Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chicagoland Based "Deuce" Performances for August

Friday, August 10, 2007
Flatlanders-Lincolnshire, IL-10:00 PM

Saturday, August 11, 2007
Sunset Beach Bar and Grill-Sandwich, IL-9:00 PM

Sunday, August 12, 2007
Blarney Stone Pub-K-Section-Oak Forest, IL-2:30 PM

Saturday, August 18, 2007
Rhino Bar-Chicago, IL-10:00 PM

Duece's latest release, see below:

"I Came To Party"
Tracked, Mixed and Mastered by Bernie Mack
Produced by Bernie Mack and Deuce

*See photos taken during the album's tracking session on earlier blog below:

Recently Added To My Collection: A Vintage EV 636 "Slim Air"

Flashpoint, The Academy of Media Arts and Sciences - Construction

Flashpoint Recording Arts Studios - Floating Floor

Flashpoint Recording Arts Studios - Plywood Installed on Floating Floor

Flashpoint Server Room

Flashpoint Lighting Lab

Monday, July 30, 2007

Chicagoland Based "Leave" Performs At The Knitting Factory In Hollywood

Leave is part of "International Pop Overthrow"

Leave's last two releases, see below:

"I'd Rather Not Say"
Engineered and Mixed by Bernie Mack
Mastered by Brian Zieske
Produced by Bernie Mack and Leave

"Filled with poignant lyrics, wistful harmonies and a earthy attitude, I`d Rather Not Say deftly balances shimmering lighter moments with sharp-edged roots-pop rockers. Very Highly Recommended." - Not Lame

"Don't Go"
*Tracks 1,2,7,10 and 11
Engineered and Mixed by Josh Shapera
Mastered by Dan Stout
Produced by Josh Shapera and Leave

*Tracks 3,4,5,6,8 and 9
Engineered and Mixed by Bernie Mack
Mastered by Bernie Mack
Produced by Bernie Mack and Leave

"In fact, there's nothing futuristic about their tight harmonies, driving rhythms and thoroughly satisfying power-pop, but as the aforementioned power-pop scene proves, catchy tunes never go out of style."
- Jim DeRogatis from the Chicago Sun-Times

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Recently Added To My Collection: A Vintage EV 649B Miniature Lavalier Microphone

An omnidirectional dynamic microphone

Flashpoint Links Listed On Pro-Audio Web Sites





Project with Hank Williams - Master Mix in Nashville

The Project Included:

Left: Duane Exline - Recording Artist
Center: Myself - Tracking and Mixing Engineer
Right: Hank Williams - Mastering Engineer

Below is an article that was published in Mix Magazine about Hank Williams:

“I've been at this a long time and this loudness war is nothing new. It's been going on probably since dirt, and it's not going to change,” says MasterMix's Hank Williams, who — in three decades of mastering projects from Platinum artists Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire and Toby Keith to indie projects — certainly sees the big picture when it comes to the Nashville country scene and mastering in general.

Hank Williams
The long-standing loudness issue is a given, but the problem has grown out of control in recent years, say many engineers. Bob Katz, who's been recording since the early '70s and mastering out of his own facility, Digital Domain (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) since 1990, quantifies what he sees as a crisis: “There's a 12 to 14dB apparent loudness difference between Black Sabbath, produced in 1977 or so and transferred to compact disc in the early '80s, and the Black Eyed Peas' ‘Let's Get It Started,’” he says. “The difference between the loudest records and even the reasonably well-mastered records became so great that I can't even make a reasonably loud ‘normal’ record without people complaining that it's too low.”
Katz, who has worked with a full range of rock, pop, classical and jazz artists — including 150 records for the audiophile Chesky label, where he once served as technical director — paints a grim picture. “About three weeks ago, a very well-known jazz pianist, with a trio of some of the finest jazz musicians on the planet, said that he loved his master, but, ‘It's not as loud as some of the more recent things, so I'm willing to sacrifice its sound to make it a little more competitive, loudness-wise.’ I'm thinking, ‘It has come to this? Why would you have to be the least bit concerned about a jazz recording being “competitively loud”?’ I've heard that even some classical musicians are beginning ‘loudness envy.’”

Though most engineers acknowledge that today's music is louder, they don't live in constant fear of squeezing the mix. “That's the gig, you gotta rise to the occasion,” says Stephen Marcussen, head of Marcussen Mastering in Hollywood. “If it's difficult, it's difficult. It's part of what we do. I have no problem if somebody comes in and makes an aggressive record; I quite enjoy it. But you're talking to a guy who's been accused of making records too loud.” Marcussen — whose resume spans Stevie Wonder's 1980 Platinum album Hotter Than July to recent work with the Rolling Stones, Wolfmother, Audioslave, Gillian Welch and Jaguares — says some artists are even asking for lower volume. “Artists have come in and said, ‘Okay, make my record as loud as you can; now, turn it down 3 dB,’ which I thought was a nice, refreshing change in my world.”
Nashville mastering engineer Bob Olhsson, who's been around since the Motown days, agrees that most would like to see average levels go down. “There are brave souls,” he says. “There's an Alan Jackson record out right now [What I Do] that's about 8 dB below average, and I think it sounds way better, especially streamed or as an MP3 file or something.”
Williams, who mastered that Jackson release, says he's fortunate to work with established, involved artists. “Alan [Jackson] has some very specific things that he does and does not want done to his records, and I can tell you from my standpoint, those records do not suffer on the radio from being lower in level. It doesn't happen. So the answer to the question is, what's the point of this dynamic range war?”
Marcussen admits that engineers who voice frustration about the lack of dynamics make a valid point, but stresses that, ultimately, the client drives the master. “So it would be great for me to take a hard-line approach, but that's not the reality,” he says. “The reality is that the guy I'm working with wants to be competitive in today's world, so I think you have to respect the fact that there is good in having loud CDs. I didn't say it was all good, but there is good.”

Recently Added To My Collection: A Pair of Vintage EV 664 Microphones

For kick drum:
Use an EV664 on a boom stand, pointing directly at the beater, about 4 to 5 inches away
In addition, use a D112, placed halfway inside the kick drum, and rest on a pillow

Amazing TONE!

See my earlier Blog about the "Duece" session for a picture of this kick drum technique

A Few Published Works

Chapters on my "Subjective EQ Technique" and teaching stragities were included in Flash MX.

Chapters on my "Subjective EQ Technique" and teaching stragities were expanded upon, and then included in Flash MX 2004.

Chapters on "EQ for Tracking" and "Room Placement of Instruments for a Close Miked Multi-Track Recording Session" were included in The Savvy Studio Owner.

Recently Added To My Collection: A Pair of Vintage EV 644 "Sound Spot" Microphones

Cardiod shotgun microphones - Mint!

Flashpoint, The Academy of Media Arts and Sciences

I have recently joined Flashpoint, The Academy of Media Arts and Sciences - as a faculty member for the Recording Arts Program.

The school's link:


"Candid Input" about Equalization for Recording Magazine

Article:"Part 15 Equalization, Part 2 - Sculpting a Mix"
by Dr. John Shirley - Professor of Sound Recording at the
University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Photos From Recent "Deuce" Tracking Session

EV 664 and D112 in the kick

MD421 and Avlon DI on the Bass

Tracking the rhythm section

Sm57 and 414ULS on guitar

Drum miking

API Legacy console

Star Trax R.I.P.

Below are photos of Star Trax Recording INC. I have worked out of this room for over 11 years. The studio had a reptutation for great tone and surperb translation.
Star Trax closed its doors to the public on January 2nd, 2007.

The facility will be strongly missed...