Citation
High resolution audio production and alternate release formats

Material Information

Title:
High resolution audio production and alternate release formats a portfolio project
Creator:
Richmond, Jason
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xi, 101 leaves : illustrations ; 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Sound -- Recording and reproducing -- Digital techniques ( lcsh )
Sound recordings -- Production and direction ( lcsh )
Acoustical engineering ( lcsh )
Acoustical engineering ( fast )
Sound -- Recording and reproducing -- Digital techniques ( fast )
Sound recordings -- Production and direction ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 99-101).
General Note:
College of Arts and Media
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jason Richmond.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
518019961 ( OCLC )
ocn518019961
Classification:
LD1193.A70 2009m R52 ( lcc )

Full Text
HIGH RESOLUTION AUDIO PRODUCTION
AND
ALTERNATIVE RELEASE FORMATS:
A PORTFOLIO PROJECT
by
Jason Richmond
B.A., University of North Carolina, Asheville, 2002
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science
Recording Arts
2009


This thesis for the Master of Science
degree by
Jason Richmond
has been approved
by
Leslie Gaston
Lome Bregitzer
i/
Date


Richmond, Jason (M.S., Recording Arts)
High Definition Audio Production and Alternative Release Formats:
A Portfolio Project
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Leslie Gaston
ABSTRACT
The aim of this portfolio project is to document the process of producing an
album for stereo and 5.1 surround (5.1) to be released in a nontraditional way,
achieving high quality audio using the tools available in a small scale independent or
home studio. This will be done by eliminating the step of releasing to Compact Disc
(CD), and instead releasing the project as a digital download in various delivery
mediums. The stereo and 5.1 version for each song will be available in several high
resolution audio codecs. The material will be kept at a high sample rate to ensure the
best sound quality for all mediums. This allows the music to be readily available in
the most prevalent context such as 44.1 kHz /16 bit .wav files (44.1/16 bit) or MPEG
I Layer Ills (mp3), yet still have a format for listeners that want high resolution. This
approach to releasing music is uncommon, but will be an important direction for the
industry in order to satisfy the need for small-budget mass consumption of audio, in
addition to providing superior recordings for more serious listeners.
This project will be a demonstration of how to prepare a five song album to be
released in this manner. It will explore the albums creation from preproduction
through the authoring process for the various delivery mediums. It will outline the
ways in which the audio engineer can prepare and maintain audio quality throughout
a project and deliver different formats to the consumer that maintain the highest audio
quality for stereo as well as 5.1. Different delivery mediums will be examined
including 96 kHz/24 bit .wav files (96k/24bit), Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC),
and Digital Theater System (DTS) and how the consumer can transfer these different
formats from their computer to their home systems. The current trend of high
resolution downloads in the marketplace will be addressed as well as viability for the
future. All recording and mixing for stereo and 5.1 will be done in Digidesigns Pro
Tools 7.4 LE and HD systems. The mastering of the album will be accomplished
using Steinbergs Wavelab Six software.


This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recommend
its publication.


DEDICATION
I dedicate this thesis to my wife Claire. Without her loving support and unwavering
faith in me, none of this would be possible.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Many thanks to my advisor, Leslie Gaston, for her support and encouragement in this
project. Also, thank you to the other members of my committee, Lome Bregitzer and
Jay Harper for their participation and support. Thanks also to Peter Bergquist and all
of the musicians that performed on the recording.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
List of Figures..................................ix
List of Tables...................................xi
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION...................................1
2. PREPRODUCTION..................................3
3. TRACKING SESSIONS..............................9
4. MIXING........................................33
a. Stereo Mixing............................33
b. Surround Mixing..........................51
5. MASTERING.....................................56
a. Stereo...................................56
b. Surround and Authoring...................60
6. HIGH RESOLUTION RELEASE FORMATS: HOW AND
WHY.........................................62
7. CONCLUSION....................................71
APPENDIX
A. LYRICS........................................72
vii


B. SCORES......................................82
C. LIST OF MUSICIANS...........................96
D. COMPANIES...................................97
BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................99
viii


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure:
2.1 Tempo Map in Garageband..................................................6
2.2 Centerfolds Pro Tools session scratch tracks..........................7
2.3 Secular Song Pro Tools session scratch tracks.........................7
3.1 Drum Kit Miking From Tracking Session 3..........................13
3.2 Kick Drum Miking Session 3.............................................14
3.3 Tom Mies...............................................................15
3.4 Tom and High Hat.......................................................15
3.5 Upright Bass Mies......................................................16
3.6 Manley Voxbox Settings.................................................18
3.7 Manley Voxbox Picture..................................................18
3.8 Coles 4038 and U47 on Bass............................................19
3.9 David Farrell on Bass..................................................20
3.10 Piano Miking..........................................................21
3.11 Peter Bergquist at Piano..............................................21
3.12 Millenia STT-1 Stereo Set Used On the Piano.........................22
3.13 Millenia Paperwork....................................................22
3.14 Peter Bergquist at Organ..............................................23
3.15 Organ Lower Mic.......................................................23
3.16 Organ Upper Mic.......................................................23
3.17 Rack Used For Session Five............................................25
3.18 MS Acoustic Miking Front..............................................26
3.19 Acoustic Miking Side..................................................26
3.20 Acoustic Stereo MS technique with Room Mic............................27
3.21 Acoustic MS 4.........................................................27
3.22 Lead Vocal Miking.....................................................28
3.23 Background Vocal Miking...............................................30
4.1 Vocal Comp.............................................................34
4.2 Phase Correction......................................................36
4.3 Kick Compressor.......................................................40
4.4 Kick EQ...............................................................40
4.5 Kick SSL Channel......................................................41
IX


4.6 Snare EQ.............................................................41
4.7 Snare SSL Secular Song...............................................42
4.8 Bass Compressor......................................................43
4.9 Bass EQ..............................................................43
4.10 Maxxbass...........................................................43
4.11 Bass SSL Channel...................................................44
4.12 Rvox Lead Vocal....................................................45
4.13 Massey De:esser....................................................46
4.14 McDSP Filterbank...................................................46
4.15 Vocal Automation...................................................47
4.16 Massey TD5.........................................................48
4.17 TL Space Vocal.....................................................48
4.18 Reverb EQ..........................................................49
4.19 Background Vocal Reverb EQ.........................................49
4.20 Reverse Reverb Kick EQ.............................................50
4.21 Drum Surround Panning..............................................52
4.22 Lead Vocal Panning.................................................53
4.23 Bass Panning.......................................................54
4.24 Drum Reverb........................................................55
4.25 Vocal Reverb.......................................................55
5.1 Final Mixes in Wavelab...............................................56
5.2 First Pass...........................................................57
5.3 Smart Bypass.........................................................58
5.4 Second Pass..........................................................59
5.5 Wavelab Surround.....................................................60
5.6 De-Interleaver.......................................................61
6.1 File Sizes Comparisons...............................................63
6.2 Max..................................................................64
6.3 XACT.................................................................64
6.4 Toast 8..............................................................66
x


LIST OF TABLES
Table:
1. Session 1 mic chart.....................................................9
2. Session 2 mic chart....................................................11
3. Session 3 mic chart....................................................12
4. Session 4 mic chart....................................................17
5. Session 5 mic chart....................................................24
6. Session 6 mic chart....................................................29
7. Session 7 mic chart....................................................30
8. Session 8 mic chart....................................................31
9. Session 9 mic chart....................................................32
10. Made It Again Tracks and Processing.................................37
1 l.SMPTE/ITU Channel Assignments.........................................61
12. DVD-Video.............................................................65
13. DVD-Audio.............................................................66
xi


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
The topic for this portfolio project developed over the last year for a few
different reasons. First, I enjoyed the new work being done by singer-songwriter
Peter Bergquist, and I wanted to help him make an album. Second, I knew that the
budget would be little to nothing, so I wanted to experiment in using the constantly
changing tools in music technology to try to create an album of high sound quality
using limited resources. In doing this, I needed to be conscious through every step of
the process to not degrade the audio, and take great care in how and what I used to
process the audio. I started the sessions using a sample rate of 96 kHz/24 bit (96k/
24bit) and kept it there throughout the project. The last step was to determine the best
way for this to be released.
Currently the MPEG I Layer III (mp3) and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC)
are popular choices for release format because they are convenient. However, though
there can be a time and place for them, overall they are vastly overused as a delivery
medium considering how degraded the sound quality is. Mp3 and AAC use lossy
compression to remove information from an audio file. This results in a loss of high
frequency information and a shrinking of the stereo image and other digital artifacts
which deteriorate the audio and the listening experience.
Along with data compression, there is often an overuse of dynamic
compression in the mastering process as well. This use of compression destroys
transient information, depth and dimension of the mix. There is much discussion
currently happening within the audio engineering field regarding these issues. Some
of these views will be examined in this paper, as well as the corresponding trend in
the marketplace to provide high resolution downloads to the consumer.
This paper begins by explaining the process of preproduction for the songs to
be recorded, and follows through the tracking information for all the instruments and
vocals. Relevant mixing and mastering steps will be examined. I will discuss what I
found to work well during the course of this project, and what areas fell short and
would need to be done differently in the future.
I think it is time we start looking at the viability of releasing music in stereo
and 5.1 surround (5.1) in high resolution downloadable formats in order to preserve
sound quality and diversity of choices, and yet keep the convenience of delivery. My
hope is that this project can serve as a guide to those working on a limited budget to
create better recordings in the age of digital audio, and also give some ideas on
releasing music as a download outside of the mp3 codec and Red Book Compact
1


Discs (CDs). It is what I believe will soon become a more prevalent method for
delivering audio.
2


CHAPTER 2
PREPRODUCTION
Choosing the Material
The preproduction for this project was quite extensive. The artist, musicians
and I were spread throughout the country which posed a challenge. The first step was
to choose the material for the album. I began by having Peter Bergquist send me all
his material so I could sort through it and choose the best songs for the album. He
sent me mp3 demos of twenty-one songs through email. This is a perfect example of
the usefulness of the mp3 format. In a situation where quality was not vitally
important, the mp3 could be quickly sent back and forth via email without need for
any other service other than a basic email account, and helped us overcome the
challenge of working together from a distance. The following are the songs he
originally sent me.
1. Its Better This Way
2. Bird In the Sky
3. Bum
4. Centerfolds
5. Spinning My Brains
6. Come Around
7. Crazy Man
8. Each Town
9. Sorry, I Hurt You
10. How Much
11. When You Get There
12. Expatriate
13. Day Wont Come
14. Secular Song
15.Ocean
16. Never Made Sense
17. Meadow
18. Stories For You
19. Take A Ride
3


