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gear/software, sessions

Holy Crap January Rocks

So, I’ve been pretty busy recently. Fortunately, the last two months have been packed with artists, videos and other awesome things. Here are a few of them:

It works.

For those looking to get into electronic repair and troubleshooting, I strongly recommend “How to Diagnose and Fix Everything Electronic” by Michael Jay Geier.

  • Some awesome artists have come through Studio A – including Umphrey’s McGee, Ingrid Michaelson and Dr. Dog.Umphrey’s McGee – “Conduit” (Live at WFUV)
    If you have any sort of low end in your monitoring setup, you’ll definitely hear the prominence of the subkick on the kick drum.
  • While the most of my recording work at WFUV entails mixing live during performances, I do sometimes mix sessions in post when time permits or when we expect a video may get a lot of attention. Recorded by my coworker Colin FitzGerald, I mixed the song in ProTools, then bounced to 1/4″ tape. This video was actually just spotlighted on YouTube’s homepage!Lisa Hannigan was recorded by my coworker Jim O’Hara; I touched up the frequency and panoramic balance, and tried to make the mix complement the arrangement’s layering towards the somewhat reminiscent B-section/final push.

A lot more has happened, including some nice freelance restoration and repair work, and I’ll break out some more detail in the days ahead. I’d also like to find a function to determine the resonant frequency of subkick mics! Anyway, back to my internet spaceships.


2 thoughts on “Holy Crap January Rocks

  1. Nice work on the Otari… It’s always nice to see something like that brought back to life and not wasted. I was curious about your thoughts on conversion. Haven’t had the pleasure to work with tape but I’m always curious if modern interfacing with our DAWs has any effect on fidelity. I may need correction on my thought process but I always thought there must be some extra conversion going on…Coming out of PT we are passing through the DA converters to get the signal to tape. If we want to get back into the digital world we have to convert again sending the signal back through the AD converters. So if we are working with quality converters is this extra step negligible? Do you worry about raising the noise floor using real tape? How do you feel about tape saturation plugins? Any thoughts appreciated.
    Keep it up!

    Posted by harrisonefort | February 15, 2012, 17:10
    • Hey Harrison, thanks for your comment! While I’m still getting my feet wet with tape, I do agree that we’re subjecting audio to a degree of generational loss when pushing to and from tape in the configuration you’ve described.

      During live sessions, I usually run the Otari in parallel with PT so that the tape deck gets a “1st generation” analog signal, which I’d later capture at 96kHz/24bit. In cases like the Gary Clark Jr mix, I’d have preferred to have source audio of the same fidelity, but I had only 44.1kHz/24bit to work with. At the end of the day though I was slamming it to 1/4″, so I was generally more concerned with the distortion I was deliberately creating than detail I might lose from conversion.

      Re: noise floor, you’re right – the machine is noisy compared to the -96dBFS of 16-bit digital.. but honestly, its not noticeable and hasn’t bothered me.

      As for plugins, I know there are some decent ones out there. I have serious experience only with FerricTDS (which is free). I think one of my first posts on here was about using it, and I do like it quite a bit. But you know, the reason I pulled out the Otari in the first place is because one day it dawned on me.. why am I fiddling with tape sat plugins when there’s a reel to reel machine down the hall! I still use both. Hope this helps, and if I can help let me know!

      Posted by dan | February 15, 2012, 18:03

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