Category Archives: Recording

Henszey Launches Dolby Atmos Suite

Veteran audio engineer Dave Henszey turned to Westlake Pro and Focusrite to create his Dolby Atmos-certified immersive mixing and recording suite.
Veteran audio engineer Dave Henszey turned to Westlake Pro and Focusrite to create his Dolby Atmos-certified immersive mixing and recording suite.

Los Angeles, CA (May 8, 2020)—Veteran audio engineer Dave Henszey’s Dolby Atmos-certified immersive mixing and recording suite, Henszey Sound, features an all-Dante network infrastructure enabled by an arsenal of Red and RedNet interfaces from Focusrite.

Among his important tools are a Focusrite RedNet MP8R eight-channel mic pre and A/D converter, a RedNet A16R 16-channel analogue I/O interface, three RedNet HD32R 32-channel HD Dante network bridges and a Red 8Pre 64-in/64-out Thunderbolt 2 and Pro Tools | HD-compatible audio interface. Other highlights include a Slate Raven console, a full complement of outboard gear, software and mics (including his prized Neumann U47fet), and the first Atmos speaker system made up of ADAM components — three ADAM A77X near-/midfield monitors, four A7X and four A5X nearfields and two SUB12 subwoofers.

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Creating the Atmos mixing suite meant getting outside advice. “I found those people at Dolby Laboratories and Westlake Pro, and they’ve been wonderful advisors in helping me make this vision happen. The experts at Westlake Pro recommended Focusrite components, and I’ve had good experiences with Focusrite through my career, so it was an easy decision to go with their advice,” says Henszey. He has been in-demand for years, with an extensive client list that includes Lego Star Wars, Miller Brewing, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, MTV Spring Break and much more.

“The one non-negotiable approach that I had was that I needed to have this system be Atmos-certified with ADAM speakers, because they are my go-to. [Dolby] had never certified an Atmos system with ADAM speakers, so I was to be the first. They have digital tools to help set up and certify a room, and we got it up and running, and it all worked like a dream. The sound was stunning. I knew it would be good, but I had no idea what I was about to hear, and it was spectacular. The work that Westlake Pro and Dolby did at this room is way over the top.”

Henszey comments, “The future of the audio industry is really exciting, and there’s a lot of great stuff happening right now. Atmos has opened up a lot of possibilities. I love that format — even when you hear an Atmos mix out of a smartphone, it jumps out at you and goes all around you. It’s a beautiful set of tools for audio professionals working today and in the future.”

Focusrite •

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Funk Studios Opens New Studio A

Funk Studios' new Studio A control room is centered around an SSL Duality desk.
Funk Studios’ new Studio A control room is centered around a Solid State Logic Duality desk.

Salt Lake City, UT (May 8, 2020)—Veteran composer and songwriter Jim Funk has completed his namesake Funk Studios in Salt Lake City, Utah. Initially conceived as a two-room facility, the complex now has three rooms in order to handle projects of all styles and types, from vocal overdubs and mixing all the way up to large orchestral and choral tracking sessions. Key to the facility is its 1,300-square-foot Studio A tracking space, attached to a brand-new control room centered around a Solid State Logic Duality δelta Pro-Station SuperAnalogue console.

The massive Studio A tracking space, dubbed The Stage, offers 23-foot ceilings, custom variable acoustics and four iso booths, one housing a Yamaha C7 grand piano with Disklavier. The room, like the rest of the complex, was designed by Jerry Steckling of JSX Audio.

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Studio A’s Duality desk isn’t alone, as there’s an SSL XL Desk in Studio B already. “I think a big part of the decision to go with the Duality was the experience I was having on the XL Desk for the first year that I was working for the company,” says recording engineer Stoker White, who works for Funk’s long-established musical theater production track recording business.

White says of the Duality, “I love the way it feels like a traditional analog desk, where everything is primarily accessible right on the channel strips instead of going back and forth to the center section. The filter is right there, and I love how easy it is to flip around the signal flow as far as where the EQs are landing relative to the insert points. It’s really intuitive and comfortable to work on. I love working on it — and it sounds great, too.”

