Monday, December 13, 2010

Student Blog - Assortment of Audio

Audio Production Student, Jordan Lindgren, has been keeping a great personal blog about his experiences with recording and live sound.  He has been involved with both local music production and working as a crew member for national touring acts.  Jordan is a perfect example of the kind of talent and passion for audio production that we are proud to have here at DSU.  Here's a great video he made from a recording session earlier this year:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cleaning up Vinyl at the "Transfer Station"

Professor Dan Mortenson, shown above, is hard at work in the studio cleaning up some vinyl records.  Along with our control room and tracking room, we also have a transfer station that can assist in digitizing your vinyl, VHS tapes and cassettes.  We are always looking for new ways to add usefulness to the studio and benefit students and the university.  Additionally, students are given assignments that deal with learning to transfer audio and created a cleaned-up "re-master" that sounds beautifully restored in digital form.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turning a Speaker into a Microphone

What happens when you connect an XLR cable to a speaker and plug it into a mixer or mic pre-amp?  It simply becomes a microphone!  As a fun project, we took an old speaker from a cabinet and did just that. The best use that I've heard of for this type of microphone is its use on a kick drum to capture the extended low-end.  These are sometimes referred to as a "sub-kick".  We are hoping to find a more professional way to mount the speaker, but for now we have something usable to work with.  It will be interesting to see the results when Paul tests it on a drum kit this weekend.  Here's what we made:

Sub-kick Speaker turned into a microphone
The Sub-kick mic speaker
Paul Schipper working on the sub kick
Instructor Nathan Edwards working on the sub kick

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Live Sound class in "The Underground"

Live Sound Class
In our Live Sound class, we spent some time in the union venue, "The Underground", discussing live sound techniques. We talked about setting up stage monitors, setting gain, DI boxes, and adjustments to EQ and compression. Also, we compared various different types of microphones and polar patterns to see how much gain we can get before creating feedback.  In this vid, student Paul Schipper explains how to properly wrap an XLR cable:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chris Champion on Acoustic Guitar

The first secret to capturing a great recording is to start with a great musician, and we were lucky enough to begin working with the hugely talented Chris Champion in our Studio Sessions class on Friday.

Chris is a phenomenal jazz guitarist who recently moved to the area from Arizona.  He played an interpretation of "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" with multiple layers of overdubs that ended up sounding like an acoustic trio.

It was great to put some of our techniques into practice, including mic placement, setting proper levels, routing a headphone mix, and multitrack editing in Pro Tools.  We are looking forward to working much more with Chris in future sessions!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Recording Acoustic Ukelele

DSU Student Paul Schipper recorded Jeremy Dougherty singing the song, Trouble, by the band Never Shout Never.  Paul learned a lot about mic'ing a relatively unique instrument like the ukelele and how to best capture a live acoustic performance.  He ended up with a great-sounding mix!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Live Sound at the Brickhouse Bash

Dialing in the mix while Paul makes a recording
Last night, (Friday, Oct. 8) several students and I ran live sound for the "Brickhouse Bash" event in downtown Madison.  The musicians were Jack Rollins and "The Sewer Rats" who played rootsy folk music and blues-inspired rock music, respectively.  The event was hosted by the Madison Area Arts Council, who also presented an art show.  The event provided the community with a fun place to spend a Friday night on a beautiful Fall evening.

The Jack Rollins band on the decorated stage
More work at the board
The Sewer Rats Performing
The drummer for The Sewer Rats

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Paul in the DSU Studio

Paul in the moment.
DSU student Paul Schipper is hard at work on a project in the studio this weekend.  We have been working on A-B Stereo mic techniques and learning how to become more efficient in Pro Tools.

Studio Gear Tour

Here's some pics of our studio setup:
Dual Monitor setup on OSX with Euphonix controller

Pro Tools HD and Mic Pre-Amps

Some outboard gear including ART Dual analog compressors, Presonus vocal channel strip, and headphone amp.
Toft Audio ATB Analog Mixing Board

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mixing Ben Franklin

Dan Mortenson taking control of the board.
Today, we had the pleasure of running sound for one of the great figures in our history who helped to shape our nation into what it is today.  Yes, Ben Franklin himself showed up to talk to the students at an all-school convocation.  It was what I'm sure will be the first of many fun sound gigs to take place this year.  Much more to come!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Welcome to the DSU Audio Prodcution Blog!

Students will be using this blog as a way to show their work and interests throughout the semester.  I'm looking forward to having a lot of fun this semester!

-  Nathan Edwards