The Deli NYC #55 - Half Waif, NYC MixCon 2018


Free Mixing Advice by Top Producers

the deli

nyc emerging bands and gear

Issue #55 Vol. #3 Summer 2018

H a l f W a i f

July 21-22, 2018

mixcon 2018 sponsors

Alto Music

One of the top 10 biggest music retailers in the

United States offering low prices and attentive

customer service on a selection of quality

audio products. Alto’s success has been built

on its team of talented people, many of whom

have been here well over a decade.

Antelope Audio

Antelope Audio is a leading manufacturer of

hi-end audio interfaces, mastering-grade converters,

master clocks, FPGA FX & Mic Emulations.

Their digital audio gear caters both to the

professional and audiophile community, providing

high-definition audio thanks to the proprietary

64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking

(AFC) and Oven Controlled Jitter management.

AVID Pro Tools

Pro Tools is a technology and multimedia

digital audio workstation developed and released

by Avid Technology for PC and Mac

which can be used for a wide range of sound

recording and sound production purposes.

Avid, based in Burlington, MA, also manufactures

hardware audio peripherals for recording

and mixing.

Dangerous Music

Dangerous Music’ mission is to solve the

problems of the ‘hybrid studio’ by leveraging

the best of both worlds through their analog

summing devices. These are “knob-less mixers”

that allow engineers and recording musicians

to mix multiple signals in the analog

realm rather than the digital one.


Eventide is a NYC based audio and broadcast

company that manufactures digital audio

processors and DSP software, and guitar

effects. Eventide was one of the first companies

to manufacture digital audio processors,

and its products are mainstays in sound recording

and reproduction, post production,

and broadcast studios.

Handsome Audio

NYC’s Handsome Audio manufacture the Zulu,

the world’s first passive analog tape simulator

and “Retro Enhancer,” which delivers the musical

character of analog tape to any recordings

through five simple controls.


iZotope is an audio technology company

based in Cambridge, MA that develops pro-

Thanks to all the sponsors participating in the NYC MixCon 2018!

Here’s some info about each company!

fessional audio software for audio recording,

mixing, broadcast, sound design, and mastering

which can be used in wide range of

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) programs.


Based in Germany, Lawo designs and manufactures

pioneering network, control, audio

and video technology for broadcast and

post production, as well as live performance

and theatrical applications. Products include

control and monitoring systems, digital audio

mixing consoles, routers, video processing

tools as well as solutions for IP-based A/V

infrastructures and routing systems.

Manhattan Center

Built in 1906 in Midtown Manhattan, the

building hosting MixCon 2018 houses a state

of the art Audio/Video facility, two recording

studios, a Grand Ballroom, and the Hammerstein

Ballroom, one of New York City’s most

renowned performance venues.

Manley Laboratories

A Californian manufacturer of pro audio

equipment, including microphones, signal

processors, dynamic range processors,

equalizers, converters, and specialized mastering


Mix with the Masters

Mix with the Masters offers an exchange

of in-depth first-hand studio experience

and knowledge that is unparalleled and not

available anywhere else. Each seminar is

conducted by one of the world’s top music

mixers and producers, ready to share his

professional secrets with a select group of a

maximum of 14 carefully-screened, professional-level


Nail the Mix

Nail the Mix is an online recording school for

rock and metal producers, providing subscribers

with monthly multi-track session from a

legit, world-class band which is then used for

mixing classes taught by top mixers.

Phoenix Audio

Originally formed in 1996 as the UK’s

leading service provider for pre-1980 Neve

recording consoles, Phoenix Audio is now

a California-based company building boutique-grade

professional audio equipment

including mic preamps, EQs, compressors,

DIs and summing mixers.


Sonarworks’ mission to allow both music creators

and consumers to hear music the way it

was meant to be, across all devices, through

software that removes unwanted coloration

from studio speakers and headphones.


Soundtoys is a Vermont based company that

makes audio plug-ins for mixing that bring color,

character, and creativity to your digital music

studio by merging the sound and vibe of classic

analog gear with modern and musical twists.


Steinberg is one of the world’s largest manufacturers

of music and audio software and

hardware, with millions of users worldwide,

thanks in particular to its popular DAW Cubase.

Steinberg also created the VST (Virtual

Studio Technology) plugin interface used by

almost all DAWs.

Plugin Alliance

Plugin Alliance is a new “Über-standard”,

supporting all major plugin formats and uniting

some of the best-known international audio

companies like brainworx, Lindell Audio,

SPL and Elysia, under one, virtual roof.

Producers &

Engineers Wing

The members of the Producers & Engineers

Wing work together to shape the future of music

recording. As a Recording Academy membership

division, the P&E Wing advises the Academy

on technical matters related to recording

and also addresses matters of concern to producers,

engineers, remixers, manufacturers,

technologists, and other related professionals.

Spitfire Audio

Spitfire Audio is a British music technology company

that specializes in sounds: sample libraries,

virtual instruments and other useful software

devices. They collaborate with top composers,

artists and engineers to build musical tools and

libraries that any musician can use.

Universal Audio

Founded in 1958 by Bill Putnam Sr., Universal

Audio has been synonymous with

innovative recording products since its inception.

Re-founded in 1999, it now manufactures

both outboard recording gear and

digital modeling plug-ins powered through an

award-winning DSP platform.


The Deli Magazine is a trademark of The Deli Magazine, LLC, Brooklyn & Mother West, NYC. All contents ©2018 The Deli Magazine. All rights reserved.

the deli

nyc emerging bands and gear

Issue #55 Vol. #3 Summer 2018

Editor In Chief / Publisher

Paolo De Gregorio


Charles Newman

art director

Kaz Yabe (

executive Editor

quang d. tran

assistant editor

Tucker Pennington

Cover photography

Tonje Thilesen

hip-hop editor

Jason Grimste (aka brokemc)

Web Developer

Binod Lamsal

Extra Editing

Christopher Scapelliti

Contributing Writers

Ethan Ames

Ben Apatoff

Mackenzie Cummings Brady

Cameron Carr

Dave Cromwell

Geena Kloeppel

Lilly Milman

Amanda Ogea

Meghan Rose

William Sisskind

Henry Solotaroff-Webber

The Kitchen

Christopher Scapelliti

Brandon Stoner


Lily Crandall


The Deli Magazine, LLC

Mother West, NYC

Advertising Inquiries:

Press Inquiries:

Table of Contents

p.6 Fresh Buzz

p.8 Records of the Month

p.10 Feature: NYC Record Industry

p.18 Half Waif

p.20 Recording Half Waif’s Lavender

p.22 Bands + Gear

p.28 NYC MixCon

Since the turn of the millennium, both

the record and recording industries have

gone through a major upheaval.

Because of the collapse of physical media

sales (CDs) and the minimal margins

on streaming, the record industry is a lot

smaller than it used to be, but it seems to

have now found its footing.

In this issue we interviewed four Brooklyn

label insiders about how they operate

within this new scenario. The result is a

feature many of our musician readers

should find informative, and at times

even surprising.

Recording also went through a similar

transition caused by the rise of home

recording, which empowered the artist—

while killing many professional studios.

