Free Mixing Advice by Top Producers
nyc emerging bands and gear
Issue #55 Vol. #3 Summer 2018 thedelimag.com
H a l f W a i f
July 21-22, 2018
mixcon 2018 sponsors
One of the top 10 biggest music retailers in the
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Antelope Audio is a leading manufacturer of
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master clocks, FPGA FX & Mic Emulations.
Their digital audio gear caters both to the
professional and audiophile community, providing
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(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
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.
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
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tools as well as solutions for IP-based A/V
infrastructures and routing systems.
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.
A Californian manufacturer of pro audio
equipment, including microphones, signal
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Mix with the Masters
Mix with the Masters offers an exchange
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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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
nyc emerging bands and gear
Issue #55 Vol. #3 Summer 2018 thedelimag.com
Editor In Chief / Publisher
Paolo De Gregorio
Kaz Yabe ( www.kazyabe.com)
quang d. tran
Jason Grimste (aka brokemc)
Mackenzie Cummings Brady
The Deli Magazine, LLC
Mother West, NYC
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
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
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,
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
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)
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
becoming the hip,
dead medium on
NYC Record Industry
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
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.”
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
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
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
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—
Nord Electro 5D
the deli Summer 2018 19
Soundtoys Little Plate
A Q&A with
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
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
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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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
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
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
ands + Gear
Read the full features on
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
24 the deli Summer 2018
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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.
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
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
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?
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 Mix-Con.com
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 mix-con.com.
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)
SATURDAY 7/21 SUNDAY 7/22
A Pop/RnB Mix
(Keys N Krates,
Puff Daddy, Galantis,
CID, Cee Lo)
Ricky Martin, Jon Secada,
EDM and Electro:
Beach House, !!!,
Future Islands, Half Waif)
(Doctor Who, Star Wars,
Assassin’s Creed, Black
Mirror, Nick Cave)
How to Give
Yourself a Raise
by Mixing Faster
(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
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
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
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
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
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: bit.ly/TipsForMix
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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
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: http://bit.ly/TipsForVocals
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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