20. Violins
21. Made It Again
I listened extensively to the material and chose those I thought were the ten
best songs for the album. I based my decision on the desire to make a cohesive album
that could be enjoyed as a whole. I wanted to make an album that took the listener on
a journey from the beginning to the end of the record. I also wanted a variety of
material on the record. The chosen songs included:
1. Violins (Instrumental version)
2. Made It Again
3. Secular Song
4. Day Wont Come
5. Crazy Man
6. Bird In The Sky
7. Centerfolds
8. Spinning My Brains
9. Bum
10. Violins (Vocal and Guitar Version)
These ten songs will be on the final album. For this portfolio project, five of these
songs will be examined in depth for the remainder of the project. These include:
1. Made It Again
2. Bum
3. Crazy Man
4. Centerfolds
5. Secular Song
Tempo, Key, Form, and Instrumentation
The preproduction process included discussions and emails with the artist on
arrangements, lyrics, instmmentation. key, and tempo. For this project we utilized
Sibelius 5 software to exchange ideas quickly through email. The five songs were set
up in Sibelius, laying out the form and key instrumental parts.
4


1.
Made It Again began as a simple acoustic guitar, piano, and vocal demo. The
original song had a tempo of 138 beats per minute (bpm) in the key of C major.
The first change was raising the key of the song a step and half to Eb in order to
accommodate Peters vocal range. One of the biggest challenges in this project
was working with Peters voice which is not very strong. In order to make the
whole project work, it was important to find the best possible range for his
voice and not push it too much. The tempo was kept close to the original at 136
bpm. The instrumentation was adjusted to include double bass, drums, electric
guitar, organ, and backup vocals consisting of a small gospel choir. The final
end section was also written to add an instrumental section to the song and
create a segue into the next song on the album. See Appendix B for all song
scores. The lyrics were also changed slightly because Peter changed his mind
and replaced underneath this willow tree with underneath this tree. See
Appendix A for all song lyrics.
Bum was a stripped down acoustic guitar and vocal demo at about 55 bpm.
The artist conceived the song as a folk song with reggae lilt to it. I heard the
song as more of a gospel and R&B song and went with that version. The tempo
was increased to 68 bpm and the key of C major was kept for the final version.
All the lyrics and basic form of the song were maintained throughout, with the
addition of the introduction and chord change of F major 7th E half
diminished D diminished C Major 7th, which comes back between the
verses and solo sections of the song. Drams, electric bass, electric guitar, organ,
piano, and background vocals were decided as the instrumentation for the song.
3. Secular Song also maintained the original form, time, and key signature. A
very simple outline of the song was charted out due to the simplicity and
improvisational nature of the song. I wanted to give the musicians freedom and
see what happened. Drums, electric bass, double bass, electric guitar, acoustic
guitar, percussion, vocals, and synths were decided for the track.
4. Crazy Man was originally at about 115 bpm in the key of D major. It was
moved down to the key of C major and the tempo was increased to 135 bpm.
An introduction was added starting on an Am vamp. The guitar rhythm was
also changed in order to drive the song a little more. An instrumental bridge
was also added to provide more harmonic interest during the song. The
instrumentation that was decided includes drums, electric bass, acoustic guitar,
electric guitar, vocals, and background vocal.
5. Centerfolds was originally recording at 115 bpm in the key of D major. The
tempo was sped up to 120 bpm and the key dropped down to C major. Drums,
5


double bass, piano, background vocals, acoustic and electric guitar were
decided for instrumentation. The form of the original was maintained.
Scratch Tracks
Once the basic form, tempo, key, and instrumentation were decided, I had
Peter record scratch tracks into Garageband (the only software he had on his home
computer). I first set up each Garageband session with the chosen tempo laying out a
map in the click track for him to play to. We wanted the recording to sound like a
group that was actually playing together, so we placed spaces for rest within the click
track to make sure it didnt come across like we were playing to a click track the
whole time.
£ GarageBand File Edit Track Control Share Window Help
Figure 2.1 Tempo Map Created in Garageband
Garageband does not have markers so I recorded a click track and then broke
the click track in pieces and labeled them verse, chorus, etc. It can be seen at the top
of the track. I then imported several of the MIDI tracks from Sibelius to help Peter lay
down scratch tracks. They can be seen below the click track. Below that is Peters
scratch guitar and vocal.
Once I had mapped out the track in Garageband with the click, I emailed the
track to Peter to play along with laying an acoustic or piano part first and then over-
dubbing his vocal. I had him be sure to start recording at the beginning of each
session so I would not have problems importing into Pro Tools. He would then email
these sessions back to me and I would import them into a Pro Tools session. I set up
each Pro Tools session at 96k/24bit laying out tempo and form in the Pro Tools
6


timeline with markers in order to quickly access any part of the song while I was
working on it.
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Figure 2.2 Centerfolds Laid Out In Pro Tools.
All the songs were done in this manner with the exception of Secular Song.
Instead, with this track I was sent the original Garageband session. I took the original
audio files for the acoustic guitar and the vocals and imported them into a 96k/24bit
Pro Tools session. I created a loop out of the first bar of the guitar and used that as
the introduction for the song. I then built the session the same way as the others.
Figure 2.3 Pro Tools Session For Secular Song
7


Final Preparation For Basic Tracking
Once all the songs were arranged with scratch tracks, tempo map, and form in
Pro Tools, I created lead sheets for the musicians to use while tracking. When
musicians come in for a session it is important that they have an easily read chart and
do not have to worry about turning pages.
8


CHAPTER 3
TRACKING SESSIONS
Session 1
Drums; Studio H and 295, University of Colorado Denver
Sunday March 2, 2008
After all of the songs were charted out and arranged, we began the process of
tracking the basic tracks. The drum tracks on Bum were recorded before all the
other songs because Bum was included on a previous release by another singer. I
ended up using the same drum and bass tracks for the current version of the song.
Tracking took place over one evening in studio 295 using the Neve console in studio
H. The drums faced the window in front of the control room about fifteen feet back
and baffles were placed around the back side to try and control the room sound.
Significant time was spent placing the mics in the right locations to try and get better
sounds. However due to the fact that the drum heads were old and not tuned well, the
sound left something to be desired. Overall I was happy with the performance so I
decided to keep the tracks and try and fix the sounds later in the mix. Following is a
detailed description of each mic and its positioning.
Table 1: Session one mic chart
Track # Instrument Microphone/ Preamp Phantom Power Polar pattern/ Mic type Placement
Songs Tracked Burn
1 Kick Drum AKG D112/ Neve Pre- fader 40 No Cardiod Dynamic mic Inside kick 1 foot from beater
9


Track # Instrument Microphone/ Preamp Phantom Power Polar pattern/ Mic type Placement
2 Snare Shure Sm57/ Neve Pre- fader 60 No Cardioid/ Dynamic An inch from the top head on the outer rim of the snare pointed down.
3 Rack Tom Sennheiser MD 421/ Neve Pre- fader 30 No Cardioid/ Dynamic Facing down on outer rim of tom about 1 inch away.
4 Floor Tom Sennheiser MD 421/ Neve pre- fader 35 No Cardioid' Dynamic Facing down on outer rim of tom about 1 inch away.
5 Hi Hat Nuemann Km 184/Neve Pre-fader 25 yes Cardioid' condenser Pointed down 1 inch above hi hat
6 Drum Overhead Left AKG 414/ Neve Pre- fader 30 yes Hypercardioid/ Condenser Drummers perspective spaced pair slightly left of snare drum.
7 Drum Overhead Right AKG 414/ Neve Pre- fader 30 yes Hypercardioid/ Condenser Drummers perspective spaced pair over floor tom.
10


Session Two
Electric Fret-less Bass; University of Northern Colorado; Greeley Studios
Saturday April 5, 2008
The second tracking session for the album took place at University of
Northern Colorado Greeley. At this session I tracked the electric bass for the song
Bum. I decided that I would take a direct signal as well as mic the amp in the
larger wooden room they have. I chose to use the Coles ribbon mic with a figure
eight pattern to capture the direct and ambient sound of the bass. Specific
information can be found below in Table 2.
Table 2: Session two mic chart
Track# Instrument Microphone/ Signal chain Phanto m Power Polar pattern/ Mic type Placement
Songs Tracked Burn
1 Electric Bass Coles 4038/ Great River MP-2NV No Figure 8/ ribbon 1 foot in front of bass amp in the center of large room/ wooden floors
2 Electric Bass Dl Avalon U5/Manely Vox box compressed 3:1/ Millenia HV-3D pre No
Session Three
Drums and Double Bass; Studio H and G, University of Colorado Denver
Sunday April 20, 2008
This was a long twelve hour session. I did not think I would be able to get all
the songs recorded, but due to the reliability and quality of the musicians, it was a


very successful session. I decided to track the drums and the bass at the same time in
order to get more of a live feel and some interaction between the two of them. Seven
songs were tracked while the bass for Centerfolds, Secular Song, and Crazy
Man were not used from this session. The double bass player was placed in the
isolation booth in 295. The drummer was placed in studio G with baffles around the
back side and facing the control room window of studio J. Cables were run from
studio H so that it could be used as the control room. Table 3 below shows the details
of the session.
Table 3: Session three mic chart
Track # Instrument Microphone/ Signal chain Phantom Power Polar pattern/ Mic type Placement
Songs Tracked Bird In The Sky, Crazy Man, Secular Song, Day Wont Come, I Made It Again, Centerfolds, Spinning My Brains
1 Kick U87/Neve Pre-fader 40 Yes Cardioid / Condenser 1.5 feet back pointed at the center of the kick drum
2 Kick 2 421 No Cardioid' Condenser 1 inch from head slightly off angle near edge of kick drum head
3 Snare/ top AKG451 -20 pad/ Neve Pre-fader 20 yes Cardioid' Condenser An inch from the top head on the outer rim of the snare pointed down.
4 Snare/ Bottom Sm57 / Neve Pre-Fader 40 No Cardioid / Dynamic Bottom of snare near edge of drum
5 Rack Tom U87 -10 pad' Neve Pre- fader 20 yes Cardioid' Condenser Facing down on outer rim of tom about 1 inch away.
6 Floor Tom U87 -10 pad' Neve pre- fader 25 yes Cardioid/ Condenser Facing down on outer rim of tom about 1 inch away.
7 Drum Overhead Left AKG 414/ Neve Pre- fader 30 yes Hypercardioid / Condenser Drummers perspective spaced pair slightly left of snare drum. See photo.
8 Drum Overhead Right AKG 414/ Neve Pre- fader 30 yes Hypercardioid / Condenser Drummers perspective spaced pair over floor tom. See photo.
12


