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Archive for Music Production

DAWs, plugins, software, hardware and anything that has to do with the creation of music can be found in the Music Production category.

Surround Sound Mixing – Part 1 of 5

This is a guest post by mix engineer, Unne Lilijeblad over at www.mix-engineer.com. This is the first article in a five part series about his experience with mixing in this still under utilized medium for listening to music.

Unne Lilijeblad - Mix Engineer

Unne Lilijeblad - Mix Engineer

It’s been seven years now since I took the plunge and invested in a complete Dynaudio Air 5.1 surround sound monitor system. At the time, I thought that Surround Sound on DVD-Audio and SACD discs was going to take off among music consumers. That didn’t really happen. At  the time, I could walk into a Tower Records Store or the Virgin Mega store in Union Square and find DVD-A discs from the likes of Seal or John Hiatt, but the last time I visited Virgin, I had to talk to a whole bunch of store people before I found someone who even knew what a DVD-Audio disc was, and how they differed from regular DVD-Video discs with music content on them. “Hmm, yeah, I think I do remember those. No one ever bought them.” Now Tower Records is no more, and the Virgin Mega store in Union Square that I used to visit has been closed for a few years. These discs are still available on Amazon of course, but I doubt they sell in any large numbers.

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Branding vs Positioning

Guest post by Cliff Zellman

Cliff Zellman

Cliff Zellman

This is a guest post by engineer extraordinaire and my audio engineering mentor, Cliff Zellman. Starting out as his assistant quite a few years ago, Cliff and I worked together making records for internationally renowned recording artists, as well as, local musicians in the LA area. Since then he's become the go-to guy for voice over performing, original music compositions and script writing at RadioVision in Dallas, Texas.

Having been in the production industry for over 30+ years, Cliff has pretty much recorded, produced, directed and edited just about anything & everything audio. Below is a very insightful piece he wrote on the differences between Branding and Positioning.

Take it away, Cliff!

Lately, there has been an over abundance of self-injected philosophies on Branding. It seems to be an easy subject to sell for coaches and mentors offering voice performance related services. Some come in the way of a “webinar” (insert unnecessary definition of webinar here), blogs, social media postings and face-to-face classes and seminars. What they mostly offer is a list of “example brands”, nationals such as Campbell’s Soup, Levi’s, CNN, Chevy, and Kleenex or tagged to an individual like Cher, Lady Gaga, Don LaFontaine, Oprah, or Elton. They follow by saying, “These are brands. You need to have a brand. You need to stick out from the crowd. Be noticed.” OK, I just signed up, paid my money and invested my time to be in your audience– how do I do it? Most likely you will hear that same line repeated and I will spare you that. Just go back a few sentences and read it again if you must.

What I rarely hear being discussed is Positioning. Why? Maybe it’s not as sexy as branding. BRANDING! Wow that’s a cool word, so instant and so final at the same time. It sounds so powerful. This is MINE!

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Do vinyl records really sound better than digital?

 

Vinyl-records.-Photo-credit-Knipsermann-CC-BY-2.0-Wikimedia-Commons

Knipsermann's photo of classic vinyl.

Over the past few years there has been a surge in musicians releasing their material on vinyl. I love this! Mostly for nostalgia and the fact that they want to try something outside of the norm - digital downloads. They want to experiment, play around, get into it. Tweaking and fussing is what musicians do naturally. Eddie Van Halen refers to himself as a tone chaser.

Whether it be tone, harmony, melody or whatever we're all chasing some form of audio bliss. I live for this. I'm at my best while in the zone mixing.

When the track starts to come together and it resonates deep inside me I literally start to dance in my chair. There are very few similar feelings. Anyway, I digress. The subject of this article is, "Do vinyl records really sound better than digital?" So. Does it?

