Audio Recording 101

Blindly folded into the pillow – week 6

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Had a rather unexpected event occur this week to add to the mixed bag of chronic pain challenges (and trophies) accumulated over the years. Usually a new one springs up every decade.

A chiropractor once warned me that working in heels, carrying children on one hip, favoring one shoulder to carry handbags and other nasty female habits would lead to painful surprises down the road. Thanks tips

You forgot to mention poor posture at the computer workstation

pain showed up out of nowhere to bite me in the arm 
tossing task items and "to do" lists 
into the abyss of the demoted

gotta get to the root of the pain
and study its path 
can i hear it now that i am learning to listen?
longer and deeper 
over and over and over for three days 
and three nights

it wasn't that hard to listen, 
especially to the screaming
to hear the sizzle of current flow along a broken pathway 
restricting circulation, crippling connectivity 

a new dialect of the language of body mechanics 
not movement?  interesting
Thoughts rise up
mingled with emotion
and i listen 
to the sound of throbbing 
under the load of blood flowing faster, faster
till the sound is so much louder
than pain

Was gonna write about listening to the sounds of silence in the house after the furnace gas regulator valve crapped out on family day,

but figured that was rather low key by comparison. 

Crazy!

Twenty questions about recording in stereo

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20 QUESTIONS about (drum roll please)

recording in stereo

APPLICATIONS OF ALL OF THE STEREO TECHNIQUES:

            XY             AB          M-S          

    AMBT     ORTF     

BLUMLEIN

click to see microphone polar patterns:   http://www.sengpielaudio.com/Visualization-Blumlein-E.htm
stereo recording links:  http://www.stereosoundbook.com/pages/chapter4.html

1.  WHAT ARE THE THREE QUALITIES OF A MUSICAL IMAGE THAT ARE CONVEYED WHEN USING STEREO MIKING?

  1. DEPTH OF EACH INSTRUMENT
  2. PERSPECTIVE (DISTANCE OF THE INSTRUMENTS FROM THE LISTENER)
  3. AMBIENCE (SPATIAL SENSE/ REVERB OF THE ACOUSTIC ENVIRONMENT)

2.  WHAT DOES ORTF STAND FOR? 

“Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française”

3.  WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE?

USING TWO CARDIOID MICROPHONES WITH CAPSULES SPACED 6 1/2 INCHES (17 CM) APART AT 110 DEGREES

4.  WHEN IS IT USED?

  1. BACK OF THE ROOM
  2. POOR ACOUSTICAL ENVIRONMENT OK
  3. CONCERT TAPING AT DEAD-CENTRE OF VENUE

5.  WHY?

  1. GOOD STEREO IMAGING
  2. SIMPLE TECHNIQUE
  3. PRODUCES AN EVENLY SPREAD STEREO IMAGE WITH GOOD LOCALIZATION WITHOUT THE NEED FOR SPOT OR AMBIENT MIKING\
  4. GOOD FOR NEWBIES!!

6.  WHAT IS ANOTHER NAME FOR THE X-Y STEREO MICROPHONE METHOD?

  1. COINCIDENT PAIR
  2. INTENSITY STEREO METHOD

7.  WHAT IS THE X-Y TECHNIQUE?

TWO DIRECTIONAL MICS ARE MOUNTED WITH GRILLES NEARLY TOUCHING AND DIAPHRAGMS, ON ABOVE THE OTHER , SYMMETRICALLY ANGLED FROM THE CENTRE LINE

FROM “HOME RECORDING FOR MUSICIANS FOR DUMMIES”:

When you record using the X-Y technique, keep these points in mind:
  • The stereo image (the placement of the instruments in the sonic environment) isn’t as wide or realistic as it is in real life. The X-Y technique is easy to set up and results in a decent sound, so (as with all things in life) you have to deal with the compromise this ease creates.
    No solution to this exists, so if a wide stereo image is important to you, consider using a different stereo technique, such as the spaced pair or perhaps a Jecklin disk.
  • Don’t use two mics when one is enough. After you get a pair of nice mics for X-Y miking, you’ll want to use them on everything. A stereo-mic approach to a classical guitar composition is nice, but honestly, recording the acoustic guitar in a rock ballad with five other instruments playing isn’t necessary and just makes life more complicated when you mix the song.
  • Keep some distance between the mics and the sound source. The X-Y technique has no benefit over a single mic if you place your mics within a couple of feet of the sound source.
    You simply don’t have enough space for a stereo image to develop until you’re at least 6 feet from the instrument or group of instruments. In fact, you should be at least 10 feet from the sound source before using the X-Y stereo miking approach.