Specifically, he says, “The console mic pres sound excellent. I’ve used them for 80 percent of my work since we’ve been open. They’re perfect for the orchestral tracking we’re doing.”

Solid State Logic •

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Lectrosonics Debuts New D Squared Wireless Transmitter and Receiver

The Lectrosonics D Squared Family now includes the DPR Digital Plug-on Transmitter and the DSQD/AES-3 Receiver.
The Lectrosonics D Squared Family now includes the DPR Digital Plug-on Transmitter and the DSQD/AES-3 Receiver.

Rio Rancho, NM (May 8, 2020) — Lectrosonics has launched its new DPR digital plug-on transmitter and the DSQD/AES-3 receiver for location sound recording, intended for use on a variety of applications including boom miking. Both products are part of the D Squared wireless family platform.

The DPR digital plug-on transmitter is fully compatible with the DSQD digital receiver and features a tuning range of 470 to 608 MHz (470 to 614 MHz for the export version). The new transmitter includes specially developed circuitry for extended operating time on two AA batteries, and offers RF power selections at 25 and 50 mW. AES 256-CTR encryption is provided for high level security applications, and the unit sports phantom power, selectable to off, 5v, 15v or 48v to accommodate a range of microphone types.

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The DPR features DSP-controlled analog limiting, and input gain is adjustable over a 55 dB range in 1 dB steps to allow an exact match to the input signal level, maximizing audio dynamic range and signal to noise ratio.

The DPR can be configured as either a transmitter or a recorder, with files stored on microSD card memory in the Broadcast Wave .wav (BWF) format at 24 bits, 48 kHz sample rate. A 3.5mm TRS jack on the side of the unit allows jam sync with timecode, and Lectrosonics says the unit’s timecode accuracy is better than 1PPM due to the temperature compensated crystal (TCXO) clock. The DPR also responds to remote “dweedle tone” commands, available via third-party apps such as New Endian’s LectroRM and PDRRemote, allowing users to change settings including frequency, audio level, lock/unlock, and also to start and stop recordings.

The machined aluminum DPR housing is the same size and shape as the previous generation plug-on units including the HM and HMa so that standard accessories are compatible with the new unit, including the PHTRAN3 pouch and the HMCVR silicone cover. The input wiring is also the same as previous generations, allowing the use of existing cable and barrel adapter accessories including the MCA5X and MCA-M30.

The DPR features an audio frequency response of 25 Hz to 20 kHz +0.0, – 3dB, a dynamic range of 110 dB before limiting and a flat in-band phase response, allowing it to be used as a wireless test and measurement link with calibrated microphones, for audio system alignment and monitoring.

The new DSQD/AES3 digital receiver is a four-channel, half-rack design with high-resolution color display, analog or AES digital outputs, and rear BNC antenna ports with “loop-thru” buffered BNC outputs to another receiver. The new receiver is compatible with the latest Lectrosonics all-digital transmitters. The DSQD/AES3 is also backward compatible with any Digital Hybrid Wireless transmitters. Three different receiver diversity schemes can be employed depending on the needs of the application, including switched (during packet headers for seamless audio), Digital Ratio Diversity, or Digital Frequency Diversity. The DSQD/AES3 includes digital talkback capability when used with any talkback-enabled transmitter.

A headphone jack is included on the DSQD/AES3 for audio monitoring per channel. Ethernet and USB ports allow the receiver to connect to Lectrosonics Wireless Designer software for programming and monitoring. Antenna bias power can be engaged in the menu, and front panel LEDs show the status. Each DSQD/AES3 ships with half the rack hardware needed to mount two units together, yielding 8 channels in 1RU.

The Lectrosonics DPR Digital Plug-on Transmitter and the DSQD/AES-3 Receiver will be available in Q3, 2020.

Lectrosonics •

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Amek EQ 200 Plug-In Announced

The Amek EQ 200 Plug-In.
The Amek EQ 200 Plug-In.

Santa Cruz, CA (May 8, 2020) — Aiming to recreate the sound of legendary parametric equalizers of the 1970s and 80s, Plugin Alliance and Brainworx Audio have introduced the Amek EQ 200 plug-in.

