Mix News for November
Dec 1, 2003 12:00 PM, By Sarah Benzuly
News November 1 - 14 (read November 15 - 30 news)
Michael Bishop Records 'Romeo & Juliet Suites' in
Grammy-winning Telarc staff engineer Michael Bishop recently recorded, mixed and mastered Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet Suites with noted conductor Paavo Jarvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in full surround sound using a Sonoma digital audio workstation and a matched set of ATC SCM-150 monitors.
"These days, concert halls are built using the most accurate measuring devices available," said Bishop. "And there are certainly benefits to the end sound when you use a modern HVAC system that keeps the humidity of a hall at a constant level, for example. The old concert facilities that I love so much—Boston Symphony Hall, Mechanics Hall in Wooster and the Cincinnati Music Hall where we recorded the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the direction of Erich Kunzel—sound so much better to my ears, though, and they were all built by designers who were going on instinct! To be fair, I think that the materials that were available a century ago were, on the whole, better than what we have today. The old growth forests, in particular, have been depleted to a large extent, and the woods used in modern halls don't have the same sound."
For this recording, Bishop recalled, "We really had fun on this one. The surround aspect helps convey the lushness of Prokofiev's orchestration and the dynamics of the orchestra's wonderful performance of the Suites. It was great to know that we could capture a very wide soundfield, and also that this image would be played back by listeners as we heard it."
Bishop relied on the Sennheiser MKH 800 microphones during the Romeo and Juliet sessions. "I spread four MKH 800s across the front of the orchestra and folded in a Neumann KU 100, which was placed in the middle of the soundfield, directly over the conductor. The sound of the binaural head on the KU 100 is gorgeous. Combining this output with the MKH 800s—one pair used to create the left and right components of the stereo mix, and another to help create the left front and right front aspect of the surround mix—was extremely effective. It's very important to use a family of microphones that yields a uniform sound, and that's why we rely so heavily on Sennheiser for these kinds of projects. In fact, we also incorporated a double set of MKH 30 and MKH 50 mics in a double mid-side setup into this recording. I find that blending in the output of these microphones helps me manipulate the imaging, front to back, with greater control over detail when it comes time to mix. I assign these mics to left front, left surround, and right front, right surround. During set up, I play around with the positioning of the mid MKH 50s, aiming them to give me the midfield sound I want. These microphones are very important, because it helps me connect the soundfield from the stage to the house. It also gives the impression of the height of the hall. Does this all sound complicated? Come to our next session and it will all make sense!"
To round out his soundfield, Bishop placed a pair of Sennheiser MKH 20 microphones in midway back in the hall. "The 20s complete the front-to-back image. As I said, you want the whole surround image to work cohesively, and that's only going to happen if you use a family of microphones. I need a complete sonic signature from front to back, and for me, that means using nothing but Sennheiser microphones."
The ATC SCM-150 monitors traveled to all of the field recordings that Bishop tracks for Telarc. "The SCM-150s are extremely revealing and tonally transparent. They're also very easy to set up, which is important to us. We use these monitors in our main post-production room, and we also take them on location in our own truck. We need that consistency of monitoring from recording through post, and it's important that we be able to set up monitors quickly when we're out in the field. Many high-end speakers are extremely room-dependent and take hours to set up just to find the perfect spot to place them. The SCM-150s are rugged, and their directional characteristics are not overly dependent on the room sound, which means we can align them quickly and get to work. I find it really hard to work well without our ATCs on session now!"
For more, visit www.sennheiserusa.com.
Neumann Celebrates 75 Years With M 149 Jubilee
In celebration of its 75th anniversary, Neumann is offering the M 149 Jubilee Microphone, an exclusive, platinum-edition microphone. The M 149 Jubilee's finish is reminiscent of the U47, the head grille and lower part of microphone sport the high-quality platinum finish and the body is the traditional Neumann nickel finish. With the company's "75 Years" logo engraved on the front, all microphones bear consecutive serial numbers up to 500.
The microphones are available as a complete mono or stereo set with high-polish elastic suspensions and vintage power supply units with hammer finish. They come in a high-quality protective aluminum case that can be personalized with the owner's name and microphone serial number engraved on a special metal plate.
"This unique platinum-edition microphone is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to celebrate the colorful history and heritage of Neumann," said Jeff Alexander, Sennheiser's director of distributed brands. "While the M 149 Jubilee is certainly a museum-quality keepsake, we hope our customers will use it as they would any other Neumann. After all, it's the remarkable audio performance of these mics that truly defines what our company is all about."
For more, visit www.neumannusa.com.
DMT Supplies Super Pro Tools|HD System for 'Looney Tunes'
Music scoring mixer/producer Bruce Botnick called on DMT Rentals to supply the high-precision recording systems he needed to capture Jerry Goldsmith's musical score for Warner Bros.' new movie, Looney Tunes: Back in Action. The score was recorded with a 100-piece orchestra, plus drums, electric bass and guitar at Warner Bros. Eastwood Stage in Burbank, Calif.
Botnick specified two DMT Super Pro Tools|HD system digital audio workstations, in addition to a pair of Genex Audio GX8500 MO-based recorders—one running in 24-bit/48kHz PCM mode and the other in singe-bit Bit Direct Stream Digital for an SACD release—and an iZ Technology RADAR 24 hard disk recorder for backup. The engineer tracked the output of studio microphones to a large-format DMT Super Pro Tools|HD System using a sampling frequency of 192 kHz to capture the ultraprecision output from an array of Pacific Microsonics Model Two AD/DA converters connected to his primary Decca Tree Array of vintage Neumann M50 microphones. A smaller DMT Super Pro Tools|HD system recorded Botnick's main film mix.
Regarding his choice of DMT Rentals to supply these multiformat recording systems, Botnick said, "Anybody can have the equipment, but DMT Rentals are fanatics when it comes to making sure that these critical systems perform reliably and consistently; they leave no stone unturned to ensure that nothing lets me down on a critical scoring date. I use a number of PMI, Genex and dB Technologies AD122 Gold A/Dl converters supplied by DMT."
For studio monitoring Botnick used his Quested LCR systems and a dedicated Quested subwoofer. He also used a rack of DMT Rentals' new AMS Neve Model 1081 Equalizers on his overall orchestral room microphones. "The Model 1081 offers EQ curves and settings that are musically related," the engineer said. "They let me add gentle overall sound 'color' to the room mics."
For more on DMT Rentals, visit www.dmtrentals.com.
Sonalysts Upgrades With Genelec Monitoring
Sonalysts Inc., a New England-based audio and video post-production facility, has installed a new state-of-the-art 5.1 surround monitoring system in its Studio A. The setup comprises five Genelec 1031A bi-amplified monitors and a Genelec 7070A active subwoofer. The system, purchased from Parsons Audio of Boston, was installed this summer and immediately put to work on a wide variety of projects, including television broadcast commercials, special interest video and multichannel music remixes.
