Colin Broad makes me happy

It was over a year ago when Ben Loftis told me “I think you’re going to need a box from Colin Broad”.  I vaguely remember looking up the name, seeing the boxes, and thinking “OK…when I’m a little closer to building out the studio I’ll have to see what’s current and what I need.”  Well, we’re starting to gear up our equipment lists, rack elevations, and wiring lists, and so it seemed like a good time to reach out to Colin and see whether his latest products suited my project.

In a word: perfectly!

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Construction and Deconstruction

Michael Pollan Pulseoptional While I have been fairly diligent about maintaining my construction blog, I have neglected to blog about much else since January, which could mislead the reader into believing either that nothing else of interest is happening, or, worse, that nothing else has been interesting me, both of which are false.  But this past week, two creative works—one a book and the other a CD—were so interesting that I was compelled to respond to both in manifold ways.

Now, for the blog, how to begin?

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Week 41 (Rear Control Room wall details)

We’re getting down to the last nitty-gritty details before pouring the slab.  One of those details is the precise question of how we’re going to build the rear of the control room, which will incorporate a symmetric 4-step QRD built from RPG blocks.  We’ve had a general idea ever since Wes Lachot first drew that page of the plans more than a year ago, but now we need to know the exact answers, down to the sixteenth of an inch.  So we went to the field to see how our theories comported with reality…

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Jazzin the Piedmont?

Jazzin the Black ForestLast month at the Ars Electronica 2008 conference and festival, I had a chance to discuss with a number of very smart folks both my physical studio project, Manifold Recording, and my approach to creating a new recording environment/context, the Miraverse.  In the course of those discussions, a number of people mentioned Jazzin the Black Forest, a Book/DVD combination that documents the amazing history of the German MPS label.

The letters MPS stand for “Most Perfect Sound”, and as John Kelman writes…

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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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Welcomed home by Stanley Jordan (and Bob Edwards)

Joi Ito invited me to be a speaker at the 2008 Ars Electronica Symposium and Festival, held each year in Linz, Austria. I chose to speak about Music, Software, and Sustainable Culture, tying together my free software and free culture sensibilities. But after discharging those responsibilities, and after meeting tons of new people and sharing lots of new information, it was time to come home.

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Seeds of Shakti grow in Durham

John Heitzenrater teaches sarongPage counts and advertising revenues may be down at our local newspaper, the News and Observer, but we still subscribe because it still brings us a lot of good news, reporting, and commentary.  This morning I read a particularly inspiring article about John Heitzenrater, an expert in South Asian instruments.

The article begins by noting that Heitzenrater’s roots are Swedish, his accent American, “[but] when John Heitzenrater fiercely strums the sarod, the music resonates, transcending geographical and ideological boundaries.”

It turns out that Heitzenrater was inspired by one of the great boundary-trascendents, John McLaughlin

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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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