Sound move on my part.

 

28958825_10211117495155120_2222789681418943968_nAfter so many years of putting it off, I decided now would be a good time to do something about my studio (middle bedroom) and its ability to screw up my mixes. I went with a package deal that involved 4 columns and 8 12x 12 squares of fiberglass and cloth to negate any standing waves or other audio anomalies that can make listening and editing a chore. My monitors also had to be adjusted again but I have yet to “tune” the room. But for now, everything sounds fine. Later on, I am planning to get sound blankets for the windows to diminish any outside noise. I wish I had a few grand for a Whisper Room.

Slowly I’m getting my set up as comfortable and efficient as possible. Looking into a more comfortable chair. The one pictured here is an IKEA special and not really designed for long-term sitting.

28959397_10211117495195121_6032770971254072931_n

From 10:30 onward I basically removed furniture and prepared the walls for the metal impaling plates that needed to be screwed into the drywall. There was also a lot of vacuuming as well to keep and dust from getting into anything. A lot of time was spent going back and forth with a pencil and laser level but I managed to get everything done, put back and running by 4:30 pm. I think I know why people put this important step, it’s time-consuming but I would agree with most folks who do podcasts, voice over, or any kind of recording. Invest in some sound treatment and abatement before pouring money into gear. A good sounding room will get you better results the first time around than a plug-in.

29028239_10211117495475128_4137984327462454517_nI was lucky to keep my blackboard where it was as well as the guitar hook for my headphones. The lava lamps are a nice touch. Patch-bay and cable snakes on the way for ease of plugging in equipment. I like to use my guitar effects pedals for recording and mixing so having the patch bay will make that much easier.

Stil editing dialog and hopefully I can finally get down to creating sound beds, fx, and music cues. Got a three day weekend coming up at the end of the month so I should get a lot of work done in that department. But for now, it’s getting the words in order.

And now some very rare photos from the recording os season 2 of Jarnsaxa Rising

Below we see “Da Gooch” looking very pensive, maybe we should have given her the fancier mic than the stock SM58?

IMG_0727

Crow T. Robot was far too wasted to contribute any commentary or witty lines to the proceedings

IMG_0733

It’s pretty clear that I have run out of anything more interesting to say so I’ll leave it here. Of course, if you do not have a clue about some of the jargon I have used, feel free to drop me a line.

And so it begins….again!

20934922_1626254874094121_1322471487725810126_o.jpg

How about that artwork? Pretty snazzy huh? Kessi Rilinki is the artist, check her out and The Audio Drama Production Podcast group on Facebook.

And now onto our story.

After driving from Philadelphia to Minneapolis (with a stop in Fremont, Indiana) we have arrived safe and sound on Tuesday, February 19th. After a rest and some much-needed animal corraling it was time to sift through the audio detritus that will eventually make up season 2 of Jarnsaxa Rising.

It was a shame we couldn’t hang out with the cast during the time that we were there but with the readthroughs and the re-writes, there wasn’t time. We had a narrow window to record in due to conflicting schedules with the cast but we did manage to get everything done in a final 12-hour session.

Tech notes here so if this stuff bores you just skip it. I included links in the event of anyone interested in the product and my experience with it in a real-world situation. I’m not getting compensated for anything.

For recording, I opted for the Zoom F8 field recorder along with the FRC-8 controller to give me more flexibility in mixing and control. I ended up using a CAD TRION 6000, CAD GXL 2200, 2 Aston Origins, Sterling Audio ST151 and the trusty Shure SM58. Except for SM58, all the other mics are condensers. To get more level out of the SM58, I ran that through a Cloudlifter CL-1 via the F8’s phantom power.

For the actors, I decided to have a headphone distribution system set up so they can hear themselves. I went cheap and got the Behringer Powerplay which actually did a pretty good job. I brought with me what I had in headphones (2 pairs of Sony MDR 7506’s, Sennheiser HD280, and a pair of KOSS over the ear type. I also made a quick stop at Twin Town Guitars and grabbed some 1/8″ to 1/4″ adaptors just in case.

A little plug for Sony here, if you are looking for bulletproof, great sounding headphones, get the MDR 7506. I have a pair that is over 20 years old the other is 10 and they are user serviceable so you can replace parts.

The recording space was the second floor (attic?) at the home of the director Carin Bratlie Wethern. We kept any room reverb down by utilizing blankets and pillows. I also tried to keep to the “3 to 1” rule to cut down on bleed. I was somewhat successful in this after listening to playbacks and isolating tracks.

