Jazz Celebration

On April 21 Jazz Studies alumni Randy Brecker, Robert Hurst, Perter Erskine, and Alan Pasqua visited the Jacobs School to give master classes, clinics, and perform with the David Baker Jazz Band and Latin Jazz Band. Recording Arts students and faculty provided the front-of-house PA, audio recording, and a multi-camera live video stream for the event.

Recording Arts Junior Adam Beck at the M7CL setting levels during rehearsal

Junior Andy Spillman at DM2000 recording the show under the supervision of faculty member Mark Hood. Sophomore Dan Talton is running Pro Tools.

Randy Brecker performing with the Latin Jazz Band

Alan Pasqua, Robert Hurst, Perter Erskine, and Randy Brecker performing “Sing, Sing, Sing” with the David Baker Jazz Band.

All-star guest combo

With David Baker at the reception following the concert.

Director Glenn Hicks, senior Kyle Zucker at the switcher, and faculty member Fallon Stillman in the video booth.

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Student Seven

Make sure to catch the film “Student Seven” at the IU Cinema Thursday May 3 at 9:30pm, featuring sound design and audio mix by senior Steve Veldman.

Watch the trailer!

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Spring 2012 A311 projects

Here’s a photo of the A311 student final projects for Spring 2012. An “Orange” amp, 2 tube mic conversions, pencil condensers from scratch, LA2A, five fish preamp, Tube headphone amp, Tube power amp (Dynaco), Powered studio monitors.

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Mark Hood and Douglas McKinnie join the Recording Arts faculty

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music announced today (July 20) the addition of two full-time faculty members to its distinguished Department of Recording Arts.

Audio engineers Mark Hood and Douglas McKinnie have each been appointed assistant professor of recording arts, effective this fall.

“I am very pleased to welcome Mark Hood and Douglas McKinnie to the faculty of the Recording Arts Department,” said Konrad Strauss, department chair. “Their diverse backgrounds and knowledge in the areas of live sound and contemporary music production will enable the department to continue as a leader in the field of audio education.”

In addition to their academic credentials, Hood and McKinnie bring significant practical experience working in demanding professional situations. Strauss said he believes that they will serve as ideal role models and mentors as they work alongside Jacobs School students.

About Mark Hood 

Audio engineer and media producer Mark Hood has served as an adjunct lecturer and visiting assistant professor at Jacobs since 2005.

Hood’s body of creative output includes over 500 LP, CD and DVD releases in all genres. He has recorded and mixed the soundtracks for numerous feature, documentary and art films, television series and radio and television specials, as well as jingles and music for advertising for scores of national clients and campaigns.

Hood has collaborated with a wide variety of artists and ensembles, including Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Bob Mintzer, Diana Ross, John Scofield, John Mellencamp, Miss America (several), David Sanborn, Sandi Patty, Stephen Schwartz, Rodney Dangerfield, Richie Havens, George Benson, Odetta, the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, the Washington Pops, the Washington Bach Consort, Canadian Brass, Dallas Brass and many others.

In work for the theater, Hood is the sound designer for the musicals Blast (2001 Tony and Emmy Awards), Shockwave, Cyberjam and Music in Xtreme in their London West End and New York Broadway productions, as well as their ongoing international and U.S. national touring versions.

Hood is managing partner of Echo Park Recording Studios, a commercial audio production facility in Bloomington. Designed and built by Hood and his partner, Mike Wanchic, in 1993, Echo Park has been home to productions by The Fray, Ben Folds, Howie Day, Son Volt, Vedera, Juliana Hatfield, Bob and Tom, Mysteries of Life and many other artists. The studio has also been the venue for Hood’s numerous collaborations with many current and former Jacobs faculty members.

Hood’s primary research interest centers around the education and preservation of audio content originally captured on legacy analog formats such as wax cylinders, lacquer discs, magnetic wire and tape recordings, videotape and optical film.

