VGA10 December 2012

Which is what they called the 2012 edition of the Video Game Awards on Spike. The nice folks at MTV Technical asked LRT to handle the music acts for the show, and I had the privilege of doing the music mixes. The live performances were from Linkin Park, Tenacious D, and Gustavo Santaolalla. The show went live on December 7, 2012, and as you might expect it was a blast.

I was cleaning out my computer bag, found these sheets, and was just about to trash them when I thought "some scholar writing a dissertation about live broadcast may find these interesting in 80 years or so." Probably not, but here they are anyways. These are the cue sheets I prepare for myself when doing a live mix--Castle Of Glass is Linkin Park, and Rize Of The Fenix is Tenacious D. The show script will have all of the lyrics printed out, but a long song can reach 20 pages or more. I need something I can glance at, get my fingers in the right place and make the move just before the word or lick happens. So I end up making my own cue sheets and then making notes on those after listening to the rehearsal a few times. These are the ones I used at the VGAs. Note that Tenacious D takes 2 pages--they really like the long-form rock anthem. Click on the image to see it full size.


Well, it's all over for Season 2. We had an incredible time, and I will miss Rove and the staff greatly until the next cycle. Rove McManus had the most popular live "chat" show in Australia for something like 10 years, and after he moved to LA, Foxtel in Australia asked him to do a weekly show to beam back to Oz, taking advantage of the availability of big-name guests in LA. It was a big hit, so they asked him to do a Season 2. And what a guest list--John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Michael Buble, Zach Braff, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Silverman, Rob Schneider, Wayne Brady, Aisha Tyler, Rainn Wilson, Russell Brand, four baby pigs and a full-grown rhinoceros (no joke--a real rhinoceros, running through the Warners lot). This season the TV Guide Channel picked up the show for the USA, so you can actually see it here. It's freaking hysterical. For my money Rove is the best talk show host since Johnny.

Doing Rove is also very special for me because it gives me a chance to follow a show all the way through from production to post (see The Gypsy System). I have a chance to fix any goofs I might have made during taping and really get the thing polished. Typically we would shoot Wednesday nights and edit/sweeten on Thursday (really talented editor named Gerrad Holtz) with a Thursday night delivery back to Oz. Sure hope we come back for Season 3!

Rove (r) with Joel McHale, Wendi McClendon-Covey and Wayne Brady Photo by Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Shinedown Live in Phoenix


Got a call from a nice guy, Garrett Davis, who works with the band Shinedown. He needed to record the band's live performance in Phoenix at the end of September, but just as important to Garrett was having a room he could trust to monitor the tracks in as the show went down. So the truck and I headed to Phoenix to help out. Great band, great tracks, never heard from Garrett about a release. Pity.

Garrett at the D-Control Apparently Garrett's crew got the black t-shirt memo LRT behind the pavilion

Resolved Palm Springs 2012

Back in 2008 I got a call from a young LA mixer named Darius Fong. Darius had one continuing project very near to his heart--a praise band called Enfield. One Enfield’s major projects back then was an annual youth conference called Resolved. Darius and the band had decided they wanted to produce a live album of the band performing at the conference, so they hired LRT to come out and do the original 2008 recording and provide Darius with a space to accurately monitor the tracks he would be using to produce the album. Everything went very well, and the album they produced was very successful. In June 2012 I was once again in the loading dock of the Palm Springs Convention Center helping Darius record another Enfield album. So what had changed in four years? Well, Enfield, already a great band, had progressed to the point where they could read each other’s minds on stage. LRT had a great big Digidesign console in place of the Yamahas, and Resolved announced this would be their final conference. Also, in the mean time, I lost my best friend and coworker, Gary Van Pelt. For all of us, it’s a little bittersweet.

One of my favorite things was watching Darius discover functions on the ICON and integrate them into his workflow. Already a Pro Tools power user, everything was familiar to Darius, but it was great to listen to him instantly remix a performance and then put it up on the Enfield website as a promo. Now THAT’S a power user. Darius is a true “golden ears” mixer and really nice guy. He trained with Bill Schnee, and if you’re an audio geek you know that’s about as good as you get. Rock of Ages: Enfield Live at Resolve 2012 released 8/14/12, go to The arrangements and playing are really top-notch, and hearing several thousand conference goers sing along can be quite emotional.

Darius hard at work at the D-Control Enfield stops working just long enough to take a portrait with LRT

Caesar's Palace Total Rewards Relaunch 2012

This is a difficult one even to describe. If you heard about this, or were at one of the venues, you know it was amazing.In a nutshell, Caesar’s Palace re-branded its preferred guest program, the one they call Total Rewards. They decided that what they really needed to introduce the revamped rewards program to the world was a big free concert. Great idea. But in true Vegas style they took it several steps beyond--not just a free concert in one city, but a coordinated free concert in FOUR cities simultaneously--Los Angeles, New Orleans, Chicago, and New York. The idea was that each city would have several artists perform live over three hours, and that highlights from each city would be beamed to the other three cities to put up on their big screens during the act changeover. Los Angeles was chosen as the hub.The big day was March 1, and the LA venue was the Hollywood and Highland Center, home of the former Kodak Theater, next door to Grauman’s Chinese and across the street from the Egyptian and the Jimmy Kimmel Live theater. They built a giant stage in the plaza and hired Lil’ Wayne and Cee-Lo Green to perform, each with a full backup band.LRT was brought in to handle the music mix for the two acts and push it over to the AMV EPIC 3D truck for distribution to the web and the other cities.One of the coolest things about this was that each act got to do a short set, not just a song or two. Cee-Lo took the opportunity to announce to the world that he had just made a deal to do a long-term major show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. The show was nerve-wracking, but very exciting.

Cee-Lo and friends announce Vegas show at the TR Launch

LRT at Hollywood and Highland before the show

Toast of the Nation December 2011

LRT was the mix facility for the West Coast feed of NPR’s annual Toast of the Nation New Year’s Eve broadcast December 31, 2011. The show was at the then-new LA jazz club the Blue Whale (now closed, alas, COVID). Bay area vet Phil Edwards mixed, and the band was the Billy Childs Quartet. Very technical, demanding stuff, but Billy’s natural gifts constructing lines made it very accessible as well.

LRT is actually parked just outside the club, but the club is on the third floor and the cable path was 500'+.

LRT parked on 2nd Street in Little Tokyo, just under the Blue Whale. The No Parking sign didn't apply to us. I think.

The Wayne Brady Show 2002-2003

Daytime chat show with a live band, daily music guests, and of course one of the most talented guys ever to step on a stage hosting. Always fun to watch the rest of the world suddenly realize Wayne is a great singer when we knew it 20 years ago.

It was great fun. All done on an SSL 6000 at CBS TV City with a Mackie d8b for the house band.

Came across this clip of Glen Campbell doing Wichita Lineman, header says January 2003. I think it's one of my better mixes, but the mix is completely overshadowed by how good Glen is.

Once upon a time, I had an audio truck

I thought about building a truck for at least ten years before I actually did it. The buildout lasted through 1999-2000, and it did its first jobs in late 2000. Initially it had a pair of Mackie d8b consoles, and could do instant recalls of entire setups. No other small audio trucks could do that. In fact only one other truck of the time, the legendary Effanel L7, could do it.