Microphones On Mars Perseverance Rover (Interview with Rockstar/NASA Researcher Jason Achilles)

How can you work for Dizzy Reed (Guns N Roses,) NASA, and record an orchestra

overseas, without even knowing how to do the things that these projects require??? 

And then delivering 100 percent on them??? Well stick around, we’re gonna find out!

All right welcome back everyone thanks

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Adam Clairmont show i’m still your host

Adam Clairmont

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now let’s get on to our guest today

we’ve got

jason achilles mozillas and jason’s

email signature

sums him up perfect for me rock and roll

musician

nasa researcher not too many of those

out there

so jason’s an artist he’s phenomenal

musician and composer studio owner and

yeah no kidding nasa researcher

uh going to mars in fact so we’re gonna

get into that real soon

so jason thanks for being here today uh

my

pleasure it’s good to uh talk to you and

uh

should we give them the disclaimer yeah

it’s been so long since we’ve talked

[Laughter]

like so uh yeah so just just as a

very brief recap we’ve had to uh we’ve

had some technical issues and so we’re

we’re doing this again so yeah

it’s our own version of groundhog day

yeah as if we weren’t already well

acquainted enough

yeah but yeah so you know no one i’d

rather do it again with i suppose

wow that’s all right we’ll talk

afterwards

yeah but uh yeah so you know a little

more insight into jason’s personality

uh rolls with the punches uh super easy

to get along with and yeah i appreciate

you man so

thanks for being with us i’ll tell you

what you know what i think this is

actually a really interesting lesson for

for maybe your audience is is um when

you hit technical snags

and uh like adam and i have gone through

some difficulties left

last couple days and you know he was

like hey do you want to redo this or not

and and i said yes for two reasons one i

very much wanted to do this with you but

also too

you know uh when you’re venturing into a

new technical direction

um anywhere in and in the studio and

especially

like every session i do there’s always

something that

some snafu i never dealt with before but

you have to get through it

you can’t you know that’s the only way

to build you know your confidence it’s

the only way to know that

you know like like i play when i play

live i play

as a two-piece with my drummer we use

tons of loopers i think we’ve

encountered

almost every conceivable technical error

you could possibly have

including my whole looping mechanism

completely failing in front of an

audience

in spain you know uh

where or or uh or you know

getting my power my you know getting my

power conditioner blown up because i was

on 240 instead of 120 and and

plugged the wrong thing in and you know

forgot where my

you know so like yeah don’t give up if

you screw something up just just

do it again and you’ll you’ll feel a

thousand times better

yeah i appreciate that man you know i

said all the time uh

yeah well it’s one thing when when gear

fails like you’re looper that really

sucks

um but it sucks in front of an audience

yeah

yeah well exactly and uh you know

there’s nothing you’re gonna do about

that but like i’ve always told people

like you know the bigger the mistake

the less likely it is you’re gonna make

it again because you’re never gonna

forget

that moment that mistake how much of an

ass you felt like in that moment when

you made the mistake

well then i could have traveled off a

dozen of them easily right now

and things i’ve never done again but but

you’ll also be surprised by how you

thought that was the biggest mistake

that could have been made and then

another one comes along it’s like oh no

no no

you just erased you just erased the

entire session

and uh didn’t back it up and like oh

yeah whatever

you know oh yeah that was the biggest

[Laughter]

