Slau takes you behind the scenes at BeSharp, a recording studio in New York City. Listen to excerpts from sessions, gear reviews and equipment shootouts.

In this episode you get a taste of what is coming in the Sessions with Slau Podcast

Direct download: SWS000-Introduction.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 7:04pm EDT

When I asked Ed Cherney to send me a photo for this blog post, this is what I got from him: OK, shortly thereafter he did supply the official picture. Ed Cherney is one of my heros. Never mind me trying to list the people he's worked with. Check it out for yourself on viagra his discography page and, better still, read his bio. He's a founding member of both the METAlliance and the Producers and Engineers wing of the Recording Academy. I couldn't possibly do him justice in a blog post. Aside from being an extraordinary talent and a vital part of the recording industry, the guy just cracks me up with his wit. On top of that, he's just the nicest guy in the world and I'm so glad I had an opportunity to do this chat with him for the podcast. I must admit, we did this quite some time ago and I never got around to publishing buy levitra canada it but pretty much everything is still relevant. Hope you guys enjoy it.

Direct download: Chatting_with_Cherney.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 3:31pm EDT

Last time Mixerman was on the show, we spoke about his book, Zen buy viagra online and the Art of mixing. This time around, we talk about his new release, zen and the Art of Producing. Having read this fantastic book twice, I probably could have asked a dozen more questions, given the scope of the work. It's the kind of material one can read several times and absorb new things with each pass. It's available from Amazon as well as brick and mortar cheap cialis online retailers. I was so incredibly excited to learn about the new Daily Adventures of Mixerman - An Audio Book Dramatization. Even though I read the printed edition several years ago, the audio book version adds a whole new dimension to the story. Rather Buy cialis generic than just Mixerman reading the content, there's voice talent reading dialog and not just any old actors—you've got people like Ken scott, Ron Saint Germain, Ed Cherney, Dave Pensado, William Wittman and many others. Guess what? I'm among the many others! Well, truth be told, I got to do one line but, hey, listen to the credits and weep ;) The Daily Adventures of Mixerman - An Audio Book Dramatization is available through Audible and coming soon to the iTunes Store. Check out the first chapter on youtube: Chapter 0 - Supreme Negotiators And here's a bit of a trailer: TDAOMM Sampler

Direct download: Zen_and_the_Art_of_Producing.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 3:57pm EDT

So anyway… where was I? It's only been about 23 months since the previous episode. Geez… What can I say? There's too much to explain. I'll catch you guys up with the goings on over time but, for now, here are some of the things I talk about in this episode: METAlliance A couple of years ago, I attended the "In Session" event at Avatar Studios. This was a weekend of sessions with the likes of Al schmitt, Phil Ramone, George Massenburg, Elliot Scheiner, Frank Filipetti, Ed Cherney and Chuck Ainlay. It was a fabulous workshop and one of the most enjoyable events I've ever attended. from what I understand, there's one coming up early next year. If you have an opportunity to attend—do it. Studio Renovation Well, I don't know what exactly to call it. It started out as a remodel, turned into a renovation but ultimately could be considered a rebuild. I'll eventually do an episode on the whole process but I'd like to do it in a video format. I'll probably need to enlist the help of somebody to shoot and edit. Orchestral Recording Last year was one of those years when I flew to Kiev to record an orchestra for Sulyma Productions. This time, my wife flew out toward the end of our week there and we stayed a few extra days. Again, I'll probably do a separate episode about that trip. Just catching up a bit for now. The Seven Little Foys I did another cast album for Chip Deffaa. This time, it was for a musical called "The Seven Little Foys." The big dilemma was that I was right in the middle of the demolition at the studio so I ended up tracking most of the recording at Dubway Studios. There are some photos from various sessions at Dubway and BeSharp (where I did the final overdubs) at Chip's web site. Although I normally don't answer questions on the podcast, I did take a few questions via Twitter right before recording the episode. I don't know if I'll make that a regular feature or not but I just did it on a whim. I've got two interviews in the can so I'll try to get them out as soon as possible. What can I say? I'm trying to get back on the wagon… or is it off the wagon? Whatever it is, I'm trying to do it ;) Music featured in this episode includes: Various excerpts from Olga Vinokur (piano), recorded by slau Halatyn at Systems two, brooklyn NY "Pro Susidku" and "Shchedryk" by the Kiev City Symphony, recorded by slau Halatyn at dZZ, Kiev, Ukraine "World War I Medley" by the Seven Little Foys Original Cast, recorded by Slau Halatyn at dubway Studios, New York NY,  mixed by slau Halatyn at BeSharp, Astoria NY "In the crease" by Branford Marsalis, recorded and mixed by Rob Hunter at Bearsville Sound Studios, Bearsville NY "What Did You Do?" by Slau, recorded and mixed by Slau Halatyn at BeSharp, Astoria NY, mastered by Don Grossinger at Europadisk, Long Island City NY "Everything Alive Must Die Some Day" by George Hrab, recorded, mixed and 'mastered"  by Slau Halatyn at BeSharp, Astoria NY "I'm the One" by Slau, recorded and mixed by Slau Halatyn at BeSharp, Astoria NY, mastered by don Grossinger at europadisk, Long Island City NY "Felt Memories" by Slau Halatyn from the documentary, "Felt, Feelings and Dreams by Andrea Odezynska," recorded and mixed by slau Halatyn at BeSharp, Astoria NY

Direct download: So_Anyway.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 5:23pm EDT

