February 21, 2009

Video tour of my new space

As promised, here’s a short video tour (approx 7.5MB, MPEG4) of my new mixing and editing space.
This is also where I record my podcast voice tracks.
However, I have a room on the other side of the house set up as a voice booth for those occasions when I’m working with separate voice talent.

February 15, 2009

Sine Language – episode 105

We’re back!
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!

January 29, 2009

The studio move – part 3

Filed under: 5500,API,Building the Pod,Marantz,PMD580,Shutters Inc,Sine Language — Bruce Williams @ 20:52

I don’t have a pic yet, but I am now sitting at my DAW desk in the new space.

Clouds are hung? Check.
Internet connected to this side of the house? Check.
Mic cables and headphone lines run through from booth on other side of house? Check.
Said cables tested? Not yet.
Rack (for outboard gear) stripped back and re-painted? Check.
Outboard ready to go into rack? Almost.
Max’s crap moved out of the new studio space? Not quite.

If all goes to plan, Barry (the tech from work) is coming over tomorrow night to look at the couple of jobs I have for him.
And all things being equal, he’ll spend the weekend here getting all of that done… wiring up the rack, krone block and outboard gear, plus advising on further acoustic treatment for the back wall.
If that happens, then by Monday, I will have 95% of my studio the way I want it.
Still to be done after Barry has done his bits will be to replace the curtains to my right (those tacky old vertical drapes you can see in the last photo I posted).
In the last 4 weeks, I have also purchased an outboard eq for tracking purposes, after consultation with various industry heavyweights whose opinions I respect.
What did I go with?
An API 5500.
4 bands of the highest quality discrete eq. In other words, it’s not fully parametric. You can’t just dial in ANY frequency you like. You can jump between about 7 discrete frequency positions within each band, and those positions overlap between bands.
Cheap? Hell no.
Awesome? Hell yeah.
And because it’s stereo, I can also use it for mixdown duties if I want to.

Plus, I’ve just ordered a Marantz PMD580 rack-mounted compact flash recorder to replace my ageing Tascam DA20 DAT machine.
My poor old DA20 is about 16 years old, and is causing dropouts every time I record on it these days which essentially makes it worthless.
On top of which, DAT is linear (How old school is that? I don’t have time to waste waiting for tape to spool!), plus it’s only 16 bit.
The PMD580 addresses both of those concerns. Recording to CF cards means no spooling to access files, plus you can drag-n-drop from the card straight into your DAW of choice.
And it records at 24 bit.
And with the price of CF cards these days, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper for media than buying DAT tapes!

If this weekend is as fruitful as I’m hoping, then next week will see the studio functional… thank goodness, as I have that e-Seminar next Friday, so we’re cutting it close.
And that will most likely mean that I won’t get any podcasts recorded next week (as much I’d dearly love to!).
But it should mean that the following week will see a return to the podcasts!! Woohoo!
So, that’s the state of play, for now.