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27 octobre 2005

Get the SSL Sound For Free

Solid-State-Logic LMC-1 compressor plug-in – given away

LMC-1 did we mention its FREE!

It’s no coincidence that SSL mixing consoles are often the desk of choice for the final mix stage of a recording project. The sound that many producers crave is due in part at least to the Listen Mic Compressor. Originally designed to prevent overloading the return feed from a studio communications (reverse talkback) mic, its fixed attack and release curves are eminently suitable for use on ambient drums mics and so became abused by SSL users for that very purpose.

SSL have modeled the LMC-1 as a plug-in in AU and VST formats (Mac only folks – sorry) and are currently offering it as a free download via their website. Free stuff? Where do I get it? Right here:

About SSL
Long-time SSL user Hugh Padgham was one of the first to capture this new drum sound on tape,while working with Steve Lilywhite on Peter Gabriel’s ‘Intruder’, he told Mix magazine:*

"On a normal console, you have a button to press to talk to the musicians in the headphones, but you did not have a button to press for us to listen to the musicians. To do that, you'd plug a microphone into a spare channel on the desk and listen to your musicians through that. But the SSL had a reverse talkback button and there was a microphone hanging up in the studio already, a dedicated input into the reverse mic input on the console. And on this microphone, they had the most unbelievably heavy compressor, so you could hear somebody who was over in the corner.

"One day, Phil (Collins) was playing the drums,”
Hugh recalls, “and I had the reverse talkback on because he was speaking, and then he started playing the drums. The most unbelievable sound came out because of the heavy compressor. I said, 'My God, this is the most amazing sound! Steve, listen to this.' But the way the reverse talkback was setup, you couldn't record it.

So I had the desk modified that night. I got one of the maintenance guys to take the desk apart and get a split output of this compressor and feed it into a patch point on the jack field so I could then patch it into a channel on the board. From there, we were able to route that to the tape recorder."

Now you can experience the Listen Mic Compressor within the comfort of your own workstation software and see what sounds it’ll lead you to create. If you discover something really great – like a radical new distorted oboe sound then be sure to let us know.

* View the original MIX article:

26 octobre 2005

Live 8 at Eden - Africa Calling DVD details

From Monsters and

DVD News

Live 8 at Eden - Africa Calling DVD details
By M&C News

We have added details and some media from the \'Live 8 at Eden - Africa Calling\' DVD.

The event was organized by Peter Gabriel and held at the Eden Project in Cornwall, South West England. It was one of ten concerts that took place around the world as part of Live 8 in support of the campaign to Make Poverty History. Produced in association with WOMAD, the day featured an exclusive line-up of some of Africa’s finest artists, performing in the spectacular setting of Eden. This film is the record of a unique day in celebration of the music and spirit of Africa.

Any profits that arise will be donated to charities nominated by the participating artists.

\'Live 8 at Eden - Africa Calling\' arrives on DVD November 1, 2005 (Out now in UK).

Summary of Live 8 at Eden: Africa Calling

An Extraordinary Line-Up of the Biggest Names in African Music including Performances By Dido and an Introduction By Angelina Jolie, organized by Peter Gabriel for this years’ Massive Live 8 Event.

DVD Features

Songs Performed: Africa Calling Concert MedleySamson (Africa Calling Mix) - ThomasMapfumo and The Blacks UnlimitedKuvarira Mukati (Africa Calling Mix) -Thomas Mapfumo and The BlacksUnlimitedHeesteena (Africa Calling Mix) -Maryam MursalBarco Negro (Africa Calling Mix) - MarizaTaireva (Africa Calling Mix) -Chartwell DuitroLumbul (Africa Calling Mix) -Moudou Diof and O FogumBeyeza (Africa Calling Mix) - ShikishaLapowny (Africa Calling Mix) -Geoffrey OryemaLand Of Anaka (Africa Calling Mix) -Geoffrey Oryema with Peter GabrielMbani (Africa Calling Mix) - SyiyayaSet (Africa Calling Mix) -Youssou N’dour Et Le Super Etoile7 Seconds (Africa Calling Mix) -Youssou N’dour Et Le Super Etoilewith DidoBirima (Africa Calling Mix) -Youssou N’dour Et Le Super EtoileAngelina Jolie Introduces:Namengue (Africa Calling Mix) -Coco MbassiAfirika (Africa Calling Mix) -Angelique KidjoTombo (Africa Calling Mix) -Angelique KidjoWa Winjigo Ero (Africa Calling Mix) -Ayub Ogada And UnoChet Boghassa (Africa Calling Mix) -TinariwenAmidiwan (Africa Calling Mix) - TinariwenAmassakoul (Africa Calling Mix) -TinariwenFontofrom Chant (Africa Calling Mix) -FrititiWallow (Africa Calling Mix) -Kanda Bongo ManBilli (Africa Calling Mix) -Kanda Bongo ManNouzha (Africa Calling Mix) -Akim El SikameyaAiwa (Africa Calling Mix) - Emmanuel JalExodus (Africa Calling Mix) - Daara JMic Check (Africa Calling Mix) - Daara JSunu Mission (Africa Calling Mix) - Daara JFinale - African Anthem

BONUS FEATURES: DVD also includes “Africa Calling at Eden” documentary film.

