OIART Student Blog – Gabriel – Week 9

Nov.18 / 2011
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Wow.  Week 9 already.  It seems like just yesterday that we were introduced to ribbon mic basics and basilar membrane.  How far we’ve come!  Among other things, this week we set up for a “talking head” (i.e. podium) gig, did some patch bay soldering, recorded a song and listened to classic tracks from rock, to jazz to crazy bleeps and boops.  Check it.

Here we are in the Screening Room listening to an assortment of classic tracks from the likes of John Coltrane, the Beach Boys, Captain Beefheart, Pink Floyd, the Stooges… well, you get the picture.  Contemporary musicians, producers and engineers grew up on this stuff, so, if you aren’t already, it’s important to be familiar with it.  Then you can “borrow” from it too.  Anyways, I’m pretty sure that we’re listening to the Beach Boys in this photo.  You can tell by Shawn’s bemused smile (“Wouldn’t it be nice if every kiss were, in fact, never ending?”), Ian’s mesmerized stare (“Is that an accordion I hear?”), and Brian’s full blown grin (“Man, if they think this stuff is great, wait’ll they hear the sax solo in Kokomo!  80s Beach Boys is where it’s at.”)

Jake is setting up some speakers for a mock podium gig.  According to Christoph (our Live Sound instructor), these gigs are among the best because you get all dressed up in a fancy-schmancy suit/dress and you get free food.  I know.  It sounds good to me too.  Interesting fact:  9 times out of 10 the preferred choice for presidential speeches is the ubiquitous SM57.  I wonder if they load it more heavily at the pre amp stage so as to eliminate the characteristic ringing of the transformer in the high frequencies.  Yeah, you know – the lower the impedance the higher the back EMF.  Ha, I can hear you rolling your eyes at that bit of audio nerdiness.

Ever wonder why there aren’t ever any pictures of the blog writer in the actual blogs posts?  Me neither.  My wife, however, told me that she wanted to see me in a picture.  Here you go, honey.  Photo credit: Ian.

Here is Cam doing some pro-star patch bay soldering.  Go from TRS to Bantam to XLR – in 45 minutes.  Go!  Imagine making the connections on a whole patch bay…  That’s some good, honest hard work.  A great challenge.  We are also being evaluated on our soldering technique this week, so wish us luck.  According to Cam, however, there is no such thing as luck – just solder and safety googles.

The crew and I ware able to record an entire song this week.  As it turns out, Brian is planning on using it for the animated sitcom that he is writing.  It is a pretty goofy number entitled “Playin’ Out”.  Brian played acoustic guitar, Shawn played bass, I played drums and Ian surprised us all by doing the finest mouth trumpet we had ever heard.  Even Greg (the Intern, between the two monitors) is in a mild state of shock.  Ian’s sound was more of a cross between a trumpet and a kazoo.  A Kazumpet or a Trumpoo, if you will.  Tons of fun.  We also get to work with Studio 1’s Control 24, a few awesome mics (the Peluso 22-47, a couple of Neumann 184s, and a couple of Royer 122s, for example), as well as the Universal Audio 6176 pre/compressor combo.  Mmm…