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Monday, September 11, 2017

Fabio Lendrum Trusts Prism Sound To Deliver High Quality Results

A growing realisation that he wanted to create higher quality mixes and masters for his clients proved to be all the push producer and songwriter Fabio Lendrum needed to invest in a Prism Sound Lyra 2 audio interface.

“It made sense to have an interface that would bring me the clarity and quality I needed to meet new standards,” he explains. “I first heard the Prism Sound Lyra at an event at RAK studios in London and while I was there I bumped into an old friend, Matt Schwartz, who invited me to his visit his studio. We got into a very nerdy chat about gear, as producers and engineers always do, and he said: ‘If you want to play this game, Prism Sound is what you’ve got to get’.  I took his advice!”

Lendrum’s new Lyra 2 interface has now been installed in Studio 255, his project studio in London where he records vocals, produces, mixes and masters client projects, as well as teaching music production and DJ’ing.

At Studio 255, the producer and artist always comes first and we work hard to put their ideas and emotions to (digital) paper,” he says. “I have had my own studio for about four years, although it has moved about quite often during that time. I’m now finally settled in Kennington and fully used to the acoustics of my room. The equipment list includes my new Prism Sound Lyra 2, plus various pro audio products from Eve Audio, Avantone, Genelec, Moog, Roland, UAD and Korg.”

As a producer, engineer and songwriter, Lendrum has worked alongside some of the biggest names in music including Dallas Austin (Michael Jackson, Kelis), Rick Nowles (Nelly Furtado, Lykke Li, Stevie Knicks), and Kool Kojak (Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida). He is also very familiar with the London DJ circuit having played in all the major clubs such as Fabric, Building Six, XOYO, KOKO, SeOne.

As well as his studio work, Lendrum is also head tutor at Subbass Academy and has written all the Logic Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced level courses as well as the Roland Aira Academy course, which is issued all over Europe.

Although Prism Sound’s Lyra 2 audio interface is designed for a wide variety of audio applications where a high-quality interface is needed, Lendrum is mainly using his as a digital output.

I haven’t recorded any instruments or microphones through it yet, but I’m using the internal digital clipping, which sounds tasty,” he explains. “The overkill feature isn’t something I’ve used in the past; I love the way it sounds on my masters.”

He adds that he can now hear every nuance of his mixes and masters without any ‘weird’ colouration. “The stereo field feels more natural and the bass is definitely tighter. I paired the Lyra 2 with the Sonarworks Reference 3 and now my mixes are tighter than ever.”

Lendrum is currently focusing on making underground house music and techno but he still mixes and masters a wide variety of music including Hip-Hop and Pop. Whatever he does, his Lyra 2 is being used on every project and has become so indispensable that he says he feels awkward without it.


“It’s so small I can even take it away with me if I need to,” he says. “It doesn’t just sound great, it looks great, too!”

Friday, September 8, 2017

BLACK PEAKS ON THE RISE WITH SENNHEISER

Marlow, U.K., September 7, 2017 – Formed in 2013 in Brighton on the UK south coast, Black Peaks is a four-piece progressive rock band that are going places. Their debut album Statues has been described by The Independent as ‘an exceptional combination of alternative rock, heavy metallic riffs, prog infused concepts and subtle post-rock flourishes that all interweave to create an extremely accomplished debut’ and they have been championed by both Radio 1’s Daniel P Carter and Zane Lowe. Having started out, as most fledgling bands do, with an unrefined mix of microphones, adding Sennheiser to their inventory has made a world of difference.   

“We were originally an instrumental three-piece, which was me, Andrew Gosden on bass and Liam Kearley on drums,” explains guitarist Joe Gosney. “We quickly got Will Gardner (vocals) involved and from there our music really started to take shape. We spent 2013 and 14 playing a bunch of shows around the UK and getting tracks together for what would eventually become our debut album Statues.”

With their live performances becoming more frequent and higher profile – last year, for example, saw them support the Deftones, playing to a crowd of 12,000 at Wembley Arena and this year, as part of a six-week run round Europe and Scandinavia, Mastodon and System Of A Down – they wanted to upgrade their equipment, with microphones being the number one priority.


“We’re now using Sennheiser e 935s on Will’s vocal and 904s on Liam’s toms,” says their front-of-house engineer, Jack Childs. “I love the 935s for their clear glassy highs and rich low mids, the clarity is amazing. They work so well with Will’s voice as he has such a wide dynamic range. I find they perform really well when he’s whisper quiet, keeping their definition and clarity, yet they can handle the insane screams and extreme SPL that this guy can produce (he really is a loud chap)! When he is screaming at full tilt, the 935s continue to provide me with warm and balanced low mids, giving a full-bodied defined tone that makes pronunciation easy to hear, even in the most unruly of venues and spaces we play in.”      

Jack has found the biggest difference in using Sennheiser, compared to many of the other mics he’s tried with Will, is that they sound consistent throughout the show.

“I’ve found other leading brands tend to clog up with spit and start to sound dull after half an hour of use and its really apparent,” Jack adds. “I feel confident using the e 935s live, as I know they will do their job every show of the tour - these are some seriously well-built and hard wearing mics. The Black Peaks’ show is intense musically, but also physically. The mics have been thrown around stages all over Europe and after two years of vigorous touring they are still going strong and sound like new, even if they are looking a bit tired now.”  

“The last few years have been a bit of a whirlwind to be honest,” concludes Joe. “We have been so humbled by the response to Statues. “We have been touring the record for the past two years now and played hundreds of shows around the UK and Europe in support of it, and knowing that we have great sounding, reliable mics has made a world of difference.

“We're now back in Brighton, working hard on our next album and can't wait to get it out. When we start to tour it, our Sennheiser mics will be going with us!"

