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Symmetry

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Title:
Symmetry a professional audio thesis
Creator:
Caminiti, Alexander W
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Language:
English
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xii, 85 leaves : color illustrations ; 28 cm

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Symmetry (Audio recording : Caminiti) ( lcsh )
Sound -- Recording and reproducing ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Alexander W. Caminiti.

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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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ocn781775019
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LD1193.A70 2011M C36 ( lcc )

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Full Text
SYMMETRY:
A PROFESSIONAL AUDIO THESIS
by
Alexander W. Caminiti
B.S., The College of Saint Rose, 2007
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science in Recording Arts
2011


This thesis for the Master of Science in Recording Arts
degree by
Alexander W. Caminiti
has been approved
by
Paul Musso
Date


Caminiti, Alexander W. (M.S., Recording Arts)
Symmetry: An Audio Thesis
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Lome Bregitzer
ABSTRACT
Symmetry is comprised of a recorded album, documentation of writing,
production and mixing process, as well as a discussion of the current state and future
of the digital age. The crux of the portfolio is a concept album titled Symmetry, and
the documentation that supports its production. Symmetry is a full length concept
album in the form of a palindrome, allowing the listener the opportunity to rearrange
the track list in different combinations that will seamlessly play within a digital media
player. The album can be listened to front to back, back to front, or each pair or songs
can be listened to into one another with seamless playback.
The focal point of the research is that digital technology has changed, and is in
the process of invariably changing, the way that music is being written, produced,
recorded, mixed, distributed, purchased or stolen. Everything is now connected both
literally and figuratively in this digital age. We are all permanently connected to an
endless amount of information just as we are all connected to one another through
social networking. The digital (and internet) age is far reaching and still a relatively
new technological phenomenon. We are now beginning to understand its effects on
our society and economy. As digital piracy continues, so does the fight against it. We
are soon to witness the implementation of a new line of defense that has the potential
to thwart and end most illegal operations. If implemented and upheld in the near
future, this new line of defense is sure to gain control over illegal downloading.
This abstract accurately represents the contents of the candidates portfolio. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
Lome Bregitzer


DEDICATION
I dedicate this thesis to Brendan OBrien, Jonathan Frusciante and Aaron
Fumarola. Without your existences, I would not have become the person, musician or
engineer I am today.
To Brendan OBrien and Jonathan Frusciante: Your influence on my style and
creativity is literally second to none. I have channeled much of what I have learned
from both of you throughout my life into this album. Not just musically and sonically,
but also emotionally. Your passion and prodigal greatness have permeated my very
existence. Your musical and sonic tapestries will always flow in my mind. Everything
I see, read and hear about you both as people has been nothing but positive, and I feel
like you are family from another country who I have never met. I do not view you as
godly figures that I could never become, but instead I am inspired by the fact that you
are simply passionate people playing and producing music you care about.
To Aaron: You have enabled my obsessive behavior and helped me grow as a
musician, producer, and mixer. Had it not been for your chill persona and intrinsic
musical talent, I would have never produced the music that I have. What we have
created throughout the years has really affected me, and we have so much more music
to make throughout the coming years, and so much more to learn about life and
consciousness (the end of a typical Alex Rant). I look forward to many more years
of awesome studio recordings, energetic live performances, random sarcastic tirades
and meaningful conversations. Cheers!
Lastly, Symmetry is dedicated in loving memory of My Grandfather
Dominick and Ellen and Caroline Found. You will be missed.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would first like to acknowledge Aaron Fumarola for playing drums on the
entire album, as the album would have otherwise been limited to the Hi-Fi demos. I
am thankful that we were able to re-produce this album and re-record it after many
months of jamming on this material. The weekend of recording drums in the beautiful
cathedral was a really awesome experience. The final result is way more amazing
than I could have imagined. Many thanks, Aaron.
I would like to thank Ross Hoekman for playing bass on the Hi-Fi demos of
Karma and Echo, that which I was able to import into the new versions with a lot of
chopping and tweaking. I would like to thank Graham Waks for playing drums on the
Hi-Fi demos of Echo, Synchronicity and Caution ', I was able to use a two second clip
of his drums as a drum sample in the new version of Synchronicity. I would also like
to thank Michael Stafford for playing drums on the Hi-Fi demo of Karma. It was
because of all of you that I was able to make this album. It would not have been
possible without any of you. Again, my deepest appreciation. Thank you. Merci
Beaucoup.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Figures....................................................................viii
Tables.....................................................................xii
Chapter
1. Introduction.............................................................1
1.1 Symmetry: Concept........................................................2
1.2 Composition..............................................................3
1.3 Virtual Production.......................................................4
1.4 Symmetry.................................................................5
1.5 Track Listing............................................................6
2. Production...............................................................7
2.1 Engineering..............................................................8
2.1.1 Drums...................................................................9
2.1.2 Overheads, Room and High Hats..........................................10
2.1.3 The Snare..............................................................16
2.1.4 The Kick...............................................................20
2.1.5 The Tom Toms...........................................................23
2.2 Equipment...............................................................31
2.3 Guitars.................................................................34
2.4 Bass....................................................................35
2.5 Mixing..................................................................35
2.6 Mastering...............................................................72
3. Digital Transcendence...................................................73
3.1 Digital Life............................................................74
vi


3.2 The Paradox of Sound Quality........................................76
3.3 The Future..........................................................78
4. Conclusions.........................................................82
4.1 MSRA................................................................84
Appendix...............................................................86
Bibliography............................................................92
VII


LIST OF FIGURES
1.1 Cell Phone Recording................................................3
2.1 Church showing all microphones.....................................10
2.2 Side view of Drums.................................................11
2.3 Front view of Drums................................................12
2.4 Back view of Drums.................................................13
2.5 Side Read view of Drums............................................14
2.6 High Hat Microphone................................................15
2.7 Top Snare Microphones Close up.....................................16
2.8 Top Snare Microphone Placement Top View............................17
2.9 Top Snare Microphone Placement Side View...........................18
2.10 Bottom Snare Microphone Placement.................................19
2.11 Outside Kick Microphone Placement.................................20
2.12 Outside Kick Microphone Placement to show distance................21
2.13 Inside Kick Microphone Placement..................................22
2.14 Rear Right side view of Tom Tom microphones.......................23
2.15 Right side view of Tom Tom microphones............................24
2.16 Rear side view of Tom Tom microphone..............................25
2.17 Rack tom top and bottom microphones Audix D2 and Shure SM 57....26
2.18 Rack tom top microphone Audix D2................................27
2.19 Middle Floor Tom top microphone Audix D2........................28
viii


2.20 Lower Floor Tom top microphone Audix D4............................29
2.21 Lower Tom Tom top microphones Audix D2 and D4......................30
2.22 Lower Tom Tom bottom microphones Shure Beta 57s....................30
2.23 The digital recording equipment utilized to record the entire album..31
2.24 Setting up a new Pro Tools session prior to recording another song...32
2.25 Church hall during the day...........................................33
2.26 Guitar amp with a Shure KSM 32 and Shure Beta 57 45 degrees off axis.34
2.27 Bass Guitar Audio, Volume and Plugin Automation......................36
2.28 Bass Guitar Plugin Chain.............................................37
2.29 Bass Guitar Side Chained Sans Amp....................................37
2.30 Bass Guitar Side Chained Analog Channel 2............................38
Figure 2.31 Drum Overheads, Room, and High Hat Audio. Overhead Phaser.....38
Figure 2.32 Drum Overheads Plugin Chain...................................39
Figure 2.33 High Hat Plugin Chain.........................................40
Figure 2.34 Room Plugin Chain.............................................40
Figure 2.35 Overhead Phaser used in confidential..........................41
Figure 2.36 Kick Drum Audio and volume automation.........................41
Figure 2.37 Inside Kick Drum Plugin Chain.................................42
Figure 2.38 Outside Kick Drum Plugin Chain................................43
Figure 2.39 Kick Drum Bus Plugin Chain....................................44
Figure 2.40 Kick Drum Parrallel Compression...............................45
Figure 2.41 Snare Drum Audio and Volume Automation........................46
IX


Figure 2.42 Snare Top SM81 Plugin Chain...................................46
Figure 2.43 Snare Top Beta 57 Plugin Chain...............................47
Figure 2.44 Snare Bottom Plugin Chain....................................48
Figure 2.45 Snare Parallel Compression...................................49
Figure 2.46 Tom Tom Audio and Volume Automation..........................49
Figure 2.47 Middle Floor Tom Plugin Chain................................50
Figure 2.48 Lower Floor Tom Plugin Chain.................................51
Figure 2.49 Rack Tom Plugin Chain........................................52
Figure 2.50 Drum Reverb and Analog Tape Compression Processing...........53
Figure 2.51 Drum Side Chain Compression SSL G Series...................54
Figure 2.52 Tambourine and Shaker Audio and Volume Automation............54
Figure 2.53 Tambourine #1 Plugin Chain...................................55
Figure 2.54 Tambourine #2 Plugin Chain...................................56
Figure 2.55 Shaker Plugin Processing.....................................56
Figure 2.56 Conga Drum Audio and Volume Automation.......................57
Figure 2.57 Sampled Conga Drum Plugin Processing.........................57
Figure 2.58 Conga Drum Plugin Chain......................................58
Figure 2.59 Guitar Audio and Volume Automation Part One................59
Figure 2.60 Clean Guitar Plugin Processing...............................59
Figure 2.61 Crunch Rhythm Guitar Plugin Processing.......................60
Figure 2.62 Crunch Rhythm Guitar Plugin Processing.......................60
Figure 2.63 Lowpass Envelope Filter Guitar Plugin Processing.............61
x


Figure 2.64 Filter and Delay Guitar Plugin Processing......................62
Figure 2.65 Guitar Audio and Volume Automation Part Two..........63
Figure 2.66 Funk Lead Guitar Plugin Chain..................................63
Figure 2.67 Long Delay Guitar Plugin Processing............................64
Figure 2.68 Heavy Lead Guitar Plugin Processing............................64
Figure 2.69 Clean Lead Guitar Plugin Chain.................................65
Figure 2.70 Dirty Lead Guitar Plugin Chain.................................66
Figure 2.71 Guitar Audio and Volume Automation Part Three.........67
Figure 2.72 Dirty Lead Guitar Plugin Chain.................................68
Figure 2.73 Dirty Ending Melody Guitar Plugin Chains.......................69
Figure 2.74 Guitar Reverb, Effects and Synth Audio and Volume Automation...70
Figure 2.75 Guitar Reverb Plugin EMT 140 Plate...........................70
Figure 2.76 Master Outputs and Volume Automation...........................71
Figure 2.76 Final Stereo Stem..............................................72
XI


LIST OF TABLES
A.l Apple iRig and Microphone......................................86
A.2 Maximum Allowed Daily Usage Time for iPods.....................91
A.3 Listen Up......................................................91
xii


1.
Introduction
This album and thesis are a product of the exponentially accelerating effects
of digital technology, a concept that I have coined as digital transcendence.
Everything has been digitized from our social circles via social networking sites, to
our means of finding jobs and apartments via Craig's List. Digital transcendence
extends to our means of finding a potential significant other via online dating
websites, to buying anything under the sun from Amazon.com. We have and are
digitally transcending, and this is still the beginning.
The discrepancy between the speed and efficiency of government bureaucracy
versus that of the internet is now evident. The digital world has and continues to
demonstrate that we can do, be and get anything our hearts desire with an immediacy
that has never existed until our recent history. The lives of musicians, producers and
digital media artists have been especially affected by the internet. In what is now a
catch twenty-two of free, endless promotion and media hosting, there is a seemingly
endless black market seeking to undercut the profits of those in the business-
regardless of a corporate or independent nature.
There are a myriad of details that are affecting our transcendence, especially
for the digital media industry. Illegal peer to peer file sharing, digital media
compression/degradation, bootlegging of CDs and DVDs, cloud computing and smart
media technology; all are greatly changing the way we create, protect, market and
access media. We now live in a society that has grown to demand internet
connectivity at the push of a button that which is no longer a button, but a LCD
multi-touch sensor screen.
1


The concept of symmetry in regards to the music industry is that it used to be
mainly comprised of legal distribution, prior to the advent of recordable media. While
the bootlegging of music has been around since the 1960s (Heylin, 1996), it was
nothing compared to the illegal distribution upon the advent of the blank tape
cassettes, CD-R and now digital distribution. This illegal digital bootlegging took
center stage upon the creation of Napster and all the peer to peer file sharing sites it
spawned. It is now in the near future that we will achieve a historically symmetrical
existence where illegal bootlegging will once again be controlled with more
effectively employed methods.
The album titled Symmetry is the culmination of the time I have invested in
developing my musicianship, producing, engineering and mixing skills. It is an
unorthodox concept album in the sense that it was created out of a concept, but does
not have a lyrical, storytelling theme, as it is strictly instrumental. The concept is that
it is a tonal palindrome. It proves the fact that the digital age has brought about not
just the potential for creativity to be applied to the production and mixing of an
album, but also to the track listing. Through the creative utilization of a digital audio
workstation, such a resolve is now possible for the first time in the existence of
music.
1.1 Symmetry: Concept
Symmetry is technically only six songs, but each song is comprised of two
halves that are situated on comparably opposite sides of the album. Each pair of
tracks can play seamlessly into one another via a digital media player, with the latter
playing into the former (twelve into one, eleven into two), while the album is track-
listed to be listened to as a whole from one to twelve. Furthermore, since twelve
(Brunette) will play seamlessly into track one (Blonde), the entire album can thus be
played on continuous repeat in certain digital media/cd players without pause.
2


This concept came from my desire to utilize digital technology to create a
piece of art that is as much novelty as creativity. I wanted to make something that
could not be dismissed on all levels, regardless of musical preference. The music is
instrumental, and thus intrinsically alienates a large portion of music fans who only
listen to vocal based music, but it is also unorthodox in song structure and tones used.
Regardless of anyones opinion of the music, the concept of making an album that
can flow from start to finish on endless loop without any abrupt pause was a
challenge I wanted to overcome.
1.2 Composition
This music was written riff-by-riff, progression-by-progression, and recorded
into a cell phone in many different parts of the United States throughout the course of
four years. Never to know what would come of it, it became evident upon enrolling in
the MSRA program that all of the material would be the foundation for the recorded
aspect of this graduate audio portfolio.
Figure 1.1
Figure 1.1 shows the cell phone that Symmetry was written and recorded with,
also pictured is the Audix 51 microphone used to record the cell phone recordings
into Pro Tools|HD.
3


