A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive of the NAMM Newslink Category

NOW YOU CAN MIX IN THE BOX

JESSUP, MARYLAND – OCTOBER 2013: Automated Processes Inc. (API) takes great pleasure in announcing the latest addition to its line of highly acclaimed analog consoles: THE BOX® project console. THE BOX is specifically designed for audio professionals with project or home studios who require a smaller format console with that “big console sound.” True to its heritage, THE BOX features the same circuitry, performance and legendary API sound as the company’s highly successful Vision, Legacy Plus and 1608 consoles. The new console debuted to a highly enthusiastic AES show in New York, and is now shipping from the company’s factory in Jessup, Maryland.

“THE BOX offers an easy, turnkey solution for recording and mixing,” said API President Larry Droppa. “It’s a great option for people who record a few channels at a time, but demand the warmth and punch that a large API console delivers. In addition to four inputs, full center section control, and 16 channels of API’s famous summing, the icing on the cake is a classic API stereo compressor on the program bus. Now you can truly record and mix… in THE BOX.”

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 40 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series and 1608 recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

WESTLAKE PRO SPEAKS OUT ABOUT ITS NEW 1608

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 2013: API announces the placement of another 1608 console in Southern California, this time into the newly0complete and fully-furnished demo room at Westlake Pro.

The choice to add the 1608 to Studio A came with ease. “The API 1608 is a fantastic tracking console with an impressive legacy. It appeals to anyone looking to keep analog production techniques in today’s digital workstation environments,” said Westlake’s CEO George Adjieff. “The high-quality circuitry, the classic analog look, feel, and sound of an API console are unmatched.”

“It is customizable so that you can add any API 500 Series® modules that you need, enabling you the flexibility to craft your perfect console,” said Westlake President Joe Taupier. “The layout is intuitive and easy to understand, allowing a wide range of producers, mixers, and engineers to focus all their attention on what they do best – making the music sound just right.”

As longtime API supporters, Westlake Pro knows the value of quality products with a longstanding reputation. “API has a legendary lineage, great brand recognition, and everything about this mixer is well-conceived,” said Taupier. “The layout is smart, the board is made from quality components, and any studio will instantly receive esteem and credibility if an API console is in the room.”

The 1608 has become a popular addition to Westlake Pro and a regular spot to find pro audio lovers and gear enthusiasts. “Clients are wildly impressed with the API 1608 in our space,” said Adjieff. “Our clients enjoy spending hours trying it out, listening to mixes, and demoing and evaluating other pieces of equipment. It really is the central piece of gear in the room, and really enhances the studio that we’ve designed around it.”

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 40 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series and 1608 recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

FOH ENGINEER BOB COKE USES METRIC HALO’S SPECTRAFOO TO MIX THE BLACK CROWES

SAFETY HARBOR, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 2013: When we caught up with him, Bob Coke was drawing on his decades of FOH experience to mix The Black Crowes with the help of Metric Halo’s SpectraFoo sound analysis software as the band toured the U.S. in the fall of 2013. The path that took Coke from a “penniless” musician with proficiency on Indian Tablas, sarod, and acoustic guitar to the trusted ears of one of the biggest rock acts of the modern era is a case study in serendipity well-played. Shortly after love relocated Coke – still a struggling musician – from his American home to France in 1980, a friend who had relocated to Los Angeles called him up. That friend, J.P. Plunier (who now owns Everloving Records), had started managing a singer/songwriter Ben Harper and needed someone with a European license to drive the band around on their first European tour. Coke obliged and, trustworthy and capable soul that he is, was promoted to tour manager within the first week. With the new role came responsibility to help with the backline, to help with the monitor mix, and to mix the band at FOH.

“All of this was a very ‘seat-of-the-pants’ learning experience,” Coke laughed. “There was lots of trial and error… oh yeah, lots of error! [laughs] My ears and previous music experiences helped me a lot, as did several sound engineers that I met along the way. After two years, I made the decision to stop the road manager duties and concentrate on sound engineering, which I was (and still am) truly passionate about.” Coke observed that the musical and cultural palette in Europe at the time was much more diverse than it was in the U.S. Mixing, both live and studio, was a wide open field with only a few key players. So in an indirect way, Europe was an exciting and encouraging place to live and work for someone with a good head on his shoulders, a musician’s ears, and a passion (though no formal training) for mixing.

