From: Stephen Foster <oncourse@i...>
Date: Sat Jan 13, 2001 2:19 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] structural noise / vocals
Well put. That concert was in/around Memphis somewhere in the 70s. I'm a
little fuzzy about that decade.
The whole thing with cutting a hole at 100 cycles has bothered me too. We
don't seem to have a problem with it at our studio, so I don't mess with
it. I'd guess it is used less these days with the advent of dig mixing and
cutting, because the tape buildup at 100 cycles is a goner. I do believe
it's still a Nville thang. Those mixes coming out of Nville are getting
fatter and fatter though, so maybe there's hope for them yet. (C'mon DM...
rise to the bait) *S*.
I am an advocate and practitioner of "layering", or whatever it's being
currently called. We just put in a subwoofer system (I had UREI 811Bs in
my old studio and got used to mixing from the bottom up, hearing all those
lows and getting them sorted out BEFORE messing with anything else in the
mix) and I am in happy-land again. We don't have a monster playback
system, but at least now I can hear all the freq range of my favorite CDs,
and our mixes are sounding great on other systems. I drive my friends nuts
going over to play new mixes on any system they have, from giant quad to
boom boxes. If it sounds right on all of them, then it's a go. Plus, with
a good lowend system, I can "feel" like I'm mixing at a good level. I just
like it loud... I think Billy bought the subwoofer to keep me from blowing
his EVs up.
Isn't it interesting how diff mixers work, and yet things still come out
OK. Just goes to show that we as engineers are a LOT more worried about
little stuff than the buying public. Most of them couldn't give a rat's
ass about most of the stuff we work for weeks on. Sometimes I think I'm
critical-mixing for about 50-60 people, and the other 250 million would
just as soon have a copy of the session reference mix.
>As I could well have been the person sending people to the bathroom
>before a Floyd gig, depending on the date (the ones who'd just eaten
>normally didn't make it), and 'coz it touches on some of my pet
>peaves, here's my 2 pennies worth:
>Structural noise used to be a huge problem in the '60's / early '70's,
>when large PA's normally lived stage left & right. The introduction
>of flying systems helped overcome the problem to a large extend,
>especially with subs placed off stage, on the ground.
>Now it is - in my opinion (and I'm an old opinionated bastard) the
>main problem in small venues. Most small stages are boomboxes and
>totally wreck the sound. Easy to fix, without spending a lot.
>Recently I re-did a friends club (he wanted to buy a new PA system
>'coz the sound was bad), by removing the stage's ply floor, building
>compartments under the stage with cheap ply, and filling them with 4
>tons of rough sand. (do the same with those awful monitor stands -
>you'll notice a big difference). Glued / stapled spare peaces of ply
>to the bottem of the floor before putting them in place again -
>problem fixed for $250 instead of buying a new system.
>Second - and in my opinion one of the most common structural noise
>problems - drum risers and any other type of commonly used platforms.
>How can you expect to get a good sound by placing instruments on a
>resonating platform? Answer - you can't. It effect.s everything,
>especially in the low to low-mid ranges. Doesn't matter if you use
>good shockmounts on your mics - the instrument itself will sound
>awfull. Dampen it!!! (bloody easy isn't it? them why don't people
> "Roll off is a matter of taste / kindo' music / style" - is it?
>A LOT exists in the lower frequency ranges - especially in vocals.
>This is where a voice's character becomes apparent, and where
>psycho-acoustics come into play.
>If you, or any singer, has a "midrangy" voice, that does NOT mean that
>you should / could just roll-off the low end. Just think about it.
>Some microphone manufacturers now make mic's especially for female
>vocals like, for instance the AT 4055. What distinguishes the mic's
>from the normal? A very much extended low end. It introduces warmth
>Regardless of what type of music you are recording, shelving or
>rolling off as a matter of cause is, in my opinion (and like I said,
>I'm an opinionated so-and-so) wrong and lazy. Record with the best
>possible microphone / pre-amp combination, at the widest range
>possible. At least them you'll have something to work with when you
>come to mix vocal and music together.
>(people who roll-off as a matter of cause might as well record
>everything 44.1 16 bit - it ends up on a CD anyway right?)
>With regards to "cutting a hole" at 100 cycles to make room for the
>vocals - A lot happens at around 100 - if you have to eq
>instrumentation out to make room for vocals there is something
>drastically wrong with your choice / setup of systems.
>Finally - to return to structural born noise - one of the biggest
>problems here is within speaker enclosures themselves. Ring
>modulation is a serious problem, which has only recently become
>recognised by some manufacturers, like EV. That is why EV's new PA
>system sounds awsome, that is also why JBL has now for the first time
>manufactured a brilliant monitor system.
>So, thats my bit - but then - you know the rest.........
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