NAB 2104 Show Highlights Posted

This is a consolidated version of the blogettes that I posted during the show. Not a lot of new information since then other than links and a few pictures, but if you didn’t read those, you’ll find the full report on the Trade Show Reports page, or just grab it here.

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Audio-Technica Hosts Livestreamed “Ask Me Anything” and Educational Mic Presentatios at NAB 2014

Some of the industry’s top audio experts will converge on the Audio-Technica booth at the NAB show on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday April 7-9. In the mornings, get answers to your questions during 30-minute, Q&A-style “Ask Me Anything” forums. Afternoons will feature educational presentations on various topics concerning the use and application of different types of microphones.The presentations are somewhat slanted toward broadcast and production than studio work, but microphones are microphones, and knowing their characteristics and applications in one field can be helpful in another field.

All Q&A and educational sessions will be available on line live via this Livestream link.

Your questions can be submitted through the Livestream link, you can tweet them to #ATliveNAB, or if you’re attending the show, come to the real live presentations at booth C1720. Here’s the schedule, subject to change, of course. Since this is live from Las Vegas, all times are Pacific Daylight time:

Monday, April 7, 2014

  •     10:00 a.m. Ask Me Anything with Dennis Baxter – EMMY® Award-winning sports and Olympic sound designer
  •     11:00 a.m. Ask Me Anything with Michael Abbott – TV audio mixer & producer; work includes GRAMMY® and CMA Award shows
  •     1:30 p.m. Mic Presentation with Fred Ginsburg, C.A.S. (Cinema Audio Society) – “Rigging Lavalier Microphones for Film/Video Production”
  •     2:30 p.m. Mic Presentation with Robert Bigelow, Audio mixer/sound editor for film and TV; recent projects include NCIS New Orleans, Star-Crossed and Treme – “Mid-Side/Stereo Miking Demystified”
  •     3:30 p.m. Mic Presentation with Dennis Baxter – “Sports Miking Techniques”

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  •     10:00 a.m. Ask Me Anything with Maureen Droney – Senior Executive Director, The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing
  •     11:00 a.m. Ask Me Anything with Lenise Bent – Audio mixer/engineer & producer for music and film, including DreamWorks productions
  •     1:30 p.m. Mic Presentation with Fred Ginsburg – “Selection and Use of Boom Microphones”
  •     2:30 p.m. Mic Presentation with Robert Bigelow – “Recording Live Music for Broadcast”
  •     3:30 p.m. Mic Presentation with Fred Ginsburg – “When and How to Use Planted Microphones”

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  •     10:00 a.m. Ask Me Anything with Larry Estrin – Audio technology innovator, Founder of BEST Audio; work includes presidential debates, the Super Bowl, Olympics and Disney
  •     11:00 a.m. Ask Me Anything with Robert Bigelow
  •     1:30 p.m. Mic Presentation with Steve Savanyu – “Microphone Techniques for Digital SLR Cameras”
  •     2:30 p.m. Mic Presentation with Fred Ginsburg – “Intro to Multi-track Location Dialogue Recording”
  •     3:30 p.m. Mic Presentation with Fred Ginsburg – “Advanced Workflow for Multi-track Location Dialogue Recording”


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Get A Free Sound Toys Little PrimalTap Plug-in

Who doesn’t need more plug-ins?  The Little PrimalTap is a kind of scaled down version of the Lexicon Prime Time. It’ll do straight echos, but a few other controls lets you do some pretty strange warping of what goes into it. It’s useful if you want to create some weird sounds, probably a throw-away if you don’t. Check out the info, and if it tickles your fancy, use THIS LINK to get to the Sound Toys download page. It includes a redemption code that will allow you to download the plug-in. It’s for Mac or Windows 32- or 64-bit (different versions) and works with Audio Units (AU), AAX, VST, and RTAS.

There are a couple of hoops you need to jump through. Although it doesn’t require a USB  iLok key to operate (you can install your license directly on your computer or on the iLok), you need to have an iLok account and have the iLok license manager installed on the computer where you’ll be using the plug-in. You also need a Sound Toys account. The Sound Toys registration is painless, though they do ask for your iKok account number. iLok is iLok. Love it or lump it. And in case you’re trying to figure out the link, this offer is a continuation of a promo that they had at the recent South by Southwest extravaganza.

