Sunday, October 12, 2008

O.K.... we're back...

Sometimes, you start something, with the best of intentions.

never finish.

new beginning starts now. TONS of exciting things on the way.

stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pro Fools

we have a project right now that was originally tracked in Pro Fools (no fault of the engineer hear the guys got pretty good chops). But can we all please quit using this hunk of shit? Sounds bad, check, slick marketing to make people think it is the program to use, check, etc etc .
Fatman has a Paris rig he swears buy, I will use anything to record, but pro fools, it's a sham. Yes platinum records have been made on it etc etc but that doesn't take away from the fact that all the latest generations that are bundled as a studio in a box, digi 001 - 003 sound like ass.
For the same damn money actually a little cheaper go get Nuendo and some Apogee converters, presto your still working in the box, but it has a better sound.
Don't even get me started on seeing a Trident console used as a 2 buss to listen back from pro fools, or why we didn't use the fucking Studer 24 track tape machine in the corner.

A relic from ancient history?

Gear Lust #3

Thank you littleboy for the diversions.... but lets get back to some lustful gear.

We showed you a mic, and a way to get the sound into a computer, but neither of those matter if you aren't TRULY hearing what your doing. So, lets take a look at monitors. since we are budget minded in the beginning of this series we wont go high end, but we will go for serious quality.

Ideally, you want 3 sets of speakers, some large full range speakers, some mid/nearfields, and a tiny little reference speaker that sounds like crap so you can see if the mix translates to the sort of crap that far too many people are going to listen to your work on. I am assuming that you have a set of computer speakers that came with your system, we wont worry about the reference speakers for your project studio. Also since this is a project studio, we are not going to worry about the big full range set either. what your going to need is a good set of mid/nearfields that you can trust. What does that mean? Well, it means that the monitors will not hype any portion of the sound spectrum. They will be sonically sterile... completely true to what you are doing to manipulate the sound. Also, since we are talking about a project studio where space is critical we are looking at self amplified/active monitors.

All that criteria laid out, bang for buck... you cannot beat these...

Event TR8 Tuned Reference Biamplified Studio Monitors ($499/pair)

While I realize that the $500 price tag may seem like a million bucks for some, trust me, these are well worth it and in the monitor world, that is actually dirt cheap. They come with magnetically shielded 8 in. polypropylene cone rubber surround low frequency drivers and magnetically shielded 25mm ferrofluid-cooled silk domes for the top end. Power is provided by a biamplified system that ensures that both drivers get all the juice they need. frequency response is incredibly flat from 35hz all the way up to 20khz.

I have worked with these in several different studios, and while the speakers they replaced in the event lineup(20/20bas) lacked a little in the midrange, these are smooth from bottom to top. Compared to higher end monitors, they have a pretty small "sweet spot"(the point of best imaging response) and don't have much in what you'll hear all the boys in the club refer to as "air"(ultra high end detail ) ... they are phenomenal for the price.

You WILL hear your mix, all the warts... it will not sound pretty unless it is right. That is what you want.... isn't it?

These get our first 5 out of 5 stars.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Litlleboy Speaks : on politics and motorcycles

Now don't get me wrong I'm as revolutionary as the next guy.
So I almost feel dirty for buying this 750 Chang Jiang,
I've been a practicing Tibetan Buddhist for most of my adult life so it pains me that this are made in China, the good part is it is a copy of the Russian Ural, I can kind of hang with that, but then the Ural is a copy of the BMW R71. Don't even get me started on my extreme Nazi hate.
So at times I will grudgingly ride it, but than others I may imagine myself riding West across the Steppes going to whip Nazi Ass.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Litlleboy Speaks

You won't get GEARLUST bull from me "just the fact mam"
The occasional rant, scream, and bitch.
I hate pompous rock star antics, so don't be afraid too ask either of us a question about the business or technical issues, and have fun or we will ban you.
This is my GEARLUST.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Gear Lust #2

First couple of posts here on Gear lustTM we are going to go over how insanely cheap you can set up a quality project studio. Last time, I introduced you to what is in my ever so humble opinion, the best mic under a grand... well under in the case of the C1. But, how the hell are you going to get the mic signal into your computer?

