Thursday, 10 December 2009

Ampthetex's Juke Box Track Listing

Here is a list of Ampthetex's Juke Box Track Listings in no particular order;

  • Soil - Pride
  • Kosheen - Hide You
  • Slacker - Your Face (In The Mirror)
  • Freakpower - Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out
  • FSOL - Far Out Son of Lung
  • Roni Size and Reprazent - Brown Paper Bag
  • Thin Lizzy - Boys Are Back In Town
  • Cinder - Soul Creation
  • Orb - Little Pink Fluffy Clouds
  • Orbital - Satan Live
  • Chemical Brothers - Setting Sun
  • Stroke 9 - Little Black Back Pack
  • Goo Goo Dolls - Iris
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Babies
  • Iron Maiden - Can I Play with Madness
  • Oasis - Do You Know What I Mean
  • The Prodigy - Firestarter
  • Bentley Rhythm Ace - Bentley's Gonna Sort You Out
  • Incubus - Stellar
  • Ian Brown - Stellify
  • Manic Street Preachers - Suicide Is Painless
  • Breaking Benjamin - Evil Angel
  • Papa Roach - Getting Away With Murder
  • Feeder - Just A Day
  • ACDC - Back In Black
  • Disturbed - Land Of Confusion
  • Anthrax - Antisocial
  • Metallica - I Disappear
  • Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
  • Primal Scream - Movin On Up
  • The Jam - Eton Rifles

For more audio production information and advice visit; http://www.ampthetex.co.uk/

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Ampthetex's Top Techno Tracks Selection

Here is a list in no particular order of Ampthetex's top Techno Tracks selection;

  • X-101 - Sonic Destroyer (Original Mix)
  • Jeff Mills - The Bells
  • DJ Rolando - Jaguar
  • Dave Clarke - Wisdom To The Wise
  • Underground Resistance - The Seawolf
  • Joey Beltram - Game Form
  • Jeff Mills - Ride The Rhythm
  • Joey Beltram - Floaters
  • Underground Resistance - Elimination
  • Jeff Mills - Outsiders
  • Hardfloor - Acperience
  • Chemical Brothers - Loops of Fury
  • Jeff Mills - Automatic

For more audio production information and advice visit; http://www.ampthetex.co.uk/

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Audio Production Suite - ampthetex.co.uk - Credits

The Audio Production Suite - ampthetex.co.uk, would like to say a big thank you to the following companies for all the help and donations which has made http://www.ampthetex.co.uk/, the great website that it is today.

AudioSpares.com, AIPL, Blue Microphones, Sugar-Bytes, Rob Papen, 4Front Technologies, 9 Soundware, Primeloops, Abletoncourses.com, Sample Magic, SoundstoSample, FatLoud, X-mini, XLN Audio, Zenhiser, MusicLab, SFX Machine Pro, NUSofting, Trevor Magnusson, StockMusic.com, QuietPC.com, Noctua, D-16 Group, Sound-Ideas.com, Black Rhodium, HiFi-Tuning.com, MixMeister, GoldBaby Productions, Fractal-Design and Vinyl Paradise.

If you or your company can help out in anyway via small cash donations to help with domain registration, hosting, etc., to equipment donation please contact me at; ampthetex@yahoo.co.uk.

All help is much appreciated no matter how small you think it maybe.

Kindest Regards

Steven Price - ampthetex.co.uk

Friday, 27 November 2009

Cheetah MD16 /16R Drum Machine

Cheetah Marketing Company
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheetah_Marketing

Reviews
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1997_articles/apr97/cheetahmd16.html

EXS24/EXSP24 Sampler Instrument
http://www.logic-cafe.com/article_view.asp?id=33

Manual
http://www.cykong.com/Synths/Cheetah%20MD16RP/Cheetah-MD16R-Manual.zip

Sounds and Samples
http://www.alchemystudio.it/FreeSamples/CheetahMD16.zip

Tips and Tricks (Battery Leakage)
http://www.circuitbenders.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,377.0.html

There is a seller on eBay (http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/casey331972/), sells the Schematics, and all of the following parts, etc., In a little Spares/Repairs Kit;

1 x 834200A IC
1 x DAC312 IC
5 x 1/4"Jack Socket
1 x 62256 -10 RAM IC
2 x LM324
1 x M50734SP-10
1 x D4016C
2 x 4051 IC
1 x 74HCT139 IC
1 x 74HCT373 IC
1 x 74HCT374 IC
1 x 74HCT151 IC
3 x 74HCT74 IC
2 x 74HCT4520 IC
1 x 74HCT75 IC
1 x 74HCT00 IC
1 x 74HCT08 IC
2 x 74HCT138 IC
2 x 74HCT273 IC
1 x 74HCT238 IC
1 x 74HCT04 IC
1 x 74HCT283 IC
1 x 74HCT32 IC
1 x 74HCT157 IC

All of these items and the schematics for £13.99 Buy It Now!, and £2.50 Postage and Packaging, 100% Feedback.