Not your father's Ramadan

Sengalese superstar Youssou N'Dour, who protested the Iraq war, talks about the beauty of Africa, Sufism and his fight against fundamentalism.

By Larry Blumenfeld

On Sunday evening at Carnegie Hall,
Youssou N'Dour was caught between an elderly Senegalese griot and an unhappy soundman. Seems the xalam, a five-stringed Senegalese folk lute, wasn't easy to mike. The opening concert of his four-night series just hours away, N'Dour nonetheless radiated calm.

N'Dour -- the most popular singer in Africa and the archetypal
world-music star -- is used to reconciling antiquity with modernity. Besides, he's negotiated trickier divides.

In March 2003, on the eve of the most ambitious American tour of his career, N'Dour simply cancelled. "As a matter of conscience," he wrote in a press statement, "I question the United States government's apparent intention to commence war in Iraq. I believe that coming to America at this time would be perceived in many parts of the world -- rightly or wrongly -- as support for this policy."...

25 octobre 2005

Peter Gabriel: From Genesis to midfield impresario


By Steve James

NEW YORK (Reuters) - He was a progressive rock star in the '70s, an MTV video icon in the '80s and a world music guru for the new millennium. He's also a record producer, songwriter, political activist and musical talent scout. A kind of multi-media artist-rebel -- with many causes. Now Peter Gabriel has a new title -- director of really big sporting extravaganzas.

The world soccer body FIFA has tapped the English musician to organise the opening ceremony for next year's World Cup finals in Germany. The man who only recently became a fan of the game and European champions Liverpool is working on songs for the show in Berlin's Olympic Stadium.

"It's like owning a big playpen and someone else is going to pay for it," Gabriel told Reuters in a recent interview. "I'm not going to be playing (soccer)!" he laughed. "But I was asked to get involved. We're writing some of the music and getting involved in some crazy ideas."

Crazy ideas like the seminal 1987 video "Sledgehammer" that rocketed him to international fame? The video, which won 9 MTV awards, featuring a real-life Gabriel singing his funky homage to the Stax record label, amid a wild 3-D animation landscape of steam trains, bumper cars and singing fruit?


"Well I did have this idea," he said mischievously. "A red curtain across the goal and that would grow to a skirt and we'd attach little tails to footballs so they become like sperm...

"But I don't know if this is an idea that is going to fly!" he grinned, when reminded that NBC fended off complaints last year about the broadcast of the Athens Olympics opening ceremony featuring ancient Greek gods in various stages of undress and simulating naughty acts.

Not to mention the flak CBS took over Janet Jackson's peek-a-boo nipple during the 2004 Superbowl halftime show.

The full-length show the night before the finals begin will be a first for the World Cup, similar to past Olympic extravaganzas, said Gabriel, who is coordinating the event with a French choreographer and a German producer.

"It's a show that anyone who ever won the World Cup is going to be invited to. All the players, (including England's 1966 star) Bobby Charlton, hopefully. Another key element, he said, is that it's in Berlin, "the same stadium where Hitler had the '36 Olympics.


"It looks different now, but we've had lots of discussions about how much to refer to that," said Gabriel. By "that," he meant Jesse Owens winning four gold medals, Hitler being less than pleased and the foreboding images of Nazi exuberance captured in Leni Riefenstahl's documentary "Olympia."

"I think FIFA just want (to say), 'Anything the Olympics can do, we can do better.' It's a pretty big audience."

Thirty years removed from the gaunt dark-haired singer with the band Genesis, Gabriel, 55, is Yoda-like now, head shaved with a pointy white goatee and piercing blue eyes. Dressed entirely in black, he is sipping tea in a Manhattan hotel suite with his filmmaker daughter Anna, 31.

They are promoting two DVDs: "Still Growing Up -- Peter Gabriel Live and Unwrapped," with songs and behind-the-scenes images from his 2003 European tour and documentary footage that Anna shot and edited. Another daughter, Melanie, 25, was a backup singer on the tour.

Gabriel also talks about another DVD he's releasing: "Live 8 at Eden: Africa Calling," featuring the concert he organised in July in Cornwall, England as part of the Live 8 campaign to end poverty, especially in Africa. The concert was made up entirely of African performers.