From 2008 to 2011, he served as research associate and chief engineer of the Sound Directions Project at the IU Archives of Traditional Music in its efforts to digitize and preserve its collection of over 90,000 historic recordings in deteriorating and obsolete formats. He currently serves on the IU Bloomington Media Preservation Task Force in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

Hood is a member of the Education and Training Committee of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and the Audio Engineering Society.

About Douglas McKinnie 

Douglas McKinnie comes to the Jacobs School of Music from Middle Tennessee State University, where he has been an assistant professor in the Recording Industry Department since 2006.

McKinnie holds a Ph.D. from the University of Surrey (U.K.), where his research at the Institute of Sound Recording focused on the influence of spatial envelopment and localization accuracy on the perceived sound quality of surround-sound playback systems.

McKinnie received his master of music degree in sound recording from McGill University, where he engaged in research on techniques for low-bit-rate audio critical listening tests. While at McGill, he assisted in the selection of critical listening materials for the Electronic Industries Association/National Radio Standards Committee, which were used to assess the sound quality of HD radio. This research was carried out at Canada’s Communications Research Centre in Ottawa.

He received his bachelor of arts degree in music from Case Western Reserve University.

Since 1994, McKinnie has been the director of live sound operations at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he has worked with artists as diverse as James Taylor, Diana Krall, The Boston Pops, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and Train. He also was the audio engineer for the Cleveland Institute of Music and a staff engineer at Cleveland’s Commercial Recording Studios.

His recording credits include compact discs for Telarc and McGill Records, radio production and demonstration recordings for the BBC, as well as countless other radio broadcasts and independent releases.

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Vincent

This weekend was the premiere of Vincent, a new opera commissioned by the IU Opera Theater composed by Bernard Rands. Recording Arts was there to provide sound reinforcement, audio and video recording, and to stream the performance to a worldwide audience live. The production uses minimal sets and incorporates animated projections of Van Gogh paintings shown on three screens and a scrim creating very cool 3D effects. This production is is the first time the IU Opera Theater has made such extensive use of projection. We’ll post a link to the video when it’s ready.

Production Designer Barry Steele running Isadora during a tech rehearsal.

Two of the five Barco projectors. There were three backstage, one each for the onstage screens, a fourth aimed at the stage floor. The fifth projector was at the rear of the house aimed at the scrim for the 3D effects.

Here’s a view from one of the four cameras we used to videorecord and stream the production. You can see the three projection screens on stage. The images here are used to align the projectors.

Jay Kincaid from IU Radio/TV services directing and Matt Tobey switching during the performance. We used Sony EX1 and EX3 cameras and a Sony Anycast switcher. The HD video is recorded directly into Final Cut Pro. You can see the streaming control on the right-hand side of the picture, we use Telestream Wirecast to encode the video.


Devin Bean running the Yamaha DM2000. We used  10 mics on the orchestra five foot mics for the vocals, a hanging pair for the house, and took splits from the 10 wireless lavalieres used for sound reinforcement. There was also an offstage chorus we miced for an ethereal reverby effect.

Here’s a view of the foot mics. They are Shure SM81s, we didn’t use the Schoeps because the scrim and blackout curtain landed right on top of the mics! They are on 1/4′ pieces of steel with 1/4″ Sorbothane underneath for padding. In the background you can see the lights of the Shure ULX wireless receivers.

A shot of the orchesta pit showing two of the four Crown PZMs taped to the front pit wall. We used two Sennheiser MKH8040s on the winds as well as spot mics on the harp, piano, accordion, and percussion

The chorus set up in one of the large storage rooms backstage. It was sent to backstage speakers to create a diffuse, ethereal sound.

A view from the house mix position showing the Yamaha M7CL. We used EAW JF60 speakers attached to the stage lip for the vocal reinforcement. We added a couple of milliseconds of delay, this approach anchors the vocal sound to the stage –the acoustic  sound reaches the audience first  giving the impression that there is no sound reinforcement.


The live stream had 1260 viewers from 37 countries and 48 US states.

