Working Volume

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Working Volume

Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 2:48 am

From: perrault@i...
Date: Sun Jan 14, 2001 2:00 pm
Subject: Working Volume

>,,,,,,,,,Plus, with a good lowend system, I can "feel" like I'm mixing
>at a good level. I just like it loud... ,,,,,,,,,,
>
>sf

What's the consensus on day-in-day-out working decibel volume level in
the control room?

For some reason I seem to remember reading 80db was sensible. I got a
cheap meter and found that I was working more effectively by keeping
things consistent (and a bit quieter).

What kind of level requires protection in the workplace?

DP
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 2:49 am

From: "Sjoerd Koppert" <sjoerd@n...>
Date: Sun Jan 14, 2001 10:29 am
Subject: working volume

Another good topic.
I have been engineering now for ehhh lemme see, 34 years (giving my
age away - old fart here. On top of the studio work, I've done live
sound for many years, starting in the '60's throught to the mid '80's.
Don't do to much of that now - very selectively. But in the "live"
time I did work with bands which wereknown to be amongst the loudest
(so that must have been partly my fault :>)-
When I go for my AES hearing test every year the guys there, knowing
my background, are amazed about my level of hearing, which is well
above average for my age.
I AM LUCKY!!!!! Don't ask me why, I just am. I was never that
careful, but now I am, very. Like: If I drive in the car on the
freeway with windows open, I wear earplugs. If I go to a gig, I wear
earplugs.
Many, and I mean many, of my collegues of my age, amongst them many of
the world's top engineers, suffer considerable hearing loss. They
know - and they know how to compensate for it.
The moral of the story: BE CAREFULL!!!! If you play at levels over
85 db day in day out you will suffer considerable loss by the time you
are 40 - and it will continue to go downhill from there. And don't
think "it won't happen to me" - its a simple fact of biology.
I don't know why my hearing is still so good,like I said, I'm very
lucky, and I like to keep it good.
Monitor at a reasonable level has another advantage - your ears don't
get tired so soon. After 10 hours mixing your ears are shot anyway -
so then do the feelgood thing and give it a (moderate) blast before
you get some sleep
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 2:50 am

From: Stephen Foster <oncourse@i...>
Date: Sun Jan 14, 2001 3:08 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] Working Volume

The best protection is a great set of time-aligned monitors. I
worked on UREIs for a long time cutting heavy metal bands, and we
worked at high levels a lot. Tireless speakers which left my ears
intact at the end of the day. The big Westlakes are like that.. they
seem loud at medium level also.

I like to mix fairly loud, but can only take soo much. A good bottom
end on the system gives me that gut feel I need to work with. I'll
always reference the mix at 3-4 diff volumes.

sf
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 2:52 am

From: Stephen Foster <oncourse@i...>
Date: Sun Jan 14, 2001 3:28 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] working volume

Very good advice. Like you, I've been mixing a long time (since '69)
and playing in bands along with it. Rock in the South, Metal in the
MidWest, Blues now. My hearing is also above average at 50, and I
wonder why. Part of it is the quality monitors I was using, and I
also took a hiatus from '88-93 where I listened to almost no music at
all. Just walked away. That gave me a good rest.

"But that old piano she called
In the middle of the night
And she wouldn't let go
'Till I turned on the light,
And put my hands on her keys.
It was almost like SPAMMER to me"

Just had to get back in it. In my blood. Glad I did now, despite the
vagaries of the biz. At this point I'm working on the best product
ever involved with, so I guess what goes around...

