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Year End Wrap up

It’s been a good year here at MSR Studios. Our year finished up with Joe Ferla recording and Mixing Pat Metheny’s New Project ” Orchestrion ” in studio B.
I’ve known Joe quite a while. I assisted him on a Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack record  (with Jerry Wexler Producing ) at A&R
recording some years ago. He has an amazing body of work and is a great guy. I can’t say much about Pat’s project, we were kinda sworn
to secrecy. What I can say is that it was really a pleasure having him at the studio for over a month. One of the smartest, and most kind people you will ever
meet. There were constant technical challenges with what he was trying to do, and he was always patient and positive. When the project was complete
he allowed the entire staff to witness a demonstration playback. I thought that was very classy and everybody loved it.
To learn more about Pat’s new Album go to his web site www.patmetheny.com

On the topic of studio B, we plan on starting our cosmetic renovation of the entire facility in that room. Currently we have Frank’s Fully blown Euphonix  System 5 console in B. Frank is planning on moving at the beginning of the year, and our current plans are to get another System 5 in Studio B.
If you’re not familiar with this console these are the reasons we and our clients love it.

It has a pristine audio path, which makes the console beautiful to use when mixing or recording live instruments. Classical, jazz, film scores, and Broadway soundtracks are some of our biggest clients in this room. At the same time I’ve heard Frank Filipetti do some amazing rock, and pop mixes in that room. Proving you can get some bite and can do compression you wouldn’t get out of an analog console. If you don’t believe me check out his mixes of Frank Zappa Live he did in 5.1 or Ted Nugent  Live.
The console is also perfect for large 5.1 High sample rate mixes. Film scores will often use 96 tracks at 96 khz, mixing to 6- 5.1 stems. At lower sample rates ( This is a Protools limitation ) we can run 128 tracks or more to 32 channels of stem mixes. Try doing that in Protools. For Jazz Clients on a budget the total reset of a digital console allows them to pull off many remixes in one day, saving the budget and not having to compromise due to time limitations. Last the Euphonix is a full blown control surface for Protools, so it even works for clients mixing ” In The Box ” that want a professional environment.

For a year when there was much talk of the depressed music business, we did quite well.  We lost our large scoring room on 38th street, but we managed to devise a system to tie studios A and B to allow us to continue to do very large recording sessions. This system includes a massive amount of digital, analog, and video tie lines. One session occurring in both studios simultaneously can be controlled from either control room. Multiple video feeds and talk back systems keep communications clear.
We place the orchestra in Studio A, and the Singers in Studio B.
One might think that there would be a disadvantage recording a Broadway Show split between two studios but we have found there are clear advantages. In Modern day Broadway shows the ” Pit ” where the musicians play is really a series of small rooms beneath the stage and back stage. The musicians play every night watching the performance and the conductor on a video monitor. So with our system the conductor is directly in front of the musicians in the recording room, and the singers are seen on video monitors, which is very similar to show conditions.
The conductor has direct communication with the musicians. In studio B the vocal director works with the Soloists and ensemble. All can see and hear each other via video feeds. Cast members coming and going don’t interrupt the musicians rehearsals. This method of recording in two studios at once has proven quite successful. In 2009 alone the Broadway musicals ‘” Shreck ”  ” Hair ” ” Rock of Ages ” and  ” 9-5 ” were all recorded at our studio. As well ” West Side Story ” was mixed in studio B.

Other notable sessions at MSR this year include Eddie Kramer mixing Hendrix Tapes, Paul McCartney, Erykah Badu, Madonna, Nelly Furtado, and ” The Roots ” spending many weeks in studio A. ( That was fun!) Not a bad year.
Hope your 2010 is Happy, and healthy.
©2009 Bradshaw Leigh

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