Between then and now, Coke has worked with a broad array of musicians. He said, “My proudest moments are those I’ve spent together with incredibly talented musicians while they created or expressed music: waking up at 4 a.m. to sing with Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar; all the recordings and concerts playing Tablas with New York’s finest soprano saxophonist, Eric Person; co-producing Ben Harper’s second album, Fight For Your Mind and the subsequent tour; recording pianist Pete Drungle; recording, mixing and touring with French rock band, Noir Désir as well as the French singer, Alain Bashung; touring with Grammy-winning French band, Phoenix; and, of course, touring with The Black Crowes. And there are so many others. That’s just a start.”

Coke stumbled upon Metric Halo’s SpectraFoo after complaining to Marco de Fouquières of Dispatch/Dushow (the largest sound company in France) that there seemed to be no Mac-based sound analysis software. Fouquières alerted Coke to SpectraFoo, which is proudly and only Mac-based. “At the time, there was a huge shift in our approach to system installations with the arrival of the L-Acoustic line array, concurrent development of sound analysis software, and the way that sound analysis software was being applied in the field,” recalled Coke. “Every system tech here in France was using the same software, but I opted for SpectraFoo. I quickly recognized SpectraFoo to be a more precise measuring tool that proved equally useful in the studio environment. The Dolby Lake EQ corrections I make are the exact same frequencies Spectra Foo indicates, whereas the PC software frequencies at the time were generally off by several Hertz. This was a cause of consternation with several of my system techs. They went so far as to upgrade their ADDA audio interfaces… but still without achieving a more accurate reading!”

These days, Coke runs SpectraFoo on all of his tours. He uses it to align the mains, the subs, front fills, side hangs, and delays, and he uses it to analyze room acoustics and the room’s response to amplified sound. For both live and recording applications, Coke uses SpectraFoo to verify phase rotation and to visualize tonal balance. “SpectraFoo gives me a visual reference for what I’m hearing and can help me identify in real time what’s occurring acoustically,” he said. “It is an invaluable aid in live sound reinforcement because the working environment is extremely fluid and composed of constantly changing variables. As well, any changes in the sound are immediately perceived by the audience though perhaps not always consciously. I refer to a broad palette of tools in SpectraFoo from the moment I’m powered up and running in an empty venue until the end of the show and I’m measuring audience applause after the artist has departed the stage.”

Although The Black Crowes represent a return to straight-up rock ‘n’ roll and although Coke mixes them in that vein, he asserts that modern sound reinforcement equipment would not respond well to a retro approach to system tuning. “Live sound has evolved dramatically in the past twenty years. As the precision of FOH sound systems has increased, the room for error has decreased. Nowadays, speaker technology and system tuning can be very unforgiving to a bad sounding mix – or even a mediocre sounding one. In our modern day-to-day lives of digitized mp3 sound and small speakers, going to a rock concert can and should be a felt experience. SpectraFoo helps me dial in that experience quickly by providing an accurate visualization of what my ears are hearing, thereby complementing my aural understanding with a purely scientific visual reference.”

ABOUT METRIC HALO Now based in the sunny city of Safety Harbor, Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware.

www.mhlabs.com

FOH ENGINEER BOB COKE USES METRIC HALO’S SPECTRAFOO TO MIX THE BLACK CROWES

SAFETY HARBOR, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 2013: When we caught up with him, Bob Coke was drawing on his decades of FOH experience to mix The Black Crowes with the help of Metric Halo’s SpectraFoo sound analysis software as the band toured the U.S. in the fall of 2013. The path that took Coke from a “penniless” musician with proficiency on Indian Tablas, sarod, and acoustic guitar to the trusted ears of one of the biggest rock acts of the modern era is a case study in serendipity well-played. Shortly after love relocated Coke – still a struggling musician – from his American home to France in 1980, a friend who had relocated to Los Angeles called him up. That friend, J.P. Plunier (who now owns Everloving Records), had started managing a singer/songwriter Ben Harper and needed someone with a European license to drive the band around on their first European tour. Coke obliged and, trustworthy and capable soul that he is, was promoted to tour manager within the first week. With the new role came responsibility to help with the backline, to help with the monitor mix, and to mix the band at FOH.