8.  WHAT IS THE BLUMLEIN ARRAY?

A COINCIDENTAL PAIR METHOD USING TWO BI-DIRECTIONAL MICS ANGLED AT 90 DEGREES APART AND FACING THE LEFT AND RIGHT SIDES OF THE BAND/ENSEMBLE

9.  WHAT IS MS RECORDING?

  1. A FORM OF THE COINCIDENTAL PAIR TECHNIQUE WHERE A MIC (USUALLY A CARDIOID MID) IS FACING DIRECTLY AT THE SOURCE TO PICK UP ON-AXIS SOUND WHICH IS  SUMMED AND DIFFERENCED WITH A BIO-DIRECTIONAL MIC FACING LEFT AND RIGHT PICKING UP OFF-AXIS SOUND
  2. TWO SIGNALS ARE COMBINED VIA THE M-S MATRIX TO PROVIDE A VARIABLE CONTROLLED STEREO IMAGE
  3. ADJUSTING THE LEVEL OF MID VERSUS SIDE SIGNALS, A NARROWER OR WIDER IMAGE CAN BE CREATED

10.  WHERE WOULD YOU USE THE MS TECHNIQUE?

  1. WHEN LOCALIZATION ACCURACY IS IMPORTANT
  2. LIVE CONCERTS WHERE YOU CANNOT PHYSICALLY ADJUST THE MICS DURING THE PERFORMANCE.  STEREO SPREAD CAN BE REMOTE CONTROLLED
  3. MONO-COMPATIBILITY IS DESIRED
  4. BROADCAST AND FILM APPLICATIONS

11.  WHAT IS THE A-B TECHNIQUE?

  1. TWO IDENTICAL MICS (CARDIOID OR OMNI-DIRECTIONAL) ARE PLACED 3-10FEET APART, AIMING DIRECTLY AHEAD TOWARD THE BAND/ENSEMBLE
  2. THE GREATER THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE MICS, THE GREATER THE STEREO SPREAD
  3. POTENTIAL FOR UNDESIRABLE PHASE CANCELLATION OF THE SIGNALS ESPECIALLY WHEN CONVERTING TO MONO- A MONO REFERENCE SOURCE SHOULD BE USED TO CHECK FOR PHASE PROBLEMS

12.  WHAT HAPPENS IF ONE INSTRUMENT IS CLOSER TO ONE MIC THAN THE OTHER?

  1. SOUND REACHES ONE MIC BEFORE THE OTHER
  2. BOTH MICS PRODUCE ALMOST THE SAME SIGNAL BUT ONE MIC SIGNAL IS DELAYED WITH RESPECT TO THE OTHER

13.  HOW DOES THE BRAIN DECODE THIS ?

  1. IT DECODES TIME DIFFERENCES INTO CORRESPONDING IMAGE LOCATIONS
  2. IT TAKES ABOUT 1.5 MILLISECONDS OF DELAY TO SHIFT AN IMAGE ALL THE WAY TO ONE SPEAKER

14.  HOW DO YOU CONTROL THE IMAGE USING INSTRUMENT PLACEMENT?

  1. TO REPRODUCE THE INSTRUMENT AT THE RIGHT SPEAKER, SOUND MUST ARRIVE AT THE RIGHT MIC ABOUT 1.5 MILLISECONDS BEFORE IT REACHES THE LEFT MIC
  2. PLACE MICS 2FT APART

15.  WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR SPACING BETWEEN MICS IS FAR APART – 10 OR EVEN 12 FT FOR EXAMPLE?

INSTRUMENTS SLIGHTLY OFF-CENTRE PRODUCE INTERCHANNEL DELAYS GREATER THAN 1.5 MSEC, WHICH PLACES THEIR IMAGES AT THE LEFT OR RIGHT SPEAKER