This seller on eBay (http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/aaamusements/), sells Varta 3.6v Ni-Mh batteries to replace the onboard battery which is prone to leak, before you think about purchasing a machine if possible try to see the inside of the unit as the battery tends to leak and the battery acid eats into the circuit board, tracks, resistors, etc.

Once you change the battery you will need to do a Factory Reset, as the unit will be saying Cold Start everytime it is turned on.

To do a Factory Reset you must PRESS - SHIFT and YES, when it says COLDSTART. It will reset the whole unit and all the sounds, etc., and the Cold Start will then go away and you can setup all your sounds and pads again.

For more audio production information and advice visit; http://www.ampthetex.co.uk/

Thursday, 26 November 2009

The Audio Production Suite - ampthetex.co.uk, Press Release

November 25th, 2009 - The Audio Production Suite - ampthetex.co.uk, started life way back in the year 2000, where it was only a few web pages in size, and was hosted on some free webspace.

Not too long after, it was gaining lots of web exposure the website had to be moved to paid web hosting as the bandwidth on the free host was exceeded, and kept using up the monthly bandwidth allowance.

The website has since gone from strength to strength, growing in size, and quality, nearly 10 years on and the website is still going strong, with new idea's and content being added all the time.

The website has recently undergone a overhaul adding new features, such as the ability to translate the website into more than one language, from German, Chinese, Russian, etc.

A new clean layout with a dynamic menu driving navigation, making it easier to get around the website and find exactly what you want quickly and easily, without any fuss.

The website covers topics such as Microphones, Mixing Desks, DAW's, Effects, Signal Processors, and more. Featuring new additions of walkthrough video's, and audio samples.

So now you can read about a certain topic, E.g. Setting Unity Gain, Watch a walkthrough video showing exactly how you would go about doing it, and then listen to an audio sample after achieving unity gain, etc.

This in return makes it easier for the website visitor to understand each process, by being able to read, see, and actually hear what is happening.

All this great information, and resources contained on one easy to use website, which costs nothing, has no annoying pop-ups, adverts, etc.

The website is not run for money and never has been. All the webhosting and domain costs come from my own pocket. If you can make a donation to help towards the cost of the webhosting and domain charges, etc., that would be much appreciated. Thus making the future of The Audio Production Suite - ampthetex.co.uk, alot brighter and ensuring that it stays up to date with content that is relevant.

Donations can be made here; https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=9705436

Or you can contact me at; ampthetex@yahoo.co.uk


The Audio Production Suite - ampthetex.co.uk, would like to thank the following companies for their support and software donations;

AudioSpares.com, AIPL, Blue Microphones, Black Rhodium, D16 Group, Noctua, Fractal-Design, HiFi-Tuning.com, Sugar-Bytes, Rob Papen, 4Front Technologies, 9 Soundware, Primeloops, Abletoncourses.com, Sample Magic, SoundstoSample, FatLoud, X-mini, XLN Audio, Zenhiser, MusicLab, SFX Machine Pro, NUSofting, Vinyl Paradise and Trevor Magnusson, QuietPC.com.

Website Links

http://www.ampthetex.co.uk/
http://www.audiospares.com/
http://www.aipl.com/
http://www.bluemic.com/
http://www.sugar-bytes.de/
http://www.robpapen.com/
http://www.truepianos.com/
http://www.cloneensemble.com/
http://www.9soundware.com/
http://www.primeloops.com/
http://www.abletoncourses.com/
http://www.loopmasters.com/
http://www.samplemagic.com/
http://www.soundstosample.com/
http://www.fatloud.com/
http://www.zenhiser.com/
http://www.musiclab.com/
http://www.x-mini.com/
http://www.sfxmachine.com/
http://www.nusofting.liqihsynth.com/
http://www.vinylparadise.co.uk/
http://www.blackrhodium.co.uk/
http://www.hifi-tuning.com/
http://www.coolutils.com/TotalAudioConverter
http://www.fractal-design.com/
http://www.quietpc.com/
http://www.noctua.at/
http://www.sound-ideas.com/
http://www.d16.pl/
http://www.xlnaudio.com/
http://www.quparts.com/

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Signal Processors

There are 2 categories that signal processors come under.


They are as follows;

1) Complimentary Effects
These are effects such as reverb, pitch-shift, phase, delay, modulation etc.
Which complements the signal and you can actually hear it working.

2) Non-Complimentary Effects (Dynamic Signal Processor's)
These are effects such as compressor's, noise gates, filtering, expanding & ducking etc.
You cannot hear these effects working,

Though if you can hear these effects working then there is something wrong and you should sort it out immediately,

Unless you are using it as an experimental effect.

Compressor's
Compressor's are used to control the dynamic range (Quietest & Loudest Points) of a signal or volume.
It reduce's gain once a signal has exceeded the threshold level.
Anything with a ratio of up to 10:1 is compression.
Anything with a ratio of up to 20:1 is limiting.
Anything with a ratio of up to 50:1 is peak limiting.