Expected to be the first in a series of new plug-ins under the Amek brand name, the EQ 200, which is intended to provide the resolution, transparency, headroom and surgical precision of classic 70s and 80s mastering-grade EQs. Specifically, the Amek EQ 200 plug-in was inspired by the sound of Brainworx founder Dirk Ulrich’s own GML 8200 EQ, one of his all-time favorite pieces of analog outboard.

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The Amek EQ 200 is a seven-band EQ, featuring five wide, overlapping fully-parametric bands with 15 dB boost or cut for each band, additional high- and low-pass filters, and low and high shelving EQs.

While intended to evoke the original hardware, the plug-in also offers new features, including AUTO LISTEN, available on all five bands to audition each change in isolation; continuously-variable high-pass and low-pass filters with a 12 dB per octave slop; MID / SIDE processing to tweak the width and depth of the mix as a workflow enhancement; MONO MAKER, which sums low frequency content to mono; STEREO WIDTH, to expand the stereo width of tracks; and variable THD, for adding extra analog mojo and tone.

Other additions include TMT Inside, Brainworx’s patented Tolerance Modeling Technology that simulates channel-to-channel variances in electronic components, as well as correlation, balance, input and output meters, and more

The plug-in sports a scalable UI to adapt to the user’s screen size and workflow, and offers numerous presets to provide users with a starting point for finding their sound.

Set for release on May 19, 2020, it will be included in Plugin Alliance’s monthly Mega Bundle subscription and annual Mega Bundle subscription at no extra cost.

Plugin Alliance •

Brainworx Audio •

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Podcast ‘The Big Swing’ Connects with MXL Mics

Houston, TX (May 7, 2020)—MLB may be MIA due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped Ross Stripling and Cooper Surles as they produce The Big Swing podcast. For Stripling, it’s one of many balls he keeps in the air—he’s also a financial advisor and, more importantly, a right-handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. As a result, when he and Surles get on the mic, they chat about everything from baseball to Netflix to finance to you name it. The show kicked off in January, 2019, and after some initial audio issues, the pair settled in on MXL BCD-1 broadcast mics to help clean up their sound.

“In our first few months of podcasting, audio was the biggest challenge for us,” said Stripling. “Once we were able to deploy the MXL mics and put them in front of each speaker, our audio went up twofold [compared] to the previous solution we were using.”

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Some of that is due to noise-rejection features on the mic, said Surles, noting, “Not only do the mics pick up audio well, but they also do an awesome job of rejecting outside noise. This is a particularly helpful feature when we record in our home studio set up, where my dog might be barking in the other room. Also, we frequently have guests that have no previous microphone experience, so they often won’t speak directly into the mic, and the BCD-1 does a solid job of capturing their voices off-axis.”

An end address dynamic microphone, the BCD-1 sports a tuned grill intended to help eliminate internal reflections and a built-in shock mount that prevents unwanted noise. The mic is designed for capturing audio in a variety of settings, which comes in handy for Stripling. While many podcasts are recorded in the same spot show after show, his day job understandably finds him on the road a lot, so the pitcher often has to record in new spaces instead of the same studio show after show. “When we travel, I keep the mics in my carry on, which gets thrown around a great deal, and while my luggage takes a real beating, the MXL mics remain in perfect working condition no matter what,” he said. “They’re definitely durable and they’ve been exactly what we need.”


The Big Swing •

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Eventide Launches MicroPitch Plug-in

Eventide's MicroPitch dual-voice pitch shifter
Eventide’s MicroPitch dual-voice pitch shifter

Little Ferry, NJ (May 5, 2020)—An effect staple since Eventide introduced it in the 1970s, Eventide’s MicroPitch dual-voice pitch shifter has been introduced as a plug-in for use on a Mac or PC.

MicroPitch is a fine-resolution pitch shifter providing effects that range from subtle tone fattening to dramatic slap-back effects via longer delays. In addition to stereo spread effects, the plug-in also allows users to mix in detuned and delayed versions of a source, and expanded controls make possible deep pitch dives, echoes and chorus effects.

