About Me

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Born in Nashville, lived in VA, Germany, and Louisiana before settling in Memphis. I now reside in Nashville, TN where I graduated with honors with a bachelors degree in audio from the Art Institute of TN Nashville.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Are there any bad D/A converters on the market?

This years marks 15 that I've been doing music. Either as a artist, producer, or engineer. In the past decade I've got to use and hear many different pieces of gear. Last week I purchased an Antelope Orion 32. After being impressed by the d/a conversion I got to thinking..... When was the last time I heard a "bad" d/a converter? By bad I mean unpleasing to the ear. I feel that d/a converters in my opinion (like mics and mic pres) have very subtle differences once you reach a certain quality. Of course some d/a converters sound better than others, but all of the ones I've heard from low budget interfaces to high end converters hasn't been a mile difference between them. My first interface was a m-audio delta 1010LT. I'd love to hear how it compares to converters today. How much of a difference would I hear?

Over the years I've been impressed by d/a converters on inexpensive products. My cousin brought over his silver avid mbox and I remember thinking wow, this sounds pretty good. M-audio interfaces has been sub par in the past to me, but the converters on the profire 2626 sounded really good. Even my $300 monitor station V2 from Presonus has a damn good d/a in it for the money. Though it doesn't sound as good as my lynx Aurora (it is close though!) I would be perfectly fine doing a mix on it. Don't get me wrong, d/a is important, (if it wasn't I wouldn't of bought an Orion 32) but I think d/a converters have came to a point where they all sound good enough to work on. With being said I ask..... Are there any d/a converters that sound bad?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Perfect Mic Pre and Mic Combibations

When you pair the right mic, with the right mic pre, with the right voice or instrument, you can hear it immediately. You will have the closest thing ever to the "perfect sound", and you will likely say one word once the sound comes through the monitors.......DAMN! It has happened to me a few times so I want to share the great combinations I have found that has worked for me.

  1. Avalon 737 + U87 + vocal = This mic pre and mic combo is a bit cliche but this was first time I had one of those "ah ha!" moments when tracking vocals. I heard a lot about the Avalon 737 and how it was widely used in hip-hop. So I decided to rent one for an upcoming session. Paired with the U87 on vocals I couldn't believe how clean and clear my vocals were. Loved this so much I rented the Avalon for every session until the completion of the album. 
  2. API 312 + Bock 195 + piano = I don't track piano's a lot but had to for a gospel song I did few years ago. I can't remember what mics I use to use on piano but after using the Bock it doesn't matter anymore. This combo with the  right mic placement (I used them as a  stereo spaced pair) and you can't go wrong. 
  3. Empirical Labs Mike-e + Miktek CV4 = I've known the guys at Miktek for a while and couldn't wait to use one of their mics. When I found out one of the studios I use had just the CV4 no matter who I was recording next it was going up in the booth. Paired with my beloved mike-e I got the most crystal clear vocal recording I have ever done. The vocals sat just right and needed little eq when it came time to mix. 
  4. Rupert Neve 511 pre + Miktek C7 + vocal. This been my go to vocal chain for over a year now. Simply sounds great. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

My Top 5 Purchases of 2013

So 2013 is ending this week and I want to share with everyone my top 5 purchases I made this year.

Starting off at #5 is the Miktek C7. Miktek has been my go to mics for recording vocals since I first used them. now that I own one it will be my go to for a while. 2014 may bring me a Miktek CV3

At #4 is the Waves H-comp and H-delay. These both are go to plugins for me. The H-comp for drum bus and the H-delay for the vocals. These orange beasts get put to work on every mix for me.

#3 is the Maag Eq2. I've only had it for a few weeks but I've been amazed at how useful the 20k and 40k frequencies have been. The Air band is not hype, its the real deal. 

#2 is the JDK V12. The V12 is an extremely easy to use and versatile compressor. LED metering and detented knobs makes me prefer it to its big brother the R22. If you want something clean, easy to use, versatile, and won't break the bank, the V12 is what you want. 

My #1 purchase of this year goes to the Rupert Neve 511 pre. When I purchased this I was expecting it to be just another pre for me. Instead it has become my go to pre for vocals. Pairing this pre with the Miktek C7 and my vocals have needed very little processing after recording. I'm loving this pre so much this will be the last pre I buy for a while. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

API the Box quick hands on and first impressions

I got to see the new console from API called The Box up close and in person this week at Vintage King Nashville. The Box is a recording console combined with a summing mixer. After seeing it in person I will say its smaller than I thought it would be, and looks much nicer in person. The slanted up design at first seemed weird but once I sat down in front it, the design lets you see everything straight on, which is nice. The bus compressor sounded amazing. The compressors are two 527's, and hearing the ones in the Box makes me want a pair now. By far my favorite feature is the 0db button on the summing mixer channels. This button removes the fader from the signal path and put the channel at unity gain. Now you don't have to worry about recalling faders levels. I would of liked to see 8 pres onboard but the console is expandable. Lastly, I realized as I felt the top and top back of the Box, the console doesn't get hot at all. If I had a to make a complaint it would be that the summing channels can't be grouped in stereo pairs. In analog summing you mostly work with stereo pairs so it would be nice to solo or mute or control fader level for a pair. However this is no deal breaker, and I left very impressed with that I saw and heard. As Jordan Shirks from API joked during his presentation, "Mixing in the Box now has a whole a new meaning". For more info visit www.APIaudio.com/thebox

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pensado's Place Nashville Event

Hung out with Dave Pensado and Herb Trawick after their Pensado's Place Nashville event at Belmont Curb Event Center. Great turnout and great experience. Keep up the good work Pensado's Place! If you have been living under a rock and have not heard of Pensado's Place be sure to check them out at http://www.pensadosplace.tv/

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 vocal mic invitational

Yesterday I went to the vocal mic invitational at Ocean Way studios here in Nashville which showcased mics from BlueRoyerMojave, and Beyerdynamic. I will briefly go over what I took away from each company. 
  • Blue microphones has a crazy lineup of mics they offer from affordable all the way to high end. I am familiar with some of the Blue mics but have never used them or heard them in person. Their Bottle mic and Kiwi really stood out to me. I would go as far to say they were among the best I heard all day. The Cactus I found too dark for my personal taste. The Bottle mic offers switchable capsules and I was surprised at the difference you could here. The default capsule had more presence while the one they switched to had noticeably more high end and less lows.
  • Royer mics I would never have considered as a vocal mic but they sound very well to me, especially if you like that ribbon sound. Interestingly the back of the Royer mics are brighter than the front. A nice way to quickly change tones if you need it as ribbon mics are generally dark.
  • Beyerdynamic showed off their TG series of mics which are their live sound mics.  I actually won a TG-V90r during a giveaway, which is there on stage vocal ribbon mic. All their mics sounded like live sound mics to me, but to me had more character than a typical 58 you would here in a live settings. Everything sounded full and rich, and on a few I will admit I forgot I was listening to a live sound mic, and some could be mistaken for a studio condenser mic. Speaking of studio condenser they showed off their MC 840 large diaphragm which was quite nice.  
  • Mojave mics biggest impression it made on me was how well their tube mic handled sibilance vs their FET. S's stood out way more on the FET and weren't as present on the tube mic. I will admit this makes me now want a tube mic.