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sessions

Junip – Awesome @ FUV (video)

Junip

After mixing “Always” live in Studio A on a cold November morning, the song quickly became a favorite. Hypnotic rim knocks and Jose Gonzalez’s other-worldly acoustic guitar drone carry you through the reminiscent song…but I’m not a music reviewer, so let’s talk tech after the audio clip.

Junip arrived in the Bronx with an FOH engineer in tow. Working together, we successfully distorted created

Seventh Circle Audio N72 Microphone Preamplifier

some sounds you may recognize. I had recently finished building a couple Seventh Circle Audio N72 preamps, which contain excellent Carnhill output transformers. I had configured the preamps to provide full taper control over their output, which let us send plenty of gain through each circuit and saturate the output transformers – while avoiding crippling the console inputs. Both the acoustic guitar (AKG C391) and the lead vocal (Shure SM87A) were recorded using this technique. Here’s some more info on transformer saturation:

“When a transformer’s primary winding is overloaded from excessive applied voltage, the core flux may reach saturation levels during peak moments of the AC sine wave cycle. If this happens, the voltage induced in the secondary winding will no longer match the wave shape as the voltage powering the primary coil. In other words, the overloaded transformer will distort the waveshape from primary to secondary windings, creating harmonics in the secondary winding’s output. As we discussed before, harmonic content in AC power systems typically causes problems.” (source)

But then again, extra harmonic content in music can sometimes do great things. Here’s a video of the session, which was recorded in early November, 2010. If you’ve listened to the audio in the player above, you’ll notice that the audio used in the YouTube video is about 12dB quieter, on average. Incidentally, I used FerricTDS to maximize the clip above.

Thanks for an awesome visit, Junip. Also, you left your Bose headphones. They are in our tech center. Call me?

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