If time permits I will occasionally post again. The work is going to be slow and tedious. Then I have to create SFX beds and music cues for 8 episodes so it may take a few months or more to get a decent product.

I love new stuff

I just got my new recording mics and I decided to make a video of  the uncasing. Enjoy.

The music that you are hearing comes fro m the Mellotron Mk2 rhythm tapes via the G-Force M-Tron Pro VST plug in. There were basically a bank of tapes activated by the keys on the left hand manual. There are a lot of cheesy rhythms and fills to enjoy and they are being played by an actual band recorded at IBC studios in England circa 1964. So it was me and them and it..

Yes, he did say the guy playing was his son-in-law. They were the financiers of the instrument and Eric provided the musicians for the instrument recordings.

12 strings and things

Back in the early 60’s a small beat combo from Liverpool England invaded our shores. With their (at the time) outrageous haircuts and cute looks, they took America by storm. On the interesting things that most musicians noticed is what kind of guitars they used.

They didn’t use the usual Gibson or Fenders that so many of the other American groups used. They were using guitars made by Hofner, Gretsch, and Rickenbacker. After their initial appearance on Ed Sullivan and later on, the movie screens, The Beatles literally started a whole new guitar craze and a new sound. That guitar George was playing looked like a regular guitar but it had 12 strings. Yes, Rickenbacker provided George with their 2nd 12 string electric. One person who went to see “A Hard Day’s Night” was a musician named Jim McGuinn, he had already teamed up with David Crosby, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman,and Michael Clarke and decided that the 12 string electric was the new sound and immediately acquired one.

Now I have had played a lot of guitars over the years. I have played Gibsons, Fenders, Mosrites, Tesicos, Danelectros, and Rickenbackers. Out of all of them I could never bond with Rickenbacker.

Rics were not always mega-expensive on the used market. Back in the 80’s $500 cash could get you a 360/12. A lot of it has to do with supply and demand as well as trends in music. I remember music stores had Vox amps selling for a song becuase everybody wanted to be Eddie Van Halen or Heavy Metal. Well, at least in Northeast Philly anyway.

Yes, the 60’s and its music was reserved to record geeks and people who listened to alternative radio or “college rock”. Yes, Tom Petty made good use of Rics and old Vox amps, as did Paul Weller of The Jam

but they were not what was selling. REM was starting to gain some notoriety and Peter Buck was playing a Ric as was Marty Wilson-Piper of The Church   but here in the NE Philly it was BC Rich, Kramer, and Les Pauls.

Over the years I have ended up owning three Rickenbackers. The first was an off-white 330/12 with black hardware which I bought at Zaph’s Music in Olney. After a month with it I really didn’t like the look of it, too New Wavey, so I took it back to and straight traded for a used 360/12 in fire glow.

Now that was more like it, I now had the same guitar Roger McGuinn started out with before his was stolen. I also acquired a 330/6 in fire glow. So I now had all my bases covered. But there seemed to be a certain something that was still bothering me.

Well, the first thing that was a pain was changing the strings and keeping the thing in tune. The other thing was that Roger McGuinn finger picked and I didn’t, and that I have Truckasaurus sized hands. Combined with the narrow neck of a Rickenbacker 360/12, not a good match.

After owning two Rickenbackers 12-strings I have come to the conclusion that they are not the guitar for me. I have played other 12-strings that in a blind taste test you couldn’t tell the difference. A lot of the Ric mystique is due to the Beatles and the Byrds. If the Beatles played on Ed Sullivan with Teles and Strats who knows what might have happened.

For those of you that have them, enjoy them.

And I will be the first to say that I salute the fact that they are the only major American guitar company that builds their guitars exclusively in the USA. But…

I personally do not like:
-The price (unless you use it as your main guitar, or your name is Roger McGuinn I still find the price a little on the steep side. Even used it seems the prices went up. Back in the late 80’s you can get a used 360/12 for about $600 in great condition)

-The neck on the 330 or 360/12 is too narrow.

-the unstable tuning (but most electric 12-strings suffer from this. Nature of the beast)

-the bridge (6-string saddle? really? If you want a 12-string bridge (which should be on there anyway) it will cost you $125.

-the ridiculous “R” tailpiece

-the over abundance of laquor on the fret board. It feels like playing peanut butter.

-Unless you play the 12-string throughout the gig it’s another piece of gear that can stay home.

Well, that was my little post on the Rickenbacker 12-string. It’s just my opinion