Archive for September, 2014

4D Sound: Ableton


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The Making Of Machine Head's "Unto the Locust"

Machine Head is an American metal band from Oakland, California. Formed on October 12, 1991, the group was founded by vocalist and guitarist Robb Flynn and bassist Adam Duce. The current lineup of the band comprises Flynn, drummer Dave McClain, guitarist Phil Demmel, and bassist Jared MacEachern. Machine Head is one of the pioneering bands in the New Wave of American Heavy Metal.

Machine Head was formed by member Robb Flynn, previously part of the bands Forbidden and Vio-lence. Flynn felt musically unfulfilled with Vio-lence and requested to start a side project. When his request was denied, he left the band and formed Machine Head in 1991 with Adam Duce, Logan Mader and Tony Constanza. The band’s first album Burn My Eyes, was a big success in Europe where it garnered attention on MTV’s Headbangers Ball. In America (with HBB taken off the air during the grunge movement) Machine Head would not have success until later albums.

The band nearly disbanded in 2002 after negotiating off its label Roadrunner Records, when controversy surrounding Machine Head’s fourth album Supercharger (released 3 weeks after September 11, 2001) resulted in their songs and music video for the song “Crashing Around You” (which featured burning buildings) being pulled from all media outlets. The band re-signed with Roadrunner soon after and has released three albums since, 2003’s Through the Ashes of Empires, 2007’s The Blackening (which earned Machine Head its first Grammy Award nomination) and 2011’s Unto the Locust. Machine Head have sold over 3 million records worldwide. Continue reading →

The EQ

In sound recording and reproduction, equalization is the process commonly used to alter the frequency response of an audio system using linear filters. Most hi-fi equipment uses relatively simple filters to make bass and treble adjustments. Graphic and parametric equalizers have much more flexibility in tailoring the frequency content of an audio signal. An equalizer is the circuit or equipment used to achieve equalization. Since equalizers, “adjust the amplitude of audio signals at particular frequencies,” they are, “in other words, frequency-specific volume knobs.”

Equalizers are used in recording studios, broadcast studios, and live sound reinforcement to correct the response of microphones, instrument pick-ups, loudspeakers, and hall acoustics. Equalization may also be used to eliminate unwanted sounds, make certain instruments or voices more prominent, enhance particular aspects of an instrument’s tone, or combat feedback (howling) in a public address system. Equalizers are also used in music production to adjust the timbre of individual instruments by adjusting their frequency content and to fit individual instruments within the overall frequency spectrum of the mix. Continue reading →

Iron Man 2's soundtrack in the Making

Iron Man 2: Original Motion Picture Score is the soundtrack to the 2010 film of the same name directed by Jon Favreau. It was released on July 20, 2010, featuring 25 tracks. John Debney composed the musical score for Iron Man 2 along with Tom Morello. “Make Way for Tomorrow Today” was composed by Richard M. Sherman as an homage to his own “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”.
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Audio Compression Tutorial


Dynamic range compression, also called DRC (often seen in DVD and car CD player settings) or simply compression reduces the volume of loud sounds or amplifies quiet sounds by narrowing or “compressing” an audio signal’s dynamic range. Compression is commonly used in sound recording and reproduction and broadcasting and on instrument amplifiers. Audio compression reduces loud sounds over a certain threshold while quiet sounds remain unaffected. The dedicated electronic hardware unit or audio software used to apply compression is called a compressor. Compressors often have attack and release controls that vary the rate at which compression is applied and smooth the effect. Continue reading →

John Williams' Score for "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (released in the United States, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) is a 2001 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film, which is the first instalment in the Harry Potter film series, was written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman. The story follows Harry Potter’s first year at Hogwarts as he discovers that he is a famous wizard and begins his magical education. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, with Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. It is followed by seven sequels in total, beginning with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Warner Bros. bought the film rights to the book in 1999 for a reported £1 million. Production began in the United Kingdom in 2000, with Columbus being chosen to create the film from a short list of directors that included Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner. J. K. Rowling insisted that the entire cast be British or Irish, in keeping with the cultural integrity of the book. The film was shot at Leavesden Film Studios and historic buildings around the UK.

