Category Archives: DMH Music

How can I best convey my love for Berlin … Is it the life in almost everyone you see on the streets, is it the fashion lady that sits across from you on the u-bahn with the small grey pug that says “I’m a fashion dog, too, and I don’t care”, is it the older guy totally dressed in white (complete with matching white gloves), is it the sax player that’s wailing on a 1/2 scale sax, is it the guy playing awesome Arabic music on the bagpipes down the street … and so much more that I won’t even go into? It’s not easy being away from Dan, but he knows what this place means to me … and I’m grateful to him for that. Liebe gruss aus Berlin!

Parallax n. – (an apparent change in perception of an object when viewed from a different direction or viewpoint)
Eden n. – (any delightful place or state; a paradise)

The general theme of Parallax Eden can be found above in the dictionary definitions of the words themselves. As a musical work, it seeks to transport the listener to another place. This place can be serene and chilled, thick and sonically lush or it can be energetic and rhythmically driving … depending upon the mix that you’re listening to.

In its beginnings (as with many of DMH’s project’s), Parallax Eden started out as a relaxational piece, which can still be heard in the “Chill Mix Version”. This generally involves nature sounds (that were recorded by DMH himself) with lush synthesizer pads (often from hardware synths), which are combined with live instrumentation to create a soothing ambient space.

The next phase in the process, takes the nature/chill tracks and combines beats, original rhythm tracks, hard- and soft-synths, as well as beats, loops and live instruments to build up tracks that are lush and energizing … but not overly-so. These mid-tempo mixes make up what is known as the “Original Mix Version”.

From a technical standpoint, much of these tracks are made by DMH in his production facility in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, using Steinberg’s Nuendo and Ableton Live as his main DAW software tools of choice.

Once the original mix versions have been completed, these session tracks are then meticulously added to an Abelton Live session, such that if you were to press Play in Live, the original tracks would play the 4 separate stereo “streams” (being made up of the instrumental/vocal tracks and a special mix version of the surround 5.1 mix tracks).

Add to these original session mixes an extra dose of harder-hitting (and yet still melodic) groove loops, soft synths and about anything that can be imagined … and you come up with a series of grooves that can be played and “performed” to the original tracks. These dance tracks are then composed and assembled into the Ableton Live session in Berlin, in a creative musical environment (above is a pic of my smaller Berlin studio setup … home away from home).

Once completed the Live session is ready for performance. This is often done at one of Europe’s top music hotels, the nhow Hotel in Berlin (their main SSL studio is shown in the picture above). These live mixes are then performed live on-stage or in the studio, which then can then be transferred very carefully back into the main studio DAW to become the “Berlin Remixes”.

A Word on Touch Technology

One of the newer aspects in DMH’s life is touch technology, which he embraces with open arms and flying hands. Where to start? … First, all of the computers in the studio(s) make full use of touch screens. This allows for direct on-screen mixing and software interaction (with the main screen being a full 27” raven touchscreen.

Next is the integration of the iPad into the studio. During production, the iPad acts as a MIDI device, providing software synths, tools and various musical toys that are definitely part of the overall process. However, once the original version of the project has been mixed, the iPad becomes a central part of the production process through the use of Touchable, a touch, wireless control interface to Ableton Live that allows him to compose, perform and experiment in the studio and live on-stage.

Once the compositions are done, the mixing process begins at DMH’s studio facilities in both 2.0 (stereo) and 5.1 (surround sound). With the use of Steinberg’s Nuendo and various effects plug-ins (most notably from Universal Audio, DMH then crafts the mixes into their final musical form. Moving further, DMH then visits to his other musical family, Galaxy Studios in Mol, Belgium. Here, DMH goes about the task of mixing in 9.1 Auro3D® for the final release product. In this case, the Auro3D® mix is made up of a full 5.1 mix on the ground and an extra set of quad speakers in the air, giving an expansive sense of height to the mix.

The final Bluray Disc product is unique (probably the first of its kind) in that it contains not only several mix formats, it also includes several mix and remix music versions. Just choose your color on the Bluray remote control…

YELLOW (Berlin 2.0 Remix) This is not a “fold-down”, but a separate stereo mix that has been crafted with tender loving care.
GREEN (Chill 2.0 Mix) Take away the dynamic dance tracks and you are left with underlying chill tracks that are the foundation of these songs.
RED (Berlin 5.1 Remix) The surround mix is where the action is. Quite literally, the l, r, c, lfe, ls, rs soundfield envelopes the listener from all speakers to create an immersive 5.1 experience.
BLUE (Original 9.1 mix) This Auro-3D® mix adds an extra 4 channels of overhead height information, for a total of 9.1 channels!

