AES Section Meeting Reports

American River Regional - October 25, 2011

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The second "Master Session" held by the American River Regional section of the Audio Engineering Society was nothing less than a musical and technological exhibit of success. Welcoming Weston Ray and Darin Stull of the society's professional chapter, AES greeted Weston House Recording Studios- who made their presence felt in the Studio B facility of American River College's music department. The energy lit up the hallway of ARC before the event kicked off, with chatter of excitement and expectation reverberating off the walls of the recording wing of the building. Tables and banners promoting the "Master Class" dressed the walkway, coupled alongside booths draped in AES branded material. The 3-hr extravaganza began at precisely 5:00 pm.

As slated, Weston Ray- accompanied by the diligent assistance of Darin Stull and the student chapter of AES members present- assembled a drum kit, miked the kit with a very unique choice of mics, and let the drummer play freely into the air to capture the compelling performance. Kicking the night off with a Shure Beta 50, and a Beyer Dynamic AT450 for the kick drum on the set, Ray decided to dress the snare with an AT450 as well. Below the snare and 3 toms sat a standard SM57. Weston and Darin implemented a special combination for the overhead mic set. Coupling a spaced pair, Coincident, and a single Omni (over the drummer's head), the drum kit's beauty was garnered by a 414 pair, A set of Earthworks QTC50's, and a Lucas CS1 Omni (an amazing microphone *imho).
After the miking of the room, the Weston House duo invited the student chapter into the control room for a once-in-a-lifetime experience I will not soon forget. Signaling the drummer to drum, Mr. Ray used the American River facility- alongside some of his personal outboard gear- and tracked the performance. The room stood still for a matter of 2 and some odd minutes before playback. Anxiously awaiting the result, Weston pressed play. We listened.

Before us was one of the most crystal clear, professional sounding drum performance recordings we had ever been in the same room with while it had been tracked.

Continuing the evening, the same amazement filled each and every student member of the society that was present. We were watching a professional, industry quality recording being tracked and mixed- and were being taught step-by-step on how to do it ourselves. Ultimately, everyone there left with a smile, sense of satisfaction, and feeling that we had just learned something that would WITHOUT A DOUBT give us all the edge over anyone else in our field competing against us. All 30+ attendees present left that night with an advantage that will surely help them in their path to engineering success.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society