The latest Mix with the Masters to be announced is analog all the way.
That’s because it will be led by none other than Steve Albini, appearing for the first time at MWTM from August 21-27 at the residential Studio La Fabrique, in the South of France.
Renowned for his minimalist approach to creating rock masterpieces with Nirvana, the Pixies, PJ Harvey, The Jesus Lizard, and 2,000 more, Albini will bring something very special to his MWTM seminar: it will be an all-analog recording and mixing session with tape machines.
As always with MWTM, only fifteen participants will be selected. Engineer Greg Norman from Electrical Audio Studios (Albini’s home base) will also be on hand, providing insight on the electronic and magnetic behavior of the equipment.
To get inside the head of this highly prolific producer/engineer/musician, apply here.
And the hits keep on coming.
Mix with the Masters is loading up an already-attractive summer docket, this time adding none other than multi-Grammy winning Producer and Mixer Chris Lord-Alge.
Appearing at MWTM for the third year in a row, his week of wisdom will be happening from July 17-July 23. The place? The one and only residential Studio La Fabrique in the South of France.
A.K.A CLA, Lord-Alge’s star first rose at Unique Recording Studios, NYC in the 1980s, where his mixing helped light up James Brown’s Gravity, Prince’s Batman, and Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. Since then, it’s been a looooong parade of platinum and gold albums for CLA and his clients, who include Green Day, U2, Muse, Nickelback, Michael Bublé, and scores more.
Only 15 students will be accepted. Visit here to get the application process started.
Get a taste of CLA with SonicScoop’s “Power Sessions” series of six videos starring the master mixer! Part One is below, visit our YouTube channel to see them all!!!!!!!!
The sessions, which will be held July 28-August 3, will focus specifically on recording and mixing music for movies. Those interested must apply to attend the class, which takes place as all MWTM sessions do at the residential Studio La Fabrique, in the South of France.
Meyerson has his hands on over a hundred movie soundtracks, including blockbusters like Man of Steel, Pirates of the Caribbean Series, Gladiator and Inception. No less than the elite composer Hans Zimmer is one of his frequent collaborators.
Meyerson’s workflow and sensibilities are informed by his 15-year track record of working exclusively on pop records, before moving into the movie soundtrack realm in the mid-90’s. He’ll be sharing his experiences, techniques, tips and tricks with just 15 participants in this MWTM. For more information and to start the application process, visit here.
Here’s a one-day way to max your mix skills.
The next Elements of Mixing Seminar – GRAMMY-winner “Bassy” Bob Brockman’s comprehensive look in to all aspects of the mixing and production of hit records – has been announced for Monday, February 10th, at Mission Sound in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Brockman (Christina Aguilera, Biggie Smalls, P Diddy, Babyface, Brian McKnight, Herbie Hancock, the Fugees, Santana, Sting) leads a distinctive course that goes way beyond hands-on. Limited to 15 students, his students assist him as leads real mix sessions emphasizing “exciting and visually three dimensional-mixes.” EQ, compression, distortion, saturation, and image management are all on the agenda.
The seminar runs from 10 AM – 6 PM. Register here for tickets, which cost $199.
Brockman gave SonicScoop a detailed look of what students can expect from this immersive audio education experience.
What is the Elements of Mixing ?
The elements of mixing is an all-day eight-hour intensive seminar that I do at Mission Sound in Brooklyn, where I currently have my mix room. The idea is to replicate the atmosphere of the professional mix room with the students being effectively the assistants standing behind me.
I’ve divided up all of the tasks and tools that I use in mixing to a list of elements that I actually use on a day-to-day basis, and I convey those elements over the course of the eight-hour seminar.
The elements are things like volume, panning, spatial enhancement, modulation, reverb, delay, things like that… I will focus on four mixes of differing genres over the course of the day.
How did the elements of mixing come about?
It started out as a casual conversation that Ryan West — a good friend and fellow mixer — and I were having backstage at a Remix Hotel that was being hosted by Hank Shocklee. This was in 2011 and Ryan and I were sharing our sadness that so many big studios in New York City had closed, and that it was in fact the studios that have been the launching pad for many great careers.
