March 8, 2009
In episode 107, Rob Scalise gets on my soapbox about the potential dangers of prolonged use of headphones.
My man in Hollywood got back to us with answers to Jay’s questions from ep 106 re: movie audio.
Ernie wrote and mentioned that he prefers my AKG C3000 to my R84. He also commented on previous assertions that my podcasts were distorted, and asked about recording nature sounds with field recorders and what would be the best way to approach it.
This led me off on a discussion of how it’s not JUST the microphone which influences our perception of the recorded sound, but that the mic preamp, plus any outboard gear etc etc also play a big role.
Which then led me off an a train of thought related to Slau’s latest podcast episode where he did a shootout between a whole bunch of large diaphragm condensor mics.
February 15, 2009
The new studio, whilst not complete, is certainly functional.
So, this ep begins with a bit of a chat regarding what the last 6-8 weeks has entailed.
Then into the meat of it:
An interview with Nick Dika (Product Manager and PR guru for Izotope) about the just released version 4 of their great mastering plugin, Ozone.
If you are interested, they have a fully-functonal 21 day trial version available for download.
Also, make sure you read the pdf on the mastering process.
Then, it’s on to some e-mail, including a lengthy one from Jim Addie about the nature of VU meters, and the benefits of having a fast-attack-fast-release compressor early in your mixdown chain….
This is rather timely, as I have recently read a piece by Mike Stavrou espousing a technique which is almost identical… and which challenges everything I have always believed (and subsequently advised my listeners) regarding dynamics.
Then another e-mail, this time from another Jim, asking about:
a. external plugin processing cards (like the TC Powercore, SSL Duende and UAD-2)
b. third octave pink noise mp3 files, and
c. audio over gigabit ethernet.
And finally, an e-mail from Ron Eastwood asking about USB turntables and cassette decks,
the legal mumbo-jumbo you hear at the end of radio commercials,
plus some tips for me on geography!
November 9, 2008
Believe it or not, we’re finally here!
The building of this video has been an absolute labour of love…. I’d estimate that it’s taken me about 20 hours of work to complete!
Maybe, that’s partly my inexperience at producing video podcasts, but hopefully, when you watch it, you’ll see where those hours went.
In an effort to ease the load on my hosting company’s servers, I will be setting up a torrent feed later tonight.
Check back here later for a link to the torrent file.
There’s also a copy of the file at YouSendIt, plus the copy here at audio2u.com.
To download manually from audio2u:
From YouSendIt here:
If you want to download a copy of the final mix of the song (featuring a couple of extra tweaks I did later), grab that here:
Fear of Holding On – 320 kbit joint stereo (13MB)
Towards the end of the podcast (or is that vidcast?), I mentioned that I would make the individual instrument tracks available to anyone who wanted to have a crack at mixing the song for themselves.
Drop me an e-mail and I’ll send you the link to download the files.
Just be warned… that’s an even bigger download than the mp4!!
The tracks are 32bit mono and total about 1.1GB!
The download will be in .rar format, so you’ll need an archive utility like WinRAR (or similar) which is capable of unzipping a .rar file.
October 12, 2008
This week, an answer for Bomar who thought he heard distortion in episode 98,
another mic comparison, this time between the R84 and my AKG C3000,
Jim Addie wrote in with detailed definitions of DC offset and wave asymmetry,
plus a reminder about a great thread on PSW about digital recording levels.
Also mentioned, the Shure SM81, and Rycote wind socks.
October 5, 2008
This week, a ton of e-mail to answer from the last month or so,
including some reminiscing about the transition from analogue to digital within the radio industry through the late ’80’s and early ’90’s,
Ron Eastwood tried recording quasi-binaural on a boom box,
Jim Addie sent in a link to an interesting article on the merits, or lack thereof, of recording at higher sample rates and longer wordlengths (when I recorded this episode, I commented that I hadn’t read the entire article. I now have, and have the feeling that at some point in the past, I’ve been pointed to it, and have actually read it. Still, it was good to read it again!),
Greg Andreson (who is all “Bruced” out) wrote to tell me about his Zooms (the H2 and the H4!) and how much he likes them, and to comment on the wildly different standards of audio production that exist within the podcaster community,
and Pascal asked about sidechain compression.
