Joel Patterson

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Microphone review: Microtech Gefell M 221

Product Manufacturer: Microtech Gefell Product Name: M 221 omni microphone Price of Product: $1,999 retail Product Reviewer: Joel Patterson Reviewer Credits: Owner/ Chief Engineer Mountaintop Studios, Petersburgh NY Review Date: 1-12-12 Product Synopsis: Whatever you do— if you do ANYTHING with recording any kind of audio, this mic will make what you do easier, more joyful, better. It’s a rock-solid, exquisitely machined work of precision engineering, gloriously realized, well into the terrain of ‘pro, no-nonsense gear, reliable, you have arrived, this is the first day of the rest of your life.’ I don’t wanna geek out on you— but the diaphragm is made of metal, it’s not plastic spray-painted with metal— anecdotal rumors suggest you can drop it from four feet onto a hardwood floor and it’s fine. The frequency response chart looks like they forgot to print the line— oh, the zero line IS the line. Oh. Introduction: Even though “Microtech Gefell” sounds to me like acres of steam engines, huge creaking metal doors, maybe a hunchback mad scientist or two, actually they are a team of wonderfully cool people.

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REVIEW: EARTHWORKS DP30 MICROPHONE

Product Manufacturer: Earthworks Audio Product Name: DP 30 microphone Price of Product: $ 799 retail Product Reviewer: Joel Patterson Reviewer Credits: Owner/ Chief Engineer Mountaintop Studios, Petersburgh NY Review Date: 11-28-11 Product Synopsis: To call this a “tom mic” is like calling the Mona Lisa “a painting.” Introduction: There’s this odd (and sorta scary!) degree of mind games that go on when you’re recording and mixing music that has to do with your assessment of “how it’s going”— you can take forever in deciding “if it’s okay” (which ideally you’d want to translate as “if it’s the bestest it can be.”) There’s the cliche of the two engineers who walk into a bar, and one sits down at the soundboard and proceeds to EQ something to perfection— only to realize he never really was, the EQ was disengaged! You can fool yourself into thinking you’re hearing things that you’re not, especially if you’re trying to concentrate on very fine gradations of an aspect of the sound that’s PRETTY subtle to begin with, when you contemplate the whole thing. You hear I’m saying, Jimbo? So I’ve learned to rely on “impressions” that don’t have nothing to do with your obvious initial “SHEESH that’s a loud hat!” or “vocals aren’t cutting through, I’m straining to make out the words” or any of the straightforward, technical things that are true about operating audio gear within its proper limits. I wait for a sense of ease… I wait for my mind to start wandering and for the music to carry me above this world. That’s when I know it’s, what is the damn word… effective. Creating an effect. Alive. If I start moving, involuntarily— yeah. And I’ve found this IS a delicate thing. Wispy. The danger is— if you haven’t guessed— is that you can start into second and third guessing your instincts, and since instincts are sort of vague, they can’t really defend themselves all that well. Are you with me so far?

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David Griggs Janower - Albany Pro Musica

The founder and music director talks about the group, and music in general October 2009

(choral music introduction)

David Griggs Janower: On a personal level, Albany Pro Musica is really my reason for being here. It is the heart of my musical life, my professional life.

(music lyric): See amid the winter snow…

DGJ: : And I think it’s just amazing that we have this real camaraderie of, “Sure, let’s make this happen, let’s do this piece, let’s find a way to make an event happen.” And I love that about these people, they work very hard, Tuesday after Tuesday after Tuesday, for what’s almost now ten months of the year. And they pay for the privilege of doing it, because they pay dues. You don’t see very many ventures like that outside of choral music. And I think it’s just a remarkable thing. And I do need to remember to tell them that on occasion. But I really am enormously grateful for them, and sometimes I am so moved by what they do onstage that I’m just conducting and crying and that’s when we all know that we’re really making it happen.

(music lyric): Hail thou ever blessed one, hail redemption’s happy home, sing through all Jerusalem, Christ is born in Bethlehem.

DGJ: One of the changes that has occurred over of the 28 years now of pro musica— I’m very aware now that in the old days, soloists would come in and they would do their thing and I would follow them.

(music, singing and instrumental)

DGJ: And little by little they would do their thing and I would make a few suggestions. And I would follow them. And now, it’s partly that I’ve been doing it forever and I’m sometimes quite a bit older than the soloists, that they sort of defer to me now. And also I have more ideas than I did 28 years ago. So now it’s to the point where I say to them, “This is how I want you to do it. And if they— any good soloist would of course have to do that for any conductor, if they ever want to work in the business, and there’s sometimes a little bit of tension when the soloist says, “I really feel strongly that it should be this way,” and I don’t agree. But if they feel strongly, that means they can put it over, so I give them free reign. Bot mostly now they’re waiting for me to tell them what to do, and in the old days I was waiting to see what they did.

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Warren Haynes interview

The guitar hero talks about his yearly Christmastime benefit March 2009 in EQ magazine

"Humble beginnings" is no exaggeration. The new DVD celebrating the star-studded 18th Annual Christmas Jam in Asheville, North Carolina, is the swaggering stepchild of Warren Haynes and his impulse, way back in 1999, to stage a charity event with local bands. "When we started this event, each year we would after-the-fact pick a charity and donate the money, which in the beginning was really small amounts of money. And we donated money to alot of great causes, but when we started working with Habitat For Humanity it just kind of clicked and made sense." To date, the annual concert has raised $700,000 in donations. "I just think it’s a great organization because they’re building homes for people, and you can see where the money goes. We see those homes. And so there’s no question as to how much of the money we’re raising is trickling down."

These marathon shows are smorgasboards, crisscrossing musical boundaries. “Alot of the musicians are meeting for the first time, and in some cases onstage. When you think about getting Branford Marsalis and Marty Stuart playing together, that’s a wonderful colliding of worlds. It’s really gratifying to see the music that can be made impromptu, with very little rehearsal.”

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Roger O’Donnell interview

The Moog wunderkind describes his compositional methods March 2009 in EQ magazine

For a word that started out as someone’s name— and still is, probably— “Moog” has entered the lexicon as a synonym for electronic keyboard wizardry. In the early 1950’s, Bob Moog began building and popularizing the Theremin, a revolutionary “instrument” formulated in the 1920’s that created wavering, other-worldly pitches as the player wafted their hands around an antenna, generating sounds entirely through variations introduced into the electronic circuitry. By 1964, he had introduced a keyboard device that expanded on this concept: by defining the values of onboard oscillators and filters, the player created sounds without any real world counterpart. This led to keyboard synthesizers that could produce any sound imaginable and to the ability of a single musician to compose and record multi-layered audio productions. It led, in so many words, to you.

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