Category Archives: Uncategorized

How I met Bootsy Collins!

So I’m here in Atlanta shooting DragonCon for Marvel, thanks to a referral from my good friend Grady Upchurch. Most all the costumes are over the top fantastic. We were down for a moment when he said, “that’s a pretty good Bootsy outfit… wait a minute, THAT’S HIM!” He was just walking the convention floor with all the other cosplayers, not attracting too much attention… he blended right in. A lot of the kids didn’t realize who he was… even our young PA Max said, “Who’s Bootsy Collins?”

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Me and Bootsy Collins at DragonCon in Atlanta.

Which reminds me of a related story I overheard at the African American History Museum in Washington DC. On the top floor, they have a reproduction of the Mothership (the original was destroyed) built by the same folks who made the original. A woman behind us said “That was the first concert I ever went to. I begged my Mama to let me go… I was only 15. She finally gave me permission. Well, when we got there, the place went dark, and this thing started floating down from the ceiling… and then all this weed came out. Then they (Parlament Funkadelic) came out on stage and played this song called ‘Light It Up,’ so we did. When my Mama picked us up, I didn’t stop talking the entire trip home. Mama said, ‘Honey, I think you got a contact buzz at that concert.’ “Oh really, Mama, what’s that?’ ‘That’s when you’re around a bunch of people smoking marajuana.’ ‘Really, Mama? What do they call it when you actually smoke it?’ She said to go lay down, Honey, and you’ll feel better in the morning.

I mentioned that story to Bootsey. He said, “Well, it sounds like she was really there!”

New equipment- the Universal Audio EP-34 Tape Delay

I’ve been looking at the prices of a real tape delay for a long time now. At the top of my list has been the Roland 501, which had balanced inputs and outputs… pretty essential for low-noise interfacing into an analog system. Unfortunately, the prices for these rarely dip below $1,500 for anything other than a total basket case, which for my situation is completely impractical.

The other option is a plugin emulation of a tape echo. Universal Audio has a couple options… the Echoplex EP-34 and the Galaxy tape echo, which is an emulation of the Roland 201. A recent mix was screaming for a good delay unit, so I went ahead and ordered the Echoplex.

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I know I’ve said it before, but I really like UA software products. They are not inexpensive, but every Universal Audio plugin that I’ve ever owned has survived three computer upgrades with no problems whatsoever.

Visually, the plugin looks just like an Echoplex, with a few additional controls- a panpot, and sync, tape tension, and wet toggles. A window that numerically displays the delay in ms was a luxury that engineers dreamed of back in the day, but nice addition for the software version.

I’d only used a real tape delay for a brief moment when I was much younger. I don’t remember much about it, except that it sounded REALLY cool. This plugin sounds about the same. I can’t speak to the accuracy of the emulation, but I can speak to the results. It’s a very nice addition for vocals if used sparingly. For mixing reggae, it’s essential… and should definitely be used un-sparingly.

I love it… a sample should be coming shortly.

Don’t Be A Yakoff for Humanaut Agency/Perception Kayaks

Here’s a short web piece that I worked on with boom op Will Taylor and A2 Kyle Gilbert. It made it to the Top 4 spot in the WeLoveAd weekly most viewed list.

Congrats to to Dan Jacobs, David Littlejohn, and Tommy Wilson, and thanks for using BGilbertSound!

Eddie Bush

Here’s a track from a former client, Eddie Bush.
Like Houdini Did by Eddie Bush“>

Delta Letters

Here’s a short film that I worked on for Delta/Smartypants:

 

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Savannah Bananas for MSNBC

Here’s a piece that I recently completed for MSNBC:

http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_yb_bananas_170806

New Controller for Mixbus, Take Two

As I said in the previous post regarding the X-Touch Compact, my first attempt at controlling Mixbus with an external MIDI controller didn’t go so well. (In a nutshell, the XTouch Compact does work, but Mixbus has a lot of parameters to control, and the smaller control surface doesn’t have enough knobs for the jobs.) I went ahead and ordered the larger X-Touch and got a slightly used unit on eBay. The seller posted a photo of the very latest version (with colored buttons) but he shipped an earlier version. It wasn’t a huge deal… I actually prefer the earlier version, as all the pretty colors makes the latest X-Touch look kind of Fisher-Pricelike.

Behringer Xtouch

My new-to-me Behringer Xtouch controller running Mixbus. The earlier and less-colorful version looks slightly more upscale.

But the biggest question was, “will it work?” The short answer is- oh Hell yes. The darned thing works great straight out of the box. Kudos to Ben Loftis and the other folks on the Mixbus team for their programming efforts. Most of what you need to know about setting up and using this controller is covered in their videos. Their application of Mixbus to this particular controller is very intuitive, nearly all of the commands follow the printed legends on the controller, and you can get to just about every adjustment you’ll want to make via the controller. You’ll still need the keyboard and mouse to open files and name tracks- a laptop riser like this is on my radar, or perhaps a sliding tray shelf- but once I hit “play,” I rarely need to reach for the mouse.

While I’ve only been using this thing for a few days, I’m already hooked/spoiled. I can’t imagine running Mixbus without it. It makes adjusting parameters much faster, and I can concentrate more on the music and less on operating the program. The little rectangular “scribble strip” displays under the top rotary encoders are a huge help… the control surface can scroll through different sections of the program, and these displays tell me at a glance where I’m at and what each encoder does.

A big plus is the price point. I got mine for about $360. I’m sure an Avid S3 would be much cooler, but since- at least for me, and at least for now- music mixing is done more for fun that money these days, I’m like many musicians and am forced to keep costs under control.

I haven’t gotten the chance to see if this controller will work with any of my other programs, but that doesn’t really matter to me since Mixbus is where I need this most. I’ve wanted a controller that works with Mixbus since version 1.1, and finally I’ve got one that works well. And while I haven’t mixed on a real Harrison console for many years now, this will probably be as close as I’m ever going to get. Thanks, Harrison!