Direct download: AudioPodcastersRoundTable.2011.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Mixing is neither a linear process nor a technical one. It's a musical process, and as such, a mix is some thing that one performs—like an artist. —Mixerman from "Zen and the Art of Mixing" Mixerman (a.k.a. Eric Sarafin) has certainly done his share of interviews in print but when I searched for recorded interviews, I basically came up with nothing. I figured that, with the release of his new book, "Zen and the Art of Mixing," he might be willing to spend some time talking about it. We talked about his musical background, education and career as well as his philosophy on recording and mixing. Mixerman also discusses a bit about the upcoming "Total Access Master class" including Ken Scott, Mixerman, Joe McGrath and Wyn Davis. As Mixerman says, "Enjoy!" Excerpts featured in this episode (in order of appearance): excerpt from the Mixerman radio Show Christmas 2010 Mixerman, Slipperman & Aardvark theme by members of the WOMB Forums The Pharcyde "Passing Me By" Ben Harper "Jah Work" David Cassidy "I Think I Love You" Mammal "Smash the Piñata" Pete Murray "Opportunity" Ian Moore "Angelyne" Ben Harper "Steal My Kisses Spearhead "Hole in the Bucket"

Direct download: SWS019-Mixerman_Interview.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:59am EDT

I actually did an episode back in early July but… well, it was just an exercise in Futility. Then, of course, my entire summer and half the fall were swallowed up by several projects and, well… you know how the story goes. Picking up right around where we left off: I did some vocal sessions with blessing Offor, a singer/songwriter signed to a development deal with EMI through Steven Ivy Music out of Nashville. blessing relocated from Nashville to New York and, fortuitously ended up about a 10-minute walk from the studio. It was the first series of sessions on which I used the DVA DR747 on vocals. What mic is this, you ask? Well, I'm sure I'll have to include the story in another episode but, briefly, it's a tube LDC based on a U 47. It was made by David Royer before he started Royer Labs. I'm still trying to get some nice photos of it so I can upload it to the microphone database at Recording Hacks. Soon… One of my favorite projects this year was an original cast recording for an off-Broadway production of a show by the award-winning Chip Deffaa called "One Night with fanny Brice." I had the pleasure of recording Kimberly Faye-Greenberg (vocals), Mark Goodman (piano) and Jonathan Russell (violin). It was an intense project because we needed to get it done within a tight budget. Everyone brought their best. Can't wait to see it on stage. Oscar-nominated actress Vera Farmiga will will be using a song I arranged and produced for an upcoming film called "Higher Ground" scheduled for release in 2011. It was from an album I produced for Ukrainian-American singer Olya Fryz. It's a children's song whose title translates as "I'll Plant a Pear Tree." It just so happens that Ms. farmiga is a fellow Ukrainian-American—we all know each other, didn't you know? It just so happens that this year, I did another production for Olya. This time, it's a Ukrainian Christmas album. The project took up several months of my time this summer and fall. Normally, a production might not have taken so long but, as it turns out, I did most of the playing on the album so, needless to say, it was fairly linear. I did get george Hrab to lay down some drums on several tunes. All in all, I'm really happy with everything. I wish Olya had room within her budget for having someone else master the album just for a different set of ears and all. I ended up doing everything from arranging through mastering. Oh, it's a lonely job… Thanks to Dave chick of Inside Home Recording for putting together some cymbal roll samples for the production. Guess what? After all that, I ended up using the real thing. hey, can you blame me? I mean, I was trying to avoid going out and buying several expensive cymbals. Lucky for me, George Hrab was generous enough to jump into his car with his cymbal bag and make the 90-minute trek to NYC to lay down the real McCoy. Also, Jon Tidey from the Home Recording Show was kind enough to remove a couple of noises in Andriy Milavsky's clarinet part on one of the tracks. What did we do before RX? I'll tell you what: we lived with the bench squeaks and the floor creeks. Man, how things have changed… I bought a few instruments at Mandolin Brothers for Olya's production: a wonderful 1910 Gibson "black face Plain A" mandolin, a beautiful Yamaha classical guitar and a Deering banjo. They were a source of much inspiration for many of the arrangements. Yeah, I love buying mics and preamps and all, but buying a musical instrument—well, that's just a whole different animal. I love these additions to my collection. On the gear front, I had rented a Universal Audio 2-610 dual channel tube mic pre from DreamHire for the Fanny Brice project and really loved it. I ended up getting one for the studio and pretty much used it exclusively on Olya's Christmas album. It's a fantastic pre/DI—not the quietest piece of gear but, hey, it's tube and that's to be expected. I've been looking for a pair of Neumann KM 84s for some time.

Direct download: SWS018-Warning__Tangent.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 12:06pm EDT

So, as many of you know, I've been recording albums for George Hrab for many years. In fact, this is his sixth album recorded at beSharp. It's always a blast and an adventure to record an generic cialis india album for him. This one was no exception, of course. I'll post a sort of "making of" episode soon that will include an interview with Geo. For now, thanks to geologic Records, here's the album in it's entirety. If you'd like to support the artist (and I'd encourage you, naturally), it can be found at CD baby and iTunes.