Sunday morning 7AM. Woke up early and came down to the studio.
Listening to ECs "Journeyman". Great mixes on this CD. Good
reference CD for blues/R&B mixing. Presently working at.... lemme
see..... 78 DB. Highs are a lot clearer at this level. Finishing up
overdubs and mixing on album.... hard to get myself cranked up to do
this sometimes, so I treat it like a 9-5 on days like this. Just
come into work, turn on the system, and get going. Interesting how I
do just as good a job mixing whether I'm inspired or not. Should I be
paying attention?

sf
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 2:53 am

From: "Dave Martin" <dave.martin@n...>
Date: Sun Jan 14, 2001 4:37 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] working volume

From: "Stephen Foster" <oncourse@i...>

:Interesting how I do just as good a job mixing whether I'm inspired or not.
Should I be
: paying attention?
:
Actually, you should be doing a good mix whether you're inspired or not.
What we do as engineers is much more 'craft' than it is 'art' (And I KNOW
this isn't an appropriate topic for the acoustics list...), so with rare
exceptions I, at least, depend on my knowledge of the craft of engineering -
knowing my tools, knowing the room, knowing the client's preferences -
rather than waiting to be inspired.

But then I spent most of the last three days standing in front of a power
saw, cutting joists for my raised floor and trimming the 3/8" neoprene to
the appropriate sizes for the joists. I wasn't 'inspired', but I was at
least following the carpenters instructions carefully...

Dave Martin
DMA, Inc.
Nashville, TN
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 2:55 am

From: "Sjoerd Koppert" <sjoerd@n...>
Date: Sun Jan 14, 2001 5:59 pm
Subject: Re: working volume

--- In acoustics@e????ups.com, Stephen Foster <oncourse@i...> wrote:
I also took a hiatus from '88-93 where I listened to almost no music
at all. Just walked away. That gave me a good rest.

That's really weird ... I am 50 as well, started in music when I was
15 and got signed up by Polygram, first release at 16, 3 top 10
singles and 2 albums between 16 and 18, then decided I liked
engineering better than playing. (How I actually became an engineer
is another story ... Mix magazine asked me to write about it but then
refused to publish it... I think it had something to do with having to
work with an engineer who started with telling us to "turn that shit
down" and " I can't stand that noise" Our subsequent love affair led
me, at some point, to substitute the contends of his sandwich with a,
disquised by mayo and mustard, dog turd, after taking one bite he
puked all over the console, we were kicked out of the studio, which
closed for a 3 day clean-up - so I had to do it all myself in order to
finish the album :>).
I also took a hiatus - a lot of the bands I worked with most of the
time stopped touring, or one or more of the band's members succumed to
the grim reaper (I worked a lot with The Who etc.)
But like you said - its in your blood - you have to get back to it or
you'll never be happy.
I havn't recorded anything now for 6 months (GRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!)
driving me nuts, as I am building my own studio at the moment, which I
am doing all by myself. 2 control rooms, central machine room, main
tracking room of 35 x 25 x 20 ft high, so I'm keeping a bit busy. So
far, one bad flue, 2 broken fingers, and 2 days off in 6 months.
Have got some amazing sessions to look forward to, so I've gotta get
it done!!!
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 2:57 am

From: Stephen Foster <oncourse@i...>
Date: Sun Jan 14, 2001 7:34 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] Re: working volume

I wish you luck on the studio build. We're renting space in a
sorta-warehouse-type place, so we went straight for accoustics and screw
the BS. Place is amuck with cables, but we have the most flexible system
I've ever worked on. Massive dig gear (G4/24x72-MOTU/Fostex HD) and analog
on the side. Tons of effects, two 24 ch boards, lotsa keys etc. My partner
is a drummer/eng/seq guy, and his band works as session staff. You may
know of the guitar player, Ray Brand, who played with Leon R, DA Coe,
Buckeye, Slaughter Road. Bassist worked for James Taylor amongst ###. The
unknown guitarist, John Huber, just murders, may be the best of the lot.
Wayne Perkins (Rolling Stns, Leon R, Joani Mitchell, etc etc) does side
work with us too.

BTW... We're working on the Mighty Field Of Vision project. Do you know
anything about it? Foundation to assist indigent musicians. Tons of great
musicians involved with that.. Pete Carr, WP, John Willis, Bobby Whitlock,
Chuck Leavell, Bonnie Bramlett and abuncha others. If you wanna check out
the list, it's at: http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/MIGHTYFIELDofVISION .
It's a pretty busy list... WWide of course... with lotsa Muscle Shoals
connections.