The cell phone is a 2005 Nokia. It can place and receive calls and text-only
messages, take grainy pictures and record distorted voice notes up to five minutes
long. In total the phone can hold a little over an hour of recorded audio. If it is placed
far enough away from amps and drums, it is capable of recording full band sessions -
much more accurately without an electric bass guitar in the room. The cell phone
demos can be heard on the CD titled Cell Phone Demos. [Appendix A]
Upon recording ideas and acoustic skeletons of full song into the cell phone,
they would be worked out into rough demos at my home studio. These rough guitar-
only demos would become the conceptual basis for the High Fidelity demos during
my coursework at CU Denver. Almost all of the tracks were demoed. The Hi-Fi
demos can be heard on the CD titled Hi-Fi Demos. [Appendix B]
1.3 Virtual Production
There is another aspect to this album that is unrelated to the conceptual theme,
and it relates to how the musical content was written and extends to how the final
album was produced. The existence of digital audio has not merely affected the media
industries existence; it has drastically changed the way that art is created. Both virtual
production and collaboration are aspects of our creative media industry that are
changing the final product that the listener enjoys. It is not just that the initial idea can
be recorded upon its creation, but the final recording can be created with someone
who is not in the same studio, and quite possibly not even the same country.
The fact that an inexpensive cell phone can be used as a field recorder is not
only groundbreaking to the development of music but it was simply not possible
until recent history. Even the smallest personal recorders in the 80s and 90s were far
too big to feasible have one in your pocket or guitar case. With modem smart phone
technology, the day has arrived that a cell phone can be used as a high quality
recording device. The iRig [Appendix C] is an example of a remote recording device
that connects to an iPad and iPhone, and is a prime example of continual
4


technological development. Such technology will only grow and become more
affordable in the future, two of the most important aspects relating to barriers to entry
in the music industry: Cost and Quality.
1.4 Symmetry
The conceptual basis of symmetry is something that permeates the meaning of
the album. Symmetry clearly exists in picturesque images in nature and can be
observed throughout all history. There are two leaves that first emerge from a
seedling becoming a plant. There are two sides in a battle, that which are ubiquitously
comparable in number, though not often in ability. It requires two living creatures to
combine two specific, infinitely complex cells to continue new life of all species.
There are two extremes of temperature, and ranges of comfort and ability to survive.
Two years of being an underclassman and upperclassman in both high school and
college. There are two sides to the different aspects of our entire economy; vendors
and customers, small business and corporations, government and citizens... and of
course, there are always two sides to every story.
Pick a side, already but do not pick incorrectly, because that would not be
correct, nor would it be in your best interest... and by your best interest, it should
be understood that it is actually my best interest. You and I, Myself and Yourself -
We believe with blind faith in our gods (or lack thereof), slightly different though
they are. You are right as I am wrong, and you will bum in an eternal hell just as I am
destined for an eternal heaven. All the same, however, we eternally scrutinize
different aspects of the few things that we can come to a consensus as being factual:
Be a good person and scorn evil, while your view of evil is the opposite of your
enemy... Touche?
There are many extremes that affect our lives. Birth and Death, Love and
Hate, Sickness and Health, Happiness and Sadness, Bliss and Stress, Gluttony and
5


Hunger, Greed and Compassion, Bitterness and Kindness, all of these extremes
exemplify the symmetry both visual and energetic that we all experience.
1.5 The Track Listing
Symmetry
(Tracks 1-6 or 12-7)
Blonde
Symmetry
Mantra
Dig
Confidential
Enigma
Synchronicity
(Tracks 7-12 or 6-1)
amginE
Caution
Echo
Karma
Synchronicity
Brunette
Symmetry/Synchronicity
(Tracks 1-12, 2-11, 3-10, 4-9, 5-8, 6-7)
Blonde Brunette
Symmetry Synchronicity
Mantra Karma
Dig Echo
Confidential Caution
Enigma amginE
6


2. Production
The production of Symmetry was quite involved and lengthy; some of the
material in an unproduced form dates back to 2007. The material was first recorded
on a cell phone, rough demos were recorded at my home studio, and high fidelity
demos were subsequently recorded as projects for my graduate classes. It was during
the production of the high fidelity demos that the songs became what they would be
on the album. The high fidelity demos became the working version of Symmetry in a
finished yet unpolished form. Throughout the next year I listened, wrote counter
melodies, and conceptualized different production techniques since the completion of
the demoed album in May of 2010. Finally, in March of 2011 the production of the
new album commenced. Some of the tracks from the high fidelity demos were
imported into the new sessions, such as all the instruments except the drums in the
second half of Caution and all of the instruments that comprised the introduction of
Karma.
Since all of the material was written and produced, the production of the final
album was quick and without any hiccups. Drums were tracked from Friday night to
Sunday afternoon at a local cathedral turned community center that I was able to use
(for free), Electric Guitar was tracked in two weeks during the evenings and
weekends, Bass was tracked in three days, and Acoustic Guitar and Aux percussion
were added during mixing. During mixing a few of the tracks were sent to a trumpeter
in London, Rupert Cobb (the creator and co-mix engineer of the Sundance Channel's
"Live at Abbey Road Studios." We are acquaintances and collaborators.), he uploads
his tracks via the drop box website. Unfortunately, he was offered an opportunity to
go on a several month tour and was unable to record. He has sent many apologetic
7


emails and I do not doubt that at some point in the next few months I will receive his
trumpet tracks. It will unfortunately be too late for the final version of my portfolio,
but never too late for a cool new addition to a few of the songs.
2.1 Engineering
The engineering of symmetry was a combination of techniques I have used in
the past with excellent results, and some new techniques that I have recently
discovered. All of these new techniques stem from an interview in Mix Magazine
with my idol (and mentor who I have never met), the one and only Mr. Brendan
OBrien. Almost all of the drums were engineered in the style he discussed in the
interview [Appendix D] along with his long time engineer, Nick Didia.
I was limited to a certain extent to utilize all of the microphone types and
positions due to my limited equipment, but I found all of the new techniques to be
quite excellent. If I were able to have stereo room microphones, then I would have
been more comfortable with using the XY drum overhead configuration. I was
instead limited with one room microphone in usual fashion, due to limited
microphones and Class-A preamplifier inputs. The overheads were thus a spaced pair
to capture more of the entire drum set, and the room microphone utilize for ambience.
The one aspect that was not limiting was studio time allowance. Had I been
limited to twelve or so hours a week at CU studios, this album would have never been
completed. Had I been limited to paying a studio with the equipment that I used, it
would have undoubtedly been comparably as expensive as the six thousand dollar
upgrade to API, SSL and Audient preamplificationan upgrade that was well worth
the investment.
8


2.1.1 The Drums
Recorded at the Homer Center for the Arts
(Formally the First Baptist Church of Homer)
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The drums were engineered to capture the entire drum kit with the overheads,
clean signals of each individual drum with close microphones, and the ambience of
the church with an room microphone.The following pictures illustrate the precise
location of the microphones, the make and model of the microphones that were used,
the preamplifiers that were driving the microphones and the analogue to digital
converter that were being fed by the preamplifiers.
All of the cables were custom mogami from Redco Audio. Microphone cables
were XLR to XLR, and the preamplifier to analogue conversion cables were XLR to
DSub.
9


2.1.2 Overhead, Room and High Hats
Figure 2.1
The overhead microphones were a spaced pair of matched Audix 51ADX
small diaphragm condensers. They were both driven by an API 3124+ Preamp lifer
into an Apogee Rosetta 800.
The room microphone was a Shure KSM 32 that was driven by an Audient
Mico Preamplifier with Vari-Phase to correct the phase prior to a Lynx Aurora 8.
10


Figure 2.2
The space between the room microphone and the drum kit was about fifteen
feet, with a height of ten feet.

11


Figure 2.3
The room microphone was facing toward the center of the drum set pointed
slightly downward.
12


Figure 2.4
The overhead microphones were a spaced about 3 feet from one another. The
left microphone is slightly higher than the right and is pointed at the snare drum. The
right microphone is pointed slightly toward the ride cymbol. The preamplifiers and
converters can be viewed from this angle. They were as close as possible to keep the
microphone to converter signal as short as possible. Under the table is a small digital
mixer that is utilized as a headphone amplifer. Next to that is a batter backup unit.
13


Figure 2.5
The drum set, preamplifiers and analogue to digital converters. The relative
position of the drum set on the stage within the cathedral can be seen.
14


Figure 2.6
High Hat with an MXL 603 into an Audient Mico preamplifier, converted
with a Lynx Aurora 8.
15


2.1.3 The Snare Drum
Figure 2.7
The top snare microphones were a Shure Beta 57 taped to a Shure SM81 (with
a -lOdB pad). Both of these microphones were being driven by an SSL Alpha VHD
Preamplifier into an Apogee Rosetta 800.
16


Figure 2.8
17


Figure 2.9
The bottom snare microphone was a Shure SM57 driven by an Audient
Preamplifier with Vari-Phase to further correct the phase in conjunction with the
reverse phase button. The bottom snare signal went into a Lynx Aurora 8.
18


Figure 2.10
Here the bottom snare microphone is more visible and the inside kick drum
can be faintly seen.
19


2.1.4 The Kick Drum
Figure 2.11
The kick drum was recorded with a Shure Beta 52 on the outside of the drum
and a Shure Beta 57 on the inside. Both microphones were driven by an SSL VHD
preamplifier, and were converted with an Apogee Rosetta 800.
20


Figure 2.12
The amount of space between the outside kick microphone and the drum head
was about two inches. While depth cannot be effectively conveyed by this image, it
was slightly less than two inches.
21


Figure 2.13
The inside kick drum microphone was in the center of the kick drum, pointed
direct at the beater.
22


2.1.5 The Tom Toms
Figure 2.14
23


Figure 2.15
This is a side view of the kit in which the top floor tom microphones can be
seen.
24


Figure 2.16
The full kit from behind with a view of all of the tom microphone positions, as
well as the kits center stage position.
25


Figure 2.17
The rack tom had an Audix D2 on the top and a Shure SM57 on the bottom.
The two signals, as with all of the toms, we combined with an XY Phase cable prior
to the preamplication. The Phase cable is two XLR cables summed into one cable,
with one of the XLR connections having reverse wiring to flip the phase. This is a
technique used by Brendan OBrien and Nick Didia. It gives the drums a lot of low
end definition.
26


Figure 2.18
The top of the rack tom with an Audix D2 and a Shure SM57 on the bottom.
27


Figure 2.19
The Upper Floor Tom with an Audix D2 on the top and a Shure Beta 57 on
the bottom.
28


Figure 2.20
The Lower Floor Tom with an Audix D4 on the top and a Shure Beta 57 on
the bottom.
29


1
Figure 2.22
Above are the Top of the Floor Toms (with an Audix D2 and D4). Below are
the bottoms of the floor toms each had a Shure Beta 57 pointed at the center of the
head. The signals of both microphones were combined with an XY Phase cable, the
bottom of which has reversed wiring to flip the phase pre-preamplification.
30


2.2 The Equipment
Figure 2.23
Top to Bottom:
Audient Mico Preamplifiers
Lynx Aurora 8 Analogue to Digital and Digital to Analogue Converter
(Clocked off the Rosetta)
SSL Alpha VHD Preamplifier
API 3124+ Preamplifier
Apogee Rosetta 800 (Used as Master Clock for Lynx and Pro Tools|HD)
31


Figure 2.24
Engineering the drums.
32


Figure 2.25
The church hall during the day with the room mike visible on the left hand
side of the frame.
33


2.3 The Guitars
Figure 2.26
This is the guitar amplifier and microphone configuration used for almost
every single electric guitar track for the record. The head is a Budda Superdrive 30 set
to maximum gain and seventy five percent volume, with a volume attenuator in the
effects loop to bring the signal to a level that microphones and ears can handle. The
microphones were an on-axis Shure KSM 32 with a negative fifteen decibel pad and a
forty five degree off-axis Shure Beta 57. The microphones were driven with API
preamplifiers and the signals were combined with a Roll Music Fulcrum Passive
Summing Mixer, which was driven by an API preamplifier. The resulting signal was
converted with an Apogee Rosetta 800.
Also visible is the right channel of a pair of Focal Solo6 Be Studio Monitors
used to track and mix all of Symmetry.
34


2.4 The Bass
The bass to all of the songs except Karma and Echo were recorded with a
Novax Charlie Hunter 8 String guitar into a single DI channel of an API 31244-
preamplifier. The bass to Karma and Echo was recorded into a DI channel on the
Control 24 in the King Center studio. The basses used were a 5 string Fender P-Bass
and 5 string Music Man Stingray for each song, respectively
2.5 Mixing
The mixing of Symmetry/Synchronicity was performed in what could be
referred to as the 90s Sound, which implies guitar driven music with the drums
recorded in a big ambient room. While the drums on many records are tracked in big
open spaces that allow room microphones to pick up ambient sound, reverb effects
units and plug-ins were used as a sonic effect, and not as compensation for a lack of
an ambient room sound.
There was a lot of automation written on almost every track, mostly volume
automation but also panning and certain effect parameters like gain on the bass
Sans-Amp and the depth of the drum overheads Phaser. The screen shots are taken
from the Confidential Pro Tools|HD Session, because it was the most intensive and
reflects all of the processing found in all other tracks.
35


Figure 2.27: Bass: Audio, Volume and Plugin Automation
36


Figure 2.29 Bass Sans Amp (Side Chain 1)
37


Figure 2.30 Bass Warm: McDSP Analog Channel 2 (Side Chain 2
Figure 2.31: Drum Overheads, Room, High Hat and Overhead Phaser
38


Figure 2.32: Drum Overheads
Right & Left processed individually with grouped parameters
39



Figure 2.33: High Hat
Figure 2.34: Room
40


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87 0 1000 00
20 0 10 0 20 0
Figure 2.35: Overhead Phase (used at the end of Confidential)
Figure 2.36: Kick Drum
41


Figure 2.37: Kick In
42


Figure 2.38: Kick Out
43


Figure 2.39: Kick Bus
44


Figure 2.40: Kick Dub (Parallel Equalized Compressed)
45


Figure 2.41: Snare Drum
Figure 2.42: Snare Top SM81
46


Figure 2.43: Snare Top Beta 5
47


Figure 2.44: Snare Bottom
48


Figure 2.45: Snare Parallel Compression
Figure 2.46: Tom Toms
49


Figure 2.47: Middle Floor Tom
50


Figure 2.48: Lower Floor Tom
51


Figure 2.49: Rack Tom
52


Figure 2.50: Stereo Drum Reverb (TL Space into McDSP Analog Channel 2)
53


Figure 2.51: Drum Side Chain Compression
Figure 2.52 Tambourines and Shaker
54


Figure 2.53: Tambourine 1
55


1
Figure 2.54: Tambourine 2 (End tambourine or any clean- tambourine tones)
56


Figure 2.56: Conga Drums
Tracsc Prc-ict AlitQ
Cc-* ...j.. i ii .Ire tl .
# 4**4#
2 5 0.0 2.0 1.00 500 3.3
Figure 2.57: Conga Sample (Sampled from a good hit within this session)
57


'
V *

l> *3V
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fe
Figure 2.58 Conga 1 and 2 (Same plug-ins, processed individually
58


Figure 2.59: Guitar Audio and Volume Automation Part One
Figure 2.60: Clean 1 (Main Riff Rhythm)
59


Figure 2.61: Crunch 1 (Main Riff Rhythm
Figure 2.62: Crunch 2 (Main Riff Rhythm)
60


