About Me

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My name is James (or CMX Jay)(If you see CMX Jay anywhere That's Me!). I'm a Live Sound Engineer, Recording Engineer, Mixer, and a slight Gamer. Be sure to also follow me on Twitter @ CMXJay

Monday, September 26, 2011

Vocal Editing

I've been working with a band named Doc Holliday. I'm making a demo EP for them with my class and after we did our Vocal Overdubs I thought I would post a bit it.

The vocals sounded good in the mic and we didn't have a live room to put him in so we needed to do the Vox OD in the control room so it was monitored over headphones. In the headphones the vocals sounded good but as soon as we put them to ANY set of monitors they suddenly sounded muffled, muddy, and masked. I spent a lot of time adjusting a couple different EQs on his vocals to try and fit them into the mix. After I have the assignment handed in maybe I'll post a before and after sample of the vocals. I used an EQ removing some 125Hz and 250Hz and added some frequencies in the upper mid range and that really added clarity to everything. I also did some volume automation to bring up key words in the vocal and slowly bring down the held words to define what he was saying. These two things made a world of difference! It as like 2 different vocal takes entirely and I didn't touch Auto-Tune! The band didn't want anything tuned and wanted everything to sound as live as possible (there's actually a few things I did to achieve a live as possible sound, but that is a different post).

One song i was editing was very very VERY trippy song and there where a few vocal parts I really wanted to "fuck with" so to speak. This song was basically an acid trip and I was doing everything in my power to encourage it. One thing I did was I doubled the vocals in parts. I would copy the vocal part to a different track and move the copied region ever to slightly so the time delay was unnoticeable but it was enough to add extra body. I was doing this "in the box" and didn't have access outboard gear so I couldn't do the "using efx as a processor" trick so this is what i did to compensate. And of course I used pan as an efx. Nothing creepier then hearing a huge vocal scream and then hearing him whisper in your ear.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I don't usually share stories but I thought this is a good one

If you can't tell from my picture, I look pretty Metal, never caught dead without a black tee of a metal band, back leather studded bracelets. I've got an arm tattoo, a graphic leg tattoo of a demon, rocking the converse kicks, cut off jeans or ripped jeans. Typical metal head

So I'm on the bus, dead center in the back, the bus is packed and so quite you can hear a pin drop. I'm texting away. Now I have one of those htc Legend smartphones and if you don't know, the speaker for it is on the back, so in this situation it's pointing towards the whole bus, volume maxed. In the middle of my text i get a phone call. And throughout the whole bus you can hear "BABY YOUR A FIIIIIIIIIREWOOOOORK! COME ON LET YOUR COOOOOOLOURS BUUUURST"

Yeah, that got some looks
You may now laugh at my expense

Friday, June 3, 2011

ReAmping Drums

So I'm attending Nimbus which is also The Harvard of Recording Schools. And one thing that blows my mind that gets done a lot is using sound to re trigger drums. 
Well I've included what I can best describe as a Re Amp'd Snare Drum

I know you're thinking "What Am I Looking At?" This is probably more confusing so allow me to explain what is going on.

In the control room a pre-recorded snare track is being played and the recorded snare doesn't sound that good. So it is patched so the track is being sent to the Studio or Live Room. In the Live Room the signal is being played out this speaker which is being played very loud. Then speaker is then placed face down with the center of the speaker to the center of the snare. The speaker is suspended off of the snare head with the drum sticks. And everything is taped into place. Now the snare track is playing a new snare drum and everything is mic'd a recaptured.
This isn't the first time we did this. But it is the first time we did it with something pre recorded.
We've been in school and decided that our kick drum wasn't boomy enough so we put a kick drum in front of a kick drum in front of the kick drum being played. And we Mic'd the last Kick and it was amazingly low and boomy.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dancing Zombies! by Trash Da Bride

In Honer of The Zombies Movie Marathon Month I decided to share a band I helped record called Trash Da Bride! Trash Da Bride Facebook Page If you "like" then you can go and listen to a song we recorded called Dancing Zombies (which BTW was the most fun I've had in a recording studio)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Let's Exchange Mixing Tips and Tricks

I haven't been buy here lately because everything has been so hectic lately but i think I'm getting a grasp on it so I'll be here more often.