This free offer is only good until March 28, so hop to it

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Prism Sound Presents Free Mike-to-Monitor Workshop

Learn about audio hardware design, get the best out of your studio and talk to leading engineers as they personally take you through their mixes and reveal their tips and tricks to achieve their acclaimed, signature sound.

Prism Sound presents a workshop featuring special guests Edward J ‘UK’ Nixon, chief engineer for The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and multi-Grammy award winning producer Dwayne ‘Supa Dups’ Chin-Quee. Topics to be presented are:

  • How do the pros do it?

  • What makes great gear great?

  • How is that hit sound achieved?

  • What does it take to become a successful and in demand engineer?

The seminar will be presented live in Atlanta on March 19 and Orlando on March 21. The March 21 presentation will be webcast live for those of us in the rest of the world.

Register or get more details here.

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Vintage Trad Show Reports Posted

A friend from the newsgroup way back located some NAMM and one AES show report that he had captured from my newsgroup postings. This was from a mostly pre-web era and these reports were newsgroup posts that I made reporting what i saw at the show that day. They’re not organized by product category nor spell checked and edited very diligently, no pictures, not many URL links (most of which are probably dead by now anyway) but they’re a picture of what was happening in the late 1990s. You might enjoy reminiscing or reading for the first time what was hot back then, and being glad that we don’t have to do it that way any more.

Gil Griffith of Wave Distribution once introduced me to someone as “Mike was blogging about shows before the word ‘blog’ was invented.” These are some early blogs. Visit the Trad Show Reports page, or go directly to them here:

NAMM Winter 2000
NAMM Winter 1999
NAMM Winter 1998
NAMM Summer 1997
NAMM Winter 1997

AES 1998


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Focusrite Studio Console Video and Contest

Our friends at Focusrite have produced an interesting historical video about the first studio console that they designed. There were only ten of those consoles built, and the video traces each one from its first installation to where it is today. It’s kind of interesting to see how far these things have gone (one was in a New Jersey studio that suffered a lot of flood damage from last year’s hurricane Sandy) and the efforts that owners have taken to keep those consoles alive and in use

The excuse for the video (or maybe it’s the other way around) is the 25th anniversary of the Focusrite brand. To celebrate, they’re having a contest, the prize being an expense paid (hopefully including transportation) recording session at AIR Studios in London.

Here’s the short link to the contest entry form and video. In order to enter, you’ll need to provide a link to some of your music, and answer a question about the Focusrite console. Hint: The answer is in the first five minutes of the video, so you don’t really have to watch the whole thing, but I recommend. it.

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The 78 Project

A piece on NPR’s Morning Edition (see the link at the bottom of this page) about The 78 Project caught my ear this morning. I’d never heard of this project before, but apparently it’s been going for a few years. A couple of folks from New York have resurrected a portable (it weighs 50 pounds, but there’s a handle on the case) Presto disk recorder from the 1940s, and have been takPrestoDiskCutter_78_Projecting it around, making direct-to-lacquer disk recordings of musicians in non-studio environments, invoking the spirit of Alan Lomax and his extensive field collecting work for the Library of Congress.

The 78 Project’s work isn’t quite like Lomax in that they’re not discovering music history. Most of their work, at least that which they’ve published, has been with established contemporarly artists in the (though I hate the term) “americana” genre, Richard Thompson, The Secret Sisters, Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash, Marshall Crenshaw and such. They’re issuing their recordings as vinyl LP pressings with a digital download including extensive notes, and for those who don’t have a turntable, their recordings are available for download through iTunes. This is definitely lo-fi stuff, and clearly a bit of a novelty, but they’re pretty serious about what they’re doing. In essence they’re using the disk recording and playback process as a signal processor, following up with contemporary digital mastering, sort of like using Grandpa’s TEAC to “warm up” your digital home studio recordings. From the photos, it looks like they’re using the original microphone that came with the recorder, or one like it.

I’m not sure how technically hip they are (the write about desparately changing tubes before a session), and their gear lust for a Newcomb suitcase turntable owned by one of their artists is a little strange (this is the sort of player common when I was in elementary school in the 1950s). They accept the flaws and glitches of the one-take sessions, but they seem to have some good guidance and want to let people know about what they’re doing, so I’m doing my part here in the interest of maintaining vintage technology. I hope they’re using something better than the Newcomb for transcribing the masters, and that they’re taking good care of the lacquers. They have a film in the works, too, as Kickstarter funded project.

For further details, visit The 78 Project web page

Here’s the NPR story

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