time mentally i’ve one time i erased a

guitar track

i was working on a eight-track tape

machine and i erased a guitar solo

that the artist had done and i actually

had to spend

i spent two days recreating the guitar

tone

and we we had had like a rough bounce of

it so i was able to

i’d had to learn the solo myself record

it and replace it

without the artist ever knowing and it

worked

did you ever come clean or no no no no

never i think i came clean to the

i came clean to the to the artist but

not to the guitarist

you know uh but yes the the uh the

guitarist um

never found out

but uh yeah that was and that was on

tape that was

that was tricky yeah well you know what

you got to do

um anyway that’s cool so let’s let’s

talk about the tape thing because you

know i mentioned your studio owner so

you’ve got a really cool spot in l.a

um organic audio recorders you you love

tape

uh i do love actually i love

this is going to sound weird i love the

smell of tape um i had

this i had this young kid who wanted to

check out the studio and

and uh i had i put the i’ve got a one

inch 16 track and i i put the thing into

rewind and you know anytime it’s fast

forward and rewriting you’ll you’ll get

this

rewind you’ll get this smell if you get

close to it and i was like dude put your

head over that like take a breath he’s

like what are you talking about like do

it

he’s like whoa like right it’s like new

car smell right he’s like yeah it’s

incredible

it’s a different but it’s like that i

don’t know man i like the sound of it

people like the smell of gasoline too i

do yeah and diesel

also because it reminds me of greece

when i was a kid going to greece because

everything’s diesel over there

oh yeah oh that’s interesting i don’t

know if everyone who likes to smell of

gasoline has that same kind of

connection though

yeah it’s you know well i grew up on a

farm in michigan too so

if i smell gas makes me think of the

tractor we had when i was a kid and

stuff

you know so but um yeah but tape

tape is uh tape’s fun man i think uh you

know what

i think you you’ve never there’s there’s

no quicker way to

feel like you’ve earned your um

recording credentials than to

hack up a drum take with a razor blade

with no backup

yeah you know no one do which right

which yeah which i suppose these days

there’s not really much excuse for but

like you can always back it up but i i

don’t know when i was working on my

first record i

i didn’t back anything up until final

cut so

literally yeah so i had a drum track and

i remember i i hacked it and i cut it

like

you know you always want to err on the

side of caution where you know

if you’re not entirely sure on that

downbeat you give a little

you give yourself a little extra because

you can you know shave off a sliver so i

ended up shaving off like another

millimeter or two millimeters of tape

to get the the cut the edit timed just

right

but um you don’t want to go the other

way because splicing millimeters of tape

you know at a diagonal cut back together

yeah

now you know i just realized how much is

a real tape these days i don’t even know

so one inch isn’t that bad and that’s

actually one of the reasons i stuck with

it and never got a two inch machine

um plus well it’d be nice to have more

tracks i guess but uh

i can get them for like 100 bucks for a

basically

what they call new meaning it hasn’t

been used but it’s been sitting around

in a locker for 30 years yeah

um i mean there are people making new

tape though right i mean i know for a

while i think it was like the early

2000s quantity like they went belly up i

think and there was also

this big shortage of tape right i’ve

just you know i’ve steered clear of it

because i’ve never

heard like a solid review that’s like

this stuff works great there’s always

somebody who’s like yeah maybe

so i use quantity 499 and i swear it’s

so funny i’ve got a guy in la

and i meet him i’ll meet him on a street

corner here in the valley and it’s like

a drug deal i hand him cash and he has

me however many reals

and we literally like we meet on the

corner of uh

this place over into hunga here and

and uh and we’ll catch up real quick and

i’ll be like all right

i’ll see you later see you next time and

bye

yeah yeah it’s it’s really funny it’s

usually like boiling hot you know

in the sun you know it’s like a scene

out of pulp fiction you know because

when it says you know it got no friends

in the 8-1-8

[Laughter]