Hey... gotta go to a Sunday Dinner. Wow. Munchie time, (and I'd better be
on my best behaviour)!!

sf

>--- In acoustics@e????ups.com, Stephen Foster <oncourse@i...> wrote:
> I also took a hiatus from '88-93 where I listened to almost no music
>at all. Just walked away. That gave me a good rest.
>
>
>That's really weird ... I am 50 as well, started in music when I was
>15 and got signed up by Polygram, first release at 16, 3 top 10
>singles and 2 albums between 16 and 18, then decided I liked
>engineering better than playing. (How I actually became an engineer
>is another story ... Mix magazine asked me to write about it but then
>refused to publish it... I think it had something to do with having to
>work with an engineer who started with telling us to "turn that shit
>down" and " I can't stand that noise" Our subsequent love affair led
>me, at some point, to substitute the contends of his sandwich with a,
>disquised by mayo and mustard, dog turd, after taking one bite he
>puked all over the console, we were kicked out of the studio, which
>closed for a 3 day clean-up - so I had to do it all myself in order to
>finish the album :>).
>I also took a hiatus - a lot of the bands I worked with most of the
>time stopped touring, or one or more of the band's members succumed to
> the grim reaper (I worked a lot with The Who etc.)
>But like you said - its in your blood - you have to get back to it or
>you'll never be happy.
>I havn't recorded anything now for 6 months (GRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!)
>driving me nuts, as I am building my own studio at the moment, which I
>am doing all by myself. 2 control rooms, central machine room, main
>tracking room of 35 x 25 x 20 ft high, so I'm keeping a bit busy. So
>far, one bad flue, 2 broken fingers, and 2 days off in 6 months.
>Have got some amazing sessions to look forward to, so I've gotta get
>it done!!!
>
>
>For more info, unsubscribe, large file uploads, ect: http://www.studiotips.com
>Send small drawing files to dan@s...
>To Unsubscribe: Send email to
>acoustics-unsubscribe@e????ups.com

Stephen Foster
MillKids/Howler Studios/MFoV Info
http://www.idnmusic.com/howler
WhiteHorse Records
IDNMusic.com
http://www.idnmusic.com
all music. all indie.
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 2:59 am

From: SRF7@a...
Date: Mon Jan 15, 2001 4:57 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] working volume

In a message dated 1/14/01 9:09:52 AM Pacific Standard Time,
dave.martin@n... writes:

> Actually, you should be doing a good mix whether you're inspired or not.
> What we do as engineers is much more 'craft' than it is 'art' (And I KNOW
> this isn't an appropriate topic for the acoustics list...), so with rare
> exceptions I, at least, depend on my knowledge of the craft of engineering -
> knowing my tools, knowing the room, knowing the client's preferences -
> rather than waiting to be inspired.

Well ... what's the point of all this acoustics if it aint the pursuit of the
craft eh?

>
> But then I spent most of the last three days standing in front of a power
> saw, cutting joists for my raised floor and trimming the 3/8" neoprene to
> the appropriate sizes for the joists. I wasn't 'inspired', but I was at
> least following the carpenters instructions carefully...

Three days... wow ... now I'm inspired.

BTW ... I built that diffusion array we were talking about ... I'll post some
pics on the studiotips site soon.
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:00 am

From: SRF7@a...
Date: Mon Jan 15, 2001 5:00 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] Re: working volume

In a message dated 1/14/01 10:08:30 AM Pacific Standard Time,
sjoerd@n... writes:

> main tracking room of 35 x 25 x 20 ft high
>

Sssswwwweeeeeeeet!
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:00 am

From: Jon Best <jrbest@e...>
Date: Mon Jan 15, 2001 6:06 pm
Subject: Re: Working Volume

That's odd- in my experience, the monitors that sound loud at medium volumes are
the ones with a good bit of distortion (like the whole Urei 8xx line- lots of
horn
distortion!). The better, cleaner monitors are the ones you have to watch out
for-
a great set of big monitors can easily be much, much louder than you think, just
because of the absence of the distortion we learn to use to gauge loudness. I
suppose I'm agreeing, but I'd say, good protection is a crappy, high distortion
monitor, because it sounds louder than it is! :)