Track # Instrument Microphone/ Signal chain Phantom Power Polar pattern/ Mic type Placement
9 Double Bass Dl/Neve Pre- Fader 20 yes Through Acoustic Image bass amp head.
10 Double Bass U87/Neve Pre-fader 45 yes Cardioid/ Condenser 3 inches from left f hole. See photo.
11 Double Bass Royer 121/ Neve Pre- Fader 60 no Figure 8/ ribbon 4 inches from the middle of neck.
Since the drummer had a light touch and lots of nuance in his playing, I used
primarily all condenser mics on his drum kit. This along with the Neve console gave
a very unique sound to his drum set that really complements the album. The pictures
below show the details of the tracking session.
Figure 3.1 Drum Kit Miking
13


Figure 3.2 Kick Drum
I treated the kick drum more like a tom than a kick. I did not want the
traditional rock kit kick drum, so I placed the U87 to capture the full sound of the
drum and the 421 to capture the resonance off the side of the drum. Looking back I
wish I had also miked the other side so I could have had the sound of the beater to
blend in as well. There was a lack of attack on the kick when I went to mix the tracks
due to my miking technique. The toms were miked with U87s as well, capturing the
nuance of each drum as well as providing some nice ambience from the other drums.
14


Figure 3.3 Tom Miking
Figure 3.4 Tom and High Hat
15


Figure 3.5 Bass Mies (lower U87, upper Royer 121)
I used the U87 to get the lower end of the bass and the Royer to capture the
upper end and the finger noise. I also took a direct signal from the bassists amp head
which added some attack to the mix.
16


Session Four
Piano, Organ, and Bass; University of Northern Colorado; Greeley Recording Studio
Monday and Tuesday June 2 and 3, 2008
Table 4: Session four mic chart
Track # Instrument Microphone / Signal Chain Placement
Songs Tracked Burn, Bird In The Sky, Crazy Man, Secular Song, Day Wont Come, I Made It Again, Centerfolds, Spinning My Brains. Violins (Instrumental)
1 Piano Low Nuemann M 149 Tube Cardioid -20Hz Roll off Millenia STT- 1 Origin Pre Light compression- No Eq No transformer Foot from strings angled toward low end strings See Photo
2 Piano High Nuemann M 149 Tube Cardioid -20Hz Roll off Millenia STT- 1 Origin Pre Light compression- No Eq No transformer Foot from strings angled toward high end See Photo
3 Electric Bass DI Manley Voxbox See template for settings EQ & Compression
4 Double Bass Sounddelux U47 Chandler LTD 1 No EQ F-Hole
5 Double Bass Coles 4038 Great River MP500NV Pointed down toward neck
7 Double Bass DI Manley Voxbox See template for settings EQ & Compression
8 Organ L Beyer MC 840 Chandler Germ 500 Feedback 5 Left side of Leslie
9 Organ R Beyer MC 840 Chandler Germ 500 Feedback 5 Right side of Leslie
10 Bottom Sennheiser 421 Great River MP2-NV- Bottom of Leslie
Tracking session four took place at the University of Northern Colorado in the
schools recording studio. Piano, electric bass, double bass, and organ were over-
dubbed on the tracks. Electric bass was the first thing to be tracked on several of the
tracks replacing the bass on the current tracks. The original double bass track on
Secular Song missed some of the changes on the chorus and did not provide as
much color as I wanted in this recording. I decided that a fret-less bass track with
some Jaco Pastorius color would suit this song more. The double bass track for
17


Crazy Man was also replaced with electric bass. Figure 3.6 below shows the
Manley Voxbox and settings used for tracking the bass direct.
TEMPLATES FOR STORING SETTINGS copy tv s ag= og not white on th;s uactes
I-1* ' ."T-t fZ,
j *. 5 4 C >*.<*ni*
Figure 3.6 Manley Voxbox Settings
18


After tracking the electric bass it was decided to replace the double bass track
on Centerfolds. The bass was tracked in a small isolation room to the left of the
control room. It was recorded with two microphones and the same DI signal used for
the electric bass. The details can be found above in Figure 3.7.
Figure 3.8 Coles 4038 and U47 on Bass
19


Figure 3.9 David Farrell on Bass
With the bass already miked up, the piano was miked up to record a loose and
free instrumental version of the song Violins for eventual inclusion in the final
album. The piano was miked using a stereo pair of Nuemann Ml49 condenser mics.
See details above in Table 4 and pictures below.
20


Figure 3.10 Piano Miking
Figure 3.11 Peter Bergquist at Piano
21


Figure 3.12 Millenia STT-1 Stereo Set Used On the Piano
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Figure 3.13 Millennia Paperwork
Once the piano had been tracked for Bum. Centerfolds, Bird In The
Sky, Violins, Crazy Man, Secular Song, Day Wont Come, Made It
Again, and Spinning My Brains, we turned to recording organ parts for Bum,
Crazy Man, Secular Song, Day Wont Come, Made It Again, and Spinning
My Brains. The Leslie cabinet was stereo miked using Beyer condenser mics on the
22


right and left side of the Leslie with a 421 at the bottom to pick up the bass. See
Figure 3.14 below.
Figure 3.14 Peter Bergquist at Organ
Figure 3.15 Organ Lower Miking Figure 3.16 Organ Upper Miking
23


Session Five
Acoustic Guitar and Vocals; Studio J and G, University' of Colorado Denver
Wednesday'-Friday June 4-6, 2008
Table 5: Session five mic chart
Track # Instrument Microphone / Signal Chain Placement
Songs Tracked Burn, Bird In The Sky, Crazy Man, Secular Song, Day Wont Come, I Made It Again, Centerfolds. Spinning My Brains, Violins (Instrumental)
1 Acoustic 1 Nuemann Ml47 Apogee API 512 C In front around 12th fret
2 Acoustic 2 AKG 451 Apogee API 512 C/ phase invert In front around 12th fret
3 Vocals 1 Peluso Labs Telefunken 251 clone Apogee -Vintech Dual 72 Several inches away
4 B. Acoustic 1 Nuemann M147 Apogee API 512 C MS Mid Mic 12h fret See Photo
5 B. Acoustic 2 Nuemann U87 Apogee API 512 C MS Side Mic 12h fret See Photo
7 B. Acoustic 3 AK.G 451 Digi 003 API 512 C MS Mid Mic 12h fret See Photo
8 B. Acoustic 4 Peluso Labs Telefunken 251 clone Digi 003 API 512 C Room Mic on right side of artist
10 Vocals 2 Peluso Labs Telefunken 251 clone Grace 101 Apogee Several inches away
After completing tracking at University of Northern Colorado, we moved over
to University of Colorado Denver to complete vocal and acoustic guitar tracks in
studios J and G. I had hoped to use the Neve, but it had already been disassembled
for sale before the session. Since I would have to use studio J for tracking I wanted
some different preamps and converters. Also because I was tracking everything at
96k/24bit, I ran into a problem with the Sony DMX-R100 because without the AES
connections it could only run 48k. So I borrowed several preamps and apogee
24


converters, and set up in studio J. I used a Digi003 clocking off an Apogee Rosetta
200 through a variety of preamps going into the MacBook. The apogee converters
provided much more clarity and punch than the 003 alone. See Figure 2.18 below for
a visual of the set up.
Figure 3.17 Rack Used For Session Five
We spent three days tracking vocals and acoustic guitar parts. We first tracked
acoustic guitar for Bum, Bird in the Sky, Crazy Man, Secular Song, Day
Wont Come, I Made It Again, Centerfolds, and Spinning My Brains. A
Nuemann Ml47 and AKG 451 through API 512 preamps were used. See Figure 3.19
below.
25


The mic setup was then rearranged in a stereo configuration for the acoustic
song Violins" and the introduction to I Made It Again." A mid-side stereo
technique was used using a U87 as the side mic and the 451 and Ml47 as mid mics to
be blended together in the mix. The Peluso 251 was also used as a room mic over the
guitarists right shoulder. See Figure 3.20 on the following page.
26


Figure 3.20 Acoustic Stereo MS technique with Room Mic
Figure 3.21 Acoustic MS 4
27


Next we spent the rest of the time tracking vocals. We tried every
configuration of mic preamp and microphone in order to find the best microphone
and preamp for Peters voice. After trying the M147, Peluso 251, and the U87 each
and the Grace, API, and Vintech preamp, I decided to go with the Peluso Telefunken
251 clone through the Vintech dual 72 for all the songs except for the doubled vocal
on Secular Song and the vocal on Violins on which I opted to use the 251 through
the Grace preamp instead. Figure 3.22 shows the mics placement.
Figure 3.22 Lead Vocal Miking
I wanted an up front and personal vocal sound, so I chose to have him sing within
several inches of the microphone as shown in the figure above.
28


Session Six
Backup Vocals; Studio B2R, School of Communication Arts
Raleigh, NC
Monday-Thursaay October 20-23, 2008
Table 6: Session six mic chart
Track # instrument Microphone / Signal Chain Placement
Songs Tracked Burn, I Made It Again
1 Vocal 1 AKG 414 Mackie Onyx 800R Pre PT HD 96 Several inches away
2 Vocal 2 ADK TC Tube Mic- Mackie Onyx 800R Pre PT HD 96 Several inches away
3 Vocals 3 ADK TC Tube Mic Mackie Onyx 800R Pre PT HD 96 Several inches away
4 Group Vocal ADK TC Tube Mic Mackie Onyx 800R Pre PT HD 96 Semi circle around 1 mic about two feet back
The background vocals for Bum and I Made It Again were made up of
three gospel singers. The group was first tracked together in the large main tracking
space around an ADK tube mic. They then tracked their parts individually in an
isolation booth either on the ADK or on a 414 depending on the voice. All parts used
Mackie Onyx preamps.
29


Session Seven
Female Backup Vocals; Home Studio, Boulder, CO
Wednesday November 12, 2008
Table 7: Session seven signal-path chart
Track # Instrument Microphone / Signal Chain Placement
Songs Tracked Centerfolds
1 Vocal 1 Sterling Audio ST77 large diaphragm condenser mic Grace 101 Apogee Rosetta 200 PT Several inches away
2 Vocal 2 Sterling Audio ST77 large diaphragm condenser mic Vintech 1272 Apogee Rosetta 200 PT Several inches away
3 Vocals 3 Sterling Audio ST77 large diaphragm condenser mic Vintech 1272 Manley Elop/Ligth compression Apogee Rosetta 200 PT Several inches away
Several different setups were experimented with for the background vocal on
Centerfolds.' The first setup used a Sterling Audio ST77 through a Grace 101. The
second setup used the Vintech 1272 to replace the Grace. The third setup used a
Manley compressor. The best takes from the first two made it to the final mix. The
third setup was a little too compressed for my taste after listening back.
Figure 3.23 Background Vocal Miking
30