Figure 2.63: Filter Guitar (Main Riff Rhythm)
61


Figure 2.64: Filter Funk 2 (Wah Filter with Delay Lead Guitar)
62


Figure 2.65: Guitar Audio and Volume Automation Part Two
Figure 2.66: Funk Lead
63


Auis
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r mi
COMP
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j SIHz |SUfe flioS" |2MNi j 4UM 17fc9b
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Output
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Figure 2.67: Long Delay (Droning Lead)
Figure 2.68: Heavy Lead Guitar
64


Figure 2.69: Clean Mel (Ending Clean Background Melody)
65


Figure 2.70: Dirty Mel (Ending Dirty Background Melody)
66


Figure 2.71: Guitar Audio and Volume Automation Part Three
67


Figure 2.72: End Mel (Second Dirty Ending Background Melody
68


Figure 2.73: Cool Lick 1&2 (Dirty Riffs during the end of the song)
69


Figure 2.74: Guitar Reverb, End Effect and Synth
^.l.> : *wJ \
I. --
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7> H; ; if
J
Figure 2.75: Guitar Reverb (Two Mono TL Space EMT140 Plate Reverbs)
70


Figure 2.76: Master Outputs and Volume Automation
Every channel is sent directly out a stereo pair of a converter that is controlled
and processed with a master fader
Drum Master: Apogee Rosetta 800 Channels 3 & 4
Bass Master: Apogee Rosetta 800 Channels 5 & 6
Guitar Master: Apogee Rosetta 800 Channels 7 & 8
Effects Out: Lynx Aurora Channels 1 & 2
Conga Out: Lynx Aurora Channels 3 & 4
All of the master outs were externally summed through a 16 channel Folcrum
passive summing mixer with the stereo output powered by two channels of API
preamplification and sent back into Pro Tools into Channel 1 & 2 of an Apogee
Rosetta 800. The stereo signal was printed onto a stereo track in Pro Tools and the
audio file was exported from the final stereo stem (instead of bounced down through
Pro Tools) into a multi mono WAV file for mastering.
71


|(Corfh?nbal 7.26_0)
t
Figure 2.77: Final Stereo Stem
2.6 Mastering
The mastering of Symmetry was performed with very few plug-ins and pieces
of equipment. The stereo mix was first treated with two back to back McDSP G
Channel EQs. The first removed -2dB at 30Hz and +2dB at 40Hz, used in
conjunction to tighten up the low end. After the EQ trim, the signal was limited with a
Massey L2007 Mastering Limiter that was used to boost the tracks RMS from around
-20 to around -12, with a peak at -.2 dBFS. This processed signal was bussed and
recorded onto an audio track in pro tools while still maintaining a bit depth of 24
bits -and was then exported as a stereo interleaved 16 bit WAV file.
72


3. Digital Transcendence
There exists a myriad of developments in technology that have affected the
lives of the masses. From wood stoves to electric to microwave ovens, bicycles to
automobiles, wash boards and clothes lines to washing and drying machines. From
the first computer with minimal RAM to the eight-core Intel Apple tower. The audio
industry has seen analogue tape with massive tape machines replaced with analogue
to digital converters with a nearly infinite amount of data storage options. For the
listeners we have seen the rise and fall of Vinyl records, eight track cassette tapes, Hi-
Fi cassette tapes and to a certain extent compact discs. We have had hard drives
crash and become easily replaceable with cheaper and larger models, while personal
flash drives shrunk in size as their storage capacity exponentially increased.
Everyones smart phones deliver them minute to minute weather and directions to
their desired destination with onboard GPS. All while everyone deliver their minute
to minute actions in sentence long blips via social networking. To think that all of
these are not inextricably connected is to not see the big picture: Modem civilization
has and is digitally transcending.
We live in a digital world. Our social existence has been converted to html
code via Facebook, Twitter and other such Blogospheres such as the new Google
Plus. Our music has been converted to MP3s and WMA files. None of which are truly
able to capture and promote the lives and sound that they are supposed to represent, if
not replace. The act of going to the record store on the release date of an album has
been replaced with the act of downloading a single, if not legally then illegally. Now
that we are faced with this reality of being immersed in the digital life, as it is
everywhere and everything, we must acknowledge that we have only witnessed the
tip of the iceberg. As our transcendence continues in what appears to be an
73


exponential fashion, we will continue to witness the "out with the old, in with the
new" paradigm. With the continual utilization of smart media technology, the dawn
of cloud computing and fight against illegal digital file sharing ramping up with new
defense methods we are witnessing truly historic times for both society and the
music industry.
3.1 Digital Life
Since it is visible by simply interacting in our day to day runarounds,
everyones lives have been, and invariably are, affected by the ever-intensifying
digital age. The effects can be seen on a widespread sociological level. They extend
not just to our evident modes of transportation, work and culture, but also to that of
our communication and social interaction all of which music is intrinsically derived
from, and produced by. The digital age has changed the way people listen to and view
music, and the way commercial music is produced. Furthermore, the digital age has
brought about an onslaught of amateurs whom are self-appointed professionals. This
growing paradigm has been labeled the Prosumer market, and while seemingly
benign in definition, it exemplifies both the narrowing dichotomy and shifting
paradigm between what realistically is professional and amateur, albeit in anything
but a clear way.
Moores Law continues to bring about cheaper and faster CPUs and
increasingly efficient data storage that can handle progressively larger amounts of
data. In a similar fashion, albeit not comparable, there is a seemingly exponential
upward trend of the crystalline qualities of Analogue to Digital and Digital to
Analogue conversion. The digital age in which we live also exists with a stagnant
form of degraded audio via both illegal peer to peer distribution and legal audio
providers of compressed audio, that which has a set in stone embodiment of quantity
over quality. A major reason for the degradation of audio can be placed on illegal
downloading mediums such as the archaic Napster, the current site Limewire and
74


other comparable torrent sites. Apple Incs iTunes and Rhapsody are also playing a
role in the degradation of audio due to the formers model of selling their proprietary
AAC files. The genuine reason for this sonic degradation, if you will, should mostly
be placed on the combination of our populations desire for immediacy and our
technological limitation that is the internets bandwidth. In the future it is likely that
uncompressed audio file sharing will replace the various compression codices that are
currently ubiquitous. If efforts are not successful in controllers illegal downloading
when this bandwidth limitation no longer exists, the result could be truly catastrophic
to the profitability of the media industry. The result of such a prospect in the current
framework of uncontrolled illegal activity is unfathomable to the already depressed
state of the entertainment industry. Thankfully for the industry, such an outcome is
unlikely to come to fruition with a new consortium of major players in the music and
internet business.
The new aspect of the battle between the RIAA and those who illegally share
music and other digital files is just beginning. The concept is in fact quite simple.
Those who illegally download video games, movies and music will be punished by
their ISPs (Internet Service Providers) with slower internet connections (Smith and
Fowler, 2011). Those who take part in illegal downloading will be warned six times
that if they continue to utilize peer to peer sharing utilities, they are going to face a
punishment of slower internet connections. Regardless of this fight over illegal
downloading, there is still an interesting dichotomy between audiophiles whom have
a disdain toward compressed audio due to its intrinsic digital distortion and the
general population who illegally download millions of 128-192kbps MP3s every
week. This is the paradox of sound quality in the digital age.
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3.2 The Paradox of Sound Quality
Is sound quality even relevant? The answer depends entirely upon whoever is
answering the question. Those who spend thousands of dollars on pristine analogue to
digital converters will respond with a resounding YES! However, the digital age
initially brought about a vast array of audio compression protocols, and subsequently
has created a standard where most music never reaches the listener in neither lull
fidelity nor legality. Of all music that Apple sells on their iTunes store, currently over
fifteen billion to date (Resnikoff, 2011), there is an average of 5 billion songs
downloaded illegally every day (Lesk, 2004). It goes without saying that the amount
of annual legal downloads does not come close to the 60 billion in illegal downloads.
Regardless of legality, only a very small percentage of music will be heard by any
listener as an uncompressed 24 bit/44.1kHz WAV file (as a compact disc is already
limited to 16bit/44.1). The commonality of listening to uncompressed audio through a
personal digital music device such as an iPod which does not support WAV files,
rather the comparable AIFF file, is close to non-existent.
Of all the digital audio downloading there exists a shifting paradigm of sound
fidelity via audio compression protocols. Although sound quality has seemingly
increased with each new medium throughout history, from wax to vinyl records to
cassette tapes to 16bit/44/l tracks on compact discs to 24bit/96k tracks on blue ray
discs, there was a simultaneous downturn in quality that began just prior to the turn of
the millennium. This sonic downturn came in the form of the introduction of
compressed audio protocols, most commonly that of the MP3. While MP3s are
compared in terms of quality, the sonic differences between 64 Kbps and 128kbps
MP3s are of like and not kind, and do not overly affect the sonic integrity of the
audio. The MP3 compressed audio at 128 Kbps and 64Kbps is only able to
reproduce the audio frequency up to 16 kHz and 12 kHz respectively due the MP3
protocol constraint. (Sang-heon, Won-Jung, Youn-ho, Kyu-Sik and Ki-Man, 2006)
76


Thus, although there is a loss in high frequency fidelity such as localization, ambient
information, and bright nature of audio, (Sang-heon, Won-Jung, Youn-ho, Kyu-Sik
and Ki-Man, 2006) the loss in quality is a rather moot point to the listener. This is an
irrelevant aspect of the MP3 protocol to most listeners because of several reasons.
The first of the underlying reasons is the sacrifice of quality for convenience.
It is infinitely more convenient to have one device that can fit in your pocket, capable
of storing thousands of songs, versus a case of compact discs that would barely fit in
a backpack with a battery run personal CD player that has skip protection of only a
few seconds. The second reason is the practice of listening to music at much higher
decibel levels than one would a compact disc in their home stereo. Herein lays a
confounding reality of modem music: Most modem recordings are compressed and
limited to the point that they have an RMS anywhere from -12 to -6, most often with
a peak at 0 dBFS, but the audio is then compressed with an MP3 (or comparable)
codec. This audio signal that has been dynamically compressed into oblivion is then
played at unhealthily loud levels through inexpensive metal diaphragm
headphones/ear buds less than three inches from the eardrum. In a research
experiment comparing the relative volumes of thirteen personal digital audio devices,
5 of the 13 devices [Appendix E] played at a standard level that has a suggested time
limit well below 1 hour to avoid hearing damage. (Farina, 2008) In conjunction with
other daily noise, this means that in reality the owners of many audio devices are
probably exposing themselves to a daily dose well in excess of the safety limit, as
most users declared an average usage for 1 to 2 hours. (Farina, 2008) A study at the
University of Colorado found that if a listener uses an iPod with any type of
headphones at 90 100% volume, the time of safe listening is from 5 to 22 minutes
[Appendix F]; the exception is the utilization of supra-aural headphones which are
safe for 1.2 hours at 90%. If the volume is maintained below 90% volume the
permissible time for safe listening is increased to a range of 1 to 18 hours, and in
some cases unlimited. Regardless of the continual volume and studies performed, the
77