Compressor Controls

Threshold is the start of when the compressor starts to work, It basically is the level at which the compressor comes in at.

Ratio Is the amount of compression that you want to apply to the signal.

Attack is how quick you want the compressor to respond to the signal after its past the threshold level that you selected.

Release is how quick you want the compressor to return back to its normal state after its fallen below the threshold level that has been selected.

Gain is the output control of the signal leaving the compressor,

To basically make up for any of the volume that may of been lost through compression.
Peak Limit control deals with very high transients which are fast and sharp, This is often used on drums etc.

LED Meters tell you how much compression is taking place,

When in VU Mode at the output it tells you how much level you are losing through compression.

Link allows you have a stereo image on the compression,

You need to have 2 compressors it will then basically allow the one compressor to control the other one.

Bypass button allows you to listen to the signal without compression.

Listen button allows you to listen to the signal with compression otherwise known as Normal Mode.

S/C (Side Chain) is an extra input which allows you to connect a secondary device such as a graphic equaliser.

This basically allows you to compress certain frequencies which evade the compressor.

Compressing 4K and above will reduce sibilance.

By using the side-chain and an equaliser it turns the compressor into a De-esser (Frequency Conscious Compressor).
De-esser's
A De-esser is a frequency conscious compressor,

It reduces sibilants which are caused by S words and similar words to S which has tails like SHHHH etc.

De-essing is achieved by inserting a graphic equalizer into the sidechain, Which is a secondary input on the compressor.

This allows you to boost the frequencies that are causing you the problem by being under the threshold.

These are the ones that the compressor cannot deal with.

By boosting the frequencies this allows the compressor to compress the awkward frequencies.

This technique of de-essing is used on vocals but it can be used on any other sound source's that are causing frequency problems.

Noise-Gates
A noise-gate is a device that allows a signal to pass through after a signal has exceeded the threshold.

It can be used as a complementary effect but mostly used for reducing spill and reducing noise.

Some noise-gates have a variety of different functions.

Not only is it a noise gate but it can also be an expander and ducker.

Expander
When expanding it has variable attenuation when the gate is closed

(You can choose the level you can hear coming through when the gate is closed).

This can be used as an effect to emphasize a sound, It is similar to gating but it has variable attenuation.

Ducking
When ducking it is basically the reverse of a noise-gate but it lets all the signal through and when the signal drops below the threshold it starts to attenuate (Lets all the signal pass through unaffected after it falls below the threshold).

Ducking is used on the radio e.g.. DJ talks the music drops to the background and when he stops the music rises back up again.

This Does Not Work Like A Compressor.

Noise-Gate/Expander/Ducker Controls

The threshold is the level at which the gate opens.

The attack is how quickly the gate opens after the signal has exceeded the threshold.(0.5ms-2.5sec).

The hold controls how long the gate stays open before shutting.

The decay/release is how quickly the gate closes after it has fallen below the threshold.

The attenuation/range lets you set the amount of signal that passes through the gate when it is closed.

Norm lets you listen to the affected signal.

Filter knobs let you filter away problem frequencies (LF = HPF, HF = LPF).


LED Meters

Red = Gate closed attenuation taking place.

Green = How long the gate is staying open.

Yellow = How quickly the gate is opening and closing.
The Key input (External/Internal) lets you trigger the gate with an external sound source.

(Otherwise known as Keying).

Key Listen lets you listen to the key filters.

For more audio production information and advice visit; http://www.ampthetex.co.uk/

Analogue

The Advantages Of Analogue

The disadvantages of digital are the advantages of analogue and vice versa.

1) All the tapes are compatible unlike DAT.
The Disadvantages Of Analogue
1) Tape hiss and noise.
2) Suffers from crosstalk, which is miss-alignment of the tape heads.
3) Suffers from printhrough, where the magnetism is transferred.
4) Suffers from wow and flutter.
5) Drop-ins are audible.
6) Cannot bounce to adjacent tracks.
7) Sound degrades with play, the high frequencies start to suffer first.
8) Low dynamic range.
9) Self erasure.
10) Better frequency range than digital if machine is in excellent condition.
11) Needs routine maintenance.
12) Suffers from uneven/head wear.
13) -80dB erasure, not total erasure like digital.
14) Lower total harmonic distortion, means that it is easier to distort.


How Analogue Sound Is Converted & Stored Upon Analogue Tape
The different stages of an analogue sound being recorded and stored upon analogue tape;

1) Acoustic Energy (Sound Source). E.g.. Singing and clapping.
2) Microphone (Transducer - Turns the acoustic data into an electrical current). E.g.. Microphone.
3) Processing (This lets you alter the signal so it is fit to work with). E.g.. Mixer.
4) Storage (Tape Machine) 0dB line level = 250 Nanowebbers Magnetism. E.g.. Cassette recorder.
5) Electromagnet (Record/Playback head). E.g.. Cassette recorder head.
6) Storage Medium (Analogue Tape). E.g.. Chrome cassette tape.