But Gabriel was a bit peeved with Live 8 organiser Bob Geldof. "We loved the initiative and the whole Live 8 thing, however, it did feel a little bit like having a party for people and not inviting them," he said of other concerts held around the world with Western rock, pop and hip-hop artists.


"We felt there should be more African artists and I called Bob about it and his point was that the principal job was to get the message across to the TV people and the TV eyes watching and any unfamiliar acts, wherever they came from, would mean people switching off."

Gabriel disagreed: "When they had (Nelson) Mandela shows in London the bill was really mixed and I don't think we lost any viewers as a result. African artists are strong, charismatic and compelling, and I think they hold people's attention."

So Gabriel, who marches to his own drummer, organised "Africa Calling" without help or funding from Live 8. Two months later, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund agreed on debt relief for the world's poorest nations.

"(But) There's still a lot to do," said the singer.

Youssou N'Dour brings 'Egypt' to U.S.

by Jim Harrington liveDaily Contributor

Senegalese vocalist Youssou N'Dour will support his Grammy-winning CD "Egypt" with a batch of U.S. dates this fall.

Youssou N'Dour
The singer, who is best known outside of Africa for his work on the Peter Gabriel hit "In Your Eyes," will first perform two nights, Oct. 25-26, at New York's Carnegie Hall. He then moves on to play six gigs in the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest, before heading into California for three concerts. The vocalist finishes the short tour Nov. 13 at Tucson, AZ's Centennial Hall in Tucson, AZ.

N'Dour's 2004 CD that melded the rhythms and melodies of Senegal with the Egyptian and Arabian orchestral arrangements, was awarded a Grammy earlier this year for Best Contemporary World Music Album.

To re-create the sounds of "Egypt" on stage, N'Dour will be accompanied on this tour by both an orchestra and Fathy Salama, the singer's main collaborator on the CD.
Fans should note that N'Dour will not appear with the large "Egypt" ensemble during the first night at Carnegie Hall. For that show, the vocalist will be performing with his longtime band, Super Etoile.

a vocalist of remarkable range and poise, is known for his ability to take traditional Senegalese sounds and run them through a filter of genre-defying pop and rock music. The highly original result has helped the singer earn millions of fans around the globe.

23 octobre 2005

Portrait of the artist as family man

When Peter Gabriel wants to see more of his children, he organises a long tour, invites them along and then makes them work for their passage, he tells Nigel Williamson

MOST rock stars will tell you that being on the road is incompatible with family life and a hectic touring schedule is the surest way to break up the happy home. Second time around, Peter Gabriel has found the exact opposite to be true.

These days when the ex-Genesis singer embarks on a world tour, it's one of the few times his scattered family gets the opportunity to come together. His second wife, Meabh, and their three-year-old son, Isaac, accompany him everywhere he goes. Melanie, his 29-year-old daughter from his first marriage, sings backing vocals in his band. And his oldest daughter, 31-year-old New York-based filmmaker Anna, documents it all with her cameras.

"It's a perfect touring situation for a dad," he enthuses.
"When I feel like I need to spend a bit more time with my family, I go on tour. I see much more of them when we're on the road."

Now Anna Gabriel's documentary of the last family outing, the Still Growing Up tour, which chronicles a 30-date trek around the stadiums of Europe during June and July 2004, is about to hit stores as a commercial two-disc DVD. The first film features live footage from the shows. The second is Anna's unique behind-the-scenes account of life on the road with rock'n'roll band and family operating in tandem.

"When we started, it wasn't really planned," says Anna, who has now filmed her father's last two tours.

"It wasn't necessarily that I was going to come and make a film. I just wanted to join the tour because Melanie was singing with my dad, and my little brother Isaac and his mum were coming along, and so all the family was together. Living in America, I don't get the chance to see them much, so I wanted to come along and hang out on the road with them."

The cameras accompanied her as a force of habit but inevitably they were soon rolling. "I relax with her behind the camera in a way I wouldn't with anyone else," Peter Gabriel interjects.
"I thought she could get some good material but I didn't know what was going to come out the other end."

What came out was Growing Up on Tour: a Family Portrait, an inventive and intimate film that chronicled Gabriel's in 2002, the first tour in almost a decade. It turned out so well that when Gabriel took to the road again two years later, he invited Anna and her cameras to join him again. "I wanted to make a documentary and I knew she was the perfect person to do it," he says simply.

I meet father and daughter in London on a wet Wednesday lunchtime, Anna having just flown in from New York for a week that is part-work and part-holiday, combining promotion for the DVD with seeing the family. She's staying in Gabriel's London pied-à-terre but is also planning to go down to the family home near Bath to see her brother Isaac and sister Melanie, who lives in Bristol. Sitting next to her on the sofa, her father - whose balding, goateed, rotund figure these days exudes an air of middle-aged contentment - beams with obvious pride.