Direct download: George_Hrab_Trebuchet.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 6:27pm EDT

One of the biggest trends in the pro audio world in the last 10 years, apart from the resurgence of the ribbon microphone, has been the modification of lower-end gear to yield high-end results. In many cases, a simple tube or transformer swap can immediately make a noticeable difference in the sound. In some cases, additional circuit changes can transform a good piece of equipment into great equipment that might rival the performance of gear many times its price. Perhaps nowhere is this more prevalent these days than with microphones. Not only are there a ton of sites that offer DIY solutions for mic mods but there are several companies and boutique "mic modders" who offer these services for a reasonable price. Reasonable, that is, when you consider the price of the mics that these modified specimens are said to rival. For the average project studio owner, spending $5,000 or $10,000 on a microphone is usually out of the question, but spending a few hundred dollars on a mic and a few hundred dollars on modifications is a much more realistic proposition. These modified mics may not have the sex appeal of a vintage Neumann or RCA but they can often hold their own or even outperform their revered competition. Will they help a studio attract clientele? Probably not. Will they get the job done? Judging from my own adventures with mic modding—which I'll detail in this article—absolutely. Wouldn't everybody love to have the bragging rights that go with owning a beautiful U 47 in perfect condition? Naturally, but when your clients are paying $50 per hour, it's not easy to justify a $10,000 mic much less all the other items in the gear lust list. Having an affordable option in the "modded" category is a welcome alternative for a growing number of studio owners on a budget and, let's face it, these days, who isn't? As a studio owner, I've rented plenty of microphones over the years. I've often fantasized about owning many of the legendary mics that have come through the door. I could easily afford them all if I'd only increase the studio rate to $500 per hour. Need I pursue this scenario any further to illustrate my point? Putting myself squarely in the category of a studio owner on a tight budget, I began researching the possibility of modifying a few mics that could perform on a high level without the high price tag… To read the rest of my review of the Advanced Audio CM-12 Mod, please visit In this podcast episode, I interview Dave Thomas of Advanced Audio Microphones. We discuss their product line as well as details about the various modification packages. There's a little shootout between a stock Apex 460, the Advanced Audio CM-12 and an AKG C 12. How did the CM-12 compare with the two other mics? Well, naturally, you'll just have to listen to find out. :) If you'd like to compare the mics in your own DAW, you can download a zipped folder containing the 24-bit shootout samples here. For more information about Advanced Audio Microphones' products and services, please visit

Direct download: SWS017-Advanced_Audio_CM-12_Mod.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 7:36pm EDT

Here's a round table discussion hosted by the guys at the Home Recording Show. If viagra online you're in to audio, you should Generic cialis cheap be subscribed to all of these guys' podcasts:

Direct download: 01.roundtable.2010.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:07am EDT

I received an audio comment from James Clausen with some questions about microphone preamps. James inquired about my recent purchase of several Grace Design M101s and wonders how they compare with the Millennia Media HV-3D. As I mentioned in the previous episode, I won a bid on the M101s in an auction of gear from a studio going out of business. I wouldn't have gone out of my way to look for the M101s but they are very nice for the price and especially at the auction price at which I purchased them. I would have probably preferred the John Hardy pres that were originally housed in the studio's racks but, alas, they were gone before the auction even began… I sent the pres to Grace Designs for a +10 dB gain modification so I didn't have time to do a proper shootout. However, when I did bring the pres to the studio, I plugged them in just to make sure they were in working order. I did viagra a very brief comparison to the HV-3D just to see if they were at least as clean. I have to say, they were awfully close. I detected only a perceivably higher noise floor, perhaps 3 dB or so. Otherwise, they really were comparable. The front panel Hi–Z input and high pass filter are welcomed features not available on the HV-3D. I do wish they had an easier option for rack mounting but, with a rack shelf, a drill and two #10 machine screws, it's not a big deal. James asks about how the Grace and Millennia pres compare with some other offerings from Focusrite, Manley and Avalon. The thing is, some of the pres he mentions are more along the lines of channel strips that include compression and/or equalization in addition to amplification. Rather than comparing them to the HV-3D, I'd sooner compare them to something like the Millennia Media Origin STT-1. The Origin is a full recording channel although it also has a feature not found in too many preamps which is a twin topology design that allows for discrete solid–state and tube paths for the preamp, compressor and EQ sections of the unit. I had to break the news to James that, when recording a drum kit, one could, indeed, easily use tens of thousands of dollars in preamp channels. Of course, one probably wouldn't find that kind of arsenal in a home studio but it's par for the course in commercial facilities and higher–end project studios. Think about using 8 channels of a vintage Neve console to mic a drum kit—with a price tag of several hundreds of thousands of dollars, what would you say is the per–channel cost of the signal chain? Yeah, I know, it seems almost depressing, doesn't it? But why? It shouldn't be depressing at all! One can get fantastic results with simple, straight amplification of signals right into a DAW. In fact, that's what some engineers began doing in the 80s and 90s with preamps going straight into analog multitrack recorders and bypassing the console altogether. These days, it's possible to find great multichannel preamps with plenty of clean gain to help get several tracks of high–quality audio into your recording platform of choice without totally breaking the bank. If you do a little searching, you'll find that Rob Hunter (Branford Marsalis's engineer/producer) often uses Millennia preamps. What you probably won't find out is that, depending on the client with whom he's working and their budget, he sometimes uses the PreSonus DigiMAX. The DigiMAX is a wonderful 8–channel preamp with plenty of nice, clean gain. I've used it on a couple of projects as well and I think it's great. I've also used the preamps on the Focusrite Control|24 as well as the OctoPre. Apart from lacking a little extra gain for the many ribbon mics I often use, they're perfectly fine preamps for a wide range of applications. A recent episode of Ronan's Recording Show featured a review of several preamps in the $500 range. Among the contenders, Ronan appears to like the True Systems P-Solo which, incidentally, my buddy, Allen (Big Al) Wagner, just won in a Sweetwater Sound Twitter promotion.

