Tag Archive | recording

André Knecht Named Co-Chair at LAMA

andre-knecht

The LAMA family is very happy to announce André Knecht will co-chair the Music Producing and Recording Department, effective immediately. Current students and grads have been very fond of the former Warner Bros. Records executive’s approach in the classroom setting. He was among the first in the industry to embrace the digital recording era. The promotion comes on the heels of our expansion of the music production degree, which now includes the Composing for Visual Media major. To accommodate additional students and classes, LAMA is adding a new building in Pasadena, just steps north of the current campus.

André will oversee all aspects of the Music Producing and Recording Department and help the college meet the tastes and demands of new students, many of who come internationally to study at LAMA.

From current LAMA Chair Sean Halley:

André is a true master of the technical aspects of audio. He is also as in touch with the sweaty and organic side of production. LAMA students respond well to his passion and approach in the classroom, because they know that his only goal is to see them succeed. His many decades of experience – both as a successful audio engineer and as a marketing executive as Warner Bros – are a welcome addition as LAMA continues to develop and broaden its music producing and recording program.

The Swiss native has an academic and professional background including electronic music studies at Padua University (Italy) and a seven-year stint as sound designer, recording engineer, music supervisor and composer with the Swiss Broadcasting Company (SSR) where he also hosted a number of radio and TV shows. He moved to California in 1983, where he continued his career at Warner Bros. Records.

Halley continues:

André has an intensely solid background in analog technologies but embraced the digital era at its dawn, adopting MIDI and digital audio workstations when they first appeared. André is active as a consultant, freelance engineer and producer, instructor, beta-tester and as technical editor for book projects in the audio field.

Be sure to congratulate André on his new role at LAMA!

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Students in class at one of the computer and production labs at LAMA.

For more information, please visit www.lama.edu.

-LAMA Staff

Recording for Musicians Class at LAMA

Dave Beyer

LA Music Academy College of Music Instructor Dave Beyer is an in-demand professional drummer, producer and educator in the Los Angeles area. He toured and recorded for 3 years with Melissa Etheridge, and has played or recorded with The Motels, Jewel, Joan Osborne, Gregg Allman, Michael McDonald, Christopher Cross, Stephen Bishop, Helen Reddy, Jango, and Debra Davis. He has performed at major venues worldwide, including the Greek Theater, Universal Amphitheater, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Woodstock, Madison Square Garden and Royal Albert Hall; and has played on The Tonight Show, David Letterman and Ally McBeal, to name a few. Dave also stays busy as a session player, a producer and runs his own recording studio.

Last night at LAMA, Dave was teaching Recording for Musicians. Students were dialing in vocal sounds, tweaking mixes while vocal student Vanessa lays down a track with the Reactor mic from Blue. Vocal student Jackie tries out the “Bluebird” mic from Blue as well. Have any questions for Dave? Comment below and we’ll get them answered for you.

 

-LAMA Staff

What Kind Of Computer Should I Buy For College

During the dark ages of the early 90s, all you needed to bring to college was clothes, air freshener, your brand new portable CD player and some spending cash. My how things have changed. Since computer technology is a giant part of your daily college routine now, let’s explore your options before making any decisions:

TRADITIONAL DESKTOP

What used to be a very viable option for students is now a relic in the college dorm room or university apartment. But desktops (especially PCs) tend to be extremely cheap and powerful enough to run Pro Tools and GarageBand. You can get a brand new top of the line PC for a few hundred dollars where as other options are usually not as powerful and cost quite a bit more money. With cloud technology, USB flash drives, and document sharing it might be a bit easier to stay connected with your desktop these days but don’t plan on taking it to class unless you have the most awesome handcart 🙂

LAPTOP

Laptops have become the computing device for college with Apple taking 1st place. College students are transient by nature so it would make sense that ease of portability would be important. Going home to see your parents? Throw your laptop in your bag. Need to take notes in class digitally? Ditto. LAMA musicians love the MacBook‘s ease of use and can easily do their recording on it. Laptops can get so darn pricey especially if you want an Apple. Go for quality — your laptop should be able to last your entire college career so divide the price by the number of school years to help convince your parents for some extra dough.

NETBOOK

Enter the Netbook, a smaller version of the laptop. They are cheaper and lighter as well. The goal is that you need something portable that you can type on and do light browsing with. This is perfect for class because for note taking it is extremely efficient. Students at LAMA are probably weary about this option because it won’t have the horsepower that a musician needs to run ProTools or a similar program. And what’s the point if you take notes, browse the internet and run programs like GarageBand on an iPad…which brings us to:

TABLET

The Ipad, Samsung Galaxy, HP Touchpad or a similar tablet is a bit of a riskier choice for the college student but it does have some rewards if you are able to pull it off. For one – the ease of carrying around a tablet just can’t be overstated. The slim nature and light weight make this a dream for carrying to class or really carrying anywhere. Also the price tag is usually comparable to or less than a laptop. Taking notes in class is not a big deal — especially if you connect a bluetooth keyboard. You can also wireless connect to a printer or email the document to yourself. For leisure purposes, words can’t even express how great it is to watch HD television shows, play addictive games, and use innovative apps. For musicians – the Ipad is now offering a version of GarageBand but recording on these devices are still in the early stages. Remember, many websites are flash based (ya…still) so you won’t be able to see any of that content on your Apple device.