We did two seminars which were great but Ryan got super busy as did I and we lost the thread. I’m excited to re-invent it at Mission.
I myself in fact owe a great deal of my success to early engineers that I assisted for like Chris-Lord Alge, Andy Wallace, Ron Banks, and many, many others. The greatest early lessons for me came from simply standing behind them and watching them mix and observing what kind of moves they made.
As I got older and more successful as a mixer I ultimately ended up building a studio in Manhattan called Numidia NY, which is now Germano Studios. At that studio I had many assistants who I would share all my secrets with as a normal course of our daily work… One of those assistants, John O’ Mahoney is now a world class mixer producer with an impressive list of credits from Coldplay to a Grammy nomination for his production on Sarah Bariellis. Another former assistant of mine Ken Lewis is among the most successful mixers in the country today.
These are the success stories I love to see. My hope with the Elements of Mixing seminars is to inspire the next generation to greatness. Whether in mixing or production or both.
How did you mix your first hit records?
Mostly accidents, luck and trust. With Debbie Gibson “Only In My Dreams” it was a demo I mixed for Fred Zarr, her producer. I had been working for six months on various demos for Fred for free at his home studio in Brooklyn on the weekends. One weekend he asked me to mix another demo for a 14-year old singer.
He paid me $50, and six months later it was a #2 single on the pop charts and sold over 500,000 copies. That single made my career.
Other hits came the same way…Ron Banks was Surface’s engineer. He got called out to LA for several months to mix a project. He asked me to look after Pic Conley, Surfaces producer. Pic asked me to mix two songs : “Ain’t Nutin’ Goin In But the Rent” by Gwen Guthrie and “Happy” by his band Surface. They were both huge records and I mixed for the next ten years for Pic.
It’s a relationship business. If you can deliver your clients usually remain loyal. If older engineers trust you they usually kick work your way. That’s the apprentice nature of the music business. I think it’s very important.
So what do you cover in your seminars. Is it quite technical?
It is when I’m describing a particular technique or quick key. There’s definitely a strong focus on the use of the best plugs.
But more importantly it’s about the aesthetics and philosophy of mixing. Which for me is to highlight what’s important and de-emphasize that which is less important. Developing the skills to ferret that out and expand upon it I think is the essence of great mixing. Showing the listener what to focus on, like an editor does for a film. It’s all about foreground and background like in paintings.
Also things like compression and distortion are what make music exciting (like spice in cooking ). Most rock and hip hop records apply a lot of distortion and saturation. I think clean records are kind of boring. I’ll be covering all of that and more.
And why Mission Sound as the venue ?
It’s where I have my mix room currently, and it’s an amazing-sounding control room Oliver (Straus) has built.
It’s one of a handful of amazing rooms in the city. I’m thrilled to be producing out of there and having the seminars there. It takes a great room with a great image for students to really hear what’s happening image-wise, and also in the low end. It goes down to about 20 cycles. It’s awesome.
Will there also be online videos and tutorials ?
Yes for sure. It’s in the planning stages. I plan on releasing a bunch of videos in the upcoming year on elementsofmixing.com. It’ll cover a wide range of topics, but focus initially on mix techniques.
Thanks Bob! Good luck with the event on February 10th.
Thanks, David. Looking forward to it.
The latest Master has been confirmed for Mix With the Masters.
This time, the week-long elite audio seminar will star Jimmy Douglass, the four-time GRAMMY winning mixer and Producer whose galaxy-class portfolio includes Aretha Franklin, Hall & Oates, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Foreigner, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Slave, Odyssey, Roxy Music and Gang of Four, and that’s just for starters.
Douglass’ class will run from May 19-25 at the picturesque Studio La Fabrique in Saint-Rémy de Provence, France. Seminars with Jack Joseph Puig (April 23-29), Manny Marroquin (March 24-30, 2014) and Tchad Blake (April 1-7, 2014) are also on the calendar.
