The five musicians that make up the band Ricki and the Flash are all top shelf players. Their credits are the stuff of legends; you hear them on the radio every day. Of the five, only bass player Rick Rosas and drummer Joe Vitale had played together before, as the rhythm section of the reunion tour for the legendary Buffalo Springfield (no relation to Rick Springfield).
Bernie Worrell is a visionary funk keyboardist and a member of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. His credits include Parliament/Funkadelic and Talking Heads. Rick Springfield is a fantastic guitarist who also played Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital.
Meryl Streep, of course, is one of the most renowned actresses in the world.
To get them to be Ricki and the Flash, we set up in the World Famous Rodeo Bar in the Murray Hill district of Manhattan. The Rodeo Bar is a long, narrow room with a brick wall behind the band. We were in a small space, and they were very LOUD.
We set up the band in an authentic club configuration and laid out the monitors for them. We used three StudioLive™ 312AI cabinets for the vocalists and keyboard position and a StudioLive 315AI for the drum wedge.
When we first set up the wedges, we decided to just use them in the standard DSP configuration. The speakers use Dave Gunness’ TQ™ (Temporal Equalization) settings to correct for the acoustical issues that arise in a coaxial design. In addition, each box has DSP settings designed to assist the user in different acoustic situations. There are four settings on the back of the speaker, accessed by a small button. The settings are: Normal (full range for front-of-house), LBR Source (for low-bit-rate digital audio, such as MP3 playback), Floor Monitor (for stage wedge), and a custom User preset.
Neil Citron is a long-time studio engineer, guitarist, and all around great guy. He ran the Mothership for Steve Vai for 15 years and is a member of the Sapphire Group, a bunch of audiophiles in Los Angeles. Neil has incredible ears and was brought in to teach Meryl guitar, be the music director, and record the performances.
Neil and I set up the wedges, supervised by Mark Wolfson, and we ran some program material through them. We really liked the sound of the default Normal setting, so we left it. As soon as the band showed up, we quickly realized that the stage mix just wasn’t “there.” A quick button-push, and the boxes were in Stage Monitor mode; they sat perfectly in the mix, with no additional EQ required.
We used one StudioLive 312AI plus one StudioLive 18sAI subwoofer per side of the “house” PA. We put the top boxes on using the SP1BK subwoofer pole; this also allowed us to steer the top box to reduce reflections off of the brick walls.
Thanks to Brad Graham, Rapco generously provided us with microphone cable and snakes to wire the stage. We wired the guitars using Radial JDX DIs to get the sound of the amplifier, not the guitar. We used Radial JDIs on the bass and keys. Thanks to Roxanne Ricks of Audio-Technica, we had A-T mics on the Leslie and hi-hat. We also used the fantastic A-T ribbons for ambient room miking. We had triggers on the drum kit; more about that later.
Here were the basic challenges:
I’ll get into the recording aspect in the next part.
I need to give major props to Gary Goetzman, the producer, who took five musicians who had not played together before (with the exception of the rhythm section) and turned them into a real band in two weeks. Everyone was at the top of their game, and the professionalism of the band and producer really shone through.
Hello everyone, I’m Phil Garfinkel, the Special Projects Liaison for PreSonus® Audio Electronics. I’m writing about the shooting of a new movie, Ricki and the Flash, discussing the PreSonus products that we used and how we used them.
First, a little about the film: Ricki and the Flash stars Meryl Streep as Ricki, an aspiring rock star who leaves the Midwest to “make it” in California. Her band, The Flash, features the talents of Rick Springfield on guitar, Bernie Worrell on keyboards, Joe Vitale on drums, and Rick Rosas on bass.
We set up the band in an authentic club configuration, with plenty of PreSonus equipment to reinforce their sound. We recorded with Capture™ and used Studio One® to create reference recordings. I was on site as the PreSonus tech, mixing the live show.
Here is a quick overview of what we used from PreSonus:
The movie is directed by Jonathan Demme and produced by Gary Goetzman and Marc Platt, all Oscar winning veterans. Jonathan and Gary wanted the band to play, not just pretend to play along to tracks; I was brought in to mix front-of-house and monitors and to take a 32-track feed to capture the music as it happened.
We faced some unusual challenges. Thanks to teamwork and a mutual obsession for excellence (and some pretty great gear), Mark, Neil, and I worked through it to help Jonathan and Gary make an excellent soundtrack for the film.
Special thanks to Roxanne Ricks at Audio-Technica for helping us get high quality microphones and wireless systems, Peter Janis at Radial Engineering for getting us some fantastic Direct Boxes, and Brad Graham at Rapco-Horizon for helping with cable needs.
Thanks also to my cohorts in audio-land, Mark Wolfson and Neil Citron, who led the charge for this journey. Also Jeff Pullman, C.A.S, the film’s Production Sound Mixer, who worked with us.
