Archive for the ‘Pro Audio’ Category

Headphones for the Studio

Posted: February 11, 2014 in Pro Audio
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This is a quick post that has some advice I promised a friend.  However, I think will also be of interest to others and frankly, a blog post is the easiest way to get this to Jim.  In working on a podcasting project, he found that his headphones were having some leakage issues.  Rather than getting bleh-consumer Beats or Skull Candy cringe-worthy stuff, he asked me about my recommendations. 

The Basics

First, headphones are a very personal item.  What sounds good to one person may sound like junk to another.  Actually listening to them before you purchase, if possible, is always my first piece of advice.  Second, the items I talk about here are for recording purposes, not listening.  (more…)


No Gain, Much Pain

Posted: April 28, 2013 in Pro Audio
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Figure 1

Figure 1

By far the most frequent problem I’ve seen when working on a new board is poor gain structure.  One of the quickest red flags I see is if I sit down at a mixer and see a lot of channel faders that look like what you see in Figure 1.

That almost always tells me that the gain structure was set up by moving the fader to nominal (i.e. the 0db mark typically 3/4 the way up the fader) then bringing up the gain until the volume sounds right.  Typically the soundman will get away with this, especially if he is not running a lot of channels.  What he may not realize is

Figure 2

Figure 2

that he is not getting the best quality of the source signal and he is very likely injecting a great deal of noise into the channel.   If I see faders scatter about like in Figure 2, I have a much higher level of confidence in how the mixer has been configured.  No guarantees, of course, but the odds are in your favor. (more…)

Sound Thinking

Posted: April 28, 2013 in Pro Audio

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to mix on a fair number of boards that were not “mine;” that is not one where I was responsible for the setup and configuration.  I’ve also help more than one sound tech or podcaster online who have had problems with getting an effective mix.  From these experiences I have found that there are typically a few repeating problems that are causing people problems.  Because of this, I’ve decided to produce a short series of articles that I hope will help both sound techs and podcasters get the best possible sound. (more…)

Superlux R201 Ribbon Mic Review

Posted: January 6, 2013 in Pro Audio

I recently had the opportunity to test one of the Superlux R102 ribbon mics that was released last year.   This mic was my first experience with a ribbon microphone.  As many readers, I had looked at ribbons with a bit of mystique as far as their sound reputation.  Likewise, my head had been full of the issues of using a ribbon; the need for lots of gain, the high cost and the fragility.  Frankly, at a cost of only around $150 (street), I was more than a little skeptical. (more…)

Sound Philosophy

Posted: January 5, 2013 in Pro Audio

Once many years ago I presented a top 10 list for philosophy of sound in the church.  Ok… being a software engineer in one of my incarnations allows me to count down to zero, so there isn’t a mistake in the numbering.  This is that list: (more…)