New Music Drop: Nine Inch Nails “Came Back Haunted”

Music news breaking today: Nine Inch Nails have signed with Columbia Records and have completed their first record in 5 years, Hesitation Marks, to be released September 3, 2013. The record was recorded throughout 2012 with the help of acclaimed musician, composer and producer Atticus Ross (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and talented record producer Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys, Foals, The Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters). The first single from the record, “Came Back Haunted”, is available for stream below:

Nine Inch Nails have routed a North American tour supporting the release of Hesitation Marks. Check dates for the Tension 2013 North American Tour below to find a show near you! (Tickets go on sale June 14)

Sep.28   St. Paul, MN          Xcel Energy Center
Sep.30  Kansas City, MO     Sprint Center
Oct. 1   St. Louis, MO          Chaifetz Arena
Oct. 3   Montréal, QC          Centre Bell
Oct. 4   Toronto, ON            Air Canada Centre
Oct. 5   Cleveland, OH         Wolstein Center
Oct. 7   Auburn Hills, MI       The Palace of Auburn Hills
Oct. 8   Pittsburgh, PA          Petersen Events Center
Oct.11   Boston, MA             TD Garden
Oct.14   Brooklyn, NY           Barclays Center
Oct.15   Newark, NJ              Prudential Center
Oct.18   Washington, DC      Verizon Center
Oct.19   University Park, PA   Bryce Jordan Center
Oct.21   Raleigh, NC             PNC Arena
Oct.22   Nashville, TN           Bridgestone Arena
Oct.24   Atlanta, GA              Philips Arena
Oct.30   Sunrise, FL              BB&T Center
Oct.31   Orlando, FL             Amway Center
Nov. 5   San Antonio, TX       AT&T Center
Nov. 8   Los Angeles, CA       Staples Center
Nov. 9   Phoenix, AZ             US Airways Center
Nov.11   El Paso, TX              Don Haskins Center
Nov.13   Broomfield, CO        1st Bank Center
Nov.15   Las Vegas, NV          The Joint
Nov.16   Las Vegas, NV          The Joint
Nov.18   Portland, OR            Rose Garden Arena
Nov.19   Spokane, WA           Spokane Arena
Nov.21   Vancouver, BC          Rogers Arena
Nov.22   Seattle, WA              KeyArena
Nov.24   Edmonton, AB           Rexall Place
Nov.25   Calgary, AB              Scotiabank Saddledome

Keep it funky,

*Find more information on NIN, Hesitation Marks, and the Tension 2013 North American Tour at Revolver MagUSA Today and the Nine Inch Nails website here.

New Music Drop: Alt-J & Bad Suns

Two bands we’ve been digging lately: Alt-J, a british indie rock quartet, and Bad Suns, an alt rock group out of Los Angeles.  

Alt-J, or simply gained our attention last month when they had an entire Coachella crowd grooving to their hit single “Breezeblocks“, a band that seems to perform as well on stage as they do in the studio, a rarity these days! The band has a massive following in Europe, and are catching fire in the U.S. with a growing social media following and increased radio play. Additionally, Alt-J are making headlines with recent success at London’s Ivor Novellos awards and even developing a new smartphone app, Soundhalo, which enables fans to download live music almost immediately post show. Pretty nifty! More importantly, they have proven that hit indie rock records can be made without cymbals… Thanks, @ThomSonny, guess I’ll just put my uber expensive set of Zildjians up on Ebay now. 🙂

Another solid jam brought to us by Alt-J:

LA band Bad Suns caught the attention of LA’s KROQ 106.7 with their demo track “Transpose“. The song ended up lasting nearly three months in the top five of their Locals Only program. We recently discovered Bad Suns via KROQ with their CRAZY catchy song “Cardiac Arrest“, the first single from their recording sessions with producer Eric Palmquist (Wavves, Aloe Blacc, Trash Talk). Keep an ear out for Bad Suns in the near future, they are currently working on their debut album.

Download “Cardiac Arrest” for free here!