16.  WHAT IS THE TERM(S) COMMONLY USED TO DESCRIBE THIS EFFECT?

  1. EXAGGERATED SEPARATION
  2. PING-PONG EFFECT

17.  WHY WOULD YOU USE THIS SPACED PAIR A-B MIC SET-UP?

  1. TO MAKE OFF-CENTRE IMAGES UNFOCUSED OR HARD TO LOCALIZE
  2. TO ENSURE CENTRED INSTRUMENTS ARE STILL HEARD CLEARLY IN THE CENTRE EVEN WHEN OFF-CENTRE INSTRUMENTS ARE DIFFICULT TO PINPOINT BETWEEN SPEAKERS
  3. SONIC IMAGES ARE TO BE DIFFUSED OR BLENDED RATHER THAN SHARP
  4. TO PROVIDE A WARM SENSE OF AMBIENCE WHERE IT FEELS LIKE THE ROOM REVERB IS SURROUNDING THE INSTRUMENT

18.  WHAT ARE THE MAIN DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE COINCIDENT PAIR TECHNIQUE?

  1. LEVEL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CHANNELS PRODUCE THE STEREO EFFECT
  2. IMAGES ARE SHARP
  3. SIGNALS ARE MONO-COMPATIBLE

19.  WHAT ARE THE MAIN DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE NEAR-COINCIDENTAL-PAIR TECHNIQUE?

  1. LEVEL AND TIME DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CHANNELS PRODUCE THE STEREO EFFECT
  2. STEREO SPREAD TENDS TO BE ACCURATE
  3. IMAGES ARE SHARP
  4. IMPROVEMENT OVER COINCIDENT METHODS FOR PROVIDING A GREATER SENSE OF “AIR” AND DEPTH

20.  WHAT ARE THE MAIN DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE BAFFLED-OMNI TECHNIQUE?

  1. USES TWO OMNI-DIRECTIONAL MICS A FEW INCHES APART, SEPARATED BY  A BAFFLE
  2. LEVEL, TIME AND SPECTRAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CHANNELS PRODUCE THE STEREO EFFECT
  3. IMAGES ARE SHARP
  4. STEREO SPREAD IS ACCURATE
  5. LOW-FREQUENCY RESPONSE IS EXCELLENT

Microphone Types and Positions

cut/cut and more cuts…random recordings #5

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my first “interview” proved to be a valuable learning experience

you can't make me sing
you can’t make me sing
and
an amusing illustration of Dave’s frequent comments in class about
the  importance of warming up and drawing out your talent

Roger that, for sure

i was so convinced that this interview was going to be a breeze…but soon discovered that even a witty four-year-old will clam up behind a microphone
salvaged a bit of the interview with cuts and effects in Audacity but quickly moved on to stealth recording using the Zoom H6 (XY mic at 90 degrees about 4ft away) in the background while engaging the interviewee in a variety of board games
ended up with a looooong recording and listened for snippets of usable dialogue that could be cut and indexed for future:
 
1.  Interview with a secret friend:
https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/interview-with-a-secret-friend
 
2.  The Audition:
https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/the-audition
 
3.  so… that’s how the game works:
https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/oh-so-thats-how-it-works
 
4.  a sic game for sic people:
https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/a-sic-game-for-sic-people
 
5.  my cheatin’ valentine:
https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/my-cheatin-valentine
 
 
 
 

Carbon Microphone Recording Challenge February 22nd – updated

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Who’s coming to Cafe Pyrus February 22nd?

?????????????????????????????????????

Beg/borrow a carbon microphone (please…DAVE?) and take a crack at live vintage gorilla recording

get the party started with a taste of the finest craft brew at the Block 3 Brewing Co. in St. Jacob’s Saturday Afternoon 4ish

après le marché

come and check it out! 

 more details below

It pays to buy the CD!

It dawned on me last night that Jessica had bought a CD at the Commons Cafe Wednesday afternoon and there was a little slip of paper inside the carefully folded CD cover with contact information….so i wrote a message to Brendan Stephens that went like this:
 
Hi folks,
we caught your act at the commons cafe last Wednesday afternoon and thought it was great fun.
A bunch of us are planning to come out to cafe pyrus saturday evening at 7:30 for more
...with an afternoon primer of craft beer tasting at the Block 3 
Brewery in St Jacob's (which we understand you already know about).  
i pitched your sound to my audio recording class (conestoga college) 
so there may be some students coming hoping to capture a bit of your act 
as a sample recording.  We are currently studying microphone 
(mono & stereo) recording techniques.  Our instructor, Dave Gray has
a collection of rare microphones that would give you guys a real 
authentic vintage sound in your recordings.  Not sure if he is going to 
make it, but if you are interested, i can try to set up a recording 
session with Dave Gray & the audio recording class on a Monday 
evening. The class is located very close to cafe pyrus at the Kitchener Studio Project 
which has taken over one half of the old post office building at 44 Gaukel Street.  
You will see me with a Zoom H6 recorder in hand and i will introduce myself 
and double check that its ok to press "record".  Just remember i am not a professional,
but i do my best and would be happy to post a live recording on soundcloud and 
send you the link to download.  My friend, Jessica is coming who is a professional 
photographer from France (and world traveller) now living in Kitchener. 
She will have her camera in hand, of course.  She bought one of your 
CD's last Wednesday at the commons cafe and may have lyrics memorized by 
saturday lol - we will see.