In addition to being unique and bold in format and mix options, these mixes have been mixed quite boldly … the surround mixes literally surround you with instruments and effects, placing you in the middle of it all. Bold and innovative enough that it won a Grammy nomination.

Parallax Eden can be purchased here:
Auro3D Creative Bluray Edition
Stereo mix download versions

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As the public is slowly being educated about the options for downloading music files i HD (High Definition), many mis-understandings, FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and downright bit-war snoberies are beginning to surface.

Bigger, faster, higher and more-expensive is “always right” … right? Well, not always. The truth is that there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that call for various choices to work at various samplerates. Let me offer myself up as a sacrificial lamb to highlight some of the reasons why “bigger, faster, more” just might not always be the best choice.
My name is David Miles Huber (www.davidmileshuber.com) … I’m a 3X Grammy-nominated producer/artist in the electronic music genre. I play “a mean computer”, that’s my instrument of choice … and I’ve been doing it for decades. As such, I’ve been sampling hardware instruments, soft-synths, real instruments and adding recorded tracks to my projects for over 20 years. These self-made and commercially-available sounds have been carefully hand-forged into loops that make up my craft … mostly in an era when the 24/96 (or gawd forbid the 24/192) discussion wasn’t even around.

The next part of the discussion revolves around whether to up-sample the current sounds into a “hi-res” (most likely 24/96) project and then record the new material at the higher rates. This is all well and good, except that one of my main live production tools is Ableton Live, running on a laptop. Performing live at 24/96 would most likely introduce added hardship on the hard drive, CPU processing and added signal processing. Thus the performance aspect would probably remain at 24/44. As my European Assistant pointed out to me … these actions of moving back and forth between rates are going to slip me up at some point in time. He said … “It’s about the music, not the science”.

In the end, I had to totally agree with him. When the audio is carefully recorded and crafted using carefully chosen mic techniques, killer converters that sound great, working your butt off using proper recording and production practices … The sound will follow. I’ve know from experience that carefully-crafted 24/44 can easily beat out 24/96 that is less than steller. Add to this, the needs of the production process (with regards to processing power and ease-of-use), and it comes down to these things:

1. Does technology get in the way of the music?
2. How does it sound?
3. Does your chosen bitrate make sense for your production system and style?

If you’re recording live instruments and using your DAW as a tape recorder, then mixing this recording into a final product … fine … recording at a high rate will most often be the best answer. However, if you’re dealing with large number of tracks, live performance constraints, plug-in constraints, electronic production styles and tools … and the answer just might not be so simple. In the end, I would ask you to respect the way in which the artist makes his or her music … judge them on their sound alone and not on the science of the tools that have captured their sound. Quality sound is quality sound … and good music will stand on its own merit, in the end.

Adding <<< SPACE >>> to my mixes

The process of creating Chamberland has been an amazing one for me. It has taken me from my home studio – to a super-studio in Belgium – to a super-hotel in Berlin … to performances in both stereo and quad in the US and Europe.

Beyond the intricate, lush sounds and immersive production, one of the more interesting aspects of producing this project has been its sense of “space” … a largeness in the mix that comes from several sources:

1. Stereo miking and stereo sound-sources: Those of you who know me, know that I “only” record stereo tracks. That’s right, even when I’m recording vocals or an instrument, I’ll use two mics or a stereo mic. This adds a huge sense of space to the mix right-off-the-bat, giving a depth to an otherwise one-dimensional source.

2. Stereo room mics: Whenever it’s called for, I’ll record an instrument with 2 stereo mic pairs. For example, on “Magenta”, I recorded Ari Joshua in a large gym with two mics on the electric guitar cabinet and two XY mics out in the hall at a 25 foot distance. Not only does this add a huge sense of space to the overall stereo mix, when it comes time to do the surround mix, the room speakers can be placed in the rear, giving a natural “being there” sound.

The following acoustic guitar pic was taken in the same gym with my late buddy Barbara Buckland (R.I.P.).

3. One of the effects that I’ve been having fun with is the Universal Audio Ocean Way Studios acoustic space plug-in for the UAD2 … it adds such a natural and big sense of space to an electronic mix, that’s it’s just too fun to pass up.

Combining Ocean Way with the actual distant mics, combine to create an electronic project that doesn’t sound dry or sterile … Obviously, I’ve been having fun!

NOTE: See all the project notes at the Chamberland page

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