Console sketches #2

Wow! I sure got a lot of feedback on my first set of sketches. Here’s my second attempt at configuring a 48 channel Legacy Plus with integrated patchbays and options section into the control room of Manifold Recording. The major change is that now we have the master section and 16 faders to the left of the acoustic center and we have 32 faders and 6 echo returns to the right. This puts 32 inline channels (64 faders!) within the immediate reach of the engineer, while keeping the master section and most of the remaining channels in reasonable reach without moving from the sweet spot.

API Legacy Plus (800×266)

For higher-resolution renderings, click on the following links:

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Music Producers Institute hosts Radney Foster (and invites you)

Radney FosterThere are a growing number [1] [2] of stories lately about music studios opening up to a new way of doing things, namely the total integration of performance and experience that I call co-production.  Here’s another story from the Music Producer’s Institute and their upcoming session with Radney Foster.

They advertise:

“Whether you are studying recording in school or on your own, let MPI show you the producer’s side of recording’s creative process, from start to finish: from pre-production to mastering. Founded by Grammy-winning producer Steve Fishell, MPI teaches you producing techniques that apply to all musical genres, from popular to fringe, indie to mainstream.

“Hear and see a real-world, master-level recording session as we track with world-class singers, musicians and engineers. Gain first-hand experience watching Grammy-winning industry pros at work at the Sound Emporium Studios, Nashville, TN.

“Hear daily special guest lecturers share their studio know-how, insights, tips and wisdom gained from decades of experience. Foster contacts with music industry pros and insiders.”

I think they’ve got an absolutely wonderful idea here…

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Peter Gabriel to adopt music co-producer model?

The Big Room @ Real World Studios David Rose tipped me off to this story titled Peter Gabriel Considers Allowing Fans Into Recording Studio.  The source for that story reports:

“The Incredible String Band wrote to their fans on their website and sold admission to their recordings… and that gave them the budget to purchase the studio time. They created a mini-economy based on 120 people.”

Props to Peter Gabriel for being able to manage the crush of 120 people in his studio (or at least be game to do so)!

Actually, I think this could be a significant turning point for the recording industry…

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George Massenburg's latest: live studio performances

George Massenburg

George Massenburg is a legend in the recording industry.  His innovations include the introduction of the parametric equalizer in 1972, and his work on preamplifier design, dynamic range controllers, and other engineering equipment has also led the field for years.  His contributions to audio engineering go beyond mere tools: as recording engineer, mixing engineer, and as a producer, his name is on some of the most important records ever made.  And he has the Grammy Awards to prove it.

A new discussion thread on the gearslutz.com bulletin board tells us that George is continuing to work well outside the box, by capturing a live studio performance as a performance.  What’s most exciting to me is that it sounds very much like what I’ve been writing about co-production at The Miraverse

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Slow Food makes its way to the table

The objective of Fast Food, it seems, is to maximize short-term profits.  The eater profited by “wasting” as little time as possible eating, and the producer profited by sourcing the cheapest possible ingredients from the global economy, assembling those ingredients as rapidly and mechanically as possible, without regards to any externalities (such as the health of the eater, the quality of the food, the fairness to the farmer, and especially without regard to the environmental costs of the endeavor).  By contrast, the the objective of Slow Food is to create food that is good (pleasurable to eat), clean (healthy and regenerative to the environment), and fair (to farmers, chefs, and all who bring the food to the table).  Good, clean, and fair create a new triple bottom line for measuring the quality of food, and as the New York Times now reports, locally grown food is becoming de rigeur among the trend-setters.

“What I’m seeing with my clients is not the trendiness or the politics,” [chef] Mr. Welch said. “They are looking only at taste.”

Mrs. Howard said she ate local vegetables growing up in northern Michigan and Chicago. But her husband, a private equity fund manager, ate a lot of expensive imported food with little thought about where it came from. But all that has changed.

“It’s like the first time you start drinking good red wine and you realize what you were drinking was so bad you can’t go back to it,” Mrs. Howard said. “It’s that same way with vegetables.”

If a hedge fund manager can get this excited about vegetables, what might the future hold for music that is good (pleasurable to listen to), clean (faithfully recorded and produced), and fair (to the musicians, engineers, and all who bring the music to the listener)?

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small is possible: reconstructing local music

small is possible book coverI just read Lyle Estill’s manifesto small is possible, an account of how he and others in Pittsboro, North Carolina (population 2,500) discovered how to feed, fuel, heal, and govern itself as a community.

First off, the writing is simply first-rate. Lyle writes with humor, but also with a very keen eye to the forces and effects that operate on multiple levels. But unlike Alexis de Tocqueville or Michael Pollan or Malcolm Gladwell, he is not merely an observer, but a passionate actor as well. And because Lyle practices the teaching “be the change you want to see in the world,” he has learned to farm, write software, weld steel, wire buildings, extend credit, teach classes, pull permits, and make peace with hunters.

Not all these many careers have been successful: he tried and failed yoga. And he tells this story of how, at the peak of the Internet Boom, he had the opportunity to Make It Big and utterly failed to comprehend the potential, as he explains:

“When Scott came to me to explain the future, I yawned. We would sit around after hours with core employees and argue about the coming of the net.

One night, our sales manager, Skip, said “Travel. Let’s take travel. How do you buy your tickets right now?”

I thought of Lisa, the preacher’s wife turned travel agent, who matched up the itineraries of Tami and Lyle [who would later marry] like a marriage counselor scheduling appointments, and I answered Skip’s question honestly:

“The other night I came out of my bathroom and found my travel agent at the kitchen table cutting up a lime on the cutting board. She had let herself in, and had brought over a ox of Corona beer.

“I sat down, grabbed a beer, and she told me that tonight we were going to get clear on whether or not Tami and I were going to Belize or Jordan. Tami came home late from work, grabbed a beer and settled into the conversation.

“Are you telling me that one day I will replace that with a computer screen?”

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House Concerts and 21st Century Touring

Last year Chip and Dan Heath wrote Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, and since them I have had a new appreaciation for sticky ideas and the market or strategic position they create. This morning I came across the gem featured in my blog post title, house concerts and 21st century touring.

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