In With the Old, In With the New

Feb 1, 2010 12:00 PM, Tom Kenny, Editorial Director


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

We fully expect to receive some letters here at the Mix offices regarding this month's technology feature on pro iPhone/iPod touch apps. It happens each and every time we write about a shift toward more “down-market” applications and away from the more traditional “high-end” recording techniques or technologies.

Home studios emerged in a big way in the late '80s and we were taken to task for covering these upstart “project studios.” When ADATs and DA-88s debuted and George Petersen trumpeted their game-changing approach to digital recording, we received letters stating consumer videotape-based media were not worthy of a real commercial studio. Then came emulation plug-ins, which — horror of horrors — couldn't compete with the real thing. And in the early days, the critics were probably right. Then came freeware, shareware, GarageBand. The list goes on. Now we have the iPhone, and no doubt plenty more Droid apps to come.

Are we advocating that professional recording engineers start tracking, editing or mixing full projects on their smartphones? Not at all. But we do have a responsibility here at Mix to stay on top of what's happening, and we would be remiss to categorize any breaking technology as worthy or unworthy of a recording professional. Our mission, from the first issue in 1977, has been to report on the tools and techniques that are used to create audio, no matter their price point or their point of origin. That includes high-end analog consoles from the likes of API and SSL, right down to sketchpads for artists in rehearsal halls or on the road as they work out new tracks. If the tool helps an engineer, whether it's in signal processing or in room design, whether it costs $50k or $0.99, we will report on it.

In a sense, we're privileged here in the audio industry. We have a user community that embraces tube technology and boutique manufacturers. We have a knowledge base that promotes tried-and-true miking techniques while encouraging radical experimentation with found sounds. We love our dials and knobs, and we support cloud computing and remote collaboration. Most every engineer I've met echoes the sentiment: Whatever serves the music; whatever gets the job done.

So if you find yourself in need of checking phase, there's an app for that. If you are out on the town and need to grab a down-and-dirty 2-channel recording because you've never heard a train pass-by quite like that, there's an app for that. And, of course, if you need to get in a few games of Tetris or Solitaire while waiting for the guitar player to show up, there's an app for that.

Make no mistake: The paradigm is shifting and mobile apps will be a part of the future. When those much-hyped tablets start popping up this year, don't be at all surprised if you see one right there beside the API console and the rack full of Pultecs, Fairchilds and UA 1176s. They are all tools.

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95



Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.