Direct download: SWS015-Pre_Post.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 7:17pm EDT

Yeah, I know, I know—it's been a long time. Trust me, it bothers me more than it might bother you. Thing is, I could either cancel sessions and work less often, make less money and then I'd have more time to podcast! Oh, wait… maybe not. I did have a last minute cancellation which was quite welcomed, given my cold and so I did have an unexpected window in which to record this episode—a kind of "catch up" in the studio. I have to say, when I started this podcast series, I figured that I would do a few such "catching up" episodes but now I'm thinking I might rather do it in blog form. Hmm… maybe I will. We'll see. Sooooooo– since last time, I did go to Atlanta for Dragon*Con which was a complete blast. I met so, so many people who were so friendly and were fans of the podcast. It didn't hurt that I was hanging with George Hrab ( and Donna Mugavero (@MsInformation) most of the weekend. I was invited to be on two panels in the podcasting track. It was so nice to finally meet derek & Swoopy from the Skepticality podcast. ( I couldn't visit Atlanta and not give my friend, Brian Stevens ( a call. We went to lunch at one of those Brazilian steak joints. Wow! I like to call our little meet up a "meat up" because, man—bacon-wrapped chicken, bacon-wrapped beef, bacon-wrapped bacon… It was fabulous to meet Brian in person and I really enjoyed the conversation. Hey, Brian: c'mon, let's have another episode of the Music Pro Show! (Like I should speak about getting a show out…) A couple of weeks ago, I flew out to San Francisco for a meeting at Digidesign. I've been working with them over the course of a few years to make Pro Tools compatible with the VoiceOver feature of Mac OS X. It's been a long road and we still have a little way to go but we can definitely see the finish line. For more information on the accessibility of Pro Tools for blind users, please visit As usual, I did attend the AES show in New York. I must say, although they tried to spin it in a positive light, the show is so much smaller than it used to be. Hey, I'm glad it's still around and I'm confident that it'll grow once again but it really did seem quite a bit smaller than in previous years. I tried to attend as many workshops as I could. Of course, there are so many good ones that are scheduled at the same time—it's impossible to see everything one wants to see at these conventions. One of the panelists with which I was quite impressed was David Josephson of Josephson Engineering. ( David was so thorough in his explanations and so confident that it made me want to just go out and buy a Josephson microphone. David's an impressive and knowledgeable man with high standards. . No wonder he's chair of the AES Standards Committee. I did get to see a bunch of friends and colleagues—some old, some new. I met Sydney Galbraith who came down from Toronto for the show. I know Sydney through Twitter (@sydneygalbraith)—really nice guy with, I'm sure, a bright career in front of him. Speaking of bright careers, I got to meet the legendary Bruce Swedien. Wow, what a warm and gracious person he is. I think of him as the Walter Cronkite of the audio world. Man, what a giant in the industry and he couldn't be nicer. There were a couple of people I didn't get to see in person and I was bummed about that. I stopped in at the A–Designs booth to see Ronan Chris Murphy of Ronan's Recording Show ( but he wasn't around. I stopped in again the next day and missed him again and it appeared that he wasn't checking Twitter so I didn't get to meet up with him this time. Also, John Grant of Granelli Audio Labs ( had a whirlwind of a day on Sunday (his only day at the show) but I had to leave early and missed him. Next time…

Direct download: SWS014-The_Didge.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 7:10am EDT

Most of my clients come to me by word of mouth, which is great. Even better, I often get sidemen on sessions who have their own side projects and, having worked with me, often approach me about recording their stuff as well. I was working on a project featuring fairy tales and silly songs, aptly titled, "Fairy Tales and Silly Songs." The author of the stories and songs collaborated with a musician named Shay Salhov. He wrote the music for the tunes and did some incidental music for the stories. Shay came in a few days before the main session to lay down piano for the tunes. He was OK on piano but nothing special. In all fairness, I've worked with some extraordinary pianists and, let's just say, I wouldn't necessarily put him in their league. Everything went well during the piano tracking session and at some point Shay said, "Hey, I have a trio and I'd love to have you record us. I live in the neighborhood and I feel comfortable working with you. Would you be interested?" I said, "Sure, that would be great." So I thought nothing more of it because I get inquiries like that all the time from musicians and, until they "book the hall," it's all talk. But a few months later I got a call from Shay wanting to book a session. "OK, a trio session. So, piano, bass, drums? Piano, bass, guitar?" I asked. Shay quickly interrupted me, "No no no—my main instrument is saxophone. I just played piano for that children's project out of necessity but I'm a sax player." I told him that I really enjoy sax trios and that I was looking forward to the session. The setup for the session was really straightforward: a pair of upgraded Cascade Fat Heads  in a Blumlein configuration as drum overheads, an AKG D 112  on the kick drum and a Shure SM57 on snare. For the acoustic bass, I chose a Heil Sound PR-40 and for the sax, a Mojave Audio Ma200. I set up some acoustic screens to isolate each musician a little bit while maintaining line-of-sight between the players. The guys arrived and started warming up and, wow, they sounded way better than I expected. The drummer, Ronen Itzik, was great, the bass player, Gary Wang, was great and shay was an amazing sax player. Here I was, practically writing him off as a mediocre pianist and the guy was a phenomenal sax player and fantastic musician. Anyway, I quickly adjusted the mics on the drums and sax while the guys were rehearsing. When I squatted down in front of Gary, the bass player, he said, "Uh, are you sure that mic is positioned right? Isn't it supposed to be facing up?" Apparently, he wasn't familiar with the Heil PR-40. It's a moving coil mic that looks an awful lot like a condenser and one might assume it's a side-address mic but it's not. The mic even ships with a paper around it saying, "Note: This is an end-address microphone." Anyway, I said, "No, it's an end-address dynamic mic and it's supposed to face this way," and he says, "A dynamic mic? Hmm, interesting." I'm thinking to myself, "What does he mean by that?" I inquire and he says, "I've always seen guys use a U 87." Now, one can use almost anything on an acoustic bass, of course, but the most popular choice has traditionally been an Electro-Voice RE-20, a Sennheiser MD421—moving coils, for sure. I happen to like the PR-40 on bass because it's a little brighter and helps pick up a little more attack. Anyway, I assured him that a moving coil dynamic was a very standard choice for acoustic bass, especially in a jazz combo setting. As I buy cialis adjusted the mic to face the f-hole at about 10 inches away, Gary says, "Is that where you're going to leave the mic?" Now I'm thinking he feels it's going to be in his way or something. I asked him, "Are you in the position you'll be playing in?" He says, "Yeah." And I say, "Well then, it's right where it needs to be." And he says something like, "Hmm, interesting, alright, whatever." So now I'm really wondering what's he thinking? I ask why and he says, "Well,

