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…

Continue reading “Peter Gabriel to adopt music co-producer model?”

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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NIN’s Alessandro Cortini On The Buchla 200e

Buchla 200e
Buchla 200e

In late 2005 I configured and ordered a Buchla 200e analog synthesizer, and after it was hand made by Don and Ezra Buchla, it was delivered in 2006.  It is the most confounding hybrid of organic and electronic logic I have ever encountered.  I spent a few months writing the Wikipedia entry for it, just so I could have a user manual.  And in the process I created a novel way to achieve portamento using analog components to control the MIDI module.  But I’m not an expert…Alessandro is. Continue reading “NIN’s Alessandro Cortini On The Buchla 200e”

The Music Lesson

The Music Lesson (2006 Cover)

Last week Lyle Estill was scheduled to give a reading at Quail Ridge Books and I was asked to introduce him.  After his reading, which was excellent, and the questions, which were semi-interesting, he set himself to signing books for the 30+ people who came to hear him that evening.  And, being in one of the best real, local bookstores, I set myself to browsing.  I wandered over to the Music section, and was stunned to see that one of my favorite bass players, Victor Wooten, had written a book called The Music Lesson.  I cracked it to a random page, read the passage that said

“Sharing is on e of the most important tools needed for personal growth,” he once told me, also stating that many people never come to understand that point.  He said that many of us try to hoard our knowledge in order to stay ahead of everyone else.  I understood that completely because I used to use the same method.

Amen!

I had a trip to Oregon coming up, and I realized that with this book, I could be spending time with my man Victor.  Do you want to know what it was like?

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How would /you/ outfit the studio?

There are hundreds of posts on the various recording studio mailing lists and bulletin boards asking people to indulge in the fantasy of deciding how to spend large $$ on gear. And the most frequent response given is “FOR WHAT PURPOSE?” followed closely by “You have to match the gear to the room. If you’re not going to spec the room, the question of gear is meaningless!” Most of these threads intentionally omit any consideration of the room because the people posting all have roughly the same situation: a basement or bedroom studio with 8′ ceilings, tons of prosumer gear they’re ready to upgrade, and enough money to buy some serious pro-quality equipment, but not enough money to build the space needed to really utilize the gear. And so these threads rarely lead to anything.

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Remembering a Dream: Queen's Night at the Opera

Brian May re-visits Rockfield Studios and helps piece together the history behind Bohemian Rhapsody.  What a great bit of history, and what a great motivation to do everything we can at Manifold Recording to capture everything that technology allows: HD (or better) video, high-rate 24-bit audio, the works.  Enjoy!

Linda Ronstadt had her chance…but who’s going to get it now?

Growing up in the 1970s, Linda Ronstadt was one of the first female vocalists that made me want to spend more time on the Rock and Roll side of the FM dial and less time listening to classical music on our local NPR affiliate, WMHT. But a few weeks ago, completely by chance, I heard her talking about her experiences in the Music industry as a special guest of the NPR news quiz show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, and the course of the interview practically wrote a blog posting for the Miraverse concept. Here’s my transcription of the relevant stories:

Continue reading “Linda Ronstadt had her chance…but who’s going to get it now?”

More coming to the right side of the loudness wars

As reported in ocregister, Death Cab for Cutie are trading volume for quality and integrity in the loudness wars. And not a moment too soon! The acoustic assault of over-compressed songs not only fatigue the mind, but harm the ears as well. I’m glad to see that more people are starting to realize that a three minute song should not be mixed like a 30 second TV commercial.

You can read the full report at the ocregister website.

Fletcher writes about Discipline

One of my favorite internet forums is gearslutz.com. Filled with professional recording engineers, producers, and a reasonable number of musicians, it’s a great resource for reading about the technology, techniques, and aspirations of making great recordings. One of the posts to kick off the new year asked about discipline, and I particularly appreciated the response by Fletcher, one of the more colorful commentators on the list.

He begins by saying:

Continue reading “Fletcher writes about Discipline”

Tom Dowd & The Language of Music

Earlier this year I attended SPARKCON 2007, a conference set to “ignite the creative hub of the South.” I joined two days of “ideaSPARK” sessions, including one that covered my favorite topic—combining open source and music. I made many great connections and gained more than a few truly profound insights about how to make my studio plans better.

One of the folks I met there was Frank Konhaus, and he introduced me to the movie that gives this blog its title: Tom Dowd & The Language of Music. I immedately ordered it from Amazon.com and then promptly left for a 15-day trip to Asia, but the DVD was on my doorstep—and dry because of the drought—when I returned.

After watching the video, I can only imagine that everybody wants somebody like Tom Dowd in their studio, using their technical knowledge, musical knowledge, profound humility and wonderful optimism helping to make the best possible records. I certainly do! But more importantly, I believe that the environment we are trying to create will nurture new Tom Dowds, not box them in or shut them down.

I heartily recommend to any and all that this video demonstrates the viability of collaboration between artist, engineer, and producer. And I will start to build a library of quotes from that video that talk to the specifics of the successes Tom helped achieve for his artists, his label, and all of us, the music-loving community.