Audio News for April 4, 2008

by | Apr 4, 2008 | Audio News | 0 comments

Radio Interference Threatens Army’s Electronic Testing Ground – Fort Huachuca, about 75 southeast of Tucson, is an area surrounded by mountains and protected from radio interference, used for extensive radio-frequency testing of military equipment.  Officials say there is only one other equivalent spot where the terrain is so shielded, and that is in Australia. The problem is that more and more people are moving into the surrounding area and bringing with them cell phones, ham radios, garage door openers, large transformers and various wireless devices. These gadgets combine to produce an increasing level of ambient noise interference that is difficult to pin down specifically. It hasn’t reached emergency proportions yet but the expectation is that it may.  Work is underway to launch legislation to raise public awareness of the importance of the testing ground and to avoid impinging on the testing.

Surround Sound Electronic Concert
– The Los Angles Times reported on a recent Sonic Odyssey concert in a church in Pasadena.   It brought back memories of psychedelic electronic music concerts in the 60s.  There were some iBooks, a mixer and a dozen speakers around the hall.  The performers selected where to direct their two-channel electronic speakers to the dozen speakers. An evening of sensual and flowing sounds engulfed the senses, and according to the reviewer, proving there is no end to what you can do with electronics. (San Francisco has a weekly similar performance with original electronic works and 40 speakers surrounding the space, called Audium.)

Engineer and Producer Teo Macero Dies
– Legendary music maven Teo Macero, who was long associated with Columbia Records and Miles Davis, as well as many other jazz figures, died last month.  His first record date with Miles was in 1955.  He explained that Miles told him he could do whatever he wanted with the original tapes of the sessions, so Macero mixed and cut the tapes wildly – putting material from the beginning at the end, from the end in the middle, and so on – plus adding lots of reverb The final result, he said, was that most of what is heard on albums such as Bitches Brew was all done mechanically in the editing room. In one specific example, he worked together with Miles and when they only had nine minutes for one side of an LP he dubbed and bridged and created 18 and half minutes, and the record became a classic.  He admitted to doing all sorts of devious things such as this, but always with Miles’ approval. He also split up longer jams to help the artists make more money on their mechanical royalties:  If a track ran 16 minutes, he would cut it up into several tracks and give them different titles so instead of the artist getting just four cents for 16 minutes he would get four cents for each separate band on the disc.
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