Tag Archives: Blogs

Why are PSN and Mix Merging?

psn and mix

I’m writing this editorial the night before we go to press with the June 2021 issue of Pro Sound News, and by the time you read it, you may have already heard about what’s happening here at PSN. It’s big: Pro Sound News and Mix are merging.

Starting in July, you’re going to find the news, content and feel of Pro Sound News infused into everything Mix does—its magazine, website, social media, email newsletter, events and more.

It’s a big step—and no simple trick when you’re dealing with two iconic brands, each with its own viewpoint and way of doing things. Still, the word I want to emphasize here is “merging.” As an industry, we all like to interpret or tell ourselves we can “read between the lines” when major news breaks (certainly that’s a big part of what PSN does), but this is a case of WYSIWYG—what you see is what you get. PSN is not shutting down and no one is getting axed. We’re merging.

Beginning with its July issue, Mix magazine will be larger, because we’re going to cram two magazines’ worth of content into it. Pro Sound News has always served up news and insight, particularly in live sound, and pros everywhere trust our Real-World Reviews. Meanwhile, Mix has always been known for its longer, deep-dive features and heavy focus on the recording world. Each brand has always played to its strengths—and now all those strengths are going to be under one banner.

Another example: PSN’s email newsletter comes out three times a week, while Mix’s comes out twice weekly; put them together and you get the new Mix SmartBrief newsletter. Starting July 6, it’ll move to a full weekday schedule (amazingly, 3+2=5). It will also adopt the format of PSN’s newsletter to bring you the latest pro-audio news, reviews and more, along with relevant articles from around the internet, hand-curated by audio pros, not algorithms.

Both brands started as magazines back in the 1970s, with Pro Sound News based in New York City and Mix set up in the Bay Area. You could probably make an argument that each one was a product of its surroundings, with PSN reflecting the scrappy, get-to-the-point attitude of the Big Apple and Mix sporting an immersive West Coast vibe captured in its longer articles and rich photography.

Of course, the industry changed dramatically in the decades that followed, and so did the two magazines. Mix and PSN were always competitive, but for the last nine years, we’ve actually been under the same corporate roof. In 2012, our parent company at the time bought Mix and told both brands to get along in a state of “co-opertition.” As time wore on, our editorial staffs discovered we had a lot in common … starting with a distaste for corporate jargon like “co-opertition.”

Now we get to be colleagues instead of competitors. Mix’s longtime leader, Tom Kenny, is rightfully respected across the industry, and going forward, we’ll be co-editors for all of Mix’s print, digital, social and event platforms. Things will be different, but they’ll also be exciting: We’re taking the best parts of Pro Sound News and Mix and creating a next-generation brand that can lead the industry for the next 40 years.

And that’s just the start. See you next month.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Sounding Board: Networking in Three Dimensions

Sounding Board: Networking From Six FeetFor networking to be effective, you need a simple way to document, store, and access contact information, your notes, and past records of correspondence. You need an organized Customer Relationship Management system or CRM for short.

A CRM system is more than a contact list in a spreadsheet. It’s more than an address book. It’s more than LinkedIn or your Instagram account. It’s a dynamic system that has structure and logic.

A good CRM system is able to make complex connections. It can help you map who knows who, who works where, where you met someone, and how all the various companies you know are interrelated.

A great CRM system is flexible enough to grow with you over space and time while giving you the ability to think three-dimensionally. A great CRM design allows you to sort contacts based on the degree of the relationship, to pivot on mutual overlapping shared interests and to filter based on occupation.

Since the whole point of effective networking is turning contacts into relationships, you need to incorporate a sliding scale that helps you track the degree of the relational bonds. Think of this like a game. Complete strangers start off at level zero while your closest friends and family are at the top, level five. The goal is to try and slowly move strangers up the ladder to higher levels.

For example, people that you read about in your trade publications and who you want to meet one day rank at zero. People that you casually meet once or exchange business cards with are a one. People who know your name and who know a little bit about you are a two; twos are casual. To bump up to a three, you have to have a lot of interactions but they don’t all need to be positive; they just have to be familiar. That guy you don’t actually like at the office; he might just be your three! Fours are people whose company you genuinely enjoy. And fives are your inner circle. Build this scale into your CRM system and you have a foundation for what networking success looks like.