Session Eight
Electric Guitar; Sudio B2R, School of Communication Arts
Raleigh, North Carolina
Monday- Wednesday November 24-26. 2008
Table 8: Session eight mic chart
Track # Instrument Microphone / Signal Chain Placement
Songs Tracked Burn, I Made It Again, Centerfolds. Crazy Man
1 Guitar 1 Sennheiser e609 Great River MP-500NV Pre PT HD 96 Edge of left speaker almost touching amp face
2 Guitar 2 Shiny Box 46MX ribbon mic- Mackie Onyx 800R Pre PT HD 96 Several feet back facing the center of the amp
3 Guitar 3 DI signal sent out of volume pedal- Mackie Onyx 800R Pre Hi z input- PT HD 96
Electric guitar was recorded over a week period. The first session took place
at the School of Communication Arts. A Zion 90 telecaster through a Music Man
HD250 amp was used. An e609 and a Shiny Box Ribbon mic were used along with a
direct signal for more flexibility during mix down. Rhythm and lead tracks were all
tracked through the current setup. Several songs made use of over-dubbed lead lines
that were harmonized and doubled and in a few instances lines were tracked in a
standard fashion and then over-dubbed with Pro Tools in half speed using shift -
apple space bar, by selecting this key command Pro Tools will record at half speed
creating a higher register guitar part.
31


Session Nine
Electric Guitar; Home Studio, Chapel Hill, NC
Thursday-Sunday November 27-30, 2008
Table 9: Session nine mic chart
Track # Instrument Microphone / Signal Chain Placement
Songs Tracked Secular Song. Crazy Man
1 Guitar 1 DI Great River MP-500NV Pre -Digi002
The second electric guitar session took place in my home studio. Additional
tracking was done on Secular Song and Crazy Man. A Zion 90 telecaster and an
Ibanez PM20 Hollow Body were used direct into the Great River using a Digi002.
Amplitude Duo2 and Eleven amp simulations were used for tracking along with a
Massey TD5 delay plugin. Several songs made use of over-dubbed lead lines again
that I tried in the first guitar session. I particularly made use of this on the solo to
Crazy Man in which I first over-dubbed the solo using the the Ibanez PM20 using
flat wound strings. I then over-dubbed the same solo on top using the Zion telecaster.
After that I over-dubbed the same line with Pro Tools in half speed mode creating the
higher guitar part.
32


CHAPTER 4
MIXING
Stereo
All the songs were mixed completely inside of Pro Tools 7.4. A variety of
plugins were used including Digidesign plugins, McDSP, Waves, Melodyne,
Autotune, and Massey plugins. Each of the songs for the stereo portion of the album
were mixed in the same fashion. The files were all kept at 96k/24bit throughout the
process to maintain quality. Since all mixing was done in the box it was important to
maintain the higher sample rates and bit depth in order to not degrade the audio. The
following chapter provides a detailed description of the highlights of mixing Made It
Again, Secular Song, and Centerfolds, in stereo as well as in surround to
demonstrate the pertinent parts of the process.
Monitoring Environment
A large part of getting a good mix is having an accurate room and monitors
that will allow the mix to translate well in all listening environments. Unfortunately, I
did not have ideal rooms or monitors. The stereo tracks were mixed using Digidesign
RM1 monitors in an acoustically untreated living room. AKG 701 headphones were
used to see how the mixes were translating, as well as a car stereo and boom box.
Using different listening environments in this way can help to formulate a decent mix,
but it is still hard to achieve a great mix on a limited budget. Having a space that is
acoustically treated with accurate monitors that represent all frequency ranges is
extremely important. Because the budget and circumstances for this project did not
allow for that, much more time and energy needed to be expended locating problem
areas of the mixes. For those with a larger budget, less time can be taken to create a
stronger mix. However, those with a limited budget should use the strategy of
listening to their mixes in a variety of environments and comparing them to
professional mixes in those same environments.
33


Creating Composite Tracks
One of the hardest parts of this project was the short amount of time we had to
get the tracks. There were only about three days to get parts for all the songs with the
artist playing the majority of the parts himself. The drums for all of the original ten
songs needed to be done in one afternoon. This put a limitation on getting the perfect
tracks. One of the record labels I researched for their high resolution work is a
company out of Norway run by Morten Linberg (see Appendix D). Linberg explains
that in his classical and jazz recording, he requires five to six days from the musicians
to record a live 60 minute piece in order to get everything placed perfectly and
achieve the best sound quality. In this particular situation I did not have that luxury.
I had very fast sessions also due to lack of finances for studio time and ability
to pay musicians for their time. Therefore I tried to compensate by getting as many
takes as possible and going back and creating composite tracks of the best of each
take. This was done on every instrument I recorded, but was most tedious on the
vocals. I recorded all the takes to different playlists in Pro Tools. During editing I
would highlight each phrase of the instrument and scroll through the takes until I
found the best one. I would create a new playlist labeled as the comp (short for
composite) track and paste the various takes into that section. Below is a figure of the
comp track for the artist vocal on Made It Again.
Figure 4.1 Vocal Compositing
It is best not to consolidate the region unless one is absolutely positive that
there is nothing wrong with the track. Once compression and EQ start to be applied,
things that were not noticeable before stand out of the track. The best move is to just
group the regions so one does not accidentally move a region. This is done by
highlighting all regions that need to be in the group and right clicking and selecting
group. Then if it is found that a breath is cut off, one can simply ungroup the
34


regions and use the trimmer tool to grab the rest of the breath. If the track was
consolidated and the other regions removed, one would have to go back and reimport
the vocal track from an older session.
Tuning
There were a couple of points where the vocal and bass needed to be tuned.
On Made It Again I chose not to tune up the vocal. I found since this artists voice
was so rough, it was better to leave it that way than make it sound artificial. On some
of the other tunes I did use Melodyne on the voice just to bring a particular note up or
down. I found from experimenting with the new Auto tune Evo and Melodyne that
Melodyne seems to be more transparent for vocal tuning. However I chose to use
Autotune on several fretless electric bass tracks which worked nicely.
Timing
I did manual time aligning of the bass to the drum tracks. Since the drums
were recorded live with bass for many tracks, I found that the best way to tighten the
song was to manually cut bass notes and visually lock them to the kick track. I was
careful not to remove the feel of the bass player and just fix those notes that were
extremely off. I experimented a lot with elastic audio, but in the end found that it
degraded the audio quality too much and I chose to just manually move notes that
were off. On Bum I did use elastic audio to lock the bass to the drums, but all the
others were manually moved.
Sound Replacement
The only song that had any sound replacement on it was the drums for
Bum. I used sound replacer to replace the drum sounds and blended those in with
the original sounds. This worked on this song because of the straight rock beat. The
other tracks contain too much subtlety for this to work.
Phase Correction
When using multiple mics in recording, it is possible for phase issues to arise.
This is most common on drum tracks with multi-miking techniques. On Made It
Again I made several small adjustments to correct phase issues. This is done by
locking up the waveform of one mic with the other. Commonly this is done with
35


drum tracks by visually nudging the single drum tracks like the snare, so they line up
with the overhead mics. Part of this needs to be done when there is poor mic
technique. If mics are placed correctly this can be avoided, but there is always some
level of phase and comb filtering that comes from multiple mics on an instrument.
On Made It Again there were several acoustic guitar takes recorded, and I found
that one particular take that I was going to use for the intro used an Mid-Side
Technique (MS) with room mics. I found that the phase relationship needed to be
corrected in order to use all the multiple mics. The figure below shows a mid and a
side mic from the MS technique. The side mic was duplicated and one side was
thrown 180 degrees out of phase and they were panned hard left and right. There
were then two additional mics, a 451 used as a mid mic as well and a 251 as a room
mic. These both needed to be nudged to fit with the original MS pair. As seen below,
the 451 was nudged 6 samples back and the 251 was nudged 124 samples back. This
created much stronger definition and punch in the acoustic sound. In the end I used
only the 451 panned to one side along with the same part recorded earlier only
panned to the other side. I liked the sound of the two different guitars rather than the
one.
AC l_06-0lj
------rAVtVAVfA*.
AC 3-W AC 4J06-01
AC 2-INVT_02-O3
Figure 4.2 Phase Correction
Delay Compensation
One technique that was used on every mix in the project was manual delay
compensation. In Pro Tools LE there is no delay compensation like there is in the
High Definition (HD) version. This means that it is important to correct these time
36


delays in order to have clear mixes. Different plugins introduce a varying amount of
delay. Many of the Digidesign plugins cause no delay, whereas a plugin like the
Massey CT4 compressor will introduce four samples of delay, and something like the
Waves Sound Shifter plugin introduces 13,858 samples of delay. Command-clicking
in the Volume Indicator area of the channel will allow one to flip through and find the
number of samples of delay. Depending on the nature of the session, one can either
use the time adjuster plugin to delay all the tracks to the same amount as the longest
delay time, or move back the tracks that are being delayed using the nudge function.
Table 10 : Made It Again Tracks and Processing
Track Number Instrument Plugin Chain
1 Lead Vocal Inserts : Rvox CT4 Massey De:esser Filterbank Sends: TD5, T1 Space/Filterbank
2 Backup Vocals 1 Group Background vocal bussed to Aux Inserts : Rvox CT4 Filterbank Sends: Rverb/Filterbank
3 Backup Vocals Soloist 1 Background vocal bussed to Aux See above vocal chain
4 Backup Vocals soloist 2 Background vocal bussed to Aux See above vocal chain
5 Backup Vocals soloist 3 Background vocal bussed to Aux See above vocal chain
6 Electric Guitar Mic 1 Inserts : CB4 Filterbank Sends: T1 Space/Filterbank
7 Electric Guitar Mic 2 Inserts : CB4 Filterbank Sends: T1 Space/Filterbank
37


Track Number Instrument Plugin Chain
8 Electric guitar 2 Inserts : CB4
9 Electric Guitar 3 Inserts : CB4
10 Acoustic 1 Inserts :CB4 Filterbank Sends: Rverb/Filterbank
11 Acoustic 2 Inserts : CB4 Filterbank Sends: Rverb/Filterbank
12 Acoustic 3 Mic 1 Inserts : CB4 Filterbank Sends: Rverb/Filterbank
13 Acoustic 3 Mic 2 Inserts : CB4 Filterbank Sends: Rverb/Filterbank
14 Stereo Piano Inserts : CB4 Filterbank
15 Bass Mic 1 Bass Mies bussed to single aux Inserts: CB4 Filterbank Waves Maxxbass
16 Bass Mic 2 See Above
17 Bass DI See Above
18 Kick Inserts : CB4 EQ3
19 Kick 2 Inserts : CB4 EQ3
20 Snare Top Inserts : CB4 EQ3 Filterbank Sends: T1 Space/Filterbank
38