looking forward to Saturday evening's performance at cafe pyrus
here's a link to my class pitch fyi: carbon-microphone-recording-challenge-february-22nd/
 -- cheers
 

and the return:

 

That’s great news! Would love to set up a recording session and please do bring your recorder would love to have some live recording on soundcloud. Looking forward to seeing you guys! Thanks for getting in contact with me. We will chat more on Saturday!

 

Cheers!

Brendan J StephensSongwriter/Musician

Facebook.com/thevaudevillianmusic
   “Brendan J Stephens and Willow Walker (The Vaudevillian) are 1920’s blues singers in the flesh. Hitchhiking between raucous house shows, rowdy bars and busking everywhere in between, they have crafted a way of singing both their own material and songs near one hundred years old in a way entirely their own”.
 
 

When Polar Vortex meets Thundersleet

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You know it’s time to go indoors and crawl inside yourself

i spent 45 minutes in the sauna this evening, listening to the sounds of people coming and going in the gym change room, opening and closing lockers and partition doors for about 15 minutes until i could fade into the heated space and hear only the sounds of the sauna oven expanding and contracting under demand.  Listening deeper to hear the sounds inside my body was a challenge as the heat brought on perspiring thoughts that needed wicking at least as much as my skin did 🙂

 

 

30 Hi-hat questions about recording drums

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Brace yourself

30.  What has a brighter sounding attack, wooden sticks or nylon sticks?

nylon

29. What techniques are used for muffling and dampening drum tone?

dampening with duct tape, with facial tissue, cloth strip under the head, dampening with a wallet, head ring

28. What do you use to dampen the Kick Drum?

a duck down pillow with a brick or mike stand to keep it in place.  The pillow should not touch the head ( = greater the dampening)

27. What mounting hardware is preferred for toms?

any mounting system that lets the drum float with no screwed-in hardware prepares the drum to sing

26. Why should you avoid mounting anything on the kick drum?

the more freedom any drum has from contact with another solid object, the better it will sound

25. What is the most essential of the microphones to use for the drum?

Condensers are the mic of choice for percussion as they respond to transients more accurately (tambourine, shaker, cymbals).  Good to have a condenser mic for over the drums set and for cymbals

24. What microphone is preferred for close-miking toms, snare and kick?

moving coil mike (Shure SM57, Sennheiser 421, Electro-Voice RE20)

23. Why?

they can withstand intense amounts of volume before distorting

22. How do you find the drum tone?

to hear tone (head ringing) place mike near rim.  When the stick hits near the rim the sound has more tone

21. Where is the attack?

to hear attack place mic near the centre of the head.  When the stick hits near the centre the sound has more attack

20. When would you record at analog levels over 0VU?

a drum (usually kick and toms) recorded hot (+2 to +5VU) won’t usually produce a buzzing distortion

19. What is the point of oversaturation?

when the analog tape reaches the point where it can’t handle any more magnetism it will usually give the drum a compressed sound

18. What is the first thing you do to get a good sound from a snare drum?

make sure the heads are in good shape.  If the top snare head has been stretched and dented to the point that the centre is sagging when the rest of the head is tight – replace the head

17. Why use a Hi-hat mic?

a separate track for the hat adds definition and provides pan control in the mix

16. Why not mike the the Hi-hats at the edge of the cymbals?

Miking at the edge of the cymbals produces a thick “gong” sound.  Also, the air coming from the cymbals closing can cause a loud popping sound as it hits the mic diaghragm

15. Where is the best place to locate the mic on the Hi-hats?

at the bell of the top cymbal (clean sound with highs).  Microphone should be a min of 3 inches from cymbal to minimize change in phase interaction between the cymbal and the mic capsule

14. Where do you aim the mic?

mic is pointed at the bell of the top cymbal, and if you point the back at a cymbal close by,  you can (using the cardoid pick-up pattern) minimize the amount of crash that is recorded by the Hi-hat mic