Sounding Board: Networking is Knowing How to Map Your Connections

As your system evolves over time, it becomes more intelligent and robust. You’re moving contacts along two axes. You are measuring quantitatively how well you know someone and then qualitatively how you know them. As you move strangers from zeros to fours and fives, you’re also learning about what makes them tick and you’re filling out their interest-profile. The sheer act of doing this allows you to deepen the relationship simply by sharing things that are meaningful and useful.

The third axis that you need to track is occupation—as it relates to your professional world. Your position requires you to interact with many similar yet different job titles. List them all and add them to your database system. If you’re a front of house sound engineer, your database will be full of tour managers, monitor engineers, lighting directors, production managers, and many other FOH engineers. Be very specific with occupations that relate to your world and be broader the further you get from your center.

When you start to organize by profession, you see just how small and limited your world really is. We group together—so if you really want to get good at this, master your world first and then become an explorer. Jump universes and go to different pockets. Hang out with different people outside of work completely. That’s why whenever anyone asks me for career advice, the first and only thing I say is to double down on your hobbies and extracurricular activities. Those will always be your biggest assets over the course of your lifetime.

Putting all this together, when you systematically organize your contact database on these three dimensions, you can contextualize anything and you become a super connector. When an associate asks you if you know a great drum tech from Philly who’s a good hang, a vegan and available, you’ve got that. When someone asks you for a guy who knows IEMs and who loves bar-b-que chicken and cacti and will talk your ear off about Why Nobody Likes Networking and What Entertainers Can Teach Executives, you know right where to look!

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Book Review: Major Label Mastering—Professional Mastering Process

Major Label Mastering: Professional Mastering ProcessMastering is one of those corners of pro audio that everyone knows about, but doesn’t necessarily know what it truly entails. Shedding some light on the subject is Evren Göknar’s new book, Major Label Mastering: Professional Mastering Process (Focal Press/Routledge; $42.95), which breaks the topic down into understandable concepts and actionable steps that can be grasped by everyone, whether they’re students, musicians or fellow pros.

Göknar knows from whence he speaks—a Grammy winner, he’s worked more than 25 years in the mastering field, spending much of that time at Capitol Studios where he mastered everyone from Mariah Carey to the Beastie Boys in addition to putting his talents to work for TV shows like The Voice. During that time, Göknar developed the centerpiece of his book, The Five Step Mastering Process—a thorough system of considerations and procedures for crafting and implementing a mastering game plan will best serve the music. Readily acknowledging that there can be as many subjective assessments to be made (“Does this approach fit the genre?”) as there are technical ones, Göknar finds ways to help readers determine what’s necessary and bring quantifiable logic to more nebulous parts of the process.

That said, there’s plenty of straight-forward ‘how-to’ content, from best practices for documentation, to equipment sequencing, to a go-to section on advanced mastering chain tools and techniques. The book is also filled with cool gear photos, informative screenshots, useful illustrations, documentation examples and more, providing additional clarity and insight. Whether a budding engineer or a seasoned pro, readers will come away from Major Label Mastering with far greater understanding and appreciation for the newly demystified process of mastering.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Evil Audio Pros are Back with ‘Sound of Violence’

Sound of ViolenceAt PSN, we’re always looking for new trends in pro audio, but one of the most surprising new ones is that audio pros are evil. Not you, of course (unless you happen to be evil). Rather, we’re talking about the ongoing trend in movies and TV where characters who are audio pros tend to be terrible, often violent people. The latest example can be found in a new indie horror flick, Sound of Violence, about an engineer over the edge.

Hitting theaters and On Demand on May 21, 2021, the film uses the audio aspect in a novel way, as indicated in the trailer’s synopsis on YouTube:

Alexis, a sound engineer, helps an aspiring musician, Josh, win the drum machine of his dreams in a competition at a mall. She mentors him and helps him find his groove to compose the winning beat. Once he submits his creation, it triggers a chain reaction revealing the competition booth to be a gruesome contraption. Through Josh’s beat and a horrific death, Alexis’ creative design comes to fruition, directing the macabre music she envisioned.