The installation was part of a significant upgrade of Studio A, which also included a transition of all technology platforms to digital and upgraded acoustical treatments. “"We redid Studio A from scratch, and the Genelec monitors were key to upgrading the performance of the room," said Curt Ramm, director of audio post-production at Sonalysts. "They're perfect for the size of the room and sound great. I like them as much as the Genelec 1031A speakers I've used for near-field monitoring for years, which are also part of the studios speaker array. The 1031As are exceptionally flexible. Since they've been installed, we've used them on 5.1 music remixes, on commercials for companies like A.J. Wright and Blue Cross/Blue Shield, on special-interest music and video projects for the Mohegan Sun Casino, and on multiple corporate videos. We love the way they sound and how well they work across a wide spectrum of project types."
Sonalysts consulted with Parsons Audio in the selection of its new 5.1 monitoring system. “"They came to us and had a lot of questions about what the best components for a 5.1 monitoring system would be for their needs," said Les Arnold, Parsons Audio's sales executive. "We didn't hesitate to suggest the Genelec 1031A monitoring system, and we sent one to the facility for them to check out. It was exactly what they were looking for: self-powered, reliable and accurate."
TerraTec Producer Announces PHASE 88
TerraTec Producer's PHASE 88 Audio System is a professional audio and MIDI interface that transforms a PC or Mac into a professional recording system without an additional mixer. Eight high-quality analog input and output converters process audio signals with resolutions up to 24 bits and 96 kHz.
The PHASE 88's converters are housed in a 5 1/4-inch module that can be installed within and placed outside the computer. PHASE 88 features optimized conversion components, which allow a recordists to cut recordings on up to eight tracks simultaneously and playback high-resolution 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. The PHASE 88 is equipped with an onboard 20-channel hardware mixer with 36-bit internal resolution and 20-in-4 routing. Each input port features a dedicated analog stage that can be switched from -10 dBv to +4 dBv, as well as a variable amp with up to 18dB gains. Channel-thru monitoring generates 0 latency, and latency introduced by the ASIO 2.0 driver comes to less than 3 ms.
Also available is an additional S/PDIF (coaxial) digital input/output on the PCI bus card. Up to four PHASE 88 recording systems can be synchronized and cascaded within a single computer, allowing systems with up to 40 physical inputs and outputs and 64 MIDI channels to be configured without adding to the CPU load.
PHASE 88 offers drivers for Windows 98/ME/2000/XP (ASIO 2.0, DirectSound, MME with Multi-Client mode, and ASIO GSIF Multi-Client), and Mac OS 9.1/X (ASIO 2.0).
The PHASE 88 Audio System will be available at the end of November for a suggested retail price of $349.
For more, visit www.terratec.com.
EAW Launches Spanish-Language Website
Eastern Acoustic Works, a LOUD Technologies Inc. brand, premiered a Spanish version of the EAW Website at www.eaw.com/sp/.
The new Spanish site includes much of the same information that can be found on EAW's main site (www.eaw.com), including product specifications, 2-D and 3-D cabinet drawings, processor configurations and contact information for dealers and EAW's Application Support Group (ASG).
New Website: Professional Audio Design
Professional Audio Design's newly revamped Website features a new layout for easy user navigation by the user.
John Songdahl, director of marketing for PAD, said, “"The site will be constantly updated with new content and special features, such as new installation galleries, complete product reviews and company news." An upcoming feature will allow the customer to view a breakdown of products by category and brand name. "By clicking on one brand, an entire list of that manufacturer's equipment provided by PAD will be displayed," added Songdahl.
To see the new site, visit www.ProAudioDesign.com.
PreSonus Announces New Street Price for FIREstation
PreSonus Audio Electronics Inc. announces that its FIREstation!" interface is now available for $499 for a limited time. The FireWire-compatible unit features eight channels of balanced/unbalanced analog and ADAT I/O, as well as S/PDIF and MIDI I/O.
Jim Odom, president of PreSonus Audio, said, “"The FIREstation was already a very popular interface to begin with, but when you look at everything this unit can offer, along with the power and flexibility that it gives the end-user, it becomes a really easy decision when purchasing an interface."
With the FIREstation, a user can plug in microphones, instruments and external preamps into the analog inputs while monitoring them in real time with zero latency. Also, any mLAN-compatible keyboard such as the Yamaha Motif or Korg Triton Studio can be seamlessly patched into the FireWire ports of the FIREstation to send audio and MIDI information to the computer.
The FIREstation can also be used independently in Stand-Alone mode, where all eight channels of analog inputs are directly routed to the FIREstation's ADAT Lightpipe outputs. Similarly, all of the FIREstation's ADAT Lightpipe inputs are routed to the analog outputs and line mixer. In this mode, FIREstation can be used as an 8-channel AD/DA converter.
For users of Macintosh OS X.2.5 and higher, the operating system comes equipped with FIREstation drivers already installed in the Audio MIDI Setup menu, so there is no need for installation. Currently, FIREstation is approved for use on OS X with Cubase SX, Nuendo 2.0, Deck, Peak and Logic software; new approved software will be added.
For more, visit www.presonus.com.
Engineer Marv Nonn Works With SADiE System for Studio, Location
Marv Nonn, a recording engineer who specializes in live classical and jazz projects, acquired a SADiE PCM8 system this past July specifically to record newly commissioned works by Sole Nero, a classical performing duo of two University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music professors. The compositions, for piano and percussion, were recently recorded by Nonn to the SADiE PCM8.
Nonn, who is senior technical producer at Wisconsin Public Radio, has been a SADiE user for six years and still employs his original SADiE Classic system. He says the acquisition of the SADiE PCM8 has increased the scope of his capabilities. "I can do everything from one platform," Nonn said. "I can record across eight tracks, do all my editing and then mix, all without leaving the PCM8. Why use multiple systems when you can do it all from one?" Nonn also added a second IDE hard drive in a removable carrier for field recordings. "It's no bigger than the old DA-98 HD systems we used to use for location recording projects. At the same time, I now have eight tracks for editing with full random-access functionality and SADiE reliability. The converters that come with the PCM8 are wonderful; I haven't even thought about having to get new outboard converters. All in all, this is a big step forward for what can be accomplished with live location recording of digital audio."
For more information on the SADiE system, visit www.sadie.com.
MPSE Elects New Officers
The Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) has announced the election of its new officers, which includes four women and the organization's first African-American officer. The new president is David Bondelevitch, the first music editor to be elected president of the organization. He is also a lecturer at the USC School of Cinema-Television and a member of the Cinema Audio Society.
