A few months back, we built four U-87 clone microphones here at the studio. They’ve since been in regular use in many of the roles an 87 might play in a busy studio; string section, saxes and other winds, lead and group vocals, guitars and amps, and they are fantastic. They have all the depth, tone, accuracy (and inaccuracy) and proximity effect signature of microphones that cost at least 6 times as much.
Since so many people have been asking for details on the build, my friend and colleague Daniel Noga, who headed the whole mic build project, did this great write up on the entire process from ordering parts to listening to the final build. Read the rest of this entry »
Thought I’d share this fan video of the Christmas parade I just did in September. Though it’s hard to discern the individual float audio, you can get a rough idea of how complicated the audio production for a parade can be. There are looped sections for marches, and each float has it’s own unique overlay music and voice playback that has to be perfectly synched to the underlaying music playing through speaker systems along the parade route.
Caution: the first section loops until around 5:09… this may cause you agony, so feel free to skip ahead!
At last I can share the latest video game release I worked on, Namco’s Gundam Wing: Blue Destiny, the newest side story remake in the Mobile Suit game set for PS3. The Gundams are mechanized battle suits (much as seen in Pacific Rim) which, along with their pilots, were made popular in Japanese comics, video and games. As you can imagine, there can be some pretty intense battles… I’d want to blow stuff up if I had a suit like that.
I mixed the score which includes some new orchestrations of the original themes as well as all new material all done by New York based composer/ orchestrator Zac Zinger (www.zaczingermusic.com). While most of the score is synthesrated (created with sampled orchestral instruments and sections,) Zac played all the winds live and added some live violin passes for enhanced phrasing. As the score is mostly battle music, the game directors wanted lots of percussion, lots of brass and lots of punch. The result is huge.
Below is the trailer for the game which, while it’s occasionally buried a bit beneath the sound design, features one of the cues from the new score. And while I’m working steadily on my japanese (having just completed my fourth show for Tokyo Disneyland), I have little idea what they are saying!
Doing the right thing is rarely easy. But,”Am I doing the right thing?”… this was the question that plagued me as I broke the seal on my new Pro Tools HDX card. But let me back up a bit.
I’ve been running a Mac Pro 8 core with a PT HD3 system (48 ins 40 outs) since 2008 and it was a beast of a system. I do mostly audio production (most all of it being done at 96k,) but also do a fair amount of programming and composing so I run Vienna Ensemble Pro with a bunch of high quality (resource hogging) virtual instruments. The 8 core, running PT 8.1 on OS 10.6.8, did a great job keeping up, so I put off upgrading to PT10 as long as I felt I could.
Old Pro Tools HD3 system with 192 I/O’s and 8 core Mac Pro
Pro Tools 10 is sexy. I’ve been using it in other studios for quite a while now and while it didn’t blow me away running on an HD system, it is near unstoppable on a good HDX rig. Tracking an orchestra at Ocean Way Nashville recently, Read the rest of this entry »
The 13th Latin Grammy Awards were held in Las Vegas last week, and armed with a couple of nominations I joined in to witness the spectacle. And spectacle is the word! First, let me congratulate the Academy for another successful event, the scope and management of which boggles my mind. There were two big concert events, the main awards show telecast, and the Person of the Year event honoring Brazillian composer/artist Caetano Velsoso. The FOH mix at both concerts was great (not easy with so many different performers) Read the rest of this entry »
Each year, the GDC in San Francisco offers an incredible array of information, networking opportunities and chances to see friends old and new. GDC 2012 was certainly no different! Since the experience is so overwhelmingly broad, here are just a few highlights from my trip this year.
First off, there were a few stand-out presentations on Game Audio. The game audio community is comprised of some of the finest composers, engineers and sound designers working today and a few of those were on hand to share some experience in a presentation. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s some bits from recent projects Tarzan, Equinox Jazz Orchestra, Disney’s Peter Pan Jr and SeaWorld’s Shamu’s Rockin’ Creepshow. Each project had it’s own set of challenges and each was uniquely gratifying.
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 »