A film about killer sound design? Sure! Here’s a ‘more to the point’ Sound of Violence synopsis from the 2021 SXSW Film Festival:

A young girl recovers her hearing and gains synesthetic abilities during the brutal murder of her family. Finding solace in the sounds of bodily harm, as an adult, she pursues a career in music, composing her masterpiece through gruesome murders.

If that whets your appetite for more sound professionals doing terrible things, here’s some additional selections to cue up for your own personal audio-related horror festival:

• Shudder Network’s 2018 microseries Deadwax follows a vinyl collector tracking down an evil mastering engineer who created a record that kills anyone who listens to it.

• The creepy 2013 Scandinavian film, LFO, centers around a widowed amateur scientist who discovers that his experimental solution for tinnitus gives him total control over his neighbors.

• Also worthy of cuing up is 2012’s Berberian Sound Studio, starring Toby Jones as a horror film audio post engineer who can’t tell what’s real and what’s on the screen.

• And if you’d prefer a film where you can root for your fellow sound pro, you can always turn to Brian DePalma’s underrated 1981 thriller, Blow Out, where noble soundman John Travolta is on the run after he accidentally records evidence that a tragic car accident was in fact no accident at all.

 

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Peek Inside Hitmaker Taio Cruz’s Home Studio

Taio Cruz's Beverly Hills mansion
Taio Cruz’s Beverly Hills mansion, complete with home studio looking out on to the pink hot tub. Keller Williams Beach Cities

Producer and singer/songwriter Taio Cruz put his Beverly Hills, CA mansion on the market in early March, 2021, asking $8.5 million for the five-bedroom, 5,691-square-foot compound built in 1955. While the real estate listing shows off the house’s vaulted ceilings and chef’s kitchen, let’s take a closer look at what really matters—Taio Cruz’s home studio.

Cruz had a string of international hits in 2009 and 2010, including a pair of U.S. number ones, with “Dynamite” and “Break Your Heart.” While he’s still releasing albums, in recent times, Cruz has spent a lot of time writing tracks performed by other acts, including Jennifer Lopez, David Guetta, Usher, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, Nick Jonas, Olly Murs, Cheryl Cole, McFly and others. No doubt, a few of those songs came to life in his home studio.

Taio Cruz's home studio.
Taio Cruz’s home studio. Keller Williams Beach Cities

One of the coolest things about this room is the table, because it tells a story. Sure, it’s a nice, big space to work on, but look at its edges—the paint is worn away, chipped and accidentally scraped off over time, because this is a real work room, not just a bit of showmanship for when guests come over. Despite how tidy the room is for photos (and one of the overhead LED lights is out, by the way), clearly a lot of time has been spent here, dragging songs kicking and screaming into existence.

Studio Monitors

Dominating the well-soundproofed room are a massive pair of PMC MB2S XBD Studio Monitors, towering over everything else. Right beneath them are another pair of loudspeakers—in this case, they’re ADAM Audio S3X-H Horizontal Active Nearfield/Midfield Monitors.

The PMC monitors dominate taio cruz's home studio
The PMC monitors dominate the room. Keller Williams Beach Cities

Table Top

At the center of the table space is an ultrawide-class Benq monitor, sitting behind a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Mk2 Keyboard Controller. To the left sits a wireless phone and both a PreSonus Monitor Station V2 Desktop Monitor Controller and an Apple MacBook laptop. Right next to them on a Lucite stand is an Ableton Push 2 MIDI Pad Controller. Meanwhile, on the right side of the table sits another MacBook, and just behind that is a MacMini.

Home Studios of the Rich and Famous: The Complete ‘Peek Inside’ Series

Below the Table

Under the table on the left in a rack hangs a Samson S-Patch Plus 48-Point Balanced Patchbay, while the power gear lying on the floor between the two racks includes a pair of APC AV Black 1.5 kVA H-Type Power Conditioners.