After nine years as a board member, Bobbi Banks has been elected VP, and Devon Curry has been elected treasurer. Re-elected members include Lisa Ramirez, secretary; and Solange Schwalbe, sergeant-at-arms.
Newly elected to two-year terms on the board of directors are Midge Costin, Scott Haler, Glenn T. Morgan, Frank Morrone and Michael Ryan. Re-elected were Jim Corbett, Suhail Kafity, Mark Lanza, Maciek Malish, F. Hudson Miller, Todd Niesen, Marc Perlman and Chris Reeves. They join existing members Fred Burke, Gary Friedman, Elliott Koretz, Cliff Latimer, Maggie Ostroff, Albert Lord III, Steven Saltzman, Maurice Schell, Robert Sephton and Robert Ulrich.
For more information about the MPSE, visit mpse.org.
Summer NAMM to Leave Nashville, Head to Indianapolis,
NAMM, the International Music Products Association, announced that Indianapolis, and Austin, Texas, will host the association's future Summer Session trade shows on a rotating schedule, beginning with Indianapolis in 2005 and Austin in 2006. The 2004 Summer Session will once again be held in Nashville, the show's location for the past 11 years.
NAMM began researching new locations after the city of Nashville announced that it would not be expanding its current convention center or constructing a new facility in the foreseeable future. NAMM's decision followed several years of research including a comprehensive NAMM Member survey conducted by Precision Reports, a third-party research company, as well as a nationwide evaluation of more than 20 potential host cities and convention centers. In the survey, approximately 70% of respondents voted for a location other than Nashville; specifically, 66% of responding 2003 Summer Session exhibitors preferred to change the location of the show. More than 84% of responding buyers who have not attended the Summer Session in recent years chose a different location for future shows, and the majority of responding buyers who attended in 2003 (approximately six out of 10) voted to hold the show in a location other than Nashville. The survey also showed that the majority of respondents favored rotating the show's location from year to year. To see more of those results, visit www.namm.com/summersession/.
“"Over the past few years, our members, both exhibitors and attendees, have clearly told us what makes a successful trade show for them," said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. "We acted on this information and have analyzed virtually every aspect of NAMM's trade shows in order to improve the experience for everyone attending. This has ensured the vitality of the shows in spite of the challenging economy. The success of the NAMM shows benefits the industry far beyond the introduction of new products and the placing of orders, as NAMM is then able to reinvest the proceeds to represent, educate and promote the industry and create new music-makers for all of our members."
“"Moving the show to a larger venue will allow NAMM to accommodate all of our exhibitors in one contiguous exhibit hall that provides for future growth as the demand for additional space continues to increase," said Kevin Johnstone, director of trade shows for NAMM. "Both Indianapolis and Austin give us that opportunity, along with excellent housing options and a demographic profile that will bring greater numbers of buyers to the Summer Session. And for those buyers, in addition to being able to see more new products from a greater variety of exhibitors all in one place, changing the location offers many fun, exciting, after-show-hours activities for individuals and families."
Soundminer Releases Version 3.1 With ReWire
Soundminer announced that the upcoming release of 3.1 will contain support for Propellerhead's multichannel ReWire for use inside Digidesign Pro Tools and Steinberg Nuendo environments. ReWire allows the user to transfer audio data between software applications in real time. Users will now be able to stream up to eight channels of audio from Soundminer through their hardware while their DAW application is running.
At the heart of this version is the new Soundminer ReWire Engine. Based on Soundminer 3.0's original playback engine, the new engine will allow for on-the-fly bit depth and sampling rate conversion of up to eight discreet 24-bit/192kHz audio streams.
Regardless of users' Pro Tools session or Nuendo setup, sounds can be auditioned with their surround placement intact. Moreover, the users have access to both the VSTRack in the Soundminer Browser, as well as VST plug-ins in Nuendo and RTAS and TDM plug-ins inside Pro Tools. This new feature will let users audition new sounds from Soundminer against the existing DAW audio and video tracks with sample-accurate sync. Users will also be able to audition more traditional mono or stereo sounds panned "in place" using the DAW's built-in surround architecture.
More details to come. There will be an upgrade cost for existing users.
For more, visit www.soundminer.com.
AC/DC Surround Mixes Use Aria Electronics
When asked to mix the 5.1 surround soundtrack for a DVD release of AC/DC's 1991 concert film, Live At Donington, engineer Mike Fraser expressed a strong preference to mix to analog. For this project, he relied on a Studer A827 transport equipped with Aria Reference Series Electronics and a custom 2-inch 8-track headblock, both supplied by ATR Services Inc. of York, Pa.
When asked about Aria's Reference Series, Fraser said, "I was totally blown away. It had very nice definition, with crisp, clear highs, while the bottom end didn't get murky as it sometimes does. What a pleasant surprise!"
The Live At Donington project was mixed at New York's Quad Studios and mastered by Darcy Proper at Sony Studios, also in New York. The same Aria Electronics and headblock used for the mix at Quad were also used for mastering, although on a different A827 transport.
Al Quaglieri, who supervised the project for Epic Records, was similarly pleased by the sound of the much-lauded “"superanalog” surround mixing format. It really sings," he said. "It's a sweet-sounding system, and I would not hesitate to use it again in similar circumstances."
After finishing the project, Fraser said that he would use the Aria system on his next round of work. “"After hearing how the mixes sounded coming back off the tape, I don't think I'd like using anything else. In fact, I'm seriously considering buying a system myself."
Although AC/DC bandmembers specifically asked Fraser to do the mixes, they entrusted the veteran Canadian engineer with the selection of all specific technology.But, according to producer Quaglieri, the Aussie power rock masters were quite happy with the results achieved. “"I went to London and took the mixes for the first playback to Angus and Malcolm, and they were delighted," he reported. "It was fun watching their reactions, because I think this was the first time they had been mixed to surround. So, mission accomplished!"
For more on ATR Services, visit www.atrservice.com.
Ambient Digital Upgrades Mastering Studio
Ambient Digital (Houston) recently upgraded its mastering studio to feature Eggleston Works Andra II reference monitors.
Ending a lengthy search, mastering engineer Bob Boyd said, "I was immediately impressed with the Andra II's clarity, power and sound staging. They are a welcome addition to an already busy room." Del Helmer, VP of EW Audio—makers of the Eggleston Works loudspeakers—was instrumental in optimizing the speakers' performance in the studio. "It was easy to integrate the Andras into Bob's room. He really did his home work and we got great results with minimal tweaking."
Boyd added, “"This is the third upgrade to this studio, but the first time a speaker manufacturer was personally involved in installing their product. EW Audio's support policy made the transition quick and painless, with an immediate improvement."