“All of this was a very ‘seat-of-the-pants’ learning experience,” Coke laughed. “There was lots of trial and error… oh yeah, lots of error! [laughs] My ears and previous music experiences helped me a lot, as did several sound engineers that I met along the way. After two years, I made the decision to stop the road manager duties and concentrate on sound engineering, which I was (and still am) truly passionate about.” Coke observed that the musical and cultural palette in Europe at the time was much more diverse than it was in the U.S. Mixing, both live and studio, was a wide open field with only a few key players. So in an indirect way, Europe was an exciting and encouraging place to live and work for someone with a good head on his shoulders, a musician’s ears, and a passion (though no formal training) for mixing.

Between then and now, Coke has worked with a broad array of musicians. He said, “My proudest moments are those I’ve spent together with incredibly talented musicians while they created or expressed music: waking up at 4 a.m. to sing with Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar; all the recordings and concerts playing Tablas with New York’s finest soprano saxophonist, Eric Person; co-producing Ben Harper’s second album, Fight For Your Mind and the subsequent tour; recording pianist Pete Drungle; recording, mixing and touring with French rock band, Noir Désir as well as the French singer, Alain Bashung; touring with Grammy-winning French band, Phoenix; and, of course, touring with The Black Crowes. And there are so many others. That’s just a start.”

Coke stumbled upon Metric Halo’s SpectraFoo after complaining to Marco de Fouquières of Dispatch/Dushow (the largest sound company in France) that there seemed to be no Mac-based sound analysis software. Fouquières alerted Coke to SpectraFoo, which is proudly and only Mac-based. “At the time, there was a huge shift in our approach to system installations with the arrival of the L-Acoustic line array, concurrent development of sound analysis software, and the way that sound analysis software was being applied in the field,” recalled Coke. “Every system tech here in France was using the same software, but I opted for SpectraFoo. I quickly recognized SpectraFoo to be a more precise measuring tool that proved equally useful in the studio environment. The Dolby Lake EQ corrections I make are the exact same frequencies Spectra Foo indicates, whereas the PC software frequencies at the time were generally off by several Hertz. This was a cause of consternation with several of my system techs. They went so far as to upgrade their ADDA audio interfaces… but still without achieving a more accurate reading!”

These days, Coke runs SpectraFoo on all of his tours. He uses it to align the mains, the subs, front fills, side hangs, and delays, and he uses it to analyze room acoustics and the room’s response to amplified sound. For both live and recording applications, Coke uses SpectraFoo to verify phase rotation and to visualize tonal balance. “SpectraFoo gives me a visual reference for what I’m hearing and can help me identify in real time what’s occurring acoustically,” he said. “It is an invaluable aid in live sound reinforcement because the working environment is extremely fluid and composed of constantly changing variables. As well, any changes in the sound are immediately perceived by the audience though perhaps not always consciously. I refer to a broad palette of tools in SpectraFoo from the moment I’m powered up and running in an empty venue until the end of the show and I’m measuring audience applause after the artist has departed the stage.”

Although The Black Crowes represent a return to straight-up rock ‘n’ roll and although Coke mixes them in that vein, he asserts that modern sound reinforcement equipment would not respond well to a retro approach to system tuning. “Live sound has evolved dramatically in the past twenty years. As the precision of FOH sound systems has increased, the room for error has decreased. Nowadays, speaker technology and system tuning can be very unforgiving to a bad sounding mix – or even a mediocre sounding one. In our modern day-to-day lives of digitized mp3 sound and small speakers, going to a rock concert can and should be a felt experience. SpectraFoo helps me dial in that experience quickly by providing an accurate visualization of what my ears are hearing, thereby complementing my aural understanding with a purely scientific visual reference.”

ABOUT METRIC HALO Now based in the sunny city of Safety Harbor, Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware.

www.mhlabs.com

DPA Microphones Are Chosen For New Jazz Venue The Standard

Danish Jazz legend, producer and internationally acclaimed pianist Niels Lan Doky has teamed up with Claus Meyer, co-owner of the Michelin-starred noma restaurant, to launch The Standard, a new Jazz club in Copenhagen that includes two bars and three world-class restaurants.

Officially opened on October 3rd, 2013, The Standard’s audio equipment list highlights another famous Danish name – DPA Microphones.

“We have between 10 and 15 DPA microphones permanently in the venue and we will be hiring in more when larger ensembles are playing,” says Niels Lan Doky, who is musical director of the new venue. “When our stage was completed in September we conducted a series of rehearsals and tests on site with the DPA team to determine exactly which microphones we needed. The list, which is exclusively DPA, includes various d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones and a selection of d:dicate™ 4011 and 4006 Recording Microphones.”