Keep it funky,

New Music Drop: Sonny Hills

Sonny Hills

Sonny Hills

Born in Alabama, raised in Ohio, released in Chicago, IL. Sonny Hills melds elements of southern blues, rock, and soul with addictive, loop pedal induced guitar melodies, an inspiring lyrical style, and the kind of upbeat pop rhythms that’ll get your feet movin’. A certain chord strikes in the soulful ballad “Hats”. As Sonny Hills takes us through the line “you will be on my mind”, listeners can’t help but be immersed with feelings of hope, and the longing for a loved one, providing a glimpse of the powerful music yet to come from Sonny Hills.

Featured Artist: Tom Edwards

Tom Edwards

Tom Edwards

Small town roots with a big world perspective – Tom Edwards combines the personality and character of your favorite hometown artist with the adventurous spirit of a seasoned traveler.

For Edwards, music began in high school, performing for friends and family in southern Ohio.  In 2007, Edwards teamed up with brother and talented guitarist Rob Edwards to form the acoustic rock group Failure Savvy.  The group developed into a popular touring act, gaining widespread acclaim across the midwest performing cover tunes and original music at local venues and talent filled festivals such as the Paper City Music Festival.  In the years since, one might find Edwards and friends roaming the country, performing for audiences in more than 10 states, spreading a warm blend of acoustic pop/rock with a good dose of southern Ohio soul. 

This year, Edwards is taking his music international with Artists Abroad.  Artists Abroad will follow Edwards and long time friends Corey Gahm (percussionist) and Aaron Littler (photographer) as they explore the globe, spanning 4 continents and spreading great music along the way.  The trip will be well documented with updates, photos, and music to be recorded onsite at exotic locations throughout the Eastern Hemisphere.

Stay tuned for updates on Artists Abroad here:

And connect with Tom Edwards here:

Twitter Facebook YouTube

WARNING: Semi-Technical Audio Engineering Stuff

Rich Costey, Producer and Mixing Engineer

Rich Costey, Producer and Mixer

Originally published in 2008, but we felt the need to share due to the value.  Rich Costey discusses mixing “The Pretender” by the Foo Fighters, the mixer’s Hippocratic oath, the significance of the intro, and why he shapes a mix around the vocals.  Costey also discusses some of the processing tools used to fine tune the drums, bass, guitars, strings, and vocals in this raging Foo Fighters track.

In approaching the mix, Costey discusses how his goal is to enhance the original work rather than over cook the mix with excess processing:

“(The Foo Fighters) had already done a lot of prep cooking and things were in very good condition. So I had to preserve what they had done to a fairly large degree, and this meant that my work mainly consisted of balancing and rides to get the dynamics to happen. Obviously, a certain amount of processing was still necessary, but that was more to enhance what the band, Gil and engineer Adrian Bushby had already done. It’s sort of like the mixer’s Hippocratic oath — the first rule is Do Not Kill The Patient.”  – Rich Costey, Sound on Sound Interview; 2008

“The Pretender” contains several guitar overdubs (“the power of the bees” as Grohl calls them) and the huge, powerful drum tracks, which made for a challenge in balancing the mix.  Costey discusses his preference in fader rides over EQ cutting to get a proper balance.

“That’s not to say I’m shy on the EQ. I’m not sure where I developed this habit, but I don’t cut many frequencies when I mix…I know there are people who cut frequencies to try to layer a track, but look at it this way: if you are conducting an orchestra, can you filter the woodwinds so the oboe doesn’t stick out so much? What you do is have the oboist play a little bit more softly, so you can hear the rest of the reeds.” – Rich Costey, Sound on Sound Interview; 2008

Full article available here.

Costey holds production and mixing credits on some of the industry’s most successful records, working with artists such as Frank Turner, Nine Inch Nails, Muse, Fiona Apple, Interpol, Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, and Rage Against the Machine to name a few…

TicketMob — Own Your Live Event Data, Engage More Fans, and Sell More Tickets

Our friends at TicketMob are doing some big things in events and ticketing management.  Far ahead of the game, TicketMob brings an enhanced social media experience, a seamless event management platform,  and several CRM and loyalty tools to help pinpoint and reward your most valued fans.  A great tool for box office managers, promoters, and live event professionals.

