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CN Fletcher

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Posts posted by CN Fletcher

  1. i just finished the room as a bedroom. So I am looking for a temp solution to reduce the upper high range.


    Hang some absorbent stuff a couple inches off the wall and you should be fine. Next time I'm sentenced to that part of the world get a poker game together and a good bottle of Scotch and I'll give you chapter and verse how to fix it.


    Hope all is well!! Fun seeing you in ze Fatherland!!



  2. Thanks, Fletcher. I'm not really going for a "dead as a door" sound. Just trying to get a decent sound in the room. If all goes to plan this will be about a 40'x34' room with a concrete floor. The roof will be 12' at the edges, so about 10' at the edge for the ceiling, which I may make flat or which I may make follow the slope of the roof (1:12) but it'll probably be flat at about 10' or 10'6". Or I might go to 14' at the edge of the roof and raise the ceiling accordingly - that extra 2' can only help. Sheetrock walls, bass traps in the corners, and I'll treat early reflection points and such as necessary, but I'm hoping the room will be big enough to get a little bit of useful room sound. We'll see, though.

    This will be a combination room for me. It'll be a home studio, but it'll also be my living room. That should be OK, as I ought to be able to route all my cabling and wires where they won't be stepped on through the use of in-wall and in-ceiling snakes and such. So the room will have a couch and chair and TV and such at one end, and music gear at the other. I thought that would be a better use of the space than trying to have two separate rooms and making them smaller. It still won't be a BIG room, of course, but it'll be much bigger than what I have now.


    I was kinda kidding about the "70's dead" sound... but not about the trapping in the ceiling. It's a tried and true technique [often called "westlake bass trapping"] that is VERY effective.


    Store bought traps in the corners won't be as effective... though making the walls "non-parallel" will be highly effective. If you want, you can also either checker board the drop ceiling tiles and make cloth covered frames for the missing tiles so long as you make sure that the perimeter of the room has no tiles as bass likes to couple with shell walls and the bass will travel to the ceiling area along those walls.


    The other thing you will quickly realize is that the "living room furniture" will have a huge effect on the general RT-60 [reverb time] of the room.


    Best of luck with all you do!!



  3. a room with a drop ceiling, with a 2'x2' grid, and about eighteen inches to two feet of space between the grid and the underside of the roof above it,


    Here's a fun weekend project for you... get some sheets of 1/4" plywood and a reel of metal wire [like picture hanging wire]... now cut those pieces of plywood into uneven shapes [some wider, some longer].


    Drill a couple of holes in what will be the top of the plywood and then string the wire through the hole and tie it off.


    Now staple good old "in the wall" insulation to both sides.


    Here's the fun part!!


    Hang these above the drop ceiling in a pattern of 3 panels go "East -West" then 3 panels go "North - South" and create a checker board of hanging panels with fiber glass across the entire drop ceiling.


    You should now have a very effective bass trap!! In fact... you might not even need the drop ceiling panels at that point... you might be able to cloth cover the ceiling panel grid and then use the ceiling tiles elsewhere [if you're going for that 1970's dead as a door nail kinda sound].


    Best of luck with all you do!!


    Oh yeah... try to get the room as cold as possible while you're working with the fiberglass... and pick up a "haz mat" suit from the hardware store... and a resperator... and when you're done take a cold shower [hot water opens the pores... you definitely want them as closed as possible!!] and chances you won't itch like a bastard for the next couple of days from the fiberglass dust sinking into your pores.



  4. There are different schools of thought on this, but mine is that the back wall will be the first hard boundary layer the low end energy will encounter. Yes, sub-100Hz frequencies are essentially omnidirectional, but they are still propagated *in* a particular direction based on the location of the transient emission source...the speakers. There are some speaker designs that go a different way (Martin Logan dipoles, for example), but point source speakers like yours will behave this way. I'd rather get the most absorption up on the back wall, which will be the source of some of the deepest valleys and highest peaks....the front wall will be the second boundary, so the 244's will attenuate the low end response further.



