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Preacher’s Fire November 2016

Another great month of music in Portland! Be sure to check out these events/shows:

  1. Nov 3: Art Opening Reception 6-8pm Mayo Street Arts
  2. Nov 5: WMPG 21st annual record & CD sale, Sullivan Gym, USM
    Nov 5: Tiger Bomb, Bayside Bowl 8:30pm
  3. Nov 16: Keeper Class, Flask 8pm
  4. Nov 18: Minibeast, Haru Bangs, Cushing, Crystal Canyon, SPACE 8:30pm
  5. Nov 18: The Outsiders PBR, Banded Horn Brewing 8pm
  6. Nov 19: Feral, Empire 9:30pm
  7. Nov 19: Eyeball & Meanmugg, Mathew’s Pub 8pm

If you have a show coming up in December that you want in next month’s publication, be sure to submit it to preachersfire@gmail.com by November 24th.

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Dark Hollow Bottling Company

Dark Hollow Bottling CompanyDark Hollow Bottling Company (DHBC) is no stranger at Acadia, between doing sessions with DHBC in addition to everyone’s side projects both current and old (Battery Steele, Peep Show, Lost Cause Desparados, GK and the Right of Way…) We’ve grown quite fond of seeing Greg Klein, Riley Shryock, Jim White, Nick Scala, and Brian Durkin around the studio.

By all accounts this band is a string band but…. at the same time they are so far removed from the rest of the string band flock.  Most of these guys have come from super diverse musical backgrounds, Pop punk, Heavy Rock, Pop, you name it. I like to think everyone got sick of lugging massive amounts of gear from show to show and hung it up for acoustic instruments and one mic.  You can here it in their material and individual approaches to their instruments.
DHBC Desperate NeonDesperate Neon is DHBC’s third full length album tracked and mixed at Acadia. Most if not all of this record was recorded live, minus vocals.  We all wanted to take a much more stripped down approach to this record, which was a departure from the last record (American Ghosts) where we let the songs dictate the production.  This was a very deliberate choice to represent DHBC as one might see them during a live show.  We still did slip in a little production but not to the extent that it walked on the live-feel of the performance.

I personally have a number of tunes that I really like on the record. Brian’s song Border town is an epic story about moving to Mexico and getting caught in a web of crazy drug-doings.  Nick’s tune called Naming Scars is a great song about life, love, and self-acknowledgment, plus it includes the secret DHBC weapon that has made it on all the records (a cardboard box!).  Of course, another favorite is the title cut–Greg’s song Desperate Neon–which is about Las Vegas. Here’s a little bit from his perspective about the track:

“I’m really happy with how Neon came out. Todd had the idea of not only capturing my vocals clean but to run a separate mic into a small amp to capture some distortion. The result wasn’t something I was initially going for, but it really added to the mood of the tune. Todd also spend some time trying to scratch down the side of a cymbal to capture the kind of tension achieved with fingers down a chalkboard. It sounds like something you wouldn’t want to put on your song but carefully placed in the mixed it really adds tension. The end result far exceeded what we were aiming for and contributed to the naming of the album.”

Be sure to follow them on Facebook to stay current with upcoming shows, and check out their new album Desperate Neon, released September 16th at Blue.

System Upgrade

The long-awaited studio workstation upgrade is finally complete, and we’re happy to announce that with major upgrades in all components of our system, everything is streamlined, fast, and fully functional! Here are a few of the highlights of our new setup (hopefully satisfying everyone’s inner gear  nerd):

New WorkstationQuad-Core Mac Pro Computer w/ 32GB RAM

Our trusty old Windows 7 machine served us well for many years but we have taken a giant leap forward and now have an incredibly powerful and stable Mac Pro “trash can” as the heart of our digital recording system. Our new Mac is equipped with a 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor, Dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics processors with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM each, 32GB memory, and a SSD system drive.We’re also pretty excited about our new display setup which gives us more visual space to control the session in ProTools: we also added a 29″ LG Ultrawide display for our mix window and an Apple Cinema Display for our edit window.

ProTools HD 12.5 software and HDX accelerator card

We also invested in a major upgrade of ProTools, moving up in the world from ProTools 8.3 HD2 to ProTools 12.5 HD. The benefits are numerous – lots of new software features (“clip gain” being the our current favorite), the HDX card provides hardware acceleration for 64-bit AAX DSP plugins and 0.7ms latency allows us to do our headphone cue mixes in the box, making them instantly recallable.

The HDX card is housed in a Sonnet Echo Express III-D PCIe to Thunderbolt 2 expansion chassis for a lightning fast connection between the computer, the HDX card and our pair of Lynx Aurora 16 AD/DA converters. In fact, all of our components are now connected via Thunderbolt, which greatly increases the bandwidth and speed – tasks that used to eat up a lot of our time, like transferring files, are now a breeze… like before you finish reading this post we’ve moved 50 gigs of music to a new drive, and then moved it back, just because we can. ProTools audio files are written to a dedicated LaCie 7200rpm Thunderbolt drive and we also have a OWC Thunderbolt drive bay, for easy transfer and copying of data. Copying files is fun and novel again!

Universal Audio Satellite OCTO DSP acceleratordsc_0308

Why the Octo? We LOVE our extensive selection of UAD plugins and with the power of eight SHARC processors we can now use an outrageous number of them simultaneously. For example – with our previous system, two instances of the Fairchild Limiter plug-in would be about all the system could bear. We opened a mix and enabled over thirty instances of the same limiter and barely cracked 50% on the DSP usage meter! Between the OCTO and the HDX card, virtually ALL our plug-in processing is now handled via DSP acceleration, freeing up the CPU simply for running ProTools. Our system usage meter barely moves even during the most demanding mixes – now that’s some serious horsepower!

Avantone Mix Cubes, additional monitoring capacity

These little mix cubes have long been an industry standard, and we’re happy to have another option for monitoring during mixes. Paired with our Dangerous ST monitor controller, we can easily navigate between the Avantones and our Adam Audio A7X monitors and really hear the mix from more perspectives.

So what does that mean all y’all coming into the studio? We’re looking forward to a faster, more streamlined experience both in tracking and mixing sessions. This infrastructure is at the heart of how we operate digitally, and we are so happy that now it won’t be the thing slowing down our creative process!