I thought I would share you guys a recording and mix I did with a buddy i used to go to school with.
Rising By Frisco Honey This is a local band we got last minute and they sounded pretty good. However mixing has been a painful and slow process especially when your school goes bankrupt. But I have yet to find a negative opinion on it.

Leave a comment or question about how you liked the song and or the mix, tips on fixing it up, or questions on how I did what, either here on on my SoundCloud page. None of my mixing or recording techniques are secrets.

The cool mixing tip i posted previously was used on this mix

Hit me up on Twitter @CMXJay

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cool Mixing Tip

Hello Friends

Sorry I'm kinda sherping my blog because of a busy personal life and i really didn't have time to think of anything to blog or have a lot of time to blog so instead I decided to show you guys a really cool mixing tip for almost any genre of music. This is some one of my personal tricks I don't like to show others so consider yourself lucky. This is also done in ProTools FYI
I call this my "Stadium Reverb" Layer

1. Make a Stereo Aux track and set the I/O inputs to Bus 1-2
2. In your VOX and Guitar tracks add Buses 1-2 to your extra sends (make all these sends Pre and unity gain)
3. On your Aux track, insert a ridiculous Reverb that's just way over the top to much
4. On your Aux track, insert the 1-band stock EQ and make a low pass between 4.5kH - 5kHz
5. If you listen to this solo'd track now it should sound like your Vocals and Guitars are in a large empty concrete stadium and you're standing in a closed off hallway outside. A very cool sound
6. Now play everything and slowly add this new Aux into your mix as a subtle layer behind your mix you already have.

I find this layer really adds a lot to your mix and it's really easy to do and it's just all around awesome.

So have fun with this and if you have any questions you can leave a comment and i'll get back in a few days or if you want a more imitate response then twitter me https://twitter.com/#!/CMXJay

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mac N' Ched or Perogie Casserole

This is gonna seem like a pretty random topic especially seance my last topis was about Nazis and Zombies and killing them, as you have probably figured out this topic is about COOKING!

I know your probably thinking to yourself "WTF man?" well as i said before I don't want to rant I want to share my knowledge and I think this is another thing i can do better then anyone else. Plus this is an awesome way to show your mom your not eating like a broke ass bachelor, or REALLY impress a date or really fill up people and make them say "That was probably the best meal of my life and I've had every meal from Epic Meal Time"

I gladly take on any one's grandma in a Mac N' Ched or Perogie Casserole cook off. Bring It Grandma! I'm not afraid of you!

So because I'm assuming most of you are like me and NOT stay at home parents or retired grand parents and don't have a lot of free time to make dinner I'm going to skip making perogies by hand steps because you're probably just gonna buy them frozen from the store, Which is cool by me. HOWEVER if you have a parent or grandparent who makes this kinda stuff at home and by hand get them to make you home made perogies. It makes this 10,000,000,000% better (i might be over exaggerating a little in that made up percentage)

And if your doing this Mac N' Chead style then go buy the plain Macaroni noodles from the store. get the big bag too. You're just pissing away money and powdered cheese if you do this with the KD stuff. You're going to make the cheese sauce by hand because this is where the amazingness comes from.