way in which the song is mastered plays a role in the resulting volume of the signal
that is projected into the ears of the listener.
Thus, as digital music becomes louder, the final product more distorted and
degraded via MP3 protocols, and the volumes at which the consumers are listening,
the quality of audio recordings are evidently becoming less relevant. While this is by
no means an indication that the industry will cease to produce cleaner digital
converters or microphone and preamplifier designers will close up shop it does
indicate that we are experiencing an interesting dichotomy between sonic purity on
the production end and sonic degradation on the distribution end. This dichotomy
needs to be addressed and fixed via a new digital protocol that is a median between
the low quality and size of mp3s and the high quality and size of WAV files.
Streaming audio certainly appears to be the future, as it can achieve both quality and
quantity. The main (and extremely important) issue left to be realized is profitability
in a new paradigm of streaming audio.
3.3. The Future
There are several relatively recent developments that are going to affect the
music industry in very different ways. Cloud computing and streaming audio are no
doubt going to play a major role in the shifting paradigm, as will the RIAAs
revamped approach to potentially ending music piracy once and for all.
Although it is still in its infancy, cloud computing is upon us. There have been
innumerable companies who are now offering such services. While Amazon is one of
the first big name corporations to offer a cloud computing service, there are
innumerable start-up companies such as Kaavo and Parascale who specialize in
application-centric computing versus the data-storage cloud of Amazon. As with
companies within all industries, each individual business serves a niche. Although
cloud computing is relatively new to the market, the start-up companies are
developing the groundwork in ways that will benefit the music industry more so than
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Amazon and their cloud data storage. Not simply a means or storage, but a means to
utilize applications you need on a remote system. While it is undoubtedly decades
away, it is exciting to imagine a Pro Tools session running off a cloud computing
server. Although recording and mixing might not be moved to the cloud in the near
future, it is becoming more apparent that listening to music is moving to the cloud in
the form of streaming audio.
Streaming audio started to become accessible to the masses in 2005 with
YouTube, which was created by friends and colleagues at PayPal. You Tube allowed
its users to upload and stream video clips or full-length songs. Much of the digital
material are often not owned by the user or approved by the owner, starting what
would become a ubiquitous and ongoing fight over rights to digital media in the
streaming domain. The following year began the short-lived rise and fall of Myspace,
and a mere two years later it was overtaken by Facebook. All of these websites
featured streaming audio and video of varying degrees of quality. They all played
their part in introducing the technology and priming the masses into desiring and
expecting free streaming media. However, it has not been until recent years that
streaming audio has taken the forefront as not just the future of digital distribution,
but also part of the solution to the fight against illegal downloading.
On the forefront of this streaming technology are Pandora, Spotify and
Soundcloud, the latter of the three being much more open to independent distribution.
For the first time in the existence of the internet, uncompressed WAV files can be
uploaded and streamed in real time through a free account with Soundcloud. This
streaming technology along with a revamped approach to controlling illegal digital
distribution is seemingly the most plausible way to directing the music and media
industry toward a more profitable (and legal) context.
It has now been well over a decade since illegal peer to peer file [P2P] sharing
was introduced by Napster in 1999, and the repercussions of it have been decimating
the profits of record labels ever since. In mid-2003, the RIAA began to file
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individual lawsuits against users who were sharing substantial amounts of
copyrighted music on P2P networks.(Bishop, 517) The RIAA continued their suits
all while legal digital distribution mediums were increasing in popularity, with the
most successful iTunes now selling over fifteen billion songs to date. Regardless of
iTunes success, there still exists a thriving illegal digital media downloading market
with popular sites such as Bit Torrent, Limewire and Kazaa. These sites have been the
leaders of the illegal downloading market, and enable its very existence.
Those who continue to utilize illegal downloading sites are soon going to be
greeted with the latest attempt from not just the RIAA, rather a coalition of major
film studios, record labels and Internet-service providers. (Smith and Fowler, 2011)
The up and coming Copyright Alert System is going to enforce a policy based on the
terms that a user will be warned six times upon downloading or uploading files to a
P2P database without any repercussions. After the seventh time the user violates the
law, they will be punished with a slowed internet connection. The president of the
Recording Industry Association of America says the plan is aimed more at scaring
straight occasional users of file-sharing services than stamping out all online piracy.
(Quinn, 2011) This will in essence punish (and hopefully destroy) the foundation of
P2P file sharing sites, which are the people who upload files to their pirate network
servers.
The repercussions of these illegal P2P sites are irrefutably extensive, but still
open to speculation as to the true extent. The coalition of studios, labels and ISPs
argues that content piracy costs the U.S. economy more than 373,000 jobs, $16
billion in lost earnings and $3 billion in tax revenue each year. (Richwine, 2011).
While there is no doubt that the amount of lost earnings and potential tax revenue is
large, this could quite possibly be a massive overestimation. Lou Cohan, a former
vinyl bootlegger in the 1970s talks about his estimates versus the RJLAAs estimates,
The figures they gave at the time of [my] 1976 bust, like they confiscated
250 million dollars worth of bootlegs, is totally ridiculous. I was manufacturing
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2,500, 3,500, at the most 4,000 of a particular bootleg of a particular artist and selling
them wholesale at a dollar, a dollar and a quarter, at the most a dollar fifty each. They
would retail for, what? Five bucks? Seven bucks in a record store. So where the
RIAA gets this 200 million, 250 million dollar figure from is beyond me.
Regardless of whether or not Lou Cohan is telling the entire truth in his own
financial figures, he presents the valid point that is often left out of the lost profits
argument (obviously since these arguments focally come from the major corporate
labels and studios). The point being that the financial numbers of how much money is
being lost in both earnings and tax revenue are both undoubtedly being drastically
overestimated. Music piracy most definitely accounts for lost profits, but when
figures such as half a million jobs, millions in earnings and billions in taxes are
haphazardly prated off, there never seems to be someone on the defense to say that
you need to keep in mind that these numbers are quite possibly not accurate.
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4. Conclusion
Symmetry exemplifies the digital age through the use of digital technology to
create a piece of art that is truly groundbreaking and unique. There has never been an
album like this, nor may one ever be created again. To a large extent it is a novelty
that served the purpose of proving the point of our digital age allowing the previously
impossible to be possible. I believe that it is important to maintain a humble view of
our technology. To not let it engross us and displace our social nature. I believe it is
important for the audiovisual coalition to clamp down on illegal piracy, if not for the
sake of mere profits than for the sake of every artists creative work. It is very
important for our species to utilize digital technology for the benefit of a civilized
society that is not just able to function within the law but that truly desires to. With
digital technology, cloud computing, streaming audio and smart media, our
civilization is now able to pursue new innovative creative pursuits in an effort to push
not just musically and visually artistic boundaries, but societal boundaries abound.
It is also important to note that illegal downloading is still rampant, regardless
of any new methods employed to hamper its existence. It is and will for the
foreseeable future be an aspect of the music industry. Exaggeration of losses on
behalf of the major record labels aside, it is necessary that illegal downloading be
eliminated at best; controlled at worst. Furthermore, the way that people listen to
music has become downright dangerous to their hearing, which I believe I have
effectively correlated to be an unfortunate repercussion of the Loudness Wars.
There needs to be a new standardized platform for audio that is a median
between the extremely low quality of mp3s and the uncompressed WAV files that
they represent. Artists do not simply take a low fidelity picture of their paintings to
distribute while the original is not accessible, or perceived to be accessible. Streaming
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websites need to take the reins and lead our industry into a place where high quality
music is distributed and artists are compensated for their work. If the physical copy
no longer matters to the majority of listeners which the statistics of legal and illegal
downloading of low quality mp3s proves to be true then eliminating piracy and
providing a medium for accessible, quality and paid music is necessary. If people are
willing to spend five dollars a month on five low quality mp3s, it seems likely they
would spend the same on access to a database of high quality lossless music files.
Such a situation needs to be achieved if there is to be a future worth working toward
in the music industry. Furthermore, when new technology is created in the future and
CDs, WAV and mp3 files are seeming likely to be replaced, there needs to be effort
in stopping piracy before it begins not trying to contain and stop it after it is too
rampant and out of control.
All of our digital technology has made our lives exceptionally connected.
While the extent of these connections and the future of our technology has yet to be
experienced, it will undoubtedly unfold in a similar fashion as our past as history so
often repeats itself. Technological advancements will continue, piracy will develop a
new face with a new medium of media, and a new paradigm will begin. This new
paradigm whatever it may be needs to be recognized as approaching before it
becomes as big and detrimental as P2P websites became. Only through a combination
of regulation and preventative actions will the music industry be able to prosper as it
has in the past. Hopefully it will prosper will quality, quantity and legal accessibility
instead of poor quality, quantity and an exceedingly prominent illegal distribution
structure.
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4.1 MSRA
This album was 4 years in the making without my conscious knowledge of it.
I am an obsessive musician and simply recorded riffs, progressions, and even "karma"
- as it more or less appears on this album onto my cell phone since the summer of
2007. Since then I have lived in Albany, Saratoga Springs, Homer, Denver and
Boulder. I have worked various jobs in various fields, dated different girls from
different backgrounds and met people who I will be friends with for the rest of my
life and people who I hope to never see again. Everyone and everything has
influenced the music and production of this album. From my continual obsession with
Brendan O'Brien's engineering, production and mixing and John Frusciantes guitar
work on all of the Red Hot Chili Peppers albums, I believe that these two major
influences are more apparent than ever just in case I have not mentioned their
influence enough!
The equipment and rooms used to record and mix this album are far superior
to anything I have ever utilized in the past the combination of which are far superior
to anything that would have been possible with the much better equipment and lesser
acoustically sound recording spaces at CU Denvers studios. Such drum sounds
cannot be achieved in any of the studios. It is literally impossible, as they were
recorded in a cathedral that is almost 200 years old. It was one of the very first
buildings in my historical upstate New York town of Homer. While it would have
been nice to use a pair of CU Denvers Neumann 87s as room microphones or AKG
414s and SM 81s on the toms, the equipment I have assembled in my studio is more
than sufficient to produce exceptional recordings. I believe this album proves that.
I believe that it is quite unlikely to achieve such drum tones in a dry studio
with expensive microphones plugged into the richest sounding preamps. So much of
the drum tones are the room sound, and there is not any setting on a Bricasti M7 or
TC Electronic 6000 that can mimic the sound of a two hundred year cathedral. It is
not just the room microphones. It is the tones the overhead microphones are picking
84


up and the bleed from the room into the high hat microphone. It is the way the kick
drum resonates in a big space that allows the close microphones to pick up the tones
that they do. The toms have so much low end not just because they are resonate
drums (and they are very resonate toms), but they are even more resonate because of
the room. With that said. This album exemplifies a decade of working, practicing,
listening and breathing music. It comes as close to the big room sound with punchy
drums, loud guitars and deep bass that I have ever been able to achieve. Musically, it
is the best performances I have ever recorded both of myself and collaborators. I am
excited that it ended up sounding as professional as I believe it does, and I look
forward to continually building my studio and developing my skills as an engineer
and musician. This is a major milestone in my life, but as with a lot of the points
throughout this thesis, it is also just another beginning. While the future is always
quite uncertain, with conscious planning and working toward creating opportunities
for ourselves and our industry, it seems likely that we will build our industry to an
even better place than it once was.
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APPENDIX
A. Cell Phone Demo Track List
1) Karma 7.25.2008 72 Union Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY
2) Mantra 7.06.2009 Aarons house. Homer, NY
3) Mantra Ending 10.14.2009 5110 Bryant Street, Denver, CO
4) Confidential 5.11.2008 Congress Park, Saratoga Springs, NY
5) Caution Beginning 8.29.2008 My house, Homer, NY
6) Caution Ending 2.06.2010 5110 Bryant St, Denver, CO
7) Synchronicity 9.06.2009 5110 Bryant St, Denver, CO
8) Echo 12.26.2009 5110 Bryant St, Denver, CO
9) Dig 2.26.2009 My house, Homer, NY
B. Hi-Fi Demo Track List
1) Blonde Brunette
2) Caution
3) Echo
4) Karma
5) Mantra
6) Synchronicity
C. The iRig is a preamplified microphone with a permanently connected cable that
allows an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to be used as a remote recording device.
Figure A.l


D: Mix Magazine, KenMicallef
Double Fantasy: Adversity Drives Mastodon To New Heights Of Creative Escapism
Interview:
THE PRODUCER: BRENDAN OBRIEN
As a producer, your main job is to make sure that the music and the groove is doing
what its supposed to do, and if its not, to try to help everybody figure out how to
make it work, says Brendan OBrien. There is a prog element of Mastodon that I
like, but their records didnt connect maybe the way they could. I felt like I could help
them to do that.
Your drum sound is almost legendary. How did you place the drum mics for
Crack the Skye?
For this band, I felt it needed to sound a little more human. Brann wanted to serve the
song more, so we adjusted the sound to relate to that. Also, there is less individual
separation between the drums, and more of a centered soundmore like one thing,
than having it be so specifically defined.
Are you okay with bleed through on the drum mics, or do you prefer isolation?
I dont care about that at all. If you get a lot of cymbal in the kick drum, that is just
part of the sound. Sometimes, you cant get the kick drum to sound good if the mic is
shoved right into ityou might have to pull it back a little bit. If there is a lot of
cymbal in the drum sound, you work with it. You figure it out. That is part of your
sound.
Do you favor heavy tape saturation in the drum sound? Is that part of the
fatness?
Some. We do track to tape. If the snare and kick are hitting hard, some of the attack
will get knocked off, which I like. That is one of the main reasons I still use tapeI
just like what it does to drums. Tape hasnt gone away, and we love it.
True or false? You apply heavy doses of Empirical Labs EL7 Fatso to the
drums.


[Laughs.] I do use that as an addition when I am mixing, for sure. It was designed for
something else altogetherto make a mix sound more like tape. I put it on drums,
and it was like, Wow. However, it does tend to make the snare and kick disappear,
so you have to address that.
Similarly, youre a fan of the SPL Transient Designer for compression?
I love them. Generally, I put it on kick, snare, and toms. It is cheating a little bit. If
the toms are giving you a lot of trouble for whatever reason, and you put that on
them, they sound pretty damn good. I dont know how it works, but I am a big fan.
The vocals on Ghost of Karelia have a weird, watery pitch.
Sometimes, we do the old trick of running vocals through a Leslie cabinet. We didnt
use plug-ins very often. We used mostly outboard analog effects. And we used the
Electro- Harmonix Holy Grail Reverba $100 guitar pedalfor vocals and outboard
stuff.
How do you approach mixing?
Whatever we start tracking with is not drastically different from what we end up with.
I am always tracking and listening in mix mode. As we are doing overdubs, I am still
in that mode. When I do mix, I just want to make it blend betterthere is no real
dramatic difference. I am just refining it.
Nick DiDia implied that your EQ changes at the mix stage.
EQ in the mix is just a matter of addressing the excitement level. If I do have to EQ
something, I dont use the same EQ I recorded with. I will use the SSL EQs in the
mix because we almost never use them while recording.
Do the drums change at all in your mixes?
They are the exception. The drums go to tape very EQd. I get in trouble putting drum
compression to tape. I may compress the overheads and the room mics, but the kick,
snare, and toms we dont really compress. Those are being addressed as we mix with
Transient Designer, EQs, and that kind of stuff.
Bill Kelliher said you were eager to produce the band. What did you hear in
their demos that you liked?


Full Text

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SYMMETRY: A PROFESSIONAL AUDIO THESIS by Alexander W. Caminiti B.S., The College of Saint Rose, 2007 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Recording Arts 2011

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This thesis for the Master of Science in Recording Arts degree by Alexander W. Caminiti has been approved by Paul Musso Date

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Caminiti, Alexander W. (M.S., Recording Arts) Symmetry: An Audio Thesis Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Lome Bregitzer ABSTRACT Symmetry is comprised of a recorded album, documentation of writing, production and mixing process, as well as a discussion of the current state and future ofthe digital age. The crux of the portfolio is a concept album titled "Symmetry," and the documentation that supports its production. Symmetry is a full length concept album in the form of a palindrome, allowing the listener the opportunity to rearrange the track list in different combinations that will seamlessly play within a digital media player. The album can be listened to front to back, back to front, or each pair or songs can be listened to into one another with seamless playback. The focal point of the research is that digital technology has changed, and is in the process of invariably changing, the way that music is being written, produced, recorded, mixed, distributed, purchased or stolen. Everything is now connected both literally and figuratively in this digital age. We are all permanently connected to an endless amount of information just as we are all connected to one another through social networking. The digital (and internet) age is far reaching and still a relatively new technological phenomenon. We are now beginning to understand its effects on our society and economy. As digital piracy continues, so does the fight against it. We are soon to witness the implementation of a new line of defense that has the potential to thwart and end most illegal operations. If implemented and upheld in the near future, this new line of defense is sure to gain control over illegal downloading This abstract accurately represents the contents of the candidate's portfolio. I recommend its publication. Signed Lome Bregitzer

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DEDICATION I dedicate this thesis to Brendan O'Brien, Jonathan Frusciante and Aaron Fumarola. Without your existences, I would not have become the person, musician or engineer I am today. To Brendan O'Brien and Jonathan Frusciante: Your influence on my style and creativity is literally second to none. I have channeled much of what I have learned from both of you throughout my life into this album. Not just musically and sonically, but also emotionally. Your passion and prodigal greatness have permeated my very existence. Your musical and sonic tapestries will always flow in my mind Everything I see, read and hear about you both as people has been nothing but positive, and I feel like you are family from another country who I have never met. I do not view you as godly figures that I could never become, but instead I am inspired by the fact that you are simply passionate people playing and producing music you care about. To Aaron: You have enabled my obsessive behavior and helped me grow as a musician, producer, and mixer. Had it not been for your chill persona and intrinsic musical talent, I would have never produced the music that I have. What we have created throughout the years has really affected me, and we have so much more music to make throughout the coming years, and so much more to learn about life and consciousness (the end of a typical "Alex Rant"). I look forward to many more years of awesome studio recordings, energetic live performances, random sarcastic tirades and meaningful conversations. Cheers! Lastly, Symmetry is dedicated in loving memory of My Grandfather Dominick and Ellen and Caroline Found. You will be missed.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would first like to acknowledge Aaron Fumarola for playing drums on the entire album, as the album would have otherwise been limited to the Hi-Fi demos. I am thankful that we were able to re-produce this album and re-record it after many months of jamming on this materiaL The weekend of recording drums in the beautiful cathedral was a really awesome experience. The final result is way more amazing than I could have imagined. Many thanks, Aaron. I would like to thank Ross Hoekman for playing bass on the Hi-Fi demos of Karma and Echo that which I was able to import into the new versions with a lot of chopping and tweaking I would like to thank Graham Waks for playing drums on the Hi-Fi demos of Echo, Synchronicity and Caution; I was able to use a two second clip ofhis drums as a drum sample in the new version of Synchronicity. I would also like to thank Michael Stafford for playing drums on the Hi-Fi demo of Karma. It was because of all ofyou that I was able to make this album. It would not have been possible without any of you. Again, my deepest appreciation Thank you. Merci Beaucoup.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Figures ...................................................................................... ... viii Tables ......................................... ......... ................ .. .. .. ................... xii Chapter 1. Introduction ................................................................................. 1 1.1 Symmetry: Concept. ................. ..................................... ........ ........... 2 1.2 Composition ................................... ................... ....................... ... 3 1.3 Virtual Production .. ................................................ ..................... 4 1.4 Symmetry .. .......... ..................... ............. ................................ ..... 5 1.5 Track Listing ....... .................. .. ....... ....... .. ... ........................... ... ... 6 2. Production ................... . .......................... .......................... ... .... 7 2.1 Engineering ................................................................................... 8 2.1.1 Drums ....................................................................................... 9 2.1.2 Overheads, Room and High Hats ................. ................................. .. 10 2.1.3 The Snare ................................................................................. 16 2.1.4 The Kick ... ... ................ .. ..... ............... ......... .. ... ... ... .. ........ 20 2 .1.5 The Tom Toms .. ..................... ................ ....................... ... ....... 23 2.2 Equipment ..... .. ... ... ... .. ...................................... .. ...... .. .. ... ....... 31 2.3 Guitars ....................................................................................... 34 2.4 Bass .......................................................................................... 35 2.5 Mixing ....................................................................................... 35 2.6 Mastering .. ......... ............. ............... .. ............ .. ..................... 72 3 Digital Transcendence ... .. .. .. .. ................... .. .......................... .... 73 3 .1 Digital Life .................................................................................. 7 4 vi