Track Number Instrument Plugin Chain
21 Snare Bottom Inserts : EQ3
22 Tom 1 Inserts : CB4 Filterbank Filterbank Sends : T1 Space/ Filterbank
23 Floor Tom Inserts : CB4 Filterbank Filterbank Sends : T1 Space/ Filterbank
24 Hi Hat Inserts : Filterbank Sends : T1 Space/ Filterbank
25 Stereo Overheads Inserts :BF76 Filterbank Sends : T1 Space/ Filterbank
26 Organ Upper Steero Inserts: CB4 Filterbank
27 Organ Lower Inserts: CB4 Filterbank
Equalization, Compression, and Panning
After the tracks were comped, tuned, and time adjusted, the tracks were then
ready to be mixed. I began with the drums, moving to the bass, and would
consistently pull in the lead vocal to make sure I was moving in the right direction.
With the exception of the drums on Bum, I wanted the drums to maintain an
acoustic and natural quality. I started by listening closely to the overhead mics and
panned them hard left and right. I then began placing the individual drums in relation
to the overheads in order to get everything to sit in place. At first I began removing
the mic bleed around the toms and snare tracks in Pro Tools like a manual gate, then
on closer listening I realized that I liked the bleed I got from the open tom mics. The
snare and kick were too complex to remove any noise, so 1 relied on EQ and
compression to emphasize and de-emphasize certain frequencies. Below are a couple
of examples of how the snare, kick and overheads were treated. There were two mics
on the kick drum. The first mic was a U87 and processed as follows:
39


Opto C
Figure 4.3 Kick Compressor
| KickJl' | t> 1 ~ 7-BwlEQ3 j| bytutfi { KTAS
|sT~ ktofc V | ( fQl| camtur* | jto j '
! rnmm mu kwjjhHihp
r- 'h

GAIN
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1
Figure 4.4 Kick EQ
A 421 was also combined with this mic with only a slight amount of high end and low
end roll off and medium compression.
40


For Secular Song I wanted the
kick drum to really jump out and hold down
the song, so I went about processing it
differently. I used the Waves SSL plugins
which I found to be some of the best plugins
for drums on the market. Their channel
strip seen below contains a compressor,
gate, and EQ in one plugin. The
combination of the gate compressor EQ
helped to intensify the kick track without
having to use drum replacer or other such
methods. The snare mic had an annoying
ping to it that needed to be removed. The
figure below shows the EQ for the top snare
mic on Made It Again. Creating a
narrow Q I was able to go in and remove the
trouble frequency.
Figure 4.5 Kick SSL Channel
| "Sn }i| gnr tcp j j | B~] compare | wto [ f |
Snare EQ
41


The snare track on Secular Song" had different processing because the drummer had
played the part with his hands and mallets. Below is the SSL channel for the snare
track on Secular Song."
Figure 4.7 Snare SSL Secular Song
The overheads on all the drum tracks were mildly compressed with a high shelf
around 1 Ok and a roll off around 200Hz .
Once I got the drum tracks at a level and space that worked, I moved on to the
bass tracks. The double bass in Made It Again" was quite different from the electric
fretless in Secular Song." I created a sub-mix of the three bass tracks and balanced
them until I liked the tone. The three tracks were then processed together using the
following plugins:
42


F MODEL iwsa. v. jajTHR : ATTACK
. M' £>'0 r. '* j-- : #!$&* : m$S&M
L 0r ^)cOMP f>BaSE
Figure 4.8 Bass Compressor
Figure 4.10 Maxxbass
43


The bass on Secular Sons' used the Waves SSL channel as follows:
Figure 4.11 Bass SSL Channel
As the drum and bass tracks came together, other instruments were added. I
got to the piano on all tracks pretty quickly because they take up so much harmonic
information that I wanted to make sure they would fit nicely in the mix. The piano
was recorded in stereo so I kept it panned hard left and right. It had a high pass filter
at around 300Hz and a gentle high shelf around 8k. This was fairly consistent for
most of the piano tracks on the album. The acoustic guitar, which was dealt with
next, was processed in a similar manner. I ended up using two different guitar tracks
for the intro and panning them hard left and hard right. There is a nice interplay
created by the two guitars that drives the beginning of the song.
44


Throughout this project the lead vocal was probably one of the most
challenging aspects. Peter does not have a particularly strong voice, and I recorded
him fairly close in order to achieve an intimate vocal and increase the proximity
effect on his voice. On further examination, I feel I may have recorded him too
closely with the microphone placed a little too high. This created a great deal of
mouth and lip noise as well as popping which I found difficult to get rid of. I think if
he was a little farther away from the microphone, I may have gotten a better
recording. The following is the plugin chain used on Centerfolds" and it stayed
fairly consistent throughout the project:
| Undo 11 A: P Lead Vox 11 A~-| | Ud~] | S Figure 4.12 Rvox Lead Vocal
This was followed by the Massey CT4 compressor with a slow attack and release and
mild compression ratio. After the CT4 was the Massey De:esser
45


o
o
-20
18
reduction
40 37 14 31 28 2$ 22 20 18 1814 12 10 8 6 4 20
output
20101015 1413121110 9 8 7 8 S 4 3 2 1
reduction
4.9 0.6
MASSEY DE:E$$ER
4^ fi
36
2.7 * * U
2.0 10
kHz
MM- *'j
listen v'*
0 10
frequency btndjglit dry ...wet
Figure 4.13 Massey De:esser
Followed by a McDSP Filterbank:
Figure 4.14 McDSP Filterbank
Automation
There was a fair amount of automation used in these sessions, generally done
after overall levels were set. Automation was for the most part used for volume and
panning changes within a piece. This got more advanced during the surround
46


sessions, but also played an important part in the stereo mixes. For example,
automation was used in order to help the vocal sit in the mix along with drawing
sharp volume automation around several pops and lip smacks to remove them from
the mix as demonstrated below. This approach is more forgiving to the ears than
cutting the pops out all together.
The previous EQ and compression techniques were applied in much of the
same fashion throughout the album. Once things started to to sound more like an
album, it was time to move on and start applying reverbs and delays. My goal was to
try and create a mix that had depth and dimension. I used reverbs and delays to try
and create a sense of depth since these things get lost when multi-tracking in different
places with multiple microphones. Plugins used included the TL Space Convolution
Reverb, Waves Renaissance Reverb, Digidesign Delays, and the Massey TD5 Delay.
A few examples of this are as follows.
The lead vocal on Made It Again was processed with the TD5 and T1 space.
Figure 4.15 Vocal Automation
Time Based Effects
47


A digital medium hall was used for reverb with the pre delay adjusted to 29 ms.
Figure 4.17 TL Space Vocal
48


A high pass filter was also placed after the reverb to clean up the low end from the
reverb.
Figure 4.18 Reverb EQ
The same technique was done on the background vocals for Centerfolds, with some
high end rolled off as well.


<7>i


P^'l ^^FREO
0
Figure 4.19 Background Vocal Reverb EQ
49


Reverse Reverb
Another reverb technique that was employed was the backward reverb effect.
This was used on the kick drum on Secular Song. This was done by creating a
duplicate copy of the kick drum and using the audiosuite reverse plugin to reverse it.
It was then sent through an aux to a reverb send the chosen amount of reverb was
decided and the reverb track was than bussed to an audio track where it was recorded.
This track was then reversed again and combined with the first unaltered kick drum
track. Next I selected which kick drum hits I wanted the reverse reverb on and
deleted the rest from the track. Below is the EQ used to bring out the reverse reverb.
Figure 4.20 Reverse Reverb Kick EQ
50


Surround
I found mixing in surround can be more challenging than stereo mixing on
one hand, yet easier on another. I chose not to record these songs using specific
surround miking techniques. As most surround mixes tend to be an afterthought, I
wanted to mix these as if I was mixing for any other recording in surround. The hard
part comes from having four extra channels to contend with, and the extra processing
power the system must have in order to process all these channels. However, it is
much easier to get depth and dimension out of the mixes in surround. When the
material does not have to be squeezed into two speakers, it allows things to open up
for a clearer mix. After I completed the stereo mixes, I tried several techniques to get
the surround mixes done. I had to do the surround mixes at The School of
Communication Arts where I teach, and the surround studio only had a Pro Tools HD
1 system with the basic core card and very limited Digidesign plugins. The studio
had five Mackie Hr824 monitors and a Mackie subwoofer. The room also contained
significant acoustic problems in the low end. Knowing this, I decided to bounce down
my mixes in stems with the same processing that I had used for the stereo mixes.
The first one I did was Centerfolds, which I did using the direct/ambient
approach for the most part. I found with this method I was able to use my bounced
files without much issue. As I moved on to the more complex mixes such as Made It
Again and Secular Song, which I had intended to be sound all around, I found I
could not use my bounced stems. I needed to have the individual tracks to give me
the flexibility to place them in the various speakers. Instead I printed my effects for
each individual track, which were done at home and vital to the mix, and brought
those in to mix in surround. I then began mixing fresh all the tracks from this point.
All 9 DSP chips were used up quickly just for the 96k tracks and the surround mixer.
This meant that I had to begin with sections and bounce them down to stems. This
was a great challenge because I never knew how each instrument was going to react
when I brought in other instruments. Once I already had it as a stem I could not make
any more adjustments to the individual tracks. I got better at this method, but it took
a great deal of time and effort and I think if I had a more powerful system the mixes
would have been stronger.
The mixes that demonstrate the surround techniques most fully are Made It
Again and Secular Song. I mixed these using the sound all around method,
trying to immerse the listener in the sound. The most important aspects are as
follows:
51


Panning & Equalization
When starting the mixes, I began by first getting a drum mix as a foundation
the same way as I did on the stereo mixes. In Secular Song I started by panning
the different drums. The focus was to have the majority of the percussion up front but
then have it feel like it was reflecting from the back. Once again, beginning with the
overheads, everything was panned to sit nicely with them. Then using the divergence
panner, the overheads were placed slightly in the rear speakers as well. A similar
approach was taken with the snare as seen in the far left panner in Figure 4.21. A
large percentage of the snare was also placed in the center channel.
s.BJL!
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4 it vt *4 a
8
n * h r? *
.a * xt a *a t
a
]:. * ;!*?- I*s I***
3~T