um that’s where i do my tape my tape

deals

yeah yeah but it’s not too bad yeah it’s

100 bucks or less

all right there you go you know hard

drive right i guess

kind of so no i bought a lot more tape

than i have hard drives

uh um so with with your studio you’re

doing a lot of your own stuff right

that’s kind of

the bulk of what you’re working on yeah

right now yeah i’m finishing up a record

i’ve been

working on for a year and a half with uh

dizzy reed who’s a keyboard player for

guns n roses

cool which has been really really really

cool but that’s pretty much the only

album project well it’s definitely the

only long-term album project i’ve got

going on it’s sounding really good i’m

really

pretty we actually i just finalized the

last two tracks

for mix last night so oh awesome

finish finish line yeah and um

but mostly i’m working on my own stuff

now uh now that we’re in

lockdown i started doing a remote

recording session with my drummer

where he actually recorded the drums of

his studio on a computer and sent them

to me and then i did all my stuff

at my spot but what i did is i set up a

camera so everything i did was a live

take

yeah even though it’s we’re just a

two-piece uh so

i have to layer everything you know but

i i uh

um i could send you if you want to post

the link i can share that

yeah you know with folks too but it

turned out really really good

and there’s a band called uh wolf pack

wolfpack

that a lot of course people might be

into yeah and and i actually

i got pretty inspired by some of their

recording um

and i actually reached out to corey

corey wong uh

who was nice enough to write me back a

while ago and i was like how did you get

that snare drum sound on

i don’t remember if it was dean town or

it was one of these sort of

live sessions it was you know they do

everything with a one camera sweep

oh it was like dude that was he’s like

yeah that whole drum kit was two mic so

i was like what

why and so that makes me feel great

right

yeah what did you do dude i put up it

was one like

well it was it was cool because like it

really sounds great and and uh

and it was also inspiring you know it’s

like oh yeah that’s right you can do

this stuff and

and it’s sort of he and then a couple

like alex skolnick put out a recording

recently

they were doing like he’s been doing a

lot of um recording at home stuff and

he did a thing with i think it might

have been um

oh damn it what’s the the drummer from

anthrax charlie

oh charlie bennett daddy yes

damn it was either him or john tempesto

one of these guys

uh um and they’re both friends so i

always get them

mixed up which is bad but um they put

out a live recording doing a rush cover

i think it was charlie and it was

it wasn’t even a little decorate but

battle aero no that’s not right no

okay charlie i’ll give up better now

the point is it sounded really good and

these things have been inspiring to do

they inspired me like i hadn’t been like

really excited about recording a long

time and

turning the camera on is like it’s

pressure but it also forces you to like

get it right you know yeah and uh i

think

with everyone doing everything at home

and remotely

it’s it’s cool that you can still

capture the authenticity of that

like people can tell you know if you do

a live recording i guess if you tried

really hard you could fake it and make

people think it’s live when it isn’t but

you know generally it’s you can usually

tell if you’re watching the nuance of a

performance and

and uh i mean you could definitely tell

with the mistakes that i

that i left in at least operating

without a safety net though because

you’re

going to create and you’re going to

think in a way that you absolutely

wouldn’t

if you knew like well i guess i can

start over you know if you can’t start

over

you’re going to have this focus that you

just don’t have there’s no faking

at that point the way i do it is like i

can i allow myself a redo but

it has to be a full take yeah so um

although

actually the one that uh i’m gonna show

you uh

or that i’ll post for a few people to

see all those were

first takes um but like

i practiced a lot before i did before i

turned it on

or inevitably like like one of them i

recorded the part five times and then

when i went back and listened to it i

used the first one because

exactly you said it was there was an

energy there and it was like yeah

there’s mistakes but

it’s cool i think it’s cool that people

can even in this

time of isolation people can still

experience

a live moment so for me it’s actually

weirdly enough the lockdown this whole

experience has been really inspiring

for that yeah you know i’ve been

you know saying this for a few months um

because

we’re recording this it’s july now but

since march i guess

man people are getting so creative and

thoughtful

how they’re doing it we’re gonna see and

hear some of the most creative

inspiring things over the next few weeks

a few months whatever

it’s from all this you know people just

bottled up just like thinking of shit

i hope so i mean what i’ve yeah what

i’ve seen so far has been inspiring you

know

and uh it’s also that that new track’s

the first one i’ve ever put out of my

own stuff where we recorded it

purely digitally and we did it that way

because

we i know right uh we had to um

i mean i still ran all my stuff through

my console and you know and mixed it

down there and everything but uh cool um

but it was nice to not be so afraid of

that i was gonna like lose my

juju in the digital medium you know yeah

um

i think especially because it it does

have a different character like if you

listen to this track versus all the

stuff i’ve done in the studio

like the drum sound is definitely much

different

and um but because it’s being filmed and

presented as a live format your i think

your brain accepts that

cool you know um or at least mine did

don’t know what i don’t know what oh my

brain compares to anybody

my brain will be the judge of that yeah