The film was released in the UK and US in November 2001. It received positive critical reception, made more than $974 million at the worldwide box office, and was nominated for many awards, including the Academy Awards for Best Original Score, Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. As of August 2014, it is the 21st highest-grossing film of all time and the second highest-grossing film in the series behind the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.
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Mary J. Blige

Mary Jane Blige (/ˈblaɪʒ/; born January 11, 1971), known professionally as Mary J. Blige, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and actress. Starting her career as a background singer on Uptown Records in 1989, Blige released her first album, What’s the 411?, in 1992, and has released 11 studio albums since and made over 150 guest appearances on other albums and soundtracks.

A recipient of nine Grammy Awards, in addition to receiving a record of thirty Grammy nominations, eight of Blige’s albums have reached multi-platinum status in the United States. My Life, in particular, is considered among the greatest albums ever recorded according to Rolling Stone, Time, and Vibe. For her part in combining hip-hop and soul in the early-1990s and its subsequent commercial success, Blige received the Legends Award at the World Music Awards. Blige also received the Voice of Music Award from music publishing company ASCAP, with its official Jeanie Weems stating that “[Blige’s] music has been the voice of inspiration to women worldwide in both struggle and triumph.” Blige made Time magazine’s “Time 100” list of influential individuals around the world in 2007.

As of 2013, Blige has sold more than 50 million albums and 15 million singles worldwide. Billboard ranked Blige as the most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years. The magazine also lists her 2006 song “Be Without You” as the top R&B song of the 2000s, as it spent an unparalleled 15 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In 2011, VH1 ranked Blige as the 80th greatest artist of all time. Moreover, she is ranked number 100 on the list of “100 greatest singers of all time” by Rolling Stone magazine. In 2012, VH1 ranked Blige at number 9 in “The 100 Greatest Women in Music.”

Blige also earned high remarks for her work in film. She starred in the 2009 Tyler Perry box-office hit I Can Do Bad All By Myself and played a role in the film Rock of Ages, which was released to theaters in 2012. She received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her musical contribution to the film The Help. She was originally named to play music icon Nina Simone in the 2013 biopic Nina. In partnership with the Home Shopping Network (HSN) and Carol’s Daughter, Blige released her “My Life” perfume. The perfume broke HSN records by selling 65,000 bottles during its premiere. The scent went on to win two FiFi Awards, including the “Fragrance Sales Breakthrough” award.
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Ryan Adams

David Ryan Adams (born November 5, 1974) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and producer. He is best known for his prolific solo career, and as a former member of alternative country band Whiskeytown, with whom he recorded three studio albums.

In 2000, Adams left Whiskeytown and released his first solo album, Heartbreaker, to critical acclaim. The album was nominated for the Shortlist Music Prize. In 2001, Adams released the UK certified-gold Gold, which included the hit single, “New York, New York”.

He released five albums with the rock band The Cardinals and in 2009 Adams married singer-songwriter and actress Mandy Moore. Adams left The Cardinals and announced that he was taking a break from music. He resumed performing in October 2010 and released his thirteenth studio album, Ashes & Fire, on October 11, 2011. The album peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. In September 2014, Adams released his fourteenth album Ryan Adams on his PAX AM label.

Adams has also produced albums for Willie Nelson, Jesse Malin, Jenny Lewis, and Fall Out Boy, and collaborated with Counting Crows, Weezer, Norah Jones, America, Minnie Driver, Cowboy Junkies, Leona Naess, Toots and the Maytals, Beth Orton and Krista Polvere. He has written Infinity Blues, a book of poems, and Hello Sunshine, a collection of poems and short stories.
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Compumall – Original Music by soundtrackmakers.com

Kevin Michael Richardson

Kevin Michael Richardson (born October 25, 1964) is an American actor and voice actor. He is well known for his deep voice and has been playing a wide variety of characters since the early 1990s.

Among his many voice roles are Chairman Drek in the video game Ratchet & Clank, Tartarus in the video game Halo 2, Robert Hawkins in Static Shock, Kilowog in Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Trigon in “Teen Titans” and “Teen Titans Go!”, Captain Gantu in Lilo & Stitch, Bulkhead in Transformers Prime, Antauri in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, Cleveland Brown, Jr. in The Cleveland Show, Principal Brian Lewis in American Dad!, The Shredder in the 2012 incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dark Laser on The Fairly OddParents, Mr. Gus in Uncle Grandpa and many others. Continue reading →