As The Standard features vocalists as well as instrumentalists, Doky and his team have also invested in a new DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphone that will be made available to every singer performing at the club.

“We are very excited about this microphone, which is the perfect microphone for us,” Doky says. “Our highly experienced house sound engineer, Jonas Nakel, tried it and was very impressed because it has the trademark qualities of DPA, coupled with the specific needs of a vocal mic.”

The choice of DPA Microphones reflects Doky’s philosophy that, at The Standard, it is the quality of the performance, the music that emanates from the stage, the sound of the room and the overall experience shared by the musicians and audience that matters, not the reputation or image of the artist performing.

“We are aiming to capture the timeless values that define jazz and that the greatest artists in jazz have in common,” Doky explains. “What counts is the quality of the music performed, so we will be working with incoming artists to help them prepare and enhance their shows in order to go beyond themselves and reach new levels of artistry. We also have a great sounding room with top level equipment and this is a very important part of the equation because although we are creating a classic jazz atmosphere, we are also ensuring that the room’s equipment and acoustics reflect professional recording studio standards so that we can give our audiences an exceptional sonic experience.”

Doky adds that choosing DPA was an easy decision for him to make as he already owns a selection of DPA 4011 and 4021 microphones that he uses for all his concerts and recordings.

“I have never done a recording without a large selection of DPAs,” he says. “They are the most transparent and precise microphones I know because what you put in is exactly what you get out at the other end of the chain. In the old days people didn’t always appreciate this as they were used to hearing the transformed and sometimes aesthetically altered sound that many other microphones produced. However, in our increasingly technically sophisticated world, especially in the world of A/V production, it is very important to get as close as possible to a natural sound. I believe that was DPA’s vision from the start and I am glad that they have stubbornly stuck to it.”

Doky has an elegant touch when it comes to studio work and his recordings are renowned for their superior technical quality. His latest album, Scandinavian Standards, will be released on Parlophone to tie in with the opening of the new club, which will host an album launch party.

“Like all my albums, Scandinavian Standards was recorded using DPA microphones,” Doky says. “I play piano and, given how hard it is to record and amplify that instrument, I don’t think the quality of my recordings would have been possible without the clarity and precision of my loyal travel companions, my DPA microphones.”

The opening of The Standard brings the worlds of gastronomy and music into close orbit and focuses attention on Copenhagen’s unique jazz history, which dates back to the 1950’s when many American ex-patriot jazz legends settled there.

“We take deep pride in Copenhagen’s jazz legacy and we want to reflect it in The Standard’s creative choices and decisions whenever possible,” Niels Lan Doky says. “We will be looking to bring in dynamic, vibrant and engaged jazz artists who know how to be daring and courageous without compromising integrity and quality.”

-ends-

About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

IDEAL ACOUSTICAL ENVIRONMENT MEETS 48-CHANNEL API 1608 AT STRANGE WEATHER STUDIOS

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: With an API 1608 console, a jaw-dropping collection of analog equipment, and a straight-up rock ‘n roll recording vibe, Brooklyn’s Strange Weather studio is growing at an incredible rate. A move to a larger space with custom acoustical design by Wes Lachot of Wes Lachot Design is destined to help Strange Weather thrive in the years and decades to come.

In addition to Lachot’s accurate acoustic design and owner Marc Alan Goodman’s ever-growing collection of gear and his valued partner Daniel Schlett, the new space benefits from an expanded API 1608 analog console with 48 fully-automated channels and 24 expansion slots for API 500 Series modules. But beyond the particulars, the studio’s greatest strength derives from the cohesion of its acoustical, electrical, and creative environments.

Lachot takes a broad and balanced perspective to studio design and recognizes that a lot of what makes Strange Weather successful is out of his hands. “The most important component of a successful recording studio is the talent, and Marc is at the hub of a vibrant creative community,” he said. “They have the songs, the instruments, and the performances that have the potential to become enduring recordings. After the talent, the acoustics are most important. That’s coming from an acoustic designer of course, but if the acoustics aren’t there, then the musicians don’t feel right and the performance suffers. The accuracy of the acoustics on both sides of the glass also impact how well a performance is captured and how well it translates. After the acoustics, the console is the next critical component because everything will travel through it multiple times.”