well that’s your brain is a

better judge than mine um

what about you have you been mixing a

lot remotely like since you this all

started

mixing no for me my life has been mostly

um not a lot of mixing a lot of like

production

and editing and like podcasts and

storytelling that way

yeah yeah cause i mean well you got this

podcast going during this

whole lockdown yeah exactly this is a

perfect example do

yeah well i’ve been working on so many

other people’s podcasts i was like

why really i’ve only one of those for

how long

well that’s the same thing with me

producing other people’s records it’s

you know i didn’t move to la to produce

other people’s records i mean i fell

into it you know and

it turns out i’m good at it but that’s

not why i came here you know

yeah uh well i mean but there’s

something to be said for that you know

you follow

what goes in front of you and you know i

mean it’s like yeah but it’s very easy

to get distracted in la

from your path and and i’ve i’ve seen it

happen to so many people that

had a lot of talent or could have i

don’t know they just

you know they fall off the path and it’s

not often you see them get back

get back on the horse i guess it depends

on if they’re miserable or not if

they’re enjoying it you know

i know my life is not about sex you know

you know just well you’re a happy guy

look at you

your smiles every time i talk to you

sorry i’ll cut that out

yeah watch it over there

uh so i wanted to ask you uh kind of

circle back so

you know i heard this story once i want

to hear it again

um how did you come about working with

uh dizzy reed so yeah we were talking

about the princess bride the short

short version uh yeah it was introduced

through

my bass player in an old band i was in

uh was also playing bass with him on his

solo material

and dizzy had had a record that he had

recorded

with a we’ll say problematic engineer

and he had tracks that had been sitting

on for years and he just couldn’t find

the right person to mix it

and take the project seriously and um

yeah and so i met him and i said

basically we yeah we met in a pizza

joint

and uh and i said i’ll i’ll do it

you know and i sent him something i’d

worked on where which gave him at least

i think enough

confidence to be like all right well

we’ll we’ll try what i said was like i

do there’s a lot of people too i’m like

let’s do a song you know if you like it

you pay me and then we’ll do more and if

not you know don’t worry about it and

normally

i wouldn’t you know that’s a lot of work

to do to maybe not get paid for it uh

yeah

at the time this was a little while ago

too it was a few years ago and i was

for me it was worth it especially with a

guy like that who’s like you know this

could be

good you know yeah and i mean besides

liking him as an actual human which he’s

dizzy’s awesome

oh good you know but i also you know i i

also knew it would be like this would be

a really cool thing to work on and it’s

going to

be good for me you know i want this gig

and i fi

i i killed myself man i learned how to

do

i mean there were drum tracks that were

entirely missing where we’d have

like the engineer before had sound

replaced stuff but then lost the

original track so all i had was a sound

replaced version

and then or like he had overheads but

the tom mics were just gone so i had to

reconstruct toms using sample

libraries of stuff i’d never done any of

this i didn’t know how to sample and

replace i’m an analog guy you know yeah

and i and i was like oh yeah i can do

all that stuff i had no idea do i had to

do any of that stuff

you know i think we this something we

talked about before it’s like the

success in in the music industry has a

lot to do with being able to look

somebody dead in the eye and lie

like absolutely i can do that for you no

problem

but but come through yeah yeah just to

finish that off because speaking of

which i’m making sure you’re going to

get very far

you just lie and then you know take off

yeah well yeah

well you can get something right but

yeah so

um i lied i told him i could do it and

then i figured out how to do it um

which uh which is the same way i got the

you know the nasa

gig that you that you mentioned earlier

was i it was bold face lies

just absolutely i can do this stuff and

then

you know what uh what did i just do yeah

but anyway that was so i mixed dizzy’s

first record and then he asked me

to fully produce his second one because

the first one

really turned out good so oh that’s cool

and now a year and a half ago we started

the second one yeah and it’s almost done

and it’s almost done that’s awesome yeah

first single comes out in september

i think and now if anybody ever needs uh

drums uh sound replaced

oh god call this guy this guy he’s right

here

not this guy

we’re going to say those sorry cheers

all right well

let’s get back to that cliffhanger you

just dropped on everybody

how do you nasa how do you pull the wool

over nasa’s eyes because uh

i wouldn’t mind uh working for something

going to mars yeah so it turns out

uh i think we were talking about this

before that it’s um

the dealing with the music business

side of the music industry is actually a

pretty

impressive proving ground for trying to

annoyingly cold call and harass people

in any other industry

because pretty much nobody is more

horrible at

telling you to go screw yourself than

the music industry

so if you can if you can handle you know

cold calling labels and booking agents

and

and you know the mountain of very

not let’s say not polite rejection you

get if i mean you’re lucky

if you get a no that’s like they said no

i heard back yeah so

uh wow yeah

oh dude so anyway yeah so the scientific

community is not quite as used to

um people sort of randomly emailing them

and calling them

uh government uh especially because

nasa’s government organization so

a lot of their information is publicly

available including emails on

pdfs of uh some proposal that a