Cyclops 1.1 Now Available for Mac OS 9/X
Cycling '74 has released an update to the Cyclops video input-analysis system for the company's Max/MSP graphical programming environment. The new release features compatibility with the Macintosh OS X operating system (in addition to continuing support for Mac OS 9), and adds compatibility with Jitter, Cycling '74's video/matrix/3-D graphics processing extensions to Max/MSP.
Cyclops, a Max/MSP object for multimedia development created for Code Artistry LLC by New York-based artist and programmer Eric Singer, is geared toward artists and performers who want to add video control to their work without investing in stand-alone hardware or software. The Cyclops object receives input from a QuickTime-compatible video input source—such as a video capture card, USB or FireWire video input—analyzes the video frames and outputs Max/MSP control messages based on the images. The user can specify areas of an input image to analyze and the type of analysis to perform. The Cyclops objects supports grayscale, threshold, difference (motion) or color analysis on the incoming video image. Its control output format allows for seamless integration of motion control and object tracking into the Max/MSP multimedia programming environment.
Version 1.1 of Cyclops includes the new jit.cyclops object, which integrates with Jitter's matrix-based data-processing environment, providing the same analysis capabilities of Cyclops to Jitter users.
Cyclops 1.1 is distributed by Cycling '74 and is currently available. List price is $99, with upgrades for registered users of Cyclops 1.0 available for $29. The Max4/MSP2 programming environment is available from Cycling '74 for $495.
Demo versions, purchases and upgrades are available online at www.cycling74.com.
Event Ships Studio Precision 6
The newest model in Event Electronic's Studio Precision Series, Studio Precision 6 (MSRP: $1,299/pair), is now shipping. The new high-end model utilizes a 6.5-inch mineral-impregnated, polypropylene-cone, low-frequency driver with a neodymium magnet, which provides exceptionally low-distortion characteristics, makes it stronger and provides it with a greater level of output efficiency.
The new LF driver is paired with a 1-inch, soft-dome, high-frequency radiator (high-frequency driver) that creates a significantly expanded stereo soundstage as compared to the company's previous designs. It also features a neodymium magnet, and produces a broad, flat radiation pattern that doesn't require corrective equalization, resulting in a large sweet spot.
Low-frequency response is deep and quite accurate due to its dual large-diameter linear-flow bass ports. The port design allows for exceptional low-frequency coupling into the room, low distortion and low-frequency transient response.
The Studio Precision 6 sports a powerful amplifier that delivers 280 watts per speaker (200 watts LF driver/80 watts HF driver). The amplifier circuitry, which is custom-designed for the driver components, features low-noise semiconductors and audio-grade film capacitors. A toroidal transformer powers the amp, resulting in significantly reduced mechanical and electrical noise. The unit also includes continuously variable low- and high-frequency trim controls, a continuously variable input-sensitivity control and a switchable 80Hz highpass filter, designed for use as a bass-management tool in surround sound applications. For connections, both balanced XLR and 1/4-inch inputs are provided.
More details can be found at www.event1.com.
Producer Marchand Uses Neumann Mics on Recent Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan's new CD, Afterglow, found her teaming up once again with her longtime producer Pierre Marchand, who has produced four albums for the artist. The album was recorded at numerous different project studios, including Marchand's facility in Morin Heights, Quebec, where several of the songs were mixed, which the majority of the album was mixed in McLachlan's home studio in Vancouver.
Marchand has used Neumann microphones to track McLachlan's vocals exclusively for the last two records they've worked on together. "We've been using the Neumann M 149 on Sarah, and it works beautifully. When we recorded her earlier CDs, I was using an old Telefunken U 47 that needed a lot of EQ tweaking to get the sound I wanted. Then when I got my hands on the M 149, I found that leaving it flat sounded very close to perfect! The M 149 is a very sweet-sounding mic. It has lots of warmth and presence, and the purist highs. Sarah loves that mic, and I haven't tried any other mic on her since we started using it."
Jerry Marotta was asked to contribute his drum and percussion skills to three songs on the new CD. A resident of Woodstock, N.Y. since 1986, Marotta operates his own studio, Jersville, in that town. All of his parts for the McLachlan project were recorded at Jersville. "I met Sarah while I was working at Le Studio in Morin Heights, producing an artist named Larry Gowan for Sony Records. Sarah was working down the road with Pierre Marchand. They were recording tracks for the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy CD and asked if I would come in and play on some existing tracks. At the time, I had just discovered the wonders of 'Taos' drums, made in New Mexico by Native Americans. Having done the first two Lilith Fair tours with the Indigo Girls, I kept in contact with Sarah and her husband Ash Sood, who is also her drummer. In the spring of this year, I got a call to play on some tracks for Sarah's newest record. This time, Pierre brought a hard drive to my studio, and my close friend and bassist Tony Levin and I did about six tracks in three days. My engineer, Pete Caigan, and I have really tailored the studio for drums and percussion. Two rooms almost exclusively dedicated to live drums and perc, can you believe it?!"
Marotta used True Precision 8s on the McLachlan sessions. "The first time I experienced the Precision 8s was on a recording for a label called Spotted Pecary in Southern California. Owner/engineer Howard Givens had me doing more Taos drums and perc and I was absolutely blown away at the sound coming back at me. Howard was using the Precision 8s on the drums and the sound was awesome. He was involved with Tim Spencer, the designer of the mic pre's, and was doing some refining to the sound of the unit. I quickly installed two P-8s, 16 channels, into my setup at Jersville and started using them nonstop. Except for the occasional Neve EQ or compressor, they are responsible for a major part of the drum sound at Jersville Studios. Everything from cymbals to Taos bass drums, and all the strange percussion instruments I've accumulated over the years, all translate beautifully through the True gear. I also find the two DIs in each unit sound great and come in very handy.
"In addition, I've really gotten to see what the True gear can do this spring while recording my own band's CD. From fattening up a Prophet 5 and Prophet VS to the Chapman Stick, we pretty much ran everything through the P-8s or the newer P-2s. And while I love all this analog gear, I'm looking forward to using their digital versions, too."
For more on the mics and True Systems, visit Neumann at www.neumannusa.com.
Thwak! Opens Chicago Office
Thwak! Inc., a New York-based music production company, announced that it has opened a Chicago office, its first satellite office. Producer/creative director Cliff Kennedy will lead Thwak! Chicago's overall operations, managing day-to-day client relations and leading the company's business development efforts in Chicago.