Still need convincing? Additional engineering and mixing credits for Douglass – a.k.a. “The Senator” and one of the true gentlemen of audio — include Timbaland- produced projects from Snoop Dogg, and Björk, plus GRAMMY-winning albums for Justin Timberlake. Douglass’ mixing credits also include Rob Thomas, Sean Paul, Kanye West, Ludacris, Al Green, John Legend and Duran Duran.
Mix With the Masters class sizes are strictly limited. Visit here to begin the registration process.
See and hear Jimmy Douglass via the “Antelope Audio Hanging Out…” from the 135th AES.
South of France…Jack Joseph Puig – six words that match up harmoniously together.
That’s not the only reason that Mix with the Masters has just added a seminar with the hit-making music producer, mixer and engineer at Studio La Fabrique in Saint-Rémy de Provence. We suspect it has more to do with the incredible amount of knowledge that he’ll impart to the 15 attendees that get the jump on signing up for his intimate class, which will run from April 23 to April 29, 2014.
Puig’s massive credits include the Rolling Stones, No Doubt, The Verve, U2, Green Day, Snow Patrol, Klaxons, Mary J. Blige, Black Eyed Peas, Eric Clapton, The Black Crowes, The Manhattan Transfer, Amy Grant, Dire Straits, Bette Midler, John Mayer, Jellyfish and Vanessa Carlton.
Puig will share his engineering and mixing techniques, and provide career advice to the international group that gathers for the seminar. He’ll also work on the attendees’ projects. As a residential studio, Studio La Fabrique will provide each participant with their own room within the facility. All meals will be prepared by the studio’s chef, right on site.
Sounds inviting, right? Visit here to begin the application process to learn from Jack Joseph Puig. Information on seminars with Manny Marroquin (March 24-30, 2014) and Tchad Blake (April 1-7, 2014) can also be found on that page.
But why wait for France? Here’s a tremendously informative appetizer from Puig — just press “Play.”
Why go outside from being in the box?
Audio education specialists macProVideo.com have realized there’s no need to leave the DAW environment to learn about its workings. Hence, the release of a new educational DSP plugin designed to help audio producers learn software and music production skills, directly inside of Logic Pro X.
Called the macProVideo Player, the new offering is a free 64-bit AudioUnits plugin designed specifically for Logic Pro X and other 64-bit Audio DAWs.
Here are more details, direct from macProVideo.com:
This new plugin can be inserted into any channel strip in Logic Pro X. Once enabled, the plugin provides direct access to a full curriculum of courseware created exclusively by macProVideo to help users learn fundamental skills in audio production, including recording, mixing, mastering, and using the instruments and DSP effects in Logic Pro.
The macProVideo Player plugin for Logic Pro X provides access to the company’s extensive library of audio software and workflow skills courses. Users can follow along as professional instructors demonstrate how to use Logic Pro in production studio environments. Because the plugin inserts into any track in Logic Pro X, there’s no need to open a web browser to launch the company’s website before finding tutorials of interest. The result is quicker learning, directly inside the Logic Pro X software itself.
In addition to their ever-expanding library of Logic Pro X courses, the new plugin also provides fast access to macProVideo’s full online courseware library, including over 25,000 tutorials for Native Instruments, Moog, Maschine, Akai, iZotope, Autotune, Waves, Rob Papen, and dozens of other audio synth, plugin, and software applications.
The new plugin is available for free directly from the company’s website. Over 2,000 tutorials are available upon installing, or users can upgrade to an all-access Library Pass and more than 1,500 hours of exclusive courseware for just $25 per month.
Los Angeles will be the most educational place on the planet this weekend.
Ambitious audio engineers have the chance to take in the latest of the Studio Prodigy Master Class Series, which will continue on August 24-25 at Capitol Studios with Session Three: The Art of Recording a Big Band with Al Schmitt and Steve Genewick.
Limited to 20 students to ensure an intimate experience, the class’ attendees will absorb a two-day advanced class encompassing recording techniques on Day One, and mixing techniques on Day Two, along with special presentations throughout the event.
As of post time, seats are still available for the class, which costs $1500 per ticket (there is a vetting process for students, please see below). Catered breakfast and lunch is provided each day, as well as beverages and snacks after each day’s session.