The advice we’ll be providing for musicians

about recording is even better: six

live classes about mixing with some of

the best producers in the world, at the

fourth edition of the NYC Mixcon, hosted

at the Manhattan Center on July 21-22.

Hope to see you there!

Paolo De Gregorio

Editor in Chief

Fresh Buzz | New NYC Artists

While most acts take years to develop a

mature sound and build a fan base, some

stars seem to be born within a matter of

weeks. This appears to be the case for

Brooklyn-born, avant-soul-pop singer

King Princess, who released her debut

EP 1950 earlier in 2018 and just played two

sold out shows at Elsewhere’s Rooftop.

The first artist signed to Mark Ronson’s label

Zelig, King Princess is also a producer

and multi-instrumentalist with a deep musical

background, and, judging from her

kinky videos, an inclination towards subtle

provocation that can only generate intrigue

among music fans. (Paolo de gregorio)

A shiver runs down our spines every time

we read the words “self-directed video,” in

particular when applied to artists that play

musical genres that require top notch production

values (like soul music). But in the

case of NYC’s soul-pop artist Raveena

(previously known as Raveena Aurora) our

premonitions were proved wrong. With the

help of director James Ronkko, the artist

of Indian and American descent created

a simple, but truly beautiful video that

matches the breezy, lightheartedly intimate

vibes of her single “Sweet Time.” A woman

of many talents, Raveena not only looks incredibly

comfortable in front of the camera,

but also supports her art with commitment

to social causes rarely found in soul pop

acts. Her 2017 debut EP Shanti highlights

her silky voice and mellow attitude, which

evidently resonate with many New Yorkers,

since she sold out Baby’s All Right for her

July 27 show. (paolo de gregorio)

Actress and singer-songwriter Lola

Kirke dropped a double-whammy of

news over the past month; she released

the music video for her latest single “Supposed

To”, and announced that her first

full-length album Heart Head West will see

the light on August 10. Both the single and

the album deal with matters personal to

Kirke; self-doubt, family matters, and pressures

from society bubble to the surface

in her lyrics. In the video for “Supposed

To”, an older woman allows herself to let

loose. Kirke says of the track: “How rebellious

would you feel if you had spent your

life just doing things that you felt that you

King Princess

The Nectars


Alt Pop-Rock

were supposed to do? That society told

you to do?” Kirke explores that theme and

more on the upcoming LP; she’ll support

its release with a residency at Union Pool

on August 21, 22, and 23. (will sisskind)

New Jersey quartet The Nectars is

finding a way for the rock of 20 years ago

to spill like a smashed Capri Sun pouch

back into our consciousness. Their songs

are about having fun, being free and in love,

and offer a sound appropriately reminiscent

of those positively punchy, female fronted,

Lola Kirke



Soul Pop

power pop bands of the late ’90s/early

aughts (think No Doubt and Paramore).

Singer Jessica Kenny has the presence

and vocal prowess to take this band beyond

the local circuit (as a matter fact, they

have already toured the UK earlier this year)

and songs like “I Want It” (our favorite) and

recently released “We Will Run” have the

melodic appeal to win over the new generation

of melodic rock seekers. After a string

of singles accompanied by lo-fi-ish videos,

the band released debut album Sci-Fi Television

on June 1st. (Meghan Rose)

6 the deli Summer 2018

Records of the Month

Renata Zeiguer

Old Ghost

On first listen, the songs and sounds of

Renata Zeiguer’s debut album Old Ghost

are deceivingly simple. Indie rock influences

clash with her delicate voice in interesting

if not straightforward ways. Yet

there’s an appealing aspect of Old Ghost

that continues to draw the listener in as

Zeiguer paints an image of the world that

is filled with naturally occurring voids

that are at once brutal and beautiful. Her

voice feels equally morose and triumphant

as she explores themes of identity

and loss. Nature also plays a large role in

Zeiguer’s lyrics; cosmic elements of our

world like the moon and the mundane

creatures who inhabit it both haunt and

captivate the singer. These poetic lyrics

burrow themselves in her ethereal voice

and unfold in expansive and cathartic

moments as the production swerves

from angular to harmonious. Old Ghost is

an album that burns softly if heard in the

background but illuminates brightly when

it is lived with. (Tucker Pennington)



In this new age of bedroom pop and DIY

everything, Georgia’s band Triathalon,

who recently resettled in NYC, offers a

sound all its own, blending elements as

varied as soul, pop, jazz, and electro. Attempting

to label their music proves challenging—and

that’s part of their plan. The

band’s third LP, Online, released earlier in

2018, refines their sound through a more

mature and focused (home) production.

A newfound passion for soul seems to

have shuffled the band’s sonic cards,

although leaving the dreamy element

untouched. Single “Hard to Move” is

reminiscent of a lo-fi, synthetic version of

Michael Jackson’s “Blame it on the Boogie,”

while “3” is backed with a thumping

bass verse that cleverly transitions to a

jazz-inspired keyboard interlude. But

“Couch” is the real gem here: based on

a plodding funk loop, it chronicles a moment

of bliss, with a lover, on the author’s

favorite couch. (Lily Crandall)

Amen Dunes


There are some albums that feel like spiritual

excursions the moment they start,

transfixing us instantly at the right time

and place. Amen Dune’s fifth record,

Freedom, is one such record. The introduction

informs us that the time is now,

and it belongs to Damon McMahon and

his finely tuned songwriting. Each track

is impeccably produced, precise and imperious,

as synths and bass lines appear

on the horizon before shimmering out of

view. The interplay between each instrument

is like multiple generations of mirages

materializing at once, and McMahon’s

vocals sit in the center commanding attention

with assured confidence in the

stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Freedom

was released wholly realized, yet it’s the

undefinable aspects that assert why it’s

an intoxicating and infinitely rewarding

album. (Tucker Pennington)

8 the deli Summer 2018

Feature | Record Industry

“Are CDs

becoming the hip,

dead medium on

an upswing?”


and media


have less


on sales

than they

used to.”

NYC Record Industry

Alive and


Three Brooklyn Indie Labels Share Their

Thoughts on the State of the Industry

written by paolo de gregorio

10 the deli Summer 2018

“Is ‘ Pe ak Vinyl’ a myth?”


media is still

46% of the


“Cassettes aren’t


Media and


are the

main promotional


dead qui te yet!”

In the early aughts, some kind of “slow earthquake”

triggered the end of the record industry as

we knew it. Originated by the advent of the MP3

format, which allowed listeners to easily download

and stream music, that seism brought about an

era of revenue and job losses that lasted almost 15

years. Starting in 2015, the sector finally began to

show signs of growth again, driven mostly by new

revenue from streaming music services like Spotify

and YouTube, but also by the unexpected resurgence

of vintage formats like vinyl and audio cassettes.

We caught up with three very different trend-setting

Brooklyn-based labels—Fools Gold, Captured Tracks

and Partisan Records—to see how they are navigating

these relatively uncharted waters and to ask them

a few questions our musician readers might find helpful

for managing their careers.

the deli Summer 2018 11

“...there are more ways for unknown artists

to get discovered, and more opportunities

for fans to get turned on to something new

and exciting than ever before.”

A = Alan from Fool’s Gold

N = Nick from Fool’s Gold

M = Honcho Mike Sniper of Captured Tracks

Z = Zena White, MD at Partisan Records

Is there anything you miss about the way the record industry

worked before the rise of the MP3?

N: It’s easy to get nostalgic for an era when you could “live”

with a record for weeks or months at a time before listening

to something else. But now, it’s not just music consumption

that’s changing: EVERYTHING is accelerated. You have to embrace

it or get left behind. And it’s arguably a net gain—there

are more ways for unknown artists to get discovered, and

more opportunities for fans to get turned on to something new

and exciting than ever before. I’m proud to play a part in that.

M: The thing that’s changed the most with the digital age is

press outlets. Instead of tons of options with high readership,

it’s gone the other way, drastically. You used to compete

with other indie rock for space in channels for coverage; now

you’re competing with huge pop stars. It’s all been turned

into this mess of monoculture. Music discovery is in the playlists

and YouTube now, not reviews. Reviews were what entire

P/R campaigns were aimed at.

Z: I joined the recording sector in 2011 when most labels

were struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel, Lord

knows why! I think I saw that no matter what, the marketing

of campaigns—the album cycle if you like—was still in the

hands of the label and at the center of everything else. There

were a lot of frustrating conversations about windowing on

Spotify… it’s amazing to see the health in the industry now

compared to back then. It’s buoyant and positive. There are

always challenges to navigate, that’s just business.

What are today’s most influential online sites and apps

that can push a record to sell?

N: The power is in the listeners’ hands more than anything

else. Everyone talks about data—who do you think is generating

that? You see artists blowing up out of nowhere, not

because a gatekeeper anointed them, but because the fans

did, and the sites and apps are reacting to that. So we just

want to help our artists hit as many ears as possible—a performance

slot at our festival DAY OFF, for instance—and let

the sites see that genuine connection in action.

M: I think the websites’ abilities to drive streams and sales is

dwindling. If you have access to SoundScan reports you can

see that getting that “big” award that used to drive a ton of

sales has not had the effect it used to have on newer artists,

only on already established ones. Playlisting is important.

A: I don’t think reviews play a factor in sales anymore. The

buzz of an artist can either come through word of mouth

which is essentially social media now and there is definitely

visibility that comes from playlists on the DSPs (Spotify,

Apple Music, Tidal, YouTube Music). And the playlist game

is frighteningly powerful.

Z: I’d say in this “post-truth” world or whatever, reviews are

less important and peer recommendations are #1. Media

coverage doesn’t lead to fans or to sales, it just creates more

arguments for the various gatekeepers to care.

Since CDs are on the way out and vinyl, although healthy,

is a niche market, where’s the bulk of the earnings for

labels these days?

Z: For us, it’s about 50% physical still, which is pretty much

the global average (IFPI 2017 global recorded music sales

were 54% digital / 46% physical). There are a lot more costs

12 the deli Summer 2018

“First and foremost, it’s

about the songs. If the

songs aren’t great, there’s

only so far you can go.”

More info

about the labels

involved with physical of course, so there’s always a strong

argument to seek digital growth. But physical is still important

to us and our artists. Also, technology has had a positive

impact on neighboring rights revenues as it’s finally starting to

force improvements in the global structure of PROs. Everyone

knows about neighboring rights now—a very unsexy subject...

M: Streaming is about 70% of our overall business. CDs are

still relatively strong though. They’re still the dominant way to

purchase music in big territories like Japan. The “Peak Vinyl”

thing is a myth, too. That’s based on major labels finally putting

their Prince, Neil Young, Beatles etc. records back in print and

SoundScan collecting that info. Before the “Vinyl Boom,” a lot

of records were selling a lot of copies; Billboard just wasn’t

collecting the info on it as most vinyl shops weren’t reporting.

N: Some would say CDs are back, baby! (When you can buy

vinyl at Whole Foods and cassettes at Urban Outfitters, compact

discs are the hip dead media on an upswing.) But the

reality is that labels need to constantly be on the look-out for

revenue streams in all forms.

Is there any other physical merchandise that’s worth the

manufacturing/distribution hassle?

Z: If the demand is there, definitely. In fact, I’m confident that

there’s always going to be a market for high-value physical

product and merchandise for the right artists. Music is an

emotional, intangible product and the very nature of people

means they want to “wear” something they feel connected to.

M: We kill it on cassettes. Not enough to buy a house, but we

do really well with them.

N: Fool’s Gold makes everything from coffee mugs to turntable

needle cases. If it exists and we can make it fun and

special, we’re down.

Started in 2007 by DJs A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs,

Fool’s Gold Records brought the underground

electronic and hip-hop scenes to the forefront of

independent music. Some of their earlier releases,

such as “Day ‘N’ Night” by Kid Cudi and the first

self-titled album by Run the Jewels, helped shape

popular music as well. Since then, Fool’s Gold has

been signing some of the most cutting-edge electronic

artists from around the country.

Captured Tracks was founded in 2008 by Mike

Sniper, who first used it for his own band Blank

Dogs. A decade later, the label has become the

home to some of the most influential artists in their

respective genres and many popular indie bands.

Signing the likes of Mac DeMarco, DIIV, Wild Nothing

and Perfect Pussy, the label has shown it can

be host artists who specialize in several genres

within the indie realm.

Beginning with a focus on tailoring artist specific

needs, Partisan Records has grown many

independent artists from the ground up. Early on

their catalog boasted acts like Deer Tick, who focused

on a blend of alternative rock and Americana,

but as the label grew, many diverse artists

released their debuts with the label. Electro-pop

group Sylvan Esso and acts like IDLES and Cigarettes

After Sex are part of its growing roster.

“We don’t want to sand

down quirks, if anything

we only encourage artists

to get weirder!”

Live shows still generate a lot of revenue. Is your label

involved in that side of things—relative to your artists—

at any level?

N: If you’re talking about “360 deals” we prefer to focus on

our own live label events rather than touching artists’ individual

touring. Which is not to criticize that practice across the

board—any situation where all parties are truly bringing value

to the table is worth a discussion.

M: Shows drive P/R and P/R drives sales, so yes, it’s important.

However, we leave it to the Booking Agent, the Promoter

and the Tour Manager. All of our artists keep all of their live

performance fees. We do help promote the shows and lobby

to get them on bills or with a Booking Agency, but we’re not

show promoters.

Z: We’re very conscious of adding value wherever we take

rights. When we build in live revenues to our deals, it’s in

order to justify a greater advance and only until that is recouped.

An artist can need money for any number of things

and we see it as our responsibility to try and support their

needs but it can be difficult to recoup on record sales alone.

Is there a specific list of qualities you look when you sign

a new artist?

M: First and foremost, it’s about the songs. If the songs aren’t

great, there’s only so far you can go. So my own and

the staff’s taste will have an influence on who we sign. Then

it’s the artists’ dynamics in their sound, the way instruments

work together. Is it exciting to listen to? After that, it’s on the

artist to impress on us that they’re willing to work really hard.

