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Readers' Letters: Giant-killing $5 mic preamp - its secrets revealed, and more...

A post by David Mellor
Thursday November 30, 2006
"Fresh from a comparison test against preamps costing $200 and $1500 - which it beat handsomely - the secrets of the $5 preamp are at last revealed."
Readers' Letters: Giant-killing $5 mic preamp - its secrets revealed, and more...

In response to Giant-killing $5 mic preamp - its secrets revealed, Antti writes...

Thanks for the great point-out to these pre-amp schematics. I've got one rather stupid question, though. How are the four 9V batteries supposed to be wired to give both +18V and -18V? Can't you just use two and connect them together to give 18V, and then connect the + and - ends to the suitable connection points provided by the schematics. Or if I use four batteries, where am I connecting the extra + or - ends that I'm left with, when I connect two and two together?

RP response: If you connect them all in series, then the midway point becomes the 0 volts reference and the two ends are +18 and -18 volts respectively.


In response to Digidesign Unveils The 003 Family Of Recording Hardware/Software, Cucco El Laboratorio writes...

i just got my 003 and i love it .. is great.. is not a 20,000 mixer but could still do the same job as a 50,000 mixer.


In response to When you are mixing, what is the first thing you should do? What is the last? (And what should you NOT do?), Daniel writes...

Hey there,

I saw someone posted in the letters section, that they would like a digital solution to the MPC line. Look no further the the Akai MPDs, the M-Audio Trigger Finger, or perhaps the Korg PadKontrol (depending on your tastes and price range). Companies have been integrating those MPC-pad style controllers into their keyboards now too with the likes of the Korg Kontrol and M-Audio Axiom. Search around and find your flavor. There are many VST plugs that support multiple samples like the MPC line. Kontact, Ultrabeat, FPC, Directwave, all go above and beyond the standard capabilities of MPC style machines.


In response to "The Right Time" by ElderB Productions, Donatus Rotimi Ajayi writes...

I found your article very encouraging. Well, some of us have retired and bombarded with requests from younger ones for sound recording support and sponsorship, I decided to attend David's school, enrolling in the audio masterclass course. I am hoping that I would, in a limited way, have some understanding of at least what they would be doing and perhaps...help ensure they are doing it right! Still settling down to the course, but so far I've learnt so much.

You see, we knew the sound systems weren't sounding right with unending calls for investments in more power amps and speakers. Now I am learning fast and there will be changes for the better soon....with little investment!

Be encouraged that you are far ahead of countless others while it is noble to regard yourself as still having a long way to go.

Again, thanks and best wishes for the good progress you desire.

D.R.


In response to "Pié Jesù" by Charles BURGI, Spallett writes...

Ah,Ah,Ah! Me la ricordo bene quell'espressione!!!!!

Baci!


In response to Line 6 PODxt - is getting great guitar sounds this way cheating? , Guitarhero5150 writes...

Right On!!!

I own a PODxt LIVE and honestly the sound that come as presets are not that great. I use it instead as a way to craft my own sounds. It also works well as an effects box running into eithar the front or the effects loop of an amp.

There's nothing wrong with it. It just makes it easier and quieter to achieve the sounds in your head.


In response to "Jingle Junkie" by Barney Conway, Peter@lohr .germany writes...

Good work

Good ideas

Good performance

Good sounds

Nice to listen to

If you'd like to improve remix for my taste let drumset step back 'bout 10 feet behind solo instruments


In response to "Pié Jesù" by Charles BURGI, Peter@lohr.germany writes...

perfect


In response to Spend $40,000 building a studio, and get it all back!, Michael Weiss (Ireland) writes...

Why not build the shed so that it is portable? That way, when it comes time to move and the real estate says the studio shed it worthless you can say, ok I'll just take it with me. This way you won't have to re-build... you only need to relocate!


In response to Spend $40,000 building a studio, and get it all back!, Tom Ghent writes...

Your advice is both correct and well taken. Keep in mind,however, that in certain areas where the recording industry flourishes,L.A, N.Y.,Nasville to name a few,a smart realtor may be able to find you a buyer,who realizes that a spare bedroom and protools does not a great studio make,and is willing to pay a healthy sum for a ready made recording environment.Hence it may be worth your while to shop for the right realtor before putting your home w/studio on the market! T.G.