Image captions: 
1) Will Gardner of progressive rock band Black Peaks in close contact with the fanbase (© Ian Coulson)
2) An evolution e 935 reliably picks up Will Gardner’s energetic vocals (© Ian Coulson) 


About Sennheiser
Sennheiser is shaping the future of audio – a vision built on more than 70 years of innovation culture, which is deeply rooted within the family-owned company. Founded in 1945, Sennheiser is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones and wireless transmission systems. With 20 sales subsidiaries and long-established trading partners, the company is active in more than 50 countries and operates its own production facilities in Germany, Ireland and the USA. Sennheiser has around 2,800 employees around the world that share a passion for audio excellence. Since 2013, Sennheiser has been managed by Daniel Sennheiser and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, the third generation of the family to run the company. In 2016, the Sennheiser Group had sales totaling €658.4 million. www.sennheiser.com

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Legendary Mixer Dave Pensado Makes Way for BAE’s 10DCF Compressor in His Workflow

Dave Pensado has been recognized as a top level mixing engineer since the ‘70s, and over forty years into his career he has his workflow down to a science. “Some of you have heard me say I don’t need another reverb, I don’t need another EQ, I don’t need another delay, and I sure don’t need another compressor,” he says in a nod to the many viewers who tune into his popular weekly YouTube series “Pensado’s Place,” where he talks gear and practice with industry-leading producers, engineers, and mixers. But recently, the BAE Audio 10DCF compressor has caused a reversal in Pensado’s sentiment. “I couldn’t have been more wrong.”
To test its mettle, Pensado tried the 10DCF in a battery of applications. He found the compressor both versatile and musical. First, he applied its compression to vocal takes by some of his well-known clients. “I tried it on T-Pain’s vocal, I tried it on a Nelly vocal, and it gave them character,” he says. “With a hip-hop song you want things to jump out at you but you still want to understand the lyrics, and I could get that sound with the 10DCF.” The compressor’s natural peak taming on sources as delicate as a vocal is attributable to its classic circuit design and all discrete wiring.
Drums with Authority, Guitars with Bite
Aside from a forward, yet intelligible vocal, Pensado says that low end is also key to hip-hop music. For him, the 10DCF’s inductor-based hi-pass filter makes it the perfect tool for processing drums. “The power comes from the low end, from the 808 and the drums,” he says. “With the 10DCF’s filter, you can determine how much low end comes through uncompressed and when you do that you can keep all that power but you can affect the more audible part of the spectrum in that drum. It just pushes the sound right in your face.”

For rock music, Pensado abides by a clear ethos to ensure the right energy in the mix. “To me, in a rock song, the guitars are where the power is at,” he explains. “If you’ve got wimpy guitars then you’ve got a wimpy song.” He obtains powerful results by placing the 10DCF on a single auxiliary channel to which he sends all of his guitar tracks. Utilizing the compressors intuitive attack, recovery, threshold, and ratio controls, he is able to easily dial in a sound that meets his exacting standards. “The 10DCF is like money. You almost don’t need any EQ at all when you’re using it.”
Roughness Transformed to Silk
Another useful application Pensado discovered is using the 10DCF to imbue keyboards with an anaIog smoothness that helps them sit well in the mix thanks to the compressor featuring both Carnhill and Jensen transformers in the path. “Keyboards or synthesizers—they’ve got a bit of a harsh sound to them because it’s a reconstructed waveform,” he says. “It has to be smoothed out, and going through the 10DCF really smooths over those little artifacts that don’t sound good.”
The transformer-based path also helped salvage a home vocal recording by a newer client Pensado is working with. “There was definitely some clipping on the mic, maybe the capsule collapsing a bit, he says. “I ran it through the 10DCF without much compression and it smoothed it out.”
Analog That Carries Its Weight
Despite its sonic smoothness, Pensado emphasizes the power of the 10DCF with slightly more aggressive language. “It feels to me like it grabs you the neck, throws you on the ground, and stomps on your neck. It’s really got some powerful stuff going for it!” It has joined a short list of analog gear that Pensado, who works almost exclusively ‘inside the box’ with digital plugins, recommends to his followers. “Anybody can design an electric circuit but only a handful of people can make an art form out of it,” he says. The ones that have a sense of musicality and are made by people who use the gear they create tend to work better for me. I really like the 10DCF and I think you guys should check it out.”
For more information on BAE Audio and the 10DCF, please visit baeaudio.com

About BAE Audio

BAE Audio is a U.S.-based manufacturer of high-end microphone preamp and equalizers, all of which are faithful to vintage designs of the seventies and before. The company is committed to the vintage philosophy of hand wiring and hand soldering all of its components to achieve a high quality and authentically vintage sound. For more information on BAE Audio, please visit our website at www.baeaudio.com.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Full AES New York 2017 Convention Schedule Online

Full AES New York 2017 Convention Schedule Online – the Big Apple Experiences Maximum Audio Beginning October 18


The full technical program and event list is now online for AES New York 2017. Hundreds of sessions are available to Convention registrants, with All-Access registration giving access to all the onsite sessions and the exhibition — affording the Maximum Audio experience. With the AES New York Convention less than 60 days away, now is the time to register and make plans to join us at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, October 18 - 21. AES New York 2017 will be co-located with the NAB Show New York 2017, and registration for AES New York 2017, including at the Exhibits-Plus level will give attendees access to the NAB Show New York exhibition floor and the content in the NAB Show New York’s Core Package (a $75 value). Register now, and reserve housing, for the 143rd AES Convention at aesshow.com. Online pricing discounts end soon. Join us as we take Maximum Audio to the next level!