Goodman acquired Strange Weather’s original API 1608 in 2008. “The idea of having something new and reliable with an honest vintage sound was very appealing,” he said. “I love the simplicity of the API 1608. It has eight aux’s, eight busses, and no crazy routing. Unlike everything else that’s being made today, it’s not overbuilt. And of course the sound is very attractive, especially to our mostly rock-based clientele.”

Lachot regularly recommends API consoles to his clients. “Our rooms are very quiet and very accurate,” he said. “When we’re finally done and we fire up the tunes, the quality of the console is obvious. And if the quality of the console isn’t there, it can be a brutal realization. API’s all-discrete analog consoles have a hugeness, clarity, and depth that’s unbeatable. And the people at API are great to work with. They stand behind their products.”

Because the API 1608 is expandable, Goodman was able to grow his console to its current 48 channel form, and even included an additional bucket to accommodate 16 additional 500-Series slots. “If anyone can fill those slots up fast, it’s Marc,” Lachot joked.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 40 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series and 1608 recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

HARDPOP CLUB ELEVATES TO DANLEY SOUND LABS SUBWOOFERS AND LOUDSPEAKERS

JUÁREZ, MEXICO – SEPTEMBER 2013: The Hardpop Club in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico is both a source of immense local pride and a beacon to serious DJs and electronic musicians around the world. Indeed, the hard-partying citizens and electronic music fanatics of Ciudad Juárez regularly fill the Hardpop Club to its 500-person capacity, and international DJ and club publications consistently rank it within the top one hundred clubs globally. Over the past two years, the Hardpop Club has – with the help of North Carolina-based Clarity, Inc. – switched out its old sound system for a cutting-edge Danley Sound Labs system with abundant headroom, crystalline fidelity, and honest, chest-crushing bass. The improvement over even the best conventional club sound systems is obvious, and artists and fans alike are hailing the new sound at Hardpop Club. In addition, Danley’s new optional club aesthetic makes a bold visual statement that underscores the unique sonic characteristics of Tom Danley’s innovative designs.

As a border town that was especially hard hit by Mexico’s drug war, Ciudad Juárez is both a city and a rallying point, and the returning health of its vibrant cultural life is a metric of hope for its citizens. “The owner of Hardpop Club is in a city that is attempting to recover from its bad reputation,” said Bill Weir, vice president of technology at Clarity and the mastermind behind the club’s sound design. “He feels that he has to go above and beyond to attract A-list performers from around the world. He wanted a new sound system that would be unique and that would reinforce Hardpop Club’s position as a leader in the industry.” With its focus squarely on the music – most of the club’s patrons are electronic music fans first and club-goers only second – that meant taking the new sound system to the next level.

“Clubs are obligated to refresh their sound and look every so often and Hardpop Club was due for an upgrade,” explained Rich Mason, president of Clarity. “Electronic dance music is one of the most demanding forms of music on a sound system because its creators fully and deliberately exploit the entire frequency range – from 20Hz to 20kHz. Rather uniquely, Danley offers a lot of legitimacy in the low end, particularly the bottom octave. Beyond supplying a ton of bass, Danley subwoofers are truly musical. Because Danley full-range boxes are horns, we can keep energy off the walls, and their phase coherency is phenomenal. Hearing a loud Danley system is a unique experience because it is devoid of the distortions inherent to conventional subwoofer and loudspeaker designs.”

Four Danley SH-96HO full-range boxes paired with four Danley DBH-218 subwoofers comprise the main output of Hardpop Club’s new system. Because of their excellent pattern control, which extends octaves below conventional designs, Weir was able to toe the SH-96HOs in to keep energy off the walls and on the main floor, reducing the room’s decay time by 300ms. Four Danley SM-96 full-range boxes paired with four Danley TH-118 subwoofers fill in the sound from the back of the room. Weir was careful to use the DSP capabilities of the Powersoft K- and M-Series amplifiers to properly delay and phase all of the system components so that everything sums in phase in the middle of the room and so that no components are fighting. A pair of Danley SH-46s and a pair of Danley TH-212 subwoofers at the DJ booth inspire great performances. A Lake LM44 DSP provides modest overall system tuning.

“Working with Danley on this project was great,” said Mason. “We suggested a number of add-ons or options that would raise the Danley brand in the eyes of club owners, and they took us up on every one. The most conspicuous suggestion was a bold color contrast between the horn and the rest of the box. For Hardpop Club, the horns are red and the boxes are black. It doesn’t even look like a speaker!”

