Recording and Sound Design

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I am based in New York City and will travel if needed. I can do field recording with battery operated portable equipment, or indoors with small or large Digital Audio Workstations. I have extensive experience in recording acoustic music (classical, jazz, folk, etc.). Rather than favor any particular technique, I believe in choosing the tools and methods that best fit the particular job. For example: when recording a classical group in a church, a simple stereo microphone pickup might work best; a jazz combo recording in a club might require a multi-microphone setup. I also have extensive experience doing "phone syncs" and other location recording for NPR, Tavis Smiley, the BBC and other clients.

For an overview of some of the tools I use in my work, see the equipment section. If you have any questions about the requirements of your particular project, call me at 1-212-666-2257 or e-mail me at auldworks "at" earthlink "dot" net, for a free consultation.

To hear some examples of my recording work, go to the AuldWorks Audio Page.

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Playing back old records such as 78's or broadcast transcription disks cannot be done with the same turntables and electronics normally used for playing vinyl Lp disks. A wide range of speed adjustment, various sizes of styli and special equalization curves are all needed for accurate results. (See my article, Disk Transcription, for a detailed overview.)

My current equipment for transcribing all kinds of audio disks:

  • Technics SL-1200 Mk II direct drive turntable - 33 and 45 rpm.
  • Rek-O-Cut CVS multi-speed turntable (variable from 26 to 94 rpm) with 10 inch Transcribe tonearm, capable of playing disks up to 16 inches in diameter.
  • Rek-O-Kut Professional Moving Magnet Pre-amp Mk. III, phono preamp.
  • Phono cartridges by Shure (V-15-V MR, V-15-VxMR, M97xE) and Stanton (model 500 with custom styli in various sizes).
  • Esoteric Sound Re-equalizer, providing over a dozen different playback curves for everything from the earliest acoustic disks to the original Columbia Lp.
  • Declick, decrackle and wideband computer noise reduction plug-ins, along with more conventional equalizers, filters, and dynamics processors, can be used to improve the sound of the original transfer.

I also offer LP to CD transfer services. Go to the AuldWorks Transfer Service page for details.

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Two Pro Tools LE systems and two Reaper audio DAW's are available for mixing and editing, along with other software for editing and processing of various kinds. Izotope RX2, the Waves Restoration Suite and Sony Noise Reduction 2.0 are available for audio restoration chores. The Har-Bal equalizer can meet virtually any EQ need.

Red Book compliant CDRs can be burned with CD Architect 5.2 or with Reaper. Reaper can also do DDP files for mass CD replication. CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs can be burned with Toast or with CD Burner XP. BWAV (Broadcast WAV) or AIFF files can be provided in any resolution up to 96 kHz/24 bit.

My main monitors are the Blue Sky System One, a powered 2.1 system that is THX approved for use in post production suites. (Skywalker Sound uses the same monitoring system in their post production rooms.)

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I can make individual copies in the following formats:
  • Audio CD-R or CD-RW
  • CD-ROM (WAV or AIFF files, MP3, RealAudio, etc.)
  • DVD-R (WAV or AIFF files, etc.)
  • Compact Flash Card
  • DAT to DAT
  • Mini-Disc
  • Cassette (Dolby B, Dolby C, or DBX type II on request)
  • Open Reel (1/4", most speeds and formats, up to 15 ips; Dolby A, SR, B or DBX type I on request)

I will do short runs of CDRs. If you need large numbers of copies (50-100 or more) you are best off going to a duplication house that makes CDRs or commercial-standard CDs. I know of several such places and can prepare digital files or CDRs that meet their specifications. If you wish, I can oversee all the details of dealing with such a duplicator.

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Field Recording: Shure FP33 three input portable field mixer, Tascam HD-P2 high definition flash recorder, Zoom H4n flash recorder, Edirol R-09 flash recorder, Zoom H2 flash recorder. Microphones: EV RE-50 (the TV reporter's handheld mic of choice), EV RE-11, AKG C1000-S, Shure SM-57, Sony ECM-999 mid/side stereo, Crown SASS-P stereo array, etc. I also have Soundman OKM-II microphones for binaural recording.

Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)
DAW #1:
The portable studio. This is built around an Apple MacBook Pro and includes Pro Tools LE, Reaper and other software, the Digidesign 002R firewire interface (the Digidesign M-Box for small jobs) and various external firewire hard drives, as well as portable mixers, compressors, reverbs, microphone pre-amps, microphones, headphones, cables, etc.

DAW #2: Post-production and mastering system. This is built around a custom built PC running Windows. Software includes Pro Tools LE, Reaper, Sony Sound Forge, CD Architect, Sony Vegas, Izotope RX2, Waves Restoration Suite, Sony Noise Reduction, Waves IR convolution reverb, Waves Native Power Pack, numerous other plug-ins for filtering and sound manipulation, a DVD burner, and software for CD-ROM and DVD-R burning. A broadband web connection allows high speed file exchange with clients via the internet.

