haida - dreamcatcher
Haida is ... a very special project, whose goal is to portray the beauty, majesty and power of the land of the Northwest Territories that stretches from the Puget Sound of Washington State, north to the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia. It is not about the people of these territories, but about the spiritual power of the land itself, portraying its beauty, grandeur and spiritual energy. This “epic project” is designed to transport us to the land of deep waters, soaring eagles, snow-capped mountains and lush forests that is at the heart of the Pacific Northwest and lower western Canada.
Known also by its Haida name "Gwaii Haanas", meaning islands of wonder, the Queen Charlotte Islands are referred to by some as "awe-inspiring". An archipelago of more than 150 islands, the Queen Charlotte Islands are located 50 miles west of the Canadian mainland and are widely known for their natural beauty, old totems, longhouses and a thriving native culture.
A double-release set: The first disc "Haida-Raven" is set for release on July 24, 2019 is different in every way, in that it is an electronic music piece that is grand and panoramic in scale which combines high-technology with native and acoustic instruments to paint scenes that are extremely organic in nature.
Disc 2 - Haida-dreamcatcher
04-Haida-Dreamcatcher-Spirit Bear (11:49:00)
Over 30 years in the making: It’s hard to believe, but this project originally began in the late 1980’s, just as DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) were beginning to take hold. The strings on both discs were recorded in a studio direct to ADAT VHS tape! Most of the original tracks were recorded to the Steinberg Nuendo Version 1 DAW at 16/44 (higher samplerates didn’t exist or weren’t in common use at the time). Later, going back to the original MIDI tracks with the original instruments, the tracks were re-recorded at a 24/96 higher-resolution rate. In fact, the title track makes use of both the original vocal track (DMH was in his 30s at the time) and a later track that was re-recorded 35 years later. The tracks doubled so precisely, that they were both combined to create the final vocal take.
An immersive tour-de-force: DMH is a 4X Grammy-nominated artist. Largely, this is due to his unique style production and mixing style that provides a natural and expansive width over the listening stage, which makes for a more natural and open sound. Additionally, the stereo mix makes use of the latest in Ambisonic technology, which actually places certain sounds behind this listener when listening to the stereo mix over either speakers or headphones. Combine these advanced techniques with his style of surround mixing that places the sounds all around the listener in an involving way … and you get a sound that’s extremely unique, engaging and immersive.
David Miles Huber is a 4X Grammy-nominated producer and musician in the electronic dance and surround-sound genres, whose music has sold over the million mark. His dance performance style is energized and balanced out by lush beats and live acoustic instruments that combine to create a “Zen-meets-Tech Experience”. His latest music and collaborations can be heard at www.davidmileshuber.com.
DMH has performed all over the US and Central Europe using his in-studio tools (Steinberg Nuendo), on-stage performance tools (Ableton Live) and wireless iPad controller (zero-debug Touchable3). It’s been said that he plays a “mean computer”, iPad, MIDI toys, ethnic flutes, vocals and any kind of percussion he can get his hands on.
A testament to a culture:
Although the Pacific Northwest Territories is home to Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, Boeing and a countless list of tech corporations … it is also home to countless beauty in the form of mountain ranges, ocean inlets, forest land and indigenous peoples. Although, not part of the mainstream of the land, the influence the cultures that have preceded us continue the art and general outlook of the Pacific Northwest Territories as a spiritual place that must be honored an preserved.
DMH has had the honor of knowing one of the cornerstones of native heritage in the form of Vi Hilbert, one of the most respected Elders in the Pacific Northwest. Vi (1918 – 2008) has been the subject of several television documentaries, including “Huchoosedah: Traditions of the Heart” from KCTS, Seattle and the BBC, London, England. She had devoted much of her life to the study, promotion and preservation of her childhood language, Lushootseed Salish, and the oral literature and culture of her people. She has transcribed and translated these materials into English. She retired from teaching in 1988, and began storytelling at the insistence of her students. She was frequently invited to tell stories by Native groups, the National Association of Professional Storytellers and other educators at all levels.
Many years ago, Vi invited me to her house, where we set about recording a fable that was near and dear to her heart, Lady Louse. I asked her to read the famous text from Chief Sealth (Seattle), but she refused, saying that this tale was for the white man and did not convey a special meaning for her. So, instead, she told the story of Lady Louse, one who lived her life in isolation and died alone. Personally, I may be the only person who has heard this story more than Vi … and I have my own interpretation on what it means. If you get a chance to listen to the title track of the first disc “Raven” multiple times, you will doubtless come up with your own interpretation.
