I have been recently watching a few great documentaries on music, musicians, and music production. I thought I should share them with my fellow music people, anyone who is into music production, and my students. Do not miss these. In no particular order.
Sound City: A great watch on the history of one of the great studios ever. Directed by Dave Grohl. Great details about the Neve 8028 console.
The Greatest Ears in Town- The Arif Mardin Story: The life of grammy-winning legendary arranger Arif Mardin. Proud to be sharing the same roots-Turkey. Also, references to Berklee. Must watch.
Muscle Shoals: Another must-watch about a studio that shaped the history of popular music as we know it. From Etta James to Rolling Stones. If you want to be a music producer, you can not ‘not watch’ this.
Sonic Highways (8 episodes): Once again, Dave Grohl. His ‘love letter to the history of American music.’. Foo Fighters travel to a new city in every episode exploring the city’s musical history while recording a new song with Butch Vig. Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
I decided to compare the three dynamics in my mic locker: Audix i5 vs. Shure SM57 vs. Sennheiser e609. These are often used to record guitar amps, drums, or similar loud sound sources. To get objective results, I needed the exact same performance. So, I reamped a DI’ed, clean guitar take. For the initial DI recording, I used my Fender Stratocaster in the neck pickup position into the 47K ohm Hi-Z input of the Universal Audio LA-610 Mk II, then to Lynx Aurora 8 connected to the computer via USB 2.0.
I then switched to Avid Eleven Rack (11R) as the audio interface for the reamping capability of this renowned device among guitar enthusiasts. When you set the Output to Amp selector to Rig Input in 11R, the DI’ed guitar signal in Pro Tools will be sent out to the amp at the instrument level. The guitar amp I used was Crate 5112VFX. It is a tube amp. I removed the speaker grille.
Getting the best bass guitar tone to tape is a never-ending quest. Hopefully, this blog post will be an inspiration to you.
Avid Eleven Rack (11R) is a guitar/bass preamp processor that can also function as an audio interface when connected to a computer. In today’s scenario, it will be used as a stand-alone device. It is the first device in the recording chain functioning as a signal multiplier and an amplifier/speaker simulator.
11R provides two instrument level outputs specifically designed for connecting to the input of a guitar amplifier or any other device with a Hi-Z input. I was able to send the bass signal to my Ampeg BA-115 combo and also to the DI input of my Joemeek Twin Q. Twin Q will provide a warm and leveled (thanks to the optical compressor onboard) clean signal sent to your DAW, which you can use along with a bass amp emulator plugin such as IK Multimedia’s Ampeg SVX or one of the uber-realistic bass amplifier emulations from Plugin Alliance.