These days you need to support an LP with a minimum of

75 shows to generate real traction, but artists also need to

find a way to be great sounding and provocative performers.

The last thing is that we want the band to already know their

aesthetic and goals. Someone like Drahla or Naomi Punk had

the visual aspect of their music already figured out and what

they wanted their audience to be. Molly Burch did as well, but

in a completely different way.

Z: Yes, vision. They have to know what they want, what kind

of world they want to build. The music alone is rarely enough

to build a career, not for the types of artists that we work well

with. They need to have ideas and the ability to collaborate

and communicate is important. We’re constantly assessing

where our value is and that differs from artist to artist, even

from record to record with the same artist. We need to be

able to communicate well with an artist and their team to be

able to figure out where we’re most useful to them.

A: We love to catch artists at a point where they’ve already

figured out their sound and their identity, but they still show a

ton of promise for growth. It’s fun to sign someone relatively

early in their career like that because we get to present them

to the world.

N: We look for artists who are individuals, period. There are so

many new rappers and young Soundcloud producers, but we

are looking for distinct and unique sound, plus a look and aesthetic

to match. We don’t want to sand down quirks, if anything

we only encourage artists to get weirder! FG is a big umbrella,

and the unifying element is that everyone is an awesome misfit

in their own way. Then we can add our special sauce, whether

it’s helping pinpoint the strongest songs to release, or pairing

artists with the right guests or collaborators. We treat ourselves,

the label, as a collaborator helping elevate the material!

Why for a band, these days, is it better to get signed than

to go DIY? What does a label do for the artists it signs?

Z: I joined the label from the services sector myself so I’ve

seen both sides of it. I’d say we have two strengths as a grow-

14 the deli Summer 2018

The basic point of a record label is simple: use

the master recordings to the advantage of the

artist as much as possible in order for the

artist to be free to write, record and perform.”

ing label: proper artist development and a strong international

network that believes in the quality of our releases and is

ready to prioritize them. You won’t get either if you go DIY.

Both IDLES and Cigarettes After Sex were doing a really good

job of DIY when we signed them: they had taken it as far as

they could on their own. We’ve always been really respectful

of that—we don’t try to change what works for these acts,

we add fuel to it, increase the team and make it even better.

M: Some artists don’t need labels. If they’re not super ambitious

and aren’t going to do a ton of touring and are happy with

doing Bandcamp sales, that’s great and more power to you.

Then you have someone like Frank Ocean who’s on the other

end of the radar and also doesn’t need a label as he has a huge

team that does what a label does. The basic point of a record

label is simple: use the master recordings to the advantage of

the artist as much as they can in order for the artist to be free

to write, record and perform. You need experience to do that.

N: Everyone’s situation is different. You can’t say “better”

or “worse” in blanket terms, artists need to make the best

decisions for themselves at whatever stage of their career

they are in. Do you want to handle everything yourself, or do

you want to spend time making music? Some people can

do both. Most successful acts are successful at delegation.

A: We’re big believers in quality control and in the extra layer of

perspective you get when you (the artist) pass the music along

to your label team and they are able to bring it from like 80% to

100%. It really helps to get another set of ears to pick through

the songs, help bring in a few features, sometimes help work

out who should mix it to get it sounding just right, and work out

art and marketing strategies to package it for the world to discover.

The label is also able to fund this process when needed.

In the future do you see your label focusing on having

artists that represent a variety of genres or specializing

in niche genres? How has this approach differed since

you first started?

A: Fool’s Gold has never been genre-specific. Nick and I are

DJs, we’re both known for a certain eclecticism that is rooted

in hip-hop but reaches a lot of other spaces, and that has always

driven the vision of the label. Kids are more open-minded

than ever. Rap fans listen to Mac DeMarco. We look at it

from a lifestyle point of view much more than a genre.

M: At Captured Tracks we’ve always strived to have a sonically

diverse roster within the broad section of “indie rock.”

When people think of “The Captured Tracks Sound” perhaps

they think of Wild Nothing, DIIV, Beach Fossils and Craft

Spells. That’s okay—because I love that type of music—but

I have to remind them that we also have had Perfect Pussy,

The Soft Moon, Naomi Punk and The Holograms on the label.

I liked what Chris Lombardi from Matador once told me about

the subject. He said, “People always thought of Matador as

Pavement, Guided By Voices, Yo La Tengo… but at the same

time we had Unsane and Pizzicato Five on the roster.”

Z: Partisan Records is growing its roster to be increasingly

varied and we find ourselves looking to fill gaps in some

ways. We’re careful not to chase what genres are selling the

most at any given time and stick to the principles of signing

musicians who are making genuine, honest art.

N: With every year we learn from our past releases, tightening

up the business and getting more selective—there’s so much

good music, but not everything makes sense to put your

time, effort and money behind. It’s all relative but the mission

is the same: you have to be DOPE, regardless of genre. d

16 the deli Summer 2018


Feature | Cover Artist

Avant-Pop Synthpop

Facing the Night

– an Interview with Half Waif

Written by Paolo De Gregorio

and Tucker Pennington

Photography by Ally Schmaling

for many people, is

a constantly shifting notion.

For others, it’s a place that’s


lost, temporarily or maybe

permanently. The concept is geographical

at heart, but it’s built through the elapsing

of time and the crystallizing of feelings over

time. It involves reoccurring perceptions,

acquired habits, people and our feelings

for them, a sense of safety and shelter.

18 the deli Summer 2018

With its frantic pace, New York City challenges this notion.

Neighborhoods change rapidly, old buildings vanish and beloved

shops are replaced by new ones we don’t care about.

Most friends and neighbors don’t settle here for good—they

prematurely move back to their old homes as soon as the

city’s dynamism starts to prove exhausting. Because of all this,

New York is a very flawed “hometown.”

Maybe that’s the reason why Half Waif’s Nandi Rose Plunkett,

a New Yorker from 2012 until 2017 (via Massachusetts), felt

the need to define what home is through her music. On her

latest LP Lavender, she explores the gestalt of home through

painfully beautiful songs.

While the Big Apple lacked the elements to become a feasible

home for Plunkett, it still provided a basis for this creative era in

her life: “The five years I spent in New York gave me so much.

I was galvanized by the people around me making exciting art,

and I learned what it felt like to want to quit but then to keep

going. With all its challenges, living in the city made me realize

just how much I love making music—there were so many

opportunities or reasons to stop, but I could never give it up.”

In 2017 Nandi Rose moved upstate, in a house surrounded

by nature that resembles her childhood home. This sort of

reclamation of both positive and negative memories covers a

central part in the artist’s inspiration: “The withering described

in “Keep It Out” is the nightmare fear of boredom, dissolution,

estrangement from the self, neglect, indifference: what happens

to bad marriages, which I witnessed as a kid. In singing

about it, I hope to keep those wolves at bay and create a different

kind of life for myself. If we name it, we can know it, stare it

in the eye, and shout it out of the realm of possibility.”

Written during a period of discord when Nandi Rose was far

from NYC, touring, and her grandmother’s health was failing,

Lavender eschews traditional expectations of what a pop record

can tackle. Churning synth swell and gestate as Plunkett’s

poetic lullabies unravel in moments that are split between grief

and hope. Ballads about confronting the unknown and creating

an identity from those experiences are key themes delved

into on songs like “Torches” and “In the Evening”. Constantly

pushing the boundaries with their textures and the interplay

between the instrumentation and her voice, each song refuses

to settle into a singular mode of thought.

like with “Silt,” I started with that patch on my Korg Minilogue,

and the sound told me where the chords would go, and the

chords told me what the words would be, and the words told me

how the melody would sound, and the melody told me where

the drums would come in and out. It’s a dialogue between parts,

and I just rush around trying to listen and translate as best I can.”

With their sharp electronic production that elevates Plunkett’s

heart-wrenching lyrics, the 12 tracks on the record represent

one of the most consistent strings of quality songwriting and

production we’ve heard in a while. They were forged with the

help of collaborators Adan Carlo and Zach Levine and under

the supervision of producer/mixer David Tolomei.

“This was the first time I worked on an album with a band in

this way”—Nandy Rose admits. “They were indispensable to

the project. Adan recorded all of the bass and guitar, often using

his array of pedals to create texture. Zack recorded the live

drums at Dreamland Studio, and also performed some of the

electronic drum programming. All in all, though, it’s hard for me

to draw dividing lines saying “I did this, they did this” because

the work was done so fluidly—a true testament to our friendship,

which created a fun and easy collaboration, and the way

David polished, shined, elevated, and illuminated the sounds

in the mix seemed to me to be a kind of magic.”

As she prepares for a run of shows in the States and Europe,

the themes of the record continue to occupy her thoughts.

“It’ll be weird to be there without my bandmates, but I’m also

excited to challenge myself and see how I grow through this

process. My grandmother lived in England for half her life, so I

do find myself drawn to towns like hers across the pond. But I

think I’d find it hard to leave the Northeastern US. For all of the

homes I’ve made for myself through music and travel, this part

of the world is the deepest home I know.” d

Half Waif’s Synths

“Sometimes it’s just one sound that dictates the whole thing—

Korg Minilogue

Nord Electro 5D

the deli Summer 2018 19

Soundtoys Little Plate


Half Waif’s


A Q&A with

David Tolomei

David Tolomei will host an NYC MixCon mix-walkthrough

of a song from Lavender on July 22 at 3pm. Here’s a Q&A

about his contribution to that record to get you warmed up!

What earned you the co-producer credit, on Lavander?

I think the broadest way I could describe what I brought to the

table in terms of production would be my studio experience and

my overall creative aesthetic.

The band knew they wanted to integrate live instrumentation

into the project. In our first meeting they laid out which songs

they heard live drums on, mentioned one song would be centered

around piano, and that live bass and some miscellaneous

overdubs would ideally be options we’d explore. From this discussion,

I selected a studio based on the sounds we wanted to

achieve. Some important features were the massive live room

with a vintage Steinway B, API board, old Neve pres and Pultecs,

great comps for smashing like CBS and Dbx, as well as an incredible

mic locker.

I knew a studio of this quality would mean racing the clock, so I flew

in a day early and we did a half day of pre-pro, going over all the

songs and ironing out potential time sucks. It felt very collaborative;

everyone in the band is very intelligent and the direction was clear.

Tracking is where I think the producer’s hat was most apparent

because big studios are where I’m most at home. During the session,

I managed the schedule, got all the sounds, and coached

performances. Everyone in the band is a very talented multi-instrumentalist,

but how those performances translate in a studio environment

with 40 mics up, and how that will come together in the

mix stage and become a cohesive master... that requires coaching.

The record sounds incredibly homogeneous, a rare feat for

hybrid albums that feature all sort of sounds. How did you

achieve this?

Marrying programming with studio sounds is always a challenge.

The goal is to get those unique textures to stand out, but in a

way that’s seamless. Unfortunately, that’s a battle fought independently

on each song with its own unique instrumentation. It’s

not like you crack the code and then the problem’s solved.

It’s really important for me to regularly pan out and look at the

album as a whole. I think continuity comes from a series of tiny

judgment calls you make, that they’re experienced by the listener

all at once. A lot of it is just instincts that come naturally over

the years. You tweak it till it feels ‘right’ to you. But what’s ‘right’

to you at that moment is a commentary on who you are in the

present as result of your experiences.

What was the most challenging part while mixing it?

Right from the start, I found this to be a really emotional album.

Trying to heavily process everything to get modern sounds while

retaining all that emotion so the band’s incredible writing could

shine through; that was really challenging from the start. I wanted

to keep it raw enough that you could connect with Nandi, but not

so raw that it sounded dated or like a live album.

What single plugins did you use a lot while mixing and why?

In the case of this album, Soundtoys Little Plate had just come

out of beta, so when I was stuck on the second song, I pulled it

in and started playing around. One thing I noticed immediately

is that it’s a very sculpt-able reverb, in that it takes additional

processing extremely well. For this reason, it became clear that

it would become a theme on the album. I did my best to keep

this heavy use subtle, but if you were to disable any single plugin

from the whole album, losing Little Plate would definitely have

the greatest impact on the final aesthetic.

20 the deli Summer 2018

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Trip-Funk Avant-Lounge

Under the Elbows moniker, Brooklyn-based producer

and songwriter Max Scheible crafts music that travels

through genres, bending tastes and traditions and creating

something that sounds totally fresh. Scheible, also

a multimedia artist, chronicles in his tracks his Bay Area

roots, shifting genres with the moods of the songs, going

from old-school hip-hop to smooth synth-heavy jazz to

lounge music. (Will Sisskind)

[Top] Roland GAIA SH-01 [Bottom] Moog Sub 37

We hear all sorts of influences in your records, what’s your

musical background?

Growing up, my folks played a lot of ’60s/’70s psychedelia and

soul, and my mom definitely kept Sade and Badu in the car.

When I was around ten someone gave me a copy of 93 ‘til Infinity

from Souls of Mischief, which got me into hip hop, and by

extension, jazz. In middle school I started renting out CDs from

the library by the tens and just started listening to a ton of jazz

and whatever hip hop they had. I started playing guitar, writing

songs, and recording on a four-track tape recorder when I was

thirteen, and have been writing and recording ever since.

From the art on your records, it’s clear that there are some

non-musical influences that are worked into your songs and


My earliest memories are of drawing and most of my family

thinks of me as a visual artist. My Aunt Julie once asked me, if

you had to pick one—visual art or music—which would it be?

And to her I said: Aunt Julie, to me there’s no difference. When I

write a song I have an idea for a visual to go with it, and if I make

a drawing I can hear a soundtrack to that drawing. Ultimately I

want to tell stories that stretch completely from music, to visual,

to film, to physical things.

Do you have some pieces of gear that you find yourself turning

to the most while you compose?

For me the initial composition always starts with a story that needs

to be told, which then dictates the colors and feel. I usually start

with guitar or rhodes to get the chords down, and from there move

to synths to find the particular sounds of the record. I have an

amazing crew of friends that play live with me, like a band, and

help expand the records. The four main synths we used on this EP

are the Roland Juno-106, the Moog Sub 37, the Moog Sub Phatty,

and the Roland GAIA. The most influential piece of gear, however,

ended up being this old toy organ, made by I want to say Farfisa

I found in a shared studio space in Williamsburg. The entirety of

“Oatmeal” (outside of the 808s, percussion, and samples) came

from that organ, and it pops up again on “Corduroy” and “Blimp.”