OR…DON’T BUY ONE

Check with your college and see what kind of computers they have for shared use. LAMA for example has Apple computers at your disposal for anything you need, be it writing a paper or surfing the web. They are also all equipped with Pro Tools for recording. If you are comfortable working outside of your home or apartment it is possible to rely on public computers. Like anything free, there are negative drawbacks such as you won’t be able to work from home and you have to share a public computer lol.

Our suggestion is to visualize how you see yourself working while at LAMA. Where will you be, what will you be doing, what do you need from your technology? This might help paint a picture of what you should be looking for. Have an older brother or a friend who went through college already? Ask them what worked for them!

What do you prefer – desktop, laptop, tablet? All of the above?

-LAMA Staff

Music Producer Video Quick Tip: Alter Acoustic Guitar for Recording

LA Music Academy’s Andrew Murdock, also known as Mudrock, is an American record producer specializing in the rock and metal genres.

He is perhaps best known for producing Godsmack’s Godsmack and Awake albums.

More recently, he has produced successful American metal band Avenged Sevenfold’s 2nd album Waking the Fallen, as well as albums for Slunt, The Riverboat Gamblers, Powerman 5000, Eighteen Visions, Unloco and Alice Cooper, as well as 50 Foot Wave’s latest EP, Power and Light. Mudrock is based in Los Angeles and has his own studio in partnership with Scott Gilman called The Hobby Shop, and he teaches the Audio Engineering Courses at LAMA.

In this video quick tip, Andrew discusses a trick he uses — “altering acoustic guitar for recording”:

Have you heard of, or tried this trick before?

For more great videos, tips and highlights from LA Music Academy alumni and instructors, subscribe to our YouTube channel here: http://youtube.com/LAmusicacademy

-LAMA Staff

5 Tips: Digital Recording for Students

Unless you have been holed up in a basement lacking electricity, you probably realize the future of music is digital recording. For some of the younger students at LA Music Academy, you probably don’t remember the dark ages when bands would have to slave away at day jobs for months or years to pay for analog tape — not to mention a day or two at a nice studio to track and mix their project. Here are some tips we’ve put together for students about to delve into digital recording:

1) STUDENT DISCOUNTS

Apple computers running Pro Tools have emerged as the premier hardware for digital music recording. You are in luck if you are a LAMA student because Apple loves to sell to students. All you have to do is visit HERE and see what deals they have going. As of right now there are some great deals on MacBook Pros and even a $100 coupon at the App store with your purchase.

2) GET THE BASICS

You have your hardware, now you have to choose your software. If you are looking to make the highest quality recordings, then Pro Tools is your only option. The cheaper option is to use GarageBand which comes with every Apple computer. While not as “pro” as “pro tools,” it is a great beginner program. In fact, artists like Ben Folds and Nine Inch Nails have even released raw GarageBand files for fans to remix their songs. Either way, you will probably need some sort of Preamp to connect microphones and instruments into your computer, this gear will run you anywhere from $200 to $1000.

3) DON’T OVERBUY

The truth of the matter is that you probably aren’t going to record the LA Philharmonic on your laptop in your dorm room or basement. You have to be very realistic about the kind of recording you are going to do or otherwise your budget will skyrocket. Think about the kind of music you will be recording and isolate the different pieces of gear. For instance, a folk singer with an acoustic guitar, you need a good vocal mic, and a good instrument mic, or to save money, track the guitar first and record later using the same mic. Just remember — there are no rules in the creation of music. Prince hooked guitar pedals up to drum machines to get his classic sound, Guided By Voices used radio shack mics to create their mid 90s low-fi sound, experiment! It is often cheaper.

4) CONSIDER USED GEAR

Especially with the current state of the economy, there are tons of great gear out there people are re-selling! Deals are to be had. Check Craigslist, eBay, Garage Sales, and Guitar Center used. You must be diligent because good deals disappear quickly. For more comprehensive info make sure to view our post, 10 Tips: Buying Used Musical Instruments.

5) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION

With so many people recording on their computers, large professional studios are in financial crisis and creating ways to game the system to your advantage. A popular trend is to “track” your basic tracks yourself and then bring them to a professional mixer in a nice room with great speakers to do the final mix. Although, some would say you are better off spending your money TRACKING in a great room, especially for drums, which are often hard to get to sound right. Mastering Engineers are also having to compete with home engineers and often offer very conservative prices.

Hint: find an engineer who offers mastering per track and pick your best song to get mastered.

The good news about being a LAMA student is that if you want to learn more about recording we have our very own “Music Producer” program; more info can be found here. Even if you are not in the program you can learn a lot just from talking with private instructors and teachers and asking them questions. Excellent resources exist on-line as well. Make sure to check out www.gearslutz.com and www.recording.org. Just popping in there once a day to see what audiophiles are talking about, will be a great free education.

What other tips do you have for students interested in digital recording?

-LAMA Staff

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