Two albums from my studio in 2013


Oct 17, 2012
Lancaster, PA USA
Gear owned
DM3200 UH-7000 3030R2R
So I got on with and uploaded a couple of albums I did last year that I am particularly proud of. Feel free to download and crank up these songs, but please don't distribute.

This is a collection of songs that were written or covered by a young guy locally here in Southern PA. His name is Ed Allison and he played EVERY instrument on this recording as well as did all the arrangements and co produced it with me. This album is called Sydney Failure:

My Favorites, in order are: All The Way to Philly ( caution, a few "F: bombs in here); Pull Me Out Of The Nothing (Love the guttural screaming parts in here);
Max Beaver (for the guitar work); Kingston Park (For my echoing floor tom and the shaker part, which we recorded first, all the way through with him counting out measures. No other cues, just a man with his shaker from start to finish. We layered on from there); FTL of Lawyers is my least favorite, but one he really wanted on the album. My piano was out of tune as I didn't realize he wanted to record that song that day. He just sat down and started playing it and request a couple of mics. Oh, well. The Next song is great!
The rest is a blast to listen too...All over-compression, buried vocals, heavy rhythm guitar parts and added distortion was intended. Enjoy

This album, called Protest of Praise by Lana Witmer is for sale at Amazon and CD Baby Here. Lana is a local (Harrisburg, PA) Adult Contemporary Christian artist and this is her first album. It was originally intended to be a simple acoustic guitar/vocal recording for her parents, but it turned into a full, outright sellable album when we rearranged a few of her songs into band songs. We had a guy come in and do the bass tracks who has actually recorded with Travis Tritt. (So I'm told). So, he did all 4 band songs in one shot. Super Easy! The other players were from a local church here in York, PA, where I have been know to sneak in and do sound for them.

From an engineering/producing standpoint, done by yours truly, I am most proud of these songs: Don't Let Your Heart Be Hardened; Let Me Fall; Protest of Praise; and It's not about me. Gracious Tumble got out before I could properly EQ it--My own fault for pushing it out the door, and the rest are mainly just acoustic numbers. I also love the song Empty (Water for my Soul), especially how she lands the last note of Soul. Hope you like this as well...
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Thought I would add a few engineering notes:

Sydney failure
vocals used a CAD C3, through a decent cable into a 50ft snake, into an ART PRO Channel pre, into my Tascam DM3200. I use Reaper as my DAW. Drums were my own Pearl kit I bought in high school in '87, with some Gog drum files mixed in on most songs, miced with 57s , a Shure beta 52A, and CAD e70 SDC mics for OHs. Guitars were all his hardware, mostly miced with my favorite guitar mic; a classic eBay cheapo ribbon (R121 copy) modified with a Llundauhl transformer and a Triton audio FetHead inline going into my DM. I'm sure I probably had a 57 in there somewhere as well.
Bass was DI'd, as well as double tracked with an amp mod on the second track, both eq'd and mixed as needed. All tracks were individually comped with a tRacks black 76, EQd with Reaper's built in EQ and were then sent through my tRacks Custom Shop VSTs, using the "Loud and Clear" settings, with a few EQ/Comp/Limit tweaks. Various other VSTs were used as well. All mixed ITB.

Protest of Praise
vocals used a CAD M9 with a TungSol 12AX7, into the ART PRO Channel. The acoustic (her personal guitar) parts were recorded in stereo, and possibly doubled, using two CAD M177s, into an ART PRO MPAII, set up for stereo recording. EQ/Verb/Comp/Tuning/Delay/ and all other effects, etc., were done with VSTs within Reaper. Everything was mixed ITB.
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Great mix...really professional sounding. Just listened to All the Way to Philly. Kinda sounds like Blink 182 grew some balls. Hell, I'm almost 60 and probably shouldn't even know who Blink 182 is! :) I like their stuff except for the wimpy sounding (to me) vocals. Philly is much more to my liking. Especially after I came back and read what you said about all the instruments being done by one guy. Did he do all the vocals too? Because, it sounds like two completely different singers.
Dang! Wish you lived closer to (Western) Arkansas! I'm just getting started with a DM 4800 and you sound like the gear head that could really help me get all my equipment figured out. You'd probably have a heart attack, though, when you saw my setup. Tons of stuff, but mostly old, and not much high end pricey stuff. Oh, well...sometimes it ain't what ya got but how you use it, and you, sir, use it well.
Thanks for the kind words. I have often heard that he sounds like Blink182...I'm sure they were an influence, he was 19 when we recorded that. He DID play and sing everything on the album, except the guitar solo on Max Beaver. It was interesting working with him. Since we were mainly dubbing parts as we went along, he would keep a grid written on a piece of paper that had all his arrangements for each song and, as we recorded, he would check off each part as complete. Some days it would be a rhythm part in one song and a vocal in another. Check and check. Come back a week later and do a guitar solo, a shaker, and the drums for another song...check, check, check. It was very efficient.

