Thursday, November 27, 2014

Focusrite Does Me a Solid

So I had a weird issue with my Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 but Louie Gonzalez at Focusrite tech support did me a solid and figured out why my interface was obnoxiously flipping back to 44.1 from 48k all on its own.

To change the sample rate of your Windows settings please follow the instructions below:

- Navigate to Control Panel > Sound > Playback > Right click on Scarlett 18i20 > Properties > Advanced. Under Default Format change the Sample Rate to that of your DAW. Press Apply and then OK.

- Navigate to Control Panel > Sound > Record > Right click on Scarlett 18i20 > Properties > Advanced. Under Default Format change the Sample Rate to that of your DAW. Press Apply and then OK.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Scarlett Mousse

I'm kinda stupid. I could have gotten a Sapphire Pro 24 rather than a Scarlett 18i20. At least I think so.
But the Scarlett works and works great so maybe I shouldn't complain.
Pomplamoose does a great post with some actual numbers (which you know I appreciate) on touring and expenses.

Being in an indie band is running a never-ending, rewarding, scary, low-margin small business. 

This statement is, however, technically not factual. The margins are, indeed, quite high. It's just that the revenue itself isn't terribly high. One of the great ironies is that small businesses have to run much higher profit margins than big businesses just to stay afloat.
Other notes. The quote of $8794/week for 6 musicians and crew seems a bit high. I'm presuming that includes the $20/day per diem (which is low for per diem, in the 90's I was getting $40 per diem and that was low then.) But that makes an average weekly salary (including per diem) of about $210/day for a 7-day week. That might be a tad high for such a low-budget tour but it means they were paying okay (for a low-budget tour). But I might be wrong and the per diems came outside of that $8794/wk. It's not like they published a one-line for crying out loud.
In any case, two hundred bucks a day is okay for this kind of work.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Re-wiring the studio so I become more productive and actually record the records and operas I was supposed to this year is a worthy task? Yes. Of course it is. Firstwise, I must put my recording gear in a new rack. Luckily, I happen to have one of those and it's in the way and empty at the edit suite. 
So this wooden rack, which I've had for...
Well. Lessee. Since 1986 or maybe '85? (I built it when that kind of wood was surprisingly cheap). But nigh on 30 years. 30 years? Good grief. I'm going back to bed.

Anyway, it had been living at the studio. And I'd been using SKB racks at home. Which have big doors on them and don't really make sense for a home studio. So now I've put this rack together and all the cabling is much neater. No money spent, things just seem better.
  1. On top of everything is the Celtic Edana guitar amplifier.
  2. Below that is a pair of Brent Averill Neve preamps which I'm not putting in the rack so that it's easier to take them around for remote recording.
  3. The little 1/3 rack thing in the dark is the power supply for the AKG C12A microphone.
  4. The thing with the purple knobs is an Apogee Mini-Me converter. Next to that is a Focusrite Scarlett 18i6 (or some such) converter. 
  5. ART tube preamp.
  6. Lindell preamps (in the cream "500" rack).
  7. A pair of Neve 1272's.
  8. Input patchbay.
  9. Power distribution.
  10. Kemper amplifier. 
Checking on the power used here I got about 70 Watts drawing with all the preamps on.
With just the Kemper on I draw many fewer Watts, but it's still about half that draw.
This power meter is cheap and cool and everything but it's a bit hard to read without a light directly on it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Home Mastering EQ Workshop

I've been digging these Ian Shepherd videos about mastering.

He provides a helpful look into that world. And yeah, you're not supposed to master your own recordings but facing reality: sometimes you have to. Also, learning to listen from a mastering standpoint helps a fellow to make mixes which need less mastering tricks and keeps the mastering engineer from "fixing" so much as "applying magic".

I think Diatomaceous Earth could release a double-album of stuff we recorded last year. We have lots of material so we'd have to do lots of editing. But it could be really very cool.

Moving the Blags

I'm re-consolodating my blogs.  I know, you wanted them separate. But my little mind just doesn't work that way. All my blogging -- ...