ESC :
Figure 4.21 Drum Surround Panning
The two kick mics were panned similarly, being sent to the left and right sides as well
as center and LFE.
Many music engineers choose not to used the center channel in their mixes
because they are more used to using a phantom image. After much experimentation
and study of others mixes, I discovered that the center channel was a useful
component to take advantage of. I found that many of the stronger mixes used the
center channel for the vocal, snare, kick, and bass. For the majority of the mixes I
placed the vocal partially in the center channel as well as in the left and right
channels. It was necessary to be careful how much was in the left and right channel,
and how much was in the center or slight comb filtering would occur. Once the
balance was right, it would provide a stable center image. Different EQ was used
52


based on the center speaker rather than the phantom image. The center channel is
brighter than something in the phantom image, therefore a vocal equalized as a
Figure 4.22 Lead Vocal Panning
phantom image is far too bright if placed directly in the center channel without EQ
adjustments. Above in Figure 4.22 is the surround partner showing the location of the
first vocal on Secular Song, along with the the SSL channel used on the vocal.
53


Figure 4.23 Bass Panning
There was also a doubled vocal on this which was panned heavily to the rear.
Divergent panning was also used to bleed it to the other speakers. Other interesting
panning effects include the backwards reverb on the kick, which used automation to
pan it from the surround speakers up to the front speakers at the moment the kick hit,
and putting a fair amount of the kick in the LFE channel for larger effect. I also chose
to place the bass fully in the center channel with some in the LFE as seen in Figure
4.23.
Reverb & Delays
The major benefit of surround sound is the increased sense of depth and
spatial qualities in the music. It allows the music to be more transparent, making the
listener feel as though they are in the space where the music was created. Since my
recording was done in many different environments, I used artificial reverbs and
delays to help with this effect. I found it much easier to get a sense of space in
surround sound as opposed to stereo. Below in Figure 4.24 is my drum reverb plugin
which was used as a quad reverb. This means no reverb was sent to the LFE channel
or the center channel. I found that keeping the center channel dry added to a clearer
sense of space without creating a muddy mix. I also added 29ms of pre-delay to help
place the drums further back in the mix. In Figure 4.25, the quad reverb plugin for
54


the lead vocal, which also contains various pre-delays and adjusted early reflections,
is seen.
Figure 4.24 Drum Reverb
Figure 4.25 Vocal Reverb
55


CHAPTER 5
MASTERING
Stereo
Wavelab 6 was used for mastering in stereo and 5.1. The stereo tracks were
mastered first. I found that mastering for stereo and 5.1 are fairly different in the
amount of processing that needs to be done. It is assumed that a stereo mix could be
played anywhere, so there seems to be an obligation to use more compression to
make sure it jumps out of computer speakers. With the 5.1 mixes I felt that there was
more flexibility in the master, because most people listening to 5.1 will have a decent
system. There is also more head room on the surround mixes due to having six
channels as opposed to one. This makes surround mixes less susceptible to the
volume wars.
The stereo masters began by bouncing down from Pro Tools to 96k/24bit
Figure 5.1 Final Mixes in Wavelab
stereo interleaved .wav files. These were then imported into Wavelab as one long
track as seen above.
56


Each track was lined up in the order of the album and spaced accordingly.
Songs were spaced manually by counting the tempo of the previous song and feeling
where the next track should come in. The end and beginning of each song then had a
manual fade adjusted to make everything flow correctly. Once this was completed, I
did two passes of each song, each time bringing the level up slightly and doing
various amounts of equalization. During an internship I had with David Glasser and
Jim Wilson at Airshow Mastering in Boulder, Colorado, they explained how several
passes at high sample rates help to slowly bring up the level without degrading the
sound. I chose my mastering plugins carefully so as to degrade my sound quality as
little as possible. I used four different mastering plugins for this purpose:
1. Algorithmix PEQ Orange and Red 10 band linear phase EQ This is an extremely
high quality linear phase EQ developed for mastering purposes.
2. RND Digital Detailer A three band limiter with dynamic widening that helps
increase clarity of a mix.
3. PSP Xenon An extremely transparent limiter used by many professional
mastering engineers.
4. Wavelab Stereo Expander This helps widen the stereo field and bring more space
and depth to the mix
Figure 5.2 First Pass
The figure above shows the processing used on the first pass of Centerfolds. These
settings remained similar throughout the process with only slight adjustments for the
57


other songs. Detailer, PEQ Orange, and the Stereo Expander were all used on the
first pass.
After each pass the audio was rendered and the new mix imported on a new
track beneath the old track. I would go back and forth and reference the old and the
new to make sure I was improving the audio and not damaging it.
Play
O Oiigmai audio
O Processed audio + level collection
Processed audio
Level corrector)
O Match peakr
Match ioudne:c (RMS |
0 dP
:2 c: C v Time
[4* Update gainc 1
O Custom conectori
[ Close
Figure 5.3 Smart Bypass
Wavelab also allows one to use its smart bypass to quickly listen to the processed and
unprocessed mix by bypassing the mastering section plug-ins.
58


Figure 5.4 Second Pass
This also allows one to listen to the mix with the processing in. but with a volume
adjustment so that it is possible to hear your processed mix at the same level as the
original audio seen in Figure 5.3. The second pass is where I tried to bring up the
level using the PSP Xenon limiter and a few more EQ adjustments. With this
particular project I was trying to remove low end and brighten up the mixes without
taking out the warmth of the project. The second pass is shown above in Figure 5.4.
Once the second pass was completed, the tracks were imported to a third track
in Wavelab where a DVD-Audio (DVD-A) disc can be burned from the final masters.
Wavelab also allows one to drop the sample a bit rate and bum a CD straight from the
program. The individual 96k/24bit files can than be used as downloads or converted
to a lossless format such as Free Audio Lossless Codec (FLAC). It is also possible to
create an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) image of the DVD-A
project from Wavelab that the consumer can download and bum straight as a DVD
data disc from Toast without needing DVD-A authoring software.
59


Surround and Authoring
Surround provides a much greater set of issues when mastering and authoring
to disc than stereo. I unfortunately had very few tools to do an accurate mastering job
for the surround material, and felt that it was better to leave the mixes untouched than
risk compromising them with an inaccurate mastering environment. I instead chose
to drop the mixes in Wavelab where I could bump the sample rate down to 48k, space
out the the songs, get the track order, and author a DVD. Although I had hoped to not
have to drop the sample rate, there was no way without Meridian Lossless Packing
(MLP) compression to get the tracks on the disc. I also found that with the drop
down to 48k, I could fit all the stereo 96k mixes and the surround mixes on one DVD.
Below, Figure 5.5 shows the surround mastering session.
Figure 5.5 Wavelab Surround
I also made some small level adjustments, particularly to the Low Frequency
Effects (LFE) channel due to concern about my mixing environment. Wavelab allows
one to roll off the LFE channel as well, which I did at 120Hz. As seen in the left
side, it is possible to dictate which surround channel each track goes too. When
authored to DVD-Audio, each surround track will be sent to its appropriate channel.
Although there are several ways in which channel assignments can be ordered, the
popular standard is the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers/
International Telecommunications Union (SMPTE/ITU) standard seen below.
60


Table 11: SMPTE/ITU Channel Assignments
1 2 3 4 5 6
Left Front Right Front Center LFE Left Surround Right Surround
Besides authoring the DVD, it was also necessary for the project to figure out
how to get surround FLAC files for download. This can be done by taking the final
rendered multiple mono files out of Wavelab and bouncing them down as interleaved
files or using a program such as the De-Interleaver
~ no
De-Interleaver
O
Inter avt Deinterleave
Cnannel Files to interleave (Drag to Change Channel Order)
1 /Users/jevannch/Desktop/Peter surround 48 2 /Users/jevannch/Desktop/Peter surround 48 3 /Users/jevannch/Desktop/Peter surround 48K/Secuiar Song/New Folder/Secula- sound final mix 2-C.wav
4 /Users/jevanr.ch/Desktop/Peter surround 48 5 /Users/jevanneh/Desktop/Peter surround 48 6 /Users/jevannch/Desktop/Peter surround 48K/Secular Song/New folder/Secula' sound final mix 2.Rs.wav
Select Interleave or De-Interleave
| Start |
Figure 5.6 De-Interleaver
seen above, to interleave the mono files. These can than be converted to FLAC using
Max or other programs as explained later in Chapter 6.
61


CHAPTER 6
HIGH RESOLUTION RELEASE FORMATS:
HOW AND WHY
Possible Formats
After all the songs were mixed and mastered, the question became how to
deliver the songs to the consumer in a high resolution format. DVD-Audio and Super
Audio Compact Disc (SACD) have been the two rival formats for years. However,
unfortunately neither format has taken hold in a market where consumers are more
interested in convenience than quality. Yet there has been a small market for
individuals that want better than CD quality, and these individuals are limited to a
small selection of titles available in either SACD or DVD-Audio. Financially it is not
viable for an independent artist or label to release their music in a high definition
format based on the cost of duplicating one of these optical formats.
On the other hand, it is financially feasible to release the music as a digital
download with optional formats for the consumer to choose. Those that want high
resolution can purchase that download, while those that do not care can purchase the
mp3 or AAC version. The high definition versions can than be transfered by the
consumer to an optical form if they choose, or played back from a hard drive to a
stereo system. After researching what other labels and artists were doing, I decided
that it would be best to offer my files as either FLAC lossless or uncompressed Pulse
Code Modulation (PCM) Wav files. Although these files can be large, they offer the
best quality to the consumers to whom that is important. Those who do not want such
a large file size and possibly long download time can choose from one of the better
lossy codecs such as DTS or AAC. There is much current research showing that
these two compressed files sound much better than Dolby Digital AC-3 files or mp3s.
Therefore I propose to release this album in the following forms:
1. 96k/ 24bit stereo PCM wav
2. 96k/24bit 5.1 interleaved PCM wav
3. 48k/24bit 5.1 interleaved PCM wav
4. FLAC 96k/24bit stereo
5. FLAC 96k/24bit 5.1
6. DTS
62