In response to What is that blanket inside your kick drum actually doing? Shouldn't it be keeping you warm at night?, João Lobo writes...

It has mainly to do with the sound you want to achieve. After a number of factors, like the room where you are playing, the skin(s) you are using, the technique you use and the bass drum itself, if there is a blanket or not should not be the issue.

I sometimes use a "proprietary kick drum damping system" and it works great for me. It is quite different from a blanket since you can adjust it much more, functioning more like a gate than a muffler. There are already some skin manufacturing companies that offer bass drum skins with a damping system attached.

Other times I don't use absolutely nothing if that is the sound I want but it also affects the feel of the drum in the sense that it gets less easily controllable.

The last time I was in the studio recording drums was with a blues band and the intention was to go for the Cream/Hendrix thing, so I borrowed a 24" old bass drum that was fitted with a modern rock head that sounded like s***t for the situation. I fitted it with a plain single-ply Ambassador white coated head tuned as low as was mechanically possible and placed a blanket against it lying in the bottom inside the drum shell. The result was better than the expected, with low end, air, tone, attack and resonance in sweet balance. I tried with the front head and, although it had some more volume, the texture was not as nice and in the studio volume is not a problematic issue.

I had tried other more mainstream ideas like a couple of deep 22" drums, double ply heads, but the right sound came from the less æsthetical and updated choice.

And that is what it should be all about: the sound, not the looks, brands or gadgets you use.


In response to Behringer has fouled up - again!, Tom Ghent writes...

RP,

In a country that has allowed the importation and sale of toxic toys,deadly poisonous pet foods,salmonella invested fruits and vegetables,and other equally serious health hazards,it would seem that the FCC's somewhat zealous reaction to Behringer products is more motivated by the dissatisfaction of the U.S. companies who feel that their intellectual properties have been violated(and are more than likely the source of complaints to the FCC) than by any immediate need for the units in question to meet all Fcc test standards.This off course is a serious problem but perhaps one which the FCC should not seek to resolve....T.G.


In response to Readers' Letters: Do famous artists use studio tricks to enhance their voices?, and more..., Ronald Harless writes...

In reference to both articles about using "help" for tweaking singers pitch and making downloads legal, maybe we should not feel so guilty for downloading music by the stars that 'adjust' their talent. Obviously a live show would be less of a performance or even lip-synced. Seriously, I have no problem creating music with whatever tools are available. Just don't try to cover up the fact you used something to create what you intended. As for downloading illegally, it's stealing no matter how you paint it.

Ronald Harless


In response to When your equipment breaks down, should you be able to get it repaired?, Tom Ghent writes...

RP,

As much as I would like to be patriotic and buy U.S. made products,it would be almost impossible to afford all the equipment needed to stay competitive in the recording business.To this end,many of the"high end"companies now offer lower priced somewhat non-repairable vertions of their far more expensive and hopefully repairable units.As to Behringer,I have to say that I personally own at least a dozen of their units(many of which are in the area of ten years old)and have never had one fail.In many instances I have had results from the Behringer units that surpassed the results I was able to obtain with similar much higher-priced units which I also own.This does not infer that they are better,but that every piece of equipment has it's own sound and properties and that when properly used, can achieve good sonic results in a given situation.

On the otherhand,one of my three Tascam da78s,which were not cheap, has developed a bad habit of falling out sync with the other two machines.My local Tascam tech has informed me that, due to the non-modular construction of this unit(unlike the da88), the only fix for this would require the replacement of one of the machines two multi-function pc boards to the tune of $1200us.Sad to say this unit had less than 800 hours on it when the problem developed.So you see,price does not always guarantee dependability.Hopefully the new Alesis HD24xr units will sound as good as the tape based tascam units have.NEXT!!!!

.....T.G.

A post by David Mellor
Thursday November 30, 2006 ARCHIVE
David Mellor has been creating music and recording in professional and home studios for more than 30 years. This website is all about learning how to improve and have more fun with music and recording. If you enjoy creating music and recording it, then you're definitely in the right place :-)
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