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5th Annual AES Central Region Student Summit

IU Recording Arts was represented at the 5th annual Central Region Student Summit held at Webster University. Konrad Strauss served on two panels: “The Future of Audio” and “Studio Protocols and Procedures”, and gave a tutorial on the basics of digital audio. Senior Scott Strathman placed first in the mixing competition, this makes the second win for Scott, after taking first prize in the AES classical Surround competition last October. This is a fantastic event, I would encourage all my students to attend next year.

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Metropolis at the IU Cinema

The IU Cinema screened the restored version of Metropolis this weekend featuring the premier of a new arrangement of the original Gottfried Huppertz score for salon orchestra. The orchestra was made up of students from the Jacobs School and of course the Recording Arts Department was there to provide sound reinforcement. This production really shows off the strength of our department as well as the advantage of being located at a large state university. Where else would you get to work in a world-class cinema with world-class musicians, on a world premier production of one of the most important films ever made?

The theater was originally used by the IU Theater Department and was converted into the cinema over the past year. It seats 260 and has very comfy memory foam chairs. There are five JBL cinema speakers behind the screen, the surrounds are hidden in the light fixtures along the walls. It just received THX certification.

A view of the back with the projection booth and mix position. You can see the lights with the surround speakers on the sides. There are also two  surround speakers on the back wall.

How many musicians can you fit in the orchestra pit? It’s designed for 15…

The ensemble is four violins, one cello, one bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, two horns, two trumpets, trombone, two percussion and keyboard. We used 9 microphones, one per desk of strings, two on the winds, two on the percussion, one on the horns; and a DI on the keyboard.

Joe McIlvain and Wayne Jackson at the mix position. We put the orchestra in the left center and right center front speakers with just a little cheated into the surrounds and the TC Reverb 4000 went to the surrounds with a little cheated into the front speakers.

Every digital projection format known to man!

Barco 2k and Sony 4k 3D projectors

Screen aspect ratio control and Dolby audio control unit – notice the ‘ref’ tag. Did I say that this theater has incredible sound?

A few amplifiers and one of the two 16/35mm film projectors. A special thanks to Manny Knowles, technical director of the cinema, and Jon Vickers, director of the IU Cinema for inviting us to collaborate with them to bring this production to the screen. Watch a WTIU piece on the dedication of the new cinema.

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Professor Rundgren

Todd Rundgren was in residence at IU for two weeks as a professor for the Wells Scholars program. In addition to teaching a seminar for Wells and Hutton scholars, he gave a masterclass and Q & A session for Recording Arts students, and performed a recital in Auer Hall entitled Cluster: The Birth of the T-Chord.

Rundgren advised students not to be afraid of technology, ‘just dive in and try to break it! That’s how you learn to use it to it’s full potential’ But he cautioned that technology is not a end unto itself, it has to serve the music. So if the song isn’t working, rearrange it or rewrite it. Don’t try to fix it  with ‘Tools. Rundgren also spoke about how to build a career. He pointed out that the traditional opportunities, such as working your way up through the studio system are no longer available, instead he advised students to become entrepreneurs and ‘create your own reality’.

Rundgren is optimistic about the future of the music industry. He described how in the early 90s he approached several major labels about creating an online subscription music service, and was turned down. The very next year Napster went online and the decline of the music industry establishment began. Now, he said, the internet allows artists to reach their fans directly without the label being in the way, and this will lead to a renaissance of new music.

Watch his performance of Beloved Infidel featuring ‘The Mighty Wurlitzer” played by Chris Young.

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Congratulations Scott!

Senior Scott Strathman took top honors in the AES recording competition, winning the classical surround category for his recording of Gustav Mahler’s Totenfeier played by the IU Festival Orchestra conducted by Lawrence Renes. Scott joins previous winners from the Recording Arts Department proving that great performances combined with excellent engineering is a winning combination.

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Alumni News

Mike Flynn (AS ‘98) sent us an email. He writes that he has been promoted to head of A & R for Epic. Recent projects include producing Kris Allen (American Idol) Shakira, and Matisyahu. He also reports that the two albums he produced for The Fray have sold collectively almost 500,000 units.

You can watch a video of his 2007 visit to IU here.

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