Friday, September 5, 2008
One of the projects in particular is very exciting. We will be producing/engineering this years "Stop the Rain" benefit concert. This concert features 4 bands. We will be recording the entire show as well as providing videography and lighting. For me this is an awesome opportunity to get outside of the studio and into a live environment and for a great cause to boot.
This years concert will be on November 30th 2008. Check out this video from last years show. This song is featuring my instructor's band (Stop the Rain band), Greg Reid on keys. The second video is Elijah's Cry.
Stop the Rain Project is dedicated to humanitarian causes. Our Bandaid Benefit Concerts raised over $10,000 last year. Currently we are providing financial aid to 10 single parent families in India, funding 90 school age children in Costa Rica and helping supply a local food bank in the Greater Vancouver area. Greg Reid
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The other day I received an interesting e-mail from none other than Liona Boyd. She had been researching Melodyne and had come accross one of my blog entries. This was a very exciting moment for me as I have been a very big fan of her music for over 25 years. I was equally thrilled to find out that she had listened to our music.
Liona has a huge list of awards including; Five-time winner of the Juno Award for Instrumental Artist of the Year, Guitar Player Magazine's Gallery of the Greats, Five-time winner of the Guitar Player Magazine's, Classical Guitarist of the Year, The Order of Canada, The Order of Ontario, Vanier Award, Women Who Make a Difference, Artist of the Year, and Honorary Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, Four Honorary Doctorate of Law degrees, One Honorary Doctorate of Music degree, Prix "Esprit du Ciècle".
She has also done a number of collaborations. Most notably with; Yo Yo Ma, Eric Clapton, Chet Atkins, David Gilmore, Georges Zamfir, Gordon Lightfoot, Sir Andrew Davis, Al Di Meola, Steve Morse, Strunz and Farah, Jesse Cook, Pavlo Johannes, Linstead Innis, Oscar Lopez, Ron Korb, Paul Anka, The Canadian Brass, Tracy Chapman and Michael Kamen.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I went to a local Canada Day celebration yesterday and took some pretty cool concert photos. I have always respected Bob Rock as a producer but he is also an awesome musician.
Pictured below; Bob Rock, Paul Hyde, Mike Reno, Paul Dean and Wil. The last picture is me with Elisse Estrada.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Hopefully during the next couple weeks I will be able to catch up. Thanks for hanging in there.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Upon entering Mushroom Stuidio's I could quickly confirm that all my favorites had been there. Chilliwack and their "Dreams, Dreams, Dreams" gold record was displayed as expected. Tom Cochran and Red Rider, Marcy Playground, Loverboy, Prism and many other great records that I had forgotten about were recorded here as well. With all this history painted on the walls how can you not hear the music?
*In 1946, one of Canada's first studios named Aragon Recording Studios was opened in Vancouver, aided by Al Reusch. Reusch was a musician, big band leader, and one of Vancouver's first DJ's. By 1954, Reusch acquired sole ownership of Aragon Studios which would lead to the construction of Mushroom Studios.
The current home of Mushroom Studios was built in 1966 at 1234 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver. Built by Aragon from the ground up as a first class audio recording studio, it was an orchestral recording room for special sessions by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC). Howard Tremaine consulted on the original acoustic design and equipment installation. One of the first clients was Diana Ross and The Supremes, and later Led Zeppelin would also record there.*
This is the first of several blogs that will be writing as a result to my weekend full of rubbing elbows with some of the great producers and engineers that have worked in Vancouver.
During the next few days I will be writing about my experiences with Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Led Zepellin, Metallica, Aerosmith) Jeff Dawson (State of Shock, Daniel Powter, Holly McNarland) Roger Swan (K-OS, Swollen Members) Devin Townsend (Lamb of God, Bleeding Through, Darkest Hour) Ben Kaplan (Chevelle, Trapt, Shakira) GGGarth Richardson (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine) Howard Redekopp (Tegan & Sara, New Pornographers)
*Information obtained from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mushroom_Studios
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Of course there is the music as well. Past performers have included: Nickelback, Marilyn Manson, Gene Simmons, Perry Farrell, Swollen Members, Sam Roberts, The Flaming Lips, Frank Black, Hot Hot Heat, Matthew Good, Run DMC, Metric, Mark Farina, Blind Boys of Alabama, Midnight Oil, The Trews, Stars, Liz Phair, Modest Mouse etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. I wonder who will be there this year??
Here is a link to the schedule http://www.newmusicwest.com/NMW-GRID-MAY-4.xls
...and this is a link to this years lineup http://www.newmusicwest.com/NMW2008-Artist-List-FINAL.xls and finally the link to the main page http://www.newmusicwest.com
Monday, May 5, 2008
A few session ago we were talking about fundamental frequencies and their associated harmonic content. This image represents the best chart that I've been able to find on the web... but wait, there's more. If you click on this link you will be able to access a fully interactive frequency chart.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
In this session we all shuffled around which audio application we were to use. Emile and Cash on Sonar, Greg and Jessie on the V-Studio, and Sophie and I were are on Pro Tools.
For us to be able to mix last weeks tracks we first had to use a ripper tool which converts Roland's proprietary file format to WAV files. The ripping process only took about 2 minutes.
Once we imported all the tracks into ProTools we gave it a quick listen. It sounded really good without any tweaks. This was because we spent some time last week capturing great sound right at the source.
I hadn't had a chance to hear the piano tracks up until now. As mentioned earlier, we used a pair of AT 4033's (see session 13 for more on mic'ing the piano). Click on the player to listen to the raw piano tracks. No effects have been added. The tracks have only been panned hard left and right. It should be noted that this is not a stand alone piano piece. I simply solo'd the piano from the multitrack session.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
So without further ado, let's roll the calendar back to 1937 and see how they made records back then.
Friday, April 25, 2008
An important aspect of tracking is communication. It is important for the engineer to make the musicians feel comfortable. This will bring out their best performance. It is best to keep everyone well informed about the tasks at hand and what will be happening next. If a lot of focus is on the drums for example, you can let the other musicians know that they can kick back and get a coffee. Tell the bass player to relax for 15 mins while the headphone mix is being dialed in. Without a doubt a good Audio Engineer will be able to bring out the best in them and not make them feel like they are under a microscope in a fish bowl.
Tracking can get quite stressful. There are a lot of things going on at once. A clearly defined plan is very important. Most of your energy needs to be directed at making a great mix. This is the ultimate goal in any tracking session. Of course there are several other aspects of major importance (mic placement, tuning etc), in the end a great mix will be inspiring to the musicians. Everything else will fall into place rather naturally if your energy is focused on the mix.
After the debrief we moved onto layering some additional tracks for one of Greg's songs from last session. We did some backing vox first. Greg sang into an Audio Technical AT4033.
After a couple of takes we moved on to recording the piano. We used a stereo pair of AT4033's. These were placed about 10 inches away from the strings. One on the low end and one on the treble end. Now then, Greg has been playing piano forever and this is a very nice piano in a very good room so as one would expect, the piano sounded great!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Don is the mastermind behind all our songs. He has been playing guitar forever. For whatever reason, Don and I seem to click when it comes to writing music.
My daughter Chelsea has been working with us on a lot of our songs. Her vocals really help shape the sound of our band.
Our EP will be available in the next couple of months. Signed copies are already being distributed. So, that's like 4 copies now so don't hesitate or this spindle of CD's will be gone!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Click on the link below to hear the German introduction to, and the song, "I Know She Understands" as aired in Germany.
“Well, we are here with a combination of German and English. And now I will play another song as Lonnie is here; and Lonnie is from ‘The London Project’ yes, and the song is I know she understands.”
“Yes, Lonnie also is from Canada, British Columbia and the band with members Don, Lonnie and Chelsea, work together on rock-genre music of the 70’ies, 80’ies and 90’ies. Now we will listen to “I Know She Understands“ and have fun with “The London Project” – Lonnie is in the chat room here.”
After the song “Fantastic music here from The London Project, thank you Lonnie that was great music with your band, congratulations”.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
My favorite concert to date would have to be the Dark Side of the Moon with Roger Water's.
Nickelback (I know, I know, w/e) put on a kick ass show. The sound of Kroeger's PRS going through those Mesa Boogies in that drop C tuning...wow! Rock and Roll!!
The Blue Man Group were and incredible experience. I highly recommend this show to anyone.
This video of Heart was made up of the photos I took of their performance at the River Rock Casino in Richmond BC
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Our instructor, Greg, is in a 3 peice band and they have been preparing for their upcoming benefit gig, "Stop the Rain". This was an opportunity for them to rehearse and for us to apply our recently aquired knowledge to a real world situation.
We started by setting up the drums for Trevor in the main live room exactly as we have in the past. (Mic and positioning details are found in previous blogs so I won't go into detail again in this one). As we have experienced a few times now, the Ayotte kits are a PITA to setup. These Ayotte kits may be fully adjustable but without a doubt are one of the more complicated kits to setup.
The bass player was setup in the air lock off of of the control room. He (John) was play an awesome Ricky through a Sansamp so his setup was fast and easy. Greg was in one of the other isolation rooms playing his Godin through a Roland BR-8 and into a Roland amp which we mic'd up with a SM57.
The next step was to create a decent headphone mix for them to monitor with. We began with the drums. Adjusting the levels for each one of the mics, one at a time. Then we introduced the bass guitar into the mix and once again adjusted the levels. Finally, we adjusted the levels for Greg's guitar/amp and the vocals. After about 45 minutes we had what we thought was a solid mix for them to monitor with but found that the output to the headphones was not loud enough. The output from the V-Studio on it's own simply didn't have enough power to be heard over the drum kit. We quickly inserted a headphone amp to increase the output to all the headphones. This gave us more than enough volume and we were ready to start recording.
The band played 4 songs and we tracked 2-3 virtual tracks of each song. By the time we finished tracking our session was over so we didn't have any time to review what we had recorded. We will do this next session.
Monday, April 7, 2008
I began searching the G&L website in anticipation of what would be my next guitar purchase. I quickly fell for this beautiful translucent red Invader XL. Cash in hand I thought I was going to score. Dave informs me that G&L has discontinued this model. Oh shit! What am I going to do now? No fear cause Dave pulls through. Turns out that he has a hand selected guitar sitting in his office. How much do you want for it Dave? Well how about... FREE! Wow, much too cool. Turns out to be a demo model that has been Plecked, complete with good ole Leo pups.
While I was at the G&L factory, I was privileged to be able to take a look at Leo Fender's vault.
Well enough of the nostalgia. Time to talk about why I like this guitar so much. In Leo's later days he spent a lot of time refining pickups. I had always loved the sound of Fender pickups during the peak of his career. The Invader XL had these hand wound G&L pickups that sounded great. Hand-wound in Fullerton CA. However, most of the G&L guitars were wired with these Fender alnico pickups, What I especially liked about this model was the ability to split the pickups using a second selector switch. For that true Fender Stratocaster sound, you have to try out a G&L.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Now that we have moved on from the theory aspect of the session, it was time finalize our mixes. We began opened up our mixes where we left off last session. I found this illustration that provides a visual representation of mixing.
I have also posted a seperate track of the drums only. You can find the "drums only" version in the previous Audio Engineering Session 9 below. Next week we will be recording Greg's band doing a live set.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
TheSixtyOne features a unique voting system that evens the playing field for everyone.
If you haven't checked out the site before, here is a great place to start http://www.thesixtyone.com/LondonProject/collection/all/
Friday, March 14, 2008
BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association congratulates athlete and member, Dustin Walsh, one of the award recipients at the 2005 Premier’s Athletic Awards.
Dustin Walsh was among 82 recipients recognized for their outstanding performance during the 2004/05 competitive year. A commemorative plaque with each athlete’s photograph and list of sport achievements will be displayed at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in B.C. Place Stadium for one year.
...oh, and he's an awesome drummer as well!
Here is a drum only track using the room mics only. I will post a mixdown of the entire kit in a later blog.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
This fall Celemony will be releasing a new version featuring Direct Note Access. Direct Note Access is a technology that makes the impossible possible: for the first time in audio recording history you can identify and edit individual notes within polyphonic audio material. The unique access that Melodyne affords to pitch, timing, note lengths and other parameters of melodic notes will now also be afforded to individual notes within chords.
Celemony has a great video that shows how this new technology will work and you can find it here; http://www.celemony.com/cms/index.php?id=dna&L=0
Friday, March 7, 2008