Here is more information on this intensive learning opportunity, as explained by the Studio Prodigy Master Class Series:
Twenty-two time Grammy winner Al Schmitt and multiple Grammy-nominated engineer Steve Genewick have collaborated on some of the most lush sounding records of the last decade, working with artists such as Ray Charles, Paul McCartney and Diana Krall. Together, they call Capitol Studios their home, and few know how to work those rooms as well as they do.
Al’s discography spans many decades, and covers vast musical territory. Beginning his career engineering records for such luminaries as Henri Mancini and Sam Cooke, he went on to work with groundbreaking artists such as Jefferson Airplane, George Benson, Toto, Steely Dan, Earth Wind and Fire, Joe Sample, and countless others. Today, Schmitt is known for the exquisite recordings of Natalie Cole and Diana Krall, bringing him full circle back to the orchestral recordings of his New York youth.
Join Al and Steve as they share their methods for capturing the power and finesse of acoustic instruments with a full 18 piece big band in Capitol Records’ Studio A, one of the most incredible sounding spaces in Los Angeles.
Please note that this is an ADVANCED CLASS and that you must apply for a spot in the studio prior to purchasing a ticket. Kindly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your discography. Once potential attendees are vetted, you will receive a code to purchase a ticket on this site.
Tickets are priced at $1500 for the weekend, and include catered breakfast and lunch each day, as well as beverages and snacks after each day’s session.
At STUDIO PRODIGY, the entertainment industry’s top producers, engineers, and artists come together at legendary studios in Los Angeles, California to share their knowledge and expertise in an exclusive, intimate setting. Hear the power of professionally recorded music in person as chart-topping music professionals reveal their philosophy and technique for making better recordings. Past presenters include Ryan Hewitt and Ross Hogarth, and the series continues in the autumn with Vance Powell.
Please note that tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Accommodations and travel to LA are the responsibility of the ticket holder, though we are happy to make local recommendations.
Rob Harari is facing a very different kind of student body.
Standing in front of the newly minted music studio at the Stevens Institute of Technology – College of Arts and Letters (CAL) in Hoboken, Harari – the Technical Director of the CAL Music & Technology Program and an Associate Professor there – has an unusually diversified group of pupils to instruct. And these undergrads mark a distinct changing of the guard in audio.
“These freshmen were the first generation born with an iPod in their crib,” Harari says. “For the educators, there’s an intuitiveness to the technology that we haven’t seen before. That means there’s a lot of people who know how things work in the box, but can’t necessarily translate it in the analog domain – the ‘real’ world.
“That’s why it’s so important to make them think. Because if you can’t make the jump, you’ll only go as far as the box lets you.”
An Academic Backdrop
For Harari, the opportunity to guide his charges out of that trap came with the green light to build a new 3,400 sq. ft. music studio within Stevens’ CAL complex.
Part of a 55-acre campus that overlooks the Hudson River with expansive views of Manhattan, the CAL Music Studio was designed specifically with Stevens’ remarkably diversified approach firmly in mind. Founded in 1870, the higher-learning institution today consists of three schools and one college: the Wesley J. Howe School of Technology Management (STM), the Charles V. Schaefer Jr. School of Engineering and Sciences (SES), the School of Systems and Enterprises (SSE) and CAL.
Whether at the undergraduate, graduate or PhD level, the watchwords at Stevens are “multidisciplinary” and “interdisciplinary”. As a result, the Stevens student is immersed in an academic world of which audio is only one part – courses dealing with electricity and magnetism, circuits and systems, thermodynamics, modern physics, technogenesis, and more form their daily core.
“This facility is meant to support the production classes in the music and technology program, as well as provide a research facility for students who want to explore things like soundwave propogation and transducer technology,” Harari says. “So, for example, if there are students in SES who are making an iPhone app with an application for the music industry, they can work the bugs out here.”
Lesson Plan: Audio Quality & Signal Flow
Harari, who had been served as an adjunct professor at Stevens for several years before taking on the full time Technical Director role in 2008, began the buildout of the CAL Music Studio in earnest this January, after Stevens approved the plan to transform a former computer lab into an advanced audio instruction facility.