For more audio production information and advice visit; http://www.ampthetex.co.uk/

Digital

The Advantages Of Digital

1) No tape hiss, meaning no noise introduced at all.
2) No degradation, meaning the sound never degrades no matter how many times it gets played.
3) Full frequency response.
4) No print-through, meaning no magnetism transferred.
5) No cross-talk between channels, meaning no picking up of the sound off adjacent tracks.
6) Possible to bounce to adjacent tracks, meaning track 15 can be bounced to track 14 or 13, etc.
7) Drop-ins are inaudible.
8) Error Correction, this feature uses a speculation method to guess missing information.
9) Higher dynamic range (Digital = 90dB, Analogue = 60dB).
10) Total erasure when you are clearing a track.
11) No wow or flutter.
12) Higher total harmonic distortion (Threshold at which different frequencies start to distort).

The Disadvantages Of Digital
1) No warmth in the sound, unlike analogue tape.
2) Prone to dropouts.
3) If a large error/s occurs, this will result in big dropouts or the data may not work at all.
4) Very expensive.

Digital Formats

1) DASH (Digital Audio Stationary Head)

48 Track 1" - SONY DTM 3348
32 Track 1" - Mitsubishi X8 80/50
24 Track 1" - Studer, Otari
Mastering 1/4"- 2 Track Mitsubishi,Otari, Studer etc.

2) RDAT (Rotary Digital Audio Tape)

8 Track - VHS, A/DAT, Alesis
Hi8 Tape - Tascam DA338 (Must format tape before use)
DAT - 2 Track has no need to be formatted before use,

These can be synced to other DAT machines for mixing purposes.


For more audio production information and advice visit; http://www.ampthetex.co.uk/

Reverb

Reverb is a prolongation of a sound after it has decayed away (Dying away).


Many thousands of reflections which become more dense as time goes on and then they decay away.

A reverb unit is a unit which produces the acoustics of an environment such as a large room, cathedral, sewer etc.

Reverb is anything under 500ms.

Delay is anything over 500ms.


Parameters for Digital Reverb

The following controls are essential for creating an acoustic environment;

Pre-Delay is the time taken for the reverb to start once the direct sound has ceased. (When the reverb starts)

RT60 Reverb Time (Reverb Time To -60dB, To Decay Away) is how long the reverb lasts until it decays away to -60dB (The longer the RT60 the bigger the acoustic environment is.

HF Decay (High Frequency Decay) HF Decay is how long the high frequency content takes to decay away.

This works in conjunction with the RT60 reverb time. The lower the HF Decay time is, helps to create a warmer sound on the reverb. Also gives the impression that there are objects in the room.

LF Decay (Low Frequency Decay) LF Decay is how long the low frequency content takes to decay away.

This works in conjunction with the RT60 reverb time. The lower the LF Decay time is, the more of a metallic sounding reverb.

X-Over/Cross Over is where the high frequency (HF) and low frequency (LF) content are separated. (Centre frequency/Like a filter)

Density controls the amount of spacing between the reflections.

Diffusion controls the amount of dampening to the reflections, Just like introducing objects to a room, the higher the diffusion the more objects that are in the room dampening the sound.

Size works in conjunction with the RT60 reverb time. The bigger the room or acoustic environment the bigger the RT60 reverb time is going to be.

Types of Reverb

There are two types of reverb;

1) Mechanical Reverb (Created mechanically by a device).

2) Digital Reverb (Created digitally).


Mechanical Reverb Device's
Reverb Chamber
A reverb chamber can be of any size, You will place 2 microphones equal distance and equal height from the sound source and record the reverberation from that environment.

Spring Reverb
A spring reverb is when a sound is transformed through the spring's, this creates an artificial environment.

You do not have any controls over the reverb time, etc.

Original spring reverb units have a nice warm sound.

Plate Reverb (EMT Plate Reverb) is a big unit which can come in many shapes and sizes.
Inside the unit is 2 large plates, a speaker and 2 pickup's (Microphones).

It basically records the acoustics of a sound when it is played through the box environment.

You have no control over any parameters. Original plate reverb units have a nice warm sound.
Digital Reverb Unit's

Basic Digital Reverb Programs Found On Most Units;
1) Hall Reverb (Different hall size's)
2) Room Reverb (Different room size's)
3) Gated Reverb (Reverb Gated)
4) Reverse Reverb (Swelling delay)

Various Programs can be created by adjusting the paramaters

For more audio production information and advice visit; http://www.ampthetex.co.uk/

Leads and Connections


Always make sure that you use the correct cables at all times, the more expensive the cable, usually the better the quality and higher quality components and manufacturing techniques used.You only get what you pay for. If you are using very long cables then you should use balanced cable, so the quality will be the same as if the cable was short and it therefore wont deteriorate or suffer from RF interference. If you use an unbalanced cable for long distance the quality will drop and possible interference will occur.


You should not skimp with leads, Buy the best quality that you can possibly afford.


