Posted on September 3, 2018
Hey guys & dolls!
For those of you who are as yet unfamiliar with Kingscastle, they are a super-unique indie rock band based out of upstate NY, with members in NJ and AZ, as well. I first had the privilege to work with them on their prior record, entitled “Seven Levels.” This was back in 2007, or so.
Fast-forward a decade, and I found myself digging through archived sessions in my studio hard drives, and I happened upon a little tune called “Covered Coffins.” I open the session and just start messing around with sounds and looking back with nostalgia at this ancient workflow of mine. Before long, I had a fresh mix that I thought sounded pretty cool and a bit more “relevant” for modern production, if you will. So, I randomly contact frontman, Michael Thornton on Facebook and send him the mix. Lo and behold, he digs it and explains that my timing couldn’t be more coincidental, as he and co-founder/guitarist, Zack Malecki have been toying around with finishing up older, albeit incomplete material and were looking to put together another record!
Needless to say, this was pretty cool to hear. Mike then subsequently invited me to partake in mixing several of the new songs. Also, I need to give a special shout-out to engineer/mastering engineer, Joshua “Mirk” Mirsky for his work on this record. He and Mike Thornton are also in a local (upstate NY) band called Mirk that you should absolutely check out!
Lastly, if any studio nerds out there are wondering what gear went into the mixing side of this production, I used a healthy combination of Waves, UAD and Slate Digital, for the most part. All with Avid ProTools 12.4 on a 2012 MacBook Pro running OS Yosemite (I promise to upgrade after I’m done with the next record!)
The songs I mixed are:
- New Colossus
2. Covered Coffins (2018 Remix)
3. Shadows From The Fire
4. Hostage Situation
5. Finding You
7. Every Little Thing
9 . Different Rivers
Please visit the link below to check out the full album and I hope you enjoy!
Until next time!
Updated on November 23, 2017
Hey Guys & Dolls!
I am pleased to finally announce the release of the new instrumental record, “Mixed Signals” by the illustrious Carm Grasso out of Ballston Spa, NY! If you’re a fan of 80s or just general progressive shred guitar, you should definitely pick up a copy of this record, as there’s a wealth of influences by Satch, Vai, Petrucci and the rest of the shred kings. I had the honour and glorious task of co-producing and ultimately mixing this record and the final touches were added by veteran mastering engineer, Andy VanDette. A special shout-out to backing band consisting of Dan Hawkins (bass), Chris Allan (drums) and Max Saidi (drums). Just a quick note for all the guitarists out there, all electric guitar sounds you’re hearing are accomplished via the Roland/Boss COSM effects system in the BR8/16 multi-track recording systems.
Without further adieu, please feel free to check out the back story of the record:
Additionally, here’s an interview segment with yours truly, regarding my role in the record:
Thanks again for reading and watching. We hope you enjoy the record!
‘Til next time!
Updated on May 8, 2017
Greetings Guys & Dolls!
It is with great pride that I’m able to announce that the latest record by my buddies in Corevalay is out now and available for digital purpose via iTunes and CD Baby, as well as physical copies from the band’s website! As usual, mixing this record was a labour of love, as I’ve been working with these guys for about 6 years now, across essentially three different records. It’s amazing to see how they’ve progressed as writers and as a band in their native North Jersey Rock scene!
Please take a moment to check out their lyric video for the song “Rewind” below and be sure to grab your copy TODAY!
Last but not least, I can’t thank my friend and colleague, Andy VanDette (Deep Purple, Devin Townsend, Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker, etc), enough for lending his talents as mastering engineer on this record!
Thanks again for reading and until next time!
Updated on February 20, 2017
Greetings, Ladies & Germs!
For any of you out there who might be using Positive Grid’s Bias FX software with a Universal Audio Apollo interface, you may have come across difficulty getting signal or finding the appropriate I/O settings to use. Here’s why and how to fix it!
Essentially, the way an Apollo interface’s routing is set up (I am referring to the rack models and this may not pertain to the Twin models), it adds a “null slug” in the first two I/O slots, so that means all your inputs are bumped two spaces over (this happens automatically within Avid ProTools once it’s set up the first time). However, when using the Apollo as your input with the Bias FX standalone app, this is not automatically accounted for (I pulled a good portion of my hair out before I fully realised what was happening!).
That being the case, here are three steps to properly set this up:
Open your UA Console application (V2-firewire is pictured). You’ll see that I have PT Mode toggled. For the sake of consistency (and for the following steps) leave it on:
Next, open your Bias FX app and go to the “audio settings” menu. Make sure that you only have inputs 3 and 4 selected. Via PT Mode in the UA Console application, inputs 3-4 will directly correspond to inputs 1-2 on your Apollo hardware interface:
Now, plug your instrument cable into Hi-Z jacks 1-2 on your hardware interface and you should get some input signal on the “test” meter:
If you have any further questions on this topic, please feel free to email me!
