Take Your Mixes To The Next Level

Friday, June 20, 2014

Jamie Scott Of 3rd Power Amplifiers On Today's Inner Circle Podcast

Jamie Scott from 3rd Power amplifiers image
On today's Inner Circle Podcast features boutique amplifier maker Jamie Scott from 3rd Power Amplification. Jamie will discuss his unique amps (complete with a cabinet that garnered a patent) and his obsession with Marshall Plexi amps (he has 13 of them).

I'll also discuss the winners and losers of the Beats/Apple deal, and a look at the comeback that electric guitars seem to be making.

This is podcast #10 already, and you can hear them all at bobbyoinnercircle.com or on iTunes.

By the way, if you dig what you're hearing, be sure to leave a comment on iTunes!
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rush "Tom Sawyer" Isolated Drum Track

There are some songs that we all know because they've been a staple of AOR or classic rock radio since their release. Rush's "Tom Sawyer" (from their big Moving Pictures album) is one of these, and even if you're not a Rush fan, you sort of know the song by the osmosis process of hearing it for so long.

Here's Neil Peart's isolated drum track from the song. There's a split of opinion about Peart's playing in that some think he's the best drummer on the planet, while others feel his playing is robotic and soulless. Regardless of how you feel, this is a great drum track that's worth checking out. Here's what to listen for:

1. Check out the flange effect on the cymbals on the opening downbeat

2. You can't miss the long dark reverb on the snare. You never hear it with the rest of the instruments because it's so dark.

3. Unlike many of today's mixes, the high hat is panned to the center rather than to the right as you see it.

4. The tom fills that start at 1:00 sound like they're really tightly tuned and almost out of place with the rest of the kit. That said, the floor tom fills that start at 2:40 still sound like they're tuned high, but are more in line with the sound of the kick and snare.



You might also like my Deconstructed Hits series of books that take an X-ray look inside hits from all genres. Check out some excerpts on the excerpts section of bobbyowsinski.com.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Should We All Be Using Ra Natural Tuning?

I've written a number of posts about tuning in the past, mostly about how our now standard A440 was arbitrarily selected. Here's a great video by composer Alan Howarth where he describes Ra tuning (which is centered around 424Hz instead of 440), which is said to be more in tune with nature. As Howarth explains, Ra resonant tuning can be found in ancient structures of the Egyptians and Mayans, and how creating in it allows you to quickly enter "the zone" where everything seems easy.

Check out the video and ramusic.com for more info. You can also convert your own music to Ra tuning on the site to have a listen for yourself, as well as some samples from The Beatles and Bob Dylan.



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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

5 Steps To Checking Your Drum Phase When Mixing

Drum kit with ORTF overheads imageOne of the most important yet overlooked parts of a drum mix is checking the phase of the drums. This is because not only will an out-of-phase channel suck the low end out of the mix, but it will get more difficult to fix as the mix progresses.

I covered how to check the polarity of the drum mics a few weeks ago, but here's an excerpt from my Audio Recording Basic Training book (also covered in the Audio Mixing Bootcamp book) that covers a way to check the phase when you're setting up for a mix as well.

"A drum mic can be out of phase due to a mis-wired cable or poor mic placement. Either way, it’s best to fix it now before the mix goes any further.

1) With all the drums in the mix, go to the kick drum channel and change the selection of the polarity or phase control. Is there more low end or less? Chose the selection with the most bottom end.

2) Go to the snare drum channel and change the selection of the polarity or phase control. Is there more low end or less? Chose the selection with the most bottom end.

3) Go to each tom mic channel and change the selection of the polarity or phase control. Is there more low end or less? Chose the selection with the most bottom end.

4) Go to each cymbal mic or overhead mic and change the selection of the polarity or phase control. Is there more low end or less? Chose the selection with the most bottom end.

5) Go to each room mic channels and change the selection of the polarity or phase control. Is there more low end or less? Chose the selection with the most bottom end."

You'd be surprised how many times that flipping the phase on one or two of the drum mic channels results in a better, fuller sounding kit, even on one that's well-recorded.

To read additional excerpts from the Audio Recording Basic Training book or any of my other books, go to the excerpts section of bobbyowsinski.com.
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Thinking Outside The Box With 10 Second Songs

Most musicians are pretty good at imitating another artist or style, or even two, but usually don't go much beyond that. Anthony Valbiro can do a lot more than than just a couple, and he displays it here with a video of how 19 different artists would perform Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty." All told there are 20 different versions of the same song, each 10 seconds long.

This is a great idea of thinking outside the box both in terms of displaying your ability and doing a good piece of viral video marketing as well. Anthony has a website entitled tensecondsongs.com that has additional examples of the technique, as well as custom song offerings for fans and businesses (also a great idea). Check it out.



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Sunday, June 15, 2014

New Music Gear Monday: Audiofile Spectre Metering Package

Audiofile Spectre metering package imageMetering is becoming more important than ever in just about every recording and mixing environment, but not every DAW has the metering necessary for every application. Now that deficiency can be easily and inexpensively rectified with Audiofile's latest Spectre metering package.

Spectre is filled with 20 different multichannel meters, including level, VU, spectragraph, spectrogram, oscilloscope, various phase meters, LU and more. You can have any or all meters open at once.

Spectre is a stand-alone package that sits on your desktop and can accept audio from a variety of sources, including your computer audio interface, so you always have a good idea of what's happening where it counts. The app is designed for OSX Mavericks and is Retina-ready.

Best of all, it's available right now for 50% off its retail price, so you can get it for an incredible $49.99. There's also a fully functional demo version available as well. It's a great deal and great bang for the buck. Check it out on the Audiofile website.
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