The right-side rack has some interesting equipment in its grasp, too. At the top is a Universal Audio 1176LN Classic Limiting Amplifier, while beneath it sits a Chandler Limited TG 2 Pre Amp/DI. The next RU down holds an Apogee Electronics Ensemble Thunderbolt Audio Recording Interface, placed just above an Avalon Design VT-737sp Channel Strip. The lowest spot is taken by a dbx 286s Channel Strip with De-Esser.

taio cruz's home studio
A Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 Keyboard Controller and a Kawai VPC1 digital piano are kept close by.

There’s no knowing what the microphone might be behind that pop filter, but the two keyboards on the right are a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 Keyboard Controller atop a Kawai VPC1 digital piano.

 

Elsewhere

ADAM Audio monitors seem to be the speakers of choice for Cruz. In the small hallway leading into the studio, there’s a Pioneer DJ rig with yet another MacBook, bookended by ADAM Audio T7V 7-inch Powered Studio Monitors, with two pairs of Roland’s V-Moda brand headphones casually placed atop them. Elsewhere in the house is a spare bedroom with its own small recording setup—another ultrawide monitor, a PC of some description, a Focusrite Scarlett interface…and more ADAM Audio T7Vs.

Even a spare bedroom gets used as a secondary recording space.

Cruz bought the property in 2012 for $4.05 million, and it has plenty to offer the next occupant—five bedrooms, views overlooking Los Angeles, floor-to-ceiling glass doors, a guest suite in its own wing, massage room, private gym, and right outside the studio, an infinity pool, hot tub and cabana. No doubt the next owner will also benefit from the good vibes from all the creative work that happened in that home studio as well.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Prep for a Post-Pandemic World at the Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit

Clive Young
Clive Young

For the pro-audio world, March marks the one-year anniversary of everything getting turned upside down by COVID-19. Since then, we’ve all been on a rollercoaster of times alternately hard and hopeful, but things are tentatively starting to look up. With the U.S. now vaccinating more than 1.5 million people a day and Dr. Fauci predicting all Americans could be eligible for vaccination as soon as April, “normal” isn’t around the corner, but it is finally on the horizon.

That means it’s time to roll up our sleeves—not only to get a shot, but to start preparing. “Normal” doesn’t happen with the flick of a switch; you won’t wake up one day and start mixing for a packed house again or find your studio booked solid just because the pandemic has subsided. It could happen—but only if we work for it, laying out the foundations for that kind of success, brick by brick, in the months leading up to it.

A big part of getting ready will figuring out how to incorporate all the radical pro-audio changes and advances we made over the last year. Frankly, that topic is so big that you can’t get all the insight you need from just Pro Sound News—which is why PSN has joined forces with Mix and Radio World to create the Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit, an online expo taking place on Thursday, April 1 (no, this is not an April Fool’s joke).

The free one-day event will feature an exhibition floor, panel presentations, chat rooms and a host of media presentations showcasing the latest technologies and trends in pro audio and radio. Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit will feature two individual program tracks within a single exhibition hall—in each program track, industry experts will explore how manufacturers and users are making use of both current and emerging technologies in order to keep the media coming.

Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit Announced

The Pro Audio Track will feature sessions on remote production, the multipurpose House of Worship studio, the rise of immersive music, audio networking technologies, podcasting and Improved Audio for Education. Through expert panel presentations, sponsor demos and attendee networking, Pro Sound News and Mix will bring manufacturers, engineers, producers, musicians, educators and industry experts together to look at the state of music production as we come out of the most disruptive year in memory.

The Radio Track will feature sessions on hybrid radio, AoIP, virtualization, streaming, business continuity and trends in transmission. These topics will be of interest to any radio broadcast manager or engineer who manages technology or uses it to advance their careers and business missions.