Direct download: SWS013-Dont_Be_Shay.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:54pm EDT

I know so many people that have either met or dealt with Stevie Wonder in some capacity. I had the pleasure of meeting him once, many years ago (almost 20), at a pro audio retail shop in Manhattan. We spoke briefly and I mentioned the fact that I was legally blind which didn't seem to make a big impression on him. I guess he meets blind musicians all the time. oh well. The coolest part of the whole encounter was when I walked around to the keyboard opposite where Stevie was trying a new Ensoniq sampler and I got to hear him singing quietly while playing the keys. Without copper, electrons or speaker cones between us, it was the most incredible thing to hear him move the molecules of air that separated us, only a few feet apart. I'll never forget it. So, it was with great interest that I unzipped the file that "Big Al" from the Project Studio Network ( sent me a while ago. It was a set of WAV files from the multitrack master for "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder from his  "Talking Book" ( album released in 1972. It was a 16-track recording that featured mostly Stevie singing as well as playing drums and keyboards along with some horn players. The original recording didn't sound all that spectacular to me. I guess, for that time, it sounded alright but, by today's standards, well, let's say it wouldn't win the grammy for best engineered album. The track list is: 1. kick drum 2. drums (left) 3. drums (right) 4. vocal 1 (final take) 5. vocal 2 (unused) 6. keyboard delay 1 7. keyboard delay 2 8. clavinet 2 mic 1 9. clavinet 2 mic 2 10. clavinet 1 mic 1 11. clavinet 1 mic 2 12. clavinet 1 mic 3 13. clavinet 1 mic 4 14. horns (left) 15. horns (right) 16. synth bass If you dig around the "InnerTubes" you'll find these multitrack files along with other ones from various artists. I absolutely love going through multitrack masters and checking out the individual tracks. It's fun to piece together what happened, trying to imagine what the engineers were thinking, what production decisions were being made, etc. Most of all, what strikes you is that all one needs to do most often is simply bring up the faders and there's the song -- no automation, no plug-ins -- it's just all there. I think multitrack masters, especially ones by some of the legendary acheter viagra artists and bands from the 60s and 70s, should be used extensively in audio education. Actually, not only should they be used in audio programs in schools but they should also be made widely available to those aspiring to learn the craft of engineering and producing. I could just hear the RIAA preparing the documents for the lawsuits... "Superstition" engineered by Austin Godsey and mastered by George Marino

Direct download: SWS012-Superstition_Multitrack.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 5:07pm EDT

I recently posted something on Twitter that seemed to strike a chord, judging from how many retweets it seemed to generate. I said, "Sorry for the generalization but, microphones are to audio engineers what shoes are to women." It's an analogy that seems to work on several levels. Well, you can say I have a mic fetish but, I say, "What good engineer doesn't?" I think I should start my own brand of esoteric, boutique mics called Fetish and the flagship model can be The Stiletto. (Shhh -- don't tell anyone. It'll be our exclusive little mic.) There are some mics you don't necessarily reach for all the time and there are the work horses. You've got your Manolos of the mic world like the Neumann U 47 and then you have your 9 Wests like the SM57, MD421 and fat Heads. So, in my search for the "black pump" of tube condensers, I happen to call Dae Bennett (Tony Bennett's son), owner of bennett Studios ( in Englewood, New Jersey. I had heard some good things about the Audio-technica AT 4047 and, specifically, that it was used on all of the vocals on Tony's "Duets" album. Now, I know it's not a tube mic, but I was considering buying it but simply had to confirm that this mic was used on all of the vocals on that album. I had my doubts because I know that some of the vocalists on that recording like Sting and Stevie Wonder happen to use the Sony C800G a lot of the time. Dae confirmed that the AT 4047 was, in fact, used on all of the vocals except one. Turns out, what I heard was true -- Bono always seems to use a Shure SM58 Beta in the studio. Anyway, during our conversation, Dae mentioned the Apex 460 ( I hadn't heard much about the mic so, when I learned that someone had modified a pair for him, I was intrigued and began researching the mic. I was amazed at the differences of opinion this mic caused. I wish I had known about ( at that point. It probably would have saved me a lot of surfing time. Matthew McGlynn does an amazing job with his Microphone Database ( It has tremendously useful links to the manufacturers' web sites, spec sheets, owner's manuals, etc. At a certain point, I found Dan Richard's side-by-side comparison ( of the R-F-T Telefunken M16 and the Apex 460 on ( Turns out that, apart from three resistors, the mics are identical. Of course, the $1,400 price tag for the M16 seemed a little steep as compared with the $229 cost of the 460. Telefunken re-released the mic as the M16 Mark II with the same price tag but allegedly upgraded components. So, further research revealed that the Apex 460 was just a rebranded Alctron HST-11A ( which is a Chinese-made multi-pattern tube condenser that seemed to appear under many names including Nady and Carvin, among others. There seemed to be a number of modifications that some folks were doing like transformer swaps, changing the capsules, capacitors and tubes. There were some guys like Dave Thomas, whose company, Advanced Audio (, offered highly modified versions of the HST-11A and branded them with their own names like the CM12 ( In some cases, third party "mic moders" were using the Peluso CEK-12( as an upgrade from the stock capsule. Further, I discovered that Peluso themselves offered a similar mic known as the P12 ( All of these mics were essentially based on the legendary AKG C 12. Not being in a position to justify the cost of a vintage C 12, I found the Apex 460 at Full Compass Systems (

Direct download: SWS011-The_Fetish_Stiletto.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 8:08pm EDT

Think about how worked up we get as engineers and musicians over which mic to use, placement, the acoustics, etc. Think about how much time and energy is exerted in these endeavors. Now, imagine multiplying that by a factor of 60 to record an orchestra. That's where I was about 15 years ago when I was asked to record an orchestra for the first time. I had recorded several ensembles up to that point but nothing at all on the scale of 60 or so musicians. Like any good engineer would do, when asked if I could handle such a project, I naturally said, "Of course, no problem, piece of cake." Man, was I ever flying by the seat of my pants.To be completely honest here, as is often the case, I was referred to the executive producer by a mutual friend and the only reason I got the gig was because the orchestra we were going to record was located in Kiev, Ukraine and, since I'm fairly fluent in Ukrainian, I got the gig. Late last year, I got another one of those phone calls informing me that another orchestral project was coming up. I can't tell you how excited I get whenever these projects come up. First of all, they really take good care of me, make all the arrangements, book the flights and hotels, provide meals, transportation—I essentially have nothing to worry about except capturing the performance of the orchestra. Further, it is an enormous challenge but I love that challenge and I have a team of people to rely upon to get the job done. It's really a completely different sensation to be involved on a project with a hundred people than one with a few people in a room. In the past, we used to record these orchestras at the Dovzhenko Film Studio, the largest film lot in Europe. It's a very old and sort of run-down place that served the purpose, I suppose but, this time around, we were going to be using a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of Kiev known as DZZ, short for "Deem Zvukozapis" which means house of sound recording. Allow me to give you a brief explanation about the purpose of these recordings. You see, there's a dance ensemble in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada named "Shumka," ( which means whirlwind. This year is their 50th anniversary. This ensemble used to tour with a live 30-piece orchestra. In the late eighties and early nineties, it became prohibitively expensive to tour with a live orchestra. So they decided to use recordings of orchestras for playback in the venues where they were performing. Thing is, these recordings didn't seem to sound all that great in the large venues where they danced. In my discussions with Michael Sulyma, the producer of the Shumka tours, I explained to him that the main problem was that the recordings they were using probably had natural or synthesized reverberation in the mix and, when being played back in a large venue, the auditorium itself was imparting reverberation, resulting in a wash of unfocused, muddy sound. I explained that the recordings needed to be as dry as possible and, in addition, the individual tracks for spot mics needed to be delayed to compensate for microphone distances according to the speed of sound. All of this, of course, made sense to Michael and I'm sure I impressed him with my knowledge and confidence. what he didn't know was that I was essentially talking out of my ass. Well, not exactly, but most of what I was saying was theory and I had no actual proof or experience. Oh well, I guess I was taking a huge risk and could've failed miserably but, honestly, based on my experience thus far and my research (and imagine: I didn't have Internet access back then!), I was confident that I could pull it off. Anyway, in the end, as you might have gathered, I did, in fact, pull it off quite successfully, such that I've been invited back to do it several more times. This time around, it was to record several pieces for their 50th anniversary show to be held in Edmonton. As I mentioned before,

Direct download: SWS010-Orchestral_Recording.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 1:57pm EDT

I’ve used a few different vocal mics on George Hrab over the years. Most often, I’ve turned to the Audio-Technica AT4033/SE. Now that we’re in the middle of recording his sixth album, I figured I’d do a little vocal mic shootout and thought it might be fun to get some opinions of the listeners. Now, of course, in this mp3 of the podcast, the differences between the mics will be less pronounced but, for those who wish to download and import files into their DAW, 24-bit WAV files can be downloaded below. They’re all in sync so one can just line them up and A-B. In alphabetical order, the mics featured are: AKG C-1000S, medium diaphragm condenser Apex 460, large diaphragm tube condenser (modified) Audio-technica AT4033/SE, large diaphragm condenser Cascade C-77, ribbon Heil PR-40, large element moving coil Mojave Audio MA-200, large diaphragm tube condenser Neumann TLM-103, large diaphragm condenser Oktava MK-219, large diaphragm condenser (modified by Oktavamod) If you’d like to play along at home, the individual WAV files are available on this page: We’ll tally up the results of listeners’ preferences and announce them on next week’s Geologic Podcast. In the meantime, if you’d like to know the identities of each microphone, I’ll post a comment revealing them in the next few days.