The Different Types Of Connectors

XLR
Stereo 1/4" Jack (Balanced/Unbalanced)
Mono 1/4" Jack (Balanced/Unbalanced)
Patch Lead
RCA Phono
SPDIF
2.5mm Mini Jack (Stereo/Mono)
3.5mm Mini Jack (Stereo/Mono)
Speakon
DIN
MIDI
Toslink
Optical

The Different Types Of Cable

Oxygen Free Cable - Expensive cable, but the higher cost is due to the superior quality that this type of cable incorporates. It is excellent for speaker cable. Sonic superiority.

Braided Screened Cable - Expensive cable, due to the copper content and more complex manufacturing techniques. Excellent for microphone cable as it features very high rejection of RF interference. Great for PA's.

Foil Screened Cable - Low cost cable, with good screening and can be prepared very quick and easy, it also has a small diameter.

Conductive Plastic Cable - Great cable that can go around bends with ease, also very quick and easy to prepare. The biggest flaw of this type of cable is that the screening capabilities are very poor compared to other types of cable. But great for short run microphone cables.

Lapped Screened Cable - Expensive cable, due to the copper content. Easily flexed and is very strong, an excellent all round cable if you got the cash to buy it. Great for PA's.

Single Core (Unbalanced) - Usually low cost and quite common, especially in everyday applications and use. Best used for short cables. One core carries the Hot signal, and the Shield which is the Earth.
Double Core (Balanced) - Usually expensive, double core, one core carries the Hot signal (Positive +), one core carries Cold signal (Negative -), and the shield which is Earth. This cable is excellent for short and long length cables, as it is highly unlikely to suffer from RF interference and noise.

AudioSpares.com - supply high quality professional audio spares, studio spares, components, music accessories and parts. Specialising in professional audio parts and spares for PA, live sound, studio recording and video applications, AudioSpares buy direct from the manufacturers to bring you top-quality audio/visual components at rock-bottom prices!

For more audio production information and advice visit; http://www.ampthetex.co.uk/

EQualisation

Definition of Equalisation; Equalisation changes the tone and harmonics of a sound wave by changing the amplitude of frequencies in any waveform.


Basic Frequency Range's

Low Frequency - (30Hz-300Hz)
Low Mid Frequency - (300Hz-2.5KHz)
High Mid Frequency - (2.5KHz-8KHz)
High Frequency - (8KHz-20KHz)


Turnover Point is frequency you select to cut or boost.

Bandwidth is the area of the frequency of turnover point.

Frequency is the number of cycles per second.

Sweep EQ;
Has a fixed bandwidth, Variable gain and variable frequency.

Shelf EQ;
Variable gain and whole bandwidth, Low and high pass filters.
High frequencies can cut and boost everything above the turnover point.
Low frequencies can cut and boost everything below the turnover point.

Parametric EQ;
Has variable frequency, Variable gain and whole variable bandwidth.

Graphic EQ;
Collection of fixed frequencies, Variable gain and narrow bandwidth.



For more audio production information and advice visit; http://www.ampthetex.co.uk/

Microphones



Definition of a microphone; A microphone is a transducer it converts acoustic energy into an electrical signal.

The Different Type's Of Microphones Are;

Dynamic Microphone
Radial Condenser Microphone
Axial\Dual Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Electret Condenser Microphone
Dynamic Ribbon Microphone
PZM (Pressure Zone Microphone)
Sound Field Microphone

Dynamic Microphone (Moving Coil Microphone)

The characteristics of a dynamic microphone are as follows;
1) Limited frequency response.
2) Can handle high SPL (Sound Pressure Level).
3) Fixed polar pattern.
4) Don't require a power supply.
5) Very robust.
6) Good handling capabilities (Hold them in your hands).
7) Very good for live use.
8) Very directional (Pick up where its pointing at).
9) Low signal to noise ratio (Low output).
10) Polar Pattern = 1 Cardiod (fixed pattern).*

Condenser Microphone (Capacitor/Stored Energy System Microphone)

The characteristics of a condenser microphones in general are as follows;
1) Very fragile.
2) Good frequency response.
3) Susceptible to damp or humid weather conditions.
4) Good signal to noise ratio.
5)Polar Pattern = Cardiod, Omni Directional, Figure Eight (Usually variable patterns).*
Radial Condenser Microphone (Single Diaphragm Placed Horizontally In The Microphone)

The characteristics of a radial condenser microphone are as follows;
1) Very fragile.
2) Good frequency response.
3) Susceptible to damp or humid weather conditions.
4) Good signal to noise ratio.
5) Small diaphragm.
6) Cannot handle high SPL levels.
7) Low frequency response (Cant pick up all frequencies).
8) Requires phantom power supply (48v DC/Direct Current).
9) Frequency response 50hz-15Khz.
10) Good for acoustic type sounds etc.
11) Polar pattern = 1 Directional characteristics may vary by manufacturer.*

Axial/Dual Diaphragm Microphone (2 Diaphragm Microphone)

