science for girls

February 27, 2008
Just a really nice sounding album with some good songs and great sonics.

Which is the witch

February 27, 2008
Un -compressed data or a better term: unreduced data     

One minute of unreduced stereo audio recorded at 16 bits 44,1 kHz will occupy 10MB of your harddrive space.If you record at 24/48 it’s slightly more (8.24 MB for one min/mono).          

Typical unreduced audio formats are Aif and Wav / Broadcast Wav.                                                                                               

Compressed data or a better term: data reduced  
On an Mp3, Mp4 etc the audio has been compressed and therefore greatly reduced the amount of data storage (MB) needed. This is done by removing the audio frequencies that humans can’t hear by using digital math mumbo jumbo ,) This is why we are able to store 1000 of files on an player not bigger then a box of matches.   
Audio compression
However when we talk about audio signals and compression what is refereed to is when we level out the the difference between the loud part and soft part of an signal e.g. dynamics. 
Disclaimer: This should not be taken as a fully technical in – depth super geek overview of either Data reduction or Audio compression. This is just a quick and small guide for those who stumbled over these two terms and got a bit confused by the polysemy.

The ICMP control room

February 27, 2008

A small DIY project. Although as it turns out it was quite time consuming but fun! A more detailed description on how to make the absorber can be found here

First paint it all white.


IKEA Ribba frame

IKEA Ribba
Get some Rockwool 

and some IKEA felt 
It’s all coming together
The Control Room! 

Slippery slope of gear lust.

February 5, 2008

I need to give this place a tad more tlc. Oh well best laid plans and all that. Anyhoo if you’re thinking of getting some recording gear CDM have the answer to all those questions you always wanted to ask but was always too afraid to.

New York compression

October 19, 2007

In the last few years the technique of parallel compressing drums have become increasingly popular. The idea is to get a “fat & compressed sound”on the drums without suffering the audio degradation that comes with compressing a signal heavily. This technique is also known as New York compression and this is how it set up.

Set up a send on all the drum tracks sending to Buss 1 or any free bus. On the return buss instantiate a compressor, Set a fairly high ratio, 10:1 or higher. A fast attack and a medium slow release are pretty usual but play with it until it sounds good. Now add a EQ after the compressor and boost a couple of db’s of gain around 10K and the same on the low end and blend to taste with the original signal.

Adding the bass on a send to the compressor buss usually work well too.

If you’re on Tools or working on a console then just buss the drums straight without using sends.

Moving projects between platforms

October 19, 2007

Moving song files between platforms is pretty straightforward but it requires a bit of planning (and usually a bit of trial & error).

Moving projects by consolidating files.

Probably the most reliable way of moving songs between platforms is to make sure all tracks have the same starting point ( i/e bar: and then bounce them all to individual audio files . However even if the source app has a “Bounce all tracks” feature, writing down and then setting up all insert and f/x settings again in the new app this can be fairly time consuming.

But with a bit of planning and what’s know as “printing to stems” we can save some time and make sure we’ll get to the pub before last orders.

Let’s say we’re moving a project to another studio in order to record some bass. In the below screenshot the drums have been mixed together to one stereo file (stem) and all the rest of the music to another. The bass have been left on it’s own individual file so we can mute it once the the bass player have learned how to play it. The point of splitting the music and the drums is so we can adjust the level of the drums to suit the bass player preferences.


If we’re recording vocals, guitars etc or programming drums/virtual instruments instead just set up the file accordingly.

Make sure that you note the BPM of the song and that all files are bounced with the same bit and sample rate. Do not use 32 bit files when moving in between platforms as some apps (Pro Tools, Logic) only allows you to import 16 and 24 bit files. The benefit of using 32bit files outside of an app is also highly questionable. When moving between Windows and OSX or vice versa stick to Wav/Broadcast Wav as file format.

Moving projects using OMF .

If your application supports OMF (Open media format) this can be used when moving projects. OMF comes as version 1 or 2 and although most applications understands both always double check that the app your moving to actually do.

The benefit of using OMF is that we don’t have to bounce all the tracks from the same starting point.


Here the the “stem” example file have been exported from Logic as an OMF file and then imported into Cubase. Notice that the individual audio regions have automatically been placed at the correct position on the time line.

Unfortunately OMF can only be used to export audio files it will not work on midi files and plug ins. To move midi files you need to save them separately as .mid files.

Bouncing or glueing?

Bouncing all the instrument and audio tracks in real time can understandably take more time then we are prepared to spend, although bouncing in real time is preferable to “offline” bouncing.

Instead we can opt to glue the audio regions straight in the arrange window. Just place a short snippet of audio/empty region in the beginning ( at bar of the song and then glue it together with the rest of the file. Rinse & repeat for each track.


September 18, 2007


The third installment of 5 classic Stevie records from the early 1970ths.

Ultra cool footage of Stevie’s tweakage with Robert Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil courtsey of Musicthing