Direct download: SWS009-Geo_Vocal_Mic_Shootout.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:22pm EDT

The Nady RSM-3 is a ribbon microphone sort of, kind of, almost resembling, well, very much resembling the legendary Royer R-121 ribbon microphone. It's now discontinued but, while it was on the market, Royer was compelled to send Nady a "cease & desist" letter due to its uncanny resemblance to the R-121 and its incorporation of the R-121's asymmetrical polar pattern response. I found a pair of RSM-3s on EBay for around $99 each and decided to have them modified by Michael Joly at Oktavamod ( He re-tensioned the sagging ribbons and swapped out the stock transformers for Lundahl 2912s. The results were quite impressive. I mentioned the fact that it's sometimes possible to hear a sagging ribbon touching the mesh in a damaged microphone. I neglected to say that this is true only when wearing headphones. To test a microphone for such a symptom, plug the mic in and turn up the preamp gain. While monitoring through headphones, gently sway the mic back and forth on axis. Normally, you should hear nothing more than a low-level rumble from air movement. If you hear a metallic clanging, chances are you have a sagging ribbon. It is, of course, possible to remove the grill and protective material to examine the ribbon visually. Of course, one should be extra careful when undertaking such an inspection. Take extra care to avoid the slightest blast of air and keep the ribbon motor and magnets clear of any surfaces that might contain dust or iron particles. BTW, although the RSM-3 is no longer available from Nady, they can certainly still be found on EBay. The original RSM-3 with the offset ribbon (yielding the asymmetrical frequency response) came in a wooden box. Nady later changed the design to be symmetrical and shipped in a plastic box. Currently, the RSM-5, which is the same as the RSM-3 but with a different body, is still available from Nady. Oktavamod offers a modification for the RSM-5 as well. Keep in mind, Royer offers an extraordinary warranty on their products which come at a premium but, nevertheless, they are phenomenally great microphones. With Nady, well, let's just say that one should check the product immediately to verify that it works. Yeah, it's pretty much hit or miss some of the time. I believe Nady has a policy of replacing defective microphones within a limited time (possibly 90 days or so). In my opinion, however, if the intention is to obtain a Nady ribbon mic and have it modified by Michael Joly, well then, a sagging ribbon need not be of concern. If you can afford an R-121, by all means, go for it. If you're on a tight budget, a modified ribbon microphone might just be the ticket for you. The RSM-3 product page from Nady: The R-121 product page from Royer:

Direct download: SWS008-Nady_RSM_Mod.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:34am EDT

I tore myself away from Twitter long enough to put this one together... (tweet, tweet)

My dear friend, George Hrab, called me to book a quick session to record a song called, "Far." This was an expanded version of a jingle that he had been asked to write for the 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast. We banged the whole thing out in a few hours and he subsequently made a video of the tune which you can find either on YouTube at: or on Blip.TV at:

Belated special thanks to a few people on the show: Donna Mugavero of Sheerbrick Studio (a.k.a. Ms. Information) for designing the Sessions With Slau banner and for insisting that the site be neat and clean. You can find her on Twitter at @MsInformation or check out her blog

David Jackson of Cooler Websites for helping me put together the podcast through his Podcast Fast Pass program which allows me to concentrate on just creating the content and slowly get my feet wet with the whole WordPress and RSS universe.

Tony Corso for his voice-over on the podcast intro. We recorded a bunch of stuff so I'm sure you'll hear more of him in the future.

Audrey Farolino (my lovely wife) for doing the "Sessions With" tag at the end. She insisted that I let her do another take but, I swear, her first take was perfect.

Thanks so much for the comments and e-mails. You can always reach me at: slau { at } sessionswithslau { dot } com and you can often find me tweeting by following @slaubesharp

Watch the George Hrab Video "Far"

Direct download: SWS007-George_Hrab-Far.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 2:10am EDT

I was looking around for a new vocal microphone for myself. Of course, anything I'd buy for my own purposes would undoubtedly benefit my clients as an extra option when acheter cialis recording them. I always wondered whether it would be worth a $10,000 investment to find a used Neumann U 47 or something in that class of mics. Would it be impressive? Without question, it most certainly would be. Would it sound better than what I already had at my disposal? Hmm... I guess you'll have to listen to the episode to get an idea. I booked some time at Legacy Recording (which has since closed its 37th Street location). We recorded 7 mics into a Pro Tools HD system through a Millennia Media HV3D. The tracks were unlabeled and I had the engineer make a list of the tracks and their respective mics on a piece of paper. I didn't know the results of the shootout until having heard the tracks at the end of the session. Back at BeSharp, I added a few mics to the shootout using the same accompaniment track and recorded the additional mics through an Hv3D. So, the second round of mics weren't recorded in the same room (actually, a bigger room than at Legacy) but it was all done in relatively close proximity in cardioid mode on all mics. The lineup: Neumann U 47 Neumann U 87 Sony C-800G AKG C-12VR Rode Classic II Audio-technica AT 4047 Mojave Audio MA-200 Rode K2 Apex Electronics 460 Studio Projects T3 Cascade Microphones Elroy Yeah, it's a little "apples & oranges" but I was just curious how a $1,000 mic would stack up against something ten times the price. Very interesting... Hey, believe it or not, I'm finally on Twitter. If you'd like to follow me, search for slaubesharp I promise I won't tweet too much -- just studio and audio-releated stuff.

Direct download: SWS006-Shootout_at_Legacy_Recording.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 8:53pm EDT

Jordan Potter (originally from Texas) had recorded at BeSharp a few years ago with his two Sisters, Lauren and Leigh. He was referred to me by the John Marshall family and I guess he was a satisfied customer because I got a call from him again, , booking some time to do two albums in just one week. He was bringing his friend, Matthew Conrad, a trumpet player from Baltimore. Matthew and Jordan would each do their own solo albums with Jordan accompanying Matthew on his album and Matthew making a guest appearance on Jordan's solo piano album. I had a pair of Neumann TLM-103s on the piano (which I had used on Jordan's previous project. For Matthew, I set up four mics and we did a quick shootout while soundchecking. I set up a Mojave Audio MA200 (large diaphragm tube condenser), an upgraded Cascade Fat Head (ribbon), an Apex 205 (ribbon) and a Heil PR-40 (large element moving coil). Without telling Matthew which one I preferred, I soloed each trumpet mic and he picked the Fat Head (my choice as well -- surprise, surprise). We actually managed to get through all of the material in just over four days. I was practically editing as they were walking out the door but we did complete the project on time. I mixed it and uploaded files for them to approve before mastering both CDs. Jordan released "Jesus Paid It All" and Matthew released "Send the Light" independently. I've seen it around on a few online retailers like Sacred Music and Hyles Publications Unfortunately, neither Jordan nor Matthew maintain web sites that I know of. For more information about them and their projects, write to: pianopraises [ at ] gmail [ dot ] com

