Blog Update Sep 2016

Hello reader, shabby… that’s the only word for it, my ability to update my blog has been at best shabby. But now I find myself on a long haul flight to Melbourne and time is on my side, yes I would prefer to goto sleep but I have adjust to local time and that means staying awake for another couple of hours, might get a movie or two in as well !! Hopefully by the time we leave Australia, I’m only here for six nights, I will have posted another blog update, time will tell.

So, to start things off, I have an issue that I need to get off my chest. I left Vodafone earlier this year and as I did my subscription to Spotify died with it, my account was linked. I took the opportunity to try out Apple Music (I’m a die hard Apple fan of over thirty years). I like Apple music, I miss a couple of Spotify playlists but not now enough for me to ever go back. The other day I was researching something and it came up that the Billboard chart I wanted to see was listed on Spotify. So I clicked through and thought I can check this out with my now free Spotify account. The Spotify App loaded on my Mac Book Air and although it was offering to upgrade me again to a fully paid member all was good, then the App crashed. So I went through the process again, same thing happened. I tried three or four more times and each time as soon as I was logged in and I dismissed the dialogue to upgrade, the app crashed. I tried one more time and I’m not sure if I clicked on the login with Facebook button or what but I suddenly got redirected from the crashing Spotify app to Safari and Facebook.
Now, I deleted my Facebook account years ago and I mean years ago, about seven if my memory serves me. Why do I know that, because it took so f***** long to do that it’s indelibly stuck in my mind. The button to delete your Facebook account in those days was well hidden, at the bottom of the list at the back of the site, underneath several menus that you wouldn’t normally look at !! So now, I see a site loading on Safari and f*** me if a little popup doesn’t show up with the disgusting words … “welcome back to Facebook Donal” !! And I can see on the right of the screen some of the people I had linked with, it is my old Facebook account that I had deleted. It was still their !! I can only presume that my understanding of the word delete, which I think is the same as the OED hasn’t been adopted by Facecrook !!
Finding the new delete account button in Facebook is a lot easier but then is it really deleted ? We all the know the answer to that, I’ve just become dormant again. I hate Facebook, conveying true meaning in this digital era via the qwerty keyboard is an art few of us achieve with any level of dexterity. Which leads to all the feuds, fall outs and family arguments, not to mention upset friends and accusations of showing off as you post the latest in a series of pics from wherever you have just been that is absolutely fabulous etc etc
So Facecrook and now Spotify are totally barred, upon my return to good old blighty Spotify will be deleted and I mean that in mine and the OED’s meaning of the word. I shall eradicate it from my Sonos system and purge it from every other computer and device I own. I absolutely hate the way these massive internet services automatically connect you with another service with not so much as a by your leave. Wankers.

So, having got that out in the open onto a few more positive things, Red 4 Pre and AT E70 IEM Buds are good places to start. I would include Pro Tools v12, which I think in general is a great step forward but I have a few issues that Avid has yet to resolve, stability is one although I think part of the problem are certain plugins but it’s Avid’s platform and therefore up to them to create the environment to make it work. I’m also not a fan of the Avid Application manager. I turned it off via a terminal command but as soon as I updated it reappeared. I find it slow and unresponsive and it is only for Avid software. If it was truly an Application manager it would look at my plugin folder and list all my files and tell me what version I’m running and what is the latest version and a link to any update. It’s more a British Rail version of management than a truly clever piece of software than genuinely manages. Having said all that Pro Tools 12.6 that I recently upgraded to has proved to be the most stable update I have installed for sometime. Well done Avid, keep it up.

Maybe it’s ironic that I say all that and then wax lyrical about the Red 4 Pre which I use with Pro Tools 12 on my laptop via Thunderbolt and with my HDX rig via the mini Digi link. This is an excellent box, I’m not totally convinced about the build quality of the Encoders but everything else is spot on. Amazing compatibility in one box and it sounds great, two headphone outputs, eight analogue IP’s and Op’s, up to 16 Adat IO and 64 of Dante and I’m just scratching the surface. The other day I took this box along with my Mac Book Air and recorded a choir of 64 people. The box did the following duties. I had 8 mics for the recording session, 4 spots ( one for each part) two ambient and two rooms mics. It then provided the foldback to the choir using the eight analogy outputs. headphone 1 provided the artist her mix so she could hear the balance without her lead and headphone two was split to me and my coproducer for an overall mix. All recorded into Pro Tools via thunderbolt with no latency problem or crashes. Amazing. in fact I am now considering selling my Avid Omni and buying a second Red4Pre, pure indulgence but it would give me total routing compatibility between my two rigs. If your in the market for a new interface or even if your not, check it out. I am also now using the Audio Technica E70’s IEM. And they are great, they’ve proved themselves in the field doing shows with Sting, Gary Barlow and Simple Minds. Much more flexible than closed headphones and they offer a great fit especially if you swap the buds around to find the best for your own ears. They provide a good flat response with enough weight at the bottom end and good clarity in the mids and highs. I actually look forward to wearing them, although I admit I am still bit clumsy when it comes to first putting them on, I haven’t quite mastered the wearing them down your back vibe, although once installed it does leave you happily cable free. So that’s it for now, I am keeping a beady eye out for the new Red8Pre, (I want one !!). Back off to editing Sting live tracks, next time more about the album work I’m doing. thanks dear reader.


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Mixer Producer Recording Engineer

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