One free VST plugin that I know of which does sidechain compression is Sidekick.
And finally, a bit of a chat about what is in store for episode 100.
September 14, 2008
In ep 97, a quick look back at the definition of ‘bandwidth’ (in relation to peak filters, as mentioned in ep 96),
the Pro Audio Reference library at Rane is definitely worth bookmarking,
the Rane article on Constant Q Equalizers is worth reading too,
not quite a ‘war story’, but an interesting observation I made regarding mics in the studio,
not sure what a Neumann U87 looks like? Try this,
Jim Weishorn asked for further clarification on DC offset,
and Ross Bennett chimed in with a story about incorrect useage of technical terms in the IT industry,
plus a discussion on EQ and psychoacoustics.
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June 29, 2008
Hold on to your hats, people…
In episode 92, a listener (who wishes to remain anonymous) commented on the possibility of hearing damage inflicted by driving with the windows down, and the possibility of same being caused from riding your pushbike in busy traffic. The earplugs he’s using while riding are these.
Of course, my regular listeners know that I love my Sennheiser CX300’s… damn, I oughtta be on commission!
And that led to a discussion of noise-isolating vs noise-cancelling earbuds and headphones.
All of which led me to speculate on telephone handsets and whether or not they do us more harm than good.
Then, Jim Wesihorn checked in with news of a new pdf from the good folks at Izotope (makers of the VST/DirectX Ozone mastering plugin).
Seems they’ve turned out a whopping great 75 page document on audio restoration.
Going to have to check that out some time soon!
Then, Steve Mayfield sent me a link about a dummy head binaural mic for your video camera!
Crazy looking thing.
One would hope it works well given the price tag!
Another long time listener who wishes to remain anonymous wrote to assure me that no, there is no distorion in my podcasts!
Phew! What a relief!
I didn’t think there was, mind you.
He also went on to provide some interesting real-world feedback on sample rate conversion.
Then, Matt sent me this screen shot of the Pro Tools manual where apparently, even Digidesign doesn’t know the difference between “bit rate” and “bit resolution”.
Why do I feel like I’m fighting an up hill battle here?
Then, Luke asked about vocal training.
I suggested googling some of these words:
‘voice’, ‘vocal’, ‘coach’, ‘training’, ‘tuition’, ‘diction’, ‘eloqution’, plus your local area
or check your local phone book.
Next, E. Bernhard Warg sent me an mp3 of a shoot out between a Coles 4104 ribbon lip mic and a standard lav mic, with regard to ambient noise suppression.
Then, Jim Addie sent in some great information on how the Red Book standard was established.
And finally, there were some listener comments on audio2u about my disaster last week.
June 8, 2008
This week, my new toy (an AEA R84 ribbon mic),
my lynda.com Reason v4 title is now online,
plus a few e-mails to answer, including using Lame in Audition (thanks Steve Mayfield!),
plus a request… where am I up to?
June 1, 2008
I had a whole bunch of e-mail I was supposed to address this week, and I completely forgot it.
Because I currently have a new toy to play with.
And in my excitement, I totally lost the plot.
So, what is it?
Well, you really should HEAR it, but if you must see it, then here ya go.
The AEA R84 ribbon mic.
OMG people!! This thing is gorgeous!
Once you’ve heard the podcast, you’ll understand why I’m telling you that I ended up adding a high shelf (about 3dB at around 3kHz) to my voice track.
I was also using the AEA TRP ribbon mic preamp.
And thank God I was!
My Focusrite VoiceMasterPro had nowhere near enough grunt to drive the R84.
The TRP offers up to 83dB of gain! That’s awesome.
And my speaking voice needed about 70dB of that gain.
But what a sound!
Anyway, enough of my raving… go listen to it for yourself.
Oh, and before you reach for the credit card… the R84 plus the TRP will set you back around US$1800!
And believe it or not, I DID actually get on to covering Noel’s question from last week about nearfield monitoring vs headphone monitoring.
Gearcast podcast feed is here, and the website is here.
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