Archive for January 2010

Digital Console training

January 20, 2010

I really have some awesome friends. No, really – I do.

My friend, T.C. Furlong from the Chicago area, owns a large rental house/sales/show support company. Already knowing about my recent transition plans, I was talking to him about how my entire mixing and engineering career was based on analog systems. I was telling him about how almost all of the touring industry was digital now, and I expressed to him my fears about entering a new major market (Nashville, TN) not having knowledge or experience of those systems.

Well, one thing led to another and pretty soon we had a plan, with help from TC’s General manager Jeff Cech who set all the details up. Since it’s a drive of just over 4 hours from Kokomo, I invited my friend Rob Moss, an audio-video guy, to tag along.

We spent 1/2 day with Mike Eiseman of Yamaha Commercial Audio. Mike is a former FOH engineer for Willow Creek church, as well as a former staff member at T.C. Furlong, Inc. He has been with Yamaha for a couple of years now and is just an awesome guy. He gave us a 3-hour crash course on the Yamaha PM5D – Yamaha’s most popular large-format digital console. This was the RH version, which has the recallable mic preamps. Yamaha’s console was designed from the ground-up to be a direct digital replacement of the PM4000 – one of Yamaha’s most popular analog large-format consoles. You can tell from the design, layout, and function that this is what they were going for. I found this console to be pretty easy to operate and get up and going on, once you get used to it.

The Yamaha PM5D-RH

After lunch, we spent 1/2 day with Greg Addington of Avid/Digidesign, who gave us a hands-on overview of the Digidesign Venue/Profile system. The Digi philosphy is completely different than the Yamaha outlook. While Yamaha was trying to retain the paradigm of their older analog system to ease the transition of the operator, Digidesign went completely the other way. Digi’s system is slick, polished, and very computer-oriented. If you have spent any time at all using a program like Digidesign’s ProTools, then you will appreciate the layout and function of the Venue consoles.

Trainer Greg Addington stands next to the Digidesign Venue/Profile system.

In essence, this console is one huge mouse or keyboard. There is no audio going through what we would traditionally call the “desk”. All the Audio I/O, processing, storage, and plug-ins exist in the rack underneath the desk. The desk simply gives you tactile knobs and faders which control the “real” console down in the rack. The Venue system is completely compatible with ProTools. With a single firewire cable, you can connect the Venue rack to any laptop equipped with ProTools and instantly record or playback the first 18 channels/tracks. (the 18 track limitation is a function of Firewire, not the console). For a little more money, you can buy an additional rack piece and record all 48 tracks live to ProTools on a desktop machine. Sweet!

The other big thing that the Digidesign platform offers, that some of the others don’t, is the ability to use industry-standard TDM plug-ins. This means that you can use models of classic tube compressors, vintage EQ’s, popular reverbs, special effects like amp and mic modeling, distortions, moogerfoogers, and even auto-tune (if you’re into that sort of Kanye West / T-Pain kind of thing).

I had an awesome time and it was such a generous thing for T.C. and the guys to put together for us. I am truly blessed to have these kinds of relationships with vendors whom I can truly call friends.

Who is Jeremy Carter and what can he do for you?

January 14, 2010

Some people have asked what kinds of positions I am looking for and what marketable skills I have. This is a 1/2 page promo card I made for my job search which answers that question.

[click above graphic for larger, printable version]

My Transition [Updated]

January 5, 2010

To the Oakbrook Church family,

ANNOUNCEMENT
After much prayer, discussion, and contemplation I want to inform you that I have made a decision to seek other career opportunities, and to step down from my position as the Technical Director of Oakbrook Church.

WHY I’M LEAVING
Over the past several months, there have been dozens of discussions within my department, and in higher levels of leadership at the church about the current structure, future strategy, and leadership needs of the technical department. One of the things that has been pretty clear to all involved is that we are moving into a new era which looks and functions very different than it has in the past. The kinds of words dominating those discussions are these: mentoring, shepherding, people development, pastoring, reproducing yourself, handing off pieces of ministry, recruiting and building our volunteer base, team building, team development, and replicating teams.

