X32 Console

We are doing some improvements to the AV system at our church including a new sound console. I did an overview video of the new board for our team of volunteers.

Very impressive advances in digital consoles over a fairly short period of time. This particular board packs a lot of punch for the money.

Hip

Hip

The big show is coming to Kingston on Saturday. I’m fortunate to be watching the show live at the K-Rock Centre.

Looks like we will have some company.

My First Studio

I kept all of it. Every brochure and quote. On every bit of equipment I thought I would need to open a recording studio. Back in 1979.

418 pages.

I scanned it all into Evernote. I figured that if I had kept it for almost 40 years, I should have it in my digital box of memories.

The cost of recording technology in the 1970s was so expensive. My plan was to open an 8-track recording studio.

Yes. Eight mighty tracks of analog tape bliss.

I never did so, thankfully. The bottom of the recording market literally disappeared with project studios and then home studios.

My weapon of choice back then? The Otari MX7800.

OtariMX7800

You can pick one up now for under a thousand dollars like this one that recently closed on eBay.

UsedOtari

My current Pro Tools HD rig can handle 256 tracks. Maybe a touch more powerful than the MX7800.

Times change.

The console that I wanted to get back then was a Soundcraft Series 400.

Soundcraft400

You can also pick up a newer model of the 400 for under a thousand dollars as well.

UsedSeries400B

Much better time of life to get into recording gear.

 

Logic Pro X

LogicNew

I have been on Pro Tools for a long time. Since 1997.

It is pretty much the standard DAW for the recording industry. And I am quite invested in the platform both from a software and hardware perspective.

This is a shot of my current Pro Tools HD rig which includes the usual hardware dongles (HD interfaces and IO) as well as a hardware controller (D-Command).

pro tools rig

I am running Pro Tools 10.3.9. And I am stuck.

This version of Pro Tools is running on an unsupported release of Mac OS X. And this version of Pro Tools is now 2 major point releases backdated.

To move the platform forward would require a complete overhaul of the computer, operating system, and a significant investment in shifting to a software subscription model. The days are also numbered on how much longer Avid will continue to support the D-Command console.

I am not a fan of software subscriptions. It is a way for software companies to shift from perpetual licenses that you can buy and hold to a monthly payment that literally holds you captive to a license that you can only ever rent.

So, I did something that I did not think I would ever do. I decided to try out a different DAW for a change.

I am trying out Logic Pro X.

Basically, I am taking some of my recent Pro Tools sessions and I am working them up under Logic. Just to see how far off this platform might be from Pro Tools. To confirm whether the Pro Tools lock-in is really justified. To confirm that I can hear differences in how the Pro Tools DAW operates compared to something like Logic.

I’ll get a better sense of its strengths and limitations over the next few months. I don’t have an active mix project underway right now so it gives me a chance to try out something new.

Covenant Award

CovenantAward

Fedex dropped a package off to the house late last week. A Covenant Award for the New World project that I engineered, mixed and co-produced for the Trevor Dick Band. We won Instrumental Album of the Year.

The project was certainly a labour of love and it took a few years to finally bring it in. The award is a nice form of recognition from our peers in Canada and it is a great memory.

Heroes

Tony Visconti

A friend passed me this link to Tony Visconti’s interview on how David Bowie’s Heroes track was made. A fascinating look into music production. Wonderful to see great older tunes that had been recorded on tape being brought forward into the digital age. From the BBC site:

Producer Tony Visconti uses the original master tapes from sessions at Hansa Studio in Berlin to get to the heart of the title track from ‘Heroes’, one of David Bowie”™s best-loved songs.

We hear the song built up by individual contributions, including those from guitarist Robert Fripp, Brian Eno’s ‘synthesiser in a briefcase’ and of course David Bowie’s powerful, harshly emotional vocal.

Sound On Sound also covered the technical details on the background of this recording back in 2004. You can read the article here.

This video also provides some additional perspective into that recording:

Global Music Awards

Trevor just passed me the press release for the Global Music Awards. Thrilled to see the recognition for our project. A wonderful accomplishment for the team!

PRESS RELEASE ”“ Dec. 21, 2015. Canadian Trevor Dick Band wins two Global Music Awards with CD release, “NEW WORLD”.

The Trevor Dick Band (TDB) fronted by Guelph, Ontario, Canada electric violinist, Trevor Dick are pleased to announce their recent CD, New World has gleaned two Global Music Awards ”“ “Gold Medal” for Top Ten Album of 2015 and Band of the Year. Details are found here.

Nigerian born, Trevor Dick and his long-time bandmates have entered new territory with the introduction of TDB”™s debut album, New World. This world/jazz/folk fusion project with classical and modern pop/rock underpinning takes you from Africa to Latin America to Europe and North America, erasing all borders. The music represents that sense of excitement, adventure, vision and sacrifice as our forefathers and mothers left the “Old World,” got on a ship and sailed into the unknown, in faith and discovered the New World. “”¦ That”™s what this album is all about ”“ that longing for adventure, that sense of creativity, the drive to explore new territories with reckless abandon.” New World is interesting, experimental, and improvisational. It is complex music, yet accessible to the average listener.

Shortly after the September 2015 CD release, NEW WORLD was also honoured last month with the Gospel Music Association”™s “Covenant Award” for Instrumental Album of the Year.

Mark Rheaume, of CBC Music writes, “”¦ not many acts can blend so many sounds as easily as the Trevor Dick Band on NEW WORLD. Sonic sweetness from beginning to end. ””¨”¨ In his review, Angel Romero of Progressive Rock Central states: “The [TDB] New World incorporates genres appealing to the progressive music community ”¦ [with] echoes of Jean Luc Ponty-style fusion on some of the more progressive rock leaning pieces ”¦ the mesmerizing electric violin in “East of Sinai Prelude”; the fabulous Middle Eastern-colored progressive rock composition in “East of Sinai” featuring outstanding violin solo work, violin and guitar interplay ”¦”

New World Project Wins Award

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 6.45.41 AM

Wonderful to find out that the New World project won Instrumental Album of the Year at the Covenant Awards last night. Trevor was out at the event and I am sure that he is thrilled with the award. We put so much effort into this project. Here is a photo of the team from our initial recording sessions at Noble Street.

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