An expansive, sun-filled space with plenty of windows, the studio has room for up to 24 students. At the front, an SSL Matrix console is at the heart of the activity, complemented by a Yamaha 96v console in a separate learning station to the right. Both boards are linked to Mac towers running Pro Tools HD. On the left, a large live room complete with piano, drums, amps, and space for myriad instruments is separated from the classroom/control space by floor-to-ceiling glass walls, accessible by a sliding door.
Working closely with Shane Koss of Alto Music NYC, and after reaching consensus with the entire Music & Technology faculty, Harari procured a select equipment list that supported his exacting curriculum while staying on budget.
A customized Argosy stand holds the new SSL Matrix, along with outboard such as an Empirical Labs Distressor, Chameleon Labs 7802 Stereo Opto Compressor, Focusrite Isa828 8-channel mic pre, and MOTU Midi Express XT USB MIDI interface. A Universal Audio UAD2 Quad card is also part of the package. Meanwhile, monitoring comes via Dynaudio BM15A speakers and a Genelec 8020 5.1 surround system, delivering signal garnered from mics by Neumann, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, Shure, and AKG.
While a commercial studio’s hardware/software list will reflect the needs and aesthetic sensibilities of the owner and their expected client base, the equipment manifest of an educational studio necessarily has a different spin.
In Stevens’ case, it springs directly from Harari’s audio education approach, developed from his many years of live audio engineering and mixing records for Gregory Hines, Spyro Gyra, Dion Parsons, Savion Glover for Spike Lee and Barbra Streisand, Boys Night Out, Jazzheads Records, David Broza and Swingadelic.
“One school of thought is that if the technology you invest in for a facility has the functions that you need to teach, then you’ve covered your responsibility,” says Harari. “What’s missing in that statement is the quality of sound. The quality of sound is what I have to teach, because if a student doesn’t understand that from the start, they’ll never be able to go out and achieve it later on in a professional recording studio, post production, or broadcast situation.
“We have great plugins,” Harari continues, “but I teach theory about dynamic response and compression, for example, so when they’re listening for the difference between a tube compressor and a plugin, they know what’s going on. If they don’t have the understanding of the analog domain, they won’t conceptually understand what the algorithm is doing.”
The clear articulation of signal flow is Harari’s other top mission, a priority that’s once again illustrated in the gear choices.
“If students just learn how it works in the software, then show up at a live sound gig and have to troubleshoot, they may find themselves in a tough situation,” Alto’s Shane Koss points out. “People who are building a home studio may not necessarily invest in the Matrix or the Focusrite mic pres. But if you have to demonstrate everything that you can’t see going inside of Pro Tools, then the Matrix is great because you have so many routing options. That’s a good thing to understand.”
Linked In Learning
Although the CAL Music Studio can accommodate up to 24 people in its seating section, Harari is careful to cap classes at 16 students. Meanwhile, Koss designed and installed a networking system for the facility to ensure that everyone involved is getting maximum learning time.
Large flat-screen monitors displaying the open Pro Tools session are mounted high overhead both the SSL and Yamaha consoles, as well as in the live room. “The two main computer stations are connected via control and audio, so we have feeds going back forth through the space,” explains Harari. “For example, when we’re doing ADR work, both the students and the artists can see what’s going on in the Pro Tools session. That’s a big deal in the recording studio – no one likes being the artist behind the glass, seeing people having a conversation and not knowing what they’re saying.”
As befits Stevens’ multi-disciplinary makeup, Harari is looking forward to the CAL Music Studio hooking on to the school’s network as soon as possible. “We’d like to plug into Stevens’ fiber optic network, so we can start recording performances from our live theater, for example, as well as supporting media production across the campus,” he says. “More importantly, we’re getting to the point where our music technology program becomes a true research facility. There’s a sound synthesis research center here at Stevens – clearly, we’ll be able to do some big team projects when we’re all connected.”
Looking around, the convergence of audio education with other academic programs is on the rise. The recent $70 million gift that Dr. Dre and Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine made to the University of Southern California confirms that, with their mandate of creating a cross-disciplinary academy where music production, entrepreneurship and computer science combine.