Microphones: AKG C-414B-ULS (2), Crown SASS-P stereo microphone array, Sony ECM-999 (stereo, Mid-Side), Soundman OKM-II (for binaural recording), other models by AKG, Electrovoice, Crown, Countryman, Shure, Sony, etc.

Digital Recorders: Tascam HD-P2 portable compact flash card recorder, Zoom H4n flash card recorder, Edirol R-09 flash card recorder, Zoom H2 flash card recorder, Tascam DA-P1 portable DAT, Tascam DA-30 MkII DAT, Sony MDS JE630 MiniDisc Recorder.

Analog Recorders: Otari MX-5050 open reel (1/2 track stereo, 1/4"), Tascam 32 open reel (1/2 trk stereo, 1/4"), TEAC A-3340S (4 channel, 1/4 inch deck--playback only), Sony TC-377 open reel (1/4 track stereo), Nakamichi DR-1 cassette recorder, TEAC V-670 cassette deck.

Mixers: Mackie 1402 VLZ-PRO, Mackie 1202 VLZ-PRO.

Monitoring: Blue Sky System One (powered monitoring system, THX certified for post-production suites). Headphones by Sony, Sennheiser, Remote Audio. Cambridge SoundWorks Model 12 portable stereo speaker system.

Playback: Pioneer DV-578A Universal disc player (DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, CD, CDR, CD-MP3), Technics SL-1200 Mk II direct drive turntable, Rek-O-Kut CVS Direct Drive Restoration turntable with Rek-O-Kut Transcribe arm (LPs, 78's, radio transcription disks up to 16" in diameter), phono cartridges by Shure and Stanton with a selection of custom styli in various sizes.

Outboard equipment: Dolby Model 363 (type A and SR noise reduction), FMR Audio RNC1773 compressor, Alesis Microverb, Symetrix SX-202 microphone pre-amp, Rek-O-Kut Professional Moving Magnet Pre-amp Mk III, Samson Q-5 headphone amplifier, DBX 150X Type I noise reduction (2 channels), DBX Type II noise reduction (2 channels), TEAC AN-180 Dolby B noise reduction unit.

If you wish to rent my equipment for your own use, I will rent it to you only if I am included in the package as an engineer (chief or assistant). AuldWorks is not an equipment rental house. (I will be happy to refer you to local rental shops if that is what you need.)

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CREDITS (partial)

The Radio Foundation: Chief Engineer for NYC-based spoken voice/ISDN studio, owned by veteran public radio producer Larry Josephson. Live and recorded ISDN sessions for National Public Radio and affiliates, the BBC and other clients all over the world. Pro Tools recording and editing, tape transfer and audio restoration. Location recording for Larry Josephson's syndicated series, "What Is A Jew?". Recording sessions for Bill McGlaughlin's "Exploring Music" series for the WFMT music network. Voice-over recordings of Phil Schaap for Jazz at Lincoln Center radio broadcasts. Recording sessions for Alec Baldwin's WNYC podcast "Here's The Thing".

Riverside Symphony: Recording engineer for the Symphony's Composer Reading Series at Fordham University, Lincoln Center. Editing and mastering for CD of archival recordings of the Symphony's Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center concerts.

Beantown Swing Orchestra: Recording and mixing engineer for three CDs (plus mastering engineer for the third one, Stevens Swinging Session), 2011-2013.

Audio restoration: Transfer to CD of the archives of the Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance--over 200 open reel tapes dating to the early 1950's, some requiring extensive restoration. Transfer to CD of tapes of the dance scores of Harvey Schmidt for the Agnes DeMille collection of the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center. Digital transfer of open reel tapes for the estate of Arturo Toscanini.

Theater-Sound Design: Broadway--Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf by Edward Albee, starring Uta Hagen, Jonathan Pryce, Mia Farrow, Matthew Broderick; directed by William Carden; Majestic Theatre, Broadway, NYC, Nov. 1999; Los Angeles (substitute Peter Gallagher for Broderick), April, 2000. Off-Broadway--Mrs. Klein by Nicholas Wright, starring Uta Hagen, directed by William Carden, Lucille Lortel Theatre; Collected Stories by Donald Margulies, starring Uta Hagen, directed by William Carden, Lucille Lortel Theatre.

Independent Film: production sound mixer for I Love You, I'm Sorry, and I'll Never Do It Again by award winning writer and director Keith Snyder. (February, 2006)

Recording Magazine: Featured contributor since 1999. Articles about binaural sound, stereo microphones, headphone monitoring, radio signal processing, recording equipment tests and audio software evaluations.

Professional Associations: Member, Historical Committee of the Audio Engineering Society. Engineer for direct-to-disc and live-to-2-track digital recording sessions at the 2001 and 2003 AES conventions. Chairman, New York chapter of the AES, 2009-2010. (Chairman emeritus, 2010-2011.) Historical presenter at the 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 AES conventions in New York City.

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Last changed 11/2013
copyright 2013, Robert Auld