Techno innovator Robert Hood tears up as he recalls younger self

It’s easy to look at music’s superstars, the people on pedestals – regardless of genre – and see them as something beyond human. Yet the reality for most musicians, the lifeblood of what making music is, is people who are vulnerable. It’s wrapped up in the human experience. The thing is, we don’t always get … Continue →

The post Techno innovator Robert Hood tears up as he recalls younger self appeared first on Create Digital Music.

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Clean Bandit engineer would ‘Rather Be’ with a Vi3000

Clean Bandit engineer would 'Rather Be' with a Vi3000

Paul Hatt, monitor engineer for Clean Bandit, has spoken about his reliance on Soundcraft's Vi3000 digital live sound console during live performances.

The electronic group have come a long way in the past five years – their 2010 debut single Mozart's House reached Number 17 on the UK chart, but last year saw them soar to take the Number One spot with Rather Be, which also hit the Top Ten in the US and helped them to a 2015 Grammy for Best Dance Recording.

“Clean Bandit perform with a mixture of electronic and live drums, live strings and vocals, which makes getting a good mix a lot more challenging than with other acts I’ve worked with,” commented Hatt. “There’s a lot of movement on stage with different vocalists each singing lead on different songs, then switching back to background vocals. I have to blend live and electronic drums and the live cello and violin with the strings on the backing tracks.

"There are a lot of keyboard channels and sequencers, which are important signature sounds on each song. Staying on top of who’s playing what and making sure what they hear what they need to play and sing in tune and in time is quite a juggling act.”

Hatt configures the Vi3000 largely in stereo AUX/monitor mode using 48 local inputs. The console is connected via Cat5e to a Soundcraft Compact Stagebox, loaded with 24 additional line outs that feed the band’s in-ear monitor (IEM) rack. Clean Bandit use 12 stereo IEM systems and some hard-wired mics, which covers everyone in the band, the playback and backline technicians, plus a spare and guest mix. There are no wedges on stage, but on larger stages Hatt might add side fill speakers.

The Soundcraft Realtime Rack, a hardware/software unit designed in collaboration with plug-in manufacturer Universal Audio that provides access to 74 industry-standard UAD plug-ins is also part of Hatt's arsenal, and is connected via the Vi3000’s onboard MADI interface.

Hatt had been a Soundcraft user for years before taking the Vi3000 on tour with Clean Bandit. “Soundcraft has been my console platform of choice and the one I feel most comfortable with, so along comes the Vi3000 and of course I had to try it. “With the Vi3000 I can get a compact console in the back of the trailer with all the band’s gear, but with all the I/O and processing I need for the job.”

“It really is a brilliant choice for monitor mixing – 24 stereo AUXs in such a compact package is a thing of joy.” Hatt had used other consoles and found them too limiting. “I’d always have to compromise somewhere with the large number of IEMs the band uses. Not anymore – you can just keep adding more stereo mixes with the Vi3000 and everyone is covered properly.”

Having been a fan of the brand for some time, the engineer also appreciates that the Vi3000 feels immediately familiar. “It’s the same user interface you know and love, so you’re instantly familiar with the operation, but there are some added enhancements which make the desk feel a bit more up to date.”

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Multi-Platinum engineer Smith Carlson chooses Presonus

Multi-Platinum engineer Smith Carlson chooses Presonus

Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum engineer, producer, and songwriter Smith Carlson has voiced his approval for the PreSonus Sceptre S8 CoActual two-way studio monitors, which have become a major part of his set-up lately.

Carlson began his career at Chalice Recording Studios in Los Angeles, working on projects from Dave Grohl, Kanye West, and the television show Glee. He went on to work under Danja Handz, spent six months working with Pharrell Williams, and engineered for Sean “Diddy” Combs. In recent years, he has worked with such acts as Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Beyoncé, U2, and Demi Lovato.

“The Sceptre S8s are very flat and accurate, which is what I look for,” Carlson commented. “But they’re not boring; my mixes still have life. In fact, it’s exciting to produce with Sceptres. I don’t even know how it’s possible to be flat and accurate and still exciting but S8s accomplish it. I haven’t found that in many other speakers. Once I’m finished mixing on the S8s, I don’t have to check on different speakers and then go back and remix. I end up with a great mix that translates to anywhere.”

Many Sceptre users use the speakers’ rear-panel tuning controls to adjust to their spaces. But according to Carlson, his room is so well designed and tuned that the Sceptre S8s sound accurate with only one minor tweak. "I filtered off the bass a little bit, and it worked really well. Otherwise, I don't change the settings because I don’t need to, and besides, I don’t really know what that would do to my signal,” he explained.