One of the best things about a virtual event is that the doors don’t close at the end of the day; all of the content—and exhibit booths—will be accessible on-demand to attendees for a month after the event, so if you can’t make April 1 (or more likely, if there’s just too much good stuff to absorb in one sitting), you dig into the offerings at times that work best for you. Head over to www.proaudioradiotechsummit.com to sign up for free, and I hope you’ll join me and the rest of the team from Mix and Radio World on April 1.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Home Studios of the Rich and Famous: The Complete ‘Peek Inside’ Series

Scott Spock's home studio

Everyone loves gawking at the homes of the rich and famous, as TV shows and magazines take us inside sprawling, opulent domiciles that most of us will never be able to afford. But ironically, whenever there’s a music artist featured, those shows and articles almost never show off a home studio—the place where an artist gets in touch with the creative muse that’s gonna pay for those lavish surroundings. To be fair, for most people, a three-story indoor waterfall is far more impressive than acoustical treatments, but for our readers? Dude…that home studio is what we want to peek inside, not only to check out where the music gets made, but also to compare notes — “He uses that preamp? Hey, I’ve got that monitor controller!” — and so on.

Since we have a professional aversion to getting arrested, we’ve never gatecrashed a celebrity’s home studio, but we sure have eyeballed a few — typically whenever celebs put their houses on the market. The modern-day advent of online real estate listings has provided us with unique views into the creative nerve centers for many artists, and we’ve regularly featured them in the PSN blog, ID’ing as much recording equipment as possible.

So, for your enjoyment, here’s the complete rundown of the entire series so far (minus the awesome Paul Simon one which, um, we had to take down). Also featured are a few home studio-related stories that fit the verve and vibe of the series, but enough of this — go take a peek!

 

Peek Inside the Home Studio of One Direction’s Liam Payne: Former One Direction singer Liam Payne sold his Calabasas, CA mansion for $10.16 million to pop chanteuse Halsey in early 2021. For that kind of money, maybe he threw in his well-appointed home studio. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/peek-inside-the-home-studio-of-one-directions-liam-payne

Peek Inside Meghan Trainor’s Next Home Studio: Pop singer/songwriter Meghan Trainor put down $6.6 million around the turn of 2021 for a decked-out mansion in L.A.’s Encino neighborhood; let’s take a look at the home studio that came with it. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/meghan-trainor-home-studio-tmg-fresh

Peek Inside Phish Bassist Mike Gordon’s Home Studio: Phish’s Mike Gordon has put his Vermont home on the market, providing a glimpse of his awesome attic recording studio. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/peek-inside-phish-bassist-mike-gordons-home-studio

Peek Inside the Home Studio of Danny Elfman: A real estate listing for composer/musician/producer Danny Elfman’s mansion provides an opportunity to peek inside his home studio. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/danny-elfman-home-studio

Peek Inside the Home Studio of Producer/DJ Erick Morillo: Take a peek at the spectacular home studio belonging to the producer/DJ behind the evergreen dance hit, “I Like to Move It.” https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/peek-inside-erick-morillos-home-studio

Peek Inside the Private Studio of Herman’s Hermits’ Keith Hopwood: 1960s rock star Keith Hopwood of Herman’s Hermits put his sprawling UK estate—and two-floor, amply appointed barn studio—on the market. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/home-studio-hermans-hermits-keith-hopwood

Peek Inside the Private Studio of The Matrix’s Scott Spock: Scott Spock of legendary production team The Matrix has put his home on the market for $3.95 million, providing an opportunity to check out the private studio where he’s created hits for Rihanna, Jason Mraz, Britney Spears, Shakira and more. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/peek-inside-the-private-studio-of-the-matrixs-scott-spock

The Gear of Damian Lillard’s Mini-Studio Inside the NBA Bubble; Hear His Tracks: While ensconced inside the NBA Bubble during the COVID-19 pandemic, NBA all-star Damian Lillard used his down time to record as rapper Dame D.O.L.L.A., resulting in the appropriately titled mixtape, Live from The Bubble. Let’s I.D. the gear he used to make those tracks. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/nba-damian-lillard-home-studio-rap-recording

Peek Inside Green Day’s Old Home Studio: Peek inside the home studio Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong owned and used during the band’s American Idiot era. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/green-day-home-studio-billie-joe-armstrong-recording

