Cutting X-Factor – on AVID with multiple soundtracks

X FACTOR 2014

VT Editors, often have to wrestle with a huge amount of sound information. Especially on shows that have discreet microphones all over the place – such as the X Factor.
Editor Janci Kovic recently did this screengrab of his final timeline for a Bootcamp Episode of X Factor. This was bootcamp the episode after auditions.

Having the ability to cut off words, change the order of what judges are saying and soloing the backstage reactions at the same time was very helpful to get the story done.

Audio was recorded and captured on STEINBERG’S Nuendo Live
AVID TIMETINE for X Factor

THE AUDIO TRACKS SHOWN INCLUDE:
Jury 4ch’s, crowd 2ch’s, singers port, mic and his instrument 3ch’s, band 12ch’s, backstage with moderator 3ch’s, stage mix 2ch’s, music 6ch’s, sfx 4ch’s, vo and other ports.

THE VIDEO was recorded on QUADRUS

 

BBC MUSIC launches with ‘God Only Knows’ remix

BBC launches new MUSIC site with God Only Knows,
a star-studded film
featuring ‘The Impossible Orchestra’

_78069563_bbcmusic

I heard about this on the way in to work this morning – but I didn’t know what the event was going to be until sitting down with the family at 8pm. It reminded me of the great ‘Perfect Day’ BBC promotional film. I have gathered these comments from various sources available online. The song was broadcast simultaneously on Tuesday 7th October 2014 on BBC One, Two, Three, Four and Radio 1, 2, 4, 6 and 5 Live.

The track, which will also be released in aid of Children in Need, features 27 artists across all musical genres. They include Sir Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Chris Martin, Sam Smith, Brian May, Jamie Cullum and Nicola Benedetti.

God Only Knows has reached almost mythical status in the pop canon. Written and produced by Brian Wilson with lyricist Tony Asher and younger brother Carl Wilson on vocals, it was released in 1966 as part of The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album. It reached Number 2 in the UK and Number 39 in the US Charts. It has become one of the most lauded tracks of all time. Rolling Stone placed it at 25 in their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and in 2006, Pitchfork magazine crowned God Only Knows as the best song of the 1960s.

BBC Music will encompass TV and radio programming, digital services and schemes to support emerging talent including the introduction of classical music to UK primary schools. The song’s original writer, Brian Wilson, also features on the track, along with the BBC Concert Orchestra. The collective group of musicians has been named the Impossible Orchestra. Bob Shennan, director of BBC Music, said: “This ‘impossible’ orchestra is a celebration of all the talent, diversity and musical passion found every single day throughout the BBC.”

Watch the ‘making of’ here

The line by line breakdown of singers is as follows:

BBC Concert Orchestra

Martin James Bartlett – celeste

Pharrell Williams – I may not always love you

Emeli Sandé – But as long as there are stars above you

Elton John – You never need to doubt it

Lorde – I’ll make you so sure about it

Chris Martin – God only knows what I’d be without you

Brian Wilson – If you should ever leave me

Florence Welch – Well life would still go on believe me

Kylie Minogue – The world could show nothing to me

Stevie Wonder – So what good would living do me

Eliza Carthy – God only knows what I’d be without you

Nicola Benedetti – violin

Jools Holland – piano

Brian May – electric guitar

Jake Bugg – lalalala

Katie Derham – violin

Tees Valley Youth Choir – God only knows

Alison Balsom – piccolo trumpet

One Direction – God only knows what I’d be without you

Jaz Dhami – God only knows what I’d be without you

Paloma Faith – God only knows what I’d be without you

Chrissie Hynde – God only knows

Jamie Cullum – God only knows what I’d be without you

Baaba Maal – God only knows

Danielle de Niese – God only knows what I’d be without you

Dave Grohl – God only knows

Sam Smith – God only knows what I’d be without you

Brian Wilson – God only knows what I’d be without you

read:

THE TELEGRAPH:  the Future of Music on BBC

THE GUARDIAN: BBC MUSIC LAUNCH

Sources: BBC Media Centre, BBC YOUTUBE Channel, BBC NEWS WEBSITE
(accessed 7th October 2014)

‘Dubbing Doctors’ – with BBC’s Richard Hastings-Hall

Richard Hastings-Hall visited Audio Production level 2 students today to talk about ‘dubbing mixing’, in particular mixing for medium budget daytime drama and the technical and creative constraints that working on shows like this can have. They are often handled very differently to other dramas, documentaries and television series etc.

