Category Archives: News

Great Advice From Your Very Own CT- 2

Time To Drink My Lunch
Healthy Lunch Shake

My Healthy Lunch Shake

Time to drink my lunch!

One big issue facing recording engineers is being out of shape and overweight. It just comes with sitting in a studio 7 days a week. We have to be able to take care of our bodies or else we will have shorter careers.

I am taking 2 protein shakes a day with a low carb high protein meal at night. Be good to your body and you will be more productive than you have ever been. I have had a ton of energy since I started working out in January.

Stay Tuned! I plan to have a “Shirt Off” Picture for my birthday!


Madison Media Institute among colleges on President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2013!

2013 Honor Roll Award

2013 Honor Roll AwardThe President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll was established to recognize those institutions of higher learning that provide meaningful service and civic engagement among students through service to the larger community.  It is the highest federal recognition a college can earn for community service and engagement.  Throughout the year, Madison Media Institute participates in and often organizes events and volunteer opportunities that benefit many members of our community, especially younger students.  In addition to regular support for local schools and students through equipment donation and other outreach activities, MMI participated in the following projects:

  • Madison Police Department Cyber-Safety/Social Networking
  • Community Hunger and Homelessness
  • 2nd Harvest Food Bank & “Make Room for Youth”
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Western Wisconsin

Because of Madison Media Institute’s work with community service and outreach, MMI was among the list of colleges and universities honored for their outstanding commitment to learning and civic contributions.  Our students reflect the value of connecting positively with the larger community in both their academic and personal life and as a core value of MMI.  Congratulations to all the staff and students of MMI who worked so hard to provide service to the community, to each other, and to creating such a positive acknowledgement of our college!

For information on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

For a complete list of all 2013 honor roll members


Audio from the “Inside Out” with Eddie Ciletti

Resident “analogue audio guru” Eddie Ciletti walks us through his class – a fun read and listen


The Studio of Misfit Toys officially did it’s first four-track recording. This was a long time coming, both in terms of setting up of the analog control room as well as the anticipation of what recording in that big untreated space might be like. So far, there are FIVE analog machines – with more to come – plus a turntable and a record player (there IS a difference), an interesting assortment of vintage tube and solid-state analog outboard gear, unusual microphones, vintage drums and instrument amps.

For the first two weeks, current and previous MMI students – spanning 3-plus years – learned the idiosyncratic behavior of various tape machines, of how to consistently thread and accurately edit analog tape. On week-3, we put those skills to use by ‘stealing’ a drum break for a 45 RPM record, editing out the musical bits, turning it into a drum loop and using it as a reference track.

here’s the Step-by-Step…

- Create a loop of the drum break from Tommy Roe’s DIZZY
- Vari-speed to taste and record the loop to track-1 of the 4-track
- Ben Illies overdubed Guitar, via Altec 438 (track-2)
- Ben Illies overdubbed Bass, via Altec 438 (track-3)
- Andy Keech played drums in the BIG ROOM to track-4 (using a single modified Nady TCM-1150, in OMNI, 10 feet from the drum kit through an Altec 1612)
- add a little tape echo to the guitar and…
- blend and listen (link Below)


Wednesday morning’s AE-2 class started the day with a drum mic-ing review, followed by a troubleshooting exercise – we buzzed out the booth mic lines to the SSL to make sure every channel was working (and avoid any problematic channels during the session). At 10AM, the drum set arrived – a 1964 ‘Champagne Sparkle’ Ludwig set, the goal being to get a seventies-era drums sound, including recording to Analog tape at 15 IPS (Inches Per second). We had the front head of the kick drum removed, added a doo-rag to the snare, tuned the toms just a little. The rough mic (below, both raw and processed) shows that we have a little tweaking to do on the floor tom mic (it’s a bit too hot in the mix), but have achieved the goal. We also recorded bass (DI) and Guitar (using Eddie’s modified Fender Pro Junior and an Audix D-6 kick drum mic!).

THE DRUM MICS (all through SSL preamps except the OH)

- KICK: a single AKG D-112, angled up from the bottom edge
- CROTCH: AT-4050 in OMNI – check out this link for more info—->>>>
- SNARE TOP: Shure SM-57
- HAT: Electro-Voice 664
- RACK TOM: Audix D-2
- FLOOR TOM: Audix D-4
- OH: AKG C451 in X-Y (newly repaired) through the Vintech preamps



THE PROCESSED VERSION (Think of this as a pre-mastering test)


MMI’s Dugan McNeill has some thoughts about the music biz – read on….

This rant is about the ‘Press Darlings’. You know who they are. The ultra-hip-psuedo-indie artists that the Tastemakers (Spin, Rolling Stone, your local music critics, etc.) peer pressure us with, because we all want to be cool.

As a music fan, I have spent a good portion of my life seeking out new cutting edge artists. And have come to the conclusion that the bulk of them don’t have a whole lot of staying power in the long run.
On the other hand, whenever I check out a legacy artist that I missed when I was a wee lad, or just flat out dismissed because they were not ‘cool’ enough, I have unearthed gems that have always far surpassed the ‘next big thing ‘ that I should have been listening to.
The Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, Lee Hazelwood, Rush, to name just a few.

Anyone growing tired of the ‘same old, same old’ that the tastemakers are selling, should take a moment to check out the great history of contemporary music out there.
The added bonus is a whole catalog of work to devour at your convenience.

Be wary of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’. Most of the time there’s not much underneath in the first place.

Every Day!


Instructor Nancy Stillwell returned from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association summer conference  with some great news for students.

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation voted to allow MMI students to be able to apply for its annual scholarships.  The foundation offers two $2,000 scholarships and two $1,000 scholarships to assist students enrolled in broadcasting-related educational programs.  Previously,  MMI students had been ineligible to apply due to the school’s for-profit status.

Nancy has been a member of the foundation board since 2010 and has been encouraging members to revisit the decision.  Looks like her gentle encouragement has paid off.  Students will get a chance to apply for the scholarships in the fall.

In related news, the WBA summer convention always includes a golf outing.  Drew Wilson won $50  the long putt contest and Nancy Stillwell won $25 for having the highest score.


Recent REC graduate, Roxanne Zepeda, is now a stagehand at First Avenue working in the Main room! Roxanne has 12 shows lined up in July to work with a lot more to come.  The opportunity came up through MMI’s live sound teacher, Greg Huber, who has worked as the Front of House Mixer for 33 years at First Avenue.

We make things happen EVERY DAY!!