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Friday, October 9, 2015

The Who "Eminence Front" Isolated Drums

Eminence Front isolated drums image
The GMC commercial featuring The Who's "Eminence Front" has been all over television lately, which is actually a good thing because it's great to hear the song again.

Kenny Jones' drum fill entrance makes you want to hear a lot more of what he's doing, so here's the isolated drum track from the song. Here's what to listen for:

1. The reverb is interesting. It sounds like it has a 1/16th note delay on it, which at 100 bpm works out to be around 150ms. Although most of the verb is on the snare drum and toms (the cymbals are clean), the reverb leakage gives the kick drum an interesting swing that helps the motion of the song.

2. The panning is also interesting. The drums are mostly in mono but the kick is panned to the left.

3. There's some interesting percussion that enters later in the song that you don't really hear on the final mix. There's a cowbell at 3:55 and various percussion at 4:10, but they're muted at 4:33.

4. Jones was playing to the synthesizer sequencer, but the playing is extremely solid, except for a couple of ever so slightly lazy fills (I'm getting really picky here).

A few weeks ago I posted the isolated keyboard tracks from the song, which you also might want to check out.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Snare Drum Quick Tuning Trick

Snare tuning trick image
It's important to have a snare sound that's right for the song, which is why studio drummers usually carry so many snare's with them to a session.

That's impractical for live gigs however, but this trick can actually make retuning your snare in between songs easier than you ever thought possible.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mix Comparison: From Rehearsal To Master

Mix Comparison image
Here's a pretty cool video from the DVD that went with my Music Producer's Handbook. It's a look at a project that I did a few years ago with the band SNEW that compares a mix of the same song from rehearsal to basic tracks to rough mix with all the overdubs to final mix to mastered mix.

Sometimes the mix doesn't sound that much different between versions, but there's a big difference between the final mix and the mastered version that shows the value of mastering.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Welcome To The Quietest Place On Earth

Microsoft Audio Lab image
OK, quick quiz. Where do you think the quietest place on earth is? Could it be the research lab of a speaker manufacturer like JBL? How about a mic manufacturer like Neumann? Both wrong.

The quietest place on earth is actually at Microsoft, and it has the means to prove it. Here's a video about measuring the anechoic chamber at the company's Audio Lab to enter into the Guinness Book of World Records.

The chamber measures an astounding -20.6 dBa, which is essentially just the sound of air molecules knocking into one another.

Also check out this pretty cool virtual look at the Microsoft Audio Lab.

Thanks to my buddy Jesse Jaye for the heads up.

Monday, October 5, 2015

New Music Gear Monday: Audio Technica BP40 Large Diaphragm Microphone

Audio Technica BP40 microphone capsule image
While large diaphragm condenser mics seem to be available at a number of price points, the same can't be said for large diaphragm dynamic mics. In fact, there just aren't that many to choose from when it comes right down to it. Audio Technica hopes to change all that with its new BP40 large diaphragm dynamic microphone.

The BP40 uses a new patented humbucking design (yes, just like the pickups) that decreases electronically induced interference, and provides better hi-frequency performance and less distortion. It's designed to decrease the proximity effect, but it also has an 80Hz rolloff to further compensate for that as necessary.

The mic is actually intended for broadcast but the word is that it's also a killer kick drum mic as well. For those of you who like an RE20 on your kick, this is one to try.

It also has a very tight hypercardioid polar pattern, making it an interesting choice for under-snare work as well.

The Audio Technica BP40 has a street price of $349. The optional isolation mount is $99.


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