Wav is a basic uncompressed file format developed by IBM and Microsoft
and considered the most compatible file format. It can be used for multiple channel,
sample rates, and bit depths. FLAC is considered by many engineers to be the best
Intermediate files
Figure 6.1 File Sizes Comparisons
lossless encoder. The majority of download sites offering CD or better than CD
quality offer their downloads in the FLAC codec as one option. It supports PCM files
at all common sample rates and bit depths from 4 to 32. It can support up to eight
channels as individual mono files or combined in an interleaved file. Above is a chart
showing the various file sizes for three minutes worth of music (Rumsey 1164). As
the chart shows, FLAC cuts these file sizes down to about sixty percent, which can
cut download time in almost half making a dramatic difference for large files, and
affecting convenience for consumers.
There are many possible codecs that can be experimented with, but FLAC and
PCM offer the highest possible audio quality. I have also chosen DTS as a possible
download form because, although it is not lossless, it offers another way for those that
want surround to easily access the music, and is higher quality than Dolby Digital
AC-3 files.
Consumer Playback
The next question is how the consumer can play back this material in these
forms. There are several ways which I will describe. First, once the material is
63


downloaded to a computer it can be played back directly through the computer by a
playback device such as iTunes and sent out to high quality converters to a stereo
system. There are a growing number of companies such as Benchmark Media that
are beginning to offer high quality audio cards that can be installed in the listener's
computer and connected to the stereo system. Linn Records provides high resolution
downloads and has also begun to sell Lacie Firewire drives with whole catalogues of
music already installed. Bob Katz discusses where he believes the industry is headed
in Mastering Audio. The next revolution in domestic listening is bom from a new
& Q 0 % <0 J>
Convert Meuaata Album Art
General Formats Output Ripper MustcBrairz Tagging Album Art Hanes
Files to be converted:
Filename a Tl
[j2L50SACD...uW_96.flac B
Configured output formats
Fermat
FLAG
5? MPEG4 Audio (Apple Lossless)
C2 WAVE (Unear PCM)
Format ^
FLAC
$? MPEG* Audio (Apple lossle
WAVE (Linear PCM)
Available output formats:
Format
FLAC
MP5
Monkey's Audio
Ogg FLAC
Ogg Vorbis
Soeex
Source
Built-In
Built-In
Built-In
Built-In
Built-In
Built-in
Title: Britten: Simple Symphony 1
DiVERTIMENTI
Utlst TrondheimSolistene
\ ---------------------------
bum:
\
pate:
fcnre
track:
(Disc:
Encoder Settings
1 of 11
1 of
^ Part of a compilation
bser Benjamin Britten
i --------------------
MCN
1 ____________________
BRC
pent 2L50SACD All rights reserved Lind
Figure 6.2 Max
appliance-the high fidelity music server. This device lets consumers play downloads,
internet radio, and music files on hi-fi and home theater systems (Katz 19). It
appears that this has already begun to happen. Furthermore, there are several easy
tools available that
on
X Audio Compression Toolkit
decode encode checksum snntool fix SBt FLAC tags
Output Format
AIFF
OWAV
f-, detooe mroug* errors
(flat oot-on only, ignored for otHe' files'
----------Delete original fnes after decode
Drag tiles to tie icon in the finder or in the Dock to process them o' drag fires e rectly to the hie lists
consumers can use to
convert their audio into
alternate formats for
easier use on a particular
system. One such device
is a free audio converter
for Mac call Max. This
will allow flexible audio
conversion to any audio
Figure 6.3 XACT
64


codec on the market at a high quality. Another useful tool is called XACT. It can be
used to convert FLAC to Wav so playback is possible in programs such as iTunes,
which do not support FLAC.
One last option is for the listener to bum their music to blank optical media
discs. Currently most computers will bum basic DVD discs. There are several
methods to get high resolution audio onto these discs. They can either be burned as
DVD-Video discs or DVD-Audio discs depending on what the listener is interested
in. There are also high-resolution discs which could become more popular in the near
future. It appears that Blu-ray could be the next trend in high resolution optical discs.
Below is the specifications for DVD-Video, outlining what high resolution files are
acceptable. The maximum bit rate of 6.144 dictates the possibilities.
Table 12: DVD-Video
Codec Sample Rate Bit Depth Number of Channels Max Bit Rate
PCM 48 16 8 6.144 Mbps
48 20 6
48 24 4
96 16 4
96 20 3
96 24 2
DTS 48 20 6 1.4 Mbps
(Owsinski Mastering 139)
As seen above, it is easy to play back stereo 96k/24bit files on a basic DVD-
Video disc. However to play 5.1 sound on a DVD-Video disc, the files must be
converted to 48k/20bit in order to not go over the max bit rate. Music DVD discs can
be burned on simple burning programs such as Roxios Toast which has an option for
DVD- Music Disc. Figure 6.4 shows Toast 8 in Music DVD mode, and in the bottom
left is the option to choose encoding settings. Surround sound files can also be added
by hitting option and dragging in an interleaved file. The file must be no more than
48k/24bit for 5.1. DTS is also possible on the disc, but is really only necessary if
surround needs to be on the same disc with high resolution stereo, because the
uncompressed 48k/20bit PCM files can fit on the disc by themselves.
65


r\ ^ n
Toast 8 Titanium
TOASTS
DdU.
Audio
CC
HutSDVD
M-l G-t.
k<*ni*ee<* ajio-j CT
p. W
CODn
Drag sound files or audio tracks into this area
- ...
Menu Styie.
Mo Menus i !
(Z* Auto-o ay disc on inseT
& Play ail items congruously
& inciuOe Shuffle Play
& Inc.ude SmartUsts
Audio PCM 96 khz 24 Bit
Figure 6.4 Toast 8
DVD-Audio discs have more options for surround, yet are not as easy to
author currently or play back. The reason DVD-Audio discs have failed in the market
is because most DVD players are not compatible to play them back. Yet there is a
segment of the population that bought into this format and have players to play them
on, who might like the higher quality surround audio that is possible on them. DVD-
Audio allows for a higher maximum bit rate of 9.6 Mbps, and thus more information
can be placed on them. They also allow for MLP lossless coding which can make it
possible to fit 96k/24bit 5.1 files on a DVD-Audio disc. Without MLP there is a max
of 48k/24bit, which is still better than DVD-Video. See the specifications in the table
below.
Table 13: DVD-Audio
Codec Sample Rate Bit Depth Number of Channels Max Bit Rate
PCM 192 16, 20, 24 2 9.6 Mbps
176.4 2
96 1 to 6
88.2 1 to 6
48 1 to 6
44.1 1 to 6
66


Codec Sample Rate Bit Depth Number of Channels Max Bit Rate
DTS 96 16, 20, 24 1 to 6 9.6 Mbps
(Owsinski Mastering 143)
The authoring and burning of DVD-Audio discs is harder than that of DVD-
Video discs, yet there are several programs that can do the job, including Steinbergs
Wavelab, Cirlinca HD-audio solo, Sonic, Logic, and a free program called DVD
Audio Tools that also supports FLAC files. It would also be possible to provide an
ISO image of a previous authored disc for download that could simply be burned as a
data disc on any burning software for either DVD Audio or Video, or cross
compatible discs. This would take the authoring issues out of the picture for the
consumer.
The Importance of Moving Towards High Resolution Downloads
Audio production today has two major issues that affect sound quality. These
are dynamic compression and data compression. Both these issues developed as a
result of the ways in which consumers play back music. Data compression has been a
result of file sharing and downloads. Consumers liked the convenience, accessibility,
and often free price tag of music, and thus began accepting poorer quality music.
Younger generations have now become accustomed to this poor quality sound.
Jonathan Berger, a music professor at Stanford, plays high resolution audio as well as
mp3s to his incoming students. Each year he finds more and more students prefer the
sound of the mp3, that they seemed to prefer sizzle sounds that mp3s bring to
music. It is a sound they are familiar with (Dougherty 1). Therefore, the prevalence
of low quality music is affecting the perception of listeners, and undermines the
attempts of musicians and producers to translate their art to their audiences. Data
compressed files like mp3s lose high end information, stereo image, and depth which
takes away from the overall impact the musicians and producer intended for the
music.
Dynamic compression is the other trend that affects the way in which we
listen to music. Engineers, producers, and artists who wanted their music to be the
loudest coming out of the radio or off of iTunes have pushed to have the music
increasingly compressed and over-limited in order for their mix to overpower others.
Dynamic compression also makes music sound bigger coming out of small computer
speakers and low-fi stereo systems. Yet when played back on good equipment, it
becomes apparent how the sound has been destroyed. Dynamic compression takes
67


out all the transient information and kills the dynamics of a mix. If a soft section is as
loud as the loud section, the music loses its impact on the listener.
Therefore, if we began to record, mix, master, and release audio at higher
quality we can combat these two issues and start making music that can be enjoyed
long into the future for their high fidelity'. If we begin to release music as downloads
in lossless or uncompressed formats, we address the data compression issue. It also
opens up the door for 5.1 surround audio because people will begin to accept a little
longer time to download material for high quality. The problem of dynamic
compression can also be dealt with by introducing surround sound downloads.
Because surround sound is generally played back on better equipment and there are
six channels rather than two, less compression is needed to introduce the same effect.
More dynamics and depth are naturally present because of the surround field.
There has been a great deal of research and discussion in the field on the
difference between high resolution audio and the Red Book standard. Although
everyone agrees that a quality recording depends on every step of the chain, it appears
that higher sample rates and bit depths are an added bonus if all other aspects are in
place. Higher sample rates equal a higher frequency response, and higher bit depths
lead to a larger dynamic range. Many argue that if we cannot hear above 20k, then
there is no purpose to sample rates over 44.1. However, Takeo Yamamoto has done
several listening experiments and found his subjects perceived a difference in quality
between 96k audio and 44.1k. This leads him to assert that 96k sampling is useful for
high quality recordings (Yoshikawa 1).
He also paved the way for Weislaw Woszczyk at McGill University, who
explains that high resolution in the temporal, spatial, spectral, and dynamic domains
are the important aspects that lead us to recognize a recording as being high quality.
In the conclusion of his Audio Engineering Society paper, he states developments in
ultra-high sampling rates give digital audio temporal resolution matching the
capabilities of human perceptual system. Frequency resolution follows with high
sampling rates. Digital processing with 48bit-wide, and more, resolution allows
music to retain its high dynamic resolution (Woszczyk 8).
Mastering engineer Bob Katz, also an advocate for higher sampling rates,
explains that the quality we achieve from higher sample rates comes from the design
of low-pass filters. Steep low pass filters cause distortion and smearing of the audio.
Higher sample rates push much of the steep filter distortion out of the range of human
hearing. Tests done by J.Andrew Moorer at Sonic Solutions show that doing digital
processing such as equalization and compression at higher sampling rates will result
in less distortion in the audible band. The errors and aliasing that occur from these
68


devices is spread over more bandwidth and portion, moving out of the range of
human hearing (Katz 254).
Much of the failure of SACD and DVD-Audio in the marketplace was due to
confusion about how the consumer was to play the high resolution discs. Every
format that has succeeded in the music industry has always been due to convenience
not sound quality. Tapes triumphed over records although they clearly sounded
inferior to vinyl. Next CDs became preferable to tapes and records, and although
they very often could sound better than tape or vinyl depending on different factors, it
was their convenience that made them work in the marketplace. We now see
downloaded mp3s as the chosen format over CDs, even though the quality is below
that of the Red Book CD. People enjoy the convenience of purchasing music
whenever they want and getting it instantly.
As producers and engineers who value the quality of our recordings and
appreciate the musical intentions of the artists, we should be embracing the fact that it
is now possible to offer high resolution music in the same convenient and easily
accessible manner as mp3s. In fact Thomson, the leading provider of solutions for
multimedia delivery, just announced in a press release on March 19th 2009 that they
are releasing mp3HD, a high resolution version of the mp3 as a lossless codec. Their
press release states, With the mp3HD format, the music industry can engage in user-
friendly distribution of lossless music and audio files. The added file size required for
lossless compression no longer being a limiting factor thanks to the continuous
increase in Internet bandwidth capacity and file storage size (Thomson 1).
There are several companies currently focused on high resolution downloads.
In Appendix D I have listed the main companies providing this service. I also
included the work that producer T-Bone Burnett is doing with high resolution audio.
Although not a download, he is providing what he calls CODE, in which he puts high
resolution 96k/24bit audio on a DVD-video disc along with the highest quality AAC
and mp3 files for use in iPods (Hathaway 1). It is just another method for delivering
the same formats. Although outside the scope of this paper, it would be interesting
for someone to do a marketability study on how these companies are faring in the
marketplace. My hunch is that as the level of convenience is increasing, the
popularity of this format will grow. We may see a re-training of the ears of casual
listeners to prefer music of a higher quality. At the very least, it will be more
affordable for musicians and producers to provide different listening options for their
fans, so that high resolution can be more widely available for those that want it than
before. Although the cost of production for high resolution material will remain high,
duplication can be much more affordable.
69


