News & Happenings
Last Session Ever at King Records
I did an interesting one-of-a-kind session last weekend! One of the good things about having a mobile recording rig is that for a limited time you can go and record places under battery power only with the computer’s battery running the whole show. One of my studio clients, Danny Adler from the Roogalators back in the 60s/70s, approached me with an idea, “Let’s do the last recording session ever in the old King Records studios over on Brewster Ave.” It’s been what, 40+ years since anything was done there, and certainly nothing in the 21st century and how often do you get to do something unique like this? So I said I was in.
The problem was that this building’s remaining time might be best measured in hours! The ceiling had or was in the process of caving in in about 5 places and when it rained there was nothing to prevent it from raining right into the building. To top that off, the actual studio room was the lowest point in the entire building and since it had rained a couple days earlier there were large pools of standing water pretty much everywhere in there.
There was plenty of wood laying around so while I was setting up Danny built himself a little platform to perform on on the ramp leading down to the studios, just inside the doorway to the actual studio room “so it would be valid” he said.
We ended cutting a few takes of about 4 songs while recording 4-tracks (how apropos!) of guitar and vocal while shooting with a couple video cameras running on batteries.
Update: It took awhile but in mid 2014 Danny and I finished the final DVD. On it was a little tour of the place we did prior to the performance.
"Easter at Christ Church Cincinnati", a composition by JD Lund for Carillon
This was a video we made of a piece written by composer JD Lund, which was composed specifically for this Carillon at CC.
We got two takes of the piece on a Sunday late afternoon (when the Reds weren't in town) and what you hear is the best of both takes with a couple additions when the bells didn't ring when they were told to.
Many thanks to performer Stephen Casurella for two superb performances under the bizarre circumstance of playing the piece and not hearing the note you're playing for a second or so after the key goes down! I removed the delay so it looks like you can play it like any other keyboard because it really looks just so wong to see it the way it looked when we shot it.
Stephen started the metronome, put on his blinders and nailed it!
Melodyne 2.0 with "Direct Note Access"
I just got the new update to Celemony’s celebrated Melodyne Editor 2.0 software. Melodyne is a dynamite pitch correction tool, but it’s real tour de force is what the designers refer to as “Direct Note Access” which is the ability to listen to a chord played by piano or guitar and actually reach “inside” the recorded waveform and change just one of the pitches, to change a chord from major to minor for instance. Check out this demo they made…
Izotope RX-2 thru RX-4
I’ve recently acquired the new iZotope RX-2 noise reduction software which a a fantastic spectral display noise removal environment. My first project with it is to try and get some annoying piano bench creaks out of some live recordings of jazz ballads. So far the results are encouraging! If you’d like to check out what you can do with it, check out this demo video they made:
Note: They have upgraded to RX-4 now. Same basic technology but the user interface has come a long way since RX-2 with many improvements to the methods by which to select the audio to be repaired.
The Blues merchants & SS-20 Start new CDs
I’ve recently started a couple full-band projects at Ultrasuede. Perennial post-punk band SS-20 which I’ve been working with for decades has started a new project. When we get some mixes I’ll post them. Starting a new project with the Blues Merchants featuring vocalist Amy McFarland mid-month with Ron Esposito producing.
Home control room up and running
The new home facility is up and running and it feels really, really good! I finally have a no-compromise control room to do all my video editing and various kinds of audio work that you don’t really want to book out an entire facility for just because you’re cleaning some tom-tom tracks.