Thank for reading and I hope you found this information useful!
Updated on February 20, 2017
Greetings, Ladies & Germs!
In the follow video, I take you through the step-by-step process of using Markers to create a permanent timeline selection as a key-stone for all your mix prints. As you’ll see, this is a huge time-saver over constantly having to make sure you’ve selected all the audio clips that need to be included within the specified bounce!
If you have any further questions on this procedure, please leave it in the comments section below this video on my YouTube Channel!
Thanks again for watching and until next time!
-Danny ‘Danymal’ Lee
Posted on November 14, 2016
Greetings, Ladies & Germs!
Ever since I first entered the music program at the one and only Suny SCCC back in 1999, I’ve often wondered about practice and more specifically, rehearsal technique. The context in which I thought of this, was both in the arena of a classical guitar ensemble and as a member of a rock/metal band. Though, back in high school, one of my band directors made a very deliberate point one day about the very word “rehearse.” “It means to “re-HEAR,” he explained. In other words, learn the material on your own time and come to rehearsal to re-hear it as an ensemble…in context.
Now, the point I’m getting to, is in my experience of both playing in a band in rehearsal spaces and watching my clients rehearse in similar rooms/spaces, it dawned on me one day that they’re playing practically at full stage volume in a cramped little room; the singer is screaming just to be faintly audible over the PA system which is now whistling from sheer volume levels and microphone proximity to the speakers. All the while, the drummer is bashing away on cymbals right into the bassist’s ear and the guitarists are cranked at full tilt to be heard over the washes of cymbals and the rumbling bass. Does this sound at all familiar to any of you in rock bands? I thought so! Would you agree that this method seems completely and totally counterproductive to your musical endgame? I thought so!
What about spending less time in the general rehearsal space and more time rehearsing (or even writing) unplugged? I know this sounds crazy, but what you’re trying to achieve is an efficient way of learning and perfecting your own material. Consider breaking the band/ensemble into sections and playing either unplugged (that’s right: your electric guitars unplugged) or even on an acoustic guitar. I know it doesn’t sound very rock n’ roll, but electric guitars unplugged are plenty loud in a quiet situation and guess what…you can actually talk over the volume and hear what you’re playing! A drummer can be nearby jamming on practice pads as well. The atmosphere is finally quiet enough to think clearly and get down to business. Even use small practice amps at a modest level if you absolutely need the heavy distortion for proper feel or sonic reference with your material. It does work. Additionally, depending on the performance medium of your band (how many members playing each instrument and/or singing), it’s also advisable to have what are called “sectional” rehearsals. Those of you who have attended band/orchestra in secondary public school will be familiar. Essentially, you set aside times where only parts of the band meet up to rehearse. For example; perhaps the drummer and bassist are having a hard time locking as they should be, so they may arrange to rehearse the material without the other members. If you have twin guitars in your band, they may need to set aside time to work on trade-off solos, or maybe very specific harmony passages that need to be super tight…or better yet, if you have multiple vocalists and have 3 or 5 part harmony sections in a song. It can only be beneficial to the group to spend some time, only those members rehearsing said vocal parts. No need to get the entire band in a rehearsal space and waste time plowing their way through entire songs that may have several faults in the performance that need attention on an individual level.
Finally: too many times have I entered the studio or general recording situation with a band and because they’ve ONLY ever rehearsed plugged in and at stage volume, their lack of knowledge of their own material becomes shockingly apparent. Case in point, many years ago I was acting as co-producer on a tech metal band’s demo. When it came time to start tracking individual guitars, there were a lot of red flags raised during overdubs. You’d hear one of the members say “wait, why did you play that there?” To which the member in question would answer that they’ve ALWAYS played that passage at this spot in the song…BUT because they’d always rehearsal in a small room with blaring levels, neither guitarist never knew what the other was playing…ever…until they hit the studio and now we’re burning studio time second-guessing an entire section of a song’s arrangement due to totally avoidable lack of preparation. This is but one example of a situation that I’ve witnessed countless times to varying degrees of severity in the past decade or so that I’ve been doing this.
In short, your music deserves to be taken seriously by you, the writer and performer. The more time you spend treating your music seriously and like the viable art form that it is, the better results you’ll see as a band, whether it be prepping for live shows or cutting your record in the studio and everything in between. You’ll have more confidence in your music, performance and that will translate to the perception of your adoring fanbase! We’re all in this business together and if my clients are successful, I’m successful.
