Online Audio Collaboration

I have been looking into a few of the available options for online collaboration within audio production. There are numerous ways available in which to share files and projects between collaborators, such as Dropbox and the like. However, I am more interested to see what is available for real-time, or live collaboration between studios and artists.

One product I have been aware of for a while is  Source Connect. This is advertised as an industry standard ISDN replacement. Source Connect is used to connect studios around the world, to primarily record voice talent and Automatic Dialogue Replacement (ADR). Source Connect works as standalone software or can be integrated into any DAW software used. It does appear to be a very good product, however it is quite specific in it’s uses. The product is quite expensive and as it is not yet 64-bit supported on Windows it is not something I am keen to purchase.

Another product I have been looking at recently is VST Connect from Steinberg. There are two versions, VST Connect Pro and VST Connect SE which is included within Cubase Pro DAW software. The main differences between the versions being VST Connect Pro supports up to 16 tracks, compared to just stereo, and also supports higher quality uncompressed audio transfer. VST Connect can transfer audio, MIDI and video between the host studio and the artist/musician anywhere in the world over an internet connection. To connect to the host studio (which will be running Cubase Pro) the collaborating musician needs the free VST Connect Performer application running on their computer. Once the connection is made between host and client, audio, MIDI and video communication is established. As a Cubase 6.5 user for many years, VST Connect could be one of the many improvements with Cubase Pro which may tempt me to soon upgrade.

Voice Reel Recording

It was fantastic to welcome Katherine McDermott into Red Wall Studios today. A voice reel and a couple of scripts for her portfolio were recorded.

Microphone used for the vocal recording was an SE2200a through a DBX 376 preamp. I later edited and mixed to backing tracks.

Here is the finished voice reel:

Local Music Live

It’s been fantastic to be involved with Local Music Live over the past few months. Big congratulations to Feliicia Eliza on being chosen as winner. Also, big thank you to everyone who entered and submitted some great new music. Hopefully there will be many more competitions and events in the future.

Today myself and my colleague Carl Brewer of Pointy Halo Productions, and fellow in-house engineer at Red Wall Studios, began our part of the prize winning package being a fully recorded, mixed and mastered single, undertaken here at Red Wall Studios.  Two days have been allocated for completion and all instrumentation was tracked today. Carl led the session and tomorrow he will complete vocal recordings, editing, mixing and mastering for the imminent release.

The instruments recorded and microphones used were as follows: Drum kit (Kick – AKG D112, Snare Top – Audix i5, Snare Bottom – Shure SM57, Floor Tom – Audix D4, Rack Tom – Audix D2, Hi-Hats – AT2020, Overhead Left – SE1A, Overhead Right – SE1A, Overhead Centre – Shure PG81, Kit Mic – Rode NT2 and Room Mic – SE2200a), Bass – DI, Electric Guitar – DI and Acoustic Guitar (Body – AT2020, Neck – SE1A and DI).

Below are photos of the drum kit with microphone placement and tracking in the control room.

It was a pleasure to work with Feliicia and her band, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Lancashire Belle


This afternoon I welcomed Jane Francis, also known as Lancashire Belle into Red Wall Studios to record a couple of songs. The classic White Cliffs Of Dover was recorded to celebrate the 100th birthday of Dame Vera Lynn.  Also recorded a number by Gracie Fields – The Thing-Ummy-Bob.

Geoff Proctor of Kaleidoscope Imagery also came along to record a short video of the occasion.

Microphone used was SE Electronics 2200a.

Listen to White Cliffs of Dover here: