Monday, March 31, 2008

Presonus V-Fire

The FedEx guy was kind enough to drop off a new piece of gear at my house today. I had been anticipating the arrival of my new V-Fire. What this piece of gear will do is allow me to connect my VS-2400 to my PC running SONAR 6. This is kind of a big deal for me as it really opens up new doors. Now I can use the Roland as a control surface for SONAR and I can feed my M-Audio cards into my VS-2400.

Tape is tape, right?

From the tips department - lol

I saw my roll of tape on the counter and decided that I would write a quick blog about it. You see, when it comes to using tape on your audio gear you don't want a bunch of residue left behind. Traditional masking tape will dry out and become a real problem to remove. To avoid this I use a special type tape meant for this exact purpose. I happen to use Intertape by Intertape Polymer Group but really my point is, use the correct type of tape (found at any pro audio store) and save yourself from trying to remove glue and crap from your gear. Grab a Sharpie and you are reading to go!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Audio Engineering Session 10

Mixing! W00t! My favorite part! I've always liked mixing. Back a few years ago, well ok. more like a lot of years ago, I used to mix my own party music on cassettes. I had a couple of turntables and an old Radio Shack mixer. I used to love doing my own crossfades. Some of the crossfades even started to have a life of its own. Anyways.. I guess what I'm try to say here is that it has captured my interest for over 30 years. Ha, even did some DJ'ing back in the day. Before I get to wrapped up in the past, let me get back to the session...
Now that we have all the pieces to make a song it was time to put it all together. The instructor gave us individual wav files from the previous sessions. We then imported the wavs into Sonar version 2.0. Yup, Sonar 2. Ok well now, gut reaction is, I'm on version 6 now, how can I benefit from using version 2. What is this antique piece of software? When I compare version 6 to version 2, there is not a lot different. In the end, you can acheive the same results. The biggest difference is that you can run earlier versions of software on REALLY cheap (old) machines. In our class we used a P3 with 256 Mb RAM. Keep the chuckles to yourself, in the end we were able to create a great mix. This reinforces the fact that it is the person behind the console, not the equipment that make a great mix.

In the end it is about having a great mix. Don't fool yourself into thinking that mean mixing with the latest, greatest software.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Applying new mic'ing techniques

Well I wish I had a room like we have at school but since I don't, I have to work with what I have. I snapped this picture as a reminder for mic placement. In our last session we were able to get the overhead mics 8 from the space between the kick drum and the snare. In my room I can only get them 6 feet away. I will be recording the results tomorrow at our band practice.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Headin' down TheSixtyOne!

We've had this membership at for quite awhile now. I thought I would place a couple of tunes on the site and see what happens. Turns out that there is quite a bit of traffic on the site. So, I decided to upload a bunch more of our songs.
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

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dustin, you're holding back on us!

During last night's drum tracking session I had a chance chat up our session drummer. What I didn't know was that I was chatting up a champion runner. Not only a champion runner but a runner that is sponsored by the company I work for.

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!

Audio Engineering Session 9

This weeks session involved tracking drums using a session musician. The first part of the session did not go as smoothly as we had liked however. We had to do a bunch of trouble-shooting before we could proceed. Through the process of elimination we were able to determine a problem with mic wall plate "B" which inevitably delayed us by a couple of hours.

Once we identified and solved the problem with the wall plate it was full speed ahead. By this time our session drummer (Dustin) had plenty enough rehearsal time and was able to crank out a couple of "keepers" within the first couple of takes.
In the end patience prevailed and we were able to get Greg's song that much closer to completion.

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

NEW! From Celemony (makers of Melodyne)

Every once in awhile new software comes out that really makes you say wow! This is one of those times. Celemony will be releasing a new version of Melodyne this fall. For those of you not familiar with Melodyne, it is a software program that allows you to correct vocal performances by using pitch correction. Of course it will do even more than that but its main function is to be able to correct/tweak an otherwise good performance, making it even better. I'm sure you can imagine how helpful even this current version can be.

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;

Friday, March 7, 2008

Argue Street EP - The London Project

Be sure to check out our tunes by clicking on the iPod looking player to the right

Audio Engineering Session 8

This sessing we track drums using the Roland VS-2480. We used the 8 builtin pre-amps. I didn't catch the name of tom or room mics but we used a SM57 on the snare and an AKG D112 on the kick. The tom mics were Audio-Technica ATM250's (I think, gotta confirm that. They were definately ATM's though) and the spaced pair room mics were AKG C451. We left 1 channel available to use if needed on either the hi-hat or the snare. We decided after hearing our setup that we didn't need it (this time).

The AKG D112 was placed in the kick drum about 4" to the left of the beater and about 6" away from the drum head, angled towards the beater.

The spaced pair of condenser mics (AKG 451) were placed 8 feet from the centre of the kit pointing at the space between the snare and the kick drum. They were 60" from the floor.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Audio Engineering Session 7

It took me awhile to get to this entry but here we go. Phase. What is it and why should we care about it? Well, phase issues appear from time to time and will (most often) have a negative impact on your recordings. Recordings that are out of phase will sound thin, muddy and just generally not too good. Phase issues can be difficult to track down. Microphones should be positioned in such a way as to reduce the possibility of phase issues.
An interesting psychoacoustic phenomenom occurs regarding phase. If you flip phase on one of two identical tracks they will cancel each other out.

Found out Reaper can read Roland VS files

I knew there had to be a way to make better use of the CD burning on the V-Studio. I was able to locate some software that allows you to utilize the backup utility as a file source. If you would like to know more about this utility, click here

Reaper is the only multi-track audio editor that recognizes VS
files. Sonar does not.