This is for 2-4 people (or one person with a few days worth of left overs)

Here's What You Need To Get From The Store
-Flour (2 tablespoons worth)
-Milk (One cup of any percentage you like)
-Cheese! (2 cups, what ever kind you like but from personal experience Cheddar is king and Moz just burns)
-Butter (2 table spoons worth)
-Meat! (ground meat works best, get as lean as you can because it's cheaper and you don't have to drain as much fat. Once again from personal experience get Spicy Italian Sausage or Mild Italian Sausage if your not into spicy. I'm aware this comes wrapped up like sausage while ground meet is just a big wad of meat so, yes you are gonna have to take them apart and get all the meat out so you have a meat wad. I'm aware how inconvenient this is but it does make it 10,000,000 times better then then other meats) (get about 2 people's worth of meat)
-Perogies or Marconi noodles (both awesome, I recommend doing both, but for separate nights obviously) (This is for the big 2kg bag of perogies or the 1 or 1.5kg bag of Macaroni noodles)

Before You Cook:
-Grate Cheese
-De-tube Sausage
-Make Sure You Have A Big Enough Casserole Dish (Don't laugh but this one fucked me up a few times)

Prepare To Be Busy As Hell:
You actually will be as busy as hell so if your texintg or watching t.v. or trying to game while doing this you'll just burn shit. Trust me I know first hand. Prepare to do nothing but this
This will still be in point form but now you're going to need to do this in order as it appears
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. While oven is preheating cook meet (not partially, cook it entirely)
3. When meat is half cooked start boiling water
4. When meat is done keep on "low" or "min" and water should be boiled by this point
5. Add noodles/perogies to water
6. As soon as you get perogies/noodles in the water you're going to need to make cheese sause
7. Turn burner to about 5 or 4 is your stove is one of those quick and hot stoves
8. While pot is heating slowly add butter  one tablespoon at a time and stir continuously until melted
9. While string melted butter add flour one tablespoon at a time and continue string continuously until it's kinda clumpy
10. After clumpy-ness is achieved add the milk! keep up the string, don't stop! then milk will eventually turn yellow
11. Add 1 cup of cheese and keep string until the cheese is entirely melted
12. repeat step 11
13. Congrats you now have cheese sauce your grandma would be jealous of. Your perogies or noodles need to be drained so do that. If done properly both the cheese sauce and the perogies or noodles have finished at the same time.

Time For The Easy Part:
(You can text/watch t.v./Kill Nazi Zombies while doing this next part)
1. Pam THE SHIT out of your casserole dish (burnt home made cheese sauce is a nightmare to clean up!)
2. Add a layer of perogies or noodles
3. Add a layer of cooked meat
4. Add a layer of home made cheese sause
5. Repeat steps 2-4 until out of food or casserole dish
5.5. If you have any left over grated cheese put it on top to add that extra bit of awesome
6. Bake for 20 min with lid on
7. Bake for 5 min with lid off
8. Bake for 5 min with an open door

The Best Part:
Eat This Shit!

Obviously this is a fat free, carb free, vegetarian friendly meal.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Best Strategy for Nazi Zombies

As mentioned, I am a bit of a gamer and one of the Games I play the most is Call Of Duty: Black Ops and I mostly play is the infamous Nazi Zombies.

I know most of you probably already play this and play it well. However me and my band mates from Crimson Reign http://www.crimsonreign.ca/ can play this map like no one else and our wave record is wave 64

I know you must be thinking "Wave 64! You're full of shit or damn amazing! How did you do it?" Well I'll tell you our fool-proof strategy we used (and we always use) that can get you to the farthest wave you've ever been to. This strategy is very technical for the first 7 waves and then after that it's a cake walk. but remember to conserve ammo and get points. Helpful ammo saving and point building hints are listed throughout.