Direct download: SWS005-Jordan_Potter_and_Matthew_Conrad.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:11am EDT

Taking a break from the insanity of the Winter NAMM show, George Hrab and I sat outside the Anaheim Convention Center one afternoon and pondered the event, the music industry, being a musician, the gear, the booth babes... National Association of Music Merchants: George Hrab's sites: The Geologic Podcast The Philadelphia Funk Authority The Musicians Cooler: The Paul Green School of Rock Music: Who in the world were we immitating with those silly Lawrence Welkian voices? Sessions With Slau

Direct download: SWS004-NAMM_with_George_Hrab.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

I had the pleasure of meeting up with many friends and acquaintances at this year's winter NAMM show. Here are a bunch of interviews with some of them. In order of appearance: Bob Heil, Heil Sound Bob is an absolute legend in the audio business. What an incredibly passionate and dedicated man. He has a ton of great stories to tell and I could just listen all day. He was very generous with his time and I cut a bunch of stuff out of the interview just to make it a little shorter. Extremely nice new drum mic kits from Heil. Check 'em out. Lonya Nenashev, fDW Worldwide (Nievaton) I finally had a chance to meet Lonya Nenashev (formerly of Red Square Audio) in person and check out some of the offerings from Nevaton, a Russian microphone manufacturer. This is one of those cases where I wish I had a quiet room in which to audition these impressive looking large diaphragm condensers. I've always been intrigued by Russian-made microphones and these look enticing. They're not very well known in the States... yet. Jed, DPA Microphones Not surprisingly, DPA wasn't showing their excellent line of studio microphones but rather their new series of mics designed primarily for live instrument miking at a considerably more affordable price point. Doc, Avant Electronics There's something about Avant products that I really like. Everything that I've seen from them so far has been really nice. I just recently purchased a pair of Mix Cubes for the studio and find them to be quite nice. Doc talks about some soon-to-be-released microphone offerings. What kind of a name is Doc? Well, he got that nickname because he was a medic in the Navy. Cool! Dusty Wakeman, Mojave Audio As a big fan of the Mojave MA-200, I was excited to see a prototype for a stereo version of the LDC called the Ma-202ST which should be out in the next couple of months. For years, I've been trying to track down an earlier LDC tube mic designed by David Royer known as the 747. I've told Dusty that, if Mojave were to put out a new multi-pattern, large diaphragm  condenser, I'd probably buy it sight unseen or, well, unheard. David Royer, Mojave/Royer Labs David seems to me like a cross between a hippie and a scientist. He apparently has a sketchbook filled with ideas and designs. Oh, how I'd love to take a little peek... John Jennings, Royer Labs John showed me Royer's new SF-24V stereo tube ribbon mic. Man, if I only had an extra $7,000 laying around. Hmm... Well, for now, I grabbed their much more affordable (actually, free) new demo CD which features clips from multitrack sessions featuring Royer ribbons -- right up my alley! Can't wait to sit down and give a close listen. Paul Erlandson, Lynx Studio Technology, Inc. Paul and I have been missing each other at a few NAMM and AES shows. Well, we finally did catch up and I was really impressed with their interfaces. Maybe we'll manage to get one into the studio to shoot out against some other converters. Gary, Audio-Technica I've always been a fan of Audio-Technica microphones, especially the 4033/sE. They were showing their new stereo mics and headphones. Again, one of those situations where I would've loved to have a quiet room on the show floor in which to have a close listen. Oh well, it's a trade show... Tony O'Keefe, CAD Professional Microphones I've loved CAD microphones for years, especially their early models. Although Tony showed me a bunch of new and interesting products at the booth, I was truly excited to hear that they're going to be manufacturing their higher-end microphones in the States again. Wow, you'd better believe I'll be hounding Tony to send me some review units in the future! Steve Trunnell & Renee,

Direct download: SWS003-Winter_NAMM_2009.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 2:06pm EDT

I've only just begun and I already have a "lost episode!" This one was supposed to be in the 100th episode of PSN but... Two of my clients have the same name and couldn't be more different. The John Marshall Family: Unfortunately, the other John Marshall's band, it seems, no longer has a web site. You'll probably see a message saying it's temporarily disabled but, for what it's worth:

Direct download: SWS002-Two_John_Marshalls.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:52pm EDT

Welcome to the first episode of "Sessions With Slau." It's a little "getting to know you" session. I talk about how I got into music and audio recording. I don't get too geeky because, well, I'll save that for future installments. Oh, believe me -- I'll get really geeky soon enough. My own personal (very static) web site: Unfortunately, there is no web site for Darka & Slavko so, here's a wikipedia page: My first (and only -- so far) article in "Sound On Sound" magazine: Sessions With Slau Other website mentioned George Hrab Geologic Podcast at

Direct download: SWS001-Blank_Page_Syndrome.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 4:06pm EDT

Welcome to Episode 0 of sessions with Slau. In this episode you hear the concept of the new podcast as we get ready for the official launch coming shortly. Subscribe via iTunes or standard RSS using the icons on the right.

Direct download: SWS000-Promo.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 3:20pm EDT












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