“High-SPL sound reinforcement systems are typically either forgiving and lack resolution; or they have the resolution but are merciless and unforgiving of material produced in a less than stellar fashion. The greatly reduced distortion in the mid-band Danley means that even with material that’s less than perfect there is a level of effortlessness that is always present. And since the large format horns are full range and have no convergence error, the sound in the venue is exceptionally warm, friendly and consistent,” says Weir.

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology. www.danleysoundlabs.com

THE ICE PLANT STEPS INTO THE MODERN MUSIC FRONTIER WITH AN API 1608

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 2013: When Wayne Silver and Adam Zirkin chose the analog API 1608 console as the sonic centerpiece of The Ice Plant, they knew they would deliver big-studio sound at rates that working musicians could afford. Recently established at the heart of a thriving New York City music scene in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, The Ice Plant is the creation of these long-time friends. Both owners are accomplished multi-instrumentalists, composers, and arrangers, as well as effective producers and engineers. Drawing on those strengths, The Ice Plant offers everything a musician could hope for, from straight-up recording to full production, arrangement, and performance services.

The project has a rich history. Zirkin and Silver formed their friendship when they were just ten years old. In the decades between then and now, they have mastered their instruments. Silver prefers the guitar and Zirkin favors the piano, but both are proficient on a range of instruments. Now studio owners, they both have plenty of experience – some good and some bad – in the musicians’ role.

“My passion for great gear started a long time ago,” said Zirkin. “I purchased some of The Ice Plant’s equipment well over ten years ago, and for as long as I’ve been collecting gear, Wayne and I have been talking about what a modern studio should be and what it should offer. Ultimately, we want the room itself to serve as a creative tool. We want not only to get great recordings, but we want to inspire better performances and better songs.”

In stark contrast to the live room/control room paradigm, The Ice Plant gets its creative vibe by placing almost everyone – including the producer/engineer – in a single room. “It’s a warm, comfortable atmosphere,” said Silver. “There are different stations, such as guitar, keyboard, and bass, as well as an isolation room for the drums. Everything is out in the open and ready to play. A musician could walk in here empty-handed and be ready to go. We’ve got everything.” And yet the duo deftly organized the room so that it doesn’t feel crowded. “The idea,” explained Zirkin, “is to create an environment that is conducive to creativity and communication. Whatever we may lose in terms of isolation, we more than make up for in vibe and collaboration.”

The 16-channel API 1608 shares the space with the musicians and is loaded up with twelve API 550A EQs, four API 560 EQs, a vintage API 525b compressor, and a handful of other processors that fit the API 500-series protocol. “The API 1608 is a small-format board with large studio quality, and that was very attractive to us,” said Silver. “It has an earthy vibe – that true warm analog sound. I basically harvest all of the music that’s happening in the room through the 1608, and everything sounds better through it. With the sonic part of the process taken care of, I can focus on helping the musicians stay in their zone.”

The Ice Plant’s API 1608 is flanked by one of the most eclectic collections of gear in the industry. The outboard racks and microphone cabinets include many studio staples alongside products from some of the industry’s best up-and-coming “boutique” manufacturers. Zirkin is an avid guitar and keyboard collector, and he and Silver have made their entire collection of nearly fifty instruments available to clients. With seemingly everything from sixty-year-old Guilds and Gibson, to modern-day Suhrs and McInturffs, Zirkin and Silver hope The Ice Plant’s instruments will inspire ideas and performances that were elusive in their client’s rehearsal spaces and writing rooms.

On the brave new frontier of modern music, The Ice Plant is stepping outside the box to maintain focus on the most important link in the chain: the music itself.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.)Established more than 40 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series and 1608 recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment. www.apiaudio.com

To learn more about The Ice Plant visit: www.theiceplant.com
To “Like” them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IcePlantMusic

ENRIQUE IGLESIAS FOH ENGINEER TIM HOLDER DOES IT ALL WITH METRIC HALO

SAFETY HARBOR, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 2013: At front-of-house, Tim Holder has defined the live sound of Enrique Iglesias for over thirteen years – longer than any of the youngest Iglesias’ current band members! He got his start in the music industry decades before, playing bass for Mother Station, a Memphis-based roots-rock group that eventually folded under the pressures associated with a record deal that didn’t carry the band as far as had been hoped. Being the kind of musician who always had recording and sound reinforcement gear – and the know how to use it – Holder smoothly transitioned to life as a full-time “knob twister.”