A 20-year veteran of the production industry, Kennedy has worked with Tony Verderosa, founder and president of Thwak!, on projects for Yamaha, Sony Consumer Electronics and Canon U.S.A. Kennedy's past client roster also includes 3Com, American Century Investments, GE Capital, IBM, Monsanto, the National Association of Manufacturers, Quaker, Transamerica and United Airlines. "Chicago is home to some of the most consistently creative agencies, as well as a large number of major brands, so the establishment of a Chicago office is a natural extension of Thwak!'s business," said Tony Verderosa, founder of Thwak!. "Cliff helps Thwak! better serve our Chicago clients and acts as a conduit between their music needs and our talented composers and producers."
Thwak! expanded its production artist roster earlier this year, adding DJ Josh Byrnes (aka, Elevator Man), Teddy Kumpel, David Mann and Jamie Myerson.
THWAK! Chicago can be contacted at 3759 N. Ravenswood, Ste. 225, Chicago, IL 60613, 773/549-2380, www.thwak.com.
THX Ltd. Teams With Electronic Arts
THX Ltd. announced the creation of a new sound and visual certification standard for videogame development environments. Electronic Arts has incorporated the THX performance standards into its mixing rooms and studios worldwide. The first THX-certified games will be SSX 3, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Medal of Honor Rising Sun.
"Working closely with THX to deliver the most stunning and impactful audio and visual experience is another example of EA's innovation and dedication to state-of-the-art technology to deliver the best game experience to our customer," said David DeMartini, VP and COO of Electronic Arts' studio. "Providing consistent delivery of high-quality audio performance creates an even deeper immersive experience."
THX established specifications for room design, as well as acoustic and equipment performance, to make sure sound and visual quality are consistent in every EA mixing room. EA's creative team can transfer projects between artists, departments and facilities, knowing that every bit of visual detail and sonic presentation will be maintained all the way through to the end-user's experience.
"With sound and image quality becoming such critical elements to the success of videogame titles, the environments that games are created in must be built to the highest possible technical standards," said Joseph Vogel, VP of business development at THX. "THX performance standards provide the optimal environment for sound recording, mixing and image texturizing. They ensure that the vision of EA's art directors, visual artists and audio mixers is captured and faithfully delivered to consumers and gaming enthusiasts."
Sonic Implants Symphonic Strings Now Shipping In EXS24
Sonic Network announced that the full-sized version of the Sonic Implants Symphonic Strings Collection is now shipping in Logic Audio's EXS24 software synthesizer format. Sonic began porting its extensive sound libraries to EXS24 and Kontakt formats earlier this summer.
“"Symphonic Strings is, by far, our largest and most critically acclaimed product," explained Jennifer Hruska, president of Sonic Network. "The EXS24 version of the strings is particularly stellar because it uses the full 24-bit samples we recorded with. You can really hear the difference."
"This is native programming," added David Fox from Sonic Implants. "We don't just convert the samples from one format to another. We work within each software synth to create unique programs, using the programming of that particular synthesizer to maximum effect."
MP3 demos and more information are available at www.sonicimplants.com.
Flood Relies on Eventide Plug-Ins for Numerous Projects
Eventide's Clockworks Legacy plug-ins and Reverb 2016 have recently been put to use by Flood, a UK-based music producer who has worked on albums for Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins and Depeche Mode, and is currently working with Soulwax, a Belgium-based band incorporating DJ techniques into traditional music.
“"There is a certain sound that Eventide has captured with the H949 and H910 for subtle harmonizing that works well," Flood explained "The Eventide Clockworks Legacy plug-ins for Pro Tools are more musical than most. Certain other plug-ins often are an awkward fit when implemented into a track. With this bundle, I have access to all of my old favorites and can easily plug them in where they belong."
Flood has also been using the new Eventide Reverb 2016 from Princeton Digital, a re-creation of the original SP2016 algorithms featuring the three original effects—Stereo Room, Room Reverb and Plate—as well as enhanced versions of the original algorithms. "I have had negative experiences with reverbs in the past," Flood said. "The new Eventide Reverb 2016 is a fantastic re-creation of the original plate. It smoothed out all of the unwanted characteristics of the old plates, and is the first reverb I have come across that I like in a long time."
For more information about the plug-ins, visit www.eventide.com.
Post Logic Studios Works on Audio Finishing for Reality TV
Post-production company Post Logic Studios (Hollywood) has completed audio mixing and finishing for many reality and variety television programs, such as The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Who Wants to Marry My Dad, Project Greenlight, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment and many others.
The company's audio division assigns a dedicated audio specialist to see a project through from beginning to end. Based on the company's history with sound for reality and variety programs, mixers Connor Moore, Fred Howard, Jamie Ledner and Andy Griffith are well-versed in tackling the heavy dialog editing, noise reduction, mixing and music editorial that is required on these shows, and take advantage of the on-site Avid Symphony and telecine bays.
According to Ledner, "A show like Who Wants to Marry My Dad will run a six- to eight-episode arc that comes to a closely guarded surprise ending. Because the producers do not want the finished shows languishing in post, they are often cut and finished just days prior to air. All of the audio is unscripted, with anywhere from five to 20 people miked remotely, so one of the main issues we face is cleaning up noise and zeroing in on what is important and allowing that to be heard."
The Jamie Kennedy Experiment is a hidden-camera show that features a combination of actors alongside everyday people who end up as the target(s) of a given gag. In most circumstances, these individuals can't be miked, so mixer Howard must rely on creative methods to elevate the sound of their voices in post. "We frequently dust things off via sound editing, usually through a balance of editing and mixing. If these traditional techniques prove to be unsatisfactory, we'll go to whatever lengths necessary using plug-ins or outboard processing as required. As a result, we are able to restore audio clips and eliminate the need to use subtitles that may have been inserted prior to the audio edit. Ultimately, because we've done so many years of this type of work, there are well-developed solutions and sensibilities to apply to the audio problems we regularly encounter on these shows."
Moore has been doing the audio mix for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette since these programs first premiered. He is currently working on The Bachelor and High School Reunion. "A lot of the shots are captured in unpredictable environments, with radical extremes of level and background noise. On The Bachelor, there is always the inevitable 'fountain shot,' where people are conversing and the sound of rushing water is as loud as the dialog. These are always tricky sequences that require a lot of smoothing."
For more information about Post Logic Studios, visit www.postlogic.com.
B&H Pro Audio Publishes Source Book
Marking the 30th anniversary of B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio, The Professional Audio Sourcebook was compiled by the company's staff and comprises two volumes of 1,580 pages dedicated to the most current hardware and software products and techniques in professional audio.
