Mike Mettler

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Mike Mettler  |  Jan 28, 2015  |  0 comments
“I’ve always been a fan of records that tastefully use effects to enhance the listening experience,” says Sam Llanas, former vocalist/guitarist for roots-rock pioneers BoDeans, now ensconced in a full-time solo career. Llanas’ distinct vocal tone — which resides somewhere between gravel and grace — has touched the soul of indelible songs like “Closer to Free,” “Feed the Fire,” and “Rickshaw Riding,” and on The Whole Night Thru (Llanas Music), Llanas opens up his palette on deeply personal tracks like “Deja Vu” and “I’m Still Alive” to achieve an even more honest aural identity. “We did decide early on that we would like to make a record that would be engaging on headphones,” he reports. Here, Llanas, 53, and I discuss the importance of equipment choices and microphone placement, how to make a record that hits “hard and fast,” and his favorite BoDeans album. The man is very much still alive and kicking.
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 12, 2014  |  0 comments
“We would have done surround sound at the time if it had been available.” Original Moody Blues keyboardist Mike Pinder is discussing the always-enveloping signature orchestral sound of the band he was a part of for its first 15 years. Much of the Moodies’ core "Classic Seven" catalog has since seen a series of 5.1 releases in the interim, and Pinder’s innovative usage of the mellotron helped take many of those mixes (“Higher and Higher,” “Watching and Waiting,” “Legend of a Mind”) to the threshold of aural perfection.
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 04, 2009  |  0 comments

So after 6 or 7 years of work, Christmas on Mars (Warner Bros.) is finally here. And it isn't "just" a holiday film, it's what I'm calling a fable for the sci-fi generation. It's a fable of hope for the sci-fi generation, yes. Is there a sci-fi generation?

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 02, 2016  |  0 comments
Photo by Travis Shinn.

Gary and Dale Rossington have been making beautiful music together in their special union for over 35 years and counting — much of it as fully integrated members of the extended Lynyrd Skynyrd family. They've now further cemented their musical bonds by stepping back out on their own again as Rossington to produce a heartfelt, soul-grabbing, and absolutely blues-tastic new album, Take It on Faith. I called Gary and Dale during a Skynyrd tour stop in Dale’s home state of Indiana to discuss the genesis of Faith, Gary’s guitar-tone mastery, and why Skynyrd’s music must endure. Turn it up...

Mike Mettler  |  Oct 25, 2017  |  1 comments
Photo: Sarah Lee

David Gilmour’s July 7 and 8, 2016 concerts at the storied Pompeii ampitheatre marked the first time anyone had performed there in front of a live audience since the gladiators put on their own special brand of swords & sandals entertainment back in 79 A.D. Director Gavin Elder and I recently got on the line to discuss the logistics of filming in such a historic locale for Blu-ray, the goals for the concert’s color palette, and how his team figured out a way to accommodate Gilmour’s lone specific visual wish for the production.

Mike Mettler  |  Jun 06, 2001  |  0 comments

Ground Control, this is Off-Road Gear One, a.k.a. ORG-1, as I'm still orbiting the earth in the experimental mobile-entertainment vessel I transmitted from last month. Do you copy?

Yes, I copy, ORG-1. This is Steve at Ground Control. I can hear you loud and clear - and without distortion, I might add.

Mike Mettler  |  Oct 15, 2014  |  3 comments
“Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.” John Lennon was referencing a theme from the Tibetan Book of the Dead by way of Timothy Leary’s book The Psychedelic Experience, but there really was no other way to start “Tomorrow Never Knows,” the pivotal track that ends Side 2 of The Beatles’ groundbreaking August 1966 album release, Revolver. And “Tomorrow”—originally identified on the recording sheet for “Job No. 3009” in Abbey Road Studio Three as “Mark I” when sessions commenced on April 6, 1966—is rife with studio innovations and flourishes only The Beatles and their revolutionary team of Abbey Road engineers could inaugurate as the methodology so many future artists would embrace: Inventing Artificial Double Tracking, a.k.a. ADT, to simulate the natural double-tracking of instruments and vocals (thank you, Ken Townsend).
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 01, 2017  |  0 comments
It was 50 years ago today that. . . well, you, of course, know the rest, don’t you? For on this storied day of June 1, 1967, The Beatles transformed the album format into an artform virtually overnight when they released the long-anticipated Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. To get a relatively balanced perspective on Sgt. Pepper at age 50, I spoke with both producer Giles Martin and Little Steven Van Zandt about the album's impact on both sides of the Pond.
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 25, 2014  |  0 comments
“I’m just into the ethos of having great sound,” says Giles Martin, describing his surround sound mixing philosophy. “The intention of what we do is to make the journey as seamless as possible. I want people to enjoy what they’re listening to without thinking about it.” Martin’s “natural surround” philosophy is in full effect with the stellar 192-kHz/24-bit 5.1 mix he’s done for the 50th anniversary of A Hard Day’s Night, released on June 24 by The Criterion Collection in a Director-Approved Dual-Format Blu-ray and DVD Special Edition. (If you want to experience the film in a theater setting, it will be playing in almost 100 cities across the country on July 4, courtesy of Janus Films. Theaters and cities can be found by clicking here.)
Mike Mettler  |  Jan 04, 2013  |  0 comments

Happy New Year, S+V friends! What better way to break in that new turntable you got over the holidays than with a nice big vinyl box set that we're giving away?

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