ToKwerX

the VANITY of TREES: Padma Newsome

Absolutely delighted to support the release of this sonic tapestry by dear friend and colleague Padma Newsome. The album is a collective of works featuring the wonderful artistry of this beautiful man. I am thrilled to have been involved in bringing this to life. Best wishes and congratulations Padma x. https://padmanewsome.bandcamp.com/album/the-vanity-of-trees

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It's All in the Timing...

This week and next I am completing the debut release for Erin Downie and Rebellious Bird. 
This EP has been over two years in the making during which we have endured: Moving homes (twice), Full Time Study, Floods, Single Parenting and Broken Hearts.

But we persevered.

I am incredibly proud of this upcoming release and consider it some of my best work. Erin sings beautifully on these tracks and the band is wonderful. Horn section will be dropped in next week. 
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard and at times sacrificed part of themselves to complete this project.

This EP is testament to the gift of love and the privilege of sharing music. Not an opportunity to be taken for granted.

I will deliver the masters to Erin before the end of September and sincerely hope something is done with this recording, for a debut release of this quality is a very rare gift indeed.

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Trumpet through a Ribbon...

My 1976 OLDS Recording is a beautiful sounding Horn; not too bright or shrill. Recording for a Sydney artist's upcoming release and have opted for the OPR Ultra-Mod Rocket Ribbon as the microphone. Running through one of my AVALON 737SP modified valve units (on High Gain of course!) the tone is thick and moody but still with an upper presence. A little boost at 1.2k and another at 10k and the sound was there. A touch of compression. DONE!

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1 Singer: 3 Mic's: Rebellious Bird

When tracking vocals for both a lead and accompanying backing parts it is great to utilise different mic's so the resulting lead and BV's have a contrasting timbre. This assists in providing a separation between the two final sounds within the mix. Additionally different vocal approaches between songs benefit from this to exploit different characteristics in a lead vocal - especially when working with a very accomplished singer - such as Erin Downie.

Thus far we've opted for my OPR Ultra-Mod Ribbon and P12 valve condenser by Peluso. Sitting in waiting is the CM7 FET condenser by Wunder but as yet has not got a guernsey. I've set up three input channels with HPF, EQ and soft-knee compression: OPR Ribbon required several dB cut around 350Hz and a subtle boost at 12kHz; the P12 is actually coming in flat - this mic' has been modified 4 times from stock and is quite sublime. The Ribbon is providing a wonderful thickness in the mids for a female lead vocal whilst the P12 has a very similar body but as one would expect from a condenser has more subtle high end making it wonderful for the more breathy takes. These then matrix out into a single master record buss, which allows Erin to simply move between mic's and audition each characteristic.

,,, and a reminder of the January 19th show to open the Skylark Room for 2018. Link for Bookings here: http://www.theskylarkroom.com/upcoming-gigs/rebelliousbird

the ToKwerX Hybrid-System

The current mixing and mastering facility at ToKwerX is a beautiful balance of analogue and digital devices. Allowing the immense control and immediate recall of digital but gifting the ability to enhance with saturation, warmth and real vacuum-tube harmonic distortion to the mix or master. Add to this an expanded perception of stereo image and depth of field derived from 16 stems into analogue summing. The modern mixing & mastering facility need not be huge but can be incredibly powerful, whilst retaining the sonics that only analogue produces.

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3 minutes

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Within minutes of ToKwerX this is where you can be. So special and unbelievably close to the new studio. So whilst you're undertaking editing, mixing or mastering at ToKwerX take a break and breathe some of the amazingly fresh air and listen to the birds chatter over the symphonic chorus of the forest. 

Most clients just send through their projects these days but I invite and encourage you to come, stay a while; complete your project amidst the peace that is literally moments from our door.  

40 Years of Recording

Not long after my 15th birthday I ventured into a professional recording studio for the first time. It was the old ABC Studios in Waverley Road, Malvern, which was then also the home of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO). This year now becomes my 40th year of making records... and I still love it. Not sure if I'm likely to register 40 more but I'm not seeing any signs of stopping yet!

Thank you to everyone I've ever been blessed to record, or record with, or be recorded by.

Two pieces of history ... "Formiles" Mastering

When Quad Eight ceased making high end consoles in the US out of Hollywood CA a company known as Orphan Audio bought most of the assets from this historic contributor to the film-sound and music industries. Orphan later recreated two newer incarnations in salute of the iconic companies Quad Eight and Electrodyne.

I wrote to Orphan Audio asking if they knew anything of the specific history of my QE CL22's, and to my romantic delight, this is the reply from director Ken Hirsch:                 "Anthony,
This pair of CL-22's has had an interesting life.
They were originally built for a custom 27' long, Quad-Eight film dubbing console, installed in the Alfred Hitchcock theatre at Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA. All the console modules were custom ordered by Universal Studio's fitted with those distinctive natural finish aluminium "Alco" knobs and flat black faceplates...  Can you imagine the world famous films your modules have mixed?
Although the final factory design notes show a date of Nov. 1978 and first release was indeed very early 1979, I believe your pair was built for the Universal Studio's console no-later than about 1980... in addition they have been one of my favorite dynamics units since I bought my first pair in 1984."

So, what's their nickname to be? Shall we pass the entire master through the Alfred's?    Tonight the first client to be blessed by the CL22's at ToKwerX was band Formiles. Back to master another single "Xenox." The Quad Eight's were amazing, embedding the punchy VCA Limiting that resulted in an entire stage of otherwise digital virtual-VCA dynamics being eliminated. Most processing for this release was done in the analogue domain. 

Signal path Analogue: AUDIENT SUMO Buss Compressor - AVALON 747 Opto-Valve Compressor @ EQ - HARRISON 32C EQ - QE CL22 Compressor/Limiters - Captured in DSD @ 5.6MHz. Digital processing: UAD FATSO - UAD Limiter - OZONE 7 Inter-sample Clip Prevention. Sample-rate and DSD~PCM conversion in Saracon by WEISS.