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What do y'all do?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Nate Tschetter, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member


    A good topic to kick around every so often. Keyboardists and synth programmers tend to get pretty interesting gigs every now and then so I thought I'd start a thread to see what it is you hep cats do. Do you play gigs? Do studio dates? Design sounds? Sample?

    Let us know what you do. I'll come back in awhile and tell you what I'm up to.
  2. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    Hmm! How should I answer this one?

    Let's see, I compose and record some TV program music, have a steady weekend jazz gig and do private affairs/parties. Doesn't sound so glamorous, but it keeps me busy.
  3. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Let's see...

    During the day I record and edit the audio for business briefings. There is a four camera "TV Studio" on site with lots of nice Avid and Sony gear. I work on a Pro Tools HD1 System with a Pro Control console. Boring, but it's a paycheck.

    The rest of the time I freelance. Lo/no budget video/film sound design, voice-overs and Hip-Hop in my studio, and work other studios in the area, mostly Digital Performer, ADATS or analog, tracking, editing and mixing. I also consult on putting together project studios. I even do some MIDI programming and synth/sampler programming for local live performers.

    Hey, it's a living and even fun once in a while...

    Uncle Bob


    Every act of creation is first an act of destruction - Pablo Picasso
  4. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) Nate, here's what I do with midi, programming, tracking and producing music for video. Because I am a producer, and editor of much of what I do, I have the concept advantage to build a piece to work hand in hand with the images, and voices.

    This is so much fun. I can place parts of the music exactly where I want. I also have the advantage of the video side, to merge the parts and make the music every bit as important as the video.

    Of course there are plenty of routine daily things as my Uncle Bob has mentioned, but when it comes to one of these type productions, it more than makes up for it.

    I also like to create an image with theme, opens, breaks, interludes, credit rolls, etc., for shows that run 15 to 30 programs. If another group results, I can modify the older to a new flavor, but still have that recognizable ring to them.

    I use midi, and sequencing for the timing and percussion mostly. I use midi as control to my sound mods, but cut unsequenced real time tracks at 24/44 for a more live feel, with all the midi recording controls in operation.

    From the project studio, I bring it back to the editing studio on CD, and assemble the production. In the case of the programs, the CD's are thumbed realtime, as we may do 30 part series in a weeks time, start to finish with an entire crew, live to tape.

  5. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member


    Interseting responses so far, let's hear more!

    OK, here's what I do.

    Play in lots of different groups around LA. I'm a Jazz, R&B, Funk and Latin guy so those are the sort of gigs I play.

    I have a bunch of songwriters I record. This is the main reason I posted this topic. When I do project, I end up wearing a lot of "hats". That is, the recording hat, the arranging hat, the programming hat, the producing hat and the playing hat. I think this is somewhat indicitive of keyboard players (and other technically savvy musos) due to the nature of the instrument.

    The songwriting gigs are the most fun. Some days its all programmed, other days I find myself playing accordion or "saloon" piano...its always fresh.

    Over the years, I've done work for musical instrument and pro audio manufacturers as a sound designer. Its very interesting work. My first project for Yamaha back in 1991 was done on a prototype that looked like a Radio Shack experiment gone wrong. Buggy hardware is no fun. Its fun work, sometimes difficult because you're being given something that no one has any idea what to do with and expected to make it "sell"...sometimes frustrating because of conflicting direction from marketing and engineering and always hectic because of impending deadlines.

    I once had a session in Japan where a guy was sitting in a running car, waiting for us to finish so he could take the mask ROM to the factory. No pressure!

    I've got a monthly thing making (don't laugh) polyphonic ringtones for cell phones. Its like building a model ship in a bottle. Not the most musically satisfying gig but it keeps me off the streets.

    Last, I just stumbled into a deal to write two books about hobbiest / prosumer audio on Mac OS X. I hope they don't suck.
  6. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) Nate, that's all very cool! Are there any Roland samples you made I might know, I have an S-50 sampling keyboard and I picked up some new sounds for it in the early 90's, I felt the Roland piano samples are some of the best I have heard, even at 12bit. How about the Dr. Rhythm drum machines? When you do the cell phone, do you have to program the oscillators?

    I am looking forward to your books! They will be great.

  7. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Hi Rick

    I've never worked for Roland so I can't say I've ever done any voicing for them. Once on a session in Japan, I played frisbee with their manual translator in Hamamatsu Castle Park.

    The development system is basically a box whose audio output goes to a dummy phone with a speaker. The box connects to a PC which runs the voicing software. I just go out of my Mac via MIDI to the PC and out of the PC with USB to the TG.

    I've found that the more limited the playback engine, the bigger the MIDI geek one has to be. Needless to say, I'm a pretty hardcore MIDI geek.

    I'd really like to get in on some Beatnik engine programming...that looks fun.
  8. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) hee hee God, I'm sorry, I have both Yam and Roland gear, and the first thing that came to into my head was Roland :d: Sorry.

    I think some of the phone sounds are cool. Do you get to to do some of the recognizable ones, like "close encounters of the third kind" or John Carpenters, open for Halloween, like, di da da di da da di da de da etc. Or are you restricted?

    How much processing do you do to a sample, especially when you have to consider live vs. recording, stage amp vs. line input?

    I find some, not yours, that I know of, a little bottom heavy, I know there must be a reason. Also, why are keyboard, and drum machine outputs set at like -15 to -20 db? I was thinking that it was because they could be used with a high gain input, like guitar amp, as well as a console. Any tweeks in some of these boxes to get a real +4db? That would be cool. Sorry for so many questions.

  9. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member


    "I think some of the phone sounds are cool. Do you get to to do some of the recognizable ones, like "close encounters of the third kind" or John Carpenters, open for Halloween, like, di da da di da da di da de da etc. Or are you restricted?"

    I'm doing all covers. Each month, I get a batch of mp3s and I do a 30 second arrangement of the tune.

    "How much processing do you do to a sample, especially when you have to consider live vs. recording, stage amp vs. line input?"

    Waveform dynamics and processing is along the same line as pop music.

    I wish they'd do more voicing in mono so I only have to lug one speaker to small gigs like "jazzuals". I'm afrad my current rig doesn't do it for me in mono. It sounds...I dunno..."small". I think that's because of the effects more than anything.

    Bass heavy...sure. That's one way to make your synth sound bigger than your competition. It also makes the user sound good when they're playing by themselves. It sucks when you take it on a gig or try to use more than one instrument in a track.

    Thankfully, many manufacturers are putting EQ controls on the front panel. That's nice.

    Dunno about the operating levels...I thought they always tried to make them as hot as possible. I wish they'd make the outputs balanced but I haven't seen that since the TX816.
  10. Peake

    Peake Guest

    Hey all.

    I've done sound design for synths for years, and a little music and recording/mixing on the side, and some sampling of my analog modulars as well.

    A pic of a temporary setup, hope this doesn't mess up the page formatting:


    Moog Modular, Technosaurus Selector modular, Buchla 200 modular, ADAM S4c monitor.
  11. Peake

    Peake Guest

    Oh.. I also worked at Alesis for six years and helped to specify and develop the Andromeda analog polysynth.
  12. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member


    Very cool! But, your link didn't work...I want to see the Buchla!
  13. Peake

    Peake Guest

    This should work:

  14. sioux

    sioux Guest

    Let me kiss your toes. I just bought the Andromeda a few weeks ago. It is without a doubt the best synth I've ever touched. After 20 years I finally feel like I have the right synth. Even the manual is awesome. You can tell that the design team really cared about this little project. I can't say enough about it. I'm happy happy happy.


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