Had the opportunity to continue work on some great videos in the past couple of weeks. One was for Impact Ministries and Foothills Alliance Church documenting the recent missions trip that went down to Guatemala in August breaking ground on a new orphanage build. Here's a couple of shots from the video:
What a privilege to watch the journey of these young people (and my great friend Brad B.) as they embarked on a life story that they will never forget. This is an ongoing project and so more teams are going down in the coming year as well to continue the work. Brings tears to my eyes watching people give of their time and their gifts to make the world a better place. So speaking of that, I was really moved by this video I just saw on Vimeo which just happens to be from Guatemala as well called "Rosa - These Storms" - so inspiring. The other project which is not quite done is for the Western District of Alliance Churches and also a great video about reaching out to the world in love.
So yesterday we were able to take the relatively new Sony A7 Mark II for a test drive with video. I put a 55 mm. f/1.8 Carl Zeiss prime lens on it, and these are the results. Keep in mind, this is auto everything. I just turned the camera on, flicked the main toggle to video and hit 'record'. This is what I got...
We are working on a tight-lipped project involving classic material and a very classic Canadian Band. I cannot provide details yet, but it will be a very fun project for sure. We transferred all the original 2" multitrack tapes at the National Music Centre. Great to work with Jason again on another project. He is so professional and cares so much about the work that he does which is a passion close to my heart. The Sony A7 Mark 2 we used to film some of this will be our new Production Camera at Foothills Alliance Church and we'll be using it in active production. It will be mounted with a remote PTZ system on rails from Rhino Camera Gear. This is another project Joseph Wolff and myself will be doing. I'll keep you informed on more details as we get closer. Happy Summer everyone!
There is a common misunderstanding about EQ (equalization) and its practical use. So often I see live and studio engineers making very harsh boosts to a channel (or track in recording), and I think to myself how much farther they would be if they just CUT OUT bad frequencies rather than boost other ones. I am not the first to write about this, nor will I be the last, but my explanation is here. All sounds have some tonal properties which make them what they are. When I arrive to mix either an album or a live concert, one of the first things I do is listen to what I can TAKE AWAY from a particular instrument. I usually identify them one source at a time. The resonant, or poking out frequency is the first thing I'll attack. Some will argue with me, "but that's the fundamental of that sound!" - stay with me, remember I mix with my ears, not from a theory book. By first identifying that frequency with a BOOST in the suspected area, then immediately after, I'll flip, and CUT that frequency with a parametric eq. What begins to happen is like magic. Usually after pulling out 1 or 2 of these "overpowering" or dominant frequencies, the source comes alive the way you've dreamt it should. The source feels like it's been set free from the boomy dungeons of audio Mordor. This is what I do in my mixes 95% of the time. Once I have those pokey areas cleaned up, now on a seperate vintage modelled Neve, Pultec, or API EQ (UAD or Universal Audio is my go to here), I will, on occasion, ADD a touch of boost to a particular area. So on a vocal, that might be around 4-12 Khz, on an acoustic, that might be around 6-8 KHz, on a bass, once I've pulled out the usual problem areas, (keep your eye out for 110-120 HZ), a slight boost at 60 Hz might be perfect. On electric guitar, once you've cut out the harshness correctly with a tight Q (many times around 2.2-3.3 KHz) then a slight BOOST around 4 KHz or other can be just what the audioctor ordered. if you're looking for character, using a vintage EQ to slightly BOOST a frequency, can many times give you oodles of character, and give it 'that' sound. Starting with subtracting in your EQ habits will take you you to places you've never been before if all you've ever done is boosted. You'll find once you've set the source free from the resonant problem areas, that the sparkle is back and it really can shine and speak the way you want it to in a mix.
So, it's already a given that most of the music I mix live, or in the studio has some compression on the individual tracks or channels as well as compression on the final output. What surprises people sometimes is when they see a scene I'm working on at a live show and it has TWO compressors on ONE channel, and they are always a) Immediately aggressive and attacking about why that much compression is wrong,, or b) Very intrigued, and ask me why. This is how it all began; when mixing sessions in the digital realm (Pro Tools or digital consoles), the standard built in compressors didn't ever sound as good to me as outboard. I found that when using two distinctly different units in the digital realm with two intentionally different settings, that it always just sounded better. And for me, I'm all about ears and not tradition or theory. What I stumbled on was something I like to call "complimentary compression". Two types of compressors doing two different things that both work together in a tandem audio soundscape. In mastering, engineers around the world do this everyday. The have an opto style compressor doing light compression either on mid/side or stereo, and then they use a limiter to bring up the overall level and tame the peaks. They are essentially using complimentary compression. Generally I will have one compressor set at an attack of around 15-50 ms depending on the source, with a release time of 15-50 ms and a 3:1 ratio. Then, on the second compressor, I will set it to be more like 1-2 ms attack (like a limiter) with a fast release of 1-5 ms at 10:1 or 20:1. The threshold of the limiter is set to just grab the loudest peaks by 2 or 3 db. I find that on any standard live digital mixing console that your mixes will always sound better if you can pull a little bit of compression from two units instead of trying to get it all out of one unit. Now I am fully aware that a lot of the newer budget friendly mixing consoles only have one compressor available on each channel, so then this option is out. If you find yourself in a situation where you CAN use two compressors, do it and let me know how your success was. I've never looked back. Disclaimer: ** My use of complimentary compression is generally more suitable for modern rock, pop, and electronic music. I have not attempted to use it in Jazz, Blues, or Classical stylings as to not steal from the natural dynamics I would want to hear coming from instruments in those styles **
Well, I must say that a lot is going on right now. Aside from the fact that we moved house and studio to a new location (Stop - take vacation on that merit alone), finished two album projects, (The Capones "Drop the Crown" and The Static Shift "At Odds") and also got through our Easter Production "The Fixer" at Foothills Alliance! That doesn't include all the musical gear swapping and good times! So this month also proves to be very busy. We have both albums being released this month, with a CD Release Party at The Blues Can on June 4. I am also thrilled that both of these great bands will be playing together. On May 30 I'll be heading to Los Angeles to record and do a broadcast mix for Randy Bachman and his new album "Heavy Blues" . I'm also finishing up "The Green Room" project at Foothills where we'll be putting in K-13 ceiling foam and a full Phillips Hue LED lighting system. I'll update with pictures as we go on that project. Also have some exciting new live production stuff on the go with Duan Friesen which is exciting. Also, Zufo is helping me build my brand and update all my client stuff and he is already really cooking'!. Looking forward to plowing through all the work that's ahead of me this month. Stay tuned and thanks for checking in.