Volume One starts with “"Introduction to Wired Microphones," a section that investigates dynamic and condenser mics, reading microphone specifications, and microphone and miking techniques. It also includes extensive and up-to-date coverage of microphone accessories, processors, mixers, portable 2-track recorders, desktop/rack 2-track recorders, multitrack recorders, all-in-one workstations, power amplifiers, studio/in-ear monitors and headphones. A sound reinforcement/P.A. section reviews the latest in portable sound and speaker systems, loudspeakers and powered mixers. An overview on wireless microphones includes the information about wireless technology, including handheld transmitters, bodypack transmitters, plug-in transmitters, lavalier microphones, receivers, true diversity, multiple system compatibility and frequency agility.
Volume Two is a 790-page compendium devoted to the latest in computer audio hardware, hardware and software systems, stand-alone software/plug-ins, MIDI equipment, DJ equipment and sample libraries. Also included are studio furniture and accessories, which includes acoustic treatment and construction materials, furniture, racks, stands and power conditioners. Also included are cases, patchbays, meters, distribution amps, converters, switchers, power supplies and cables.
For more about The Professional Audio Sourcebook and B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio, visit www.bhphotovideo.com.
Tom Durack Finishes Up Production at Plus XXX
United States-based engineer Tom Durack recently finished mixing a new album for Virgin France artist Étienne Daho at Plus XXX in Paris, using the facility's new Solid State Logic 9088 XL K console. The album, entitled Re-evolution, was produced by Daho in conjunction with musician Bertrand "Mako" Blais and will be released in November.
Plus XXX's XL console, which was installed last year as part of a major refit of Studio 2, has been used by Keziah Jones to mix the album Black Orpheus with Grammy Award-winning Russell "Dragon" Elevado, and by Susheela Raman, who worked on an album project with producer Stuart Bruce.
Durack found his experience working on the Daho album to be rewarding. “"Studio 2 at Plus XXX is one of my favorite mix rooms in the world," he enthused. "The SSL sound has been an important part of my mixes for 15 years, and the XL K is the best-sounding analog console I've ever used, bar none."
For more information about the console, visit www.solid-state-logic.com.
TerraTec Producer Teams Up With Music and More
This month, TerraTec Electronic GmbH's professional audio production solutions division, TerraTec Producer, will team up with Music and More (MAM), a Southern German specialist in analog audio technology, to extend the division's product range.
The alliance converges MAM's analog studio equipment and electronic musical instruments with TerraTec Producer's pro I/O solutions for computer-based music production. All of MAM's legacy products will be marketed worldwide and exclusively as part of the TerraTec Producer line under the new name SINE. In addition, the two companies will combine their production capacities for digital and analog technologies; new products are on the drawing board and will be developed jointly in the near future.
MAM CEO Herbert Lutz said, "In the future, MAM is free to focus exclusively on product design and production. TerraTec Producer will extend production capacities in Asia and Germany and use our production facilities in Eastern Europe."
Dirk Cervenka, head of TerraTec Producer, said, "With the high-quality SINE products, TerraTec Producer is able to offer to musicians worldwide an even wider and more affordable range of end-to-end production solutions."
For more, visit www.terratec.com.
Fullersound Installs Second AudioCube System
Fullersound, a Miami-based mastering facility, recently installed a Cube-Tec AudioCube 5 system, which is now networked with the existing AudioCube 4-II system that was installed in 2000.
According to owner Michael Fuller, "We purchased our first AudioCube 4-II in 2000. After years of using the industry's standard for mastering, it was time to upgrade to a high-resolution system. The AudioCube met and exceeded our expectations. The VPIs are extremely smooth, musical and easy to use and there is a tool for every need. We had been accustomed to the best audio restorations tools available and the Cube's VPIs simply blew us away with their speed and accuracy to detail. Now, we have purchased our second system, the AC5-D650. The ability and dedication of the Cube-Tec staff to continue to come up with new and exciting VPIs that work at even faster speeds is just one of the many reasons why we chose the AudioCube again. With thisgreat system, we look forward to moving into DVD-A and SACD in the future."
The AudioCube 5 system includes dual 2.66GHz processors, 36GB system and audio drives, CD and DVD burners, Mykerinos 24-channel audio card, Wavelab 4 and Nuendo editors, and NetSupport remote help software. The AC5 is configured with 32 Cube-Tec VPIs, the 24-bit/192kHz mastering and restoration tools exclusive to the AudioCube platform.
Battery Now Supports OS X
Native Instruments announced the Battery 1.3 update, which brings the drum sampler to Mac OS X and Pro Tools users on OS X; a Windows XP version will follow soon. Battery 1.3 now supports Audio Units, RTAS, VST, and stand-alone operation with CoreMIDI and CoreAudio.
The update is immediately available to all registered users as a $29 direct download. The update is also available on CD for $49.
For more information, visit www.ni-battery.com.
In other company news, Kontakt 1.5 is now available, which brings new and improved features, Mac OS X compatibility and new import capabilities.
Using an advanced peak-detection algorithm, Kontakt 1.5's newly developed Beat Machine divides any percussive loop into individual hits. Drum loops can be synched to the host sequencer without loss in sound quality. The individual slices can also be mapped on the keyboard and played as individual hits, while each slice can even have its own filter and effect settings. A MIDI file can be imported into the host sequencer to directly edit or rearrange each loop into breaks, fills and new grooves. The loop editor shows the individual slice markers in the loop and allows the markers to be set, deleted and moved. The automatic slicing algorithm can be fine tuned with the Sensitivity knob. Kontakt 1.5 also supports the REX-1 and 2 sample formats to load presliced loops.
Kontakt 1.5's time-stretching and pitch-shifting engine has been further developed and improved, resulting in the Time Machine II, which is available in addition to the original Time Machine from KONTAKT 1.2. The integrated "Transient Copy" technology allows for an authentic reproduction of a sample's attack phase. Another feature is the ability to time-stretch loops to automatically fit the tempo of the host sequencer.
In addition to the MIDI automation in Version 1.2, KONTAKT 1.5 also supports VST automation. Nearly all control element movements can be drawn as automation curves in the sequencer and be remote controlled. Because Kontakt is semi-modular, a VST automation number can be assigned to any Kontakt control element.
Kontakt 1.5 is available as a special time-limited offer for $29 (direct download) and $49 (boxed version) until December 4, 2003, after which it will cost $49 (direct download) and $69 (boxed version). Customers who purchased Kontakt after August 1, 2003, (online or from a dealer) can download the update for free if Mac OS X/RTAS support isn't already included.
More information can be found at www.ni-kontakt.com.
Odds on Recording Purchases SSL Board
Solid State Logic announced at the recent AES Convention that Odds On Recording, a new facility based in Las Vegas, has purchased a second XL 9080 K Series SuperAnalogue console in addition to three XLogic XL channel strips, three XLogic mic amps, two XLogic mic amp remotes and one XLogic 5.1 compressor.