13. What does a drummer need to monitor the rest of the band?

a good, well balanced headphones mix.  Be sure the bass player and the drummer can hear the attach of the kick, snare and hi-hat.  Don’t make them guess where the beat is

12. What are baffles?

small, freestanding partitions with either two soft sides or one soft side and one hard reflective side.  Usually four feet square and 4 to 8 inches thick

11. Whats the biggest problem with using click tracks?

leakage of the click from the headphones into the drum microphones

10. What are the effects of compression on drum tracks?

it evens out the volume of each hit (level control) and it keeps the level even so that a weak hit doesn’t detract from the groove

9. How do you pan the drums to create a live band sound?

kick and snare are almost always panned centre since they are the foundation of the mix.  Low frequency of the kick needs to be dispersed evenly between the left-right spectrum and the constant repetition of the snare is asking to be in the centre.  A snare, panned to one side or other pulls the listener to that side and does not feel balanced

overheads are often panned hard left and right, though toms sound unnatural this way

8. What are the most difficult frequencies to dial in?

the lows.  When the same low frequency is boosted on several instruments, energy accumulates and the mix level becomes artificially hot (meter says hot but the mix sounds cold)

7. What does a low-frequency boost achieve on a typical kick drum EQ?

a low frequency  boost between 75 amd 150Hz adds a low, powerful thump to the kick drum sound

6. What does a mid-frequency cut achieve on a typical kick drum EQ?

a mid-frequency cut between 250 and 500Hz helps clean up the thick, cloudy sound of a close-miked kick

5. What does a high frequency boost achieve on a typical kick drum EQ?

a high-frequency boost between 3 and 5 kHz adds definition, attach and impact to the kick drum sound

4. How do you distinguish the “jazz” sound?

the kick is not dampened

3. What is an overhead?

when the mic is placed over the drums and pointed down at the set

2. What are the two primary options if you are using two microphones?

1. use both mics together in a stereo configuration

2. use one mic for overall pickup and the other for a specific instrument

1. How do you get a punchy drum sound?

Close miking technique:  each drum will typically have its own mic…plus two overheads on separate tracks

Ta daaaa!

Great article from Drum Magazine...thanks Dave for the link: 
http://www.drummagazine.com/plugged-in/post/minimalist-drum-miking-techniques/

Hey,thanks for this link too AND FOR THE REMINDER
NEVER BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT
http://www.jonestown-audio.com/recording-drums/

Class #5 notes

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Monday, Feb 10th Class Listening

Jon Brion - was the original producer 
Capital Records

Marjorie Fair - band
Don't believe - song
Don’t Believe
Don’t believe a word they say
they’re only there to take you away
Don’t believe a word they say
they’re only tryIng to take you away It only feels this way
It only feels this way
thats what I tell myself

Don’t believe a word they say
they’re only there to scare you away
Don’t believe a word they say
they’re only trying to scare you away

It only feels this way
It only feels this way
thats what I tell myself

It only feels this way
It only feels this way
thats what I tell myself
thats what I tell myself
thats what I tell myself
thats what I tell myself
thats what I tell myself

drums, guitar (beatles-like sound on guitar riff)  bass guitar 
airy mid-range sounds (wah wah) fill-in made by guitar!!
lead vocal & accompanying vocals (harmonizing x2 different back up vocal sounds but same singer so mixed in later)
feedback loop -  fill allowed to grow and damper out (whitenoise)

on my way home - old school hymn like song played faintly in the intro and at the end 
made to sound like radio playing
influences:
beatles
pink floyd
radiohead - see Sigaros? from Iceland who are taking sonic sound recording to the next level

'shoegaze'? - new gendre 
recorded in 2001-2003

meloncholy vibe psychotic lead singer/song writer
no radio friendly songs
pick up note on the drum kick - pushes the ballad forward, energetic
sonic properties:  starts with very little distortion and builds up & down 
ends with lots of distortion
mp3

DI – DIRECT INPUT (removes the microphone from the audio chain) MONO

Why Mono?

mono recording - depth/room vs vocal or instrument 
(singer is tight on the mike and move the instrument around the room for depth of field)
mono recording back in vogue/ one take recordings popular
mono can be mastered at high levels
bonus - don't have to worry about phase
think about the mix as you go - mix on the floor with instruments etc rather than in post
carbon mike frequencies from 500 hz to 2500 hz=  crisp midrange

retro sound – unpredictable and cannot control levels on carbon mike

coming up next:

