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Volume 2, Number 2, March 2004
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UAD-1 Feature: 3Bone Audio - The Future Now with UAD-1

Artist KAJE, Rez, Jed and J Rod at the 2003 Surround Awards in Beverly Hills
"Stereo is Dead." That caught my attention.

This is the tagline crafted by Rez Dahya, Jared Golberg and Jed Harper, founders of 3Bone Audio. 3Bone Audio is a music production team and record label specifically concentrating on the DVD-Audio format. Pioneering the movement towards DVD-Audio in Canada, 3Bone Audio produced Canada’s first DVD-Audio disc featuring original 24/96 recordings and mixing. The album, The White Elephant Sessions, garnered international recognition in 2002 by being nominated at the1st Annual Surround Music Awards in Beverly Hills, CA.

The White Elephant Sessions was actually a student project for the three enterprising young men while in their final year at Ryerson University; one of 3Bone’s goals is to evangelize surround in the music education world, to encourage young people like themselves to compose specifically for 5.1 and experience the excitement they feel. Unfortunately for legal reasons, the full-length version of The White Elephant Sessions is not currently available for distribution. But the success and attention they received from this project encouraged them to start the company.

3bone offers music production, mixing and mastering for both stereo and 5.1, as well as 5.1 or 6.1 mixing for film. Also available are graphic design, DVD layout and authoring. Their first DVD-A release released for distribution, Canadian Artist KAJE, will be available this month. KAJE was nominated for Most Adventurous Mix and the Horizon Award at the 2003 Surround Awards. A second release for this spring by Delusions was totally conceived from scratch for 5.1. You can listen to previews of these releases on the 3Bone Audio site.

UAD-1 In Use
The production system at 3Bone revolves around Steinberg’s Nuendo System and the Universal Audio UAD-1. They often use the UAD-1 in conjunction with Waves Plug-Ins. The guys were kind enough to give some examples of how they use the UAD-1 in their production.

Example One (Jed Harper) “For the KAJE surround DVD-Audio, I used a Waves C4 multi-band compressor and a UAD 1176 for the mastering. Also note the Waves PAZ analyzer on the screen for comparing frequencies. I applied a C4 and an 1176 to each of the 6 channels discretely; so the C4 was used to control certain bands of frequency, and once I had the compression I wanted, it was up to the 1176 to give it the punch and bring the levels up. I tend to keep the output of the 1176 high and bring the input up to my desired loudness. I generally keep the attack at minimum with a short release, to make it pump (this is dance music I’m dealing with).

Example Two (Jed Harper) “I was mastering a Hip-Hop track for a group from Detroit called Frank N’Dank. This is a stereo application as opposed to the other example that was 5.1. Again, we have the C4 for controlling the bands, then a parametric EQ to touch up a few spots; next in the chain is a Pultec EQ, an 1176 and finally an L1. The Pultec EQP-1A is a great plug-in for me, especially the way it treats the high end. It also gives a nice warmth overall. In this instance the track was a bit sizzling in the high end. I had used the Cambridge EQ to attack some specific frequencies, but the overall high-end was a bit piercing. Using the attenuator on the Pultec gave the highs exactly what I was looking for - a nice consistency and just crisp enough, without piercing. Again, the 1176 was used to give it that punch, and to boost the volume before going to the L1. When doing any stereo masters I tend to use the combination of an 1176 with an L1, generally letting the 1176 to do most of the final compression, with the L1 just to maximize it at 0db.”

Exampe Three (Jared Golberg) “The great thing about the UAD Plug-Ins is the amount of control and creativity you get. As a vocalist, it is hard to get the perfect sound for your voice that you imagine in your head. I love vocal sounds that have warmth with a little bit of WOW to them. By using the Phasor in the UAD, if tweaked right, you can get a very warm sound with a little variation of filtering. The RealVerb reverb gives variations of rooms, materials and delay times that weren't even in my mind to use, but added so much to something so little. The final step to my vocals is using the 1176 to compress and boost to the perfect level, usually within a mix of electronic riffs and heavy guitars. I use the same set up in each one of my projects for vocals, but there are subtle changes (of course) per song depending on the music and vocal approach.”

These guys are doing pretty well for a bunch of kids just out of college. They also have their own club night, and Jed is one of the most sought after DJs in Toronto. Unfortunately, there aren’t any clubs in Toronto with surround systems. “Our dream is to pull up to our 5.1 club in our 5.1 car,” commented Rez.

If this is what to expect from young people in the future, then BRING IT ON!

3Bone Audio is located in Toronto, Ontario and looking for a distributor. Please check out their website at http://www.3boneaudio.com.

-Marsha Vdovin

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