On a final technical note, if we record music with inexpensive preamps, mics,
and converters, the higher resolution will make very little difference. It is important
that with higher resolution audio we also use higher end converters, preamps, clocks,
and mics. It is also necessary to recognize how essential the acoustic space is in
which the engineer records, mixes, and masters. I have done my best with the
equipment I had at my disposal to create a recording that follows these principles.
This project has shown me that working with higher sample rates in insufficient
studios is very challenging, especially in 5.1. In order to do an impeccable recording,
one needs the correct environment and tools. It is necessary to accurately hear what
is going on in the mix to make corrections, and this demands high quality tools.
I also believe the type of music being recorded plays a part in determining
whether there will be a benefit from higher resolution. Jazz, classical, and acoustic
music benefit much more from higher quality audio. Much pop, hip-hop, and R&B
are so heavily processed, the drawbacks of producing this way may outweigh the
benefits. This may change if listeners become more accustomed to higher resolution
audio. However, it is understandable that currently the majority of companies doing
high resolution audio downloads are often doing so with jazz, classical, or acoustic
music.
70


CHAPTER 7
CONCLUSION
In conclusion, high resolution will hopefully make a stronger foothold in the
marketplace, which in turn will help inspire all artists, engineers, and producers to
make higher quality recordings that can be enjoyed by future listeners as technology
advances. The time is now ripe for engineers to utilize existing technologies such as
high-resolution PCM/DSD, surround sound, and high-resolution digital downloads to
take music production to the next level and offer a variety of formats to the discerning
consumer, with more ease.
Previous high resolution audio formats such as DVD-Audio and SACD never
took hold in the marketplace because they required specialized equipment for
playback and therefore remained a niche market. Current trends now allow for
computer playback of high resolution audio, which will open up the opportunity to
offer it on a larger scale.
Without the expense of the duplication costs of SACD and DVD, it becomes
much more affordable for independent artists and engineers to release music in this
format, which many listeners will appreciate. It is important to note however, that
although duplication costs are saved with this method, it is still necessary to have
capital for production costs. It is not possible to create a high resolution album
without having high quality audio gear and the ears of an experienced engineer.
Although I encountered challenges due to a limited budget, I often found ways to
compensate. This thesis illustrates the process used for those interested in creating
high resolution audio for the independent artist on a limited budget.
71


APPENDIX A
SONG LYRICS
Burn
Written by Peter Bergquist
Verse 1:
A beautiful woman in a run down car
A tiny baby in a smoky bar
Tumbleweed blowing down a dusty street
Lungs on fire from a dry heat
What will it take for us to breathe?
We're too exhausted
We're in too deep.
Verse 2:
Chances disappearing in the desert's grip
All the things I should have said stapled to my lips
Baby, I've been thinking about the end of time
And all I wanna do is sit and hide
What will it take for us to breathe?
We're too exhausted
We're in too deep.
Chorus:
And when the great big sun shines down on her
It's like God explains the universe
And when I cry all of my anxious tears
I see the world burning up in a fire of fears
Verse 3:
A beautiful woman driving a funeral pyre
Trying to get to heaven on four bald tires
A baby staring up at the neon lights
While I'm off digging through the ashes tonight
72


What will it take for us to breathe?
We're too exhausted
We're in too deep
Chorus:
And when the great big sun shines down on her
It's like God explains the universe
And when I cry all of my anxious tears
I see the world burning up in a fire of fears
73


Secular Song
Written by Peter Bergquist
Verse 1:
Cornfields and soybeans, wind in my hair
Tom May on the radio, I was driving through Blair
An old guru in a juice bar, a wheat grass to go
I went out to drive the secular road
She said she was Lincoln. I liked what she said
We made love in tall grass, stuck together in bed
We took a train to the ocean, I left for the moon
One more starting over in a hotel room
Chorus 1:
When she left me a note by the door with my things
She never imagined what she was taking from me
Thoughts of babies and tomatoes, settling down
A secular woman in a wedding gown
Verse 2:
Thirty miles from nowhere, staring at the stars
She was sleeping in the tent, our baby in her arms
She said she was Chico, I liked what she said
I followed that line. I swallowed that line.
I tasted the waters, they tasted fine
I drank from the rivers without iodine
The mountains in profile, the orchids in bloom
The crickets repeating a secular song
Chorus 2:
Dont you remember? You said you were free
Now is whats happening to you whats happening to me?
Getting tired of the rambling, settling down?
Finding religion in a secular town.
74


Verse 3:
If it starts where it ends, morning is night
Music is silence, wrong turns to right
The logic of circles, spinning not stumbling
The face of a dolphin, the head of a whale
If off is on and dreams are real
People are ghosts just trying to feel
You can run for the beauty', live for the love
You still land in the ground with a secular thud
Chorus 3:
Thoughts, dreams, and fantasies gather around
To be held in the sway of that secular sound
Take me back to the north, to the bus Im riding
My baby is singing a sweet lullaby
Im singing my baby a sweet lullaby
75


Crazy Man
Written by Peter Bergquist
Verse 1:
He goes down where shes scared to go, leaves a trail of blood on the floor
Hes a drunk with no pants on. a worn out beat poet
I know how he pleases her, talks his dreams all night long
Undressing her religion with a coked-up smile
He takes her down to the railroad treacle, to smoke a rock and watch the bums on the
boardwalk
She gives him all her innocence. He fills her up with problems and purpose.
Shes living on the other side with a man crazier than me
Hell get the trophy for the craziest man of the year, shell see the things that the
crazy man sees
Chorus:
In and out of the cheap hotels
In and out of the hospital
On and off like a thrift store lamp
On and off of the medication
Running naked down high street in Santa Cruz
The king of pleasures got a gun in his hand
And shes chasing that holy-roller
Trying to catch the crazy man
Verse 2:
I think someday she thinks shell make things right, shell find a way to deliver his
demons
Clouds parting, sun shining, perfection, and sweet reformation
She grew up with the promise of Jesus Christ, and how the preachers partied and
prayed it
But the stories that keep you trying to win are the stories that let you down
Listen to the songs of the poets, the tragedy of bar room life
The woman wakes up dead in the gutter, the cheating husband stabbed up with a knife
Where is the happy ever after, wheres the lover who changes his ways?
76


I think I heard it in a Christian pop song. It's a hell of a dream.
Chorus:
In and out of the cheap hotels
In and out of the hospital
On and off like a thrift store lamp
On and off of the medication
Running naked down high street in Santa Cruz
The king of pleasures got a gun in his hand
And shes chasing that holy-roller
Trying to catch the crazy man
Verse 3:
The crazy man will always be crazy, his eyes will tell the story to you
Youll get a glimpse of the darkness that matters, youll get a taste of the light that he
knew
His arms will always clamber around you. You can count on being needed tonight.
The things that he says are the truest of lies. He needs somebody like you.
Chorus:
In and out of the cheap hotels
In and out of the hospital
On and off like a thrift store lamp
On and off of the medication
Running naked down high street in Santa Cruz
The king of pleasures got a gun in his hand
And shes chasing that holy-roller
Trying to catch the crazy man
77


I Made It Again
Written by Peter Bergquist
Verse 1:
Where have they gone, my friends?
Theyve left me these loose ends.
Im sittin here underneath this tree.
Im sittin here. Theres someone I thought I might see.
Where have they gone, my dreams?
Theyve split apart my seams.
Im sittin here underneath this tree
Im sittin here. Theres someone I thought I might see.
Chorus:
My hope is a mission
A strange kind of wishin
A star thats failin
A muse whos callin
A mysterys voice
A beautiful choice
I made it again.
Over and over again.
Verse 2:
Id like to run away.
I dont have too much to say.
Im sittin here underneath this tree
Im sittin here like someone I once thought Id be.
Im dwelling on my past.
I thought it all might last.
But the past is gone. The futures yet to be.
78


Im sittin here underneath this tree.
Chorus:
My hope is a mission
a strange kind of wishin
A star thats failin
A muse whos callin
A mysterys voice
A beautiful choice
I made it again.
Over and over again.


Centerfolds
Written by Peter Bergquist
Verse 1:
Wound up downtown
She didnt know where she wras going
Walked down the wrong street
Had to go an extra mile
Blisters on her feet
From snakeskin high-heels
She never met the man
Who wrote poetry for money
Verse 2:
Took a taxi back home
To her studio apartment
Picked up her guitar
Played a Joni Mitchell song
A little wine in a glass
A cigarette in an ashtray
Soon she would forget
Walking the extra mile
Chorus:
She played a song called California
She played the streets until they cried
She was blue from the beginning
Shell be blue until the end
Counting down her days on Broadway
With a view of Centerfolds
Verse 3:
She stayed up until the dawn
Watched the sun rise on the Bay Bridge
Heard the traffic start the day
Laughed at the idiots going to work
80


A little wine in a glass
An address in a notebook
Written by the man, who said
He wrote poetry for money
Chorus:
She played a song called California
She played the streets until they cried
She was blue from the beginning
Shell be blue until the end
Counting down her days on Broadway
With a view of Centerfolds
81


APPENDIX B
SCORES
82


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83


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84


85


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86


2
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87


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89