In addition to his regular stints with Iglesias, which take him around the world, Holder is a Clair Brothers employee of fourteen years and is currently doing “weekend warrior” work with Blake Shelton as a system engineer. Part of what defines his approach to live sound is an endless effort to improve sound quality. In recent years, Holder’s Metric Halo ULN-8 interface, together with Metric Halo’s SpectraFoo, ChannelStrip, Character, and HaloVerb software, have raised the bar, giving Iglesias a huge, warm, well-defined sound.

“In addition to forming the heart of my home studio, I use my ULN-8 in a unique way,” he explained. “The live digital console that we use has a lot of great things going for it but I’m not totally happy the way the stereo bus sums nor the overall quality of the converters. To work around these issues I send stems to my ULN-8 via AES and sum them in Metric Halo’s MIO Console. That gives me the ULN-8’s superior summing and bypasses the converters in the console’s FOH rack.” He uses the ULN-8 as the clock source, which gives him the ability to drive the sound system via analog or AES.

A huge part of what Holder loves about his job is that he gets to fully engage his creative side. He enjoys the new challenges that arise on a daily basis and finding creative solutions to them. Nevertheless, he acknowledges – even embraces – the fact that his creative work is underpinned by a solid science. “We often use local PA systems, so tuning the system is a big part of my job,” he said. “I walk into a new challenge every day.”

For over a decade, SpectraFoo has been Holder’s sound analysis software of choice, in part because its interface is so intuitive and useful and in part because it integrates beautifully with his Mac and the ULN-8.

Holder time aligns a PA system using SpectraFoo in combination with Metric Halo plug-ins to delay, equalize, and filter as appropriate via MIO Console. “The flexibility of MIO Console is unparalleled and its dependability is rock solid. I should also mention that I use it for multi-track recording. I can record the same stems that I’m driving the PA with and mix them down later. Alternatively – or in conjunction – I can create a custom record mix within MIO Console. I’m limited only by my imagination.”

Holder’s go-to Metric Halo plug-ins include ChannelStrip, HaloVerb, and Character. Although he does some general coarse-level filtering and EQ’ing on Iglesias’ vocals using the board, most of the substantial processing takes place using ChannelStrip on a stem that he sends to the ULN-8. He uses its comprehensive equalization and compression to dial in a perfect representation of Iglesias’ voice and then sends that signal back to the console with no conversion necessary and no perceptible latency. He also uses HaloVerb on vocals and the snare drum. “I love how easy HaloVerb is,” he said. “No matter what I do, I find something I like.” In addition, he uses the “Soft-Sat” emulation in the Character plug-in on the whole mix. “The way that algorithm translates to a big PA is unbelievable. All I do is push one button and any edginess or harshness goes away, replaced by a huge, warm sound. It’s an amazing plug-in.”

“By using the ULN-8 in combination with the Metric Halo software, my mixes have been transformed from cold and compressed to astonishingly warm, deep, and clear. I first tried this method on a short six-show run in India. The venues were all outdoors with minimal acoustic issues, and we used local PA. They were the best sounding shows of my career. The local sound guys appropriately named my ULN-8 the ‘magic box.’ I have not mixed a show without it since,” he concluded. “The difference is that big.”

ABOUT METRIC HALO Now based in the sunny city of Safety Harbor, Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware.

www.mhlabs.com

API 1608 GRADUATES TO NUREMBERG UNIVERSITY OF MUSIC

NUREMBERG, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 2013: The API 1608 serves as the perfect teaching tool in many interesting places in the world, and now, one can be found in Studio 214 at the Hochschule für Musik Nürnberg (Nuremberg University of Music). Here, creativity is the focus and hands-on experience is the goal. The equipment available to the students offers unequaled opportunities with both vintage and modern effects, all in a school that dates back to 1821.

The decision to purchase the 1608 came to fruition with the help of API’s German distributor Erwin Strich. Toni Hinterholzinger, head of the recording department, believed that the punchy and clear sound of the API preamps would make this the ideal learning tool for teaching classic recording techniques. Most of the recording projects are student-based, but on occasion, there are some commercial projects where students assist and often take part as musicians. Some who have recorded on the 1608 include Wolfgang Buck, Nevio, Johannes Ludwig, Tilmann Herpichböhm, Steffen Schorn, and Olivia Solner.

“This is, for sure, one of the best equipped rooms in Europe – a place where audio magic actually happens and sonic dreams come true!” said Hinterholzinger.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 40 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series and 1608 recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

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