For example the directors of these daytime dramas are not paid to be present at the final mixing session – it’s only the Exec Producer who signs off the mix.
Richard Hastings-HallRichard brought his Pyramix set-up (made by Emerging Technologies) with him which sadly did have some technical issues – but this was a good example of how ‘anything that can go wrong – will go wrong’. A thankyou must go to Luke Johnston who showed his skill in drive re-mapping!.

Some students found it reassuring that it wasn’t ‘just them’

Richard mentioned metering and loudness, and the need for good adherence to technical standards.
To find out more about the BBC delivery requirements look here

Richard revealed that often with quick turn around drama shows like Doctors – the sync sound recordings are not always perfect. the crew often doesn’t have time to go again. So very often

The dubbing team are left to ‘fix it in post’. Alternative lines of dialogue are hunted down from the rushes, smoothing techniques are used and generally the pressures are such that all this must be done in one 12 hour session. No foley ar ADR sessions are possible.

“In Doctors we don’t have time for foley sessions, so we have to be very resourceful when it comes to our use of time. Much of what we do is fixing problems”

Louise Wilcox, another dubbing mixer was featured in an article in the Institute of Professional Sound Website which may be of interest

 

doctors-thumb-430x243-81016

On another occasion during a Jane Austin themed episode he went overboard on a fight scene and had to remix it due to a topical news event which happened close to transmission.

Richard also talked about Brinkburn Street for BBC, which presented some unusual sound dillemas, as it was set in both the present day and the 1930’s so sometimes there were horses and carts outside the houses and sometimes jet engines and traffic. See iPLayer

Richard has been a dubbing mixer for over 20 years and has mixed 717 episodes of Doctors. He is currently freelance, based in Nottingham.

His IMdB page is here 

pyramixFind out more about Pyramix here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Lecture – Phil Harding

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 08.38.03
Phil Harding’s track record is incredible. As a recording engineer and producer he has worked with artists as diverse as The Clash, Killing Joke, Dead Or Alive, Kylie Minogue and East 17.

As part of his lecture tour to promote his book PWL: From The Factory Floor he came to the University and gave a very entertaining and informative lecture to a packed audience of Audio Production students.

The main thrust of Phil’s lecture was how different aspects of the music industry service each other and why this is something to bear in mind when fulfilling a particular role. He talked about the importance of group work in gaining these skills and about how having the right attitude is essential for success in an industry that relies so heavily on professional relationships.

He gave us some very useful insight into the deals that the modern record producer must negotiate in order to get paid and an incredible example of the different stages of production a commercial single might go through when a rather well known pop mogul is at the helm. My jaw certainly dropped when we were told how much money was thrown at a particular project only for it to dip in and out of the charts at number 39. A non-hit wonder.

As well as continuing as a producer, mix engineer and artist in his own right, Phil is now the chairman of JAMES – the accreditation body responsible for linking industry and education. As our Audio Production programme is accredited by JAMES, Phil’s final piece of advice was for students to include this information on their CVs as it most definitely helps them stand out when applying for apprenticeships, internships and freelance work.

With such a wealth of experience, Phil and JAMES are valuable assets to our course and students. He’s also a very nice bloke – I could have chatted to him all day. And he signed my copy of the book :).

How The Money Gets Divided From A CD Sale

Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 15.05.10
The average CD costs eight pounds. Who gets a share of it and how much to they get? Musicians, producers, songwriters and managers are just a few. It goes in lots of directions. Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason and Robbie Williams’ manager trace them in this clip from the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘You And Yours’.

win an online mixing session at Abbey Road

AVID/PRO Tools COMPETITION

Win an Abbey Road mix/mastering session and Pro Tools® system
The Beatles. Adele. U2. Lady Gaga. Ready to add your name to that list?
Avid have partnered with Abbey Road—one of the world’s most famous recording studios—to help artists and musicians make music history.
they’re looking for one great song, chosen by a panel of industry heavyweights, to win an online mixing and mastering session at Abbey Road and a Pro Tools|HD Native system.

Enter now for your chance to win the industry’s respect, fan exposure, plus free gear from Avid and a mix/mastering session from Abbey Road, adding up to a value of over $7,000.