STEREO MIKING – WIDTH OF FIELD

XY  AB  M-S  AMBT  ORTF  BLUMLEIN

Mikes:  251, 447, 487, 467, C12 c24 AKG 414, 57,58 7B, 421,441, 44 & 77 ribbons, 121, 122 + $ 60,000.00

Mike Pre-Amps:  1064, 1073, 1081, API 50a, SSL 4000

Compressors:  LA 2A, 1176, DBX160, FATSO

Dave’s fav chain:   RCA 44 – UA610 with built in compressor – AMPEX reel tape –

BOOKS TO READ:  BEHIND THE GLASS 1 & 2

DRUM MIKING TECHNIQUES COMING UP IN TWO WEEKS

IMAGINE WHERE THE SOUND IS COMING FROM IN STEREO (IS THE SNARE LOUDER?  IS IT AT 10 OR 20)

MORE DETAILED BLIND FOLD HEARING INWARD - CONNECT WITH SOUND INSIDE 
35 MIN OUTSIDE BIG OPEN SPACE AND 35 INSIDE
30 QUESTIONS RE DRUMS RECORDING
20 QUESTIONS ON APPLICATIONS OF OF ALL OF THE STEREO TECHNIQUES:
XY, AB, M-S, AMBT, ORTF, BLUMLEIN

bababa big 9 blog – week 4

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Learning to Listen for the nine essential elements

with a focus on depth of field

Artist:  JANIS JOPLIN  (Janis_Joplin)

COLUMBIA RECORDS “JANIS JOPLIN GREATEST HITS”  1973 compilation vinyl  (Greatest_Hits)

other links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Brother_and_The_Holding_Company  (Janis lead vocals 1966-1968)

Here is is but…it’s MUCH better on vinyl 🙂

Song:  at 27:30….BYE, BYE BABY  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpA7vy0y9UE  

Listening_ headphones & pink hair

Ok, so what are the Big Nine Again?

1. CONCEPT OR THEME – motivation/vibe

R&B

2. MELODY – LaLa-LaLA-LaLA….and so on

bye bye bye baby bye bye

can’t help but sing along every time i hear this song…makes it more difficult to hear the instrumental nuances

3. RHTHYM – Drums/Bass & Rhythm Guitar hold time

4. HARMONY – complimentary melody with different notes (diad/triad)

lead guitar (no vocal accompaniment)

5LYRICS – the story:

“Bye, Bye Baby”

Bye, bye-bye, baby, bye-bye.
I maybe seeing you around
When I change my living standard and I move uptown,
Bye-bye, baby, bye-bye.

So long, my honey, so long.
Too bad you had to drift away
‘Cause I could use some company
Right here on this road, on this road I’m on today.

I get the feeling I could chase you clean on in the ball
And wind up staying pull off, put down strung out and stalled.
Honey, I ain’t got time to wait on you or to fetch your super ball,
I got lots of things I’ve got to do.

I know that you got things to do and places to be.
I guess I’ll have to find the thing you placed on me.
I may wind up in the street or sleep beneath a tree,
Still I guess you know honey I’ve gotta go.

Bye, bye-bye, baby, bye-bye.
I guess you know you’re on your own,
It seems you just got lost somewhere out in the world
And you left me here to face it all alone,
You left me here to face it all alone,
You left me here to face it all alone,
Bye, bye-bye baby, baby bye-bye!

6.  DENSITY – the amount of stuff in the sound space (# of tracks/instruments, etc)

i am thinking that lead guitar/drums/bass guitar were recorded in a studio on separate tracks.

and vocals recorded live – remastered for the “Greatest Hits” album

Drums sound Centerstage right along with mono vocals Downstage Right Centre, lead guitar Upstage left

https://i0.wp.com/0.tqn.com/d/plays/1/0/A/-/-/-/stageright01.jpg

7.  INSTRUMENTATION

lead vocals, drums, lead & bass guitar

8. SONG STRUCTURE  (intro/verse/chorus/bridge)

AABB bridge A

9. PERFORMANCE – plat de résistance

Great vocals, lots of energy (why i am thinking vocals were recorded live)

also:

QUALITY OF THE GEAR & THE RECORDING

THE MIX

MASTERING

Lovin’ this Zoom H6…Class #4 Random Recordings

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Tyler jamming in class #4 randomly captured with minor cuts/effects in post:

Comparing various field recorders. This was recorded using the Zoom H6 with the XY mic at 120 degrees:  https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/recording-challenge-with-tyler