Vi Hilbert Hall:
In the Fall of 2019, the Vi Hilbert Hall housing development for Seattle University was built. Named after Vi Hilbert, this new student housing community pays homage to the woman who devoted much of her life to keeping the Northwest native tribe of Lushootseed’s culture, language and stories alive. Her passion for sharing knowledge within an environment of constant cultural evolution forged a legacy for what she called “the first people of this land.” Vi Hilbert Hall honors Vi’s spirit and provides us with inspiration as we seek to create a new and vibrant residential community at Seattle University.
A testament to a way of life:
One of the things that most attracted DMH to the Northwest was not only its natural beauty, but its general respect for nature. Although the area is now home to so many newcomers, there still is an overriding respect for the land that can’t be denied. This stems from it’s long-standing religion of the native peoples … “we are part of the land and the land is part of us”. Haida is a celebration of this mutual respect and for helping those new to these philosophies to better understand their connection to the place in which they live.
In fact, DMH is not a religious man at all, choosing not to follow any organized religion. For him, it is indeed the power … the spiritual component of the native cultures of the Pacific NW that makes the most sense to him. The concept that all life has a right to be here, that mankind MUST live in harmony with nature, if, for no other reason than the fact that we are not masters of our universe (as most organized religions would have us believe), but passengers on this great, blue, living ball. We exist by the grace of nature … nothing more. We are at the whim of the balance of nature and her elements and are merely passengers in this planet by the grace of the universe.
A technologically-unique project:
Musically, this lush project combines electronic compositions (which are often made up of originally-recorded samples) with the soothing sounds of nature, live instrumentation (including live string orchestration and male choir) and vocals. Technically, this project has the advantage of being mixed as an immersive Ambeo stereo mix as well as in discrete 5.1 immersive surround sound.
The Ambeo mix was made with the help of Sennheiser’s Orbit plugin, which emulates the binaural characteristics of the Neumann Fritz KunstKopf, allowing the listener to hear certain tracks (usually those containing high-frequencies) to be panned at various locations in the 360 deg field. In the case of Haida, the Orbit was used on tracks that best lent itself to panning in the rear, behind the listener (usually in the 130 deg rear L/R stereo panned position). The truly amazing part about Orbit is that the rear panning actually translates not just over headphones, but over stereo speakers as well … a true bonus!
When it comes to the 5.1 discrete (speaker) mix, DMH is true to his Grammy-nominated form, in that he makes use of all of the speakers to envelope the listener in the surround field. All if the speakers are put to use to create a sense of energy, immersion and fun.
Vocals for “Raven”
When working on Haida (which has been in the works for over 30 years … my best guess is that the original vocals for the title track “raven” were recorded around 1992). Recently, however, I went about the task of re-recording the main vocal line at a higher samplerate (24/96), with newer equipment. The question being how would DMH’s voice would change. Well, the amazing part is that his voice pretty much matched the original style and timings of his much younger self … so much so that the original and new tracks were both used as a double-tracked vocal.In the end, the original track had more emotion and best follows the intention of the song, but the doubled track adds to the size and breadth of the track. Notice that the vocal mic is stereo … this is the way DMH works, the use of a stereo mic (usually in an X/Y arrangement) add to the overall spaciousness of the recorded track.
The piano part for disc one “Haida – Raven” was originally written in MIDI and then played into a Yamaha Disclavier. The piano was recorded to DAW in DMH’s standard reamp miking style (close miking, 2M semi-distant XY and 4M Blumlein room mic pair), creating a sound that is rich and full in both stereo and surround.
The strings were also recorded at Glenn Sound in Seattle, using 10 string players. It was graciously orchestrated by Mike Matesky and was recorded to Adat tape (yes, they were recorded that long ago).
Norwegian men’s chorus intro
One day, when I was in yoga class, the background music was an OHHHMMM track that was in the right key to the intro to Haida-Raven. I thought, “perfect” this would work well as a background to the intro. I then realized that my buddy Morten Lndberg of 2L in Norway will often work with choirs, so I asked him if he could contribute to the project. The result is the addition of the StudenterSangForeningen (The Norwegian Student Choral Society, the official male choir at the University of Oslo) to the project. Their world-class choral music can be enjoyed on their many album projects, as well as on Spotify. Above, are the pics from the 9.1 vocalization session, which was recorded in 9.1 auro3D sound in a church in Norway.