Building Lil Baby’s Hitmaking Home Studio: Breakout rap star Lil Baby spent three weeks this spring atop the Billboard album chart with My Turn. Now Platinum-selling engineer Thomas “Tillie” Mann is building the rapper a home studio, which was used to record “The Bigger Picture”—a single that was certified Gold before the studio was even finished. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/recording/building-lil-babys-hitmaking-home-studio

Peek Inside Kenny G’s Home Studio: The king of smooth jazz, Kenny G, has put his Studio City home on the market, providing an opportunity to check out his private studio. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/peek-inside-kenny-gs-home-studio

Home Recording, Beverly Hills-Style: This spacious home studio in Beverly Hills has been used to record Ozzy, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others—and now it’s on the market. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/home-recording-beverly-hills-style

Inside French Montana’s Home Studio: Take a look inside rapper French Montana’s home studio, located in a guesthouse on his 3.1-acre estate. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/french-montanas-home-studio

Inside Craig David’s Home Studio: Peek inside Grammy-nominated rapper Craig David’s well-appointed home studio, located inside his $4.3 million Miami, FL penthouse. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/peek-inside-craig-davids-home-studio

Peek Inside Twenty One Pilots’ Home Studio: A perusal through social media takes the curious into the home studio of Twenty One Pilots vocalist Tyler Joseph. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/peeking-inside-twenty-one-pilots-home-studio

Ray Dolby’s Mansion Hits the Market for $5.25M: The home of the late founder of Dolby Labs is for sale. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/ray-dolbys-mansion-hits-the-market-for-5-25m-dolby-labs-real-estate-pro-audio

Home Studio Restoration Will Build on Alice Coltrane’s Legacy: Ambitious plans to restore house and home studio will fulfill Coltrane group’s creative mission. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/home-studio-restoration-will-build-on-alice-coltranes-legacy-john-jazz-charity-recording

A Labor of Love Supreme: Saving John Coltrane’s Home Studio: The crumbling home—and home studio—of Jazz greats John and Alice Coltrane has been rescued and named a National Treasure, but the work has only begun. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/a-labor-of-love-supreme-jazz-john-coltrane-studio-home-restoration-landmark-music

This Destination Studio Was a Destination Before It Was a Studio: David Bowie, MGMT, Duncan Sheik, Suzanne Vega, Dar Williams, Donna Lewis and dozens of others recorded at this converted 1902 train station. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/this-destination-studio-was-a-destination-before-it-was-a-studio-now-its-for-sale

Inside Ottmar Liebert’s Home Studio: Ottmar Liebert rose to fame in the 1990s with his swoon-worthy ‘nouveau flamenco’ acoustic guitar music; in the years since, he’s amassed four Grammy nominations and 38 gold and platinum album certifications in the U.S. alone…. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/peek-inside-ottmar-lieberts-home-studio

Peek Inside Tommy Lee’s Home Studio: Motley Crue drummer/occasional producer Tommy Lee asks $4.65M for home and home studio space. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/tommy-lees-home-home-studio-on-the-market

Peek Inside Neil Young’s Former Home Studio: The home/studio from one of Neil Young’s most prolific eras is on the market. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/neil-youngs-former-home-studio-up-for-sale

Inside Lifehouse Frontman Jason Wade’s Home Studio: With an asking price of $4.25 million, the Agroua Hills estate includes a 2,000-square-foot recording facility. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/lifehouse-frontman-jason-wades-home-studio-for-sale

Inside Glen Campbell’s Home Studio: Late country legend Glen Campbell’s California home/studio is on the market. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/glen-campbells-home-studio-for-sale

Recording in a Rolls-Royce: Capturing his latest track in a Rolls-Royce Phantom, UK Grime artist Skepta brings a whole new meaning to ‘high-end mobile recording,’ but he’s not the first person to lay down tracks in a car. https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/skepta-records-in-rolls-royce

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Peek Inside the Home Studio of One Direction’s Liam Payne

Former One Direction singer Liam Payne sold his Calabasas, CA mansion for $10.16 million to pop chanteuse Halsey.
Former One Direction singer Liam Payne sold his Calabasas, CA mansion for $10.16 million to pop chanteuse Halsey.