Recorded using the Zoom H6 with the XY mic at 90 degrees.  Cut a short intro and used the “pluck” feature on Audacity on this clip:  https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/starting-raining-outside-tyler

Field Recordings using the Zoom H6 and the XY mic using the 90 degree option (width of the recording field) recommended (by owner’s manual) for recording close and medium sound sources to capture a three-dimensional sound with natural depth and width.  Sounded good to me, except this set up records in stereo (oops):

Sounds recorded while on a winter walk-about in the neighbourhood.   Monitoring the input signal levels was a bit tricky while attempting to record the snow sounds 🙂

a mental traffic breakdown:  https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/a-mental-traffic-breakdown

approaching a traffic light…hitting the panic button:  https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/approaching-a-traffic-light

sound of snow crunching while dressed in snowmobile gear:  https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/snow-crunching-walk-to-run

Microphones…the Acoustic Era

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Three cheers for Gorilla Inventors!

Emile Berliner - MicrophoneMicrophone of Caveat April 11, 1877 with mouthpiece added

Berliner blasts the Bell patent pork in 1876:

1. Who was Emile Berliner?  2. What did he do that pissed off Thomas Edison?  3. Who takes credit for the first carbon microphone patent in 1877?

The unveiling of Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone in 1876 inspired Emile Berliner, a young man with rudimentary knowledge of electricity & physics to improve on the telephone’s transmitter.  He invented a “loose contact” metal-to-metal transmitter (type of microphone) to function as a telephone speech transmitter, then wrote and filed the patent himself, causing a stir among the titans of technology.  Thomas Edison followed his lead and filed patent applications for the carbon microphone in June 1877.  After a long legal battle, Edison emerged the victor, and the Berliner patent was ruled invalid by both American and British courts.

Berliner was quickly picked up by Thomas Watson of the American Bell Telephone Company and employed as a researcher until 1884 when he set out with new wife, Cora & his recently acquired American Citizenship to pioneer in Washington DC as an independent Researcher & Inventor.  In 1886, he began working on his greatest contribution to the world: the gramophone…making possible the recording and reproduction of sound using disc records

Ok let’s take a closer look at the “micro” drama:

4. What is a liquid transmitter?  Describe how it works…  5.  Who invented it and when?

In 1876 a liquid transmitter (variable -resistance device) was developed by Elisha Gray & Alexander Graham Bell (simultaneously):

the user talked into a black funnel-shaped mouthpiece at the base of which is a stretched membrane diaphragm.  A metal pin through the centre of the diaphragm extends down into a metal cup containing dilute acid.  An ohmmeter between the cup and the pin will show fixed resistance.  Movement of the diaphragm causes the pin to move up and down in the liquid, varying resistance accordingly. Connecting wires from the pin and cup, in series with a battery & telephone receiver would produce articulate speech in the receiver when speaking into the mouthpiece
 
6. Why did box telephones fail?  7.  What invention improved on the magneto transmitter? 8.  Who introduced a chemical reaction to transmitter design?

Bell’s box telephones (magneto transmitters) worked well as receivers but as transmitters, their signal output was too weak to carry any great distance.  User had to shout into the mouthpiece only to be barely heard on the other end three miles of wire away.  Transmitter design would have to be improved…enter competition from Western Union…Thomas Edison’s lampblock carbon unit, “the Blake” (variable-resistance transmitter) with improvements in sensitivity & reliability courtesy of our favourite rogue, Berlinger, outperformed Bell’s Magneto type until Henry Hunnings came on the scene in 1879 with a new transmitter design using granules of coke between the diaphragm and a metal backplate.  In 1886, Edison improved on Hunnings design by designing a small button-type container and using processed anthracite granules.  In 1892, A.C. White pushed the button  by using a polished carbon block as a rear plate and a similar block in front against a mica disc, with the carbon granules in between.  The mica disc worked like a piston.  Known as the Whit “solid-back” type, it was the industry’s first reliable transmitter and was used from 1892 until about 1925

9. Who invented wireless telegraphy?  10. How did that spark interest in improving microphone technology?  11. How did Goldschmidt get around the low current capacity of the telephone transmitter?