Emiliano helped to lay down several electric guitar tracks at Sonic City Studios in Amsterdam. As always, it was lots of fun and added more of an acoustic element to the tracks.
My buddies at Sonic City Studios in Amsterdam helped me out by doing a reamp from tracks that were recorded in Seattle and Vancouver. Thanks guys for the helpful and slightly corny video.
Sonic City Studios, Amsterdam re-amp speaker setup
Sonic City Studios, Amsterdam re-amp close x/y mic setup
Sonic City Studios, Amsterdam re-amp distant mic setup
5.1 surround mix
Once the stereo mix was done, it was time to finally take on the 5.1 mixes. After a bit of deliberation, I decided to mix Raven in 5.1 and not 7.1. This was for purely practical reasons. Anyone who knows me knows that I mix my projects using all of the speakers in the soundscape and not just a bit in the center and reverb in the rear. Since the final mixes were to be delivered in discrete 24/96 FLAC form, if I would’ve done a 7.1 mix, people who were listening to it over a 5.1 system would be missing the two side channels. For me, this was unacceptable … so a 5.1 mix it was!
My main speaker set are PMC AML2’s in 5.1 … They’re amazing speakers, however, for years I’ve been fighting what I thought was a lack of hi-end in the front speaker set. Turns out, it wasn’t a lack of highs … it was a lack of low-end that caused me to have to compensate by boosting the highs. Basically, I was fighting the wrong end (try to be aware of this possibility in your system … these sonic lies can really throw you off.
Soooooo … I knew that my buddy Elliot Scheiner has mix a lot of Grammy winning projects on the JBL 306p speakers (which happen to cost around $100 each these days). So I bought a pair and placed them on my mixing desk just under the PMCs. Mixing Haida (Raven) using the JBL’s was a breeze and seemed to fix the low-end cut problem (and thus the need to over compensate in the highs. This led me to insert the JBL’s into the 5.1 chain. At this point, a unique approach had to be taken … turns out that Steinberg offers up an easy solution.
This answer came in the form of a plug-in from Steinberg that lets you insert the plug-in into the monitor output chain to control the level and delay compensation that lets you time-align the speakers sets. I say set because Nuendo let me setup a 5.1 monitor bus for the upper speakers (as per normal), but also let’s me create a second 5.1 setup that inserts the JBL L/Rs instead of the PMC L/Rs. By time delaying the JBLs (that are 50cm closer than the PMCs, the mixstage came into clear focus and I was able to get a really good 5.1 balance mix.
Sales Track Record…
David Miles Huber (www.davidmileshuber.com and www.modrec.com) is widely acclaimed in the recording industry as a professional musician, engineer, author, university professor and guest lecturer.
1. His most prominent book, Modern Recording Techniques, has been an industry standard text worldwide for over 16 years and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies (the 2nd largest sales figure for any book in the field of pro-audio).
2. His relaxational series “RELAXATION & MEDITATION WITH MUSIC & NATURE” (two – 5 CD sets), has been so enormously successful for Laserlight (Delta Music, Los Angeles) that the relaxational series continues to this day. Sales on these popular 5 disc sets have exceeded the one million-copy mark and have launched relaxational music into the market-mainstream.
