Thursday, January 20, 2005


I took the Soundcraft out for a spin last night... ran our first session with a band. Actually, it was more a rehearsal, for them and me; a chance for them to run through their songs and work on arrangements, and a chance for me to see how this new console works. It was truly trial by fire, as we were working with an untested foldback and talkback system, as well as all new preamps.

They played their songs while I tried to give them usable levels through their headphones, and I tracked everything live to two track (essentially a board mix to check how I was doing). Only used one compressor, on the bass, with 4 mics on drums, a vocal, and a direct guitar.

The console sounds great. It has a nice natural compression as you start to drive it hard, and the EQ was very usable. There are still some dirty switches and a few modules need to have their input sensitivity adjusted. It's remarkable how the standards for audio levels are so misunderstood; doing research online as to the meaning of "-10" versus "+4" operating levels revealed an amazing amount of contradiction. These levels have different units (dBm or dBv), but people treat them as if they were the same unit, and there seems to be no standard as to what digital levels mean and how much headroom a system has. If we were working to tape it wouldn't be nearly as difficult, as you always have headroom on tape and you can push a console nice and hard when tracking to analog, but digital hits 0 and stops dead. Now Quantegy has declared bankruptcy, so there is currently NO TAPE being maufactured anywhere. ANYWHERE. More about that later.

George Vitray is to be commended for his 120 solder points, all but one of which worked first time. All that solder he inhaled saved us several hundred dollars, and probably only knocked a year or two off his life.


At 3:58 PM, Blogger Tony Alva said...

I'm dyin' to get up there and check it all out. Got the Life Teen gang in this weekend to wrap up tracking on their record and we should be on our way up to mix soon. Tell George that a little lead smoke is good for you. Never killed anybody... anybody I know.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Jackson said...

I'm sure somebody will fill the Tape Void.


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