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Home » Audio Support Jobs » Diary – January 2023

Diary – January 2023

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Below is a description of all the Audio Support technical support and teaching work completed in January 2023.

Remotely connected to a private studio in Spain. Helped the client with setting up his drum kit for recording in Cubase. Talked him through the connections between his mics, his mixer and audio interface. Configured the Audio Connections page in Cubase and set up Cubase Track Presets to speed up the recording process when he’s working on his own.

Went to a specialist hospital school in South East London to deliver a private lesson to a Year 12 student starting the Rockschool Level 2 Music Production course. In our first session this term we discussed the course, the student’s prior knowledge and experience and made a plan for our upcoming sessions.

Connected with a producer client in Jersey. Discussed problems he was having with timing issues and instability using his hardware synths and Ableton. Did some experiments with his current setup and made a recommendation that he invest in a new MIDI interface rather than using USB MIDI through hubs which is a problem I’ve seen before on some Macs using Thunderbolt to USB adapters.

Connected with a composer client in Glasgow. He was having bad hissing and noise problems when recording his microphones and Arturia Polybrute through his UA Volt interface. We did some test recordings which I remotely listened to using AudioMovers. I diagnosed that the problems were likely the result of a ground loop problem so we ordered some alternative cables and a ground loop isolator from Amazon.

Went in to the specialist hospital school to deliver another lesson. The learning objectives were:

  • Identify TR and TRS jack plugs and describe common uses.
  • Identify an XLR connector and describe common uses.
  • Demonstrate editing a drum track using Logic Drummer.

Remoted into Cobham Sound studio in Surrey to help set up internal connections within the studio Mac. The brief was we needed to work out a solution to allow a three-way audio connection between the artist in the live booth, the engineer in the control room and the producer listening-in remotely. The solution involved bus tracks in Logic, the Soundflower app, a custom aggregate audio device in OSX and configuring the Zoom audio settings. Needed a bit of testing but we got it working ready for the recording session next week.

Went in to the specialist hospital school to deliver another lesson.The learning objectives were:

  • Demonstrate using the correct cables to connect a microphone and headphones to a small mixer and demonstrate setting up a clean signal path on the mixer. 
  • Demonstrate changing a time signature using Logic Pro’s global track.

On-site session in South East London helping a voiceover artist setting up and testing his new microphones and ensuring a clean signal path for recording.

Remote session with a client in Sussex. Helped him reinstall his Roland UA25 audio interface drivers which had stopped working in Windows 11. After that we looked at setting up a drum track in Reaper for him to play along with when recording his guitars.

Remote session with a client in North London. Helped him with the exporting of stem tracks in Logic to prepare for an upcoming mixing session for his band.

Went in to the specialist hospital school to deliver another lesson. The learning objectives were:

  • Create test recordings of 4 dynamic microphones in Logic Pro. Assess and compare recording quality of different microphones. 
  • Demonstrate applying a global tempo change to a song in Logic Pro.

Connected with my client in Glasgow again. The equipment we ordered last week had now arrived so I talked him through setting up the new cables and where to insert the isolator in the chain. After the setup we did some test recordings and was pleased that the hissing was gone.

Went in to the specialist hospital school to deliver another lesson. The learning objective was:

  • Identify the key differences between dynamic and condenser microphones
  • Create test recordings of 2 condenser microphones in Logic Pro

Remotely connected with a composer in London. He was having problems installing Kontakt and Spitfire Audio Libraries on external hard disks for use in Logic. Sorted out the locations for the samples and download folders and set the downloads running. Removed duplicate locations for the samples which were wasting many gigs of data on his SSD.

The next day connected again with the composer in London. Activated the licenses for his Spitfire Audio downloads and showed him how to access the instruments in Kontakt. Showed him how to set up track presets in Logic to allow him to quickly select instruments in his library.

Went to an onsite session at OSR studios in East London to help reconnect the studio cabling which had been removed in a hurry during a flood. Tested the microphones and outboard equipment to ensure no damage had occurred.

Went to K-Town rehearsal studios in Kentish Town to help a band configure their Roland FA06 keyboard to play back a custom click track and samples for an upcoming tour. Tested the setup with them and made some recommendations about how we could get a better sound by using the synth engine of the keyboard rather than the sampler.

Connected again with my client in Jersey. Helped him with setting up an iConnect MioXL MIDI interface that I recommended to help improve the MIDI timing of his hardware synths. Used Whatsapp video chat so I could see the front panels of his synths and talked him through reassigning the MIDI channel numbers to work with the new setup. Set up external instrument track presets for his synths in Ableton.

Connected with a client to help solve a problem with certain Native Instruments plugins and other AAX instruments being missing in Pro Tools. Did some experiments and found the cause of the issue was that the client was using a beta version of Pro Tools not fully qualified to run on OSX Ventura. Switched Pro Tools to using Rosetta mode until Avid brings out the updated version of PT.

Went into the specialist hospital school to deliver another lesson. This session we focused on using the learning from previous lessons to record vocals for the song we had been working on.

Connected remotely with a breathwork teacher in Spain who needed help setting up his microphones and backing tracks for an Instagram Live stream. The iPhone audio interface he was having problems with was a Roland GOMixer Pro X. Once I explained the correct cables needed and talked him through connecting them up we tested the stream and got it working.

Connected remotely with a producer from London who needed help setting up his MIDI keyboards in Logic for a live performance. He wanted certain Logic software instruments controllable by different keyboards on stage. We achieved this by configuring his Logic environment. I showed him how to do this for himself so he could repeat the setup for future Logic projects. Review from that client here:

Connected for a conversation with a long-standing client from East Grinstead to help place the order for the right cabling for his current studio setup.

Connected with another client preparing to use Logic on stage. He wanted to assign MIDI faders to adjust the levels of his instruments in the mix when performing. Controller assignments using the Learn function were not stable for him as the connections randomly stopped working. I looked at the problem using Logic’s environment page and MIDIPipe to analyse what MIDI data was going in and out of his system. I couldn’t work out why Logic was behaving as it was within the hour and said I would do a bit of further research.

Went back to North London to help my band clients configure their FA06 keyboard. Re-exported 4 of their songs in the correct format for import onto the FA06. This needed a bit of testing to ensure that the SMF files had the MIDI configured correctly. Travelled back to K-Town studios with the band to test in rehearsal conditions.

Remotely connected with a client in West London to catch up after he had completed some recording sessions I helped him prepare backing tracks for. Made a plan for how we were going to tackle the post-production stage.

Reconnected with my client having the problems with the MIDI faders. I recommended to get a stable setup we avoid using Logic’s controller assignments and ‘hard-wire’ the environment page. Spent the rest of the session setting up MIDI monitors, transformers and cabling inside the environment to convert the MIDI CC’s to achieve what he wanted.