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Dan Rudin marking a score

Producer, engineer Dan Rudin make notes in the score while tracking a recording session

Over the years, I’ve printed a few audio recording, midi and music business tutorials and “how to’s” that have received much positive response from readers. The other day I was having a difficult time locating one of the older posts for myself, so I decided to put together a short list of links to the favorites.

Thanks to those who’ve taken the time to email and continue discussions on these topics.

Midi and Tempo Mapping:

– Midi: Four Letter Word or Composer’s Best Friend?
– Are You Leading or Following
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James Febris tracking in Nashville

How do you cut tight, rocking tracks with great tones? Simple… have KILLER players.

To record a few more tracks for Ecuadoran singer James Febris’ debut album, I returned to The Tracking Room studio with producer Rodolfo Castillo, executive producer Jaime Araque, Arranger/Contractor Chris McDonald and an amazing bunch of musicians. Read the rest of this entry »

Several years ago, Avid added a light version of Sibelius notation software to their flagship workstation, Pro Tools. While I don’t rely on Pro Tools’ notation capabilities for any involved work, it is often useful for printing out a part for a player or two.

A short while back I was lamenting to my friend John Hinchey, international Sibelius wizard (and more), that I was unable to print a violin part from Pro Tools on just one stave… it always defaulted to a grand staff (treble and bass staves together, like piano music.) Read the rest of this entry »

Time, Money and Sweat

“Don’t worry, she’ll hold together… You hear me, baby? Hold together!”
―Han Solo, talking about the Millennium Falcon, or me, talking to my Neve V3 console.

I love my Neve desk. The V series is a fat sounding desk with all the functionality of a modern recording console; dynamics and EQ’s on each channel and flexible inline routing. It’s a great mix console; punchy enough for my pop and rock projects and yet musical enough for the orchestra recordings I do. But heat and age dry out capacitors, a crucial component in all audio recording equipment. Dust and dirt render switches and pots useless. A 60 channel console, built in 1989, has plenty of both heat and age. With 223 electrolytic capacitors, 89 switches and countless IC’s per channel, regular maintenance is a must for keeping this console fully reliable and sounding it’s best (and it’s best is wonderful.) Unfortunately, regular maintenance isn’t always possible in a busy production studio…. after all, I’m the producer, engineer AND the tech.

And so it came time for a major renovation of my console. Most all of the channels worked but many had intermittent problems associated with bad caps and dirty switches, so we decided to attack the problem with a total re-cap and clean. Read the rest of this entry »

On site final mix in Shamu's theater, SeaWorld of Texas

Producing music for theatrical productions presents many challenges you don’t often face when doing record, film or tv work. Whether for a Broadway style show or, in the case of “Shamu’s Rockin’ Creepshow”, a multi-media, live animal production, there are dialog, SFX, natural animal noises and odd playback systems to contend with. I find that a first-hand knowledge of the end use and venue can really informs my composition and production decisions for each project. Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Rudin recording live score

How to make useful tempo maps for recording sessions, Part 2

Click tracks are often used in music recording, keeping ensembles playing tightly together and helping ensure that specific musical events happen exactly when they need to, as when scoring to picture. As discussed in part 1, a good tempo map will generate an audio click track that leads musicians easily and musically through performing a piece of music. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Mistakes I've made and the lessons they've taught me

5 Mistakes I've made and the lessons they've taught me

We all make mistakes, it’s just human nature. Here are a few I’ve made and the hard earned lessons they taught me. I hated living through each one of these, but freely admit that they’ve made me better at my job, and hopefully a better person too.

5. When introduced to the artist’s wife, don’t say “Sorry I didn’t get to meet you when you dropped (the artist) off here last week.”

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by Dan Rudin

by Dan Rudin

In part 1, I talked about how to approach a first job opportunity. In this installment we’ll look at what is expected of you in your new job and, more importantly, how you might exceed those expectations. Read the rest of this entry »

by Dan Rudin

by Dan Rudin

How to get an internship that becomes a job offer

Each week, I get dozens of emails from people who are starting a career as an audio engineer.  Most have just finished a school program and are looking for entry level jobs or internships; some haven’t gone to school and are just looking for an opportunity to be in a studio and learn what they can.  Here are some thoughts on making that first step painless and successful.

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