Beware of UAA Music

Posted: Monday, December 22, 2014 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , ,
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In today’s world, there are tons of record companies and labels out there.  Some promise to make you the next biggest thing, others will help you produce an album, others will sign you for life, and then there is United Artists Alliance Music.  The one that is… different.

I have put off writing this article for a while because I didn’t want to burn anyone too bad, but after I had the misfortune of working for them, and time has gone on past the point to which I really don’t care anymore, I figured that I would let all of you potential artists or production assistants know to beware of these guys.  In short, they are one of the most disorganized, poorly run, and poorly prepared group of people that I have worked for; and I’ve done a lot of side jobs for a lot of people.

Audio Libraries for You!

Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2014 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , , , ,
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I have constantly run into situations when listening to a movie or video game and said, “that’s not the right sound!”  My solution?  I am releasing sound libraries to combat that.  As of writing this blog post, there are only two, but there are plenty more on the way.

So far they are car specific libraries: a 2002 Chevy Blazer and a custom 2005 V6 Mustang.  Now the next time you are working on a movie and need those two vehicles, you have the right sounds!  Don’t need those exact ones?  Well the Blazer is perfect for any full sized SUV, and the Mustang is great for any sports car!

So what do you get?  Basically if it makes a sound, it’s recorded.  This is everything from door locks, glovebox opening and closing, engine loops at idle, mid range RPM, and high RPM from inside, in front, and behind the vehicles, drive-bys, creaks and rattles, and SO MUCH MORE.

Each library has over 60 files, and most files have more than one sound giving you a crazy amount of sound effects to use!

Want more?  Well, the first one is free.  That’s right, for a limited time, the 2002 Chevy Blazer is yours to download at no charge.  Enjoy these libraries, and let me know what you use them for!

Find the libraries here!




Sound at Sea - Part Two

Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2014 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , ,
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Carnival cruise lines miracle ship sailing sound tech Skagway Juneau Alaska victoria british Colombia Canada dylan benson tracy arms fjord Yamaha pmd5 shure electrovoice ev wireless live production

If you have read Part One of Sound at Sea, then you know that I am the sound technician aboard the Carnival Miracle.  You also know what I do, and about the shows.  I know that a lot of you care about audio gear, so let’s get into that.

Carnival uses quite a bit a gear.  We have some old stuff, some new stuff, some good stuff, some questionable stuff, and so on.  However, all of it serves a purpose, and it does what it is supposed to do.  We have a main lounge (like a theater) where the main shows happen, and many smaller lounges throughout the ship that have their own gear.

Disclaimer: I can’t get into too much detail, due to a signed contract, but everything that I am telling you, you can physically see for yourself if you are ever onboard since all of the audio gear is exposed in public spaces.

Sound at Sea - Part One

Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , ,
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Carnival cruise lines miracle ship sailing sound tech Skagway Juneau Alaska victoria british Colombia Canada dylan benson tracy arms fjord


Many of you avid readers may be wondering where I have been.  In short, I have been on a journey, but most of you don’t come here to read things “in short”, so let’s get into where I have been.  For the past month (and for the next five months), I have been working on the M/s Carnival Miracle as their sound tech.  I have decided to start up this series to not only tell you where I have been, but also about life at sea, and the job itself.  So, join me aboard the Carnival Miracle for my journey.

First off, I would like to debunk any negative stigmas about Carnival.  Yes, the media likes to pick on Carnival Cruise Lines because of some incidences in the past, but things happen to every cruise line.  Carnival is one of the biggest cruise lines in the world, and it got like that for a reason: people like the cruises.  You don’t get to be the biggest for nothing.  I am not just saying all of this because I have to as an employee, because I don’t; I am saying this because this is what I have observed.

Book Review: Professional Microphone Techniques

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , ,
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professional microphone techniques book review stereo mic mixing vocals david miles huber phillip williams

If you are like me, you don’t always have time to sit down and read a book.  However, regardless if you are an armature, hobbyist, or a pro in the recording industry, it never hurts to read a little something every now and then they may give you some good insight.  I know, I know.  Who reads books anymore?  If it’s worth it, you should. 

The book Professional Microphone Techniques by David Miles Huber and Philip Williams really gives some good insight about recording just about any instrument that you can think of.  It is well illustrated, well written, and includes a CD so you can actually hear the different microphone placements.

The book is broken up into well laid out and chronological sections (AKA chapters).  It starts out with an introduction to microphones followed by the basics of them.  To the pros, this may be common knowledge, but to the amateur, or weekend recording warrior, they may now realize why directional microphones work they way they do, or why 48 volts of phantom power should be used on condenser mics.  After you cover the concepts of basic placement, then you get into the good stuff: miking instruments.

Xbox One Audio Review

Posted: Saturday, January 4, 2014 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , ,
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I have had some time to really mess around with the Xbox One.  Since this is not a game review blog, I’ll stick to the audio side of this.  There is more to talk about then you probably think.  So let’s dive into the expected, unexpected, and just flat out strange audio aspects of the Xbox One.

Microsoft released the Xbox One to the North American market on November 22, 2013 a few days behind Sony’s release of the PS4.  The highly anticipated console had a few unanticipated drawbacks for me.  The Xbox One only has two audio outputs: HDMI and optical.  This for me was a huge let down.

Movie Audio: Getaway (2013)

Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , , ,
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I am a huge fan of Fords – Mustangs specifically.  Needless to say, when I first saw the trailers for the movie Getaway (2013), I have always wanted to see it.  However, I only got the chance to see it recently.  Since this is not a movie review blog, I’ll save you my less-than-satisfied comments on the movie itself, and stick to the audio.

It’s obvious that anything big budget these days (this movie cost $18 million to make) needs to have audio that is high quality.  For the most part, this movie did a good job with the audio.  Probably one of the best audio related aspects of the movie was in the car dialogue.  When the two main actors Selena Gomez and Ethan Hawke were sitting in the Shelby GT500 talking to each other, the audio characteristics and reflections of the voices definitely sounded like they were in a car with the windows up.  That was a nice touch.