Mobjack Video, In the Dark

In the Dark from Mobjack on Vimeo.

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Billy Simons’ Album

Billy Simons recently released his new album, Music from the Motion Picture, which I had the great pleasure of engineering with David Stillman, who also produced and mixed the album.  Dave posted quite a few photos of work on the record on his blog,

<a href="">Alive by Billy Simons</a>

My primary task on the project was to edit the drum tracks and then time-align subsequent tracking sessions via Pro Tools 8′s new editing feature, Elastic Audio.  Without digging too deep into the technical end, let me just say that Elastic Audio is one of the most revolutionary editing tools to come out since non-linear editing.  Essentially, it allows you to stretch, move, quantize, mangle,  and time-align audio graphically.  This makes the task of tightening up tracks much easier than the old method, where tracks were cut into sections, aligned with the time grid and then pasted back together.

Keller Editing

Keller Editing

It’s so easy, in fact, that at first glance it seems as if you could simply shut the monitors off, align all the Elastic markers to the grid and then walk away, confident that Pro Tools’ razzle-dazzle logrithms have time aligned-your audio with no compromizes in fidelity and no digital artifacts inserted into your painstakingly tracked sessions.

You would think this.. and you would be dead wrong.

When initially tasked with editing the drum tracks for Billy’s album Pro Tools 8 was fresh of the presses and there wasn’t a lot of good A/B-tested best practices available on how to approach sensitive instruments like acoustic guitars and vocals using Elastic, particularly from a fidelity standpoint.  I watched a couple Youtube videos to figure out where all the controls were and dove in. (more…)