David Miles Huber: (producer/artist – seattle/berlin/Conway), computer/vocals/ethno flutes/perc
David Miles Huber: (ableton live and nuendo production – seattle/berlin)
Emiliano Caballero Fraccaroli: (european assistant and mastering)
Spiritquest and Seabear appear courety of Laserlight
Produced and recorded in Seattle & Berlin
Reamp and electric guitar sessions recorded at Sonic City Studios, Amsterdam by:
Daniel Wullems, Theo Dorey
Original basic tracks recorded at Voyager Recordings, Seattle (voyagerrecordings.com)
Yamaha Disclavier recorded at Turtle Recording Studios, White Rock, BC, Canada by Larry Anchell
Lyrics: Jack Strubbe
Lushootseed Salish Rant & “Lady Louse Story” performed by Vi Hilbert (Northwest elder & storyteller)
Drums: LARedd (Berlin)
Intro vocal drone: Den Norske Studentersanforeningen (The official male choir of the University of Oslo)
Intro vocal drone recorded by Morten Lindgerg in Norway (2L.no)
String Orchestration: Mike Matesky
String Contracting: Mike Matesky
String Session Studio: Glenn Sound, Seattle
Strings: Laurie Wells, Jean Wells Yablonski, Micheal Scott, Mike Walton, Rebecca Evans, William Boyd, Margaret Brennand, Karyn Sorensen, Ingrid Fredrickson and Andrea Lersigni
Electric Guitar: Emiliano Caballero Fraccaroli
Pro Tools string transfer: Scott Colburn; Gravelvoice Studios, Seattle
Bass Saxophone: Paul Woltz
Daniel Eric Butler (my husband, partner and best friend)
nhow Hotel, Dominik Trampf and the folks at nhow Soundfloor, Berlin
Everyone at Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium
Everyone at Sonic City Studios, Amsterdam
Steinberg Media Technologies Gmbh (studio DAW – Nuendo)
Ableton AG (performance DAW – Live)
Universal Audio Inc. (powered DAW audio plug-ins)
PMC Limited (professional studio monitors)
Steven Slate Audio Inc. (touch video monitors)
Zerodebug (TouchAble performance/studio application for the iPad)
Sounds like: Well, it doesn’t really sound like anyone or anything else. That’s its strength … but it does have the epic and daring feel of Deep Forest, Enigma or Jean Michel Jarre.
tag keywords: David Miles Huber, electronic music, Bandcamp, IDM, uptempo, downtempo, chill, grammy, grammy nominated, modern recording techniques, immersive, surround flac, surround, flac, 5.1, gamers, home theater,
This song is about a man’s taking time out from his life to commune with nature. Laying on a summer’s day on the ground taking in all that is around him. The plants and wildlife that surrounds him arouse his spirits, allowing him to drink in all that is life both around and within him. To me, this song has always been reminiscent of deception pass (wiki, video) at the gateway to the islands of Northwest Washington.
The intro to this song is literally about 5 minutes long. Originally, it was simply an evolving synth pad (sustained, underlying sound) with a solo piano. One day, decades later, I was in my yoga class and heard a b minor ohmmmm that would fit perfectly under the pad. I contacted a good buddy (multi-Grammy-nominated producer Morten Lindberg of 2L) in Norway to see if he had access to a male Norwegian choir. It just so happened that the next week, he was going to be working with the ????? choir … who kindly agreed to do a continuous 5 minute b minor vocalization that could sit under the synth … and this is what you hear.
In the middle of the intro, you will hear what to me sounds like jets doing skydives. This was literally a sound design file that I created on one of the earliest Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) ever. I think it was a super early Roland device (that I kept breaking) … this was in the early 1980’s)
It’s interesting to note that the lead vocals (me) were actually double-tracked. My original track was done on 16/44 mono in about 1982 or so. Decades later, in 2018, I set up my MXL Stereo Revelation mic to see if I could do a better take at 24/96 stereo. Turns out, that I recreated the track so perfectly, that it fit with the original track … so I kept them both, as an awesome effect.
00:00:00:00 … drone flying at low level over Deception Pass at slow speed
00:03:12:00 … drone raises in height to reveal overall vista of Deception Pass
00:04:10:00 … fades to handheld steadycam walking through the paths of Deception Pass
Story: This is a powerful piece that is based on the pulsating poly-rhythms of native drums. The synth bass adds a raw power to the piece, but the part that always gets my heart glowing is the syncopation between the synth and the bass (especially after the guitar break where the bass and two synth tracks interweave with each other. At the end, you’ll hear a haunting vocalization … this is Vi warning up for story on the final track. I took her voice, slowed it down and processed it into a haunting end in the original native language of the Western Washington region.
Tech: Starting off with the background crickets, these were recorded in the desert of Western Washington in the 1990s. The deep drums are a combination of older, personally-sampled native drums from a friend in Seattle, as well as newer Native Instruments drums. The repetitive “chiff” groove came from my older ASR-10 rack, which came with some of the first removable hard disk drives. The voice in the piece came from Vi Hilbert. Before doing the master take of her “Lady Louse” piece that appears on the title track “Raven”, Vi did a warm up rant. Of course, I recorded it and after processing, it became the perfect rant for this piece.
00:00:00:00 … Flying over the Cascade Mountain range, w. augmented visual efx
Story: To me, this piece conjures up the deep waters that can be found everywhere in the Pacific NW. Vi Hilbert offered to do some simple vocalizations for this piece.