Wave One:
Probably the easiest wave there is. Even your grandparents can beat this wave. Just let the Zombies break down the barriers and come right in. You get points for rebuilding the barriers but remember in the first few waves you can max those points out. And there's NO point in shooting this wave. Just knife the zombies and they'll go down with one knife blow. Keep the last Zombie alive and rebuild all the barriers and then kill that Zom-Bitch. Don't buy anything either.
**ADVANCED PLAYER TIP: When you knife you'll notice that your character will thrust the knife and then pause as the knife is in the zombie and then pull it out. Well if you aim your knife upwards you're character will do a clean swipe and you won't be delayed waiting for you character to pull the knife back out of the zombie. And as an added bonus you'll even get an occasional "Head shot" for a knife kill, which again is more points**

Wave Two:
Don't really let them in this time, They'll get in eventually but nothing to be really concerned about. I like to direct most of my attention to the left side of the room with the barriers right at the top and bottom of the stairs. Pay the second most attention to the barrier next to the fuse box, and you can pretty much ignore the barrier under the stairs. Once again, don't bother shooting. The Zombies will go down with 2 knife hits and as you knife hold down on the movement stick because as you knife you'll leap forward and by holding back you walk back and 90% of the time are out of the zombie's attack range by the time he reacts. Once again keep the last one alive to rebuild all the barriers and don't buy anything.

Wave Three:
Time to do some shooting. It's to hard to knife these Zombies to death so you're allowed to use your pistol now. You're going to take about 6-8 shoots and then knife them right after and this should take them down with one swipe of the blade. Keep the attention to the barriers the same as mentioned in wave two. When they eventualy bust in slowly gather them by grouping a majority of them at the bottom but leave an escape route so you can access the far staircase on the far side of the up stairs barrier. You can easily stand and the top of the stairs and unload 6-8 shoots into the zombies at head level because on the stairs all they're heads line up and bullets travel through zombies so this will help you get more points per shot
**ADVANCED PLAYER TIP: You also get MORE points by NOT aiming down your sites when you shoot. It's a little more tricky to do but it helps boost the points even more**
If you do get stuck in a rut remember you have grenades. But you shouldn't need them. And once again keep the last guy alive to rebuild the barriers. IGNORE RANDOM WEAPON BOX UNTIL I SAY OTHER WISE

Once you finish rebuilding the barriers and BEFORE you kill the last zombie go up stairs and buy the door way into the second room and buy the next door into the third room with the two stair cases. Then turn right and go down the stairs and buy the full auto gun on the wall at the bottom of the stair case. Now we're going to be in this room for a while so let the last zombie come to you and kill him or go kill him and run back.

Wave Four and Five:
Just stay at the bottom floor between the two stair cases, All the zombies from the first two rooms will run down the stairs closest to the gun you just bought. The two barriers down stairs are very easy to watch and eventually some zombies will come down the other stair case from the barrier upstairs, but until they start coming down the stairs this is of little concern. Try to kill the zombies behind the barriers first so they last as long as possible. the zombies coming down the stairs will line up BEAUTIFULLY and with this gun they're heads will come off with 1-2 shoots each so just hold down the trigger for a second and watch them fall like dominoes.

At the start of these waves you'll be watching the down stairs barriers mostly but keep an eye on the stairs between them. Eventually you'll have to keep an equal first priorty on both barriers and the stairs once the stairs get busy. Don't forget about the stairs behind you. If you fuck yourself over a but you can start heading up these stairs A LITTLE but go back down as soon as you can! and be sure to keep an eye on them for the occasional Zombie coming down. It wont be nearly as many as the other stairs but it's a piss off way to die.
And don't try to do circles around the tables in the middle of the room, you'll just get surrounded and that's the last thing you want seeing how the hard part is almost over.

This room is a little more tricky but still fairly easy if you master the killing them on the stairs trick and constantly checking around you for the stray zombie.Be sure to buy ammo if you need it but hopefully you'll get a couple "max ammo"s so you wont need to buy ammo but if you do need to buy it, no big deal. After wave four or five but BEFORE wave six trade your pistol for the shotgun up stairs in this room.

Wave Six:
The Dogs. Probably the EASIEST wave after wave one. Run to the middle of the stair case closest to the shotgun you just bought. This is you new home for this wave. Make sure you have your shotgun out and constantly switch from looking up the stairs to looking down the stairs. when you see a dog but before it get close enough to leap, tap the "look down sights" trigger and quickly fire. This will auto aim you to the dog and ALWAYS kill in one shot. You'll need to reload once half way through an a manual reload chosen at the proper time instead of HAVING to reload could very helpful.
See I told you this round was easy.