As for getting your equipment setup with your 4800, you've come to the right place. This forum has always been the best I've ever seen on the internet. There are some very knowledgeable, down to earth people here who are willing to help. Most are project studio owners/live sound guys and we all love the flexibility and value of our DMs. I have mine (3200) hooked up to a pile of stuff, none of which is exceedingly pricey, so I could definitely help you hook up yours. I'm sure there's a place for all your equipment.

Let me know where you are in your setup and we can go from there. BTW, right off the bat, I would recommend purchasing the IF-DM/FW MKII card to be able to send and receive 32 channels of audio to/from your DAW if you don't already have one. As an option, I also recommend the IF-DM/AN 8 channel analog card, if you don't have anything else available for this purpose. The 4800 has 4 card slots, so you have some great expansion possibilities.
Thanks again,
I already have the IF-DM/FW MKII card and have figured out sending and receiving with my computer. My main problem right now is, I went for the Acoustica Mixcraft 6 DAW as it was much cheaper and super user friendly. But, no one else on here knows much about it.....yet! I think Mixcraft will be running with the big dogs pretty soon. It's great for everything I'll ever need and more. The problem with it is Control Surfaces. It uses MCC (Midi Continuous Control) while the DM uses MMC (Midi Machine Control). I am pretty useless when it comes to Midi and I'm sure there might be a way to manually get it set and working. But, they will be coming out with Mixcraft 7 later this year and they are addressing that problem by including Mackie Control with it. It's just a big learning curve for me jumping into the digital realm. I'm pretty good at using software for editing and mixing, just not too swift at getting devices and software to play well together. I went from using an analog mixer into an Alesis HD 24 and out of the HD 24 into another analog mixer for mixing back without changing the recording inputs, and also for multiple outs to a headphone amp. Pretty basic hookups. Now, I have to learn routing and Midi and all sorts of things that are all new to me. But, I love music and I love recording and I will prevail.
And, yes, I will be calling on you and others on here once I get a few things figured out! :)
I appreciate y'all being here for me and, someday, I hope to be able to answer some things for the new "Newbies"
Well, Yes, that would be an issue. I bet it could still be set up, since MCC is still just the basis for any continuous controller, but the Mackie protocol seems to have become more of a standard. If you are interested, especially since it is free, ($40 for a license) I use Reaper as my DAW and still really like it. It does use MMC through the Mackie HUI protocol and it has worked great for me. I can control all my faders/pan/ARM/Select/Mute/Transport etc with ease. I can even control it wirelessly from my iPad over my home WiFi. Works great with VSTs, VSTi, and midi instruments, not to mention extremely flexible signal routing. Find Reaper Here.
Checked out Reaper. Looks like what I would have gotten if I hadn't found the Mixcraft first. Downloaded the manual and looked through it. The layout is similar to Mixcraft, but it probably has a lot more features...which is why it has such a bigger manual!! :)
Mixcraft seems to have some good included virtual instruments. Reaper has some really nice effects, (I use their EQ/Comp/and reverb all the time) but they are still working on instruments. For the most part, I use VST instruments like addictive drums and keys for that stuff. It's got a great midi editor, but I have mostly been using it for a "mics in front of instruments" type of recording. But the internal signal routing is awesome! Infinite tracks, low overall size, 64bit recording/mixing end to end, even if you are using 32bit windows. They update constantly, working with the fan base and testers almost daily. Otherwise, similar features with mixcraft. It's also been vary stable for me. Not to mention, I could walk you through the Machine Control stuff with your DM.
Try it, it's free...
I guess it don't hurt to have more than one DAW!!! :)

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