For an awesome sound, start them all at once.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
For an awesome sound, start them all at once.
Friday, March 25, 2011
What I was looking/hoping for was a single EQ that would not only sound great, but one that would function well in many situations from use on individual tracks to mastering. (Note: I already own the Waves Mastering Suite, which I'm fairly happy with, but that interface for their EQ is clunky and it is not appropriate for individual tracks.) And of course I wanted a price that I could afford on a student budget. What I learned was there were a lot of other features, in addition to sound quality, that I would come to value as I demoed all these EQs.
Here is the short list, developed from my reading, work and friends recommendations (in alphabetical order):
McDSP Filterbank and NF575
First off: I think they *all* sounded great. Really, any of these are quality, but different beasts. This really did boil down to features and to my personal preference of how I like to work. Originally, I thought I would just get the Masterworks or the Oxford, but they left the list early. The Masterworks while affordable if I was making more money and having probably the cleanest and easiest interface and a great visualizer, did not offer an academic discount, so it was gone. The Oxford interface was just not happening for me, so it was gone. I know, some people will disagree with basing my decision on this, but when mixing a lot, interface becomes important. McDSP was also excellent, but I found that I would need to get two of theirs to do all of what I wanted (in particular, to do surgical notching of problem frequencies I would need to add the NF575). And also: that retro oscilloscope color scheme was not happening for me. The price is very reasonable, and it is on sale at the moment of this writing as well. Flux Epure is simply glorious, and the interface is unmatched for its beauty, but too expensive for me, so it was off the list early.
At this time, it boiled down to the Sonalksis and the iZotope, I did a lot of A/B’ing the EQ and really liked them both, but for just EQ, the SV-517 edged out the Alloy (the Alloy as a channel strip offers way more than an EQ, but EQ is my focus here) purely on sound preference. THEN, while reading online about EQs, I ran across DMG Audio’s Equality and downloaded it. Now the race was between Sonalksis and the newcomer DMG. I did more research and found that Dave Gamble had worked for several plug-in developers, including Sonalksis. I found this interesting thread at Gear Slutz about the development of Equality: http://www.gearslutz.com/board/product-alerts-older-than-2-months/452980-dmgaudio-equality.html and read a few online reviews.
My preference for the sound was still leaning heavily towards the Sonalksis, but then I emailed Dave Gamble and told him I was trying to get his EQ to sound like the SV-517, probably not the most tactful thing to ask, but he does say it is the only EQ you will need. He promptly emailed me back, had me change the preset (which I hadn’t noticed) and a few other settings (detailed on technical issues, super helpful) and I must say, it sounded like I wanted it to sound. I also emailed him a few other times, and he got right back to me, pretty awesome. Plus: I preferred the interface (larger, easier to read, easy-on-the-eyes colors), the auto-listen makes surgical work easier, large boost/cut range, great visualizer, linear phase option (I like this when mastering), analog and digital options, pretty over-the-top in features. A note on the plethora of features: this is an EQ with a learning curve, but if you use the presets, you will find yourself getting right on it. (I’m so used to presets being on the top of the plug, that I at first missed them on the mid/lower right hand side.)
SO, I go to pay, but before I do, I start to work on a session with acoustic guitar, trumpet, drums...I was looking for some dynamic control on the drums and my demo for the iZotope Alloy plug was functioning so I threw it on there for the dynamics...ended up LOVING it. So I ended up deciding to purchase two plugs...DMG Equality and iZotope Alloy, both of which I’m sure will be a regular part of my arsenal in Pro Tools 9.
A note on sales and support. DMG, admittedly a smaller company, also wins hands down on this. Prompt, knowledgeable and courteous (great combination), Dave Gamble got back to me very quickly answering technical questions and about sales. Meanwhile, I'm still waiting to hear back from iZotope sales after sending them from my school email address, as proof of my student status: a photo of my letter of support, a photo of my school ID and a link at the UCSD music website showing them my active status....waiting....Maybe DMG will have a compressor out by the time I hear from iZotope...
After hoping to mix with Alloy over the weekend, and in spite of several emails starting early Friday morning (I know, weekend...), I did not hear from iZotope until I emailed yet again late Monday afternoon their time, at which point I did receive the code for the academic discount. I admit, I would've liked to have had it sooner for work.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Had a VERY enjoyable recording session today, a little different: all acoustic! Tom McNalley on steel string and resonator guitar, Ted Byrnes on drums/percussion and I played Bb trumpet, quartertone trumpet and flugelhorn. Ben Power came to assist me with the session and ended up staying the whole time....really made things go so much smoother.
In the control room: Ted, Ben and Tom
(Click any image to enlarge.)
Ben and Ted
Tom, Jeff and Ted
The live room
Post session Pizza at Blind Lady Ale House
Monday, March 21, 2011
A student last quarter in my Blues class met and spent some time with Pinetop in Austin, Texas...she brought me back an autographed CD and a verbal invitation to his 100th birthday party, which he was already planning. RIP, Pinetop.
NYT Obituary for Pinetop Perkins...
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Real enjoyable gig last Friday....Porter's Pub at UCSD, produced by the wonderful Brian Ross!
Opening: Jeff Kaiser, solo (photo of Jeff Kaiser by Brian Ross, all others by Jeff Kaiser. Click to enlarge.)
Kronomorfic: David Borgo, Bill Barrett and
Paul Garrison, Gunnar Biggs, Paul Pellegrin, Nathan Hubbard
Marco Minneman, Mike Keneally, Brian Beller