MUSICIANS: Here is a work-in-progress rough reference mix of "Either / Order," the project we're collaborating with Sean Ono Lennon on for our "RE: Patterns" episode. This mix is just an example of how the Audio Bricks of the collab can be remixed together. But we need more contributions from Musicians. Please DOWNLOAD SEAN'S AUDIO BRICKS and perform them with other instruments, remix and rearrange them, or compose your own Audio Bricks.
FILMMAKERS, CINEMATOGRAPHERS & VIDEO EDITORS: Listen to this Reference Mix and shoot & cut video to the patterns in the music. CONTRIBUTE HERE
Here's my remix of ppeppina's song. I used a number of pieces from our live shows of a few months ago, as well as contributions put up to the collab before and after then. As well as a few overdubs of my own. I'll get around to putting up stems soon, in the hopes that someone will pick it up from here.
Sorry I'm only just getting around to putting this RECord up, after about a year in cold storage. It's a document of creating the vinyl RECord hitRECord released last fall. I was pleased to be entrusted with overseeing the operation, and it was a very interesting session for me, since even though I've been making music and RECording professionally for 20-plus years, this was the first time I've had the opportunity to watch a lathe cut a disc.
For those interested in the technical details: It's a real time process, one in which if you screw something up halfway through, the whole pass has to be thrown in the trash; Sort of like the way final mixes used to be before automated consoles, only in this case, you can't roll back and re-RECord over a piece of tape...You have to pull out a fresh slab of vinyl.
The songs were given a mastering pass in order to put them at equal levels, and to make them sit together well generally, and then the songs were sequenced into two separate digital files, one for each side of the vinyl, with gaps in between songs already in place, done at the time of mastering. So really, all Pete, the cutting engineer, had to do was to set a proper level for the lathe and run the pass.
The "blanks" used to cut the music to are aluminum discs covered in a high-grade vinyl. There's only a couple of factories making them in the US now. They're the size of a 33 1/3 RECord, only a bit heavier due to the aluminum, and you often cut them only on one side (ie: One disc for side 'a' and another for side 'b'). A long time ago, these "lacquers" or "acetates" would be the only way an artist would be able to hear their music outside of the studio in between recording sessions, since it was very rare until the 1970s for most musicians to have access to open reel tape machines. Since it was (and still is) a fairly specialized process, and not every RECording studio would have a cutting lathe in house, that privilege was generally reserved only for the biggest artists. These RECords, while very high in quality, are also extremely fragile, succeptible to the lightest of scratches, and generally can only be played a few times before they start to deteriorate.
Once cut, discs meant as masters for duplication must be very-carefully handled, and are optimally sent to the pressing plant as quickly as possible (certainly within days of being cut), as they're somewhat perishable due to storage conditions, dust, overhandling, etc. At the pressing plant, these discs are then metalized (dunno how) in order to create the stamper, which can then pump out a certain number of copies of vinyl before they, too, wear out and need to be replaced.
What you'll see in the film first is us jumping around from track to track to confirm that the individual songs are hitting at the same level, and with the same general tone and EQ curves. Then you'll see the first "test" cut, wherein we took a piece of scrap vinyl, and ran a pass to make sure the amp settings are good, the grooves are cutting correctly, and that everything sounds good coming back off the vinyl. Then, it's on to the actual final pass, where we created the actual "master" which was sent to the pressing plant, to be duplicated on that sexy red vinyl we ended up with.
One cool detail I didn't know about until this session: You know the fat grooves in between songs on a vinyl RECord? They're not fat grooves because there's no audio there: In fact, they're the product of a real-time process done by the cutting engineer at the time of cutting: During the pauses in between tracks, he turns a knob to advance the lead screw such that it creates a wider groove, and then returns it to its normal setting once the new track comes in. I thought that was cool : )
It's too bad I wasn't able to capture what it looks like under the scope: It kinda looks like a zebra print...Black and white, and as you spin the disc, you can watch the grooves wiggle in response to what's going on with the audio.