Yes it’s that time again: Open Studios at the American Fabrics Artists’ space in historic Bridgeport CT. As per usual we will be offering our annual TAG SALE event. Much rad audio / recording /musical stuff for sale at well below typical online / ebay prices. Used and vintage hi fi gear, rack equipment, vintage microphones, NOS audio tubes, transformers, blah di d blah blah blah
Our ongoing series of cassette multi-track experiments rolls on with the Sansui MR6.
This ADAT-sized multitrack machine dates from 1990 or thereabouts. It records 6 tracks on a standard type 2 audio tape at double speed, with defeatable Dolby C and zero return. And that’s pretty much it. No gain trims, no autolocate, nothing. It really is strictly a tape machine and requires a mixer in order to use it in any sensible way. I picked it up for about $100 on ebay; a quick clean and demag and that’s it. Seems to work fine. High end response seems to trail off around 14k on a first-pass, which is A O K w/me. Here’s how it sounds, and thank u Jenny Holzer:
As with the earlier tracks in this series: the rules for tracking and bouncing are simple: no midi. no editing. Nothing u couldn”t do in the 80s. The only effects used for tracking are the Yamaha E1010 that you see there, a cheap boss reverb pedal, console EQ, and acoustic sources were tracked with some compression via that Symetrix 528E you see there. Marimba and shaker/tambo were mic’d with a Neumann KM184; vocals are an EV RE15 for no other reason that it is what I had on the desk at the moment.
1: Korg volca beats kk/snare pulse sync’d to korg SQ1 driving that repeating 8-note figure on… 2: korg MS20, 3: one-note low pad on Minbrute, 4. Yamaha MR10 toms/CH SN dbl hand-played, 5. elec bass DI’d thru a cheap gtr preamp
(bounce to track 6)
8th note shaker/tambo played w foot, 2. Marimba (doubling and/or harmonizing MS20 part, 3. Basic polyphonic sampler of me singing an ‘A’ note ahhh, 4. analog choir synth sound
(bounce to track 5)
1, 2, 4: vocals (hi is doubled),
3: ch synth pad
My goal as with the previous productions was to mix this all on my lil Mackie Onyx 1220 el cheapo mixer into a single pair in Pro Tools, but I couldn’t find a way to route it while still using two FX returns (my patchbay on this lil desktop rig is very limited). So I played all six final tape tracks into P/T, and once in PT it was hard to resist applying a bit of EQ and compression to each stem. Also mix FX on vocals were via P/T (Echo Boy and Valhalla Verb). But that was it – no editing, no tuning, no fixin’. That weird noise at the head is probably some kinda bias abomination that resulted when I did the first bounce, but it’s really part of the charm, ain’t it. Whole mix is low passed at about 12K, which really ties it together IMO.
It’s a perfect day in summer. You’re walking along the slope of a beautiful mountain on the wooded outskirts of Berlin; when you look down you see that this is not a mountain at all. It’s the biggest rubble pile ever created. Bits of ReBar and concrete stick up through the dirt, the remains of 400,000 buildings leveled in the last weeks of WWII. And then. Atop the hill. An enormous, impossible structure that is built literally and figuratively, on top of decades of conflict, fear, and terror. Teufelsberg.
Click the link if you want the story. It’s too much information for me to relate and it’s been told many times by better tellers. But. Suffice to say: I paid the seven Euro bribe to the squatters who de facto control it now and it was well worth the 2-donor-kebab’s worth of weird shit I saw. And recorded. And I give those recordings to you now, edited, EQd, and ready to drop into yr timeline.
I don’t know who the “vocalist” you hear is, so I can’t grant you any rights to that particular sample, but feel free to use the other samples as you like. Enjoy, and while I can’t recommend that you go dig around in this place, I can tell you that it def ain’t gonna be there much longer, and it’s much harder to find than people in Berlin will tell you.
On this day, which history will recount as the Day Of Brexit, your humble audio historian/engineer/hoarder (that’s me) greets you with a simple request. Please buy this $30 T-Shirt.
FWIW, neither this site nor our Youtube channel has ever accepted any of the many many offers for advertising and/or ‘branding opportunities’ that have come our way. We have kept it direct+ unfiltered, catering to no one. But like your friendly local NPR station, we are not above asking for money. We struggled to find the right kind of $30 T-Shirt to offer, and when we learned about the uber-rare circa 1970 Wally Heider Recording promo shirt (see right), one of which recently went on sale for $1,500 (not a typo), we knew where to go with this. Email Chris@preservationSound.com for paypal payment instructions. $30 Shipped to your USA address. (ROW higher).
We also have a limited supply of GCR hooded sweatshirts – see above – with the same lovely graphic and colors. $55 shipped to you in the USA. ROW higher.
Shirts and sweatshirts are printed in Napa California on soft lightweight 100% cotton tees. Expect shrinkage. Large image at top is taken in natural light with no processing whatsoever. Shirts are subtle “Army Green” with mustard yellow ink. For shirts, unshrunken across arm holes (see image at left) are: Small 17″; Med 20″; XL 23.5″; XXL 25. NOTE: Size M, L and XL are sold out! Only S and XXL remaining for the shirts.
Sweatshirts measure across underarm as follows: medium 21″; large 23″; XL 25″ EDIT: we only have a single Medium sweatshirt in stock!
In the later part of 2015, Nathan Halpern and I wrote and recorded the original score to a new documentary film called OUT RUN. OUT RUN premieres next Friday April 8 at the Full Frame Doc festival in Durham North Carolina. Directed by Emmy-nominated filmmakers S. Leo Chiang and Johnny Symons, OUT RUN tells the story of the Ladlad political party. In the words of the Full Frame curators,
“Ladlad is the only LGBT political party in the world, and their charismatic transgender leader Bemz Benedito is running for Filipino Congress alongside two other LGBT candidates. Eighty percent of the legislature in the Philippines is elected by geographically defined voter districts; the other 20 percent consists of candidates from issue-oriented parties who campaign nationwide to represent marginalized minorities like farmers, women, and workers. The Philippines is a primarily Catholic country with a complicated relationship to LGBT issues. While Catholicism considers being gay a sin, many villages have drag beauty pageants, and beauty parlors are social hubs for a highly visible LGBT population who are tolerated as long as they don’t cross certain societal boundaries. Ladlad, taking their name from the slang word for “to come out,” tests campaign strategies: Do they defy the conservatives in power by expressing their authentic selves, or do they suppress their flamboyance to win over the most voters?”
The story is modern and dramatic, the backdrop of Manilla and its surrounding regions is colorful and dynamic, and we tried to reflect these qualities in the percussion-and-guitar based score that we created. For anyone interested in election politics or LGBT issues, the film is a must-see.
If you have been enjoying this site -my general take on sound and music – you will dig this album. It’s a synth record. It’s a strange record. But it’s strange and beautiful, and it comes from a very unique process + a very unique place. Please check it out, and consider ordering a copy. Vinyl is limited to 250 units and will sell out fast.
Interested in music production? Well, there’s a new 8-hour TV miniseries that you will want to know about. It’s called Soundbreaking and it’s an amazing documentary about the history and craft of music recording. Nathan Halpern and I wrote and recorded the original music and title theme for the series. We previously worked with show creator Jeff Dupre on his award-winning Kehinde Wiley doc and we could not be more thrilled to have been a part of this incredible new program. Aside from an enormous depth of rare archival materials, the show features over 160 new interviews. The first EP will debut at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival. I will post broadcast times/channels when available.