Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You Speak, Mick Listens

 With Mo Passin (L) and Rebecca Turner (R),
Lil' Mo and Banjo Lisa's Field of Stars @ Banjo Jim's NYC
Sunday Feb 21 2010

They say that today's music listeners want to discover, listen to, and download new music easily, for free. Meanwhile, independent bands and artists struggle to find ways to keep CD and vinyl formats vital and desirable enough to merit actual fan purchase. I want to hear what YOU have to say - here's some questions - please post a comment below. At the end of this post, there will be something, maybe even a couple things, FREE for you. Wait for it...

-- How do you discover, purchase, and listen to music?
-- What price should you pay?
-- What new music are you listening to?
-- What formats / methods should be used to release music?
-- What kind of band/artist extras, behind-the-scenes items, and fan-exclusives should be available online?

Things like "Name Your Price" CD Sales at shows, and including MP3 download codes with merchandise (buy T-Shirt, CD, vinyl, get additional free songs) are ideas that have been shown to work. Can't see not trying out these practices. I'll also be doing things like... (here comes free stuff):

Recommending other releases, shows
Dare Dukes Feb 26 Union Pool, Brooklyn NY; Rockabilly Freakout Sat Feb 26 at Matty T's, LI NY; Mo Passin House Concert, Mar 7th 3pm, East Northport NY (contact me for details); Singer-Songwriter Sundays at Bay Street Theatre, March 7 and 21 5pm Sag Harbor, NY; Harlem Parlour Music Club April NYC date TBA?


Releasing new songs in early demo form
Libby Johnson recently did this in a Facebook video - think I'll try something like this soon.

Continuing"Fan-Only" free MP3 downloads at Reverb Nation for those on the mailing list


BlankWeb music player
The newest download, Feb 23, 2010: I recently bought a large diaphram microphone, and tested it courtesy of a quick vocal-and-guitar demo of "Cryin' in The Rain", Everly Brothers-style. Join the fan list, download the song, see if the microphone passed the test. Already on the email list? Type your address in the box; the robot will know you.

Thanks in advance for writing back...  MH

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mobile Recording Rig Operational

This photo details the mobile recording rig here at Lantern Sound. Nothing fancy - built to work reliably with no nonsense. An earlier post shows the roadcase. The Songtrails Radio Hour on WPKN (hosted by Caroline Doctorow & myself) have been using this rig, as have Matty Liot & The Big Up (Skip English producing), overdubbing at a band house after cutting basic tracks at the Think Tank, Hoboken NJ.


In the upper left (red) is a Roland/Edirol FA-101. It has ten channels of A/D I/O, two mic preamps, receives the main output from the Mackie console, and gets Fire-Wired to an outboard computer running recording software/format of choice. Living inside the rig is an additional LaCie 1TB hard drive, partitioned into seperate workspace and backup drives.

In the upper right (white) is an RNC1773 stereo compressor from FMC Audio. The "RNC" stands for Really Nice Compressor - this piece came recommended, and is a lot of bang for the buck. Three of these will fit in one rack space, yielding six channels (three linked pair) of compression for a total cost of around $550 US. This is often used for radio show announcer mics, and for in mono (left) mode for vocal overdubs.

The Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro mixer in the rack is used to manage inputs for the radio show: Two announcer mics, two CD players, and any other sources. The four mic preamps on the Mackie can be used independently of the console, and along with the two in the FA-101, make a total of six available simultaneously.

Ignore the Sabine rack tuner (wow, what a classic. Not.) It will leave as soon as a tube device (probably a single-channel mic pre/compressor) is purchased. The lower rack portion of the rig (not pictured) has Furman power distribution and houses a stereo power amp used to push Auratone-type recording monitors. One empty rack space is available for another device.

The figure immediately above the monitor section on the mixer is the mobile rig operations manager, "Salty Bill".  Don't be late to the session.

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