Connect with them here to discover how TicketMob can help you manage your venue and ultimately sell more tickets!

Headphone Review — In-Ear, On-Ear, and Over-Ear

There are too many options to choose from when buying a new set of headphones.  We wanted to share with you a few of our favorite products to potentially help narrow down your search, cause we care.  We care about your ears.  You’re welcome.

In-Ear Headphones

We’ve seen the life and death of several in-ear headphone models.  A durable headphone is vital when you’re always on the run.  But of course, we’re always looking out for the best audio quality available.  We recommend the Klipsch S series in-ears.  You can buy a pair of S4i’s for $99 on Amazon here.  The highs are crisp, the mids cut through, and there’s just enough bass to fill the low end.  

Klipsch Image S4i Rugged - Red All Weather In-Ear Headphones

Klipsch Image S4i Rugged – Red All Weather In-Ear Headphones

We opted for the Rugged model, which boasts the following features for awesome outdoor abuse:

  • All weather design resists moisture and functions thru extreme elements
  • Ruggedized with tough rubber moldings
  • X-large 3-button remote for easy control during outdoor activity

The only con we can think of is they are not quite as loud as some of the Sennheiser, the Sony, and the Bose In-Ears of the past, but they make up in functionality, durability, and style!  Gotta look good…

On-Ear Headphones

This is an easy one.  Gotta go with our friends at LSTN Headphones.  We received a pair of Cherry Wood Fillmores earlier this year, and fell in love at first listen.  The cherry wood casing adds a unique acoustic quality to the sound, warming up the mids and adding clarity at the same time!  Plus, you get a great bass tone without the “blowing out your eardrums” effect you get with some powered headphones.  “WHAT?!?  Sorry, I can’t hear you because I’ve been blowing my ears out.”

Cherry Wood Fillmores

Cherry Wood Fillmores

Also, the compactable (word?) design makes them great for on-the-go listening.  Just fold them up, throw them in the included travel bag, and head out to catch your flight, road trip, library, whatever you crazy kids do.  Whippersnappers.

Did we mention it’s all for a GREAT cause?  Proceeds from your purchase go to LSTN charity partners for the deaf, helping to restore hearing for children in need.  Pretty awesome, right?  Pick up a pair for just $100, a great buy at this price point.

Over-Ear Headphones

Being pro audio folks, we get serious when it comes to over-ear headphones.  We spend a lot of hours with over-ears, so they have to be good.  Comfort is important, clarity of sound, and a flat, frequency response.  We’ve tried most of the major brands, the Audio Technicas, the Shures, the Sennheisers, Sonys, AKG.  You can spend upwards of $600 or more on studio headphones.  We don’t do that.  $100 will buy you a nice pair of pro audio phones.  The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a solid choice for pro audio, with great noise cancellation and a good bit of low end response.  We tend to throw a pair of HD 280’s in the vocal booth to ensure no audio, other than the vocal itself, leaks into the microphone.  But as much as we like the Sennheisers for tracking, we tend to reach for the Shure SRH440 to mix our sessions.

Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones

Shure SRH440
Professional Studio Headphones

The SRH440 model brings a flat frequency response with strong mids and a crystal clear high end to tame the unpleasant nuances.  Comfortable and lightweight, the Shure SRH440’s are great for hours spent mixing in the studio, or maybe to block out Dad’s singing on that long roadtrip to Wally World.  The Shure does lack a bit of low end bass response, but that’s what monitors and a subwoofer are for!  We typically use the SRH440 to reference guitars, vocals, overheads and other instruments that exceed the 150Hz range before switching to our studio monitors to zero in on the bass instruments.  Many of our engineer confidants ask to use our Shure phones when we visit their studios.  We be like “stop stealing our headphones” and they be like “no”.

Thanks and please let us know if you have any questions at all.  Sign up for our email newsletter here and never miss another blog post from Blue House Records.

Keep it funky,