22 the deli Summer 2018

Casio DG-20


In the late ’80s, when bands like the Happy Mondays and

the Stone Roses were all the rage, Manchester, UK was

the kingdom of alternative pop. The wild parties propelled

by that scene triggered the nickname “Madchester,” which

was soon adopted to describe that era’s music, which

blended funk drumming and psych arrangement with an

overall pop sensibility. In new album Water Signs, NYC

via Australia electronic one-man-act Fascinator finds inspiration

in that sound and other music made for partying

he learned to love while DJing in NYC. (Paolo De Gregorio)

Your new record seems to have a bit more of a pop sound

compared to previous material, was that a choice or a natural


The best kind of pop is accidental. There may be a little of that

on here. The record was largely informed by countless hours

DJing at Baby’s All Right, Elvis Guesthouse (RIP) etc. so I’m

sure some sort of subconscious desire for people to enjoy

themselves has seeped in. The record began in the darkest

hour of my life. Fresh out of a horrific breakup, completely

broke and 6 months of couch surfing on the generosity of fellow

New Yorkers. The only source of income I had at the beginning

of that was a happy hour DJ shift every Friday at Baby’s

All Right ($50 + food and drinks). Sometimes the next person

wouldn’t show up and I’d play for 11 hours and tell everyone

Indie Pop Madchester Revival

to call me “Baby’s All Night”. Through sheer desperation I grew

that to playing all over town which, combined with my dispirited

mind-set, led to a state of constant bender. So while I wasn’t

in the best place, this album is, at its heart, a party record. Inspired

by things I’d play at the time like Fela Kuti, Neu!, Happy

Mondays, Dusty Fingers compilations, early Beck, Francoise

Hardy, Chemical Brothers, Ananda Shankar and loads more.

Was there a piece of gear that was particularly inspiring?

The Casio DG-20 is probably the most interesting thing I used.

You may have seen it on Flight of the Conchords. It’s just fun.

Not particularly rare or expensive or even that nice sounding,

but I like that era of Casio organ boards and that’s all it is really.

Except plastic strings instead of keys. I also played a really nice

Rhodes in a barn on Nantucket on the song Midnight Rainbow.

Other than that nothing particularly interesting springs to mind.

Is there a person outside the band that’s been important in

perfecting your recorded and/or live sound?

Over time there have been a few. Darren Seltmann, one of the

founding members of The Avalanches, helped me initially find

my sound. Fascinator has had around 100 members over the

years, mostly one-offs but Jesse Kotansky aka Lord Decorator

who currently plays with me has been a mainstay. He brilliantly

noodles over my tracks on oud, violin and percussion and

makes it something special.

the deli Summer 2018 23

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Bedroom Pop Dream Pop

Based in Brooklyn by way of Miami, Mons Vi combines

an electronic-influenced, lo-fi aesthetic with

emotionally-charged lyrics. The Columbia grad got

us hooked in 2017 with tasteful tracks that blended

the songwriter’s melancholic and atmospheric pop

with occasional edgier tunes reminiscent of the early

Strokes. Latest single “Divina,” on the other hand,

seems to represent a successful transition towards

crisper and livelier electro-pop instrumentation, with

an added multicultural flavor represented by Adrianne

Gonzalez’s voice, sharing lead vocals duties—in

Spanish. (Pearse Devlin)

Your 2016 EP is entitled Indie Rock Bullshit, and it sound

a lot more “indie rock” than your following material. What

inspired that title and the transition to the more electronic

and chilled sound of the latest singles?

I got bored of indie rock. It’s all I hear in Brooklyn and the

rest of the world isn’t listening. That’s because there’s very

little innovation happening in indie rock. There’s also little

space for anyone who isn’t a white guy. So, I’m seeking

creativity in other places, using elements of indie rock

where they make sense to make something new.

This evolution must have implied a change of instrumentation,

what were the tools that inspired this new course?

When people say they play instruments nowadays, they

tend to leave out the DAW. That’s the instrument everyone’s

using, and it’s what’s bringing you your favorite music.

I play Logic. It’s what I play more than anything else.

Photo: Derek Jay

There’s still a lot of guitar in the new material, are you a

fan of stompboxes?

Straight ahead guitar has been explored up, down, left, and

right. So, anything that can change the sound is welcome. I

use the ZVEX Lo-Fi Junky a lot.

On your single, “Divina,” the lyrics are both in English and

Spanish. How did this idea come to be?

Everyone who works on Mons Vi right now is from Miami,

so when I asked Adrianne to sing on “Divina,” it felt natural

that her lyrics came out in Spanish. She’s also half Venezuelan

and half Cuban, so doubly natural.

ZVEX Instant Lo-Fi Junky

Apple Logic

24 the deli Summer 2018

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Von Sell

Like the mesmerizing blur of the world passing by as seen

through a car window, Von Sell’s newest single “Digital

Sleep” swirls with detail faster than we can understand. In

a flurry of voices, delayed and warped into the dominant

texture of the track, “Digital Sleep” urges us towards attention

while never offering a chance to focus. The track

plays true to the idea of short-sightedness but also acknowledges

its own investment in the beauty of so much

sensory content, constantly veering in new directions,

collaging together seemingly unlinked sections. The effect,

particularly Von Sell’s production of his vocals into an

ethereal backing, is dazzling. (Cameron Carr)

Your newest single, “Digital Sleep” sounds more “avant”

than your 2016 debut EP.

I think there’s always been two sides to me and my music. I have

the urge to make music that’s accessible, but and the same time

I always want to challenge the listener to some degree... bridging

that gap (if there is one), or finding the sweet spot, is just

always a little like shooting at a very small target from very far

away: almost impossible to hit perfectly. As a result I just happen

to sometimes end up slightly more on the experimental side

Thermionic Culture Rooster

and other times on the more “conventional” side.

Synthpop Avant-Pop

Was there a piece of gear that inspired the abstract sounds

in the track?

Not really. I recorded these piano chords originally and it just

sounded a little boring to me. So I ran it through God knows

how many plug-ins until it didn’t sound like a piano anymore.

That kind of laid the foundation, and I ended up approaching

a lot of the sounds in this song that way—but in the creative

process I didn’t even have any gear other than my laptop, a

mic, a midi keyboard and a preamp… In the mixing stage, I

remember running a lot of sounds through the Thermionic Culture

the Rooster.

What do you like the most about the recording process?

What do you like the least?

What bugs me more than anything is when I record a sketch

of a certain element, that lacks the precision or quality of a legitimate

recording but is still somehow magical... and then you

record it for real but it loses its magic and you know you’ll never

get it back. What I love the most are happy accidents; you put

something on the wrong track or the wrong place or turn it up or

down by mistake, but it ends up sounding amazing!

26 the deli Summer 2018

[Top] Danny’s pedalboard: TC Electronic Polytune / Malekko

Omicron Spring Reverb / MXR Carbon Copy / Death By

Audio Super Fuzz War / Jext Telez White Pedal / Ibanez

Tube Screamer Mini

[Bottom] Jake’s pedalboard: BOSS TU-2 / BOSS DD-3 /

Death By Audio Fuzz War / Fulltone OCD

Native Sun

Songs Born From Love and Hate, the debut EP by New

York’s Native Sun, is an eminently fun and danceable record

recommended for fans of ’70s punk and the moody,

’90s alt-rock of The Pixies. With their unrelentingly heavy

drums, growling power chord-laden guitars, and in your

face vocals, the band wears their punk influences on their

sleeve, but enjoys occasional drifts into unsettling, psychedelic

territory. For Native Sun, however, brevity is an

asset, and they don’t wade too long in the muddy waters

of psychedelia before bringing it back to the meat of the

song. It’s compelling and energetic music which makes

for a rollicking live show. (etahn Ames)

Your sound is very guitar driven, do you get your signature

distortion from the amp or pedals?

Danny: The amp. There’s nothing better than the sandpaper grit

yet smoothness of a tube amp turned up fucking loud and breaking

up. Sound is all just manipulation of the pleasant and not so

pleasant. I try to really push the amp, it’s the only way you’re going

to get actual character out of your tone—listen to Tom Verlaine...

Jake: Sometimes the sound engineers at venues get combative

about our amps’ volume we like to play at, so I use a Fulltone

OCD up front just to get my Twin sounding angry without spending

our entire soundcheck arguing with someone I just met.

Mo: Both. The pedal makes the distortion, but the clean tone you

get from the amp is also really important to make it sound that way.

Was there a specific pedal that kind of changed your life?

Psych Rock

Jake: Death By Audio’s Fuzz War, unquestionably. I’ve never

played a pedal with so much character before, and its big

knobs make it easy to adjust with my foot during a show. That

pedal is my baby.

Danny: Jake lets me use this pedal by Jext Telez called “The

White Pedal.” It replicates all the overdrive and fuzz sounds

found on “The White Album;” it’s supposed to mimic different

tones on those old Vox Conquerer amps. Think the smooth fuzz

of “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” to the rawness of “Helter Skelter”

in a pedal. It’s extremely versatile.

Mo: Dunlop’s Fuzz Face Hendrix marked me completely, but then

the EHX’s Russian Big Muff (Black one) changed me in every way.

What else do you have on your pedalboard right now?

Danny: A small pink reverb pedal, old Bassman heads don’t

have a reverb knob; MXR Carbon Copy; DBA Super Fuzz War;

Ibanez Tube Screamer.

Jake: Other than the OCD and the Fuzz War, I also run a BOSS

DD-3 delay into a BOSS Chromatic Tuner and that’s it. More

than three effects and a tuner is too much for me, personally.

Sometimes I’ll use a Death By Audio Fuzz Warr Overload instead

of the standard Fuzz War, and sometimes the Reverberation

Machine instead of the DD-3.

Mo: I use a TC Polytune 3 as tuner and first in line so I can cut

the signal. Then the EHX’s Russian Big Muff as my main Fuzz

(ALWAYS GO WITH THE RUSSIAN). I also use a Seymour Duncan

Pickup Booster on ALL THE TIME. It gets me a cool drivey

clean tone, and with the fuzz on is just madness.

the deli Summer 2018 27

NYC MixCon 2018

Free Mixing Advice, In Context.

July 21-22, 11am– 9pm: Manhattan Center, 311 W 34th St., NYC

Sign Up at


ixCon, the world’s biggest convention that’s entirely

focused on mixing audio, is a unique (and free!) opportunity

for all engineers and recording musicians

to learn the secrets of the pros. The only event of its kind,

MixCon brings together world class mixers and producers—

often GRAMMY-winners and platinum sellers—and asks

them to take us under the hood of some real commercial releases,

showing us how they worked on them and how they

get their sounds.

Join us on July 21st and 22nd for an unforgettable weekend full

of precious advice, panel discussions with industry luminaries, and

hands-on demos and listening sessions featuring select new gear.

In the following pages you’ll find the event’s schedule, a preview

of some of the advice you’ll be getting, as well as profiles

about the producers.

Seats are strictly limited, so be sure to RSVP for your free seat

today at

About Manhattan Center

The Deli and SonicScoop are very excited to announce

that the 2018 edition of the NYC MixCon will be back

at the Manhattan Center. Once again, the event will be

hosted in the facility’s Grand Ballroom (on the 7th floor

above the Hammerstein Ballroom!) and in the two incredible,

state of the art studios, which will host more

intimate classes and seminars: the legendary Log Cabin,

and the newly-updated, pristine surround-sound listening

environment that is Studio 7.

The stunning, semi-secret “Log Cabin,” entirely made of

stone and wood, has quietly built up a devoted clientele

over the last 20 years, with a client list that has grown

to include the likes of Chick Corea, Norman Connors,

Jimmy Douglass, Eliot Goldenthal, Ja Rule, plus film/

TV/brand clients including True Grit, Extremely Loud

and Incredibly Close, Lucky Charms, American Airlines,

Mercedes Benz, and more.

Studio 7, tucked right next to the Grand Ballroom, is

5.1 Surround capable and it’s connected directly to the

both ballrooms in the building: the elegant and acoustically

superb 10,000 foot space The Grand, and the historic

2800 capacity ex-opera house The Hammerstein.

Studio 7’s 5.1 Control Room

The Log Cabin’s Live Room

28 the deli Summer 2018

nyc mixcon 2018 - Speakers’ Schedule

These world class producers and engineers will walk the crowd through a mix they worked on recently,

sharing secrets and preferred techniques. They will take questions at the end of the presentation.

FREE at the

Manhattan Center’s Grand Ballroom (Doors: 11am)




A Pop/RnB Mix


Ariel Borujow

(Keys N Krates,

Puff Daddy, Galantis,

CID, Cee Lo)


Latin Platinum

JC Losada

(Shakira, Santana,

Ricky Martin, Jon Secada,

Luis Enrique)


EDM and Electro:

Production and


Matt Lange


Mau5trap Records)


The Creative

Electronic Mix

David Tolomei

(Dirty Projectors,

Beach House, !!!,

Future Islands, Half Waif)


Creating an


Soundtrack with

Instrument Plug-Ins

Jake Jackson

(Doctor Who, Star Wars,

Assassin’s Creed, Black

Mirror, Nick Cave)


How to Give

Yourself a Raise

by Mixing Faster

Joel Wanasek

(MIYAVI, Machine Head,

Vinyl Theatre, Dope,


Q&As, Gear Expo & In-The-Studio Workshop in between presentations!

the deli Summer 2018 29

nyc mixcon 2018 - MIXING Tips


Tip #1 10 Ways to Improve

Your Mixing Efficiency

by Jules De Gasperis

Streamlining and improving your workflow during mixing is a key

component of the job. The more you can free yourself from doing all

the little pesky tasks, the more you can focus on your actual craft.

Here are ten tricks to help optimize efficiency while mixing:

1. Organize Your Plug-Ins by Category

Rather Than by Manufacturer.