This is in stark contrast to the paradigm in existence when I was brought back (after nearly 4 years) to the Oakbrook staff in 2002. At that time, production execution and excellence were the top priorities. We were beginning a new video production department, we revamped our web presence, we were just beginning a new marketing and branding push, and then the biggest project of all – we were building a new building which needed A/V/L (audio/video/lighting) system design guidance and knowledge. I was a perfect fit for that time and place, but it is obvious to me now Oakbrook’s needs have changed and the staffing needs to change with it. If you know me at all, you would know that those “discussion words” listed in the paragraph above would not be in my list of top gifts. The words describing my gifts would be more along the lines of: production, task, project, strategy, specialist, designer, mixer, producer, editor, systems guy, etc.

So It has become very clear in the last few weeks that it is time for me to move on to another challenge. My close circle of advisers and mentors is in agreement with this decision (including my wife, Mandy, whose discernment I have learned to trust implicitly.) As I have begun to share my story with others, including some members of the staff, my small group, and some team members I have been amazed at the response. Nearly everyone has said something to the effect of, “It makes me sad, but it does sound like its the right thing to do and that God is definitely doing something in this.”

TIMETABLE
My last day of work will be Sunday, January 31st. The leadership at Oakbrook is giving me unbelievable support during this time. They have really taken good care of me and my family – emotionally, spiritually, and financially. I have always had the utmost confidence in the leadership at Oakbrook and I still do. Mark and Morgan, in particular, have been among the best role models of Christian leadership to me, and I consider them some of my very best friends. We have had some tearful times along this journey as we’ve discussed it! I hope you realize how blessed the Oakbrook family is to have the authentic, humble, and gifted servants God has chosen to lead us.

WHAT NOW?
I’ve applied for several positions in the Nashville, TN area. My wife and I have always been attracted to that area and we are feeling a pull to explore that. I have family and friends there, and we really love the culture and environment there. Also, while I want to remain open to where God leads, I’m not really seeking other church jobs. I have been passionately involved in ministry at Oakbrook since 1990 and it would be really hard for me to abruptly change to another church and for it not to feel weird. (Plus, I am skeptical that I could find another church with the DNA, authenticity, and great leadership that I have fallen in love with at Oakbrook!) So I think I will see what it’s like to be a volunteer for a while. But who knows what the future holds?

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Be on the lookout for opportunities for me! Do you know someone of influence in the Nashville TN area? I’d be happy to point you to my resume, portfolio, and other resources to share with others. I would also ask for your prayers during this time. As you can imagine there is a lot of insecurity and anxiety that accompanies a decision like this.

CONTACT

You can contact me with questions, comments, and job leads via email jermbass@sbcglobal.net, or snail mail at 3717 Oakhurst Dr, Kokomo IN 46902. Please also feel free to ask questions of Mark Malin, Morgan Young, or Jason Lee – we all arrived at this decision together and we are committed to being completely transparent about the process that brought us here, so that no one misunderstands.

With much love and gratitude for the past 19 years of ministry we’ve shared together,
Jeremy Carter

Cartoon Character Voices based on Real People

January 1, 2010

As I watch older cartoons, which are now available on DVD, with my kids – I’ve noticed something that I never picked up when I was a kid. Many popular cartoon character voices are based on real people! These are generally parody voices, not the real person themselves doing the voice. Let me show you the ones I’ve discovered so far. Let me know if you know of others!

Spike The Dog (Tom & Jerry) sounds like the voice of: Jimmy Durante

The Ant & The Aardvark sound like the voices of: Dean Martin and Jackie Mason

Yogi Bear sounds like the voice of Art Carney playing Ed Norton in The Honeymooners

Snagglepuss sounds like Bert Lahr playing the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz

Mr. Jinx the cat at times sounds like Marlon Brando

Doggie Daddy (from Augie Doggie) also sounds like Jimmy Durante

Mammy Two Shoes (from Tom & Jerry) sounds like Hattie McDaniel’s “Mammy” character in 1939’s Gone With The Wind

Both Top Cat and Hokey Wolf sound like Phil Silvers

Wally Gator sounds like comedian Ed Wynn

Peter Potamus sounds like comedian Joe E. Brown

Morocco Mole (sidekick of Secret Squirrel) sonds like actor Peter Lorre

Not Included: Characters that are obvious re-creations
The following list are obvious re-characterizations that go beyond sound-alike voices. They are parodies or recreations of the entire character.

  1. Fred Flintstone is Ralph Cramden of The Honeymooners
  2. JabberJaw is Curly from The Three Stooges
  3. Johny Bravo is intended to be a dumbed-down version of Elvis Presley