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CHACE COMPLETES 5.1 MIX FOR BAD RELIGION DVD

Post Magazine
August 23, 2005
CHACE COMPLETES 5.1 MIX FOR BAD RELIGION DVD

The disc will include concert material recorded over a two-night stand at the Los Angeles concert hall, and will be released by Epitaph Records, which is owned by Bad Religion founding member/guitarist Brett Gurewitz.

Concerts were captured via a multi-camera shoot with audio being recorded to a multi-track Digidesign Pro Tools system. The disc will offer 31 songs, along with several interviews and commentary from each of the band's members.

Audio elements were presented to Chace mastering engineer/mixer Noa Lazerus for posting. "The recordings of these live shows were large multi-track sessions that provided for a wide range of options for the mix," he recalls.

Lazerus used mastering tools to improve the sound of the individual multi-track channels. He used Cube-Tec's Audio Cube 5 (AC-5) to create a session that was 40-tracks wide. Then, he mastered each track individually using the Audio Cube.

"The drums and bass are the backbone of punk music and it was essential to lay a strong foundation over which the guitars and vocals could be mixed," Lazerus explains. "Using the Cube's mastering tools allowed me to bring out the richest sound from each track without adding excessive EQ-ing or additional processing. Mastering traditionally comes at the end of a project, when one has a final stereo or surround mix that needs additional sonic overview before pressing and distribution. In this case I used those tools before the final mix to take an expansive multi-track recording and individually master each separate track."

The mix for the DVD, says Lazerus, "depicts a band that is engaged and evolving and at the height of their powers. The 5.1 format lends a great sonic complement and brings the viewer into the venue and gives the experience of being right there in front of the stage."

Following a three-day mastering session, the DVD went on to be mixed for five more days in the Rick Chace Theater by Lazerus and mixing engineer James Young. Several of these sessions were attended by Brett Gurewitz, a respected producer and mixing engineer in his own right.

"Brett is very studio savvy," Young recalls, "and while he was not intimately familiar with 5.1 surround mixing, he knew what he wanted and was very clear in communicating his intentions to us. A lot of attention is paid to the surrounds and the subwoofer in the 5.1 format, but for me the real blessing is the availability of a discrete center channel.

"We utilized the center channel to present the kick drum, snare and bass guitar tracks, as well as singer Greg Graffin's lead vocals," Young continues. "Unlike a lot of modern music mixes for 5.1, the center channel was our anchor. This mix is more akin to a 5.1 feature film mix. By mixing in the Rick Chace Theater we had the opportunity to experience the entire concert in a THX-certified dubbing stage and in a room we know, love and trust. To ensure final compatibility in a range of different environments, Brett reviewed the final mix in Mix One, our THX pm3-certified near-field room, and took a few songs on a DVD reference disc so he could also hear the final mix on the new Bose home theater system located at Epitaph's Los Angeles headquarters."

During the final mix, Young and Lazerus also added some subtle reverb to define the space of the venue, but most of the reverb the viewer will hear comes from well-placed microphones that were placed throughout the Palladium.

"There is almost nothing artificial in these tracks and 98 percent of what the viewer will hear is just as it came off the stage in the live performance," says Lazerus. "The band is mixed like one sees them on the stage, so when there is a guitar solo on the left, it comes forth from the left channels, but we also sent some subtle delay to the left rear channels so you get a feel for the space of the venue. This is a great example of how great music on DVD in multi-channel surround can be."

Denise Eckstrom, assistant GM at Chace Audio, oversaw the entire project.


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