Former One Direction singer Liam Payne sold his Calabasas, CA mansion for $10.16 million to pop chanteuse Halsey, and it’s fair to say she got a lot of bang for the buck. The 4.75-acre compound includes a 9,659-square-foot main house, two guesthouses, a teahouse, pool, koi pond, waterfall, fire pit, vineyard, wine cellar, home theater and a jaw-dropping two-story library. And for that kind of money, maybe Payne threw in his well-appointed home studio, too.

Let’s take a look at that home studio then. While many artists who are primarily known for singing have comparatively lightweight home studios that only nod towards professional standards, this is a well kitted-out room intended for getting usable results. In addition to the extensive acoustical treatments, the room is centered around a main custom desk outfitted with a bounty of pro-audio equipment, some of which we can ID even from this distance.

Liam Payne's home studio
Liam Payne’s home studio.

Bookending it all are a pair of ADAM Audio A77X 2 x 7″ near-field 3-way studio monitors, controlled by what looks to be (probably) a PreSonus Central Station monitor control remote on the desk, left of the chair. Directly behind the remote is a Universal Audio 6176 Tube Channel Strip, and above it, a Universal Audio Apollo x8 Audio Interface.

At the far right of the desk is a packed 500 Series enclosure, and beneath it in the rack sits a Furman M-8Lx power conditioner with lights; Universal Audio Teletronix LA-2A leveling amplifier; and Empirical Labs Distressor. Lastly, over on the far right, partially hidden by the couch, is a sE Electronics SPACE Vocal Shield.

The house's spacious two-story library.
The house’s spacious two-story library. Hilton & Hyland / Compass / MLS / Fridman Group

Payne first bought the compound in December, 2015 for $10 million, and the singer later told the press that his then-girlfriend thought the mansion, built in 1991, was haunted by a ghost with a penchant for army shirts and cargo pants. Sounds to us more like an audio tech who took a wrong turn in the house, but hey, you never know.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Audio Op-Ed: Untethering Live Music with 5G

Leonard Lee
Leonard Lee

There is no shortage of available and emerging technologies that can expand the frontier of innovation and creativity in live music now and in the post-pandemic era. Despite the hype, 5G is a tremendously exciting technology that will change the way we think of connectivity, computing and how we architect systems.

What if the snake could be replaced with a high-bandwidth, low-latency connection that is wireless from the board to the stage? What if the multitude of devices on stage could be auto-provisioned in a secure and trusted fashion, connected by a highly reliable communications infrastructure? What if high-definition audio could be pumped wirelessly across all the speakers and monitors in a venue without interference and distortion? What if devices could be expressive and smart?

Technologies such as 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) are expanding the possibilities for how we can drive live music innovation. In particular, 5G brings about capabilities that can revolutionize how we connect things on stage and how artists can connect with their audiences. Much talked-about 5G features such as enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) are making industrial-grade wireless connectivity a reality.

Current and emerging 5G technologies and deployment architectures have the potential to deliver the ultra-low latency connections across a live music platform—which includes audio, visual and lighting systems—while enhancing the flexibility and adaptability of a stage configuration or venue. 5G also brings powerful technologies that mobile network operators use to operate and manage their networks with 5 nines (99.999% uptime) reliability. We are seeing early trials of 5G networks being used to support industrial-use cases that require 6 nines (99.9999%) reliability.

5G technologies are not just for big telecom operators; 5G can be right-sized for various private network implementations on licensed and unlicensed spectrum. Live music venue operators will be able to consider a wide range of private and carrier-hosted network deployment options to support their clients’ productions as well as to connect audiences in and beyond the venue.

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Based on neXt Curve’s research, there are six areas where the live music industry can apply 5G and IoT concepts to reinvent live music.