As soon as this round is over run as fast as you can to the next room and through that room and into the big room with the curtain. But DON'T OPEN THE CURTAIN!

Wave Seven, Eight (maybe Nine) :
Now you have access to claymores and a very powerful 3-burst gun that you might wanna trade your shotgun for. You don't have to but you can if you want. You'll want to place the claymores at the far end barrier to slow down those zombies from that side of the room as much as possible. Aside from that all your enemies will be coming from the open doorway side side of the room. All you have to do is run circles around those big walls in the middle slowly and let the mass hoard gather behind you. Try to avoid running through the middle if you have to and whatever you do DO NOT DOUBLE BACK! EVER!!!!
Once the hoard is gathered behind you just sprint hard down a length of the big wall in the middle of the room and turn around and just fire away at head level and watch your points jump, and of course buy more ammo if you have to. When you're at one end of the hall and the hoard is at the other end stay until they get to the gap in the middle and THEN run the other hall length. You don't want them coming through the middle gap or possibly have some of them double back.
Keep this up how ever many rounds you have to until you have at least 5000 points to spend.

Wave Nine or Ten
Ok you have 5000 points to spend so this next round you're going to collect the hoard as you have been. Once you have them following you, quickly open the curtain and run down the hall to the Juggernaut cola machine and buy Juggernaut and very quickly run back to the hall and keep running away. By waiting for a hoard you wont get surrounded when running loops around the whole map. After you get Juggernaut and are back in front of the hoard you'll have to keep going back into the first room and do a lap around the whole map. Make sure you don't get to far ahead of the hoard when you do a full lap around the whole map or else you'll risk the zombies doubling back on you. As your doing the lap of the full map be sure to buy the Quick Revive in the original starting room and the speed cola in the room with the double stairs. When you get back to the room with the big walls in the middle you can either finish the zombies there or do another full map lap so you can also get the teleport machine ready. But make sure you finish the round in the room with the big walls in the middle because this is where you'll be spend most of your time.

Wave Eleven till Death
The tricky part will be the start of the waves. because Zombies will be coming from all sides so just start doing laps around the big walls and dodge Zombies as much as you can until they're gathered in a hoard. Avoid using traps or turrets. This cam seem really tricky but the zombie dodging is what you'll need in order to finish each wave perfectly. After you have the hoard gathered go ahead and start killing these guys, You're basically gonna live in this room from now on until you have the full hoard and then you can do full laps around the whole map to get different weapons, unlock the other room to get double tap, get random weapon box, teleport or set up the teleporter. Just so you know, after wave 30 something guns, grenades and claymores don't kill anymore, you'll HAVE to use traps to kill zombies and the gun is entirely for getting points.

Have fun and let me know what wave you manage to get to by commenting or better yet over Twitter.

-If you see Max Ammo reload your current weapon first to TRULY get Max Ammo.
-From wave 1-5 "Insta-Kill" means it's time for a knifing/pistol spree
-Try to avoid getting bombs or "double points" between rounds, remember an item will flash and then super-flash before it's gone
-From wave 11-30 try to avoid killing zombies when doing a full map lap because if they drop a power up during the full lap it will be gone by the time you get back to that spot on your next lap.
-Avoid exploring new places until there is only 1 or 2 zombies left alive for that wave
-From wave 10 till Death only gather the zombie hoard in the room with the big walls in the middle of it
-Always be aware what is going on all around you

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Welcome Friends

Hey there. This is my first blog post and I'm sure no one wants to hear me rant an complain like so many other are doing. Instead I'm gonna try to be helpful and informative and basically write about things I know. If you have it also follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/CMXJay and I'll follow you back. I hope you find at least one post in this blog you enjoy