    To a point... trapping heavily in the back of the room is more to kill the energy once you've heard it and to try to prevent it from building up in the room... however, you really need quite a bit of that trapping [on the order of feet, not inches] to do the job properly.


    Bass goes omni-directional around 250Hz and likes to couple to hard surfaces [like walls... which is why you always experience more bass when you're leaning against a wall as opposed to standing in the room].


    One thing you can do that will be very effective is treat your side walls and ceiling as well as the back wall [the floor isn't really practical if you plan on moving around in the room... but a good, thick "shag" carpet can help so long as it's not on the 'dance floor' where you'll be moving your chair around].


    As far as trapping at the back wall goes if you can spare a foot or three it's not too difficult to build frames out of 2"x 4" studs and then hang sheets [or strips] of 1/4" plywood from wire that you've covered with rock wool or fiberglass insulation. Make sure none of the strips are the same size!! and have them hanging in space. This way the low frequency energy will be absorbed as it tries in vein to move the piece of suspended light weight wood. It's really best to do these with them in a pattern of 3 running "east-west", 3 running "north-south" and then repeat the pattern [which is why it'll eat up a foot or three of depth in the back of your room].


    In the meanwhile... albiedamned... check your PM's for other thoughts and feedback.



  5. I have an NTK... it's a fine mic. Then again... my NTK has a "non-RODE" amplifier in it that was custom built for me by a friend [and uses NONE of the original parts and has an output transformer]. :facepalm:


    As for "mic pre's for specific vocal types"... not really a consideration nearly as much as which mic to use for a specific vocal type. In my world the mic pre is decided by a myriad of factors... like which pre's have been used before it on a specific song [i try not to use the same pre twice if I can avoid it]... which mic is being employed, what we're [we as in the artist, producer, moi] are going for in terms of the sonic texture for the vocal... yada, yada, yada.


    If you have an arsenal of good tool... and an understanding of the capabilities of those tools then you can make an educated guess / decision [if you take the time to do a 'shoot out'] and find what best suits your sense of aesthetic... any thing else is a fun game but it's nothing more than uneducated conjecture.



  6. Digital reverb has been all the rage for more like 25 years than 15 years... the stuff you like from the 90's was almost entirely [until at least the late 90's] digital outboard effects boxes. The late 90's through modern times [say the last 10 years] have seen plug ins come to be. There are several plug ins I've tried [no, I can't remember their names] that I thought were pretty good... but no one has really been able to do a plate properly [which is kind of a drag]... but other than that, most of the reverb you hear on modern records is from the box.


    I'll add that the great majority of the boxes suck ass... as do the great majority of the plugins I've heard... you can "get away" with them... but you'll very often have to get into the menus and do stuff like roll off top end... compress the send to the reverb [a "transient designer" is usually my favorite treatment for a reverb send... there are hardware and software versions of them].


    Will it "make or break" a recording? Hell no. The song will do that. It will however enhance or detract from the presentation which is [as engineers] our primary concern.



  7. That you continue to publicly say this is just unprofessional. You weren't saying that to his face when you took his money, right? = Weasely {censored}.


    You're right captain semantics... I didn't say "moron" to his face. I did tell him I thought the track sounded like ass to his face. I also mentioned to the label guy that I'd prefer to be credited me as "Alan Smithee"... but I never used the word "moron" [and I got $10- says you're about to google "Alan Smithee" so you can understand the reference].


    As to your saying I'm behaving in an "unprofessional manner"... not quite right. As long as I don't mention the name of the artist or the name of the project, and the {censored} doesn't end up in "People Magazine" it's OK to whine about a client.


    You should have heard another friend of mine go off about a "legend" who left him a voice mail that they should use a 'track ball' instead of a mouse because that's what was making the album take so long to get finished [this was 3-4 years ago... the album still isn't done!!]. My buddy quit the project after getting that voice mail... but he's got so much work lined up he filled in the time with a phone call.