scientist wrote that you’re trying to

get a hold of and uh

anyway so you dig some of that up

i did some digging and um you know and

i’ll

and put together some you know pretty

well thought if

they’re a little bit open-ended pretty

well thought proposals on

how i felt i could be of

assistance in sending a microphone

to mars which has been attempted before

but never

never succeeded and so um the short

version is i found out they were going

to do this this was something i’d

already been

looking into and so i i sort of was like

uh that’s that’s that’s my gig i want i

want that gig

and um amazingly enough uh it worked out

yeah so i was when i when i got the

the call as it were which came about a

month later um

i was on tour promoting my first solo

release

uh this was summer of 2016

august i think and i was uh it was early

morning

in a backyard at my buddy brian’s house

brian robinson and uh

and my bandmates were like completely

passed out

probably still drunk from the night

before i was a little hungover myself

um and i’m on his backyard patio you

know

uh where he was very nice to let us all

you know crash on his couches and floor

and

and i’m trying to you know get a cup of

coffee so i can have this

discussion with uh with with a pretty

high like very high ranking member of

the

the mars at the time it’s called mars

2020 rover

i mean this guy was like pretty high up

the food chain

and um

yeah and it’s and it’s him and me and

this and a consultant uh

cesar garcia who i had hired just prior

to that like out of my own pocket

just in case nasa called back and they

called back like four days later after i

hired this guy like he was as

in disbelief as i was wow um so it’s the

three of us on this phone call

and uh we ended up talking about

football for like

20 minutes and at some point we would

like football

i i’m 49ers man oh it’s been a little

bit

it’s been a tough couple decades um

but we’re talking for like i don’t know

15 20 minutes if not more

and then at some point i’m like i find

i’m like so are we gonna um

we’re gonna talk about the gig and then

basically it was like yeah so do you

want the gig and you know i’m like wait

what

and it really was i don’t know sometimes

things are so

informally put forward it’s almost more

scary

because then you realize they’re just

they’re just completely putting the ball

in your court and

you would think it would be the opposite

like oh but it was like you know this is

a

multi-billion dollar spacecraft you know

and and uh

this is a chance to do something

nobody’s ever done before or hear the

sound on another planet it’s never been

done

yeah not not real true actual sound that

hasn’t been tweaked

and um he’s like okay and and he was so

casual about it like it made me more

scared

um like one of the things i’ve learned

in the studio

or just anytime like if i’m doing a

video shoot for example

uh you know you hire a director and you

put this whole production together

and if i look over and the director is

like freaking out and really

nervous about everything then i can

relax because i’m like okay

somebody’s paying attention you know

somebody’s got the angles covered

yeah um if i look around and nobody’s

nervous

then i get nervous because like wait

uh somebody’s probably not paying

attention

because this is obviously a big deal so

that first phone call was

i was visibly sweating by the end of it

and then

um and then the the uh dave gruel was

his name the guy

over at now saying he gets off the phone

so now me and uh

me and caesar left on the phone together

and

i’m like what just happened he’s and

he’s like sort of laughing the

background is like i think he just got

the gig i’m like

yeah it was a really cool it was

definitely one of those moments you’re

you’re not going to forget yeah so

and then 2017 i had to start a company

so i could get hired and then

basically um got hired as an independent

consultant in 2017 and it’s

uh continued to this day as an

open-ended open-ended

consultant position for the microphone

which is flying

uh in a couple weeks now yeah so

describe a little bit of the microphone

like how

like what did it need to do well i can

tell you exactly

it’s it’s a it’s a it’s a bnk 4006

capsule um which has been uh this

company called dpa

yeah familiar with that one yeah yep so

dpa

basically rebranded k to like a more

consumer level thing

but it’s the 4006 capsule it’s a half

inch

pre-polarized condenser it’s about the

size of your thumb and it’s a lanyard

mic

so it’s this it’s this little mic then

that goes into the

mma digital audio interface thing that’s

about

yay big so the microphone will be on the

outside of the rover

you know the little thumb piece and then

that goes into the rover and then

the preamp is housed on the inside uh

where it’s going to be more protected

from you know thermally

thermally protected radiation shielded

and then it’ll feed into

uh one of the many

computers like sort of secondary

computers on the rover so it’s like a

backup

recording well they so one of the

reasons

one of the previous missions to mars had

a microphone on it but it was

wired directly into the main computer

and they didn’t turn it on because they

discovered that there was a possibility

that it would cause some sort of

there was like reset of the

it was a windows update yeah basically

and you know and windows update

if you have a 0.01 chance of something

causing a hard reset on your you know on

your rover uh

on your rover on mars you don’t do that

thing so um

so that was never i’m just checking my

audio

stream right now um so it was never

turned on

well so it was this yeah does this

actually have to be turned on once they

land

it’s going to turn on before they land

it’s going to it’s going to turn on

during the landing sequence

so it should be really good turn itself

on and all that

yeah i don’t know i’m not involved with

the programming aspect of it so

but it will be activated at some point

