low budget cheapskate recording tips

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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:20 am

stumbled on some mic related docs. A collection of Neumann mic docs (schematics, article), an old German book on Electroacoustics (I think--I don't read German), and various spec sheets for a number of mics:

http://www.themiclocker.net/Documents/

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Also, an article I liked:

http://www.recordingmag.com/resources/r ... l/192.html

I suppose this:

most of the solid-state integrated circuit chips found in low to moderately priced audio gear have complex nonlinearities, with particular vulnerability to high frequency IM distortion. This includes amplifier chips (“opamps”) in mixing consoles and the input stages of most recorders (including digital multitracks); more importantly, it includes the analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters that are integral (sorry) parts of digital gear

is the main point. For me, this relates to keeping RF out of the signal (also to prevent IMD). Keeping RF out (maybe not entirely but enough to not be a problem) would seem to help the circuitry work the way it's supposed to (in a more ideal manner). Taking a look at the various avenues RF might ingress into the audio (inputs, outputs, power supply, noisy circuit areas radiating HF noise) and dealing with them if they are lacking is probably a good idea. This might consist of making sure contacts are clean and tight, adding caps, relocating caps, adding filters, making ground impedances lower, using different cable, possibly special connectors (Neutrik has one meant to help), using transformers, and whatever else.

Also, re-stated here:

(source: http://www.recordingmag.com/resources/r ... l/192.html)

To simplify an argument I made in a previous article (“Just Like Downtown,” Recording January 2000), degradation is cumulative, and inexpensive preamps/consoles and A/D converters tend to exaggerate and multiply intermodulation-distortion problems. These problems are worse with brighter microphones, and a bright mic plus a cheap preamp can equal a headache.

My general impression from my reading is that circuits designed to be linear (as opposed to things designed to impart "character" on purpose) should basically sound neutral if correctly designed. (Ideally) they shouldn't do any more (or less) than what they're supposed to do.
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some good bits here:

http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/i ... c=110082.0
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:46 am

another source for schematics stumbled on. (These seem to be from all over the web, so may not be many (any?) exclusive to the site. I suppose it's good to have another alternate site though.) :

http://schematic.danrudin.com/index.php?dir=
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:49 am

found a keyboard-centric site (also a bit of guitar-oriented gear) with masses of various magazines, articles, product brochures, user manuals, service manuals, and such :

http://studio250.fr/accueildocs.html

haven't looked it over closely but looks like a lot of interesting bits. Many are in French so if you can read French it will be easier to take advantage (some look quite intriguing but unfortunately I don't have very good French language skills though I seem to be able to get the gist of things here and there).
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:41 am

interesting bit of discussion on bandwidth limiting improving subjective sound:

http://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=58842.0

(linked article) :

http://ejjamps.com/PDF/experiment-that- ... delity.pdf
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:47 am

I liked this bit:

source:

http://daddyrockstar.tumblr.com/post/44 ... mes-part-2

DRS: I’ve heard other artists, like Sheila E, mention that Prince isn’t as concerned with everything being technically perfect in the studio; he’s more concerned with the music being right.

SR: He was a perfect example of an artist who didn’t need to rely on any special kind of tool, any special conditions, any special kind of situations; he didn’t believe in any voodoo or magic associated with the work. If you’ve got the goods you can show up at any studio with any console with any microphone – he didn’t care if he used his expensive microphone or his cheap one, he didn’t care – you can record under any circumstances if you’re the real deal and that’s how he was. He wasn’t going to let a little thing like no high end stop him from making music.


(the high end problem was from a malfunctioning console with a power supply problem)

Generally, (my overall impression from reading gear related threads, articles, etc.) it seems to me a good idea to have equipment that "doesn't get in the way". There isn't a need for everything to be "the best" but just good enough to do what you want it to do. In that respect it might be a good idea to have something on the technically superior side of things (such as mics and mic pres that are low noise) in case you decide to do something that needs the "better than average" technical performance. In a real life situation, this might be when trying to capture quiet sources like whispers or distance miking sounds (reverb?). Say, if a mic you use has too much "self-noise" the hiss could feel very obtrusive. So if you have a mic instead with a low self-noise, it's not that you'd necessarily need the capability 100% of the time (miking loud sources and such) but it wouldn't "get in the way" (with noticable hiss) when you did decide to mic a quiet source.
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:01 pm

some interesting stuff in this thread (on overloading and sound) :

http://www.proaudiodesignforum.com/foru ... ?f=6&t=727
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:53 am

