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Mixing / Production

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    Bootleg Mixing: Richard X & Mark Vidler

    Mash-ups: From Underground To Mainstream

    The craze for mashing up wildly different records to create illicit bootleg mixes has moved into the mainstream, and underground producers such as Richard X and Mark Vidler now find their services in hot demand from artists and record labels.

    People
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    Ian Broudie

    The Art Of Production

    Since emerging from the Liverpool music scene at the turn of the '80s, Ian Broudie has juggled parallel careers as an artist and a producer. He has a new solo disc in the shops, and with albums by the Coral and the Zutons riding high in the charts, his production services are in greater demand than ever.

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    Q. Can I use EQ to fix my nasal-sounding vocals?

    My singing voice is a bit nasal, and I'd like to know if there is a 'classic' frequency or frequency range to apply some parametric EQ cut to?

    Sound Advice
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    Secrets Of House & Trance

    Darren Tate's Production Tips

    Darren Tate is one of Britain's leading house and trance producers with nine top-40 hits under aliases including Jurgen Vries, Angelic and Citizen Caned, his latest success being the DT8 Project's summer anthem 'The Sun Is Shining (Down On Me)'. He reveals the personal production tricks which make his records stand out.

    Techniques
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    Mark Nevers

    Producing Lambchop

    Fed up with being treated badly by spoilt divas, engineer Mark Nevers abandoned the country music establishment to start his own studio, and has made a name for himself on the 'other side' of Nashville.

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    Bill Szymczyk

    Producer

    From unlikely beginnings as a naval SONAR operator with no musical training, Bill Szymczyk became a legendary producer and engineer whose work with The Eagles would define the hi-fi sound of '70s rock.

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    Bilocation: Binaural Recording & 5.1 Surround

    New Surroundings

    Binaural recordings can sound amazing on headphones, but do not work very well on conventional stereo speakers. Can they be adapted more successfully for surround systems?

    Techniques
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    CLASSIC TRACKS: David Bowie 'Heroes'

    Producers: David Bowie, Tony Visconti • Engineer: Tony Visconti

    With 'Heroes', David Bowie pulled off the rare feat of having a major hit with a highly experimental piece of art-rock, which featured among other highlights live synth treatments from Brian Eno, pitched feedback from guitarist Robert Fripp, and a lead vocal with level-triggered ambience.

    Techniques
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    Q. How do I compress a stereo source?

    I am recording using a spaced-pair miking setup and I want to apply light compression to the signal. Where in the signal chain should I insert the compressor (pre- or post-fade), and will I have to buy a dedicated stereo compressor to do the job properly?

    Sound Advice
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    The Prodigy

    Liam Howlett: Recording Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

    Nowadays, plenty of hit albums are recorded in bedroom studios — but Liam Howlett of the Prodigy has gone one better, by recording his latest in bed.

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    The Resurrection Of Brian Wilson's SMiLE

    Mark Linett & Darian Sahanaja

    The Beach Boys' SMiLE album was to have been the pinnacle of Brian Wilson's groundbreaking recording and production achievements — but it was never completed. This year, in an extraordinary tale of emotional drama, tape-vault archaeology and recording technology, Brian finished it, debuted it live, and then re-recorded it in the studio. SOS brings you the full story...

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    Jim Sutherland: Producing Aberfeldy

    Mono Forever

    Recent years have seen a revival in back-to-basics recording techniques, but few engineers or producers have taken things as far as Jim Sutherland did with Edinburgh folk-pop band Aberfeldy...

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    Jan Hammer

    The Synthesizer Performer

    As a member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, a composer for film and TV and a performer in his own right, Jan Hammer helped to define the role of the synthesizer player in rock and jazz.

    People
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    Q. Why don't my mixes sound big in mono?

    I've been comparing two records, and both sound massive in the studio compared with our mixes but when you press the mono button, on one it disappears, and when you press it on the other it doesn't change one bit! How do they do it?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. In what order should I compress and EQ?

    When using a compressor and an EQ as insert effects on a snare drum, is it better to use compression followed by EQ or EQ first then compression?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. Can I remove the vocals from a track using phase?

    I am told that it is possible to remove the vocals from a CD track by reversing the phase of one of the stereo channels. Is this correct and, if so, how does it work? Also, is the reverse possible — can you remove the rest of the track to just leave the vocals?SOS Forum Post

    Sound Advice
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    Dweezil Zappa: 64-bit Computing & The Frank Zappa Archive

    DAWs Of Future Past

    Frank Zappa produced a vast amount of recorded material during his career, often pushing both his musicians and the technology of the day to extremes. The task of editing, mixing and archiving these recordings is being undertaken by his son Dweezil, with the help of some cutting-edge computing hardware.

    People
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    Producing Keane's Hopes And Fears

    Andy Green

    Pop band Keane made the bold decision to record an album without using any guitars at all — and the result was the chart-topping Hopes And Fears. Andy Green describes his work as producer, engineer and programmer on this unique project.

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    Recording Shania Twain's Up!

    Bob Bullock: Engineer

    For his third album with Shania Twain, reclusive production legend Mutt Lange introduced an ambitious concept: different mixes and instrumentation for different markets. And as engineer Bob Bullock found, even the 'country' version left Nashville and its conventions pretty far behind...

    People
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    Q. What is the Acusonic Recording Process?

    At the base of the inlay card to Michael Jackson's album Thriller, it claims that the album was recorded using the 'Acusonic Recording Process'. What is this?

    Sound Advice
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    Unkle: Recording Never, Never, Land

    James Lavelle & Richard File

    With help from their galaxy of high-profile collaborators, Unkle have embarked on an ambitious attempt to reinvent dance music.

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