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CampChaos.com

Camp Chaos
  A Camp Chaos animation still
 

The Internet has evolved into a vast and veritable resource of erudition that allows anyone to tap into, and make use of, mankind's collective consciousness. It's is a proverbial intercontinental highway of knowledge, designed with infinite on and off ramps that can take any member of our world society to and from every level of innovative thinking and awareness. In milliseconds, the Web enriches our world with a cornucopia of information so we may better ourselves, our civilization, all of mankind - and even future generations.

But, if you're like me, you join in with the other 150,000 'low brow' individuals who, on a daily basis, check into CampChaos.com to wallow in the depths of laugh-out-loud depravity. It's a great place to waste time, learn nothing – and have a damn good time doing it.

CampChaos.com was launched in 1998 by founder and president Bob Cesca. Bob directs, co-writes, produces, animates and provides voices for some of the most innovative Flash cartoons on the 'Net. The man behind the music and soundtracks is production coordinator and composer/engineer Tim Panella. From humble roots of simply goofing on every music personality from Madonna to Metallica, the 'Campers' have graduated to a well regarded 'media agency,' recently producing animated videos for Mötley Crüe and Everclear.

Aside from Flash animation abilities and a sense of humor that are second-to-none, Bob and Tim understand how critical quality audio production is to their finished product. All components that make-up the animations, cartoons, and games are treated equally. Bob and Tim agree: Quality music and audio legitimizes productions – and these components are some of the most important aspects of their productions.

Tim composes all music clips for all of the CampChaos.com productions in his impressive home studio - which features more gear and software than the inventory of a local Guitar Center Store. His trusted mixers? A Mackie 24•4 and a 1202-VLZ PRO. Bob, the 'Mel Blanc million voices man' of CampChaos.com, points out, "The dynamic range of the Mackie consoles on spoken word is incredible. We compress the audio files quite a bit and very little is lost thanks to the dynamic range of the Mackie 1202. Every nuance of tone and emotion is faithfully captured, no matter what my mic technique and regardless of how I deliver the line."

Tim adds, "The 1202 is used exclusively for vocal production. We've beaten the hell out of it and we've never had a problem."

Bob, who independently lays down his own voices, makes use of the 1202 at the main office, while every piece of gear in Tim's studio is tied into his 24¥4. Tim scores the semi-finished projects after the animators incorporate Bob's vocal parts.

Tim states, "I bought the Mackie 24¥4 long before I joined CampChaos.com, when my music was still a hobby and I was composing and recording projects for an audience of just myself. When I first got the console home, I referred to the manual, thought Mackie's set-up diagram was perfect – and plugged everything in just like it said in the book. The Mackie manuals are great! They just make perfect sense. Whenever I have to change anything around, I refer back to the Mackie manual to make sure I have it right."

Continuing Tim states, "I think the sound quality is great. I love the Mackie mic pre amps because they really give me enough power to do what I need to do. Nothing is lost in the compression I have to apply in making the finished project small enough for fast downloading and streaming on the web. I use the on-board EQ for a lot of sound shaping. Even though I am recording digitally, I get enough warmth from the Mackie EQ so I really don't need to apply a lot of additional outboard EQ. The Mackie 'Air' control really boosts the EQ – and when I apply compression to MP3, I don't lose the high-frequencies from instruments such as synthesizers, shakers, cymbals, high-hats and other instruments that have very detailed high-end response."

What does the future hold for the CampChaos.com crew? "We're working on a feature-length animation cartoon for a major television network," states Tim. "We're also working on new animations that will be prominently featured on a special edition 25th Anniversary DVD for one of the most well-known, multi-platinum selling heavy meal bands to ever come out of the UK. Our animation work will be incorporated into seven of the band's existing videos."

What TV network? When is it going to be on the tube and who is the heavy metal band? Tim and Bob agree that all the fun stuff they are working on is very top secret and hush-hush. "But," Bob laughs and states, "I mean, we can tell youÉ but if you tell anyone, then we'd have to produce a series of animations that goof on you as relentlessly as what we've put Metallica throughÉ"

Never mind. We'll pass.

 

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