The characteristics of a axial/dual diaphragm microphone are as follows;
1) Large diaphragm.
2) Full frequency response.
3) Various polar pattern (You can change the polar patterns).
4) Can handle high SPL levels (Up to 140dB/Threshold of pain).
5) Very fragile.
6) Very sensitive (May need to be shockmounted).
7) Susceptible to damp or humid weather conditions.
8) Good signal to noise ratio.
9) Requires phantom power supply (48v DC/Direct Current).
10) Excellent for vocals.
11) Polar pattern = Directional characteristics may vary by manufacturer.*

Electret Microphone (Permanently Charged Plates)

The characteristics of an electret microphone is that it looks like a radial condenser microphone, it has the same characteristics as a radial condenser microphone but it is not as good. But it is better than a dynamic microphone.
1) Very fragile.
2) Good frequency response.
3) Susceptible to damp or humid weather conditions.
4) Good signal to noise ratio.
5) Small diaphragm.
6) Cannot handle high SPL levels.
7) Low frequency response (Cant pick up all frequencies).
8) Requires phantom power supply (48v DC/Direct Current).
9) Frequency response 50hz-15Khz.
10) Good for acoustic sounds.
11) Used on TV a lot (Lapels on presenters etc.).
12) Polar pattern = Directional characteristics may vary by manufacturer.*

Dynamic Ribbon Microphone (Magnesium Ribbon Microphone)

The characteristics of a dynamic ribbon microphone are as follows;
1) Very fragile.
2) Cannot handle high SPL levels.
3) Limited applications (Cant be used on many applications).
4) Good top end better than an ordinary dynamic microphone not as good as a condenser microphone.
5) Good for classical music, speech and soft vocals.
6) Warm sound.
7) Requires no power supply.
8) Very large in size.
9) Polar pattern = 1 Omni Directional (fixed pattern).*

Pressure Zone Microphone/Electret Pickup (Works On Sound Pressure Levels)

The characteristics of a pressure zone microphone are as follows;
1) Very robust.
2) Good for ambience, surroundings etc.
3) Limited applications (Cant be used on many applications).
4) Can handle high SPL levels.
5) Requires no power supply.
6) Frequency response 40hz-16Khz.
7) Usually goes in at line level.
8) Polar pattern = 1 Omni Directional (fixed pattern).*

Sound Field Microphone (Microphone With Various Polar Patterns Beyond Standard)

The characteristics of a sound field microphone are the same as a condenser microphone;
1) Very fragile.
2) Good frequency response.
3) Susceptible to damp or humid weather conditions.
4) Good signal to noise ratio.
5) Can handle high SPL levels.
6) Very expensive.
7) Used in TV work (Outside broadcast etc.), classical music and speech.
8) Polar pattern = Multiple polar patterns but are different to the regular polar patterns.*

*Please be aware that certain manufacturers may have incorporated a different polar pattern instead of the usual standard.

Miking Techniques


XY Miking Technique (Direct Miking)

This is used on drums and on a multi-miking setup usually drums must have cardiod polar pattern.

The mikes must always point away from each other, Be a minimum of 18 inches this help reduce spill and phase.


AB Miking Technique (Stereo Miking)

This is used for ambience it can contain microphones with any polar pattern.

The microphones must be equal height and equal distance, Must be 18 inches apart.

Middle and Sides Miking Technique

This is used on strings and orchestral it basically does what it says picks up well in the middle and on the sides.

The polar patterns used is cardiod and figure 8.

Proximity Effect On Microphones

The closer the microphone is to the sound source the more bass you will get, this is called the proximity effect.

Direct Sound Source

This is the distance the mike should be from the drums etc. 3 to 12 inches from the sound source.


Miking Off Axis

This is to stop wind surge on a condenser microphone usually if you haven't got a pop shield, this is basically pointing the diaphragm towards the singer or sound source but placing the microphone above or below the level of their mouth


Miking Up a drum kit

Here Are The Different Microphones & Channels Usually Used While Miking Up A Drumkit;

Bass Drum

The Bass drum uses input number 1, The type of microphone used is a dynamic microphone usually a AKG D112.

Always make sure that the microphone is pointing inside the Bass drum hole.
Snare Drum

The snare drum uses input number 2, The type of microphone used is a dynamic microphone usually a SM-58.

Always make sure that the microphone is around 3 to 4 inch's from the surface and make sure it is not pointing towards any other microphone or drum.

Hi-Hats

The Hi-Hats use input number 3, The type of microphone used is a radial condenser.

Always make sure that the microphone is around 3 to 4 inch's from the surface and make sure it is not pointing towards any other microphone or drum.
Tom Drums

The tom drums use inputs 4,5 and 6, The type of microphones used are dynamic microphones usually a SM-58's.

Always make sure that the microphone is around 3 to 4 inch's from the surface and make sure it is not pointing towards any other microphone or drum.
Overhead Microphones

The 2 overhead microphones used are 2 condenser microphones, Usually 2x AKG 414's.

You must make sure that the silver side of the microphone is facing downwards and away from the other microphone.

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Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Health and Safety


Below are a few health and safety rules that should always be followed;


No liquids should be allowed in the studio, because it could get spilt over the mixing desk or other electrical devices.

