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Simon & greg Record the world

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On December 11th, 2017 I received an email from Greg Bonnier titled “About an African Journey.” I receive emails nearly every day with one pitch or another that are going to make my company Lauten Audio famous if only we send free microphones. However, this email was a little bit different.

First, the email started off with a referral reference from one of my most respect colleagues in the music business, Fab Dupont. Second, Greg already owned two of our highly acclaimed Atlantis FC-387 microphones, which is no small invesment, and finally, the first paragraph ended with “…for the love of the music and people.” Gregs’ hook worked.

Here’s Greg’s opening paragraph.

My name is Greg, I’m a friend of Fab’s which was nice enough to put me in contact with you. I’m writing you about a project I’m about to do in Senegal. Mid-January, I’ll be leaving for the southern part of the African country where I’ll be recording bands which do not have access to recording ressources other than a computer microphone. My colleague did this 3 years ago and it resulted in a band even getting a recording contract. This is a project we are funding by ourselves, for the love of the music and the people.

Greg and I scheduled a call to discuss the project further. My gut told me this project could turn out very cool, and it was clear Greg and his partner Simon Walls had their heads on straight. My biggest concern was whether the microphones could survive such a trip and the environment. If they didn’t, my brand was not going to look very good.

Six months later I began to receive photos and snippets from Simon and Greg’s adventure. The microphones were taking a beating, but they were holding up to the task. When I hear the music that was being captured, the hair stood up on the back of my neck, I knew I had made the right decision.

Without further ado, below is a link to the 6-episode series from the first season of Simon and Greg Record the World.

ABOUT SIMON AND GREG

Simon Walls is a music producer, songwriter and adventurer. After producing his own original records, he has been producing, recording and mixing for other artists such as Le Winston Band, David Jobin, Clay and Friends, ILAM, Tee Cloud, Sadio Cissokho and Aaron Lumley. He also produces for Wapikoni Mobile, Musique Nomade and AVATAQ offering recording services and mentorship to indigenous musicians across Canada. Between records, Simon is a motivational speaker at The Great Explorers where he tells the tales of his adventures.

Greg Bonnier is a record producer, sound engineer and film maker based in Montreal, Canada. Beginning at Musique Plus (Much Music) in 2000, he has since managed post-production facilities, mixed various TV shows, filmed and edited many documentaries, live shows, corporate films and web projects including a web series with renown french actor Pierre Richard. Since 2006, his work in music has led him to produce, record and mix all over the world with artists from all walks of life and diverse musical genres.

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Recommendations For Must Hear Classic Country Records


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Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby featherMy music appreciation goes back a very long way, and I am not exaggerating when I tell people, I appreciate ALL types of music. Sometimes people are shocked when I tell them I was and still am a huge fan of Slayer; I mean their 1986, “Reign in Blood” is the greatest heavy metal record ever made…


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However, beyond Garth Brooks “Ropin’ the Wind”, which nearly everyone in the USA heard, I have never delved into Country music. I might have tuned the radio station to a country channel now and then, but that’s about it.

I’m seeking recommendations for must hear classic country records

So, I asked my “social media” friends, knowing some are country fans, many in Nashville in fact, and see what they recommended. My question was “I’m seeking recommendations for must hear classic country records”.

these two have stood out

I purchased all the recommendations and these two have stood out.

  • Johnny PaychecksThe Real Mr. Heartache: The Little Darlin’ Years
    • This one is long out of print, even the “reissue” is out of print, and folks are asking $60+ for a used CD -as of writing this.
    • It was recommended as “probably the best country music ever written” by well known Nashville Resonator/Dobro player and Producer/Engineer Randy Kohrs.
    • I have to agree with Randy and say it probably is the best classic country, and it seems Johnny Paycheck lived the modern “cowboy” life complete with bar fights and prison time.

 

  • Buck OwensLive At Carnegie Hall
    • Another recommendation from Randy. If you don’t have a smile on your face after listening to this, you may have a happiness issue.
    • The musicianship is excellent and sound quality is very good for a live show.
    • It’s a funny and fun ride of music among family a friends at a classic country concert.
    • Even the cover wants to make you smile.

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THE RECORDING ENGINEER IS THE CTO

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby featherIn the past couple weeks my company, Lauten Audio, released some exciting news regarding our microphones being used on significant recording artists.

First, we announced that Darrell Thorp, an astounding 7-time Grammy award winning mixer/recording engineer (in just a handful of years…) used a bunch of Lauten Audio microphones on the new Foo Fighters record ‘Concrete and Gold’. The album went number 1 on the Billboard Hot 200. This is a big deal.