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3.2 The Paradox of Sound Quality ........................................... .. .. .. ......... 76 3.3 The Future ............. . .. ........................ ................ ......... .. ........... 78 4 Conclusions .......... .............................. ........ ...................................... 82 4.1 MSRA ........... ..................... .. .......... .. ... ...... ................. .... ..... .......... 84 Appendix ................. .................................................. ......... .... ............ 86 Bibliography ............. ...... ... .. ....... .. ........................................... ....... 92 vii

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LIST OF FIGURES 1.1 Cell Phone Recording ... .. .................. .. ......................... ... .. .......... 3 2.1 Church showing all microphones ... ... ................ .................. .............. 1 0 2.2 Side view of Drums .................................................... ......... ........ ... 11 2.3 Front view ofDrums ............. ... .................................. .. .................... 12 2.4 Back view ofDrums ................. .. .. .. ......................... .. ................... 13 2.5 Side Read view ofDrums ................................................................. 14 2.6 High Hat Microphone ......................... ....................... .. .. .. ............... 15 2.7 Top Snare Microphones Close up .................................................... ... 16 2 8 Top Snare Microphone Placement Top View ........................................... 17 2.9 Top Snare Microphone Placement Side View ...................................... .... 18 2.10 Bottom Snare Microphone Placement. ......... ... ................................ 19 2.11 Outside Kick Microphone Placement .................................. .. .. .. ......... 20 2.12 Outside Kick Microphone Placement to show distance ............................. 21 2.13 Inside Kick Microphone Placement ............ .................. ........ ............. 22 2.14 Rear Right side view ofTom Tom microphones ..................................... 23 2.15 Right side view ofT om Tom microphones ........ ........ ........................... 24 2.16 Rear side view ofTom Tom microphone ........................................... .. 25 2.17 Rack tom top and bottom microphones Audix D2 and Shure SM 57 .. .. .... 26 2 .18 Rack tom top microphone Audix D2 ............................ ....... ... .......... 27 2.19 Middle Floor Tom top microphone Audix D2 .. ............................. ..... 28 viii

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2.20 Lower Floor Tom top microphone Audix D4 ............ .. .. ...................... 29 2 .21 Lower Tom Tom top microphones-Audix D2 and D4 .. .. ...... ... .. ........ ... 30 2.22 Lower Tom Tom bottom microphones Shure Beta 57s ...... .. .. ... .. ....... 30 2 .23 The digital recording equipment utilized to record the entire album .. .. ........ .31 2.24 Setting up a new Pro Tools session prior to recording another song ............. 32 2.25 Church hall during the day ......... .. .. ... ................. ... .............. .. ........ 33 2.26 Guitar amp with a Shure KSM 32 and Shure Beta 57 45 degrees offaxis .... ... .34 2.27 Bass Guitar Audio Volume and Plugin Automation . ........ .. .......... 36 2.28 Bass Guitar Plugin Chain .............................................. ................. 37 2.29 Bass Guitar Side Chained Sans Amp ........ .................................. ..... ... 37 2.30 Bass Guitar Side Chained Analog Channel2 ... ...... .......... ......... .. ... 38 Figure 2.31 Drum Overheads, Room, and High Hat Audio. Overhead Phaser. .. .. .... 38 Figure 2.32 Drum Overheads Plugin Chain ... ............... .. .. .............. .......... 39 Figure 2 33 High Hat Plugin Chain .................... . ........ ...... .. .. ... ........ .40 Figure 2.34 Room Plugin Chain .. ............ .. . .......... ... .................... .40 Figure 2.35 Overhead Phaser used in confidential.. . .. ............ .. .. ....... ...... .41 Figure 2 36 Kick Drum Audio and volume automatio n .. ......... ... ........ .. .. .. .. .41 Figure 2 37 Inside Kick Drum Plugin Chain ... .................. ............ .. ..... .42 Figure 2 38 Outside Kick Drum Plugin Chain ............... .. .. . ... .. .. . .. .. ... .43 Figure 2.39 Kick Drum Bus Plugin Chain ................ .. .................. .. ....... ... 44 Figure 2.40 Kick Drum Parrallel Compression .......... . ......... ............ ...... .45 Figure 2.41 Snare Drum Audio and Volume Automation .. .......... ... .. ... ... ....... .46 ix

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Figure 2.42 Snare Top SM81 Plugin Chain ..... ............................ ... ..... ....... .46 Figure 2.43 Snare Top Beta 57 Plugin Chain ............................................ .47 Figure 2.44 Snare Bottom Plugin Chain .................................................... .48 Figure 2.45 Snare Parallel Compression ........ .. ...................................... .49 Figure 2.46 Tom Tom Audio and Volume Automation .................................. .49 Figure 2.47 Middle Floor Tom Plugin Chain ....... .............. .... .................... 50 Figure 2.48 Lower Floor Tom Plugin Chain ...................................... .. ...... 51 Figure 2.49 Rack Tom Plugin Chain ................................................. ... ..... 52 Figure 2.50 Drum Reverb and Analog Tape Compression Processing .................. 53 Figure 2 .51 Drum Side Chain Compression SSL G Series ...... ....................... 54 Figure 2 52 Tambourine and Shaker Audio and Volume Automation ................. 54 Figure 2.53 Tambourine #1 Plugin Chain .................................................... 55 Figure 2 54 Tambourine #2 Plug in Chain ....... ..................................... .. ...... 56 Figure 2.55 Shaker Plugin Processing ....................................................... 56 Figure 2.56 Conga Drum Audio and Volume Automation ................................ 57 Figure 2.57 Sampled Conga Drum Plugin Processing ...... ....... ........................ 57 Figure 2 58 Conga Drum Plugin Chain ................................................. ..... 58 Figure 2.59 Guitar Audio and Volume Automation-Part One ......... ................. 59 Figure 2 60 Clean Guitar Plugin Processing ...... .. ............. ..................... .. 59 Figure 2.61 Crunch Rhythm Guitar Plugin Processing .................... ............... 60 Figure 2.62 Crunch Rhythm Guitar Plugin Processing .................................... 60 Figure 2.63 Lowpass Envelope Filter Guitar Plugin Processing ......................... 61 X

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Figure 2.64 Filter and Delay Guitar Plugin Processing .................................... 62 Figure 2.65 Guitar Audio and Volume Automation Part Two ......................... 63 Figure 2.66 Funk Lead Guitar Plugin Chain ........... .. ................... .............. 63 Figure 2.67 Long Delay Guitar Plugin Processing ......................................... 64 Figure 2.68 Heavy Lead Guitar Plugin Processing ... ............ .......................... 64 Figure 2.69 Clean Lead Guitar Plugin Chain ........................ ....................... 65 Figure 2. 70 Dirty Lead Guitar Plugin Chain ................................................ 66 Figure 2.71 Guitar Audio and Volume Automation-Part Three ........................ 67 Figure 2. 72 Dirty Lead Guitar Plugin Chain ................................................ 68 Figure 2.73 Dirty Ending Melody Guitar Plugin Chains .............................. .. 69 Figure 2.74 Guitar Reverb, Effects and Synth Audio and Volume Automation ....... 70 Figure 2.75 Guitar Reverb Plugin-EMT 140 Plate ....................................... 70 Figure 2.76 Master Outputs and Volume Automation ........................... ......... 71 Figure 2.76 Final Stereo Stem .. ......................... .. ..................... ..... .. .. 72 xi

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LIST OF TABLES A.1 Apple iRig and Microphone ............................. .. ........................... 86 A.2 Maximum Allowed Daily Usage Time for iPods ....................................... 91 A.3 Listen Up ........... .. ................... ................................................. ... 91 xii

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1. Introduction This album and thesis are a product of the exponentially accelerating effects of digital technology, a concept that I have coined as digital transcendence." Everything has been digitized from our social circles via social networking sites, to our means of fmding jobs and apartments via Craig's List. Digital transcendence extends to our means of finding a potential significant other via online dating websites to buying anything under the sun from Amazon.com. We have and are digitally transcending and this is still the beginning. The discrepancy between the speed and efficiency of government bureaucracy versus that of the internet is now evident The digital world has and continues to demonstrate that we can do, be and get anything our hearts desire with an immediacy that has never existed until our recent history. The lives of musicians, producers and digital media artists have been especially affected by the internet. In what is now a catch twenty-two of free e ndless promotion and media hosting there is a seemingly endless black market seeking to undercut the profits ofthose in the businessregardless of a corporate or independent nature. There are a myriad of details that are affecting our transcendence especially for the digital media industry. Illegal peer to peer file sharing digital media compression/degradation, bootlegging ofCDs and DVDs cloud computing and smart media technology; all are greatly changing the way we create, protect market and access media. We now live in a society that has grown to demand internet connectivity at the push o f a button that which is no longer a button but a LCD multi-touch sensor screen 1

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The concept of symmetry in regards to the music industry is that it used to be mainly comprised of legal distribution, prior to the advent of recordable media. While the bootlegging of music has been around since the 1960s (Heylin, 1996), it was nothing compared to the illegal distribution upon the advent of the blank tape cassettes, CD-R and now digital distribution. This illegal digital bootlegging took center stage upon the creation ofNapster and all the peer to peer file sharing sites it spawned. It is now in the near future that we will achieve a historically symmetrical existence where illegal bootlegging will once again be controlled with more effectively employed methods. The album titled Symmetry" is the culmination ofthe time I have invested in developing my musicianship, producing, engineering and mixing skills. It is an unorthodox concept album in the sense that it was created out of a concept, but does not have a storytelling theme, as it is strictly instrumental. The concept is that it is a tonal palindrome. It proves the fact that the digital age has brought about not just the potential for creativity to be applied to the production and mixing of an album, but also to the track listing. Through the creative utilization of a digital audio workstation, such a resolve is now possible for the first time in the existence of must c. 1.1 Symmetry: Concept Symmetry is technically only six songs, but each song is comprised of two halves that are situated on comparably opposite sides of the album. Each pair of tracks can play seamlessly into one another via a digital media player, with the latter playing into the former (twelve into one, eleven into two), while the album is track listed to be listened to as a whole from one to twelve. Furthermore, since twelve (Brunette) will play seamlessly into track one (Blonde), the entire album can thus be played on continuous repeat in certain digital medialcd players without pause. 2

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This concept came from my desire to utilize digital technology to create a piece of art that is as much novelty as creativity. I wanted to make something that could not be dismissed on all levels, regardless of musical preference. The music is instrumental, and thus intrinsically alienates a large portion of music fans who only listen to vocal based music, but it is also unorthodox in song structure and tones used. Regardless of anyone's opinion ofthe music, the concept of making an album that can flow from start to fmish on endless loop without any abrupt pause was a challenge I wanted to overcome. 1.2 Composition This music was written riff-by-riff, progression-by-progression, and recorded into a cell phone in many different parts of the United States throughout the course of four years. Never to know what would come of it, it became evident upon enrolling in the MSRA program that all of the material would be the foundation for the recorded aspect ofthis graduate audio portfolio. Figure 1.1 Figure 1.1 shows the cell phone that Symmetry was written and recorded with, also pictured is the Audix 51 microphone used to record the cell phone recordings into Pro ToolsiHD. 3

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The cell phone is a 2005 Nokia It can place and receive calls and text-only messages take grainy pictures and record distorted voice notes up to five minutes long In total the phone can hold a little over an hour of recorded audio. If it is placed far enough away from amps and drums, it is capable of recording full band sessions much more accurately without an electric bass guitar in the room. The cell phone demos can be heard on the CD titled "Cell Phone Demos." [Appendix A] Upon recording ideas and acoustic skeletons of full song into the cell phone they would be worked out into rough demos at my home studio. These rough guitar only demos would become the conceptual basis for the High Fidelity demos during my coursework at CU Denver. Almost all of the tracks were demoed. The Hi-Fi demos can be heard on the CD titled Hi-Fi Demos." [Appendix B] 1.3 Virtual Production There is another aspect to this album that is unrelated to the conceptual theme, and it relates to how the musical content was written and extends to how the fmal album was produced. The existence of digital audio has not merely affected the media industries existence; it has drastically changed the way that art is created. Both virtual production and collaboration are aspects of our creative media industry that are changing the final product that the listener enjoys It is not just that the initial idea can be recorded upon its creation, but the final recording can be created with someone who is not in the same studio, and quite possibly not even the same country The fact that an inexpensive cell phone can be used as a field recorder is not only groundbreaking to the development of music but it was simply not possible until recent history. Even the smallest personal recorders in the 80s and 90s were far too big to feasible have one in your pocket or guitar case. With modem smart phone technology, the day has arrived that a cell phone can be used as a high quality recording device. The iRig [Appendix C] is an example of a remote recording device that connects to an iPad and iPhone and is a prime example of continual 4

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technological development. Such technology will only grow and become more affordable in the future, two of the most important aspects relating to barriers to entry in the music industry: Cost and Quality. 1.4 Symmetry The conceptual basis of symmetry is something that permeates the meaning of the album. Symmetry clearly exists in picturesque images in nature and can be observed throughout all history. There are two leaves that first emerge from a seedling becoming a plant. There are two sides in a battle, that which are ubiquitously comparable in number, though not often in ability. It requires two living creatures to combine two specific, infmitely complex cells to continue new life of all species. There are two extremes of temperature, and ranges of comfort and ability to survive. Two years of being an underclassman and upperclassman in both high school and college. There are two sides to the different aspects of our entire economy; vendors and customers, small business and corporations, government and citizens .. and of course, there are always two sides to every story. Pick a side, already-but do not pick incorrectly, because that would not be correct, nor would it be in your best interest ... and by "your best interest," it should be understood that it is actually "my best interest." You and I, Myself and Yourself We believe with blind faith in our gods (or lack thereof), slightly different though they are. You are right as I am wrong, and you will burn in an eternal hell just as I am destined for an eternal heaven. All the same, however, we eternally scrutinize different aspects of the few things that we can come to a consensus as being factual: Be a good person and scorn evil, while your view of evil is the opposite of your enemy ... Touche? There are many extremes that affect our lives. Birth and Death, Love and Hate, Sickness and Health, Happiness and Sadness, Bliss and Stress, Gluttony and 5