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MicroPitch features two voices of pitch shifting, one from unison to -50 cents, the other from unison to +50 cents, each with up to 2 seconds of delay. The plug-in can produce a classic stereo-spreading effect, a chorusing effect on each voice by means of Modulation Depth and Rate controls, and slapback effects by means of longer delay times, and it can create pitch dive or rise effects by Feedback adjustment. The Mix Lock toggle lets users maintain a wet-dry mix constant while scrolling through the rich complement of presets, while the Pitch Mix allows for layering the two voices by setting the balance between each shifted delay. The Tempo function allows for synchronized and unique delay effects.

The plug-in also provides a Ribbon control, letting users set sweeping movements between two completely different settings of any combination of controls, such as turning sweetening shifts into a delay-throw and back, or changing delays from dark to bright for transitional effects. Desktop users can plug in a MIDI keyboard and gain control of the Ribbon via the mod wheel for tactile control as well.

Enhanced for experimentation and live performance and with a UI designed for desktop, laptop or iPad, MicroPitch includes a host of presets based on iconic uses of the effect over the years. Tone, Modulation and Feedback controls cover the ground for many uses, while deeper parameters let users discover repeating delays, modulations and Tempo-sync’ed special effects.

Joining the iOS version of the app (which works as a standalone app, AudioUnit v3 plug-in, or Inter-App Audio effect), MicroPitch for Mac and PC supports VST, AAX, and AU plug-in protocols for compatibility with every DAW.

The MicroPitch plug-in runs $99, but currently has an introductory price of $39 through May 31, 2020.

Eventide •

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Reason Rack Comes to Pro Tools

With the release of Reason 11.3, Reason Rack is now available as both an AAX plug-in and standalone DAW.
With the release of Reason 11.3, Reason Rack is now available as both an AAX plug-in and standalone DAW.

Stockholm, Sweden (May 5, 2020)—Reason Studios has launched Reason 11.3, bringing its Reason Rack to Avid Pro Tools as a native AAX plug-in. The long-running recording software also continues as a standalone digital audio workstation.

With the advent of the new plug-in, Pro Tools users can make use of Reason’s lineup of effects and MIDI processors (called Players). Reason’s free routing of devices through its cabling system enables unusual and sometimes physically impossible signal flows, and provides a sound bank of tens of thousands of patches, sounds, samples and loops.

Reason Studios Launches Reason 11

“It’s amazing to be back in Pro Tools,” said Reason product manager Mattias Häggström Gerdt. “With a vast rack of inspiring instruments and effects, Reason is a perfect fit for the industry standard recording software that is Pro Tools. I can’t wait to hear all the great music that will come out of this.”

“Avid is thrilled to see the seamless support for Reason Studios in Pro Tools offered through AAX,” said Ed Gray, Director, Partnering Programs at Avid. “Reason has always opened up new worlds for music creation for Pro Tools users, and with this tight integration, it deserves to be an automatic purchase.”

Reason 11.3 is available via Reason Studios website and authorized resellers worldwide. The software, which includes additional improvements and bug fixes, is also available for free download by registered Reason 11 users and at upgrade prices to owners of previous Reason versions.

Reason •

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Radial Engineering Ships HDI Box

Radial’s flagship HDI direct box.
Radial’s flagship HDI direct box.

Vancouver, Canada (May 5, 2020)—Radial Engineering has shipped its new Radial HDI direct box and preamp intended for studio recording or live touring applications.

The HDI offers a variety of features, primary among them being its Color control, which allows blending of the signal from ultra-clean operation on one side to amp-like distortion and warm transformer saturation on the other. Also onboard are Level and Presence controls, each featuring extra-large chrome knobs for precise adjustment. The Level control allows the HDI to accommodate a variety of input sources, while also providing the means to drive the internal circuitry harder for more exaggerated coloration. The Presence control provides an emphasis on the high and high-mid frequencies, useful, for instance, if needing a signal to cut through a mix.

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Aside from the three main controls, the Radial HDI also includes a Hi-Z switch that approximates the Hi and Lo inputs on a vintage amplifier, and a single-control Opto compressor which allows for peak reduction of the input signal. A 3-position high-pass filter can be used to roll off low end created when pushing the HDI into distortion, and a ground lift switch helps eliminate hum and buzz.

