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Omni Magazine Covers

Posted by Scott

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I remember seeing Omni magazine when I was a kid and wanting it. For some reason I was never able to get my hands on an issue, so I still don’t know what it’s about, something to do with sci-fi apparently. Anyways, the covers and style are excellent regardless of the content. You can find an archive of all the issues here, although the images aren’t very large.

F5 Fest New York

Posted by Scott

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I’ll be heading out to New York for the F5 Fest April 16-17th. I’ve known the organizers for a while and worked with them on past in events in Barcelona and New York. They’re a great group and I’d imagine this will be a very inspiring event for everyone. More info can be had at the F5 site, here’s a quick run down of what the event is about:

Two-days of inspiring presentations and discussions that will alter the way you think about work, life and everything in between.

– An international showcase of cutting-edge artwork and design
– A relaxing bar/lounge to recharge your batteries and make new friends
– A reason to visit New York City, one of the great creative centers of the world
– An amazing after-party by Media Temple

There should be a few tickets left, you can purchase them here. See you out there!

ChoirofYoungBelievers+Clark+Fever Ray

Posted by Jakub

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Denmark not only has one of the best looking national flags but they also have one of the best looking and sounding bands called Choir of Young Believers and this group last night at Pianos gave me goosebumps 5 times. The couple remind me of if Band of Horses wrote more gentle songs that were less southern and more Scandinavian. If you live in New York come to The Delancey tonight, they’ll be playing there and the grand opening of a new bar in Brooklyn that is owned by the people that own the Cake Shop called Bruar Falls this Friday.

The new Clark record is out on Warp this month, I grabbed the ambient track to share with you all, i’m really loving how that color scheme worked out for that album cover.

I rave about this Studio band a ton here and posted about how D. Lissvik who is half of Studio did a solo album awhile back and now he is remixing and he did an amazing one for Fever Ray who is half of The Knife who is everywhere from in Nylon to the front page of Pitchfork recently. The remix is perfect Caribbean sounding slow disco and the vox fits perfectly, you can grab it up on XLR8R right now for free.

Choir of Young Believers – Why Must It Always Be This Way

Clark – Farewell Mining Town

Fever Ray – When I Grow Up (Version by Lissvik)

Space Colony 1970

Posted by Scott

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I’ve seen these sort of retro-future space colony illustrations around here and there but never knew the original source until today. NASA has posted a good sized collection of full resolution scans of the original artwork here. Apparently these were part of a series of NASA studies on space colonization:

“A couple of space colony summer studies were conducted at NASA Ames in the 1970s. Colonies housing about 10,000 people were designed. A number of artistic renderings of the concepts were made. These have been converted to jpegs and are available as thumbnails, quarter page, full screen and publication quality images. There are 16 images presented below.”

Link

Mastering Tycho At Monsterlab

Posted by Scott

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I made the drive out to Sacramento this morning to have the next Tycho single mastered by Eric Broyhill at Monster Lab Audio. In case this is sounding familiar to you, it’s because this is my second pass at this song. I mixed and mastered it last month but after repeated listens, something just wasn’t quite right so I did another mix over the past week and it’s finally wrapped. It’s been a long road, this particular track is sonically very dense and it’s been a very difficult one to mix. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the idea of mastering, it’s the last stage in the production process in which an engineer puts the finishing touches on your music and gets it into the form it will take for the final release — be it CD, MP3, vinyl, or otherwise. That is, of course, a gross oversimplification of what mastering is, if you’re really interested in the details here’s the Wiki article on the subject. It’s a vital step in the process of moving a recording out of your studio and into the real world where every stereo and every room is different, and you hope that your music sounds good on and in all of them. I think most importantly it puts another set of critical ears on your music. By the end of the production process your own ears can become deaf to the subtleties (or not-so-subtleties) and details of the material so it’s vital to have some fresh ears hear it for the first time and recognize it for what it is, not what it has become for you through infinite listens. Ideally, those ears belong to a capable person who knows waaaay more than you’ll ever know about the science and nuance behind how people perceive sound. Mastering can be heavy-handed or light and transparent, and therein lies the problem. Because the process can have such a profound effect on the final product, you have to trust the person doing it. You must have faith that they get what you’re trying to do with a song. It’s a very difficult thing to hand over the reigns to something you’ve put so much of yourself into, to another person who may or may not understand the essence of what you’re trying to do sonically with a song.

I was fortunate enough to meet Eric Broyhill back when I was finishing up my first album and he’s mastered all of my releases since. He’s great at understanding what I am going for and I am always amazed at the night-and-day results when I compare his versions with the raw material. The shots above are from his space which is located inside Hangar Studios (John Baccigaluppi’s studio and the home of TapeOp magazine) in Sacramento. I took these shots during a session a while back so they aren’t really up to date, I think he’s replaced a few pieces in the rack but the interiors are the same and that’s the really impressive thing about the place (unless you’re like me and you can’t stop staring at the Manley Massive Passive). A mastering environment has to be acoustically treated to ensure accurate monitoring of the material. There are many ways to go about this, most involve fiber sound absorbers and diffusers. I’ve always admired Eric’s solution to these problems from both a technical and aesthetic perspective. He was able to build much of the treatments into the structure so that they’re almost unnoticeable but the most prominent element is definitely meant to be noticed. The primary diffuser on the front wall is a giant face he had built by a local artist out of wood blocks set at varying heights (see picture above). This randomly redirects reflected sound waves to avoid phasing issues that can be caused by parallel surfaces. It looks amazing and sounds even more amazing when paired with the incredible Earthworks Sigma monitors he uses. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever heard a better sounding system than this one.

Now it’s time to finish up the album. I really can’t wait for the day I get to drive back out there, it’s always like a celebration for me at the end of the months spent in the studio slaving away on the music. You get to hand it over and then watch it become complete. If you’re in the market for mastering — which any self-respecting musician should be — definitely check out Eric at Monsterlab, he does incredible work at very reasonable rates. And if you’re not in Northern California I know he can do the work remotely as we did a couple sessions that way. Monsterlab Audio

Olle Eksell – Swedish Graphic Designer

Posted by Alex

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Assorted work by designer Olle Eksell to kick off your Tuesday right. What great typography! (It’s all late 40’s, early 50’s work.) All of the above are scanned from a book I picked up in Tokyo. I thought I had stumbled upon the secret of all secrets when I found it, but you can buy it on Amazon just as well.