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How To Build A Professional Mac OS Based Computer System for Audio

Posted by Robb Krysl

Jul 25, 2014 11:55:00 AM

Custom Built MAC OS Computers For Audio


Apple computers are the industry standard system used for Pro Audio Production in the United States, however they are very expensive. I recently was faced with a dilemma I know we all must face at some point...I needed a new Mac based audio computer but could not afford the system I desired. I found a solution to this problem that might not be for everyone, but for those of you who don’t mind a little troubleshooting, enjoy building things and love saving money, here is your answer...the Hackintosh or CustoMac. These are computer systems built from standard PC parts you source, assemble and onto which load the Mac OSX operating system. This makes for a custom system designed to your specifications that runs Mac OSX and can also function as a dual boot machine allowing you to boot into any other operating system as well.

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Topics: studio equipment

Stan Lee’s Show “Superhumans” on Location at Pinnacle College

Posted by Dan Heck

Jul 17, 2014 5:33:00 PM

Education Through Experience


The famous creator of Spiderman and The Hulk has his own show on the History Channel called “Stan Lee’s Superhumans.”  The premise of the show is to search the globe for everyday people that have special powers, skills and abilities. They have found people with extraordinary strength, the ability to conduct massive amounts of electrical current through the body, and humans with extreme mental capabilities – these are just a few of the superhumans examined in previous episodes.

The producers of the show contacted us (Pinnacle College) for the purpose of using our sonic isolation booth so that they could perform a test on a person that has the ability to recall dates in history, faster than a computer. We agreed that they could use our isolation booth and our studios for their location shoot. When the producers, director, host and crew showed up at the Alhambra Campus, they decided they were so in love with the “vibe” of our school they wanted to change their original idea. The producers and director decided that rather than just doing a test inside the isolated studio with the host. They would rather have our students and staff go head to head against him inside one of our classrooms. We agreed to this new concept and asked our students and staff for volunteers to be on our team against a superhuman computer. As you will see in the episode we had a strong team, but not nearly strong enough.

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Topics: Stan Lee's Superhumans

Ergonomics and a Trackball in Studio Environments

Posted by Robb Krysl

Jul 6, 2014 9:00:28 PM

Ergonomics and the Audio Engineer

There are many options in today’s market when it comes to computer pointing devices. As a child of the 80’s I was brought up on a healthy dose of the mouse. Children today are being brought up with touch displays and trackpads. When it comes to professional audio however, there is a trend of using trackballs. Trackballs seem to put a lot of people off the first time they use one, as there is definitely a period of adaptation involved. However, they give the user something a mouse, trackpad and other pointing devices can’t...ergonomics. Ergonomics are something you notice the longer you work in this industry. Long hours at the computer or console can lead to aches and pains that seem inexplicable. It is also convenient to be handy with a trackball in case you ever find yourself at a facility which utilizes them solely.

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Recording Workshops at Pinnacle College

Posted by Dan Heck

Jul 6, 2014 7:33:39 AM

Gaining Real World Music Production Experience

Have you ever wondered what goes on at Pinnacle College? Is it all about hitting the books and sitting through lectures? Of course not!

Recently we have been putting together some music videos to showcase what goes on during a recording workshop. Most recently Rockero5 took part in a workshop at the Los Angeles (Alhambra) Campus of Pinnacle College. This and our other music videos, give you the listener (and watcher) an insider’s perspective to hear and see what a recording workshop is all about: producing some great music!

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Topics: Music Production

Rambling and Reasoning by a Vintage Guitar Geek!

Posted by Jeb Lipson

Jun 20, 2014 6:35:00 PM

Vintage Guitars

I have the privilege and honor of owning an insane vintage guitar collection. Insane? Yes. However, I never bought a vintage guitar I didn’t plan on playing a whole bunch. These are all working guitars!

It has been my experience that over the last 3 decades of making indie records (all genres),  that 9 out of 10 times these vintage guitars do in fact sound better, and therefore record better, than new ones. Often these old guitars cause the new instruments of my clients to find the cutting room floor, once we start over dubbing guitars!

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Topics: Random

Parallel Distortion on Bass Tracks?

Posted by Jeb Lipson

May 21, 2014 10:09:00 AM

The results can be very pleasing and ironically not what you'd expect sonically! For many decades I have been adding distortion to bass on certain rock and roll tracks to achieve a more full and sometimes ironically cleaner punchier sound. In this blog, I’ll explain my technique and why I think it works so well.

Mixing Direct Injection and Mic Signals 

I never print distortion on bass with the exception of it being part of the bass players tone. For example, some bass players play fully distorted on certain phrases of a song or the whole song for effect and that's fine, that's how I’ll record it because that's how he or she wants it! In this mix technique, I'm talking about something else very different, so for this example we will be talking about a clean electric bass on a rock and roll song. My technique for printing bass since I’m quite often still in the analog world is to blend my direct injection signal with my mic signal onto one track by bussing them together. I do this to lower overall track count and make a quieter analog recording. The technique for adding parallel distortion will certainly work for you if you have printed both a mic signal and a direct signal.

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Topics: Audio Engineering

7 Song Lyrics That Don't Mean What You Thought

Posted by Dan Heck

May 21, 2014 8:23:00 AM

Misunderstood Song Lyrics

THE BEATLES: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds “LSD”

If you think this song is about psychedelic drugs. You are wrong, at least if you take the writer’s word. John Lennon said he wrote this song based on a picture his son had drawn and that the L.S.D “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” were by pure chance. Nowhere in the song does it make reference to use or the effects of drugs or acid. It was just John feeding off his son’s imagination.

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Topics: Music

Live Sound Rituals

Posted by Jeb Lipson

May 16, 2014 3:38:41 PM

Front of House and Monitor Mixer

I've been a freelance front of house and monitor mixer for over 28 years. In that time I have had the distinct pleasure of mixing some amazing artists and shows. Junior Walker, Solomon Burke, Michigan and Smiley, The UK Subs, Mary's Danish, Jane's Addiction, Jim Bellushi, David Carradine, Black Flag, Lords of the New Church to name a few plus many festivals and street fairs, backyard parties, weddings... the list goes on and on. One thing for sure, I have NEVER had a show not come off well, and part of that is my live sound ritual.

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Topics: Live Shows

Tips For Getting the Bass Right

Posted by Dan Heck

May 13, 2014 11:38:04 AM

Mixing the Bass

The bass can be one of the more difficult instruments to get right. Not that this always falls into the tracking process, but rather in the mixing process. The lower frequencies that are generated by the bass can be difficult to fit into the mix properly. Ask any mastering engineer. What is a common problematic issue you deal with when it comes to mastering the final mixes? I can almost guarantee that the answer will be the low end.  There are many ways we can manipulate or control bass to get what we want. I will provide you with a few ideas for the next time you are battling that low end. 

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Topics: Audio Engineering and Recording Tips

The Fifth Beatle

Posted by Carter William Humphrey

May 12, 2014 1:28:00 PM

The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story. A Graphic Novel by Vivek J. Tiwary, Illustrations by Andrew C. Robinson 

Who was the 5th Beatle? Was it George Martin? Stu Sutcliffe? Billy Preston? Eric Clapton? Or, still more names: Pete Best? Jimmy Nicol? Bernard “Pretty” Purdie?

Paul McCartney has famously stated: "If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian [Epstein].”

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Topics: Bands

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