> Message: 2
> Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2001 07:08:22 -0800
> From: Stephen Foster <oncourse@i...>
> Subject: Re: Working Volume
>
> The best protection is a great set of time-aligned monitors. I
> worked on UREIs for a long time cutting heavy metal bands, and we
> worked at high levels a lot. Tireless speakers which left my ears
> intact at the end of the day. The big Westlakes are like that.. they
> seem loud at medium level also.
>
> I like to mix fairly loud, but can only take soo much. A good bottom
> end on the system gives me that gut feel I need to work with. I'll
> always reference the mix at 3-4 diff volumes.

--
Jon Best
Muddy Creek Audio

“In the absence of talent, imperfection becomes intolerable.....”

-Richard Hulse, on the Mastering web board
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:01 am

From: Stephen Foster <oncourse@i...>
Date: Mon Jan 15, 2001 7:22 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] working volume

depend on my knowledge of the craft of engineering -
> knowing my tools, knowing the room, knowing the client's preferences -
> rather than waiting to be inspired.

It's one thing to go to work and be businesslike on a client's project.
That's easy. Exactly as you stated above. It's another horse to get my act
together and record my own music. That requires some inspiration. I did
the "commercial" thing in South Bend for 6 years, and made lotsa $$, but
neglected my own album projects. Very dissappointing. This time I'm paying
attention to personal music, and sometimes I just have to walk in, turn on
the gear, bring up one of my tracks, and just go at it.

Recording a personal project, in the end, is one of the hardest things I've
ever done. It requires mental stamina. Usually, in the past, I had a
producer who pushed us, organized sessions, etc. This is different, and
that was what I meant by that comment. If I'm not inspired to play, sing,
and write exceptional music, I get bland tracks, and I'm not interested in
putting out that kind of music.

sf

Stephen Foster
MillKids/Howler Studios/MFoV Info
http://www.idnmusic.com/howler
WhiteHorse Records
IDNMusic.com
http://www.idnmusic.com
all music. all indie.
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:01 am

From: Stephen Foster <oncourse@i...>
Date: Mon Jan 15, 2001 7:34 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] Re: Working Volume

HAHAHA!!! Great comment. I've worked a bit in House Of Blues in Memphis,
and the "A" room has a set of Westlakes with HUUUUGE wooden horns, and
that's exactly what happens in there. It's so damn clean that we kept
having to turn the monitors down (after one or the other of us had edged
them up again). Those are just killer monitors. Don't know the ##. The
seperation is exceptional.

We sure have your optimal monitors now... EV 802s with a subwoofer. *S*
Pretty flat though, so it's fine with me. Gets gritty up loud, so I'm
learning to mix low. As long as my mixes sound like my favorits CDs, I'm
OK, and other rooms seem to bear this out. Our mixes sound pretty cool in
some serious mix rooms we've referenced in, and they sound great in the
van, headphones, etc. That's the final test... how does it sound in the
RV. heeeheee

sf
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:10 am

From: "Dave Martin" <dave.martin@n...>
Date: Mon Jan 15, 2001 8:47 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] working volume

: Recording a personal project, in the end, is one of the hardest things
I've
: ever done. It requires mental stamina.
:
It's really, really hard. I've got a project that I started about 7 years
ago (it's one of the reasons I got into a private studio in the first
place). I haven't done anything on it in more than 6 years, and all I need
to do is bring in a dobro player to do his parts, replace a couple of the
acoustic parts and a couple of my bass tracks. One of these days, I guess...