Ricky and the Flash opens in theaters everywhere on August 7.
Here’s the deal… when you buy and register an AudioBox iOne you automatically get Studio One 3 Artist, which is a tremendous value. But now through September 30th, 2015 you will also get Progression 3.
That’s a screamin’ deal…you basically get the audio interface for the price of the software…and it’s the perfect recording solution for guitarists and singer songwriters.
The AudioBox iOne allows you to record your vocals and guitar (or anything else) at a sterling 96 kHz. You can use it with Studio One 3 on your laptop or desktop computer, or record directly to your iPad using Capture Duo (which is a free download from iTunes). Capture Duo also allows you to wirelessly zap your recordings over to Studio One 3 for editing and mixing.
Once your recording is in Studio One 3, you can add all kinds of distortion, amp simulations and effects via Ampire and our other Native plug-ins. And thanks to Impact, and a nice collection of backing loops, you’ll even be able to create drum tracks and produce full songs.
Last but not least, for the more tablature-minded set, Progression 3 will allow you to create guitar and bass tablature, lead sheets, and standard sheet music with an intuitive fingerboard interface.
All told, this is a lot of power for not a lot of cash.
From August 1 through October 31, 2015, customers who buy any StudioLive AI console mixer will also get automatically upgraded to Studio One 3 Professional. If you’re looking for a professional studio solution (even in your very own home), this is the way to go.
StudioLive AI Mixers make a great choice for studio production work for 3 reasons: great sound, flexibility, and software integration.
Let’s Start with Great Sound
Flexibility For Every Studio Environment
Tight Software Integration
Benefits of the Studio One / StudioLive Connection
The StudioLive AI mixers and Studio One 3 play very nicely together. In fact, any settings you make in the StudioLive’s Fat Channel during recording are non-destructive—these settings can be imported into your Studio One session for additional tweaking during your mix process. Furthermore, StudioOne includes template configurations for all of our mixers and interfaces, so once you’ve connected the StudioLive to your computer and fired up Studio One, you’ve only got to make about two clicks before you’re recording. Smart stuff!
With all the additional effects, instruments, editing and Sound Design capabilities (like parallel processing FX chains) that come with the auto upgrade to Studio One 3 Professional. The StudioLive Production Suite is the ultimate solution for your recording studio (while still an incredible solution for live sound production and recording).
This offer is available worldwide. Just get yourself a StudioLive AI before October 31 2015, and you’ll receive a download link for Studio One 3 Professional in your my.presonus.com account when you register your mixer.
Johnny Geib is a longtime PreSonus forum honcho and all-around brand ambassador. He’s an authority on home recording, particularly with Studio One and the StudioLive mixers. While he’s known for his YouTube video series and Skype lessons, his IMSTA FESTA talk will be is a great opportunity to learn from Johnny firsthand. Here’s a quick course overview of what you can expect to learn:
The International Music Software Trade Association (IMSTA), an international non-profit organization hosts IMSTA FESTA in Chicago on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at SAE Institute, 820 N. Orleans Street, Chicago. IMSTA’s principal mission is to conduct public education about piracy in the music software space.
The FREE event is open to music makers of all genres and levels including songwriters and music technology professionals, semi- professionals, amateurs, hobbyists, students and educators. Take master workshops, experience new products, network with industry pros.
Aspiring songwriters in any genre are invited to enter a songwriting contest by July 4, 2015. Chicago regional winners announced at IMSTA FESTA. Click here to learn more about contest rules or how to enter radio ready songs. Winner of the International song competition will have the chance to win a FREE trip to BlackRock Studios in Santorini, Greece.
Well the news is finally out, the next standard in creative music production, Studio One 3 is now available. We launched the new version of Studio One with a series of three epic webcasts.
Version 3 is a massive release. There’s so much to say about it that each webcast is a little different. Each webcast features a live demonstration of all the new features, but the Hamburg and Los Angeles sections cover different topics. Plus, each webcast kicks off with an amazing performance by Brady Blade and friends, who warmed the online crowds up live from the PreSonus Studio.
If you’re not crazy enough to watch them all, we’ve provided a table of contents below each embedded video to help you decide which webcast to watch.
Here’s Ralf from KRASHKARMA showing us how he uses Automation tracks in Studio One to send MIDI Control Change messages to his Kemper Profiler amp. This allows him to automate his pedal changes, solo volume, and whammy/wah effects—all synchronized to the song since the band plays to a click track. Great stuff, thanks Ralf!