No running or fooling about in the studio because this can lead to serious accidents and injury.

Everything must be earthed correctly.

The proper fuse ratings should always be used.

Make sure there are no leads going astray so that you don't trip over them etc.

There should be an adequate fire extinguisher/fire blanket in the studio. Click here to see our the lowest prices on fire extinguishers for sale
The room should have adequate seating that meet EEC regulations.
Good ventilation in the studio is a must, to stop electrical equipment overheating.

Keep extension leads to a minimum, dont overload sockets with adaptors, which could increase the chance of an electrical fire.
Health and Safety Executive Leaflet - Basic Advice On First Aid At Work


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Filtering

HPF: High Pass Filter; Allows everything above the turnover point to pass through and everything below the turnover point gets attenuated.
(Attenuated = Rolled Off)

LPF: Low Pass Filter; Allows everything below the turnover point to pass through and everything above the turnover point gets attenuated.

(Attenuated = Rolled Off)

A prime example is a graphic equaliser, where you can cut or boost certain frequency bands.

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Monitor Mixing

Procedures On how to bring back a signal from tape on an Inline Desk.



1) Make sure the desk is in RECORD Mode.

2) Make sure the MIX button is depressed.

3) Make sure every channel is in RECORD MODE and not MIX MODE.

4) Make sure L+R Master fader is up.

5) Make sure that all the TAPE returns are pressed in.

6) Assign L+R.

7) Adjust fader's.

8) Adjust Hi and Low (Shelf EQ) if required.

The monitor mix is to continue the overdubbing process/recording.

You can drop material in and out as desired, mistake's/retake's etc.

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Auxiliaries

Definition of an auxiliary; An auxiliary is a duplicate of the original signal.


The auxiliary is used so you can send the signal to an external device such as a reverb unit.

It can be sent to either;

1) A complimentary effect (An effect that compliments it. E.g.. Reverb, phase, flange etc.).

2) A dynamic effect (An effect which you cant really hear the working of. E.g.. Compression, etc.).

There are 3 auxiliary mode's;


1) Pre Auxiliary (Before the fader, You don't need the channel fader up, to hear it).

2) Post Auxiliary (After the fader, You need the channel fader up, to hear it).

3) Monitor Auxiliary (Allows You to send a certain channel, for a monitor mix etc.).

Channel Auxiliary

The channel auxiliary feeds the channel input signal to the auxiliary master, In record mode you can also take it to tape.

Pre Signal Auxiliary

A Pre Signal Auxiliary takes it's feed before the channel fader.

In Pre mode the auxiliary signal is not controlled by the channel fader, the signal goes straight to the auxiliary master and is not channel fader dependant.

Post Signal Auxiliary

The signal to the auxiliary send comes after the channel fader, So the channel fader has total control over the signal being fed to the auxiliary master. This means the channel fader must be up and make sure that the track is on and not in mute.

The Advantage's Of Pre Signal Auxiliary's are;

1) If the channel is muted then the signal going to the auxiliary master will not be affected.

2) If the channel is set at unity gain then the auxiliary send will also be at unity gain.

3) Can also generate effects returns without having any dry signal added to it.

The Advantage's Of Post Signal Auxiliary's are;

1) In a mix when having effect's on a sound source if the channel is muted then so too is the auxiliary send going to the effect's unit.

2) You can create a better level send to the effect's unit.

When To Use The Auxiliaries In The Following Desk Modes;

Record Mode

In record mode the channel auxiliaries are used to send the signal to an external effects unit, such as reverb etc, this is because we want to record the effect down to 2 tracks of tape (Stereo).
The channel auxiliaries are used because the signal is present at the input stage.

Playback Mode

In playback mode we send the signal from the monitor auxiliaries solely for the purpose of having any complimentary effect being present for monitoring purposes only.

This is because the tape returns in record mode feeds the monitor section.

So any signal present during record or playback will have the effect applied to it also.

Mix Mode

In mix mode we use the channel auxiliary sends for applying effects, because the tape returns now feed the channel inputs.

Always Check The Status Of The Channel e.g.. Mix/Record Mode

This Is How To Gain More Auxiliaries In Mixdown Mode.

You can gain extra auxiliary sends by using the group outputs, Patch a lead in from the group outputs.

(Always remember its fader dependent though)

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Sunday, 25 October 2009

Mixing Desks

Definition Of The Mixing Desk; The mixing desk brings multiple sound source's/signals together to be mixed.

There are a few different types of mixing desks, Inline, Live, Split, Broadcast, and Matrix.
We shall take a look at each different type of mixing desk.


Inline Desk;

Inputs/Outputs and Monitor section are all in line (All in one channel strip).

In Record mode the channel fader receives mic or line input, and the monitor section receives the tape returns.

In Mixdown mode the channel fader receives the tape returns, and the monitor section receives mic or line input. Basically vice-versa of the Record Mode situation.

Here are a few things that can be found in each specific section of an inline mixing desk.