Most DAWs will let you do that.

2. Create Your Own Mixing Template.

We all develop habits when mixing and have our own favorite

plugins for the various instruments. A mixing template with

your favorite plugins already loaded in the correct tracks will

save you a lot of time.

3. Split Your Tracks into Sub-Tracks to

Deal with Tonal Changes.

If a guitar part plays subtly in the verse and suddenly opens up

during the chorus, separate the region in two or more tracks

and treat them differently.

4. Reach for Plug-Ins That Are Faster

to Use.

Sound quality should always prevail when it comes to mixing.

But there is a big argument to be made for ease-of-use when

it comes to plugin selection. Some plugins get the job done

faster than other, with a similar (if not better) sound quality.

5. Save Your Own Presets.

Sometimes, a sluggish or convoluted plugin can be worth it,

especially when it really does offer better sound quality, or

will do something that no other plugin in your arsenal can. To

offset the time it takes to set it up, save your own presets with

basic settings that are already dialed-in much of the way, so

you only need to fine-tune them later.

6. Find Your Automation Parameters

More Quickly.

If you have trouble finding the name of the parameter you

want to automate in a plugin or virtual instrument, put your

track in touch or latch mode, start playback, and simply click

The brainworx bx_dynEQ v2 is an active EQ that I find to be absolutely

great, but complicated to set up! Because of this, I created

3 presets that I usually start from: “Tame harshness 3kHz”, “Tame

honkiness 300Hz”, & “Soften treble 6kHz”.

on the knob you’d like to automate. You will then see its curve

(and name) appear in your automation window!

7. Know Your Shortcuts.

The awesome power of shortcuts will always be underrated.

8. Mentally Map Specific Plug-Ins for

Specific Uses.

When mixing, keeping a mental map of what to use and when

to use it is very healthy for helping to establish an efficient, forward-moving

process. Knowing what plugins work well on specific

instruments or solve specific issues is a huge time-saver.

9. Create A Vocal Sidechain Track

Right Away.

To help vocals cut through, set up a sidechain compressor on

instrument subgroups like keyboards, or guitars, and use the

lead vocal as the sidechain input. This allows you to slightly

and transparently duck these supporting instruments whenever

there’s singing.

10. Use A Good Mouse.

Don’t be afraid to invest some extra bucks on that type of tool.

Gaming mouses are comfortable and allow you to assign their

extra buttons to DAW functions you use all the time, which

saves you time and repetitive movements.

30 the deli Summer 2018

Read the full article on Sonicscoop here:


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Clearing samples for use in music has become not

only a complicated legal process, but an expensive

one. So what happens when your production depends

on the implantation of “old” sounds?

Taking a chance on not clearing a sample is not always

an option if you want to be sure to you can get your

track out there (or actually make any money on it.) So

why not just take the time to create your own retro samples?

They’ll be yours to own. No legal issues. No funyc

mixcon 2018 - MIXING Tips


Tip #2 How to“Vintagify” Your Own Drum Tracks and Loops

by Mark Marshall

ture conflict. And they’ll be 100% unique to your track.

To help you create even more convincing retro drums,

this article goes through some failsafe steps the author

uses to create convincingly old-sounding samples

for his own productions. You’ll even get to hear

some before-and-afters at the link below.

Here are some quick tips, for the in-depth article go to

1. The most important part of emulating vintage sounds is getting

the instrument and the performance right.

2. Whether you’re recording live instruments, or starting with

sampled ones, keep in mind the sort of drum mic’ing that was

common in that time period - for instance, in the 1950s and early

1960s they didn’t use more than 2-3 mics on the drums (mono

overheads, kick and snare).

3. Tuning also plays a huge role in achieving vintage tones. For

example, the toms were often higher pitched and more open

than what a lot of modern drummers expect.

4. After you have a good drum balance happening, put a classic

compressor on the drum bus, like the UAD Fairchild 670 or

660. A little compression will do. We’re not just looking for dynamic

range control here, rather, the vintage flavor that specific

compressor adds.

5. Using plugins like UAD Studer A800, try to recreate the hiss

produced by the bouncing of tracks engineers were forced to

adopt in the years preceding multi-track tape machines - it’s

part of the vintage character.

6. Once you have the main sound down, try swapping samples

for kick and snare to see if they produce results that work better

in your song, but remember: the overhead is the star here.

Compressor plug-ins like the UAD Fairchild 670

or 660 [top] add vintage flavor to drums, while

tape emulators like the Studer A800 [bottom] add

tape hiss similar to the one heard in recordings

from the ’50s and ’60s.

32 the deli Summer 2018

nyc mixcon 2018 - MIXING Tips


Tip #3 3 Studio Techniques to Get

Better Vocal Performances from Any Singer

by Sally Morgan

There are many small ways a producer or engineer

can inadvertently yet deeply undermine a singer’s

ability to perform in the studio. Let’s take a look at

some specific practical techniques a producer can

use to help a singer through a recording session.

1. Mindful Breathing.

Breathing can keep singers in the present moment, keep

them in the music, and keep them from freaking out about

the end result. Mindful breathing lowers the heart rate and

blood pressure while increasing brain function.

To give your your singer a nearly instant mental and physical

“reset”, guide him or her through this simple mindful breathing

exercise that can be taught in a moment, with benefits

that will show after just 3 repetitions.

[A] Inhale by opening down into the body to the count of 4.

[B] Suspend the breath by suspending the open body to

the count of 5.

[C] Actively blow the breath out to the count of 6.

[D] Repeat a minimum of 3 times.

3. Help The Singer Catch Their Breath.

When a singer is running out of breath way too fast, it’s usually

due to nerves that interfere with getting a deep inhale. I

have 2 very simple exercises to unlock a singer’s breathing.

Pant like a dog. This forces the singers breath down into the abs

that are meant to propel breath and sound through the body.

Be Santa! Say, “ho, ho, ho!” imitating a good belly laugh.

Even better yet, real laughter will always do the trick. Just be

sure not to make a joke at the singers’ expense or you too

could find yourself with one less vocal client coming back for

deeply productive and supportive sessions with you.

Read the full arfticle here:

2. Help The Singer to “Sing to

Someone They Know.”

A singer who isn’t really in the song, who is just

phoning it in, instead of really getting down and

dirty with the song, is a singer who isn’t communicating.

And if music is about anything, isn’t is about

communicating an authentic emotion or perspective

to an end listener?

Here are 2 simple instructions to get a singer communicating

through the song, and singing like they

are talking to their BFF.

Ask the singer to decide who

she or he is talking to and what

is his or her relationship to

that person. If the person they

choose does not bring out the

best for the song, ask the singer

to use someone else just for

giggles and listen to how their

tone of voice changes.

Ask the singer to “say” the

lyrics very clearly, and with

meaning. This does not mean

over-enunciating by working

the jaw too much. It means focusing on getting the

simple, clear meaning of the words across.

Ask the singer “What makes you begin singing this

song? What happened the moment before singing

this song that you are responding to?” This helps

them get into the “story” behind the song and focus

on what the performs really means.

34 the deli Summer 2018






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