Adventures In Modern Recording

As you probably know, I’ve been the engineer for the live studio sessions on The Folk Show for quite some time now…it’s a funny story of how I came about this position and how it has affected my work at XPN

Initially, I had no interest in learning how to use the mixing console…I didn’t want to go into audio production, so I didn’t want to concern myself with something that I wouldn’t be using in an on-air position…as it turns out, I had to learn how to use the board because the fella who was the engineer at the time was going to be leaving…I was chosen as his successor because I had be there the longest of the other production guys and it seemed like I was going to be around the longest…as it turns out, learning how to work with the board wasn’t that difficult (it’s the musicians that are difficult to work with!)…before long, I was mixing sessions by myself, and I’m even showing a new production assistant how to mix sessions (don’t worry, I’m not leaving any time soon, but it’s good to have more than one person around who can mix a session)…

As it turns out, learning how to use the mixing board was one of the most beneficial things I’ve done for my radio career (and not just for The Folk Show)…somehow, word got around to the XPN people (the Folk Show team is only at the station on Sunday nights) that I was mixing sessions…from there, I was offered the chance to do the live mix for the Kids Corner stage at this past summer’s festival, and mix sessions for shows other than the Folk Show…a few weeks ago, I mixed the band [ism] for a Y-Rock session…the set-up was rather similar to the ones I’m used to on the Folk Show…that is, all acoustic guitars and a small drum kit…it wasn’t that demanding of a session, so it wasn’t that hard to mix…

This past Friday, [XPN afternoon host/Y-Rock program director] Jim McGuinn comes into the Y-Rock studio during my shift and asks if I would be available to mix a session with the band Darker My Love (they opened for The Dandy Warhols at the TLA this weekend)…of course I was willing to do so, not realizing how immensely different this session would be in comparison to all the other ones I’ve done…Darker My Love are a psychedelic/shoegaze type of band, but are also quite poppy…because their records are very heavy with reverb, they wanted a similar effect in this session…they also had a few requests on how to ‘pan’ the instruments (that means how heavily skewed to the right or left channels in stereo)…in the end, I think I learned a lot about how I can experiment a bit more with what I already know, benefiting both the Y-Rock sessions that I mix as well as the Folk Show sessions…

This Thursday, I’ll be mixing Philadephia blues/rock duo Victor Victor Band…it’s kind of funny because the band and I share a friend in Steve D, and guitarist Jamie Victor has e-mailed me before thanking me for playing them on my show…

I guess the moral of the story is that you should take every opportunity to learn something new, because it just might be the thing that gets you the furthest and you’ll always……..

…holy crap, All Tomorrow’s Parties was at Kutscher’s


Lyric of the Time:
And if the enemy don’t see it your way
Be smart, play dead, live to fight a new day
And vive le rock


~ by E. on September 23, 2008.

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