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Faculty Articles

Faculty Articles (35)

Recording and Mixing Large Pro Tools Sessions with a Hit Producer

Recently, fellow Pro Tools Instructor Dan Faber and I had the pleasure of working with legendary music songwriter/ producer Mark Hudson (Aerosmith, Celine Dion, Ringo Starr, Ozzy, Cher) on a truly wonderful and challenging rock session at Studio Center Miami. Some may recall Mark’s #1 legendary Rock Hit, “Livin’ on the Edge,” released by Aerosmith; of course there are many more, but this is one of my personal favorites. Within a few days, we had over 26 guitar tracks and 20 background vocal tracks alone; we were soon at 116 tracks! As for Mark Hudson, working with a Beatle certainly gets you hooked on those background layers, which is quite the trend now in today’s music. Recording and mixing massive size sessions does require skill sets; one of which is to have a plan on how you will approach the workflow. The central element of this plan revolved around using the functionality of Pro Tools to maximize our workflow and meet our deadline. Furthermore, due to the thought that was put into the recording management, the mixing side of the session was far easier than if we were starting from scratch.

markhudston mihaiboloniDan Faber and Mark Hudson

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Free Plug-Ins for Pro Tools

Now you can upgrade your plug-ins to Free — "Plugin History & Links To Free Plug-Ins"

Note: ** if you are bored and just want the free stuff, scroll to the bottom**

fpidec26-aFor many of us long time users of Pro Tools, as well as more recent adopters, one of the biggest topics of discussion has always been using and working with plug-ins. Many a day and night have been spent frustrated at some issue or another revolving around plug-ins and their technical propensity for causing us anguish at the most inopportune time. Furthermore, the fact that there have been two different kind of plug-ins that Pro Tools uses has always left some scratching their heads. We'll get to the brief history lesson shortly, but for now, know that Avid is working hard at making this very technical aspect of Pro Tools easier and more efficient for everyone, for us, the end user, as well as the software plug-in developers who provide us with the software.

We are currently in the middle of one of the biggest changes to ever impact Pro Tools. Historically, Pro Tools used a type of plug-in know as TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) which was only available on large, expensive, professional grade solutions. This started right at the very infancy of Pro Tools in the late 1980's and is still currently in use with HD systems. These plug-ins process on a DSP card that is installed in the computer- they do not use the CPU of the computer itself for anything.

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Vocal Effects In Your Mix

vem092jI want to show you some new tools now available in Pro Tools that will really speed up your work flow and help you with complex routing and documentation. It goes without saying that you will want to use effects (fx) in your mix. We all like to hear a little reverb, maybe some delay, or any number of creative fx tools we have available to us in audio land. In fact, many of your favorite songs have an effect that is instantly recognizable such as Peter Frampton’s “Show Me The Way”, or any T-Pain song. It hard to even imagine what certain songs would sound like without the creative use of fx in the mix. We have discussed topics such as using reverb and delay in the past: http://www.protoolstraining.com/Full-Blog/Entry/how-to-create-a-send-to-a-reverb.html

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On The Road

Being Prepared To Throw Away The Plan

There are many things that people ask me about my work, however, amidst all the star-struck banter, not very many people ever ask how much work went into what I do. The truth is “A Metric Ton” of work went into being here today. Oh sure, the usual things like education, hard work, etc... can all be tossed around, but truly the greatest skill you can only acquire is the ability to throw away the plan and adapt to the situation. Think of it like this, if you play guitar, you can play any brand of guitar, so as an engineer you have to be just as versatile when things don’t go according to plan.

There is always an ideal we would all like to have in our work, life or whatever, but the reality is that it doesn’t always go the way we really want. This mentality is especially true when you are the engineer for a live event. The best laid plans can go awry in the blink of an eye and what will make you successful is how you handle these changes.

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Building a Guest House studio (Part III)

Hey there, welcome back! Here’s the next update of the progress of the studio build. Back from a couple classes on the road and time to get to work again. The plan this trip was to finish wrapping the wall panels in fabric, build the desk and racks, so here we go!

Day 9:

The goals for the day:
  • Finish wrapping new panels
  • Design the desk and figure out shopping list

bhm5-1

So the day started by getting the final pieces of duct board cut and fit onto the angled walls. Then after making sure they fit, I proceeded with cutting and gluing the fabric to the panels and getting them installed. Check it out, I’m really liking the crushed red velour panels!

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On The Road with Garbage

Around spring 2011, I had the great pleasure of working with one of the nicest and most talented engineers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, Brad Divens. At the time, Brad was the FOH (Front Of House) Engineer for Bob Seger, and since then he has worked with people such as Cindy Lauper, Janes Addiction, One Republic, and most recently with the band Garbage. This just adds to the already amazing list of credentials Brad brings to ProMedia, including, Motley Crue, HIM, Kid Rock, Linkin Park, just to name a few. The best part of our encounter is that Brad is bringing his experience to ProMedia Training! In his “On the Road” articles, Brad will be focusing on his current tour with the band Garbage and recent grammy winner Butch Vig as well as super engineer Billy Bush. You’ll get an inside look at what it takes to pull off a major world tour and the rigors of preparing and executing such a massive undertaking. If any of you happen to go see Garbage, make sure to stop by say Hi to Brad. You can check out tour dates and album information.

Take it away Brad...

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Building a Guest House Studio Part I and II

Hey there! I just thought I’d share a project I’m working on that comes up a lot as topic in our classes. “How do I renovate, or convert a space into a working and creative audio environment?”

So the project? I’m taking an old guest house in Tampa, and converting it into a working creative music production studio. And to top it off, I’m trying to keep the total cost under $1000 in materials. The rest is labor.

The Starting Point:

A guest house built in the 40’s

The known starting problems:
  • It was built in the 40’s
  • Oh, did I mention, It was built in the 40’s

** I pondered the old school hand cranking windows for a while

 
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