I'm going out on a limb here and say no. At least not as a modern music distribution method. The reason why people think vinyl sounds better than digital is most likely because they've listened to vinyl recordings from the 60's, 70's and 80's - the height of vinyl production - and thought "Wow! Why does that sound so much warmer than today's music?". I think I know and can tell you in one word... Analog.

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So what are you? A Geek or a Nerd?

Having worked in music and technology for over 15 years this conversation has come up more times than I can count. When it does arise it's a hilarious bit of banter. People can get so heated claiming to be one and, in no way, would they ever consider themselves as the other. If you do make that mistake though you better be ready to do battle like these guys because them fightin' words!

That said, all signs point to me being a Geek. Whew! In my (mac power) book that's way better than being a nerd.

Here's a great infographic to help you decide your fate. Feel free to comment below if you'd like to defend your brainy existence.

Geeks vs Nerds Read More »

Logic’s Pitch Correction plugin. Is it too simple?

An all inclusive audio resort

I love Logic. It comes with everything. From synths to samplers to loops to drum machines to a ton of plugins. One of it's best, and I'll assume underutilized, is its plugin for Pitch Correction. If you're confused by this tools ultra simple interface you are not alone.

That's so simple it just might work!

The  plugin interface is so simple that I thought it can't possibly be a "real" pitch correction tool. When I first opened it I wasn't sure what to make of it. It has a piano keyboard layout, a couple of buttons and that's it. So I of course headed over to YouTube to try and find a video about it and discovered that the guys over at Gearwire created a great six minute tutorial that outlines the plugin nicely.

Click below to see other GearWire videos...

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Engineer Rafa Sardina relies on Focusrite

Rafa Sardina with his Focusrite ISA8028 mic preamps

Rafa Sardina with his Focusrite ISA8028 mic preamps

From MixOnline.com

Focusrite reports that Grammy Award–winning Los Angeles-based engineer/producer Rafa Sardina (pictured) relies on the company's ISA Range of modules for production work in his studio, After Hours. His collection includes a rack of eight classic ISA110 modules from a Focusrite Studio console, and he recently acquired an ISA828 8-channel microphone preamp.

"My first encounters with Focusrite were with the Studio console at Ocean Way,” Sardina says. “I had quite a lot of experience in working on that board, and I was very fortunate to work in other studios that had them."

Sardina's client list includes Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Luis Miguel, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Paco de Lucía, and Alejandro Sanz. His diverse work covers everything from pop to R&B, to classical recordings and movie soundtracks.

Read the entire article here.

Leave a comment and let's start a conversation.

Teddy Riley talks about K-Pop and Dangerous Music equipment.

Teddy Riley talking about K-Pop and Dangerous Music

Super producer Teddy Riley talks about the new style he's working in, K-Pop, and how he set-up shop in South Korea to work within the genre. In this Mix article he also mentions his love of Dangerous Music hardware equipment like the 2-Bus LT, Monitor ST and D-Box.

About working in Korea he says...

“I came out to Korea because there was a song that was released that I produced,” says Riley. “The company didn’t tell my team what was going on with the song, so I wound up taking a trip there, and it turned into a two-month visit. The first three weeks we were in the apartment making beats. Then we met a friend who became a partner in our company, TRXTeddy Riley Xperience. He showed us the ropes in Korea and connected us to all the major companies, including SM Entertainment, the largest record company in Korea, maybe in all of Asia.”

When talking about the Dangerous product line he mentions...

"I can only say that the Dangerous 2-Bus is the closest thing to the analog SSL I used back in the day. That’s a real strong and prominent sound for me. Using the Dangerous gear has gotten me into that sonic landscape. The Dangerous gear is ‘Warm’ – I can make anything have ‘punch’ in the box, but I can’t make it sound warm, and that’s the thing that I get with Dangerous gear. I can also get a ‘grimy’ sound with Dangerous, and I get ‘presence’ as well. It takes me back to Dolby SR with tape where you feel the warmness of it.”

Read the entire article here.

 

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