OK, so this is more or less gonna be a continuation of my previous blog at Blogger, and a mirror of my Tumblr blog.
I make live albums, usually for artists whom you would classify as noisy breakcore aggressive electronic idm underground techno noise, but I’ve recorded everything from regular rock bands to classical ensembles and everything in between. Only the artist gets a copy of the entire recording, but I’ll post excerpts here, usually between 1 and 2 minutes.
Too often when I listen to live recordings, they are merely board tapes with applause between songs, and once the next song starts the crowd absolutely disappears. Always when this happens, my brain starts screaming to itself ‘THIS ISN’T WHAT CONCERTS SOUND LIKE! WHERE DID THE PEOPLE GO!? DID THEY INSTANTANEOUSLY CLEAR OUT OF THE ROOM? OR DOES THE VENUE HAVE ONE OF THOSE APPLAUD NOW SIGNS LIKE IN TV STUDIOS THAT ONLY LIGHTS UP BETWEEN SONGS?’ I don’t know why other people produce live albums this way, but to me it sounds totally abnormal and absurd. Live albums shouldn’t be just an attempt to recreate the studio recordings with added applause between songs. Live concert recordings should sound like a live concert.
Why would I bother posting clips? Because the recordings I make are much more than simple board tapes, which seemingly is what everybody expects. Any buffoon can make a board tape. I take it a couple steps further than that. To say it simply, I record a stereo board feed on one channel, and a stereo pair of mics in the venue on their own channel. I’ll pre-master those stereo pairs separately, then combine them again for mixdown, then master the final stereo mix. This way, from the board feed I get the fidelity and stereo separation of the music, and the mics get the sound in the room, both of the main speakers as well as the crowd. In essence, a live album. A live album that sounds significantly better than a board tape, significantly better than a bootleg, and a recording that I can have a final mix done in a matter of hours, not days or weeks.
Why don’t I post the entire recording and not just a short excerpt? Because I don’t want to deny the artist the chance to potentially put the recording up for sale, in part or in whole, on Bandcamp for example, or some similar service. Secondly, even though the performance might seem fine to me, and the resulting recording might sound as good as any live album, the artist might have their own reason(s) for wanting the full performance to remain unavailable to the public. Most often the reason I hear is that they played tracks that are yet to be released, and they’d rather the official release be the debut of those tracks, not my live recording. But ultimately, I don’t require any artist to give me a reason. The only person to get a copy of the full performance is the artist, so the decision as to the recording’s release or not is 100% theirs and nobody else’s.
I started back in the early 2000s, recording my friends when they played the clubs in LA and throughout the west coast, as well as many of the Infinite Complexity and Darkmatter Soundsystem shows (which I still do). Back in those early days, I was working with minidisc and then hand-held SD audio recorders. But nowadays I’ve got a much more pro system with proper mics and an audio interface and it’s all digitally multi-tracked and it all sounds head and shoulders better than my old recording systems. Which is sorta the motivation for me axing all the old samples and rebooting the blog with only the new ones. The old recordings were cool and all, but the quality of these new recordings is so clearly superior to the old ones that I just wanted to start anew. Perhaps I’ll carry over some of those old recordings to the new blog here- just my favorites or the ones that sound extra cool or whatever.
The bad news is that now that I’m back in southern California, I don’t record as often as I’d like, or as often as I used to when I lived in Europe. But I’ll still record every chance I get. And every now and then I’ll make some field recordings just to keep me occupied and I’ll post those here on the blog as well. I use all the Mac audio software to make the recordings, and these days I’m getting into video editing a little bit with FCPX, so if I ever get video of anything worth posting, I’ll do that here too. It’s too bad there’s no easy way of streaming surround sound, because I’m a big 5.1 enthusiast and these live music recordings I make take on a whole new mind-blowing dimension in surround sound. Seriously.
Also, I hope this blog serves as an audio resumé of sorts, because like many people, I’m looking for a job. I certainly do more than just record audio too, but it’s all way too much info to post here. If you’re interested, find my details on LinkedIn or any of the big job sites or contact me through FB or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks. Hope you enjoy the music.