within the

it’s called the seven minutes of terror

six or seven minutes of terror they call

it where you get this sort of like

information blackout as you’re crashing

through the

limited magnetosphere of the planet but

oh wow you just get all kinds of

ionization and

you know uh science you know

yeah it’s it’s you know but it’ll be but

there’s gonna be video cameras recording

it and then there’s gonna be the one

microphone to catch all the audio

it i mean i give it a 50 50 chance at

best it’s even going to work

yeah because it’s just an off the shelf

component i mean that’s

at the end of the day that’s what they

could afford this was a very dave really

spearheaded this because he really

wanted it to be there but there was no

extra budget for it

but he you know he wanted audio to go

with those with that video for

good reason you know thank god somebody

appreciated that

yeah um so finally one for the audience

it’s not yeah i mean it’s not customized

though at all really i mean it’s

we we we offered some customization

procedures that could have been done to

help make it you know more robust and

and get a better signal but

they just didn’t have the budget to

implement any of those things so

if it works uh certainly future

audio design for mars could be made to

work a little better but

i i mean it’s a really good mic you know

4006 is

it’s that’s yeah it’s super flat

and um i tested one out here at my place

just to make sure everything you know

see what it sounded like you know before

we recommended it i was like god this

thing sounds really good

um stamp of approval so what yeah what

do you expect we’ll say that mars to

sound like

what i mean you must have done some

tests and kind of gauged you know what

you’re expecting yeah people have been

writing

papers for decades i mean that phoenix

lander

the mars phoenix lander that was sent

back in the late

so late 90s early 2000s well mars polar

lander was supposed to have one and that

was 97

i think so ever since then people have

been doing scientific studies

of the atmosphere and how they thought

sound would travel so there’s a lot of

but yeah it’s basically it’ll be kind of

like you basically everything above 10k

gets totally cut off

for the audio engineers out there yeah

and then there’s like a weird there’s a

bit of a

of us well everything you get a gentle

roll off

of basically all the high frequencies

that from like

even below 1k and above everything just

starts rolling off pretty quickly

as you s with distance um

within the immediate vicinity of the

rover it should sound pretty good

you know like if you’re well if we’re

able to hear the wheels on the surface

when during a drive or something

you’ll hear it crackling it’ll sound

kind of muffled you know but it’s going

to be a weird sort of muffling because

there’s chemical properties in the

atmosphere that are theorized to

actually give you a a high-end boost

sort of between five and 10k um

oh man so yeah you know i mean

uh i barely have eq figured out on earth

i couldn’t imagine dealing with it

right did we talk about that movie at

astra before did did

yeah yeah so that’s amazing right yeah

yeah so i i was i got to i was an

informal technical advisor for

a very brief mars landing sequence in

that film uh

for the sound designer gary ridestrom um

it’s ben bert and gary ridestrom are

like i think

like that’s the two guys yeah in the

world and uh

for a long time they’ve been stopping

yeah

what was i saying like the guys oh he’s

won seven

academy awards and i mean that’s just

the amount he won

for sound design but anyway yeah he had

i i i got a tour of skywalker

sound and when i met gary he was working

on that and asked if i had any

input you know on what that might sound

like and so i you know

i was like yeah i got lots of input

absolutely and if you watch the

landing sequence uh in the movie it’s

very

it’s just a quick shot of a rocket

landing but i i think

i i think he got it pretty close i think

that i would well i would be trying to

find out for real

i saw that film is on hbo now and i just

got hbo now for a little while

so it’s everybody’s going to be i’ll be

honest with you

it’s not a great film but the landing

sequence is awesome

well it’s funny because the not fast

forward yeah well the

the director of the film really wanted

to be very realistic you know like sort

of 2001 style

but then there were apparently a lot of

conflicts with the studio and i think

the studio wanted more

you know action movie so it’s

interesting because like there’s like a

lunar rover chase

sequence um and there’s points where

there’s external audio i mean they

muffle it a lot but

it’s still there and you’re like okay

obviously this is there’s no

sound on the moon anywhere right but you

can tell where like you can tell the

battle

between the guy who wanted it to be true

and the sound designer who i’m sure was

totally behind him and then the studio

that was like no it’s got to have

explosion sounds and so like they’re

sort of muffled and tweaky

but it also makes for a shorter day for

the sound designer if he wins that

battle

oh yeah he’s like this is great

absolutely

you know there’s no sound on the moon

yeah you know

i mean a lot you know yeah

well you you cheat that a lot of times

by like giving the sound that you’re

that your astronaut would hear in his

suit right and like so you can still

sort of have some audio design in

but anyway it’s uh yeah but the mars

sequence i think is actually pretty

close to what it would sound like so if

anybody wants to know that’s my

suggestion because that’s the one i

contributed to that’s awesome

so that’s supposed to launch uh later

this month i believe right

right now it’s been pushed back to the

30th 30th um

yeah there was a problem with the there

was a some sort of

safety sensor sensor

there’s some sensor issue with the

rocket actually that’s going to fly it

which is an atlas 5 rocket

i believe the rover itself is ready to