The telephone transmitter as the only available microphone in 1900, was finding other applications thanks to the invention of wireless telegraphy by Nikola Tesla in 1895.  Gorilla inventors were trying to modulate wireless radio waves so that speech could be sent on them.  As there were no amplifying currents in those days, the microphone was connected into the antenna and had to carry the circuit’s full current.  Only very low-power radio transmitters could accommodate the use of the telephone transmitter whose maximum current capacity was about one-half ampere, leading to the use of multiple microphones with a common mouthpiece.  Rudolph Goldschmidt (a fan of Jersey Shores) introduced a patented circuit for working microphones in parallel to address the problem of failure of the group due to the short circuit of one transmitter.

12. What is a flame microphone? 13.  What is a liquid microphone?  14. When was the magnetic modulator invented?  By who? And for what market?

The hunt for high-power microphones revived earlier patents for condenser transmitters (Edison in 1879 & Dolbear in 1881) and sparked a culture of electronics experimentation & inquiry between 1900 & 1915.  Berliner made a high-current carbon microphone that was air cooled by a fan mounted under the microphone…noisy! Blondell & Chambers developed flame microphones based on spark rods in an oscillating circuit adjusted just short of sparking, using speech vibration to alter the gas supply pressure and vary a flame’s resistance in the gap which would cause sparking to occur.  Liquid or “hydraulic” microphones came upon the scene at this time using the flow of a fine stream of conducting liquid from a reservoir traveling about five feet until the stream would break into droplets.  Sound variations on an elastic diaphragm were driven by a metal diaphragm behind the mouthpiece to carry the pressure of the stream, producing  a variable resistance in proportion to the sound on the diaphragm.  Using 65 volts at 12 amps (780 watts) a one-horsepower microphone was possible (until someone opened a door or sneezed).  The development of heavy-current microphone relays by Fessenden & Dubilier as well as advancement in circuit design by C. Egner & J.G. Holmstrom furthered the cause of high-current microphone technology.  In 1911 the “magnetic modulator” was invented by Alexanderson, a transformer that could handle up to 75 kilowatts for use with an RF alternator.  General Electric picked up on this technology, producing smaller transformers for the 5 to 100 watt transmitters used in Amateur Radio.

15. What was the necessity that lead to improved communications such as noise cancelling technology in microphones?  16. Who were the major players?  17. What device was used to broadcast Woodrow Wilson’s speech in 1919?

World War I created an immediate demand for improved communications and Western Electric, General Electric & The Magnavox Company with the help of vacuum tube technology put the microphone back into a simple circuit leading to the development of  “noise-cancelling” hand held microphones for the military.  These companies introduced various styles of “loudspeakers”  and amplifiers for public address systems including Western Electric’s “Chauphone”  and Magnavox’s “Telemegaphone” which was used to broadcast President Woodrow Wilson’s speech to 50,000 Americans gathered in the San Diego Stadium in 1919.

18. When did Amateur Radio go Pro?  19. What was the transmitter of choice in 1920 for commercial broadcasting?  20. What is a tomato can?  21. What manufacturers were still in the game in 1931?  22.  Who introduced the first bi-directional microphone?

Radio amateurs found themselves sought after as entertainers thanks to the  “candlestick telephone” (Western Electric transmitter No 323) and in 1920, commercial broadcasting was born. Westinghouse launched several radio stations in 1920 & 1921, picking up the microphone slack with the development of the “dishpan” microphone which permitted mellowing out of the squeaky high-pitched sound of the telephone transmitters with bass and midrange.  Improvements on this design with a condenser element was known as a “tomato can” popularized by General Electric who made most of the microphones sold by RCA between 1919 & 1927 including the “bullet” in 1926.  By 1931, Western Electric (a subsidiary of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company) however, emerged as the leader in microphone engineering waxing Westinghouse & General Electric and despite the explosion of small microphone manufacturers such as Electro-Voice, only RCA survived as a major contender with the introduction of the 44A ribbon velocity bidirectional microphone.

HISTORY OF RECORDED SOUND:

GO DEEPER WITH THESE LINKS:

http://www.charm.rhul.ac.uk/history/p20_4_1.html

http://www.edisontechcenter.org/speakers.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_telephone

Most microphones today use electromagnetic induction (dynamic microphone), capacitance change (condenser microphone), piezoelectric generation, or light modulation to produce an electrical voltage signal from mechanical vibration. – See more at: http://www.historyofrecording.com/Microphones.html#sthash.3ozDmoqB.dpuf

compare with modern microphone technologies:

electromagnetic induction (dynamic mic);  condenser capacitor change (condenser mic); light modulation (mechanical vibration produces a voltage signal)