Here we are in the middle of May and I realize I haven't updated my website in a very long time. That is because I have been very hard at work finishing lots of projects for the past six months. The year of 2014 started off with the mixing of the Randy's Vinyl Tap - Every Song Tells a Story (Live in Winnipeg) DVD. Then in February, I mixed and mastered a bunch of new songs for BTO's 40th Anniversary Release of "Not Fragile" which was quite the privilege. The whole time I've been plugging away at The Static Shift's new album "Windsor Street" and finally, it's done! Also, I can't forget my part in working on the Foothills Alliance Play "Woven" for Easter last month which involved a 4 camera video shoot. My life is always exciting and I'm thrilled to be given the opportunities that I have in front of me. Looking forward to working again with the Capone's in August and recording their new album.
Well in my spare time (which is not a lot) I spent a bit of time playing with some production and creating a new remix for the Celine Dion song "Love Me Back to Life" from her newly released album.
I really enjoy the musicality and process of starting with just a melody and adding lots of new and different elements on top.
The first thing I started with was with my own mouth "beat box" loop. Followed by a mouth hi-hat loop. I then found a really cool bass part from Rob Papen's "Sub Boom Bass". It just continued on from there. Although, I didn't remix it and dancify it for the club floor like alot of the other entries, I do think I embodied the flavours and feel of where Celine has come from and the core essence of her general style.
If you want to have a listen, check it out here
I haven't written anything new in a few months so I thought I should at least let you know I'm still rockin' it, but have been much too busy to be updating the site often. I have so much stuff going on with:
Two Album Projects - one with "Stone of Nowhere" and I've started one with "The Capone's"
Multiple Install Projects at Foothills Alliance Church including installing the new Sanctuary Projector
Live Mixing at Centre Street Church
Just finished the Live Concert DVD for "Randy's Vinyl Tap - Live in Winnipeg"
New writing and mixing of "Holmes Makes it Right" episodes
There is so much going on and so juggling and balancing the whole thing is always what I'm trying to accomplish. I love that I can do what I love and work with great people everyday. I love my family, and I love the life that God has allowed me to lead. I feel so very blessed in so many ways.
This has been short and sweet, but I must go to bed now. (After doing just a little more work)
Well, we had a great day yesterday in Minnesota. Had Johnny Rivers and Blue Oyster Cult play before us, and then had Slash play right after us, so that was quite entertaining. I like to try and get a T-Shirt whenever we're at these big festivals so I can remember it by. This time when I went to the T-Shirt Shack, I was able negotiate any shirt for $10 (Because I'm "With the Band") That proved to be my downfall for the evening. Because they literally had 30 different styles and graphics on their shirts. So I got general orders for people, but ended up back at that T-Shirt shop about 6 times. There was apparently too many good designs. Anyways, everyone ended up with a great memorable piece for the evening. We had a great show with a very enthusiastic crowd. It was really funny just before the band went on, everyone was really intently waiting for them and I needed to keep checking the mic's for Mick at Front-of-House. So they would banter things from the crowd and I would try and think of more interesting things to say than "Check .. check 1 -2 -3 ...Heh, yah - YAH" and stuff like that (which is what I usually say) So once I started getting into it and saying "Hey are you having a good time?" and "We're just about ready to rock this house down-are you ready?" they really liked it and cheered for me. People can be alot of fun sometimes. Anyways, great show and then crowd loved it. We left Walker, MN at 1 AM and arrived in Sloan, Iowa at about 9:30 this morning. This place is corn world! I love all the corn fields everywhere - so cool and another outdoor concert tonight with Survivor and 38 Special as co-bills on this one. We will leave tonight at Midnight on the "Gypsy Wind" and drive straight through to Chicago for our flights home tomorrow night. Having a blast and living the dream!
What's going on...
This is place to post your comments, or ask questions audio related in all fields, and also a place where I can share all my adventures with you my friends.