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Hunger Greed and Compassion, Bitterness and Kindness all of these extremes exemplify the symmetry both visual and energetic that we all experience 1.5 The Track Listing Symmetry (Tracks 1-6 or 12-7) Blonde Symmetry Mantra Dig Confidential Enigma Synchronicity (Tracks 7-12 or 6-1) amginE Caution Echo Karma Synchronicity Brunette Symmetry/Synchronicity (Tracks 1-12, 2-11, 3-10, 4-9, 5-8, 6-7) Blonde Brunette Symmetry Synchronicity Mantra Karma Dig Echo Confidential Caution EnigmaamginE 6

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2. Production The production of Symmetry was quite involved and lengthy ; s ome of the material in an unproduced form dates back to 2007 The material was first recorded on a cell phone rough demos were recorded at my home studio and high fidelity demos were subsequently recorded as projects for my graduate classes. It was during the production ofthe high fidelity demos that the songs became what they would be on the album The high fidelity demos became the working version of Symmetry in a fmished yet unpolished form. Throughout the next year I listened, wrote counter melodies, and conceptualized different production techniques since the completion of the demoed album in May of2010. Finally in March of2011 the production of the new album commenced Some of the tracks from the high fidelity demos were imported into the new sessions such as all the instruments except the drums in the second half of Caution and all of the instruments that comprised the introduction of Karma. Since all of the material was written and produced, the production ofthe final album was quick and without any hiccups. Drums we r e tracked from Friday night to Sunday afternoon at a local cathedral turned community center that I was able to use (for free), Electric Guitar was tracked in two weeks during the evenings and weekends Bass was tracked in three days, and Acoustic Guitar and Aux percussion were added during mixing During mixing a few ofthe tracks were sent to a trumpeter in London, Rupert Cobb (the creator and co-mix engineer of the Sundance Channel's "Live at Abbey Road Studios We are acquaintances and collaborators.) he uploads his tracks via the drop box website. Unfortunately he was offered an opportunity to go on a several month tour and was unable to record. He has sent many apologetic 7

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emails and I do not doubt that at some point in the next few months I will receive his trumpet tracks. It will unfortunately be too late for the final version of my portfolio, but never too late for a cool new addition to a few of the songs. 2.1 Engineering The engineering of symmetry was a combination of techniques I have used in the past with excellent results, and some new techniques that I have recently discovered. All of these new techniques stem from an interview in Mix Magazine with my idol (and mentor who I have never met), the one and only Mr. Brendan O'Brien. Almost all of the drums were engineered in the style he discussed in the interview [Appendix D] along with his long time engineer, Nick Didia. I was limited to a certain extent to utilize all of the microphone types and positions due to my limited equipment, but I found all of the new techniques to be quite excellent. If I were able to have stereo room microphones then I would have been more comfortable with using the XY drum overhead configuration. I was instead limited with one room microphone in usual fashion, due to limited microphones and Class-A preamplifier inputs. The overheads were thus a spaced pair to capture more of the entire drum set, and the room microphone utilize for ambience The one aspect that was not limiting was studio time allowance Had I been limited to twelve or so hours a week at CU studios, this album would have never been completed. Had I been limited to paying a studio with the equipment that I used it would have undoubtedly been comparably as expensive as the six thousand dollar upgrade to API, SSL and Audient preamplification--an upgrade that was well worth the investment. 8

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2.1.1 The Drums Recorded at the Homer Center for the Arts (Formally the First Baptist Church of Homer) Constructed in 1890 The drums were engineered to capture the entire drum kit with the overheads, clean signals of each individual drum with close microphones and the ambience of the church with an room microphone. The following pictures illustrate the precise location of the microphones, the make and model of the microphones that were used, the preamplifiers that were driving the microphones and the analogue to digital converter that were being fed by the preamplifiers. All of the cables were custom mogami from Redco Audio. Microphone cables were XLR to XLR, and the preamplifier to analogue conversion cables were XLR to DSub. 9

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2.1.2 Overhead, Room and High Hats Figure 2 1 The overhead microphones were a spaced pair of matched Audix 51 ADX small diaphragm condensers. They were both driven by an API 3124+ Preamplifer into an Apogee Rosetta 800. The room microphone was a Shure KSM 32 that was driven by an Audient Mico Preamplifier with Vari-Phase to correct the phase prior to a Lynx Aurora 8 10

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, Figure 2.2 The space between the room microphone and the drum kit was about fifteen feet, with a height of ten feet. 11

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Figure 2.3 The room microphone was facing toward the center of the drum set pointed slightly downward. 12

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Figure 2.4 The overhead microphones were a spaced about 3 feet from one another. The left microphone is slightly higher than the right and is pointed at the snare drum. The right microphone is pointed slightly toward the ride cymbol. The preamplifiers and converters can be viewed from this angle They were as close as possible to keep the microphone to converter signal as short as possible Under the table is a small digital mixer that is utilized as a headphone amplifer. Next to that is a batter backup unit. 13

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Figure 2.5 The drum set, preamplifiers and analogue to digital converters. The relative position of the drum set on the stage within the cathedral can be seen 14

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Figure 2.6 High Hat with an MXL 603 into an Audient Mico preamplifier, converted with a Lynx Aurora 8. 15

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2.1.3 The Snare Drum Figure 2.7 The top snare microphones were a Shure Beta 57 taped to a Shure SM81 (with a -1 OdB pad). Both ofthese microphones were being driven by an SSL Alpha VHD Preamplifier into an Apogee Rosetta 800. 16

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Figure 2 8 17

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Figure 2.9 The bottom snare microphone was a Shure SM57 driven by an Audient Preamplifier with Vari-Phase to further correct the phase in conjunction with the reverse phase button. The bottom snare signal went into a Lynx Aurora 8 18

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Figure 2.10 Here the bottom snare microphone is more visible and the inside kick drum can be faintly seen 19

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2.1.4 The Kick Drum Figure 2 .11 The kick drum was recorded with a Shure Beta 52 on the outside ofthe drum and a Shure Beta 57 on the inside Both microphones were driven by an SSL VHD preamplifier, and were converted with an Apogee Rosetta 800. 20

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Figure 2.12 The amount of space between the outside kick microphone and the drum head was about two inches While depth cannot be effectively conveyed by this image it was slightly less than two inches. 21

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Figure 2 .13 The inside kick drum microphone was in the center of the kick drum, pointed direct at the beater 22

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2.1.5 The Tom Toms Figure 2.14 23

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Figure 2 .15 This is a side view of the kit in which the top floor tom microphones can be seen. 24

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Figure 2.16 The full kit from behind with a view of all ofthe tom microphone positions, as well as the kits center stage position. 25

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Figure 2 .17 The rack tom had an Audix D2 on the top and a Shure SM57 on the bottom. The two signals, as with all of the toms, we combined with an XY Phase cable prior to the preamplication. The Phase cable is two XLR cables summed into one cable, with one of the XLR connections having reverse wiring to flip the phase. This is a technique used by Brendan O'Brien and Nick Didia It gives the drums a lot of low end defmition. 26

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Figure 2.18 The top of the rack tom with an Audix D2 and a Shure SM57 on the bottom. 27

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Figure 2 .19 The Upper Floor Tom with an Audix 02 on the top and a Shure Beta 57 on the bottom. 28

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Figure 2.20 The Lower Floor Tom with an Audix D4 on the top and a Shure Beta 57 on the bottom. 29

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Figure 2.21 Figure 2 22 Above are the Top of the Floor Toms (with an Audix D2 and D4). Below are the bottoms of the floor toms each had a Shure Beta 57 pointed at the center of the head The signals of both microphones were combined with an XY Phase cable, the bottom of which has reversed wiring to flip the phase pre-preamplification 30

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2.2 The Equipment Figure 2.23 Top to Bottom: Audient Mico Preamplifiers Lynx Aurora 8 Analogue to Digital and Digital to Analogue Converter (Clocked off the Rosetta) SSL Alpha VHD Preamplifier API 3124+ Preamplifier Apogee Rosetta 800 (Used as Master Clock for Lynx and Pro ToolsiHD) 31

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Figure 2 24 Engineering the drums 32

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Figure 2.25 The church hall during the day with the room mike visible on the left hand side of the frame 33

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2.3 The Guitars Figure 2 26 This is the guitar amplifier and microphone configuration used for almost every single electric guitar track for the record. The head is a Budda Superdrive 30 set to maximum gain and seventy five percent volume, with a volume attenuator in the effects loop to bring the signal to a level that microphones and ears can handle The microphones were an on-axis Shure KSM 32 with a negative fifteen decibel pad and a forty five degree off-axis Shure Beta 57. The microphones were driven with API preamplifiers and the signals were combined with a Roll Music Fulcrum Passive Summing Mixer, which was driven by an API preamplifier. The resulting signal was converted with an Apogee Rosetta 800. Also visible is the right channel of a pair ofFocal Solo6 Be Studio Monitors used to track and mix all of Symmetry. 34

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2.4 The Bass The bass to all of the songs except Karma and Echo were recorded with a Novax Charlie Hunter 8 String guitar into a single DI channel of an API 3124 + preamplifier. The bass to Karma and Echo was recorded into a DI channel on the Control24 in the King Center studio. The basses used were a 5 string Fender P-Bass and 5 string Music Man Stingray for each song, respectively 2.5 Mixing The mixing of Symmetry/Synchronicity was performed in what could be referred to as the "90s Sound," which implies guitar driven music with the drums recorded in a big ambient room. While the drums on many records are tracked in big open spaces that allow room microphones to pick up ambient sound, reverb effects units and plug-ins were used as a sonic effect, and not as compensation for a lack of an ambient room sound. There was a lot of automation written on almost every track mostly volume automation but also panning and certain effect parameters like gain on the bass Sans-Amp and the depth of the drum overhead's Phaser. The screen shots are taken from the "Confidential" Pro Tools J HD Session, because it was the most intensive and reflects all of the processing found in all other tracks. 35

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Figure 2 27: Bass: Audio, Volume and Plugin Automation 36

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Figure 2.29 Bass Sans Amp (Side Chain 1) 37

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Figure 2.30 Bass Warm: McDSP Analog Channel 2 (Side Chain 2 Figure 2.31 : Drum Overheads, Room, High Hat and Overhead Phaser 38

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Figure 2.32: Drum Overheads Right & Left processed individually with grouped parameters 39 (lp ..

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Figure 2.33: High Hat Figure 2.34 : Room 40

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Figure 2.35 : Overhead Phase (used at the end of Confident i al) Figure 2 36 : Kick Drum 41

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Figure 2.37: Kick In 42

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Figure 2 38: Kick Out 43

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Figure 2.39: Kick Bus 44

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Figure 2.40: Kick "Dub" (Parallel Equalized Compressed) 45

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Figure 2.41 : Snare Drum Figure 2.42: Snare Top SM81 46

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Figure 2.43: Snare Top Beta 5 47

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Figure 2.44: Snare Bottom 48

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Figure 2.45: Snare Parallel Compression Figure 2.46: Tom Toms 49

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Figure 2.47 : Middle Floor Tom so

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_, c ,, Figure 2.48: Lower Floor Tom 51

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..... ... ,, #/jl} ... Figure 2.49 : Rack Tom 52

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Figure 2.50: Stereo Drum Reverb (TL Space into McDSP Analog Channel2) 53

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Figure 2.51: Drum Side Chain Compression Figure 2.52 Tambourines and Shaker 54

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Figure 2.53: Tambourine 1 55

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Figure 2 54 : Tambourine 2 (End tambourine or any cleantambourine tones) Figure 2 55 : Shaker 56

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Figure 2.56: Conga Drums Figure 2 57: Conga "Sample" (Sampled from a good hit within this session) 57

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Figure 2.58 Conga 1 and 2 (Same plug-ins, processed individually 58

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Figure 2.59: Guitar Audio and Volume Automation Part One f . .. t-. COMP ... ... '""' -' .. "'" --IEQ ... Qp ...... .. 'f '. ., 1 Figure 2 60: Clean 1 (Main Riff Rhythm) 59

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. ':l, . '. ' -:: lWt COMP I EQ lid > OJ I ... --:: > Figure 2.61: Crunch 1 (Main Riff Rhythm #' f : lWt COHP ... > ... L-...1
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. . -' I _, ')'. fl : ,_ !)I : : ['" [-E lloi1 COMP I EQ CJp tid ., OJ .. .. ... 0..0 .... 0.0 LO _, _, ... ... .... .... .... -.. &-. I o.0c11 1-1 !ldl rz:rr-I 101M I 2-1 Figure 2.63: Filter Guitar (Main Riff Rhythm) 61

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Figure 2 .64: Filter Funk 2 (Wah Filter with Delay Lead Guitar) 62

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Figure 2.65: Guitar Audio and Volume Automation Part Two Figure 2.66: Funk Lead 63

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-,. .. J I -/ QU l I c ,, [ -Uolt COHP ... -..... .... I EQ ... Figure 2 67: Long Delay (Droning Lead) J Qp ., #fii!J Figure 2 68: Heavy Lead Guitar 64

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Figure 2 69 : Clean Mel (Ending Clean Background Melody) 65

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Figure 2 70: Dirty Mel (Ending Dirty Background Melody) 66

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Figure 2. 71: Guitar Audio and Volume Automation Part Three 67

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Figure 2.72: End Mel (Second Dirty Ending Background Melody 68

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Figure 2.73: Cool Lick 1&2 (Dirty Riffs during the end ofthe song) 69

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Figure 2.74: Guitar Reverb, End Effect and Synth Figure 2 75: Guitar Reverb (Two Mono TL Space EMT140 Plate Reverbs) 70

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Figure 2. 76: Master Outputs and Volume Automation Every channel is sent directly out a stereo pair of a converter that is controlled and processed with a master fader Drum Master: Apogee Rosetta 800 Channels 3 & 4 Bass Master: Apogee Rosetta 800 Channels 5 & 6 Guitar Master : Apogee Rosetta 800 Channels 7 & 8 Effects Out: Lynx Aurora Channels 1 & 2 Conga Out: Lynx Aurora Channels 3 & 4 All of the master outs were externally summed through a 16 channel Folcrum passive summing mixer with the stereo output powered by two channels of API preamplification and sent back into Pro Tools into Channel 1 & 2 of an Apogee Rosetta 800. The stereo signal was printed onto a stereo track in Pro Tools and the audio file was exported from the fmal stereo stem (instead of bounced down through Pro Tools) into a multi mono WAY file for mastering 71

