Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This is your audio... this is your audio on "Great Rivers"

I've been using the Great River preamps for a few weeks now and I'm loving them. Aside from their sweet microphone amplifying characteristics they're also great for running mix stems through.

I've been experimenting with running the stereo mix of my drums, bass, guitars, keys through the Great Rivers and I have to say I love the final result. The mixes I've been doing have been more musical and sound, for lack of a better explanation, more expensive.

I'll put some sound clips up soon of before and afters but here's a picture of my digital mix stem of the drums and then what it looks like after it runs through the Great Rivers. Compressed much? :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Buying beats with samples

I was working the other day with a hip hop crew that bought some
beats online. One of the beats they bought was based off an obvious sample which more than likely wasn't cleared. A beat with a sample in it can create a lot of hassles for artists who want to get their music out to the public.

Some artists I've spoke to about this have the attitude that, "At the time it becomes a big deal, I'll have the money to pay everyone off".

This isn't really a good plan though for many reasons. Lawsuits inevitably always cost more than clearing something properly to begin with. It can also put your career on hold when matters are decided in court. A lot of times in this business you only get one chance. You don't want to blow it because your #1 hit is tied up in a legal battle for several years. By the time matters are settled, everyone will have moved on to the next artist and you will be long forgotten.

This is of course if your song can even get out there. When manufacturing CD's most CD manufacturers check the disc for any uncleared samples and will want the paper work to make sure everything is legitimate. Radio stations are generally unwilling to play any songs with uncleared samples without documentation too. The risk involved in lawsuits isn't worth it for these companies and trying to sneak it by them will not put you in their good books!

The reason I'm writing about this is to help save you time, money and aggravation. When buying beats off of producers make sure that they have cleared any samples used. This actually goes for obvious samples from classic songs but also applies to drum loops or sounds (string, piano, bass or otherwise) used from a sample library.

You can check out some of my beats @

Click on the purple "Listen Beats" tab above the text to listen to some of the beats that are available

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Great Rivers are here!

The Great River MP-500NV preamps arrived a week ago and I have to say they sound awesome! These preamps were designed to be a "modern" take on the Neve 1073 sound which is one of the most sought after sounds in recorded music.

I've had a week to play around with the Great Rivers a bit and I'm really digging them. I have been recording with an API preamp for about 7 years now so I'm really use to that sound. I was almost wondering if I was taking that sound for granted because I'm so use to it. I haven't had a lot of time to compare between the API and the Great River but I did have some listen tests with vocals. Without music I found they sounded relatively similar. When I added the backing music and listened again though there was a big difference. I can definitely hear what people mean now when they talk about the API "push". The API vocal stood out whereas the Great River settled in with the mix. I also found I could add more top end to the Great River vocal sound without it being harsh. I may decide to record most of my instruments with the Great Rivers and the vocals with API so my vocal stands out in the mix. I guess with experimentation all will come clear.

Here's a few other things I've run through the Great Rivers and what I thought of them:

Bass Synth: Nice! Crank the input till see a bit of red and it gives you a really nice thick sound. I know what the expression "running it through iron" now means :).

Bass Guitar: I ran my bass through a sansamp bass driver--->Great River Pre--->Distressor and then into the apogee converters and got the best bass sound I've ever gotten. Very smooth low end with a nice mid/top end presence.

Guitars: Really nice. I'm going to have to figure out what configuration works best for this as API is known for it's great guitar sound too.

In closing the Great Rivers are going to be a great addition to the Morph sound. The great thing about them is that they should compliment the API I already have really nicely. The API is known for it's pronounced mids and the Great Rivers for their wonderful low end/top end so now I have more sounds to work with. I'll write more about these as things progress and I get a chance to use them more.

Morph Productions