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September 2012

September 2012

On the Cover

The Avett Brothers

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Blair Jackson

In the decade since the Avett Brothers’ first full-length album, Country Was, the North Carolina country/bluegrass/folk/rock group has grown steadily in popularity, more on the strength of their live performances (and live recordings) than on the success of their studio albums. …


Steve Vai’s Studies in Harmony and Light

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Bud Scoppa

Steve Vai has married form and function in his new high-end home studio. The fittingly named Harmony Hut, which sits on the grounds of Vai’s estate in the hills above the San Fernando Valley in what was originally the gardener’s quarters, is a direct and vivid reflection of the guitarist/gearhead’s personality and taste—manifested in his dual passions for aesthetics and technology. Dark wood paneling, Tiffany lamps and shelves filled with leather-bound books give the control room a warm, elegantly understated vibe closer in feel to a library than a recording studio….

Portable Sound Systems in the Age of the iOS

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Derrick Jeror

I work in live sound, and I’m done with audio snakes. No, I don’t mean I’ve switched from copper to Cat 5. I mean that I’m done, totally, forever. And my mixer? I have one, but you won’t see it. It’s behind the stage. And my iPad? No, I’m not playing Angry Birds, I’m mixing the band from the best seat in the house, right next to my wife and kids. I don’t even think about monitors anymore, the band takes care of them on their own. And because there’s no snake, stage racks or separate monitor system, everything takes less than 20 minutes to set up. Just put the mixer near the stage, connect the band and powered speakers, and go. Even crazier, an entire system for a 600-seat venue can fit in a Honda Civic. Oh, did I mention I’m doing all of this with a $1,999 mixer and some free apps? Welcome to the future of portable sound….

Mac vs. PC

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Michael Cooper

Every time I upgrade to the latest and greatest computer, I’m tempted to think, “That’s all I’ll ever need for pro audio.” But my DAW’s new daddy is barely out of the box before a new technology is launched and I’m forced to consider whether I need to upgrade yet again. Do I really need Thunderbolt, quad-channel memory or (fill in the blank)?

That depends. Someone who tracks only acoustic and electric instruments needs a lot less muscle than a film composer or high-definition video editor. It makes no sense to buy more computer than you’ll need. On the other hand, as music-production studios branch out into adjunct fields of operation to broaden their revenue streams, it might be professional suicide to assume an outdated or bush-league computer is going to be up to executing new tasks….


Brandi Carlile

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Candace Horgan

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Brandi Carlile built a loyal fan base from actively touring over several years, drawing in new fans with her dynamic and energetic shows. Musically, Carlile shows little regard for staying in a confining box, whether she performs country-oriented material like “Keep Your Heart Young” or her straight-up cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”…


Dwight Yoakam

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz

Dwight Yoakam has had dozens of hit records, but what’s maybe more impressive is the way he’s managed to cruise up the mainstream but never lose credibility as an authentic country artist. He’s as likely to win a pile of Americana Music Association awards for his new album 3 Pears (Warner Bros.) as he is to take home trophies from the CMAs, and he’d deserve them all: 3 Pears is gritty enough for the Outlaw crowd and bright enough for radio….

Classic Tracks: Grateful Dead, “Touch of Grey”

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Blair Jackson

Twenty-five years ago this summer, the Grateful Dead made it into the Top 10 with the only hit single of their 30-year career: “Touch of Grey,” written by Jerry Garcia and lyricist Robert Hunter. For a band long derided by the mainstream for its loose, jamming ways and its blissed-out hippie following, this was quite a shocking (and satisfying) accomplishment. Even the video for “Touch of Grey,” featuring life-size skeleton marionettes performing the song, was an MTV sensation. WTF?…

***Online Only: Bonus Q&A With Dwight Yoakam

Q&A With Dwight Yoakam

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz

Mix’s September issue includes a feature on recording Dwight Yoakam’s 3 Pears (Warner Bros.), the country star’s first studio album of (mostly) new material since 2005. The self-produced release was created in a handful of L.A.-area studios with a little help from songwriting collaborators Ashley Monroe and Kid Rock; from Beck, who co-produced two tracks; and from several engineers, including Marc DeSisto, who did the lion’s share of the recording and mixed three songs. Yoakam had a lot more to say than we had room to print. Here’s our complete interview….


Yamaha 01V96i Digital Mixing Console

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Steve La Cerra

Yamaha’s 01V96i mixing console expands upon the success of its predecessors (the 01V and 01V96), performing double-duty for use in live sound mixing and DAW recording. Featuring a variety of analog and digital I/O, the 01V96i maintains its 40-channel input capacity (32 mono, plus 4 stereo) even at sample rates up to 96 kHz, employing 24-bit/96k converters and 32-bit internal processing….

Cartec EQP-1A

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Wes Maebe

Is there an engineer out there who doesn’t love the old Pultec EQs? I think it’s safe to say we all have a Pultec on our wish lists. The two factors that keep us from owning a few is that they are hard to come by, and if you do find one, it will cost you an arm and a leg. Despair no longer. Liam Carter at Cartec has set out to re-create the vintage Pultec magic—and he succeeded. …