go i don’t think there’s any issues with

that but

uh launch has been delayed to july 30th

as last heard and there’s about a

two-week window they can get it up in

the air so

yeah no kidding

yeah oh god yeah but i’m doing i’m doing

a the talk

um we’re doing we’re doing a big talk

i’ve got i put together a panel

with a bunch of people from jpl that

i’ve met over the last few years

and we’re going to be that’s going to be

on tuesday the 14th this

coming tuesday if anybody sees this

before then

tuesday the 14th july 14th so yeah so

you’ll give me a link i’ll flash that on

the screen you’ll see it

right in here yeah yeah it’s going to be

cool like it’s just q

a nobody’s giving any speeches or

presentations we’re just taking

questions from these are the people that

that built the rover that are going to

be operating the systems on the rover

um and uh know all about the red like

anybody if anybody has any technical

questions or about sound

um but about the cameras about the

rockets it the rocket itself

um there’s gonna be six of us total and

i put

we put together a great crew that

encapsulates

um if kids want to tune in they’re the

uh

this woman becca who helped uh

coordinate

the naming of the rover which they did

with kids all around the world

um she’s part of the panel and uh

it’s gonna be really cool yeah so please

tune in and send questions in ahead of

time

oh so so tell me uh in your studio there

have you ever

fit an orchestra in there or you maybe

had to go i don’t know overseas to

well yes adam it’s funny you should

mention that um

yeah so i uh what adam is referring to

is

uh for those that are watching i i had

written oh gosh a long time ago

when i was in college i had written two

pieces for orchestra but i just wrote

them in piano score format because i

didn’t know how to orchestrate anything

in my head they were always meant to be

orchestral

and and they were written that way but

the notes were actually just in piano

score format

and i was doing a session and over it in

that room that adam is

sitting in right now on the other side

of the country and i met an orchestrator

there who was he was doing a remote

mixing uh recording session in prague or

budapest

i believe the the symphony was in prague

there was an animated feature that he

was working on that he scored

and he scored and he’d been going over

there for all these sessions and

basically he wanted to

you know save some miles i guess he’s

one he just didn’t want to make the trip

this time and he wanted to see if it was

possible to just monitor

with source connect so we set him up so

yeah he monitored that session that

session here

that’s right right i don’t know is that

the same orchestra that you you worked

with i think was called

it would be if it was harmonic p-h-i-l-m

film harmony yeah it’s pretty cool is

there a p i thought it was just f

i thought they weren’t quite that they

weren’t american i’m just using that

with

the band film the band film which i was

playing

on tour with yeah the polar opposite of

that was um

dave uh dave lombardo yeah yeah that was

fun i think that’s the thing

that uses those the film harmonics the

filmheart prague film harmonic yes so

uh we did later end up traveling to yeah

andy brick is his name right amazing

phenomenal credits yeah a lot of disney

a lot of video games

under his belt he’s really well he’s

definitely one of my favorite humans

he’s a really

wonderful guy and if so smart and so

good and patient

he’s like he’s you know tall

sort of big hands very calm soothing

voice guy but like dude i heard him lose

his shit a few times and like

i’m glad i’ve stayed on his good side

you know

um but he uh anyway yeah he and i

traveled to prague together and i hired

him as my orchestrator and and

i hired the orchestra i saved up all

summer and

and spent a lot of money and um and then

i was like well

i guess i’ll take my hand i’ll i’ll take

a crack at mixing this you know

when i got back to la because i figured

well i could save some money that way

too but also

you know how else are you gonna learn

yeah um and andy was awesome i would

you know he’d refer you know reference

my mix and send stuff back and give me

tips and

that’s great and uh so we’ve done that

twice now and uh

i will say i think the second mix the

second one we did was in prague the

first one was in budapest i think the

second one turned out better

maybe just because i learned how to mix

a little better

um but uh that’s so cool though so i

mean

this is why i love your story though

because you’re somebody who just

you know you know the whole thing people

say like luck is

you know you’re so lucky or preparation

meets opportunity but like

well you gotta i’ve always said like

it’s not it’s not as simple as

preparation meets opportunity because

the last step that i feel like

more people skip out on than any other

thing is

actually seizing that opportunity like

you know so many people

just blow it off you know like or just

make an excuse on why i’m not oh

that’s that’s too much work or they’re

not gonna want me or blah blah blah and

you just

you go for it well yeah you’re not

qualified

that’s the best time you can i was

qualified what would the fuck

figure it out right well i remember like

i remember when i met andy

and i my first sort of feeling was like

i got really excited i just i knew he

was my guy like

this is it i’ve had this dream for a

long you know many many years

this guy’s my ticket and then all of a

sudden

i got like sort of terrified because i

was like wait a minute

you know i’m gonna have to pay for this

it’s gonna be many thousands of dollars

um you know and then you’re sort of like

what if it goes wrong you know and then

like you know

i don’t know you just at the end of the

day it’s kind of like well who cares if

it goes wrong but you know when you’re

it’s easy to rationalize that from your

chair but when you’re

when you’ve just hired 50 people

[Laughter]