Carlson appreciates the S8s’ low-end reproduction: “Recently, I've been using S8s for every hip-hop project because the low end comes through really nicely,” he enthused. “They were a lifesaver! Nothing comes close to S8s sonically at their price point.”

PreSonus’ ADL 700 preamp/channel strip is another Carlson favourite: “I mostly use my ADL 700s for instrumental foundation tracks,” he stated. “The preamp sounds very clean, and it seems to help tame the highs, which makes it great on acoustic guitar. It’s also great for electric guitar and fantastic for DI electric bass. I use the ADLs for synths all the time, as well.”

One of the features Carlson is most impressed by is the ability to switch the order of the EQ and the compressor in the signal chain. He rarely uses the compressor, “but the EQ is fantastic. It's really easy to use and the frequency bands are spread out nicely.”

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A-T presents President’s Award to Millar Electronics

A-T presents President's Award to Millar Electronics

Audio-Technica has handed its prestigious President’s Award to North Carolina-based Millar Electronics, as recognition of the company's work with the brand during the 2014/2015 fiscal year and its 'outstanding commitment and dedication.'

Millar Electronics represents Audio-Technica in the US states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The Award presented by Audio-Technica US president and CEO Philip Cajka, and received by Millar Electronics principals Herman Civils and Pete Petty.

“Millar Electronics is one of our newer rep firms, but they have distinguished themselves since their appointment in 2014 with a high level of service, sales and marketing of the Audio-Technica brand," said Cajka. "We thank them for their dedicated service and hard work, and we are proud to celebrate with them.”

Picture (left to right): John Herr, Millar Electronics product support; Pete Petty; Doug Swan, Audio-Technica national director of sales and marketing, Professional Markets; Philip Cajka; Herman Civils; and Jerry Silhavy, Millar Electronics outside sales.

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Powersoft X Series powers Pistoia Blues festival

Powersoft X Series powers Pistoia Blues festival

Four of Powersoft’s new X8 amplifiers were utilised by technical production company Electra Service to power the PA system at the recent Pistoia Blues festival in Italy.

MD of Electra Service, Roberto Buttarelli, who provided the full technical infrastructure, assigned the amps to drive key parts of the Martin Audio PA system for the 36th edition of Pistoia Blues, which again took place in Piazza Duomo, Florence, over the course of nine evenings.

The eight-channel amplifiers were able to power a combination of four Martin Audio W8LM Mini line array infills, two further hangs of six W8LM outfills, and also drove the 12 Martin Audio bi-amped LE2100S monitors. These enclosures supported the main Martin Audio MLA array, which was provided by the consortium All Access, of which Electra Service are members.

PA manager Paolo ‘Red’ Talami explained that the addition of the new W8LM outfills for this year was due to the installation of new grandstands on the sides of the historic Piazza Duomo: “The total number of W8LM Minis used rose to 20, including the infill system and all were amplified by the new Powersoft X-series amplifiers. These are extremely versatile and incredibly effective, enabling us to also drive the entire monitoring system.”

This versatility was central to Buttarelli’s thinking when purchasing the amplifiers, which were first demoed to him by Powersoft’s Italian distributor Audiosales.

“We had been looking for the best and most innovative technology in the market,” he noted. “Thanks to a complete DSP, a universal power supply and the possibility to set up a lot of different universal configuration to drive the rig such as we had at Pistoia Blues, the Powersoft proved itself to be the perfect amplifier and exactly what we were looking for. They are also light and compact, taking up a minimal amount of space.”

Electra Service has now replaced its previous front-line amplifiers in the company’s inventory. “It seems that Powersoft is becoming the new standard in amplifiers, and the Pistoia Blues festival confirmed that we’ve made the right choice … there is no question,” Buttarelli added.

As for Pistoia Blues, Talami confirmed that all artists’ production teams were entirely at ease with the FOH set-up: “The system techs and FOH engineers were entirely happy.”

The production team itself comprised the same personnel who had worked on the 2014 event. Organised by the Associazione Blues in conjunction with the Comune di Pistoia, (City of Pistoia), the event has diversified far from its authentic blues roots, and headliners this year included Mumford & Sons (pictured), Counting Crows, Hozier, Passenger, The Darkness, Dream Theater, Santana, Sting and an Italian Blues Night.

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Pioneer DJM-S9 Videos: Watch Eskei83 + Skratch Bastid On The New Mixer

At the DJTT HQ we’ve been drooling over the images of the Pioneer DJM-S9 battle mixer since it first leaked early last week, and now that the full photos and announcement are out, it’s very exciting. There are two new videos from established battle DJs Eskei83 and Scratch Bastid on the DJM-S9 – watch now. Eskei83 […]

The post Pioneer DJM-S9 Videos: Watch Eskei83 + Skratch Bastid On The New Mixer appeared first on DJ TechTools.

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