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( ... ,., l 1 l .to J I .,, Figure 2 77 : Final Stereo Stem 2.6 Mastering The mastering of Symmetry was performed with very few plug ins and pieces of equipment. The stereo mix was first treated with two back to back McDSP G Channel EQs. The first removed 2dB at 30Hz and + 2dB at 40Hz used in conjunction to tighten up the low end. After the EQ trim, the signal was limited with a Massey L2007 Mastering Limiter that was used to boost the tracks RMS from around -20 to around -12 with a peak at .2 dBFS. This processed signal was bussed and recorded onto an audio track in pro tools while still maintaining a bit depth of24 bits and was then exported as a stereo interleaved 16 bit W A V file 72

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3. Digital Transcendence There exists a myriad of developments in technology that have affected the lives of the masses. From wood stoves to electric to microwave ovens, bicycles to automobiles, wash boards and clothes lines to washing and drying machines. From the first computer with minimal RAM to the eight-core Intel Apple tower. The audio industry has seen analogue tape with massive tape machines replaced with analogue to digital converters with a nearly infmite amount of data storage options For the listeners we have seen the rise and fall ofVinyl records eight track cassette tapes, Hi Fi cassette tapes and to a certain extent -compact discs We have had hard drives crash and become easily replaceable with cheaper and larger models, while personal flash drives shrunk in size as their storage capacity exponentially increased Everyone's smart phones deliver them minute to minute weather and directions to their desired destination with onboard GPS. All while everyone deliver their minute to minute actions in sentence long blips via social networking. To think that all of these are not inextricably connected is to not see the big picture : Modern civilization has and is digitally transcending. We live in a digital world. Our social existence has been converted to html code via Facebook, Twitter and other such Blogospheres such as the new Google Plus Our music has been converted to MP3s and WMA files. None of which are truly able to capture and promote the lives and sound that they are supposed to represent, if not replace. The act of going to the record store on the release date of an album has been replaced with the act of downloading a single, if not legally then illegally. Now that we are faced with this reality of being immersed in the digital life, as it is everywhere and everything, we must acknowledge that we have only witnessed the tip of the iceberg. As our transcendence continues in what appears to be an 73

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exponential fashion, we will continue to witness the "out with the old, in with the new" paradigm. With the continual utilization of smart media technology, the dawn of cloud computing and fight against illegal digital file sharing ramping up with new defense methods we are witnessing truly historic times for both society and the music industry. 3.1 Digital Life Since it is visible by simply interacting in our day to day runarounds, everyone's lives have been, and invariably are, affected by the ever-intensifying digital age. The effects can be seen on a widespread sociological level. They extend not just to our evident modes of transportation, work and culture, but also to that of our communication and social interaction all of which music is intrinsically derived from, and produced by. The digital age has changed the way people listen to and view music, and the way commercial music is produced. Furthermore the digital age has brought about an onslaught of amateurs whom are self-appointed professionals. This growing paradigm has been labeled the Prosumer market, and while seemingly benign in definition, it exemplifies both the narrowing dichotomy and shifting paradigm between what realistically is professional and amateur, albeit in anything but a clear way. Moore's Law continues to bring about cheaper and faster CPUs and increasingly efficient data storage that can handle progressively larger amounts of data In a similar fashion, albeit not comparable, there is a seemingly exponential upward trend of the crystalline qualities of Analogue to Digital and Digital to Analogue conversion The digital age in which we live also exists with a stagnant form of degraded audio via both illegal peer to peer distribution and legal audio providers of compressed audio, that which has a set in stone embodiment of quantity over quality A major reason for the degradation of audio can be placed on illegal downloading mediums such as the archaic Napster the current site Limewire and 74

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other comparable torrent sites. Apple Inc s iTunes and Rhapsody are also playing a role in the degradation of audio due to the former's model of selling their proprietary AAC files. The genuine reason for this sonic degradation, if you will, should mostly be placed on the combination of our population's desire for immediacy and our technological limitation that is the internets' bandwidth In the future i t is likely that uncompressed audio file sharing will replace the various compression codices that are currently ubiquitous If efforts are not successful in controllers illegal downloading when this bandwidth limitation no longer exists, the result could be truly catastrophic to the profitability ofthe media industry. The result of such a prospect in the current framework of uncontrolled illegal activity is unfathomable to the already depressed state of the entertainment industry Thankfully for the industry such an outcome is unlikely to come to fruition with a new consortium of major players in the music and internet business The new aspect of the battle between the RIAA and those who illegally share music and other digital files is just beginning The concept is in fact quite simple. Those who illegally download video games movies and music will be punished by their ISPs (Internet Service Providers) with slower internet connections (Smith and Fowler 20 11). Those who take part in illegal downloading will be warned six times that if they continue to utilize peer to peer sharing utilit i es they are going to f ace a punishment of slower internet connections Regardles s of this fight over illegal downloading, there is still an interesting dichotomy b e tween audiophiles whom have a disdain toward compressed audio due to its intrinsic digital distortion and the general population who illegally download millions of 1 28-192kbps MP3s every week. This is the paradox of sound quality in the digital age. 75

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3.2 The Paradox of Sound Quality Is sound quality even relevant? The answer depends entirely upon whoever is answering the question Those who spend thousands of dollars on pristine analogue to digital converters will respond with a resounding YES! However, the digital age initially brought about a vast array of audio compression protocols and subsequently has created a standard where most music never reaches the listener in neither full fidelity nor legality. Of all music that Apple sells on their iTunes store currently over fifteen billion to date (Resnikoff, 2011), there is an average of5 billion songs downloaded illegally every day (Lesk, 2004). It goes without saying that the amount of annual legal downloads does not come close to the 60 billion in illegal downloads Regardless of legality only a very small percentage of music will be heard by any listener as an uncompressed 24 bit/44.1kHz WAY file (as a compact disc is already limited to 16bit/44.1). The commonality of listening to uncompressed audio through a personal digital music device such as an iPod which does not support W A V files, rather the comparable AIFF file, is close to non-existent. Of all the digital audio downloading there exists a shifting paradigm of sound fidelity via audio compression protocols. Although sound quality has seemingly increased with each new medium throughout history from wax to vinyl records to cassette tapes to 16bit/44 / 1 tracks on compact discs to 24bit/96k tracks on blue ray discs, there was a simultaneous downturn in quality that began just prior to the turn of the millennium This sonic downturn came in the form of the introduction of compressed audio protocols, most commonly that of the MP3 While MP3s are compared in terms of"quality," the sonic differences between 64 Kbps and 128kbps MP3s are of like and not kind, and do not overly affect the sonic integrity ofthe audio. "The MP3 compressed audio at 128 Kbps and 64Kbps is only able to reproduce the audio frequency up to 16 kHz and 12 kHz respectively due the MP3 protocol constraint. (Sang-heon, Won-Jung Youn-ho, Kyu-Sik and Ki-Man, 2006) 76

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Thus, although there is a "loss in high frequency fidelity such as localization, ambient information, and bright nature of audio," (Sang-heon, Won-Jung, Youn-ho, Kyu-Sik and Ki-Man, 2006) the loss in quality is a rather moot point to the listener. This is an irrelevant aspect of the MP3 protocol to most listeners because of several reasons. The first of the underlying reasons is the sacrifice of quality for convenience. It is infmitely more convenient to have one device that can fit in your pocket, capable of storing thousands of songs, versus a case of compact discs that would barely fit in a backpack-with a battery run personal CD player that has skip protection of only a few seconds. The second reason is the practice of listening to music at much higher decibel levels than one would a compact disc in their home stereo. Herein lays a confounding reality of modem music: Most modem recordings are compressed and limited to the point that they have an RMS anywhere from -12 to -6, most often with a peak at 0 dBFS, but the audio is then compressed with an MP3 (or comparable) codec. This audio signal that has been dynamically compressed into oblivion is then played at unhealthily loud levels through inexpensive metal diaphragm headphones/ear buds less than three inches from the eardrum. In a research experiment comparing the relative volumes of thirteen personal digital audio devices, "5 of the 13 devices [Appendix E] played at a standard level that has a suggested time limit well below 1 hour to avoid hearing damage." (Farina, 2008) In conjunction with other daily noise, this means that "in reality the owners of many audio devices are probably exposing themselves to a daily dose well in excess of the safety limit, as most users declared an average usage for 1 to 2 hours." (Farina, 2008) A study at the University of Colorado found that if a listener uses an iPod with any type of headphones at 90 100% volume, the time of safe listening is from 5 to 22 minutes [Appendix F]; the exception is the utilization of supra-aural headphones which are safe for 1.2 hours at 90%. If the volume is maintained below 90% volume the permissible time for safe listening is increased to a range of 1 to 18 hours, and in some cases unlimited. Regardless ofthe continual volume and studies performed, the 77

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way in which the song is mastered plays a role in the resulting volume of the signal that is projected into the ears ofthe listener. Thus, as digital music becomes louder, the fmal product more distorted and degraded via MP3 protocols, and the volumes at which the consumers are listening, the quality of audio recordings are evidently becoming less relevant. While this is by no means an indication that the industry will cease to produce cleaner digital converters or microphone and preamplifier designers will close up shop -it does indicate that we are experiencing an interesting dichotomy between sonic purity on the production end and sonic degradation on the distribution end. This dichotomy needs to be addressed and fixed via a new digital protocol that is a median between the low quality and size of mp3s and the high quality and size ofW A V files. Streaming audio certainly appears to be the future, as it can achieve both quality and quantity. The main (and extremely important) issue left to be realized is profitability in a new paradigm of streaming audio. 3.3. The Future There are several relatively recent developments that are going to affect the music industry in very different ways. Cloud computing and streaming audio are no doubt going to play a major role in the shifting paradigm, as will the RlAA's revamped approach to potentially ending music piracy once and for all Although it is still in its infancy, cloud computing is upon us. There have been innumerable companies who are now offering such services. While Amazon is one of the first big name corporations to offer a cloud computing service, there are innumerable start-up companies such as Kaavo and Parascale who specialize in application-centric computing versus the data-storage cloud of Amazon. As with companies within all industries, each individual business serves a niche. Although cloud computing is relatively new to the market, the start-up companies are developing the groundwork in ways that will benefit the music industry more so than 78

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Amazon and their cloud data storage. Not simply a means or storage, but a means to utilize applications you need on a remote system. While it is undoubtedly decades away, it is exciting to imagine a Pro Tools session running off a cloud computing server. Although recording and mixing might not be moved to the cloud in the near future, it is becoming more apparent that listening to music is moving to the cloud in the form of streaming audio. Streaming audio started to become accessible to the masses in 2005 with Y ouTube, which was created by friends and colleagues at PayPal. You Tube allowed its users to upload and stream video clips or full-length songs. Much ofthe digital material are often not owned by the user or approved by the owner, starting what would become a ubiquitous and ongoing fight over rights to digital media in the streaming domain. The following year began the short-lived rise and fall ofMyspace, and a mere two years later it was overtaken by Facebook. All of these websites featured streaming audio and video of varying degrees of quality. They all played their part in introducing the technology and priming the masses into desiring-and expecting-free streaming media. However, it has not been until recent years that streaming audio has taken the forefront as not just the future of digital distribution, but also part of the solution to the fight against illegal downloading. On the forefront of this streaming technology are Pandora, Spotify and Soundcloud, the latter of the three being much more open to independent distribution. For the first time in the existence of the internet, uncompressed WAV files can be uploaded and streamed in real time through a free account with Soundcloud. This streaming technology along with a revamped approach to controlling illegal digital distribution is seemingly the most plausible way to directing the music and media industry toward a more profitable (and legal) context. It has now been well over a decade since illegal peer to peer file [P2P] sharing was introduced by Napster in 1999, and the repercussions of it have been decimating the profits of record labels ever since. "In mid-2003, the RIAA began to file 79

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individual lawsuits against users who were sharing substantial amounts of copyrighted music on P2P networks."(Bishop, 517) The RIAA continued their suits all while legal digital distribution mediums were increasing in popularity, with the most successful iTunes now selling over fifteen billion songs to date. Regardless of iTunes success, there still exists a thriving illegal digital media downloading market with popular sites such as Bit Torrent, Limewire and Kazaa. These sites have been the leaders ofthe illegal downloading market, and enable its very existence. Those who continue to utilize illegal downloading sites are soon going to be greeted with the latest attempt from not just the RIAA, rather "a coalition of major film studios, record labels and Internet-service providers." (Smith and Fowler, 2011) The up and coming Copyright Alert System is going to enforce a policy based on the terms that a user will be warned six times upon downloading or uploading files to a P2P database without any repercussions. After the seventh time the user violates the law, they will be punished with a slowed internet connection. "The president of the Recording Industry Association of America says the plan is aimed more at 'scaring straight' occasional users of file-sharing services than stamping out all online piracy." (Quinn, 2011) This will in essence punish (and hopefully destroy) the foundation of P2P file sharing sites, which are the people who upload files to their pirate network servers. The repercussions of these illegal P2P sites are irrefutably extensive, but still open to speculation as to the true extent. The coalition of studios, labels and ISPs "argues that content piracy costs the U.S. economy more than 373,000 jobs, $16 billion in lost earnings and $3 billion in tax revenue each year." (Richwine, 2011 ). While there is no doubt that the amount of lost earnings and potential tax revenue is large, this could quite possibly be a massive overestimation. Lou Cohan, a former vinyl bootlegger in the 1970s talks about his estimates versus the RIAA's estimates, "The figures they gave at the time of[my] 1976 bust, like they confiscated 250 million dollars worth of bootlegs, is totally ridiculous. I was manufacturing 80

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2,500, 3,500 at the most 4,000 of a particular bootleg of a particular artist and selling them wholesale at a dollar a dollar and a quarter, at the most a dollar fifty each. They would retail for, what? Five bucks? Seven bucks in a record store. So where the RIAA gets this 200 million, 250 million dollar figure from is beyond me." Regardless of whether or not Lou Cohan is telling the entire truth in his own financial figures, he presents the valid point that is often left out of the "lost profits argument" (obviously since these arguments focally come from the major corporate labels and studios). The point being that the fmancial numbers of how much money is being lost in both earnings and tax revenue are both undoubtedly being drastically overestimated. Music piracy most defmitely accounts for lost profits, but when figures such as half a million jobs, millions in earnings and billions in taxes are haphazardly prated off, there never seems to be someone on the defense to say that you need to keep in mind that these numbers are quite possibly not accurate. 81