Well, there are couple hundred options out there many under $300 that are worth looking at (hey, we're on a budget... right?). Among your options, you will have to chose whether you want an internal pci/pcmcia bus based card, or an external usb/firewire interface. Assuming you have a fairly new(under 3 yrs old) laptop or tower, your best bet for flexibility and portability is an external interface.

I found myself in need of a new interface for portable recording, so last month I picked up one of these....
Its the IO2 by Alesis . O.K... I know what your saying... ALESIS? Yeah... I was surprised too.

First off, build quality... this thing is solid. Aluminum case and solid turn pots that don't feel at all flimsy. It also has a nice small form factor that is not TOO small to work with . Everything is well laid out, and easy to use. You get 2 inputs, either XLR(mic) or phone (guitar), phantom power, balanced outs, led signal meters, 24/96 , and the coup de graw..... INSERTS! That was the killer ap on this thing for me. Short of buying a small mixer with a firewire or USB output on it, you will not find this feature on an interface for the price (ok... lexicon has them too, but I am not a fan of the layout of the lexi, or the way the pre's sound...). Why might you want inserts? Outboard gear, sending to an external backup recorder, or in my case... sending the mic signal to a telephone hybrid and bringing the incoming phone signal into the other channel.

Cool ... right?

How does it sound? pretty damned good. Yes, there is a little bit of the "alesis bump" in the upper mids, but for the price ($149) that can easily be overlooked, especially in a project studio setting. That little bump is directly in the frequency range that is a plus for guitars, vocals, and voice over work. Besides, as long as your getting a strong, CLEAN signal into the computer... you can flavor it how ever you want inside the box.

Need more inputs? The IO4 has a couple of big brothers...

the IO14($299)

and the IO26 ($399)

Long and short of it.... excellent quality, well built, great price.

4 out of five stars.

----- fatman.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Gear Lust #1

We will be posting a number of fabulous things here at the blog, but one of the main dealio's will be Gear Lust. This will be a series of either reviews, or musings upon new gear streaming out the pro audio pipeline (and some older that are worth remembering).

So, For the first post I should start out with the new Neve Genesys console/DAW controller right?


Here I will be focusing mostly on tools that will allow better results for project and at home studio's. After all, few can afford the $50k for that lovely console.....

Now, completely up front here... I LOVE MIC'S. It doesn't matter if you are a singer songwriter, a voice over
guy, or an old radio pro looking to do your prod at home buck naked with your bear foot slippers on. You are going to need a quality way to get your voice/guitar/violin/kazoo on the recording.

In recent years there have been a FLOOD of cheap mics coming over from China, most have ranged anywhere from servicable to absolutely atrocious, others amazing for their price. Among the latter, are the "C" line from Studio Projects. Street prices range from $239 for the C1 all the way up to $670 for the LSD2
(a stereo configured mic which is basically 2 of the C1's big brother "C3" mics stacked on top of one another). For some of you that may sound a little rich, but trust me, they are worth EVERY PENNY, and so are you. ;)

Today we're going to focus on the C1. So, what do you get for $239?? take a look...

As you can see, it is a traditional design that you might find in some of the uber-kraut mics that one might come across in a million dollar studio. The resemblance is FAR more than skin deep.

I have used this mic day in and day out for a bit over a year and I have to say, I have not found a single person that doesn't sound fantastic through it. It is a bit of an "all in one" at a DAMNED cheap price. It has a wide open airy feel to it that usually costs about 4 times the price. The high pass filter is fabulous if you are recording someone who carries their testes in a wheel barrow, and the pad is remarkable.

This mic is great for vocals, string instruments, and voice over work.

One small caveat - since it is a condenser,and is so incredibly open., it will pick up....EVERYTHING . This is slightly compensated for by the pad. but,unless you have a fan-less computer rig and a hermetically sealed quiet are going to want to create a ghetto vocal booth (instructions coming in a later post).

Definitely worth the scratch, whether you want to add to a growing mic cabinet, or you need that 1 fantastic mic for your home studio.

4 3/4 stars out of 5