    Interestingly, the artist and I have had this kind of relationship through most of the last year as we've been working on this record... and interestingly, he's well aware of the fact that I don't want my name on the record because I don't like the "sound" of the record... and interestingly he keeps coming back to have me work on the record because somehow I keep delivering him what he wants [even though I think it's far from what is best for his music].


    The really funny thing is that he keeps authorizing the label to pay me top dollar to work on the stuff [and take my {censored} during the process]. Ours is also the 4th or 5th studio where he's worked so far on this project. I'm like the 7th or 8th engineer who has worked on this project... and if the money wasn't so good I would hope to get fired like the others... except I'm getting paid REALLY well [and I'm a single mom].


    He's back in later this week [they're doing more tracking at their "studio"]... I reckon [in an effort to make sure all the cards are on the table] I'll tell him he's a moron then. Perhaps I'll even bring up this thread for him [and the other one where I originally called him a moron]... he usually likes to [annoyingly] hang in the control room while I'm mixing... it'll give him a good 20-30 minute hobby [who knows... maybe I'll get fired!!... doubt it, but there's always a chance].


    In the meanwhile... if you go back to my first post on this thread... the one with the Jeff Beck reference [seeing as the OP was talking about understanding the value of guitars but not microphones]... that statement still stands... it's what I've been trying to reinforce while you've done your best job of trying to misconstrue my meaning [which is simply, machines don't make music, people make music] and guide the thread away from it's intention.


    BTW... Phil, ever the voice of reason, did a great job of re-explaining my original explanation in words that could hopefully be understood by the "Music Calgary".



  8. No human in history has ever exceeded their own capabilities.


    Great... change the context to literal.




    Obviously no one has ever exceeded their capabilities... but as Ken pointed out, you do get those magically inspired moments. Sometimes it's an audience that inspires a singer to give an unbelievable performance [for some odd reason Cleveland actually has something of a track record for doing this... at least they did back when I was touring, I have no idea about now] other times it's a sound the performer hears in their cans.


    Until you've heard the transformation it is difficult to believe... but having heard the transformation a few times during my career [it doesn't happen all the time... but there are days when you can indeed catch lightning in a bottle!] when all of a sudden you hear a performer really bearing their soul... giving one of the most inspired performances of their career [as much as you seem to love to argue semantics... at some point in EVERY career their is one piece of work where their inspiration level is higher than all other examples of their work].


    I am very happy to have the luxury to have the tools in my world as they will often help. It ain't the tools that do it... it's the performer who does it... sometimes the tools help get them to that mental place is all I was trying to point out.


    There have also been times when no matter what mic, pre, :blah: combination you try you'll never beat the performance of the singer with a handheld 57 in the control room after a basic track laying a "guide vocal". My point being you never know where it's going to come from... but every day I'm in the room it's my "goal for the day". (made bold so you don't miss the actual crux of the biscuit)


    You referenced the client to whom I referenced as a "moron"... frankly, I still feel like he's a moron. Took a fairly decent song and {censored} all over it with too many tracks, incompetent recording, mediocre performances all to have me "run it through my machines" and deliver a "flat as a pancake" mix... which was exactly what the guy wanted.


    My job, as an engineer, is to deliver what the client requests... no matter how {censored}ed up and horrid it may be. Why is it my job? Because they hired me to present their music [and I took the gig]... and it's not my music... and if this is the presentation they want, then that's the presentation they'll get [no matter how abhorent I think what they're asking me to do to the music may be]. It's not like I'm torturing a small fuzzy animal... though at times it feels painfully close... they purchased my time, if that's what the client wants, that's what they get... and I will deliver to them the best product I can possibly deliver... because again... that's my job.


    I do draw the line at times... I will not add auto-tune [i may obscure the pitch, but I'll never "fix" the pitch]... and no, I will never torture a small fuzzy animal [no matter how much she begs].



