Recently I arranged some church choir pieces for the new Lionsgate release “The Shack”. I brought in groups of singers and recorded them all at my studio. I don’t have a large space so I had to record a few groups on separate occasions. I was going for that Country Church Congregation sound. The hymns I used are all public domain pieces. It was great working with Anastasia Brown the Music Supervisor on the project..
The Movie is a story about a father’s tragic loss of his child based on the Novel by Canadian author William P Young. It has a religious theme with a few contemporary twists. It stars Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer and Tim McGraw. Directed by Stuart Hazeltine.
A few weeks ago I was mixing a project…My friend John Paterno, an amazing Audio engineer/producer and mixer came by to lend his ears. He took me through several ideas for the mix utilizing some cool EQ techniques. His ears are finely tuned to the frequencies of the sonic spectrum. We sat down and experimented with trying to create a place for each of the instruments to “sit”, add little “air” here, a little “Low Mids” there… He took me through his process tweak by tweak and really opened my mind up to what a great mix is all about.
Since that meeting (and a few others) I’m a lot more tuned in to what I want to accomplish in a mix. By creating sonic space for certain instruments you don’t have to push them as hard volume-wise. Sure! I already knew that!!…but he pushed me way deeper down that “Rabbit Hole”.. and.. got me thinking seriously about what frequencies were just unnecessary…It’s very subtle stuff really. The truth is my ears were ready for it, I just needed his expertise to bring it out of me.
So now after those sessions, I feel I’m more in control of how I mix. Everything feels a bit more obvious; which makes it feel a bit easier.. Listen.. I’m the type of Composer/Producer who creates music quickly.. I usually don’t have the time to hire someone to mix it, it’s up to me.. But when I sharpen my skills on the sonic end it really brings out so much more of the dynamics and emotion that I’m trying to express.
JP also is very familiar with UAD Plugin’s and the Apollo UAD Quad audio interface I just bought.. (way cool by the way)! He helped me set it up and got me going quickly..
In this age of laptop studios and DIY productions I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your eye on the final representation of your musical creations.. A bit of homework and experimenting on your part goes a long way toward finding that edge..
By the way…Here’s a cool article on JP using UAD plugins..( Now some of my favorites!) ( Those and Izotope plugs)
Hello to all my music colleagues out in word-press land
So I’ve been using the Apollo Quad for a week or so now and I’m really beginning to understand what all the hub-ub is about regarding UAD plugin’s..I’ve really only been scratching the surface but the UAD610B preamp plugin sounds great on both Guitar and Vocals. Punchy and “in your Face”! The Fairchild 670 is a great compressor! It has a sound ,no doubt (not transparent) but I like it!! There are four preamps built in to the unit so I’ve connected my preamps, (an Avalon 737sp and a Focusrite Red 7) to inputs 5 and 6. The ADAT Lightpipe on the back is connected to my VisonDAW PC running Reaper with my sample libraries, synth’s and other Plugin’s. I’ve been pluging my Strat straight into the HiZ inputs and getting some great sounds using some of the plugs as well…
I love how I can print my audio with these plug’s and then free up the Apollo processor for my mix later. You can also set the Apollo console to just “hear” the plugs on your input and not print them. So far I’ve been doing all this through the firewire 800 port! I’m really interested to see how the unit operates with Thunderbolt! ( New Mac is on order).
So what’s bad about this unit ? Not a whole lot. The only aspect I’m a little perturbed about is how much UA pushes me to buy new plugs! It’s very difficult to decipher which plugs you own and which ones you don’t! As my buddy Brian Monroney says regarding buying UAD Plugs: ” You feel like your a rat with a lever for food” Hah! That being said I’m slowly memorizing the plugs I do own..and I’m sure I’ll buy more eventually. I’ve been using the Apollo with Digital Performer and it was really easy to set up.. (kudos to amazing engineer/composer friend John Paterno for helping me with that). So this means I’m moving away from the PCIE system I’ve had in place for several years and upgrading once again! Something all of us computer-based audio addicts have to do from time to time. This time my studio gear is REALLY shrinking in size! My racks in my studio desks are emptying out. and there is a lot more space in here.. Very Feng shui… All the best to you guys.. Talk shortly
Many thanks to Connie Nassios at webworks for designing my new site on wordpress! The functionality and DIY ease of use on the new wordpress open source is absolutely mind blowing!
And.. what’s really cool is I’m back online the day after the FCC approved it’s “Net Neutrality” ruling, regulating broadband internet as a public utility. This means my voice (and yours) has just as much internet horsepower as Google… You can bet I’ll be here, blogging about whatever… and I certainly do appreciate your comments regarding whatever tangent I happen to be upon. Life is really one big conversation that we’re meant to have over a nice steak dinner and a glass of Pinot….Many thanks again for your friendship!
Yo fellow Guitar Players! I recently finished a slew of solo Acoustic Guitar tunes for Megatrax. It was hard work !! Not only playing but writing for the Acoustic Guitar. Trying to fill up the space with one instrument is a daunting task.. I found some Alternate tunings that worked really well.. They not only open up the sound of the instrument.. but force you into harmonies and melodies you might not go to in standard tuning. The first and foremost of course would be DADGAD. A fairly easy tuning to get in touch with. It just took fooling around with it for a few days and I fell into some cool stuff..!! Another I used was DADF#AD. Almost the same as DADGAD but now an open D chord. This tuning I’ve used in the past with Slide Guitar. My newest tuning that I’ve gotten a kick out of is CGCGCD. Really Beautiful !! Super open sound and a lot of really interesting voicings. It’s nice to have those fifth intervals in there. (More similar to a Mandolin, GDAE)
Here’s a tune for that project with that tuning.. ( actually I think it’s that tuning relationship up a half step starting with C#)
Hope you like it…
Evergreen Films trusted me with their new release for the Nat Geo channel called “And Man Created Dog”. They were short on time and gave me 3 weeks to score 96 minutes of show !! It was a rush, but with the help of my old compadre, composer Guy Thomas we came in a little ahead of schedule !! The show explores the domestication of dogs from wolves. It uncovers the unique symbiotic relationship between man and dog and the amazing evolution of our “best friend”. I dedicate the entire score to the canine love of my life. my dear sweet dog of my dreams, “Kaela”, an Aussie Sheperd who has filled my life with warmth and affection ! The show begins airing on the National Geographic Channel August 8th !!
check it out !!!
Last weekend I got to play a few shows with my old brother Jon Secada… We go way far back to working in Miami clubs together..
I can remember when Jon first began writing songs !! Jon just released a gorgeous Jazz record so I put together a stellar band of players for him, including the fearless Larry Steen on Electric and Upright Bass, the one and only Kendall Kay on Kit and the delicate but ferocious Doug Webb on Tenor and Flute.. We played a beautiful club down in San Diego called “Anthology”!! I was blown away by the place !! Jon absolutely sang his butt off that night..