Thanks for reading and until next time!
Posted on April 21, 2016
This past Tuesday, April 12th, I had the pleasure of tracking drums and some bass with drummer, Kevin Hall and bassist Chris DeMarco, for Pastor Scott Lumley’s forthcoming record entitled “Psalm Songs,” at their Calvary Capital District church.
Due to circumstances outside of our control, as mentioned in a prior blog, we had to track guitars and vocals first. This past session, we were finally able to lay drum tracks and some of the bass. Remote tracking is always very tricky, as you’re in an environment not meant for this (acoustically and logistically), however with some practice and repetition, it can absolutely be executed with desirable results.
For this particular session, I employed my faithful (and original) Universal Audio Apollo Duo interface, along with my long-time PreSonus Digimax LT 8-channel ADAT preamp and an API 3124, 4-channel preamp that a former guitar teacher was kind enough to lend me. The API was employed on kick, snare and bass tracks, though I like to split the kick and snare between multiple preamps, as I tend to at LEAST double-mic the kick and sometimes, triple-mic the snare (dynamic and condenser on top, with a third mic on the bottom). The built-in Apollo preamps mainly served on my OH and hi-hat tracks, while the 8-channel ADAT preamp handled the additional kick, snare and tom inputs.
I originally intended to make use of Universal Audio’s unison preamp technology by way of my UA 610 and Neve 1073 emulations printed to tape, however, given the nature of the recording environment, you can never get far enough away from your drummer to be able to monitor properly where you can clearly hear what you’re doing, thus these speciality ideas will have to way for the editing and mixing phase on my workstation in my treated office in my apartment. Since I had the extra inputs available, I made use of a spot mic on the ride cymbal, as well as a “mono kit” mic (pictured below) just above the ride and kick to get a close image of the entire kit that I could later crush with limiting and distortions for extra attitude, if needed. Finally, despite my initial feelings and intentions, I ALWAYS end a drum session by having the drummer give me dedicated hits of each kit component for the purpose of sampling and layering of “clean” shots later in the mixing phase…even if I wind up using third-party drum samples by companies like Steven Slate, which is an exceedingly common practice in today’s industry.
Below, I have included select images from that session:
As this project develops, I will be creating more production and tutorial content from it, so please keep an eye out here on the blog and my YouTube Channel for updates and new postings (please feel free to subscribe!).
As always, thanks so much for reading! Until next time!
Posted on March 5, 2016
Have you ever recorded an acoustic soloist (guitar/vocal) with multiple mics and a DI (direct input) and wanted to get a little more sonic mileage out of the material?
Give this a shot:
If you liked the video content and have any suggestions or requests for future content, please feel free to shoot me an email via my Web Site, “like” the Danymal Sound page on Facebook and comment/message me there, OR subscribe to the Danymal Sound YouTube Channel.
Thanks again for reading and watching!
Updated on February 27, 2016
It’s with great pleasure that I’d like to share my friend, Bill Hall’s newest music education endeavor, known as SongLynx, Inc. It’s been a long time coming for him and co-founder, Bill Mason (software engineer).
The website (subscription-based) is built around the simple concept of video chat, but simultaneously employing multi-camera and interactive software technology! Most of us have already seen some semblance of multi-camera video chat; even to the degree of the viewer being able to pick which camera feed to monitor. The difference HERE, is the interactive aspect. Having been among the alpha testers of the software, I can vouch that the idea is simply brilliant; it employs on-screen notation staves upon which the users can, in real-time, write and share notation using either their mouse (touch pad, touch screen) or whatever pointer device they prefer, to enter the notation onto the staff and have it appear on the other user’s screen. If an example needs to be saved as a file, the software allows for export (think homework!). Oh, and this is all in addition to a live audio feed from a mic and/or instrument input device on both party’s computers!
The site also contains an introductory video that I’ve included below:
Additionally, like any other company, they are on Facebook. So, feel free to check out their page, give them a like and join the conversation on the world of online music instruction and what it might mean for students and teachers, alike!
‘Til next time!
Updated on January 30, 2016
In this video tutorial, I take you through a basic overview of editing, and more specifically, time adjusting an acoustic guitar performance via Avid Pro Tools “elastic audio” feature. This feature can be run real-time or rendered/processed offline (to save CPU), however, most editors will probably keep it real-time for the duration of a project, pending conditions and circumstances.
I also talk a little bit about the phase/timing relationships between the three tracks of a single acoustic guitar as with any “multi-source” instrumentation, there can be issues presented, however more so when the performer (such as in this case) can physically move during a performance, thereby slightly altering their given proximity from each separate mic. Things to think about when performing such edits!
Danny ‘Danymal’ Lee