"It's like a virtual internship with a very seasoned audio professional."
LOS ANGELES - January 14, 2008 -- Tech Breakfast today proudly debuts the first video of a new instructional series that brings viewers into the studio for start-to-finish record production sessions with renowned producer/engineer Tony Shepperd (Elton John, Whitney Houston, Kenny Loggins). Beginning with this first three-DVD set, Tony Shepperd Master Series 1: Tracking and Mixing, the series represents a collaborative effort between Shepperd's group, Tech Breakfast, and partnering production company WoW Digital.
Master Series 1, which is now immediately available, covers the fundamentals of tracking and mixing, demonstrating effective techniques in a variety of studio settings. The video follows Shepperd through complete recording and mixing sessions with the four-piece alternative rock band Silent Envy, while to illustrate some additional tracking concepts and styles, Shepperd also records session musicians and an R&B-style pop vocalist.
"I'm really excited about this DVD series," says Shepperd. "I've had this idea for more than ten years and it's great to finally be able to share the experience I've learned from being in the biz for over two decades. We've crammed a ton of information into this series and I know that the tips and techniques I demonstrate will help others become better recording and mixing engineers because that's what they've done for me."
Disc 1 begins with the fundamentals, including an animated segment on the journey sound makes along the signal path. Following the ground-up tracking of Silent Envy, from pre-production to overdubs, Disc 1 brings viewers into a variety of recording environments to demonstrate how different facilities figure into an engineer's tool set. Just as there's a "right tool" for a particular job, choosing the right studio environments for each part of the tracking and mixing process can make a big difference in the resulting song or album.
Disc 2 instructs how to mix in Pro Tools 7.4, as Shepperd mixes the Silent Envy material, and explores through deconstruction both the how's and why's of his mixing decisions. Disc 3 contains all the data -- the complete Pro Tools session files, sounds and Shepperd's detailed notes.
Shot in high definition in four different studio locations in Northern California and Los Angeles, Master Series 1 has been produced at an exceedingly high quality. The audio feed comes right out of Pro Tools at 24-bit/48K and extensive screen captures display Shepperd's settings at very high resolution. "We've really taken a huge step forward in terms of what else is out there by using such high-quality technology," says Shepperd. "When we solo the kick drum and listen, for example, you're hearing both my mic and the S/PDIF feed directly out of the Pro Tools sessions, so it's all high-res digital going directly to the DVD. If you turn up the volume, you'll really feel that kick."
The high quality media makes Master Series 1 a truly interactive learning experience, bringing viewers right into the studio sessions and session files for as hands-on a lesson as possible. "You see exactly what Tony does, how he does it, and can hear the song evolve as it makes its way from early tracking all the way to mastering and back," says series producer Jeffrey Markham, a recording engineer and partner in Tech Breakfast. "The high quality video and audio allow you to observe firsthand precisely what Tony does that pushes his tracks to the next level. It feels like a virtual internship with a very seasoned audio professional."
While Disc 1 gets into a lot of "Recording 101" material on the tracking front, Disc 2 delves into more advanced territory with how to mix "in the box," specifically in Pro Tools 7.4. Shepperd has led many a mix-in-the-box seminar, most recently at Tech Breakfast-organized events, where he encourages engineers to consider his philosophy: "If you record it correctly, then it will be easier to mix." Now adapted for interactive DVD, that lesson forms the basis for this tutorial series; it's comprehensive in teaching a successful method for record production to the beginner set, but will also prove useful to any recording engineer making the transition to mixing in the box.
Coinciding with Winter NAMM 2008, Tony Shepperd Master Series 1: Tracking and Mixing is now available for the special introductory price of $75.00 (US). The initial release is a standard definition, NTSC, all-region DVD. High definition and region-specific releases are forthcoming. Orders may be placed at www.techbreakfast.com/dvd. While there, check out Techbreakfast.com, the forums-based site by music professionals for music professionals, and stay tuned for much more to come regarding this DVD series.
For more information on Tony Shepperd, visit www.tonyshepperd.com.
Tech Breakfast is a group of audio industry professionals dedicated to the advancement of the recording arts through online forums, instructional videos, and live seminars. Members of Tech Breakfast are active pro engineers, producers, and musicians and share unbiased, practical and professional advice to the audio community worldwide. For more information, please visit www.techbreakfast.com or contact the company via 866-520-4441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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