The facility is being designed by the Russ Berger Design Group.
For more on the products, visit www.solid-state-logic.com.
M-Audio Ships New Keyboards
M-Audio is now shipping three new Evolution keyboards: the MK-461C, MK-449C and MK-425C.
The 61-key MK-461C features 34 assignable controllers including nine 35mm Alps faders, 12 rotary knobs, 10 buttons, pitch bend and modulation wheels, and a sustain pedal input. All controllers can be programmed via the numerical keypad to create custom setups. The MK-461C also includes 10 preconfigured presets that make it usable with plug-ins, virtual instruments and host applications. The keyboard also offers features such as assignable velocity curve, fader drawbar mode and expanded support of MIDI messages to include RPN/NRPN and SysEx messages. The Controller Mute feature allows users to alter the position of any fader or rotary controller without affecting the settings of the software. The Snapshot feature sends all current front panel settings to the receiving MIDI application or device. The MK-461C also acts as a USB-to-MIDI interface with a standard MIDI Out jack. As with all Evolution products, the MK-461C is class-compliant, so no drivers are required when using Windows XP or Mac OS X. The MK-461C can be completely bus-powered for total mobility or used with the included power supply.
The new Evolution MK-449C offers all of the professional functionality of the MK-461C in a shorter 4-octave keyboard with 49 full-size touch-sensitive keys. It offers 30 assignable controllers including eight knobs and nine sliders for complete control over software synthesizers and sequencers.
The MK-425C features 25 full-size velocity-sensitive keys and a total of 21 assignable controllers including eight rotary knobs, pitch bend and modulation wheel. It also boasts a Transpose function, octave shift, program and bank change, 10 nonvolatile program memory buttons (stored even when power is disconnected) and a sustain pedal input. The bus-powered MK-425 also gives users the ability to program while they play.
All three keyboards ship with an extensive software bundle featuring a dedicated librarian program that gives PC users the ability to save, edit and share keyboard setups. Also included are Sound Studio II, a powerful MIDI and audio sequencer with VST plug-in support; Music Teacher, a tutorial program that teaches users how to play the keyboard; MusicPlanet, an array of professionally recorded samples; and a large selection of VST plug-ins and virtual instrument demos.
All three new Evolution products are currently shipping. MSRPs are: MK-461C, $329.95; MK-449C, $259.95; MK-425C, $189.95.
For more, visit www.m-audio.com.
Galaxy Studios Installs Z-Systems Digital Routers,
Belgium-based Galaxy Studio owners Wilfried and Guido Van Baelen have installed a number of Z-Systems digital routers and processors in its surround-capable production and mastering rooms.
At the heart of the facility's multichannel Reference Mastering room, Galaxy has installed a Z-Systems z-64.64.r Detangler Pro router, which ties together all of the digital systems in the room, including a Z-Systems z.Q6 digital 6-channel mastering equalizer and a z.CL6 digital 6-channel compressor/limiter. To interconnect the digital processing and playback devices in two of the production studios, they have chosen smaller Z-Systems Detangler Pro digital routers.
Staff engineer/producer Ronald Prent said, "The z.64.64 router takes care of all the digital routing for four workstations and all the dCS and Meitner converters, and anything that's digital. We all use them with either PC or Macintosh remote-control software, which is pretty handy, as you can store all the settings. Anything that is EQ'd digitally or compressed digitally is done with the Z-Sys units. And when PCM material comes in, we go through the Z-Sys to up-sample it. So they're probably in use every day. They are really beautiful boxes, especially because they do 96 kHz."
The Z-Sys processors join the room's unique SPL MMC1, an analog mastering console co-developed by Prent that handles the studio's steady DVD and SACD output. The 8-channel console features 150dB dynamic range.
Prent continued, "Buying equipment in the digital domain for a mastering facility and being able to do surround, which is a key issue here in the room, is expensive. We decided to choose one system, and everybody chose the Z-Sys Q6 equalizer because of its superb high-end treatment. If you use the EQ on high frequencies, it stays very warm and doesn't 'digitize' the sound, as some people say, like some other EQs. The second reason is that Z-Sys is the only company that makes a sensible equalizer and compressor that is controllable over six channels. It's in one unit, so you don't have problems with latency and clocking. I saw the box about two or three years ago at Bob Ludwig's place. He said, 'Listen to the high end. When you turn it up 6 dB, it changes but nothing goes wrong!' The compressor is a totally different concept than whatever you know in other digital or analog compressors. But if you learn how to work it, it really does its job very well, especially in surround, but also in stereo. I even cascade them sometimes."
Cornelius Bumpus Honored
At the last North American date on Steely Dan's Everything Must Go tour, longtime SD saxman (and former Doobie Brother) Cornelius Bumpus (www.corneliusbumpus.com) was honored with the prestigious Bunsen Prize, presented by Dan co-conspirator/guitarist Walter Becker and keyboardist Ted Baker, who was the recipient of the same honor in 2000.
John Neff Relies on Waves Plug-Ins for Processing
Engineer and accomplished musician John Neff is the chief engineer and manager of David Lynch's Asymmetrical Studio. Among the favored tools he turns to for his everyday audio processing needs, in addition to special projects, is Waves' plug-ins.
Neff uses Waves' Gold Bundle for a wide array of audio processing applications, along with the Restoration Bundle for sound effects. Neff recently used Waves products for the recently released Eraserhead, which is available at www.davidlynch.com. "It was a year-and-a-half process to clean the master," Neff explained. "David had every single frame done digitally by hand in high-definition. Then I remastered the soundtrack here from the mag and cleaned it up. The mag had been stored less than perfectly and had some static crackle on it, as well as, of course, analog hiss, splice bumps and all that stuff. The challenge was 26-year-old magnetic film that was mixed from eight mono dubbers and had been sitting in a storage closet all this time, not temperature or humidity controlled, so I had some real deteriorated elements. We got a good transfer of the mag into Pro Tools, edited out the spliced bumps and then treated the whole soundtrack with the Waves Restoration package. The soundtrack is stunning. David hasn't heard it like this since they recorded the elements; he's never heard a mix like this. We credited Waves in the DVD booklet."
Neff also continually feeds new content to Lynch's site, including video experiments and animation, all of which has original musical content (sometimes 60 to 70 tracks a piece). Neff said that he uses the Renaissance compressors, equalizers and reverbs, as well as MaxxBass for music production. “"You've got to make sure you've got a spectrally balanced mix before it gets compressed for the Net," Neff said. "In producing theatrical-caliber sound for the Internet, we've had to learn many, many things and invent many ways to work. I find the Waves PAZ frequency analyzer very valuable for Net preparation."