Tech: The initial evolving pad came from both a hardware version of the Korg Wavestation and it’s more recent (and far easier to use) software version. The drums come from my personal native drum sample collection, which when combined with Vi’s vocalizations become quite a powerful combination. The flute is one of my larger Indonesian flutes (which are far easier to use than native flutes and sound vastly more full.
00:00:00:00 … handheld steadycam traveling through a salmon creek (with Salmon)
04-Haida-Raven-Once in the Place
Story: The lyrics take us way back to a time, when the native peoples lived in harmony with their environment and lived off of the land for subsistence. It hearkens to a closeness to the land that still lay within us, no matter how we try to deny it.
Tech: The background groove again came from the Korg Wavestation. The my vocal track was probably recorded in mono in the early 1990s using a Neumann U87. The drums are my new buddy, LA Redd (my name for Steinberg’s newest drum plug-in) … he always does a better job tahn any live drummer that I’ve found, so far.
00:00:00:00 … possible scenario #1: Walking through the area with the totem poles outside of Ketchikan, AK
00:00:00:00 … possible scenario #2:
Story: Paraland conjures up the grandeur of the desert territories east of the Cascade Mountains (yes there are deserts in Eastern Washington and British Columbia). The largest waterfall ever on Earth was in Eastern Washington tens of thousands of years ago, the land that was forged from this event is something that would never be forgotten.
Tech: The basic “clap” track is provided by the original Alesis SR16 drum machine. The deep bell track is a sampled recording of a large 3′ x 8″ outdoor wind bell that was cut from a gas cylinder. The recording was pitched down to bring the harmonics down into the musical range to create an aerie bell sound.
00:00:00:00 … possible scenario #1: drone flying over Columbia River Gorge and desert areas of Western WA
00:00:00:00 … possible scenario #2:
Story: This song is an homage to the water life of the Northwest Territories, particularly that of the killer and humpback whale population. There graceful movement through the waters can still be treasured in our waters.
Tech: The whale and many other samples in this piece came from a vintage ARS-10 sampler.
00:00:00:00 … over/underwater footage in Puget Sound, with visual and animal effects (possibly in the style of Storm Boy)
Story: The rhythms and deep percussion conjures the dance and feasts of the ancient potlucks, where food was shared among the village and tribal members. Big, powerful and spectacular was the goal of the feast.
00:00:00:00 … handheld steadycam traveling through the Ho rainforest on a rainyday (how is this technically possible?)
00:00:00:00 … drone flying from the shores of Ocean Shores (or area like this)
00:04:00:00 … drone flies into and through a wooded area
00:06:30:00 … drone flies slowly back into the shore area and flies high
00:07:30:00 … drone heads back down to a low level (which then revers to its original slow speed just before Vi’s talk)
00:10:00:00 … credit roll
Link-01 to modern NW native art
Link-02 to modern NW native art
Storm Boy links
Unity game creation software
Tiltbrush 3D painting
Playstation VR (Sony)
Immersive Headphones/Immersive Software:
360 Dome Projection:
Info about YouTube 360 …
I thought that it might be fun (possibly throughout the course of the project) to have a video insert capture of both nuendo session/mixer screens running in the rear 180° of the visual field.
360deg and 3D cameras:
LucidCam: The World’s First Consumer 3D VR Camera
Capture 3D, 180° footage in FULL HD, so you can share the world EXACTLY as you see it.
Lucid Article #1
360deg and 3D playback:
Samsung Gear VR
The 13 Best Budget VR Headsets for iOS and Android in 2017
Ryan Boudinot (CoMotion Labs)
Lacey Leavitt (mechanical dreams)
Sony PlayStation VR
Google Daydream View
Samsung Gear VR
Google * *
Go Pro *
Red Bull *
Production Companies – Seattle *
Production Companies – SF *
Production Companies – Berlin *
Production Companies – Amsterdam *
***** … As a trusted member of the team, I’d ask that you try to playback from the Google Drive and not download. If you do download, “NEVER”, “EVER” give it out in any way, shape or form. Contact DMH and he’ll get it to those who need to know.
reviews … Thanks so much for your valued input
DMH’s vlog (003): State of on-line streaming
surround in the 21st centry … a tale of woe and triump!
5.1 Surround Sound … Open Yourself Up to a New Experience
DMH’s Personal Mastering Techniques
DMH – the man and his music style