Live Music Performance: 5G is a global technology driven by a unifying standard established by the 3GPP. While regulators have provided alternative spectrum for wireless equipment to operate on, 5G presents an opportunity for the live music industry to shape spectrum policies that foster wireless performance tech innovation or perhaps untethers the industry from regulatory concerns all together.

Live Music Design & Engineering: 5G has the potential to revolutionize stage and show design by introducing a new level of flexibility that wireless technology can bring. It can also enable novel mobile robotic applications that can bring about new dynamism and channels of expression to the stage, which we are already seeing with drone-base light shows.

Live Music Production: Live music is a mission critical operation. 5G has the potential to bring unprecedented mobile flexibility and agility to live music production. It can provide the ultra-reliable wireless connectivity that reduces the complexity and cycle times for production setup and teardown. 5G also has the potential to improve the flexibility of a venue and its ability to support the infrastructure needs of international acts and the global portability of their equipment.

Live Music Audience/Fan Engagement: The multi-access nature of 5G will enable new cyber-physical approaches for artists and show designers to engage with the audience. This can be through real-time messaging, multicasting, gamification and a multitude of other digital interaction modes that augment the physical experience at massive scale and in real time.

Live Music Experience Capture: Each live performance is a unique experience. 5G will enable novel approaches for extreme-fidelity video and audio capture, such as volumetric media and drone-based videography. These new applications will require wireless connectivity and the industrial grade performance and broadband capacity promised by 5G.

Live Music Event Broadcast & Sharing: Finally, 5G promises to deliver the high throughput needed to make the live broadcast of new immersive media formats possible. It will also provide the massive capacity that will allow members of the audience to share live multimedia content with each other, the artist and friends on social media during the course of a live performance.

We are very early in the process of thinking through how 5G can revolutionize live music. The artist, the show designer, engineers, venue operators and the equipment vendors will be critical participants in the rethinking of the live music experience, the venue and the business of live music as a whole. It is a vast ecosystem that the live music industry can and needs to explore in order to uncover the 5G applications that will revolutionize the future of live music.

Leonard Lee is managing director and founder of neXt Curve, a boutique advisory firm based in San Diego, CA.

Link: neXt Curve • www.next-curve.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Peek Inside Phish Bassist Mike Gordon’s Home Studio

First purchased in 2003, the Vermont home of Mike Gordon is up for sale.
First built in 1990, the Vermont home of Phish bassist Mike Gordon is up for sale.

Phish bassist Mike Gordon put his Essex Junction, VT home on the market in late December, 2020, looking to get $895,000 for the 12-acre homestead. First purchased by Gordon in 2003 for $425,000, the 3,400-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 4-bath contemporary-style house, built in 1990, has a finished basement, eat-in kitchen and multiple balconies, but the stunning draw for many will be the gorgeous attic recording studio.

The amply sized live room of the attic recording studio.

Gordon has put the home facility to good use over the years, recording solo albums like The Green Sparrow (2008) and Moss (2010) there, as well as parts of his 2020 collaboration album with Leo Kottke, Noon. Looking through the real estate listing for the house, clearly other rooms have been used for recording as well, including a second-floor bedroom with conspicuous acoustic treatments.

Reclaimed mahogany doors lead to the control room.
Reclaimed mahogany doors lead to the control room.

The two-room studio has radiant heat to keep things quietly warm in cold Vermont, and features an antique painted-tin ceiling, reclaimed cypress walls, stained glass and a curved bank of windows with views of the Green Mountains.

Mike Gordon's control room centers around a circa-2001 Digidesign Control|24 control surface.
The control room centers around a circa-2001 Digidesign Control|24 control surface.

Passing through reclaimed mahogany doors to the control room, visitors are greeted by more stained glass and a variety of recording gear. Centered around a circa-2001 Digidesign Control|24 control surface, the room also sports a good-sized rack of outboard gear, adjacent patch bay and a Grace Design M906 monitor controller to switch between the consumer multimedia speakers and Dynaudio BM6A nearfield monitors on hand.

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Finally, there’s sure to be plenty of good vibes that have soaked into those cypress walls from all the years of music-making, and that’s something you can’t put a price tag on.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com