in an orchestra that are giving you two

hours of their time

and literally not a second longer like

they stop

if it’s mid take and the time’s up they

they put down their instrument and they

walk out

it’s gnarly and uh

you know that was the big thing andy

actually cautioned me for anybody who’s

thinking about doing an orchestral

uh recording session is that time

management

is everything you know it’s it’s not

about getting perfect

it’s about getting through it and as you

find later on getting through it

is perfect because you can you can do

more with editing than you think you can

uh with an orchestra it’s it’s like

splicing drums together you think

you can’t splice a drum track but

actually as long as

the symbol crashes are sort of in the

right place and

there’s so much going on and then by the

time

you add the reverbs and things like that

to a drum take add your snare reverbs

and your

drum whatever your room and the

compression it smooths out a lot of

edits and with an orchestra you

basically

you cut and piece an orchestra as if it

were a stereotake

so you’ve got 40 mics or whatever but

you just there’s cutting everything

as a stereo as a oops as a one-line edit

and you’re you’re adding all this reverb

and stuff at the end anyway so like

as long as the timing is because there’s

no we didn’t do it there’s no click

track or anything

you know we just free-handed it so as

long as the

tempos are consistent from one take to

the next

um you put it together it was the whole

thing was

absolutely terrifying and

when we finished the first session both

sessions actually but when we

finished the first one i i thought it

was a complete disaster

i was so distraught that i

i i wept i i was i mean in a corner

where no one could see me but i actually

like i was so beside myself oh man

that i was so absolutely convinced that

my 20

like you know many years

dream was shattered that i had blown it

it was gonna sound terrible

and andy who had done this a million

times and knew what we had

and you know we went out to dinner he’s

like we’re gonna go out to dinner we’re

gonna have some drinks

you did great it’s gonna sound amazing

okay um but well that helps out

something like that in your corner

oh my god it was the only thing that

kept me from like jumping off the

whatever bridge was nearby they have a

couple big bridges no i was so

i was just completely devastated i

thought it was absolutely horrible

and then i had to go on tour immediately

which is when i was on the tour where i

got that call from nasa this all

happened at the

like it was like crazy i didn’t realize

this was all that’s

this all happened in the exact that’s a

good window of time

it was insane and so but i never

i didn’t have a chance to even listen to

the audio tracks for another

month and a half like six weeks before i

got home

from all my touring and traveling and i

was able to sit in the studio and find

out what i had

and it was only then that i like i took

i spent i think

two days editing and mixing it and by

the end it was like

oh my god this is actually really good

that’s great um you know i’ll give we’ll

we can post that link too i’ll put that

on there

because i got a video of it as well

but um the first 45 seconds are a little

like interview

and you if you look especially for

people that know me you can see how

terrified i am it’s

it’s pretty funny um i’m trying to like

smile

and you know but uh well anyway

there you go no it’s a great story man

and i think it’s

important for people to hear stuff like

this because i mean you

you know you’ve you’ve had these pieces

you’ve been working on these pieces for

a long time but it wasn’t like you were

you know in the studio

that day working on someone else’s

project thinking

in the back of your mind like oh i got a

figure i got to find a composer i got to

give her like that wasn’t real like

right i mean that was you had told me

about him beforehand

you were like you told me oh there’s

going to be a guy here so i i actually

did

weirdly enough i was a little bit

prepared for it because for some reason

i had this like

all right so that conversation ahead of

time got you thinking more like maybe

this can happen

well what you did is you put yeah you

put it in my head that where i started

thinking about like you know you were

talking about opportunity

and the opportunity i was thinking when

am i going to be in a situation where

i’m going to be in a studio where i’m

not just a schmuck in there i’m actually

producing a session

and i’m going to meet an orchestrator

who works with orchestras overseas and

i’ll

be in a position where i’ll have the

credibility where i can approach him and

he’ll take me seriously

ah there we go yeah so a lot of it

i’ve learned it has to do with how you

approach people

yeah but i but i i did prepare myself

and

i mean i didn’t know him i didn’t know

what his personality was going to be

like but

but i definitely normally you know

i don’t know when i meet somebody i’m

just like hey dude what’s up you know

and

when i met him i i was sort of a little

more composed i was like

very nice to meet you you know

it was a little more like that you know

and i mean we’ve

andy and i’ve been drunk together a few

times now so

everything’s everything’s out in the

clear but it was really funny when i met

him it was sort of like

i don’t know it’s like going on your

first date with somebody you know you’re

just kind of like

this is you’re not i’m not giving you

this isn’t fake this is just maybe

the edited this is the nicer edited

edited parts

of me

[Laughter]

so i’d say seizing opportunity is

is about your presentation of self as

much as it is about

what you’re doing it’s it’s i like that

showing that people can trust you

and i’m and i actually i apologize

because i just realized um

i need to go in a minute for uh all

right yeah

let’s wrap this up yeah but i want to

just make this point that

i think you’ll agree with completely is

that um

uh in our business if you’re a producer

or an engineer

especially in the music world but in my

case i guess it translated to the

science community as well

you need people to trust you um if

somebody’s paying you to mix their dream

project or produce their dream

song or you know get their creativity

and their

emotions onto a permanently recorded

medium that they will have to listen to

the rest of their lives

they’re putting a lot of trust in you

and um

and if you can get yourself across

in a way where you have sold

you’re sold that trust to them from from

the downbeat as we would say from from

the moment you meet them

and you you just you put yourself across

in a way where they feel that you

understand what they’re going for uh

that’s that you’ve

like won half your battles i think right

there that’s awesome man what a way to

what a way to end an interview yeah

go get them yeah no you nailed it no i’m

glad i said that that that’s fantastic

and and i love that and you can tell

that you are living that just by the way

you mentioned

uh earlier how you know you’re talking

about well let’s not do a whole record

let’s figure out

are we going to work together well you

know like let’s gain rapport with the

person you’re working with

and i’ve blown it i’ve blown it a number

of times i mean

i don’t have a lot of bad experience as

clients but i’ve had a few and i could

tell that i lost their trust and it was

like

oh god it aided me for months every time

that

that’s happened so well you gain the

trust and you gain a client for life too

it’s way easier to keep a client than it

is to get a new one

yeah that’s you know that’s and they’re

the ones you want to get rid of

but the quickest way to blow it is just

by blowing them off and not

like putting yourself into that project

and they’re quickly like you just

mentioned they’re going to lose your

trust if you’re not

in it everybody can see that you know so

you know

you said you’re killing yourself for

these these projects because it’s that’s

just what you do

you know well it’s cool to see that

develop too like you know going back to

the dizzy read

thing you know like um now that we’re on

producing his record now i can tell

he’s a lot more comfortable uh

with you know i mean a lot there’s a lot

more decisions that are made together

and

you know i have to challenge him

sometimes you know if he’s putting down

a melody that he’s just come up with and

and if i feel it can be stronger if i

mean

it’s going to be a battle every time

especially if you got a strong-willed

client but

yeah and they might not appreciate it at

the time but they’ll go home they’ll

think about it and they’ll appreciate

you for it

and you know i like one of the things i

like to say is i don’t need to be right

i don’t care if it’s my idea or your

idea it just needs to be a good idea so

if it’s

so either if something’s not working i

always tell people

okay either either find something better

or sell me on it

like convince me you know you know like

that

those those memes where the dude’s

sitting in a chair and says fight me you

know

it’s like fight me like it has to be

good at the end of the day i don’t care

where it comes from we are a collective

unit but what we’re putting out there

you the artist me the producer

whatever you know it’s got to be good

so that’s the best of our collective

ability

you know yeah well listen thanks so much

for

for doing this yeah again oh and you

thank you

good sport thanks for forever yeah

thanks for having me

one more time so tuesday the 14th is the

talk where you can

ask questions of jason and other people

involved

uh on the the perseverance right so it’s

called

perseverance rover all aspects of the

rover i mean yeah

the driving the rocket how it’s getting

there the quarantine they went through

to build it yeah

everything yeah so that’s tuesday we’ll

put up the link um

for more information on jason uh you can

go to jason achilles.com

uh please narcissistically named

narcissistic names

that’s that what a coincidence your

website the same as your name wow

uh yeah so so go there check him out

he’s got a lot of cool cool videos

and awesome music um we’ll put some

links in the description below

don’t forget adam claremont.com workflow

pick up that free pdf guide i know

there’s a lot you can get out of that

i’ll be working a lot more productively

more efficiently with your time

because who wants to waste time thanks

again jason

thanks everybody for watching give us a

thumbs up like subscribe

all those great things and see you next

time

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