Input Section;
Pan, Phantom power, Attenuate Switch, EQ, Unity Gain, Mic/Line Switch, Phase Reverse, etc.

Output Section;
Channel fader, Multitrack Assign, L+R Assign, etc.

Monitor Section;
Pan, Solo, Mute, EQ, L+R Assign, Output to Tape, Tape Return signal (Lets you monitor what is coming from tape), Monitor Source Select, Monitor fader, etc.

Master Section;
Master Source Select (Level of what you are listening to), Headphone source, Control room level, Auxiliary master level, Separate headphone level, Oscillator (Generates a tone to calibrate external devices such as a tape deck meter, compact disc meter, DAT machine meter, etc.) Master Fader (Controls the level going to the 2 track mastering device/s), Talkback microphone (For Communication to the live room, etc.), Auxiliary Master 1+2/3+4.

Benefits and Use's;
Can come in a wide variety of sizes from big to small, they are very versatile, and are mostly used in professional and home built studio's.

Examples
Behringer MX-9000, Behringer MX3242X Eurodesk, Soundtracs JADE


Live Desk;

A Live desk has no monitoring section or no tape return's.
It has got an input section, an output section, an auxiliary section and has group faders.
It only has one mode so record mode is the same as mix. So basically what you would be hearing live is what you would be recording.
Benefits and Use's;

A live desk is exactly that, it allows you to record exactly what you are mixing/hearing, it is used for live PA's at festivals, live gigs and concerts, etc.
They are usually pretty basic, and straight forward to use.

Examples

Samson L2400, Allen and Heath G4800-824B, Mackie Onyx 32.4

Split Desk;

On a Split Desk the monitor section receives the Mic and Line feeds (Returns).

In Mixdown mode the channel inputs will be receiving the tape returns.

On a split desk the inputs/outputs on the monitor section are separate with the inputs on the left and the outputs and the monitor section on the right.

Benefits and Use's;

More complex than an inline mixing desk, also a lot bigger than an Inline mixing desk and are mostly used in the more professional studio's. They are also very expensive to buy.

Examples

Studiomaster Mixdown Classic 8

Broadcast Desk;

Is very similar to a DJ's mixing desk, and it is very basic and easy to use.
Benefits and Use's;

Usually lightweight, very basic and easy to use. They are mostly used in Television studio's, Night clubs, etc.

Examples

ADT-Audio BC3, ADT-Audio 5MT,

Matrix Desk;

Designed basically to give individual monitoring on stage, So that each musician can be provided with there own monitor mix.
Benefits and Use's;

Mostly used for live PA's at festivals, concerts and gigs, etc.

Examples

Behringer MINIMON MON800, Samson C-control, TOA M-900

For more audio production information and advice visit; http://www.ampthetex.co.uk/

Signal Flow

The following tries to demonstrate how the signal flows from the sound source, e.g. Synthesizer into the mixing desk, through the mixing desk via EQ, etc, to the tape machine, and back again.

Mixing Desk

Input - e.g. Synthesizers, Drum Machines, Microphones, etc. Get plugged into the input section.
Insert Point - e.g. Send & Return for dynamic effects units such as compressor's, noise gates, etc.
EQ Section - e.g. Changes the harmonics and the tone of the signal. At the EQ section.
Solo Channel - eg. Overrides' all other functions and listen's to the signal at this point on the desk.
Auxiliary Channel Send - e.g. Sends the signal to the auxiliary master.
Channel Fader - e.g. Controls the channels level going to tape.
Tape Assign Section - e.g. Assigns specific channels on the desk to specific channels on the tape machine.

Tape Machine
Tape In - e.g. Signal going into the tape machine.
Tape Out - e.g. Signal coming out of the tape machine.

Mixing Desk
Tape Return Button - e.g. Visually monitor the signal coming back from the tape machine.
Monitor EQ - e.g. EQ the signal in the monitor section, for monitoring purposes, etc.
Monitor Fader - e.g. Monitor the signal coming back from the tape machine.
Left & Right Main - e.g. Controls the overall level going to the 2 track mastering device.


*The insert point allows a dynamic signal processor directly into the channel.

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Setting Unity Gain

Unity gain simply means that the gain stage is neither boosting nor attenuating the signal. It is, in effect, multiplying by one, unity. As a concept, unity gain represents the right philosophy for making the best use of dynamic range (avoiding noise at low levels, but avoiding distortion at high levels), but the equipment designers have to share this philosophy and layout the equipment and label all the faders and pots and sliders accordingly.


The key is to read the manual and figure out the settings necessary for your particular piece of equipment to be at unity gain. Then, if a 0.775 volt signal goes in, it will be 0.775 volts going out.

Here is a brief run through, of how to go about achieving unity gain on an inline mixing desk.

1) Select mic or line level.

2) Solo the channel.

3) Set unity gain by adjusting the gain pot to;

-4dB to 0dB, if you are using Volume Unit Meters (VU).

Or
0dB to +3dB, if you are using Peak Program Meters (PPMs).


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