Hello friends and clients! It has been awhile (again) since I've logged a blog. Great things have happened since I've last posted. Ive gotten myself hitched to a beautiful young lady and we are also expecting a little honeymoon baby this June! Amidst all the excitement, work still has been getting done. I've had the pleasure of mixing a few vaporwave records, mastering a few more records of a couple different genres, going out and tracking some live performances and look forward to some more great projects that are on the calendar. The studio will be moving and expanding, along with the family. It's my hope that I do more of this blogging thing, to keep interested folks in the loop. Cheers!
Hello Mixbuss friends! Man, oh man, has it been busy. I haven't posted much on the blog in the last several weeks. There's been so much going on! I suppose that is a good problem to have.
I went out on the road with the Illuminated Paths record label, performing alongside the likes of Maximino and Axton Frick. Good times were had. It is good to be back in the studio though.
We've acquired some new gear at the studio, including a second UAD apollo rig, a couple new amplifiers and effects, and not one but two Moog Mother 32 semi modular Synths.
Two projects are coming closer to completion. Check out the bands, the Flying Filangees and Konglom. Overdubs are nearly complete. You know what that means: it's almost mix down time!
Now is a great time to reach out and talk to us about getting together and planning some production.
It is a wonderful time to be working mostly in the box. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE hardware and a solid front end but having some useful plugins augmenting my stock DAW plugins has proved invaluable. In the last week I picked up the Slate Digital Everything bundle (maybe more on that another time) as well as the Drawmer S73 from Softube.
The Drawmer is a workhorse. It is intended to be used on the master buss or mix buss. So far, that's where I have mostly been letting it live. It is an "Intelligent Master Processor." Softube says it is a multi band compressor that does some magical EQ and widening all under the hood. The interface, albeit small, is very simple.
As you can see, the UAD Fairchild 670 with its huge knobs and fun GUI dwarfs the Softube Drawmer s73. The smaller size of the Drawmer isn't necessarily a drawback unless you're already on a tiny screen. Aside from the controls of your DAW, the drawer has only five things to tinker with. A knob for amount increases overall compression. A small lever next to it switches on and off an Air Band that adds anything from sheen to high frequency sandpaper, depending on with shape your track was already in in the higher frequency regions. The output section gives us a Wet/Dry Mix and and Output Gain Knob. The wet/dry has been useful for parallel types and not having to concoct your own parallel routing. The gain seems to be quite useful for level matching or good old level boosting. What I've found the most interesting is the Style section. Clicking on any of the little green lights engages a preset of sort that does precisely as it says. So far my favorites have been Gentle Comp. and Clarity 2. I picked this up from Sweetwater on an introductory sale for just $69, down from it's price of $99. Worth it. Check it out.
To be clear, I don't see a dime from these companies. I just like their stuff.
It is not a new plugin or even really a new concept, but the McQ has now found a happy home in my plugins folder.
So, I love each of the first three plugins, the Neve, API and SSL. The McQ adds a new vibe to the arsenal. I've quickly become fond of it on recorded distorted guitars as well as at the beginning of a drum buss.
Low pass and High Pass filters to the left, accompanied by on/off switches for them. Four bands of EQ, An EQ Kill switch, a L/R selector, a phase flippity flipper, a knob for output going, and a switch for Saturation. Each of the four bands has two switches also.
Though I did not attend the NAMM show, I am feeling the impact of it. Lots of new toys and gadgets were announced. One thing that has my interest piqued is the new NX plugin from Waves. I have briefly tried the demo of this plugin and here are my initial thoughts:
The point of this plugin is to be a psychoacoustic studio monitor emulator. To put it plainly, it is designed to make listening on headphones similar to the experience of listening on studio monitors. There is an inherent difference in the sound field of the two environments, especially with the stereo image. Without thinking about the concept too much, the stereo field is different when the speakers (of headphones) are basically strapped to the side of your head. Something like this can be helpful when you have the late-night mixing bug and don't want to wake your significant other or roommate or if you find yourself mixing on your lunch break on your laptop.
There are a few other plugins and technologies that do this. I am aware of the focus rite VRM box but have not used it. However, I have used the Redline Monitor by 112db plugin. I recommend the 112db plugin fully. It is a nifty little beast. After A/B testing NX against Redline Monitor I am leaning toward NX just a little bit.
NX is a little more transparent than the 112db plugin whereas it doesn't add any gain to the output signal. I had previously experienced the 112db plug seemed to add sometimes up to 1.5db of gain in both Pro Tools 12 and Logic Pro X. I learned to live with it. NX didn't do that, at least not yet that I have seen. NX also offers a little more control to the "ambience", which seems to mostly add a bit of control room reverb. I kept the dial on this setting very low, if not all the way down. But, wait, here is the coolest thing:
NX can follow you head movements and adjust the stereo field in your headphones as if you were actually moving your head between your studio monitors. At first it seemed a bit gimmicky (but really neat!). After playing with some panning I found myself turning my head a bit like I sometimes do to focus on a left or right side from my monitors. Neat! NX can follow your head movements via your webcam and use the data to manipulate your headphones' stereo field. These feature is easy to turn off for when it is not needed. Waves warns of peaking CPUs in Pro Tools on MacBook Pro's with PCIe based cameras, but I didn't experience anything detrimental. Caveat Emptor on that for MacBook Pro users.
Currently this plugin is dirt cheap and super useful. I think I am gonna have to pull the trigger on this one while it is still at the introductory price... High Five to Waves!
I just picked up two tracks to mix for the upcoming release by The Contenders. They're a very cool band. I'm quite excited to crack open the sessions and get to work on them.
I believe they're playing a show tonight. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/TheContendersBand/?fref=ts
I already have too many plugins (time or a purge, perhaps), but I couldn't pass up the Waves API 550 and 560 EQ's for a super deep discount today. Fun Fun Fun
Welcome you the MixBuss! I'm thrilled to launch this site. MixBuss.net is not an automated mixing platform for your music, but is a source for personalized realization of visions.
Music is always changing, morphing, evolving, etc. When you hire me or my partner Rich to help realize your vision, know the neither of us take a one-size-fits-all approach. Like the great songwriting teacher from Berklee, Pat Pattison, says, "No Rules, Just Tools."
Cheers to You!