As far as studio work, Neff said that they are currently producing an artist from Austin, Texas, named Chrystal Bell. For this project, Neff is using the whole Renaissance package in every song. "I've gotten a very aggressive drum sound using the Renaissance Compressor rather hard on the drum overheads; it has that old British classic squashed drum sound. That's something that we're very happy with lately." Neff is also using Waves audio processing on his new Electric Blues Band album, which is scheduled for release by the end of this year.
For more information on the Waves products, visit www.waves.com.
Prairie Sun Recording Adds Sequoia, Pro Tools|HD3
Prairie Sun Recording's (Cotati, Calif.) most recent addition to its gear rack is the new Magix Sequoia 7.0 Mastering System, which has already been used by Sterling Sound and the BBC. It's running on a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 processor, with I/O handled by RME's brand-new HDSP 9632 audio interface.
Prairie Sound also installed Digidesign's Pro Tools|HD3 system in its Studio A, fully loaded with three 192 interfaces, a Sync Unit and the capability to interface 24 In and 48 Out. The computer is a new 1.42GHz dual-processor Power Mac G4 with a 20-inch Cinema display. A Studio Construction iso box rack has provided a quiet and elegant solution to noise problems, making the room extremely quiet.
San Francisco Bay Area artist Dan Hicks recently spent a week recording vocals in Studio B with Manhattan Transfer's Tim Hauser producing. The session was engineered by Tony Martin Jr. (the Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson), with assistance by Jason D'Ottavio.
Oz Fritz, Tom Waits' engineer, has been busy at the studio. While staying in Prairie Sun's guest cabin, he's engineered for stunt guitarist Brian Kehoe (Kehoe Nation, Les Claypool's Flying Frog Brigade, M.I.R.V.) in Studio C, as well as taking a week to mix the forthcoming live album from Danny Barnes of Austin, Texas-based Bad Livers. New dancehall reggae artist RawSun is currently in the middle of a month-long residency recording and mixing new tracks for his debut album. His brother, Don Juan, is producing and Adam Munoz (George Winston, Bill Frisell, Mr. Bungle) is engineering.
Nashville drummer Owen Hale (Tammy Wynette, David Allen Coe, George Strait, etc.) contributed his talents to the new Gospel album, tentatively titled You Are, from Commander Cody veteran Steve Puleo.
Grammy Award-winning engineer Steve Fontano was at Prairie Sun, taking advantage of the 1,000-square-foot live chamber to record emerging artist Corry Hanna. Tone (Santana, Green Day) recorded and mixed two songs for Ama Ofosu-Barko, a new Bay Area singer/songwriter.
For more on the studio, visit www.prairiesun.com.
Wave Distribution Now Representing SRS Labs
SRS Labs Inc. announced that Wave Distribution will exclusively represent the SRS Circle Surround VST Pro Plug-In.
According to Wave Distribution president Gil Griffith, "SRS Labs has revolutionized the way audio professionals create surround soundscapes. The SRS Circle Surround VST Pro plug-in advances surround sound capabilities in a cost-effective, easy-to-use plug-in suite that puts a vast palette of breath-taking surround sound into a wide range of recording environments, from the home DAW enthusiast to pro-level post-production facilities. As a company that was established to provide the very best in state-of-the-art signal processing equipment, I am honored that Wave Distribution will be representing the cutting-edge sound technology plug-in products from a leading innovative manufacturer such as SRS Labs."
Big 3 Entertainment Installs ATI Paragon Mixing
Big 3 Entertainment (St. Petersburg, Fla.) handling all aspects of its artists' careers under one company umbrella. Working with top producers, songwriters, choreographers, wardrobe consultants, publicity and marketing professionals in the entertainment industry. The company recently installed a pair of 48-input ATI Paragon II mixing consoles—one for FOH and one incorporating 10 stereo inputs for monitors—into its rehearsal rooms.
Big 3 front-of-house engineer Howard "Howie" Lindeman, a 29-year engineering veteran who previously worked at the Record Plant, the Hit Factory and RCA before deciding to go freelance, said, "I've worked with Paragons before. Outside of it being one of the cleanest-sounding consoles I've ever had the opportunity to work with, the flexibility was a real important factor of having it here at Big 3, especially in the rehearsal halls. That is because of the multitude and diversity of the acts that they have, and being able to have a console that will do literally everything you ask it to do in terms of routing and inputs and outputs."
Big 3 monitor engineer Joe White (Boys II Men, Gladys Knight), said, "Most of our bands use in-ear monitors, and we like to do them in stereo. The larger the band, the more outputs you eat up on the desk. So with a large band, to do wedges, effects and everything, we were constantly running out of outputs on the desk. We researched into other analog desks that we thought might suit us better and the Paragon came out to be ahead of everybody."
mediaHYPERIUM studios Purchases SSL XLogic 5.1
Los Angeles-based mediaHYPERIUM studios, a facility primarily creating 5.1 SACD re-releases and internal classical and jazz productions, has purchased the first Solid State Logic XLogic 5.1 Compressor to handle final mix signal dynamics. The new outboard XLogic 5.1 provides a linkable approach to surround sound compressing with flexible metering and level monitoring of compression interaction.
“"We were on the lookout for an integrated compressor that was built from the ground up to handle 5.1 situations," said Ted White, chief engineer for mediaHYPERIUM. "While other boutique-type manufacturers have tagged together 5.1 compressors from existing stereo and mono models, SSL has taken their 5.1 compressor from the XL 9000 K Series console that was specifically designed for surround mixing and HD audio and put it in a rack package. This clearly makes the XLogic the compressor of choice."
mediaHYPERIUM Studios has formed an alliance with Philips Electronics where mediaHYPERIUM is the reference facility for Super Audio CD releases in the United States. They also completed 32 releases this year for Concord Records. “"We have a 56-channel console that drives a large multichannel Pyramix DSD workstation," said White. "The XLogic 5.1 compressor will add several benefits to our system. First, the degree of control over all six channels is superior. The metering can tell you where the energy is within the surround field so we can apply the right amount of compression in the right location to yield maximum levels for a mix before overload. Second, we will gain the sonic quality and character of the compressor that SSL is so famous for when we pass our program signals through the unit. And, finally, the compressor has the necessary bandwidth and clarity to match the SACD specification."
mediaHYPERIUM will be using the XLogic 5.1 Compressor on upcoming re-releases on SACD from Vanguard and Sugar Hill, including Sinead O'Connor, Rodney Crowell and Buddy Guy, as well as the new Ray Charles release for Concord Records. According to White, B.B. King, Billy Joel, Natalie Cole, Diana Krall and Van Morrison have signed on to perform duets with Ray Charles for the 5.1 SACD.
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