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Music Mix Mobile Marks a Decade

Broadcast mixer of choice for top awards ceremonies and more, Music Mix Mobile turns 10.

Haworth, NJ (March 18, 2019)—Longtime friends John Harris, Mitch Maketansky, Joel Singer, and Jay Vicari founded Music Mix Mobile in the spring of 2008, with the aim, equipment, history and ability to provide remote recording/mixing/broadcast audio services for high-profile events. Since then, the company has provided its services for the Grammy Awards, the CMA Awards, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the Emmy Awards and more. All of that resulted in a few of their own honors, including GRAMMY, Emmy, TEC and Canadian Emmy awards.

The company got moving right out of the chute with its own mobile recording facility and two portable systems, but they have since grown into a fleet of five remote-production trucks, portable flight-pack systems and studios. “Ever since John [Harris] and I made the decision to move to the [Avid] D-Control in the first days of M3, which put us into a TDM environment, it became a choice of what TDM plugs there were available to use,” Singer recalls. “So, we became very familiar with Waves and started to depend on them more and more.”

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Singer says Waves plug-ins soon became integral components in every major system M3 assembled, and that in turn led to a change in the relationship between M3 and the plug-in manufacturer. Soon, things had moved beyond an ordinary business-client relationship; M3’s engineers were providing ongoing feedback to Waves product-development engineers, and those engineers made getting software and firmware updates to M3’s trucks and mixers a priority. “When you look at John and Jay and their rich history of what they’ve mixed—the Grammy awards, Juno awards, the Emmys, the Tonys—in essence, we are the artist, and that’s how Waves looks at us,” says Singer.

That relationship came in handy when M3 transitioned to Lawo mc2 consoles aboard its trucks in 2015. “At that point, Waves had introduced SoundGrid Servers, and everything was working on the grid,” says Singer. “With the SoundGrid Extreme Server that we use, we can host plug-ins without taking up processing [on the console]. We could lock that right into the Lawo via a digital MADI interface with virtually no latency. We were one of the first ones to utilize Waves with Lawo integration so that you didn’t have to update the Waves system separately—every time we store a snapshot in the console, that same snapshot is [automatically] stored in the Waves system.”

Singer says M3’s mix engineers have created their own favorite combinations of plug-ins for certain award ceremony broadcasts. For instance, John Harris’ plug-in complement for the recent Grammy Awards telecast signal flow routed the Waves Renaissance DeEsser into a V-EQ3, into the Renaissance Vox, into the CLA-76 Compressor/Limiter for vocals, and then to the H-Reverb Hybrid Reverb. On the same show, co-music mixer Eric Schilling used the same combination of plugins plus the H-Delay Hybrid Delay. M3’s 5.1 music mix was combined with other production elements, and that was what ended up in people’s homes.

On another recent show in Atlanta—a Foo Fighters concert that took place before the Super Bowl—mixer Jay Vicari used a H-Reverb, H-Delay, Renaissance De-Esser, C6 Multiband Compressor and the dbx 160 Compressor/Limiter. “Every engineer that comes into the truck, like the 18 engineers that walked through the truck at the CMA Awards, is familiar with Waves, and it just translates,” says Singer. “There’s a common language between all the engineers, whether it’s a live engineer or a studio engineer, or the producer, and Waves is that common language that everyone understands. For these audio professionals, being able to re-create live what an artist did in the studio is more and more important – and Waves gives us the ability to provide that level of detail.”

Now a year into its second decade, Singer says only two components of M3’s fleet of remote-production units have remained constant throughout its existence. “When we started this company, the two things that have stood the test of time have been Pro Tools and Waves,” he says.

Music Mix Mobile •

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