Basic Audio Production with Pro Tools – Level 1
A 3 hour introduction to the basics of Pro Tools taught by Randall Frazier via Zoom. This is the first in a series of virtual classes offered on this topic.
We will cover the basics of Pro Tools and recording audio and MIDI.
A General Overview of Pro Tools
Basic Microphone Technique
Working With MIDI Clips and Notes
Editing MIDI and Audio
Introduction to EQ, Compression and Basic Effects
Basic Mixing Techniques
Randall Frazier has been a producer and sound engineer for 22 years in the Denver music community. He is currently teaching Audio Production at Jefferson County’s Warren Tech Campus, and is also a sound engineer at several Denver venues as well as Colorado Public Television’s “Sounds On 29th” program.
This class will be taught over zoom. You will need to have a computer with Pro Tools (Pro Tools | First can be downloaded for free at https://www.avid.com/pro-tools/ ), a MIDI keyboard, and for the audio exercises you will need a microphone and audio interface, although that is not required to take the class.
Cost of this class is $70
Date: Sunday, November 29, 2020
Time: 2pm – 5pm
Register Here: https://py.pl/18nxbx
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original article by oakland d. childers for westword magazine
“There’s music in everything all around you all day,” says Randall Frazier, the man behind the musical project Orbit Service. “You just have to listen to it. Your average day-to-day person maybe isn’t really appreciating all the different things that are happening around them in the world of sound. It’s invisible, and you take it for granted.”
Frazier knows what he’s talking about. For the past twenty years, he’s worked as a sound engineer at some of the best-sounding venues in Denver, including the Mercury Cafe, the Walnut Room, Globe Hall and, currently, Ophelia’s, where he’ll host a release party on Halloween for his latest album, The Door to the Sky. With only a couple of synthesizers, a vocal processor and an iPad, Frazier crafts otherworldly soundscapes — auditory moods, really — that allow the mind to wander free while making the listener more acutely aware of what the ears perceive. It’s not easy to explain what Orbit Service is all about, he concedes.
“Describing it is sort of tough, I think,” says Frazier on the phone from Atlanta, where he has just finished the sound check for an opening slot at the Legendary Pink Dots concert. He started as the band’s publicist more than a decade ago, then moved up to running its sound on tour before graduating to holding down a slot at shows.
“I think you might call it just ‘surrealist,'” he says of Orbit Service’s music. “I think that’s maybe the most accurate description.”
As an artist, Frazier had decided to go it alone, at least most of the time. Being alone on stage can leave an artist feeling naked, but he says it’s easier, in the long run, than the alternative.
“Over the years, I’ve played with various different band configurations, but it’s personally never really worked out for me,” says Frazier. “My musical vision and the direction I tend to want to go, people have a hard time kind of grasping. When I play in Denver, I still have a couple of people that play with me, but on the tour, I have to do it by myself. I made this record knowing I was going to be playing it by myself, so it’s kind of set up for me to play that way.”
It doesn’t hurt that Frazier’s day job is essentially a different form of the same act: sound manipulation. He’s quick to acknowledge that the two go hand in hand.
“I’m more of a sound engineer than I am a musician,” says Frazier. “I can’t read music or anything like that. I’m working strictly by what I can hear. You’re kind of halfway there if you’re a sound engineer, because you have this innate understanding of what mixes well and what sounds right together and how to place things across the audible frequency range to make everything kind of slide together seamlessly so it feels full and rich without being overcrowded and too busy.”
Frazier has no formal training as a musician — or as a sound engineer, for that matter — so the music he creates isn’t based on music theory, just what he hears and how sounds blend.
“When I go back to the studio and I’m working on my own records, it’s more about the sounds than it is the playing,” he says. “I’m not a good player. I can’t rip out a Jimi Hendrix-style solo or anything like that, but I can sort of make my way through the process just using the knowledge that I have about sound.”
And while performing alone inevitably makes Frazier the focus of attention, being a sound engineer is the exact opposite. That, he says, is by design.
“I think sound engineering is kind of a dark art,” says Frazier. “It’s sort of an invisible bit of magic that’s happening. Nobody really notices what’s happening unless it’s bad. There are so many things going on. If you’re doing it right, you’re very busy and you’re very focused.”
Good sound engineering, he says, is less about manipulation than about knowing what’s important to highlight and what to discard.
“When I’m doing my job at Ophelia’s, for example, it’s all about subtracting things,” says Frazier. “You’re not really sculpting the sound as much as you are removing things. My job is removing the bad parts and letting the music kind of do its thing. Every environment you work in has acoustic properties that kind of make themselves known — the reflections off the walls, a cheap microphone or whatever. As a sound engineer, it’s your job to get rid of those things and let the good parts shine.”
Having such an acute sense of good sound, however, can be a blessing and a curse. On the road, Frazier has to turn off the sound-engineer part of his brain and focus on making music. It’s a situation that has the potential to be disastrous but rarely is.