  9. but I also believe that in true triple-blind testing he/we wouldn't be able to discern certain differences. I'm also certain that audiences don't give a flying rat {censored} -- the criteria they use to assess music couldn't possibly be farther from all that...


    You've obviously never been in a session where the performer is inspired to perform a little better than they're actually capable of performing because they've heard their voice through ___ mic and ___ pre and are so into the tone they're hearing in the cans that they give the performance of a lifetime.


    When you've experienced that phenomenon you get hungry for it... you get greedy for it... you want to experience it every time you hang a mic to cut vocals.


    When you've experienced that phenomenon... get back to me and tell me about "triple blind tests" and that the audience doesn't give a {censored} [they'll give a {censored} once they hear the performance... that's for damn sure!!].

  10. Besides "vintage" microphones there are plenty of "new" microphones that are also exceptionally good... and rather expensive. I gladly paid upwards of $9.000 for a Brauner KHE a few years ago... the Crowely & Tripp "el diablo" is $2,750 for a ribbon mic... but it uses a ribbon element that is different from any other element ever designed... it employs a "nano-fiber" that will not stretch or break under the most severe conditions of use [you can poke your finger through it... but as far as we can tell, you can't stretch it or break it with sound pressure level]. This material cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to refine and develop... hence, the price.


    There are hundreds of examples... much like guitars and amplifiers these things are instruments too... better instruments cost a pretty penny... cheaper instruments don't.


    Jeff Beck will sound like Jeff Beck on whatever he plays to you and me... but to Jeff Beck the "right" combination of guitar and amp will get him "the sound" he's looking to get... same thing with a recording engineer and his microphones selection.


    Ethan's cute little test [sorry Ethan, I still say your methodology was way flawed... but I think we've talked that into the ground at this point] was about "measurement" microphones... not recording microphones... so please don't come to a conclusion that a $40 Nady mic will give you results that even begin to approximate the results that can be attained with any of the "high end" condenser microphones in our studio's mic closet [click on the "Meth Lab" link in my signature file for details].



  11. Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe

    Every studio MUST have one - it's the law or something.


    They are strictly forbidden in my control room... they clash with the "voodoo/pimp and skull" motif...


    We have a skull lamp in the bathroom [yes, my control room has a terlet... not only that, the seat has a "punisher" logo] 44513425748080_0.jpgthe "door" to the loo is a red velvet curtain on a rather medieval pointed curtain rod... there is a curved version of this to hold the curtain back when not in use and another which is being used as a toilet paper holder.


    In the back of the control room is a cheetah pattern couch [it's actually called a "fainting couch"], black ceramic lamps with white leopard lamp shades... leopard throw pillows, leopard rug, black kidney shaped coffee table in front of the couch with books on Von Dutch and Big Daddy Roth...


    On the right side wall [from the back of the mix position to the back wall of the room] is a mural [painted by my oldest daughter] with a tree that has people painted on the tree as if they were bark, with spirits rising, a river flowing through it fading into a grassy knoll... on the other side of the room a new mural [by the same daughter] is under way that will look like a cross between a tribal tattoo and a "Medusa" kind of figure. In each of the back corners is a wooden staff with a hand carved skull on the top.


    On the meter bridge of the desk is my "Ancestral Protection Voodoo Doll" along with a shaker that only works in one direction... on top of my S3-A's is a stuffed shark on the left side and a glow in the dark "skull shaker" sitting on the front inside corner of the monitor... the right speaker has a stuffed armadillo.


    The talkback mic is a Russian ribbon mic that was allegedly stolen from the Politburo [it actually has a little commie "CCCP" logo on the body of the mic].


    The "mains" are UREi 813A's that are soffit mounted with the cabinets cloth covered with the same blue [fire proof coated] cloth that is the side walls, ceiling and loo covering... all with a stained wood trim... the doors are from "Syncro Sound" [The CARS old studio] as are the dimmers for the track lighting.


    If anyone brings a lava lamp into that room I will personally shove it up their ass then plug it in.

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