The USC developments should hatch some welcome advancements of their own. Meanwhile, Stevens’ lower-profile program is already blinding ‘em with science.
“Right now, approximately 15% of our music technology majors are earning double degrees, in programs like computer science, civil engineering, and physics,” says Harari. “Last year, one student’s project was to make a laser pickup for the guitar. Think about that: You can translate that output into any signal – binary code, MIDI – and it’s hugely accurate. That’s from a student that’s 19 years old.
“Another thing that just happened here is the Alternative Controller Ensemble (A.C.E). One of our students built a laser theremin, that he then wrote code for that would translate to MIDI. Another student has created a different type of control surface that he wants to patent and hopes to market. Part of my mission – and my fortune — is to work with smart people who want to figure out the relationship between music and research.”
At the heart of the new Stevens facility is a mindset that doesn’t just enable students to be proficient in using the analog and digital tools of today’s recording, post, and broadcast facilities. They’re also invited to invent the next generation of audio solutions.
“We want our students to be able to explore different ways to do things than the way people are doing them now,” Rob Harari observes. “My goal is for our students to innovate new products, come up with a way to do things better, create plugins no one else has thought of, or make a brain-controlled interface. It’s not the same output – that’s for sure.”
– David Weiss
There’s an ambitious new option in the audio education sector: The Blackbird Academy is officially open for business, launching their new landing page in preparation for their first class starting September 30, 2013.
The school is housed in Nashville’s famed Blackbird Studio, which was launched by John and Martina McBride in 2002 and has recorded Taylor Swift, Jack White, Kid Rock, Ke$ha, and Tim McGraw, among many others.
The Blackbird Academy’s Studio Engineering Program trains students using microphones, consoles, outboard gear and recording spaces that are the renowned throughout the industry. Throughout the 24-week, 720-hour program, students will be taught on the same equipment used by top professional producers, musicians and recording artists who have created GRAMMY, CMA and other award-winning records at Blackbird Studio. World-class guest instructors will be a constant presence on campus.
Live sound will get its due as well at the new institution: On January 6, 2014 Blackbird Academy will launch an intensive 24-week, 720-hour Live Sound Engineering Program focusing on all aspects of live engineering and sound reinforcement for touring, medium and small venues and houses of worship.
The program has been shaped by Mark Rubel and Kevin Becka, who are Instructors and Co-Directors of Education for The Blackbird Academy. “I’ve been teaching audio recording for over 15 years and this is a real chance for us to hit the reset button on education,” says Becka, who is also well-known in the pro audio community for his long-standing position as Technical Editor for Mix Magazine. “Students will have the unique opportunity of learning their craft on the best gear, in the best facilities available, and will be taught by true working professional instructors and top guest lecturers from Nashville’s music production community. Even our purpose-built classroom is a working studio, so in essence, you never leave the production environment the whole time you’re here.”
Here are more details, direct from The Blackbird Academy:
The Blackbird Academy: Programs and Opportunities Include:
Studio Engineering Program – The Blackbird Academy offers a 24-week, 700-hour intensive program with classes meeting five days a week, Monday through Friday, with possible weekend workshops.The facilities consist of three recording studios and a large main laboratory/studio dedicated full time to education. The Learning Laboratory seats 30 students and is an audio production space in its own right.
Live Sound Engineering Program – The Blackbird Academy offers a 24-week, 720-hour intensive program with classes meeting five days a week, Monday through Friday, with possible weekend workshops. The facilities consist of a purpose built classroom and students are trained on the latest consoles, PAs and other gear used for touring, medium and small venues and houses of worship.
Summer High School Recording Camp – This three day summer camp features The Blackbird Academy instructors, as well as special guest musicians, engineers, producers, singers and songwriters. Participants will be taken through the music production process from beginning to end, starting with introduction to the Academy facilities and gear, then through tracking, overdubs and mixing. Students will leave The Blackbird Academy camp with a jump drive loaded with the songs recorded during the camp, and a download link for sharing. Class size is limited to 12 participants so please register early.