“Most of the [sound engineers] I encounter…are pretty professional,” says Frazier. “I’ll have a short chat with them about what I’m going for at the beginning when we set up for sound check. I’ll tell them what I’m looking for and what I designed this thing to be, and they seem pretty receptive. That’s not saying I haven’t had bad experiences — I definitely have. It’s possible to have bad experiences even in a great room with a really talented guy running your sound. It could still go wrong, but it usually doesn’t.”
For the most part, he says, sound engineers tend to take their craft seriously. The vast majority are big fans of music and strive to make the bands they work for sound great.
“Long before I was a sound engineer, I spent a lot of my free time sitting in a dark room just listening to records,” says Frazier. “Not talking, not trying to party, just listening. And I think most sound engineers are that way. Sound engineers usually take great pride in their job, and it’s sort of like this unspoken code. If you don’t want to be a sound engineer, you just aren’t, because it’s not an easy job.”
Sound engineering, he says, is more an art form than a vocation. And like any other art form, it can’t really be taught.
“You can go to school for painting, but that doesn’t make you a great painter,” he says. “And you can go to school for photography and learn all about the cameras, but that doesn’t make you a great photographer. You have to have this sort of built into your system. I think I was just wired this way. It’s a matter of listening intently.”
It’s something, he says, that’s hard to tune out. Once you become aware of how much sound and acoustics affect your experiences, it becomes impossible to ignore.
“I’ve made a living out of paying attention to things that maybe other people don’t pay attention to,” says Frazier. “I hear it everywhere I go, in everything I do. Walking into a different space, I hear how my voice reflects off the wall when I’m talking, and things like that. It influences the direction I go with my music. If you’re paying attention, there’s a lot of stuff like that going on in the world around you that’s just fucking awesome. It blows your mind when you really think about it.”
about orbit service:
randall frazier has been performing solo and in various band incarnations as orbit service since the 1990s, releasing no less than 5 brilliant moody albums since 2001. with beginnings in dark psych rock tempered by contemporary influences from slint to palace brothers, the orbit service sound has increasingly moved outward into experimental realms. his previous two albums on beta-lactam ring records, 2011’s “a calm note from the west” and 2016’s “stereo magic (portal In 13 parts)” are steeped in musique concrete, electronic drone, and inner ear echoes. randall’s haunting voice, however, is always floating atop the sonic wave machines, and somehow uses profound alienation to make the music more accessible. his collaboration with the legendary pink dots, called A Star Too Far, released “saucers over lincoln,” another astounding album on BLR in 2015 that remarkably sounds more like orbit service than LPD.
– KPSU (Portland)
randall frazier has toured internationally several times, opening for for the legendary pink dots, as well as tours with dead voices on air, edward ka-spel & amanda palmer.
about the door to the sky:
the door to the sky was released on september 28, 2019 on 180g. white vinyl with a hand-made art edition (limited to 50 copies/sold out). the record was recorded, mixed and mastered by randall frazier, and features additional synth work from copenhagen’s antenne, and former legendary pink dots violinist patrick q. wright.
“Emotionally draining and highly recommended.” – François Couture, All Music Guide
Even on the darkest day. Even on the longest night. Even when there seems to be no hope left.
Even when you surf the channels and see only monsters.
Even little you, little me, pacing our way through a forest of dark menacing shadows wondering if the great creator had simply sneezed upon the candle we need to guide us through to kinder pastures.
Even now my friends, there is an Angel In The Detail.
An album two years in the making. There were a few diversions, a few questions never answered, and a cloud full of value moments. The latter have been preserved for you here and many will be related live in the forthcoming Legendary Pink Dots’ 40th Anniversary Tour. In fact we turn 40 in August 2020 , but I guess there is no harm in starting things early.
As a musician, sound engineer and talent buyer, Randall Frazier has always been about taking local venues to the next level. Over the past few years the booker ha s elevated the profile of Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, filling the venue’s calendar with hip-hop, jazz, rock and some of the most experimental sounds you’ll find at any bar in LoDo. But Frazier is also part of the reason that concerts at Ophelia’s sound so good: He not only set up the sound system before the venue opened, but he currently runs the soundboard alongside fellow engineer Elisa Canali.
original story by tom murphy for westword magazine
Randall Frazier has been running sound at concerts and engineering records in and around Denver for two decades. As a sound engineer and talent buyer at the Walnut Room for nearly ten years, Frazier left his mark on Denver’s underground scene. He helped install the sound system at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, and now he runs it.
Performing and touring with his own musical project, Orbit Service, Frazier came into contact with and befriended experimental psychedelic rock band the Legendary Pink Dots. He’s served as the press agent and tour manager for the band, and for singer Edward Ka-Spel’s solo efforts, in the U.S.
In late winter, Ka-Spel announced his collaborative album with Amanda Palmer, I Can Spin a Rainbow; the album was released May 5, with tour dates set for North America and Europe in the spring. Frazier is currently on the road, performing sound engineering duties and managing the North American leg of the tour.
read the full article at westword.com