

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

We’ve seen this happen before, with a medium birthed on audio giving way to dominance by video. It happened in broadcast, where radio—the original WiFi, albeit one-way—was overtaken by television, and later cable, on the news and drama front, then decades later by MTV on the music front. In broad and simple terms, you can replace broadcast with Internet/mobile, and plug in Napster for radio and YouTube, a seemingly legal peer-to-peer for video, and you can see the parallels. Only this time, it didn’t take video 30 to 40 years to assert itself; it simply required more bandwidth and greater storage, and then it seemingly happened overnight. …