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4. Conclusion Symmetry exemplifies the digital age through the use of digital technology to create a piece of art that is truly groundbreaking and unique. There has never been an album like this, nor may one ever be created again." To a large extent it is a novelty that served the purpose of proving the point of our digital age allowing the previously impossible to be possible. I believe that it is important to maintain a humble view of our technology To not let it engross us and displace our social nature. I believe it is important for the audiovisual coalition to clamp down on illegal piracy, if not for the sake of mere profits than for the sake of every artists creative work. It is very important for our species to utilize digital technology for the benefit of a civilized society that is not just able to function within the law but that truly desires to. With digital technology, cloud computing, streaming audio and smart media our civilization is now able to pursue new innovative creative pursuits in an effort to push not just musically and visually artistic boundaries but societal boundaries abound. It is also important to note that illegal downloading is still rampant, regardless of any new methods employed to hamper its existence It is and will for the foreseeable future be an aspect of the music industry. Exaggeration of losses on behalf of the major record labels aside, it is necessary that illegal downloading be eliminated at best; controlled at worst. Furthermore, the way that people listen to music has become downright dangerous to their hearing, which I believe I have effectively correlated to be an unfortunate repercussion of the "Loudness Wars ." There needs to be a new standardized platform for audio that is a median between the extremely low quality of mp3s and the uncompressed W A V files that they represent. Artists do not simply take a low fidelity picture of their paintings to distribute while the original is not accessible or perceived to be accessible. Streaming 82

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websites need to take the reins and lead our industry into a place where high quality music is distributed and artists are compensated for their work. If the physical copy no longer matters to the majority of listeners -which the statistics of legal and illegal downloading of low quality mp3s proves to be true -then eliminating piracy and providing a medium for accessible, quality and paid music is necessary. If people are willing to spend five dollars a month on five low quality mp3s, it seems likely they would spend the same on access to a database of high quality lossless music files. Such a situation needs to be achieved if there is to be a future worth working toward in the music industry. Furthermore, when new technology is created in the future and CDs, W A V and mp3 files are seeming likely to be replaced, there needs to be effort in stopping piracy before it begins not trying to contain and stop it after it is too rampant and out of control. All of our digital technology has made our lives exceptionally connected. While the extent of these connections and the future of our technology has yet to be experienced, it will undoubtedly unfold in a similar fashion as our past-as history so often repeats itself Technological advancements will continue, piracy will develop a new face with a new medium of media, and a new paradigm will begin. This new paradigm-whatever it may be-needs to be recognized as approaching before it becomes as big and detrimental as P2P websites became. Only through a combination of regulation and preventative actions will the music industry be able to prosper as it has in the past. Hopefully it will prosper will quality, quantity and legal accessibility instead of poor quality, quantity and an exceedingly prominent illegal distribution structure. 83

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4.1 MSRA This album was 4 years in the making without my conscious knowledge of it. I am an obsessive musician and simply recorded riffs, progressions and even "karma" as it more or less appears on this album onto my cell phone since the summer of 2007 Since then I have lived in Albany, Saratoga Springs, Homer, Denver and Boulder. I have worked various jobs in various fields, dated different girls from different backgrounds and met people who I will be friends with for the rest of my life and people who I hope to never see again. Everyone and everything has influenced the music and production of this album. From my continual obsession with Brendan O'Brien's engineering, production and mixing and John Frusciante's guitar work on all of the Red Hot Chili Peppers albums I believe that these two major influences are more apparent than ever -just in case I have not mentioned their influence enough! The equipment and rooms used to record and mix this album are far superior to anything I have ever utilized in the past-the combination of which are far superior to anything that would have been possible with the much better equipment and lesser acoustically sound recording spaces at CU Denver s studios. Such drum sounds cannot be achieved in any of the studios It is literally impossible as they were recorded in a cathedral that is almost 200 years old. It was one of the very frrst buildings in my historical upstate New York town ofHomer. While it would have been nice to use a pair ofCU Denver's Neumann 87s as room microphones or AKG 414s and SM 81s on the toms, the equipment I have assembled in my studio is more than sufficient to produce exceptional recordings. I believe this album proves that. I believe that it is quite unlikely to achieve such drum tones in a dry studio with expensive microphones plugged into the richest sounding preamps So much of the drum tones are the room sound and there is not any setting on a Bricasti M7 or TC Electronic 6000 that can mimic the sound of a two hundred year cathedral. It is not just the room microphones It is the tones the overhead microphones are picking 84

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up and the bleed from the room into the high hat microphone It is the way the kick drum resonates in a big space that allows the close microphones to pick up the tones that they do. The toms have so much low end not just because they are resonate drums (and they are very resonate toms), but they are even more resonate because of the room. With that said This album exemplifies a decade of working practicing, listening and breathing music. It comes as close to the big room sound with punchy drums, loud guitars and deep bass that I have ever been able to achieve. Musically, it is the best performances I have ever recorded both of myself and collaborators. I am excited that it ended up sounding as professional as I believe it does, and I look forward to continually building my studio and developing my skills as an engineer and musician. This is a major milestone in my life, but as with a lot of the points throughout this thesis, it is also just another beginning. While the future is always quite uncertain, with conscious planning and working toward creating opportunities for ourselves and our industry, it seems likely that we will build our industry to an even better place than it once was. 85

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APPENDIX A. Cell Phone Demo Track List 1) Karma 7.25.2008-72 Union Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY 2) Mantra 7 06 .2009Aaron's house. Homer NY 3) Mantra Ending 10.14.2009 5110 Bryant Street Denver, CO 4) Confidentia15 11.2008 Congress Park, Saratoga Springs, NY 5) Caution Beginning 8.29 .2008-My house, Homer, NY 6) Caution Ending 2 06 .20105110 Bryant St, Denver, CO 7) Synchronicity 9.06 2009 5110 Bryant St Denver, CO 8) Echo 12.26.2009-5110 Bryant St Denver, CO 9) Dig 2.26 2009 My house Homer NY B. Hi-Fi Demo Track List 1) Blonde Brunette 2) Caution 3) Echo 4) Karma 5) Mantra 6) Synchronicity C The iRig is a preamplified microphone with a permanently connected cable that allows an iPhone iPad or iPod touch to be used as a remote recording device. Figure A.1

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D: Mix Magazine Ken Micallef Double Fantasy: Adversity Drives Mastodon To New Heights Of Creative Escapism Interview: THE PRODUCER: BRENDAN O'BRIEN "As a producer, your main job is to make sure that the music and the groove is doing what it's supposed to do, and if it's not to try to help everybody figure out how to make it work," says Brendan O'Brien. 'There is a prog element of Mastodon that I like, but their records didn t connect maybe the way they could. I felt like I could help them to do that." Your drum sound is almost legendary. How did you place the drum mics for Crack the Skye? For this band, I felt it needed to sound a little more human. Brann wanted to serve the song more, so we adjusted the sound to relate to that. Also, there is less individual separation between the drums, and more of a centered sound-more like one thing, than having it be so specifically defmed. Are you okay with bleed through on the drum mics, or do you prefer isolation? I don't care about that at all If you get a lot of cymbal in the kick drum, that is just part of the sound. Sometimes, you can t get the kick drum to sound good if the mic is shoved right into it-you might have to pull it back a little bit. If there is a lot of cymbal in the drum sound, you work with it. You figure it out. That is part of your sound Do you favor heavy tape saturation in the drum sound? Is that part of the fatness? Some. We do track to tape If the snare and kick are hitting hard, some of the attack will get knocked off, which I like That is one of the main reasons I still use tape-! just like what it does to drums. Tape hasn't gone away and we love it. True or false? You apply heavy doses of Empirical Labs EL 7 Fatso to the drums.

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[Laughs ] I do use that as an addition when I am mixing for sure It was designed for something else altogether to make a mix sound more like tape. I put it on drums and it was like "Wow However it does tend to make the snare and kick disappear so you have to address that. Similarly, you're a fan ofthe SPL Transient Designer for compression? I love them Generally I put it on kick, snare and toms. It is cheating a little bit. If the toms are giving you a lot of trouble for whatever reason, and you put that on them, they sound pretty damn good I don't know bow it works but I am a big fan. The vocals on "Ghost of Karelia" have a weird, watery pitch. Sometimes we do the old trick of running vocals through a Leslie cabinet We didn t use plug-ins very often We used mostly outboard analog effects. And we used the ElectroHarmonix Holy Grail Reverb-a $100 guitar pedal for vocals and outboard stuff How do you approach mixing? Whatever we start tracking with is not drastically different from what we end up with I am always tracking and listening in mix mode As we are doing overdubs, I am still in that mode. When I do mix I just want to make i t blend better there is no real dramatic difference I am just refining it. Nick DiDia implied that your EQ changes at the mix stage. EQ in the mix is just a matter of addressing the excitement level. If I do have to EQ something I don t use the same EQ I recorded with I will use the SSL EQs in the mix because we almost never use them while recording. Do the drums change at all in your mixes? They are the exception. The drums go to tape very EQ d I get in trouble putting drum compression to tape. I may compress the overheads and the room mics but the kick snare and toms w e don't really compress. Those are being addressed as we mix with Transient Designer EQs and that kind of stuff. Bill Kelliher said you were eager to produce the band. What did you hear in their demos that you liked?

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I couldn't hear anything at their ftrst couple of rehearsals, because it was so loud and crazy. But then I'd hear bits and pieces that I knew we could grab and make happen, and that is how we did it. THE ENGINEER: NICK DIDIA You could say that engineer Nick DiDia is Brendan O'Brien's righthand man, and he wouldn't disagree. DiDia aided superstar producer O'Brien for Pearl Jam's Vs., Bruce Springsteen's Working on a Dream, Rage Against the Machine's Evil Empire, and many more. Did you use the SSL 4072 G+ console at Southern Tracks as a tracking or monitoring board? We always track to tape, then transfer to Pro Tools HD-which is running on an Apple Mac G4 933MHz-to do most of the overdubs. Did the sessions for Crack the Skye consist of live band performances? It was all tracked live to a Studer A827 24-track 2-inch machine. A lot of the record is the result of Mastodon tracking live in the studio, and I think it sounds like that. It has that vibe Of course, if you can spend more time on the guitars later, and track the players while they stand in front of the control-room monitors, you often get a better performance than if they were recording live while wearing headphones. What was the signal chain for recording the drums? I placed an old AKG D30 on the outside of the kick drum, and a Sennheiser MD421 in the soundhole. I probably used the SSL preamps for the kick drum, routed to an Audio Design Recording F769X-R Vocal Stressor-an old piece of gear that has an EQ side and a limiter side. I use the EQ side on the kick because it has a certain sound I like That goes to tape. The snare drum would be a Shure SM57 and an AKG C451 B on top, taped together and pointing at the top of the head. That signal goes through an SSL preamp and a Pultec EQP-IA. How do you balance the two snare mics? The 451 gives a Little more lowend thud, and the 57 is the traditional high-end snare sound. The bottom of the snare is another 57 or a SM58 The overheads are a pair of Neumann KM 184s through two Teletronix LA-2A compressors, or a Summit

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compressor-but they are first routed through a pair of Neve preamps, like the 1 073s. Generally, I try to make the overheads sound like the whole kit not like cymbal mics Then, I add everything in around that. Were the toms close miked? Yes A Sennheiser MD421 was on top, and a Shure SM57 was on the bottom We use a phase cable between the top and bottom mics so we only have to use one mic preamp for each tom. The hi-hat mics were either a Shure SM58 or a Neumann KM 84 For a more midrange sound, I use a SM58. And I also use a mic between the kick and snare that we call the "kick-snare" mic-a technique was shown to me by Alex Gibson at A&M studios. It's just an AKG C 414 B-XLS that sits on the beater side of the kick drum. You put it in a flgure-8 polar pattern, and it catches the bottom ofthe snare and the front head of the kick to produce this amazing low end The room mics are typically a pair of Coles ribbon mics, or maybe a stereo pair ofNeumann M 49s How did you mic the guitars? With heavy guitars, I will put two Shure 57s on one cone. Andy Johns showed me that trick. You put one rnic right on the cone, and another one at a 45-degree angle pointed at the same spot. Then, I'll position a Neumann KM 86 on another speaker in the cabinet, or, sometimes on the same speaker. We will listen to see which one we like best. Mic preamps will be Neve 1081, 1066 1079, 1089, or 1073 for guitars bass, and vocals. The guitars are either Neve 1073s or 1076s. I occasionally use a room mic on the guitars, as well-an AKG C 414 or another KM 86

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E. Maximum allowed daily usage time Player Time (hh:mm) Napa 6:13 Ipod Jacopo :10 Ipod Bonach :11 Zen Furla :12 Ipod Ganda :38 Ipod Pater :01 Packard Giovati No Limit Usb Schianchi 11:30 Archos gio 2:26 lpod marianna 1:27 MP3 Tommaso 20:11 lpod Gabriele 5:46 Usb Pater 2 : 46 Figure A.2 F Listen up A new analysis of iPbds and d9tal nMie pla>jers has procb:ed the rnt.-ever detailed guidelines for safe listening leels using earphones. ....................... ....... ....... Sllpl'aM'III _,.._ Nolimit No limit No limit No limit Nolmft 14hcMn Nolmit 18hours 70'Ift 6 hours 3 4 hcxrs 20hours 4 6hours lShours so,...,tes 4 .9hcun Uhours 90% 22 minutes __ 12 rriooles Uhours IS minutes_ 100% 5 minutes lminutcs 18minutes Smlnutes --n.. Dtllwtr PI& Figure A.3

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BffiLIOGRAPHY Bishop, A. (2008). Illegal p2p file sharing on college campuses -what's the solution?. Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, 10(3), 515-524. Retrieved from law.vanderbilt.edu/publications/journal entertainment. ./ download.aspx?id Goel, S ., Miesing, P., & Chandra, U. (2010). The impact of illegal peer to peer files sharing on the media industry. California Management Review, 52(3), 6-33 Retrieved from http://www .albany. 157 /research/The%20Impact%20of'/o20Illegal%2 0Peer-to-Peer%20File-Sharing%20on%20the%20Media%20Industry.pdf Heylin, C (1996) A boot by another name. In The Secret History Of The Other Recording Industry (p. 11 ). New York, NY: St Martin's Press. Hoover, N., & Martin, R. (2008). Demystifying the Cloud. Information Week Research and Reports, Retrieved March 18, 2009, from www.informationweek.com. Lesk, M (2004, July) Bigger share of a smaller pie. THE IEEE COMPUTER SOCIETY, Retrieved from http://O-ieeexplore ieee.org skyline .ucdenver. edu/stamp/stamp .jsp Oh, S., Yoon, W., Cho, Y., Park, K., & Kim, K. (2006) A new spectral enhancement algorithm in mp3 audio. IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics 52(1), 196-199 Retrieved from ieeexplore.ieee. or g. skyline. ucdenver. edu/ stamp / stamp .jsp ?tp=&arnumber Quinn, R. (2011 July 8). Illegal downloaders punishment. Retrieved from http://www.newser.com/story/122916/illegal-downloaders-punishment-slow intemet.html Resnikoff, P (2011, June 6) Apple has now sold 15 billion itunes songs. Retrieved From http:/ / www.digitalmusicnews.com/stories/060611 itunes Richwine, L. (2011, July 7). Internet providers to act against online pirates. Retrieved from http://www reuters.com/article/20 11107/07 / usinternet-piracy

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Smith, E., & Fowler, G. (2011, July 8). Ganging up on internet pirates. Retrieved From http:/ /online. wsj.cornlarticle/SB 1000142405270230336580457 643 .html Waters, D. (2003, January 8). Illegal sites here to stay. Retrieved from http ://news. bbc. co uk/2/hil entertainrnent/263623 5. stm

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