Dave Martin
DMA, Inc.
Nashville, TN
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:11 am

From: "Dave Martin" <dave.martin@n...>
Date: Mon Jan 15, 2001 8:44 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] working volume

From: <SRF7@a...>

: Well ... what's the point of all this acoustics if it aint the pursuit of
the
: craft eh?
:
The tools? Assuming, that is, that the room is indeed part of the tools of
the craft. Otherwise, we do it because we don't own bass boats and need to
spend our money on something...
: >
: > But then I spent most of the last three days standing in front of a
power
: > saw, cutting joists for my raised floor and trimming the 3/8" neoprene
to
: > the appropriate sizes for the joists. I wasn't 'inspired', but I was at
: > least following the carpenters instructions carefully...
:
: Three days... wow ... now I'm inspired.

If you're smart, you'll be inspied to hire someone else to do that sort of
thing...
:
: BTW ... I built that diffusion array we were talking about ... I'll post
some
: pics on the studiotips site soon.
:
Cool - I'd like to see them. I've got the spreadsheet and I've played with
it a time or two, but I haven't gotten to the point that I even know for
sure where they'd go. And one of these days, I'll go ahead and post the real
plans for the building (well, as real as they get - we're still kind of
making it up as we go along...

Dave Martin
DMA, Inc.
Nashville, TN
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:11 am

From: "Sjoerd Koppert" <sjoerd@n...>
Date: Mon Jan 15, 2001 11:27 pm
Subject: Re: working volume

--- In acoustics@e????ups.com, "Dave Martin" <dave.martin@n...> wrote:

"But then I spent most of the last three days standing in front
of a power saw, cutting joists for my raised floor"

You lucky so-and-so!! I've been doing that for the last 7 MONTHS!!
Music? Recording? wasthat? I think I've forgotten it!!

Oh by the way - I've got the ultimate absorbsion / diffusion panels,
definately the best sounding stuff I've ever used / heard. Made of -
straw. Comes in 6 x 4 or 8 x 4 sheets, 1 1/4 thick. Looks like "the
nice side of a bale of straw. You can cover them, or use them "a
naturel" I've kept them as they are, looks awsome!
I had to import them from Australia, but a friend of mine in CA is
buying the equipment to make them. We (my company) are going to sell
them for acoustic use over here. Got a container load in stock, if
you're interested
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:11 am

From: Stephen Foster <oncourse@i...>
Date: Tue Jan 16, 2001 1:05 am
Subject: Re: [acoustics] working volume

Thank goodness I have a partner in crime this time around. Billy T does
all the stuff I don't. And, as we like to say... between the two of us we
make a damn fine engineer.

sf

>: Recording a personal project, in the end, is one of the hardest things
>I've
>: ever done. It requires mental stamina.
>:
>It's really, really hard. I've got a project that I started about 7 years
>ago (it's one of the reasons I got into a private studio in the first
>place). I haven't done anything on it in more than 6 years, and all I need
>to do is bring in a dobro player to do his parts, replace a couple of the
>acoustic parts and a couple of my bass tracks. One of these days, I guess...
>
>Dave Martin
>DMA, Inc.
>Nashville, TN
>
>
>For more info, unsubscribe, large file uploads, ect: http://www.studiotips.com
>Send small drawing files to dan@s...
>To Unsubscribe: Send email to
>acoustics-unsubscribe@e????ups.com

Stephen Foster
MillKids/Howler Studios/MFoV Info
http://www.idnmusic.com/howler
WhiteHorse Records
IDNMusic.com
http://www.idnmusic.com
all music. all indie.
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:13 am

From: "Dave Martin" <dave.martin@n...>
Date: Tue Jan 16, 2001 6:09 am
Subject: Re: [acoustics] working volume

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Foster" <oncourse@i...>

: Thank goodness I have a partner in crime this time around. Billy T does
: all the stuff I don't. And, as we like to say... between the two of us we
: make a damn fine engineer.
:
That's probably what'll get the project finished- y'all pushing each other.

Dave Martin
DMA, Inc.
Nashville, TN
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Postby archive » Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:21 am

From: Stephen Foster <oncourse@i...>
Date: Tue Jan 16, 2001 7:39 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] working volume

yeah.. about the time I run out of gas, he cranks up. What a
blessing. I was on my lonesome up there in SB. Had a great assistant
eng, but it's not the same.

sf
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