Second, we announced that Michael Ashby, who compared to Thorp, is just getting his start in the business, but what a start it is. Michael used Lauten Audio’s flagship Eden LT-386 microphone to record and engineer the vocals for Cardi B’s ‘Bodak Yellow’ a.k.a. Money Moves. Cardi cemented her name in history when this track bumped Taylor Swift from the number 1 spot on Billboard Hot 100. She became the first female rapper to achieve that milestone as a solo artist since Lauryn Hill in 1998. Cardi B is a true rag to riches story, you should look into it. This is a bigger deal!

But here’s my reason for this post

Being a “Recording Engineer” isn’t as financially rewarding as many people think. It’s my perception the general public thinks the above engineers are getting rich. However, the reality is, and has been for a long time, Recording Engineers don’t get rich. They get paid a flat rate and that’s it. There’s no obligation for the Producer or record company to give them points (a percentage on sales of the record or song), and most don’t.

I do not know the details of Michael Ashby’s deal with Cardi or her Producer and record company but, it’s quite possible he got paid a few hundred dollars to record her that night and that’s it… Darrell on the other hand, engineered and mixed the Foo Fighter record. Mixers typically get some type of residual. But again, Darrell is likely seeing nothing from the “Engineering” part.

The Recording Engineer is the CTO

I’ve never understood this, because in my opinion, the “Engineering” part is one of the most time consuming, intense, and impactful tasks in the recording of music. The lead Recording Engineer is the equivalent of a CTO at a tech company. Do you think they should be receiving profits from a products success which they helped developed?

There is a bill

In March of 2015 Rep. Joe Crowley introduced the AMP Act, a bill to allow Music Producers, Mixers and Engineers to receive fair compensation. In my opinion, it’s the Engineers that need to most help, not the Producers and Mixers…Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssinstagramby feather

Robot Vacuums Battle For Your Homes Layout, Acoustics and Airflow

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Cesare Ferrari – KC7U5443 – A long exposure of a roomba at work

As reported in a Reuters article, ‘Roomba vacuum maker iRobot is betting big on the ‘smart’ home’. There is a move to use artificial intelligence inside a robot vacuum to help it collect and then monetize on information about your home.

Here’s a few examples of what they might collect.

  1. The robot vacuum can analyze the acoustics of your home and then sell this information to companies who can help improve your homes acoustics. Actually if you’ve never considered the acoustics of your home, improving on it can truly create a much more pleasant, and in the case of a home office, professional, sounding environment.
  2. Analyze the air cleanliness and temperature in each room. This data could then be fed to your climate control unit to better regulate your homes temperature and filtration on a room by room basis.
  3. Analyze your homes layout and provide this information to furniture and decor related companies so they might recommend items that will fit in your space.

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Hidden Citizens – Shadowed Authority – Epic Cover Songs

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Hidden Citizens logo

Lately, I’ve been spending time writing a business requirement document, during which I often listen to music to keep the flow going.

My soundtrack lately has been the catalog by Hidden Citizens, a ” shadowed authority specializing in impactful music”. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few of the “shadow” figures behind the music through my company Lauten Audio; they use our Eden LT-386, multi-voicing, microphone for many of the vocals.

They have some of the most epic covers you’ll ever come across. Songs like Hungry Like the Wolf, by Duran Duran, It’s a Sin, by Pet Shop Boys, and one of my absolute favorites, Another One Bites the Dust, by Queen; that cover, holy smokes that Jaxson Gamble can sing!!!

Check out the Hidden Citizens catalog on Tidal or Spotify.Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssinstagramby feather

Deepmind’s WaveNet Composes Original Piano Piece

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“WaveNets” Borrowed from WaveNet

   

WaveNet by Deepmind and/or Alphabet, Inc. and/or Google has created a very impressive audio signal modeling system.  Although Adobe’s Voco is cool, my feeling is WaveNet is much further along in development, it’s just missing the flashy live video demonstration that went viral from Adobe.

A quick summary of what WaveNet is capable of.

They trained WaveNet on a dataset of classical piano music. This dataset was generated by modeling the raw waveforms of the classical music pieces, one sample at a time with approximately 16,000 samples per second. They did not provide a musical score, structured sequence, or order, they simply allowed WaveNet to generate it’s own musical compositions based on what it learned from the music dataset. Then WaveNet takes all those many thousands of tiny audio soundwave samples and reconstructs it own compositions. Really quite amazing.

Without further ado, here’s WaveNet’s original piano compositions.

Track 1:

Track 2:

Track 3:

Track 4:

Track 5:

Track 6:

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