Academy Dashboard Forum Production Production Techniques An error in "The Circle of Fifths!" Reply To: An error in "The Circle of Fifths!"

face (chris) Janton

    All of the folks I know who play in bands suffer from having someone (or someones) in the band being "in charge" of the sound. Some folks believe that they know when everything is right for the room by listening to the 85 dB blasting at them from the wedge, no band, just them. Needless to say they could use help 😉 I was lucky enough to get them to let me record them directly from their mixer (no serious backline) and started making them finished tracks from live gigs. I had a blast, they got better for a while. I have been known to help out by being "trusted ears". Latest "work" is with a band I did sound for during a live event in March. Recorded all 16 channels of goodness, now mixing audio to attach to videos for band promotion. I have so much to learn.

    This is "school". Lectures, labs, homework, personal projects. Trying to get the band folks into a studio with a big, live room to get some experience recording them in a slightly more controlled space 😉 I never saw a control room in a studio, except through the glass, always being in the room where the band was (tuba player, lessons sometimes were me sitting next to the boss while he did jingles - quiet as a mouse).

    I have been a computer type since 1970 - all aspects of "big iron" from running them to programming them. Along the way I became a systems programmer. Got hired to help write the software for a box that could be added to a "dumb" 3-axis milling machine. I wrote the user interface and software that would let you program the steps for creating/re-creating a part. Think of it as a step-sequencer for anything that can move in 3-D space and time. Wheee. That one was hard.

    In the 1990s I got involved with a music prof at the university where I worked. He wanted to move his pedagogy forward using computers. I had forgotten how to speak "classically trained" so I went back and did the 2 years of theory, class piano, sight-singing etc. Was fun. He decided we would build the "Orchestra Nova" - 1991 - Eight 88-key MIDI controllers, 8 piano performance majors, 3 dedicated music geeks. We scored orchestral works for 16 hands with JV880s, Proteus (forget the models), Opcode Studio 5 MIDI tools and a Mac using Studio Vision to record the entire thing as well as route the proper hands to the proper voice in the proper rompler. We did some reasonable emulations of a full orchestra. Really wanted to be able to do it live with 1 solo pianist in one location and the 14 orchestral "hands" in another. Duplicate the rack of gear...never were able to do it...latency was beyond real. Today? 2 laptops and some tasty Dante networking along with MIDI over the network.

    I want to record "more better". I want to improve my mixing skills. I want to improve my "system design" skills. I funneled my "creative" into the beginnings of the computer taking over everything 😉 System design (producing), System integration (mixing), System programming (recording).

    I'm still doing the same thing I have been doing for more than 45 years, just using a different set of tools in a different medium. For me this is marvelous. I started out as a professional musician, wound up "doing computers" but making the tools and learning along with the engineers how to make the tools and toys that I can now use to make music again.

    It feels good when someone comes up and asks "what did you do to make them sound so much better?". The bands are still the "talent", but I get my two cents in by helping make it "more better". Oh, yeah, I also get to listen to music I enjoy and maybe have an adult beverage or two.

    Just learning the 21st Century version of "musician-speak".