It seems to be one of those pleasingly happy endings to a story that might have turned out far less felicitously, for although he may now be the benevolent patriarch, Gabriel has led a famously complicated personal life.

After forming Genesis with school friends at Charterhouse in 1967, he and the band took prog-rock to imaginative new heights on albums such as Nursery Cryme, Selling England by the Pound and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. He also became famous for his theatrical stage presence, dressing in outrageous costumes. One song found him decked out as a sunflower. Another found him wearing a huge fox's head. "Fortunately I was way too young to know about that and to be embarrassed," Anna says.

In 1975 he left the group and embarked on a solo career that has marked him out as one of rock music's more cerebral and adventurous figures. But by then, he already had a young family, having married his first wife, Jill Moore, when they were teenage sweethearts. Anna was born in 1974 and her sister two years later.

Gabriel and his first wife separated in the late 1980s and he set up home with the American actress Roseanna Arquette. They were together for six years and he then went on to romance Sinéad O'Connor. Three years ago, he married Meabh Flynn, a music technician and costume designer who worked at his Real World recording studios in Wiltshire.

"I'm not going to be touring as much while Isaac is growing up as I may have done in the past. At this age I've had a lot of career and I'm less concerned about my worldly success. I want to be a good father and to be present in Isaac's life in a way that I wasn't before. Looking back at those years, there were two or three when I was away touring when the girls were growing up. I was very busy when they were young and I've had much more time to play with Isaac. It's like having a second chance."

Anna claims to have been largely unaware of her father's celebrity until she was 12. "We went to a little village school in the middle of the country and I knew he went to work and did music," she recalls. "But that was all I knew really until 'Sledgehammer' came out."

Released in 1986, the song topped the American charts, and its parent album So went to number one around the world. The track was accompanied by a groundbreaking video that, almost 20 years later, remains MTV's most-shown clip. At the time, it scooped best video at the Brit Awards and won in 10 different categories at MTV's own awards. If you owned a TV, it was virtually impossible to escape.

"Suddenly kids of my age knew who he was and so that affected me at school," Anna says.
"That was when it changed for me."

Potentially even more destabilising was that, around the same time, Gabriel's marriage to Jill was unravelling. He admits to fearing he would lose contact with his daughters. "The divorce and the loss of family was the hardest thing in my life," he says.

"But I think that was when we started seeing you the most," Anna interrupts him.

He doesn't seem convinced. "But that desperate dad mode isn't great," he says. "I see these poor guys in the park or at McDonald's on Saturday visiting hours. There isn't time to go through the normal things of childhood and get through the tantrums and come out on the other side of it. The desperate dad has to be nice to keep his limited access hours in a positive place."

Anna feels it was only after the divorce that she got to know her parents properly. "They were very careful to keep any fighting away from me and my sister and we really didn't see much of it," she says.
"But it was the best thing for them to divorce. After the divorce my mum seemed a very different person from the one I'd known in my childhood and I'm very happy to know that person."

At 18, Anna moved to New York to go to college, first studying dance and then enrolling on a photography course, where she also got into video and set up a small production company with Adria Petty, daughter of American rocker Tom Petty. I wonder if she ever considered a musical career?

"I think Mel and I always wanted to sing. But I got interested in photography and the visual medium rather than music. It was hard for me to watch Mel on the last tour because I was quite jealous. Part of me wanted to be doing it too."

At this, the proud father feels compelled to interject. "She has music in the blood," he insists.
"She was doing singing lessons for a while and when she gets up on stage she's like a duck to water. She could do it very easily."

Anna blushes. "Mel worked really hard and I didn't have the tenacity to go for it," she says quietly. "It's hard for her to try and make it in music. Much harder than it is for me to make it working in a different field to dad. There's such a lot to live up to."

Anna says her father proved far easier than any of the other artists with whom she has made music videos. "No temper tantrums and star nonsense." And if there were, she could turn round and say, "Don't be an arse, dad." Whereas with other clients she'd have to be more diplomatic? "Exactly. It was freer creatively because we didn't have to worry about any of that."

They make it sound so cosy. Were there no reservations about working so closely together? "Not from my side," says Gabriel. "Not at first," says Anna more cautiously.
"But now I definitely feel it's time to move on. It can get to be repetitive after a while if you work with the same person all the time."

"Wonderful though they are," adds a proud, paternal voice. And father and daughter both laugh.

The two-disc DVD, Still Growing Up: Live and Unwrapped, is released on Warner Music Vision on October 31