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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:09 pm

interesting reading on Schoeps circuit and low cost ribbon mics:

http://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=59217.0

(I'm getting the impression that the cheap Chinese ribbons are perhaps not particularly worthwhile--except maybe as source of a bit of inexpensive fun.)
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:04 am

lots of Analog Devices tech documents that have been scanned and uploaded to the wayback machine (internet archive org). Looks pretty recent. (Has audio related material) Downloadable in different formats also :

https://archive.org/details/AnalogDevic ... nsGuideOCR

https://archive.org/search.php?query=su ... Devices%22

edit: skimmed through a bit and looks like a lot of good stuff on dealing with noise and RFI
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:25 pm

interesting comments from Les Watts (ex-Shure) :

I'm a manufacturer, and we happen to be doing some mic test clips in the studio today. I've always been dubious
about the value of sound clips, because we can make a mic sound drastically different depending on how we set it up.
But people want to hear something.

I leave it to others to do shootouts.


source:

http://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=57907.80
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Fri May 01, 2015 6:48 pm

Understanding Microphone Cables (article by Pro Co Sound) :

http://www.procosound.com/download/whit ... Cables.pdf
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Fri May 08, 2015 8:59 am

if you have any interest in mixers, I would definitely read this:

http://84.255.203.119/Steve-Dove-Console-Design.pdf

source:

http://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=59376.20
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Sat May 09, 2015 9:02 pm

stumbled on another big collection of old (tube and semiconductor) electronics, related texts, tutorials, databooks, gear manuals, transformer texts, hobby magazines.

http://www.introni.it/

(electronics frame only) :

http://www.introni.it/riviste.html

(also, might want to check out the links at the bottom of the page. I'm familiar with Pete Millett's site and maybe a couple of others but not all--definitely look worth at least bookmarking and checking out)


An Italian site. Way too much to look through quickly. (Naturally) a lot of Italian language material (plus English, Spanish, French, German), even if you can't read the material, can still be fun to look through some of the old magazines, etc.
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Thu May 21, 2015 12:21 am

interesting threads.

The only problem with [XLR pin1 to chassis] is when there is a large voltage difference between chassis - this can happen in several circumstances, including, among others, large radiated electromagnetic field or large leakage in one or several units. That's the reason why some have advocated lifting pin 1 on one side; this is not the best option IMO. I think inserting a parallel RC circuit between pin 1 and chassis provides a better all-round solution, but in most instances the Pin 1-to-chassis arrangement works well.

(by "abbey road d enfer")

source:

http://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=59505.0

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Music of old, using vinyl or cassette players with chrome dioxide tapes, did not have barn door filters but faded high frequencies away gradually so some of those harmonics would be captured... which explains why often listening to a vinyl sounds better than the album played on a CD.

(by Geoff Tanner, (ex-Neve) Aurora Audio)

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/geekslu ... stion.html
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Tue May 26, 2015 8:49 am

I like/find interesting this post (by "ashcat_lt") on homerecording bbs:

I high pass damn near everything ITB for much the same reason that every active stage in the analog world is high passed - to strip any DC offset or LF carrier-type waves that might have crept in and keep things swinging around 0. In analog, you don't get to decide where those HP cutoff frequencies are because the designer did it for you. In ReaEQ, it can't be lower than 20Hz, but that works for most things.

Likewise, I low-pass fairly frequently as well to kind of "help" the anti-alias filter. I'm not going to claim that it makes much difference most of the time, but I got the trick from Joel Hamilton, and it sure isn't hurting anything. It is somewhat analogous to the LPF built into most analog gain stages to keep them from trying to amplify radio frequencies. Again, you don't get to set those in analog, though they are usually set a bit higher than the 18K where I put mine, but sometimes they change with the gain.

Also, for a lot of us, the computer is the source. For whatever reason, and by whatever means, the signal itself is being generated ITB. In these instances, a good EQ can and should be used for the same reasons that mic choice and placement would be used in meatspace.

I'm completely not saying that I'm doing this to make it sound like analog. All I'm saying is that the processes and reasons are similar. The only real goal is to make it sound good.


source:

http://homerecording.com/bbs/general-di ... ost4318721
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