Screen shot 2013-02-08 at 06.52.27

 

 

 

 

Get heard, get discovered, and break through.
Judge’s Choice
Three winners, as chosen by the judges, will receive:
Their song/track mixed and mastered by Abbey Road’s online services (worth $1,300)
A Pro Tools|HD Native system with Pro Tools HD 10 software and an HD OMNI interface (worth $5,999) each
Exposure across Avid’s website and social online channels

People’s Choice
The highest voted artist will receive:
An Mbox Pro audio interface with Pro Tools 10 software (worth $999)
Exposure across Avid’s website and social online channels

Get Involved
Submit by: March 13, 2013, 10 am PDT
Vote: March 14, 2013, – March 21, 2013,
Winners Announced: April 10, 2013

Guest Lecture – Ken Blair

Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 15.07.22

Today’s level 3 project guest lecture was given by recording engineer Ken Blair. Ken is a freelance sound recordist who’s company BMP Recording specialise in classical, jazz and acoustic music.

Ken came to talk about his typical week of recording, editing, mixing and filling in tax returns! He described a typical orchestral recording session and how it can differ from a pop/rock recording session, in that a lot of these sessions are still recorded straight to stereo – especially if its a live event recording. This means a lot of time is spent positioning microphones and balancing levels into the recording device. This also means there’s no room for error, both in terms of the musicians’ performance and in terms of the recording levels and mix balance. Nerve wracking stuff!

Ken also talked about how his background and recording experience led him to the place he’s at now. After leaving school in Scotland, Ken studied the Tonmeister course at the University of Surrey and spent a year on work placement at Air studios in Montserrat. He also gave our students some great advice regarding building their portfolios and creating a skills based CV.

Many of our students will go on to be freelance workers across the very broad range of audio production careers. Ken’s lecture was a great insight into the day to day activities of just one of these fields. Really useful stuff!

Losing My Minor Key – REM remixed

I came across this today (apologies to Dave McSherry who currently has this song as an ‘earworm’ in his head), but I was amazed at the psychological difference turning this song into a major key makes.

Recently produced by Major Scaled – a version of REM’s ‘Losing my religion’, remixed in Major Scale
https://www.facebook.com/MajorScaledTv

This artists work is being removed by major labels so you may not get to hear this for long….

this is from the vimeo post – http://vimeo.com/57685359

“Someone has gone to the trouble (I don’t know how but would suspect using Melodyne DNA or somesuch) of processing REM’s minor-scale downer hit ‘Losing My Religion’ so that all the minor notes are now major. When I followed the link I thought it’d be a cover, but no, it’s the original, processed. It’s uncanny – the song is just as familiar as always but the impact is utterly different. Kind of like finding a colour print of a film you’d only known in black and white, or seeing Garfield minus Garfield for the first time. I like it.”

Major Scaled #2 : REM – “Recovering My Religion” from major scaled on Vimeo.

you can read more here

the Sound of Skyfall

The sound of Skyfall

The SoundWorks Collection dives into the latest installment in the long-running saga based on Ian Fleming’s James Bond character.

Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty and Jarhead) brings the audience an entirely new storyline to the Bond character in “Skyfall”.

Exploring the sound and music of the film we talk with Scott Millan (Sound Re-recording Mixer), Greg Russell (Sound Re-recording Mixer),
Karen Baker Landers (Supervising Sound Editor), and Per Hallberg (Supervising Sound Editor).

see also

http://soundworkscollection.com/skyfall

LONDON 2012 – how ELBOW created the Olympics Theme

This is a great insight into how Elbow went about probably their most challenging brief.

“Go into a studio and come up with a global Olympic theme”. It starts with a brass fanfare where the first five notes relate to the five Olympic Rings. It’s a call to attention. The choir was introduced to make it more ‘everyman’. It will become another familiar BBC sporting theme which will be remembered by a generation. Though as Elbow’s Guy Garvey admits, “It’s never going to be as good as ‘Ski Sunday’ theme is it?

Mercury Prize-winning group Elbow have spoken about how they created their anthem for the BBC’s Olympics coverage.
Entitled First Steps, the new piece was recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the NovaVox gospel choir.

watch the
Behind the scenes film here

First Steps is accompanied by an animation produced at Passion Pictures, showing the landscape of the United Kingdom transformed into a giant sporting arena inside the Olympic Stadium.

Guy Garvey and therest of the band spoke to the BBC about their inspiration for the music and the recording process, and the video’s designer explained how he created the look of the graphics.

 

 

 

The track will be available as a digital download only.

 

 

The trailer has been devised around the concept of “Stadium UK” and cleverly uses animation to transform the United Kingdom into a sporting hub where athletes prepare and compete in the Olympic Games. Exchanging swimming pools for the English Channel, running tacks for the streets of Britain and gymnastic apparatus for famous London landmarks.