Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mixing punk with The Berettas!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the day with The Berettas, a fine punk band from Trumansburg, NY. This trio have been together for three years and have apparently been practicing because the tracks that they brought to me to mix were tight and well played. Like many bands these days, The Berettas saved some money and did the recording at a cheaper studio with a young engineer, and then turned to me and my experience to sort it all out in the mix. The young engineer at the other studio did an admirable job as most tracks sounded pretty good. The only issue was that there was more snare in the kick drum mic than kick drum, but, whatever, I made it work anyway.
For these mixes I decided to build a virtual analog console using Waves' fine API Collection console plugins, in particular, the API 550b equalizer. I put this plugin on every track and even without using the eq the tracks seem to glue together like a real analog console. These eqs also have a well deserved reputation for their sweet musical sound and their sonic signature lent itself well to this punk band. We mixed and mastered 5 songs in 7 hours and it sounds pretty great!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Digidesign, Boynton Pro Audio, and Wilburland

Last night Wilburland was host to a Digidesign/BoyntonProAudio sales presentation. Regional Digidesign rep Brian Doser gave a short presentation of the ProTools product line and Bill Scranton from Boynton Pro Audio presented the Digidesign's new PMC designed RM2 powered monitors and the Digidesign D-Command control surface. While I didn't have the opportunity to A/B test the new monitors against my trusted Genelec 1031As, I can say thet these new RM2s sound pretty detailed and have an extended and tight low end response. A few folks in the room asked me If I had my sub on. As for the D-Command, I'm pretty impressed in first contact and look forward to kickin it's tires in the next week.

Today I look forward to doing mix touchups and mastering on Jay Mankita's upcoming CD. Who knows, maybe I'll listen to the new RM2s and touch up with the D-Command!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Catching up

Whoa. Over a month since my last blog! Well, I have apparently been busy!

So, uh, let's see. In the middle of August I was busy mixing tunes for the upcoming HorseFlies CD! Then me and the family went to Dance New England dance camp in Poland Springs, Maine for 2 weeks. A well needed vacation!

I arrived home after labor day and hit the ground running with more HorseFlies mixing and mixing for Zion Fellowship. These projects present totally different challenges. With the HorseFlies, we are trying to blend the ideas of alt rock and old time together, sweating tiny balances and paying focused attention to rhythm and "feel". It's all about the groove. With the Zion Fellowship project, I am managing a bunch of midi based virtual instruments provided by Native Instruments Miroslav Philharmonik and SampleTank2, as well as Propellorheads Reason. Here the challenges are presenting this "inspirational instrumental" music with sampled sounds that hopefully sound realistic. I have discovered that a lot of the secret of making sampled sound work is tweaking attack and release parameters to make up for the fact that trumpet or string sounds are being played with a keyboard.

Both of these mixing projects are benefiting from the use of some new plugins from Waves. I have recently aquired the Waves V Series, API and SSL console bundles. For the first time I can now set up ProTools with plugins that actually sound and respond like a true analog console. These new plugins have met with high praise from industry veterans who have spent years working on the "real thing". All I know is that I can now totally emulate analog recording and mixing within the digital realm with no compromise. Finally!!!!