Inputs for the HDI are provided on front and rear panel ¼” jacks along with a Thru connection for an amplifier. A 3.5 mm mono Synth Input is included for connection to modular synthesizers. Transformer-isolated mic and line-level XLR outputs are provided for direct connection to mic preamps and recording interfaces, along with a ¼-inch Processed Output for feeding the affected signal to a guitar amp or instrument effects units.

The HDI features a ¼” milled gunmetal-anodized faceplate, ships with an included rack mounting kit for installation in a 2RU rack space, and can be mounted side-by-side with a second HDI for stereo applications.

Radial Engineering •

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Asher Postman’s New Monitors Deliver

Viral remix artist Asher Postman’s ADAM Audio monitors survived the Nashville tornado and are in use throughout quarantine.
Viral remix artist Asher Postman’s ADAM Audio monitors survived the Nashville tornado and are in use throughout quarantine.

Nashville, TN (May 4, 2020)—The studio of Nashville-based electronic music producer Asher Postman was damaged in the Tennessee tornado in March, but his recently acquired ADAM Audio A7X active nearfield studio monitors survived.

On top of crafting his own songs, Postman has remixed artists from Riley Clemmons to The Chainsmokers. His tutorials garner six-figure YouTube views. His head-bobbing version of the Motown classic “Mr. Postman” assembles sounds recorded on his iPhone. Perhaps he’s best known for his hilarious meme remixes, which turn viral TikToks and Vines such as “Dubai Was Lit” into fully produced trap jams.

Postman first heard the ADAM monitors when he and a friend from Detroit, David Chapdelaine, whose artist project is called Augest, went on a writing retreat. “We were traveling light and brought minimal setups. There was no subwoofer — and we’re electronic guys who like subs!”

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The 7-inch carbon-glass fiber composite woofer of the A7X, powered by its own 100-watt amplifier, was up to the challenge, he says: “The low end sounded really good, and we put things together that sounded right when later we played the tracks on systems that did have subs. I want to mention that the lower mids are really nice as well, whereas on my previous speakers they were nowhere near as defined.”

Postman continues, “I hadn’t experienced a high end this clear before. Working with hi-hat parts, top loops, synth riffs, anything with a lot of high-frequency content, I felt like I was finally hearing everything I should have been hearing on my old monitors but didn’t realize it. With a track like ‘Dubai Was Lit,’ I can have about 20 to 30 layers of sound going, so it’s great to know I’m getting an accurate representation of all those frequencies.”

Postman also found that the A7X monitors helped him tune his Nashville studio, which was oddly shaped and had a bad resonance at around 130 Hz, he reports. “The ADAMs can already sound good in a problem room, but their accuracy made it very easy for me to find that bad frequency using measurement software and tune it out.”

Following the tornado, he says, “I’m currently at my parents’ house in Michigan, and once again, I’ve never been this happy about having to work without a subwoofer. If I get a mix to sound good on the ADAMs, it sounds good on anything.”

ADAM Audio •

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Sonnox Oxford Inflator v3 Plug-In—A Real-World Review

Sonnox Oxford Inflator v3 Plug-In
Sonnox Oxford Inflator v3 Plug-In

While I’ve had this plug-in for years, it has become such a valuable ally in my productions that I made sure to use it on this trip. The Sonnox Oxford Inflator is a multipurpose tool that I used to handle several different tasks. There are only a few controls on it. To begin with, I set the output level to just below 0 dB, which prevents clipping of the track. By engaging the Clip 0 dB button, the input level meter will not rise above 0 dB. From there, I literally assign an Inflator across every single track in the mix (minus the auxes). Think of it like a console strip. I then apply processing or input volume as needed. If I do need some gain on a track, I often turn to the Inflator first in my “console,” and it can provide up to 12 dB of gain.

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The magic sauce for me is inside the Effect slider. Since I tend to use a lot of strings and percussion in my work, I’ve found that by pushing up the Effect slider, there is a perceived increase in harmonic brightness and clarity without volume or EQ. I would note that the amount of effect seems to be program-dependent, and that strings and percussive hits benefit the most. Overall, the Inflator continues to be a go-to production tool for me and was quite valuable in the islands for its flexibility and sonic prowess.

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