Friday, November 10, 2017

Passive mixing

I've been amused by the idea (idea, mind you, not the reality) of a completely custom-made DIY mixing board.
There is a reason those things don't exist. They're really really really hard to do. The moment you add one new feature to a channel, you may as well just go buy an Allen and Heath mixer and get your work done.
Passive audio mixer w/o pots.
Still, I'm amused by the idea of a 6x2 mixer for classical music. I was kind of thinking in terms of a completely passive design. Feeding the line out of external mic preamps into it, you go through some transformers and Penny&Giles 120mm analog faders, and there ya go.
Still, not quite as easy and one might hope. Actually, what I don't get (yet) is the interaction between channels when you start turning some up and others down in a totally passive mixer.
But in my research I've come upon some amusing things. Like a completely hand-made tube mixer. You're looking at about $1000/channel designed by a former Neve engineer (I know, right?) at Custom Tube Consoles.
Reading up on his designs started me down the path of looking at Helios 69 "passive" EQ designs. Which is kinda cool.
___

Also: 3D printable headphone holders.

Multi-stage saturation "colour" kit.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wooden mics and suchwise.

FiveFish Audio makes a vacuum tube preamp kit for a 500-series rack for $190.
JLM Audio, in Australia, makes an opto-compressor 500 series kit for just under $400 (USD.)
Here is an early prototypes of the "Wooden Microphone." The inherent structural issue is revealed in the second image.

Oops.

Austin Ribbon Microphone

The Austin Ribbon mic kits are very sweet. All the parts you need and really good instructions. I got mine with the Cinemag transformer. I don't understand why transformers sound so different from one another. That is beyond me. Cutting and installing the ribbon is a surprising level of pain in the tuchus. Lucky for me the Marsian Queen did that part for me. Also lucky? Having a FabLab to build in.
Laser engraved with the secret elephant language of course.



Sunday, October 8, 2017

Last Voyage of the No Ship


The Pleasure for the Empire record The Last Voyage of the No Ship is now on CD. And, of course, on Bandcamp.
 
This is probably as good a time as any to remind you about the previous Pleasure for the Empire album, The Oceans of Ganymede.
 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Loudness

Loudness metering. And not just CALM Act, but loudness normalization for streaming audio. Have I lost your interest yet?

YouLean makes a free loudness meter. I've been digging it.

Peak to loudness from a mastering perspective.

A short introduction to levels when mixing for picture.

LKFS and loudness (for picture.)


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

POD Vinyl

http://www.vinylizer.com/
5 for $205 CAD with full-color jackets and labels. I believe the jackets have no spines.

Ooh, but https://intheclouds.io is from Jersey. And they'll do one-offs for about $35 with full-color jackets.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Borneo Function

Borneo Function is named after what I think is actually a "fictional song" in Peep Show. I don't think we ever hear the song in the show.
  I'm being amused by the electric piano Vita instrument in Samplitude. The bass line is a thing I woke up with one morning.

Ghost Lover of Station 13

I've been on a tear doing some new music. Most of it is clearly under the umbrella of Pleasure for the Empire.
I've been enjoying my Allen Woody bass (with TI flatwound strings) a great deal. And it's been amusing me to play flute, er, badly. Sometimes I get it in tune, other times not so much (and the Melodyne pitch-correction built into Samplitude comes in super handy in that case.)

It's a bit odd to me that I seem to be doing this record all alone. I'd kind of stopped doing that over the last several years.
I'm doing a number of things. My go-to limiter is an emulation of an LA-2A by Waves. There's never any compression as I'm recording because, er, I have no outboard compressors. But the Advanced Dynamics in Samplitude has some magical properties.
On the master 2-buss I have Advanced Dynamics just to give the lower level stuff a bit of a "lift." Then I go into an LA-2A just lightly. Then into the Waves emulation of a Fairchild 670. But here's the trick -- I throw it into Lat/Vert mode which is a weird way to say "Mid-Side" mode and I compress the center a bit more than the outsides and this seems to really tighten up bass and kick drums. Then I do one last bit of compression with another Advanced Dynamics -- mostly just to prevent overloads.
The drums. Actually the drums are all internal instruments to Samplitude. I'm really surprised at how often I reach for those sounds before, say, Native Instruments sounds.
All the acoustic instruments are being recorded with the AKG C12A microphone into a Lindell preamp. I... I like the Lindells more (now) than I do the Neve 1272's. I find that (especially considering the price difference) er, disturbing.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Barbarian Queen

The Barbarian Queen started with that bass-line and then I just kept adding stuff to it. The bass is my custom "fish" bass, going through the profile of my custom Deluxe-front-end/Champ-back-end amp on my Kemper but with a lot of compression. And then through Lindell preamp. And then more compression. And then more compression. I'm amused by my flute part on it.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Phoebe's Pillow

This song was recorded with Squire J-bass and flatwound TI's going into the Kemper and then hitting Lindell preamp Bellacaster baritone, same signal path (but different sound) Flute and vocals with the AKG C12A into a Lindell (I'm really digging the Lindell's these days) I thought this was more of a Night Gods song than a Pleasure for the Empire song. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. But it amuses me nonetheless.

Passive mixing

I've been amused by the idea ( idea , mind you, not the reality) of a completely custom-made DIY mixing board. There is a reason those t...