a sound

Fall Foliage and Mixing

As I work in the studio, and watch the leaves change colors here in Montana, I realize that there are obvious parallels in music production and changing surroundings. I know that the art we produce is directly influenced by our surroundings – but I’ve never actually thought about the seasons affecting mixes. Montana is gearing up for that annual white winter blanket, and I wonder if my approach changes at all. Getting ready for those SnowGhosts!

We Found More Records!

The key finds at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2013 were huge collections of vinyl and turntables, and computer-based playback systems. That’s it folks, CDs are officially a thing of the past. Here is Jeff at one of the many record shops – this one was crammed into a room on the 9th floor of the Marriott – if they always had a room like this I’d only stay at the Marriott! We also listened to some super high-quality digital music off of phones and tablets. One of the coolest things we found, and bought on the spot, was the Resonessence Labs Herus. The Herus is a no frills, bite sized, DAC and headphone amp, and sounds remarkable.

Pick Six

Lately we’ve been finding that we are working much quicker using a combination of mics on a source, to paint a picture of an instrument in a specific mix – rather than EQing to get it to sit right. If we are very careful during setup to get the collective phase right, each mic adds something to the overall sound, rather than taking away from it. We don’t use all of the mics in this picture at the same time, just a combination of a few for the right sound. Couple this with a nice selection of amps and guitars, and the possibilities are endless – makes commiting electric guitar on many songs in a short period of time very easy. The microphones on this Carr Rambler are the Shure SM57, Royer 121, Sennheiser 421, Sennheiser 441, Shure 313, and Josephson E22s, all being amplified by Electrodyne 501 mic pres.

A Room With A Classical Guitar

Working with musician Andrew Leonard on how to define what we love about classical guitar, and how to properly record it. SnowGhost has developed a very special method using Telefunken C12s, Sanken CO-100ks, and LaChapell 992EGs to capture the purity of the image of the guitar, as well as how it interacts with the room – with great success. Andrew agrees that the classical guitar, and the room in which it is played, are not mutally exclusive – that interaction or relationship should be presented in a good classical guitar recording.

Mastering A Vintage Vinyl Collection

Just finished restoring a special collection of vintage vinyl records, archiving them to hi-definition digital for a client. Played back through our Spiral Groove SG1.1 turntable and VTL 6.5 phono stage, into our Forssell MADA-2, into SoundBlade HD at 96kHz, 24Bit PCM.  A deep cleaning with our Loricraft PRC 3, a touch of DW Fearn’s VT-4 EQ, DeClick and DeCrackle with SoundBlade HD’s NoNoise II SR suite, and broadband noise reduction with TC 6000’s BackDrop. Sounds so rich and dynamic – much better than modern CD “Remasters” in most cases! Here is the classic Herb Alpert Tijuana Brass Band’s Whipped Cream & Other Delights, maybe one of my favorite album covers of all time.

Brett and Mark from AIX Records and iTrax Listening Back PCM, DSD, and 2″ Tape

Thanks to music and digital media expert Dr. Mark Waldrep from AIX Records and  iTrax for making it out to see us, and for the great write up on his findings. Mark is one of the good guys, working tirelessly to get the word out to young people about how to record and distribute hi-definition, multi-channel digital audio. After our late night bouncing around seedy clubs in the lower east side of Manhattan, during the NY Audio Show 2013, with Mark and our friend RJ from Pitchfork, we realized – he’s pretty hip too! Mark’s Article

Listening Night

Getting ready for another late night vinyl session. Cued up, Wilco’s The Whole Love. One of the best sounding records we’ve heard in a while. Kudos to our friend Bob Ludwig of Gateway Mastering on a stand up mastering job!