[This just in from Stefan Kengen of 4Sound, in Copenhagen. He produced a great house track in Studio One Professional 2—but the REALLY interesting thing is he did it all using stock Native Plug-ins and bundled loop content. He’s shared the .Song file via DropBox, which you can get by clicking here. Open it in Studio One Professional 2, pick it apart, and learn some of Stefan’s tricks! An added bonus of using Native Plug-Ins and bundled loop content: the filesize is a mere 426k!]
UPDATE 6/15/15—Stefan has created a version of this song that is compatible with Studio One 3. You can get it by clicking here.
PreSonus: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Stefan. Tell us a little about yourself and your history in the music business.
Stefan Kengen: The pleasure is all mine. I’ve been active in the music industry for over two decades as a sales rep in both retail and wholesale, education, production and songwriting. I co-wrote and produced a bunch of Euro-Dance and Pop albums in the 90’s and early 00’s, but these days it’s more about having fun and helping others realize their musical dreams than the pursuit of personal stardom.
P: How did you first come into contact with Studio One?
SK: When Studio One was initially launched a few people in Denmark raised an eyebrow including myself. Most people went “Really? Another DAW?” But with the advent of version 2, and big stars like Teddy Reilly raving about it, people started giving it a shot and in a very short period of time, Studio One has become a household name around here.
P: What are the primary reasons for this in your opinion?
SK: Besides the obvious focus on more promotion and a very competitive price point, the overarching reason in my view is the ease of use despite the high level of complexity. The work flow is very fast and efficient. I come from Cubase and I felt at home in Studio One immediately. This is not just because the guys behind it are also some of the original Cubase programmers—We have Pro Tools and Logic customers in the store who feel the same way. I think the designers have succeeded in taking the essence of what makes each of the other great DAWs out there good and combined that into one, sleek and elegant package.
But besides that, what continues to blow me away is the sound quality of the audio engine. I know there’s a lot of subjectivity involved, but I can honestly say that my mixes sound much tighter, more leveled and punchier in Studio One than they ever did in any other DAW I have worked with. I think it has a lot to do with the quality of the stock plugs and the 64 bit float summing. Everybody basically needs three types of good-sounding processors: Dynamics, EQ and Reverb. The Studio One Compressor, Pro EQ, Open AIR and Room Reverb all sound absolutely amazing, and even the scaled down versions in the entry-level Studio One Artist-version are very good compared to the competition.
P: You use a lot of RedLight Dist, Pro EQ, automation and side-chaining in your track. Can you talk a little about how you built the mix and what you used?
SK: I made the track to showcase how well the aforementioned important plug-ins, as well as the free content, sound in Studio One. You can talk about something all day long, but in the end a live sound demo in the store makes much more sense to any potential customer. So I make heavy use of the Pro EQ, not just as an individual channel EQ, but also as a master filter. It is so smooth and transparent, that you can make really cool lo/hi cut sweeps and even resonating effects that simply sound awful with most other digital EQ’s. And because it is literally a breeze to automate any parameter in Studio One, it just begs to be played with and taken to the extreme.
It can be difficult in other DAWs to set up side-chaining, but in Studio One it’s very simple and almost self-evident. I love the fact that all the dynamics plugins have a side-chain button and the Studio One (Producer/Professional) Compressor is a real jack of all trades. I can almost always get it to respond in a musical way when doing that typical 4 on 4 ducking effect that is so popular these days. It may seem trivial, but this can be a real pain to get right in other DAWS, unless you add expensive 3rd party compressors. This effect is very obvious on the Bass and Chords tracks in the song, whose side-chained Compressors are triggered by the kick.
It’s great to have a pro level impulse response reverb plug in the form of OpenAIR, but I must admit that the quality of the algorithm based Room Reverb has me picking up my jaw from off of the floor every time I use it. Not only can it do those long, never ending, lush caverns you normally need an expensive Lexicon for, it can also do those real tight, almost undetectable room placements that very few plugins can without sounding like a bad chorus effect. The only thing I sometimes miss in it is some modulation options, but then I think about how easily I can just automate e.g. the ‘Population’ and ‘Plane’ parameters with some random LFO curves and presto! Instant luxury!
The RedLight Distortion is another stroke of genius in my view. It’s a really useful coloration tool when you want to add some beef or grit to stale sounds, and it can be made to scream your ears off without sounding digital, unless you want it to. Unlike many other distortion plugs, the RedLight Distortion always sounds very rich and powerful and all of the different distortion algorithms have their uses. I use it on many tracks in the song, with both subtle and more extreme settings. In the build-up towards the outtro I dial in some Ampire, which is also very good at making things messy in a cool way. In Studio One I never have to worry about mono/stereo operation of plugins, and I’ve never experienced any phasing issues either, which can sometimes occur in other DAWS when you get overly creative.
P: Thanks a lot for your input and thanks again for sharing your song and your thoughts on Studio One.
SK: Thanks. Anytime.