Show 207 – Composing with Dave Chick and more!

This week we catch up with Dave Chick and talk about creating music for film.
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13 thoughts on “Show 207 – Composing with Dave Chick and more!

  1. Jon & Ryan,

    Thanks again for having me on. Always a blast chatting with you guys. I’ll have to listen to the show when I get a chance – hope the audio came through alright. The Skype feed was a bit flaky on my end and I thought ai’d lost you a couple of times…

    Show must go on!

    Cheers and thanks again!


  2. dear jon & ryan,
    Awesome show as always! I have a question about Power. I know how important you guys stress clean power is, so what’s the first steps i should take in cleaning up my power? My monitors, computer, and all my outboard gear is plugged in to generic surge protectors, i don’t know if i need to invest in some power furman power conditioners, or power strips or what? The internet seems to have a hundred opinions
    on the topic, so I thought I’d run it past you guys.

  3. hey guys, awesome show.

    I was getting a few hints of audio engineering horror stories (such as re-scoring all that movie soundtrack) and i was interested in more stories like that. i recently finished the audio book “Daily adventures of Mixerman” which is essentially a music industry war story and it kept me very entertained. maybe you guys could do short piece of the worst and painful experiences while doing your job. I work live events as my main source of income and I of course have a few if my own.

    on a side note, ive been using REAPER since it was a baby around version 1.3-ish. im happy you endorse it. it makes me feel like im not alone in the DAW jungle.

  4. Jon & Ryan,

    It sucks to hear that the purchases made through and would not contribute to the show, I have just made a donation through PayPal.
    Thanks for the links and the information offered during the last episode, this will definitely help me to achieve better results while mixing.
    The next step is to try to explain to my girlfriend why investing in an APEX 460 mod would be so beneficial to our relationship and to find a way to justify having my house full of sawdust while trying to build a quadratic diffuser 🙂

    Thanks again,


  5. Hey guys,

    Every time I hear Jon talk about timing correction I get a little … how you say … concerned. Now I know Jon and I know that he knows what he’s doing but I worry about others taking that advice too literally and blindly adhering to the grid and ending up with stiff and lifeless results.

    An extreme illustration can be found here:
    (where the author has a rant and drum tracks that he’s recorded and then quantized for your horrific pleasure)

    Sorry that I couldn’t limit that to one sentence 🙂

  6. I had heard that story about Frank Wright putting down the phone and laying it down on paper in a few hours. As a furniture designer/maker, I can totally relate to coming up with the best stuff sometimes when under the pressure of a looming deadline, or even having to be spontaneously brilliant to pay the bills.

    But, how about this… It was the early 1990’s, I was pulling in the driveway of a new client with the meticulous drawings for a simple audio stand to house his high end audio equipment. As I pulled in, I turned off my crappy car stereo which was playing a track from Van Halen’s 5150 album. As I walked up to his house, I realized that I hadn’t decided on how much to charge for a pretty straight forward piece that would usually go for ~$2K, but at the same time, knowing the money he spent on his gear… I was in flux.
    I showed him the plans, and as he looked them over carefully in silence, I was still searching for a number in my head. Then he asked how much. I said “5150”. He said “OK”.
    I did another simple piece for him 2 years later for $5440. 2 years after that I got one with a different client for $90125. Those were the booming 1990’s, and I find I need to be a bit more scientific with my pricing now. (At this moment I can hear the sound of many, many creative guys out there nodding their heads. Sorry if you get a sore neck.)

  7. Hey guys great show as ever!

    On the subject of orchestral audio, I was wondering if you’d care to share your thoughts on mixing orchestral parts in mainstream music. Like Dave C I also use East West for Orchestral parts and upon tackling the mixes for my latest project I was immediately faced with the question of which of the various mics to use (close/stage/surround) and whether to use each in mono or stereo. Mike Senior (highly recommended book that you mentioned and linked here) was kind enough to offer some words of advice which was to approach it the same way as a multi-miked drum kit. So this has been my sole approach so far ie use the room (stage/surround) mics as much as possible, only bringing in the spot (close) mics as and when needed. If anybody’s interested here’s an example of this technique I posted online to a site which I discovered via you guys!!!

    In my limited experience I’m getting the feeling that if you can get away with just having to mix a single stereo file great – adding spot mics means exponentially more work since it’s not just a matter of simply setting levels – eqs and spatial information needs attention to get a convincing blend.

    I was wondering if you guys had any thoughts on any or all of this, or perhaps some alternative methods that I might try out?

    As an interesting aside which is something I gleaned from the East West QL manual (yes occasionally I read them!) is that the spot mics are esp important when recreated orchestral performances since there are no visual cues as there would be in a live orchestral performance ie seeing the 1st violinist start up his solo allows the hearing system to focus the respective sound. Of course this visual cue isn’t available in an audio recording so the technique is to momentarily fire up the spot mic to draw the listeners attention then it can be removed once the listener has tuned in. Just something I’ve not heard discussed before and might be of interest to someone… Anyone? Just me then. I’ll get my coat.

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts. Keep up the great work fellas.

  8. GSAA

    I figure it’s about time to poke my head back up and remind you guys that you’re having a tangible effect on some home studio guys. I just finished a 33 minute EP with a guy named Gregg Hampton and I used techniques taught by Jon and Ryan extensively. Thanks, and I’ll keep using your link through to amazon to keep those affiliate link pennies flowing.

    In the comments there was a question about how to get better talent to record with, and for me the secret has been live sound. You run a good live show for someone and they’ll be more ready to trust you with their recorded works. Maybe that’s just me… and it helps to have some idea what you’re doing behind the mixing board.

    I have one serious question though, how do you get vocalists to stop asking for more reverb on their vocals?

    ride the chckn8r,

  9. I know of someone who swears by Shure SM 57s on overheads. He’s got tons of experience and knows what he’s doing.

    Paul 999 from RecordingReview, Jon probably knows who that is.

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