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Functional programming enthusiast, audio engineer & musician. Whilst not busy with any of that, I study physics at Universität zu Köln / Bonn-Cologne Graduate School.


Oct
23
comment How to record a piano with high quality?
That's not the point. Sure, for a listener more than 20 m away, the direct sound of the piano comes effectively from a single spot. (Yet that's not necessarily a good thing to simulate – for chamber music, I wouldn't simulate a listening position more than 10 m away, where the spatial expansion is notable. And in pop productions, you don't care at all whether the audio space makes any "real world sense", but mix everything "larger than life".) But obviously, in particular in a concert hall, direct sound makes up a rather small part of the total sound. ...
Oct
22
comment Problem with low tunings on my guitar
That is certainly the reason of the problem. Though I'm bewildered how the OP's wammy must be set up to actually snap the upper strings!
Oct
22
comment Who plays the chords during a live performance when lead guitarist is soloing?
John Paul Jones, like a couple of other good bass players, is actually able to cover the chords quite well even without a keyboard – by cleverly interweaving chord notes in the bass line.
Oct
21
comment How to give more depth to vocals when mixing?
What I'd give a +1 for alone is: high pass. Such a simple thing, and often so incredibly effective!
Oct
21
comment How to give more depth to vocals when mixing?
Good that you add an alternative view. Yes, despite my answer I acknowledge that the SM58 can have valid use even in the studio for vocals – just, you should be aware of its particular sound, which I'd say is verily on the opposite end if what you want is "depth". That about A/D converters is valid, but usually the deficiencies become an issue only above 10 kHz, where the SM58 barely provides any signal in the first place: you need a condenser to make the differences really obvious. More relevant for dynamic mics: USB interfaces, in particular bus-powered ones, haven't great mic preamps.
Oct
21
comment How to give more depth to vocals when mixing?
And as for overpriced: there are very reasonably priced tube mic preamps available, e.g. ART Tube MP.
Oct
21
comment How to give more depth to vocals when mixing?
@Almo: yes and no. Yes, tube amps in stereo systems have questionable value, because there's not really a good reason to saturate the signal at that point (the mastering engineer will already have done that as much as sensible). However (unlike $100 power chords etc.), there's no doubt that tubes do alter the sound, and in a way that is quite benefitial in particular as a first stage for vocals (adding smooth even harmonics, and boosting RMS for given peak gain without really committing compression). Sure you can also simulate that later in digital, but that incurs aliasing etc. problems.
Oct
21
comment Caffeine / Alcohol Before or During Rehearsal
As to "scientific source" – xkcd is actually quite excellent in this regard, in particular the what if blog. Things like the Ballmer peak (with two ℓ, mind!) are of course a parody, but of a thing that really exists.
Oct
21
comment How to give more depth to vocals when mixing?
Well, you don't need to spend a fortune. For instance, I've done a lot of stuff with the Behringer B1 – it can't rival the AKG or Neumann sweeties, but is miles ahead of any dynamic mic (except prehaps studio specials like the SM 7) when it comes to recording voice in the studio. Though you should try some models yourself: large-diaphragm mics can have quite different responses, some of the cheaper ones may sound really unpleasant with a particular voice.
Oct
21
comment How to give more depth to vocals when mixing?
Or, to turn your argument around: there's hardly any recording problem you can't solve with enough FX-foo, but many of them wouldn't even have surfaced if you had used a better mic-setup in a room with great acoustics!
Oct
21
comment How to give more depth to vocals when mixing?
I very much agree on that last sentence. It's just that such ingenuity comes only through long experience, experimentation with all kinds of effects – and, IMO, to start you should get a proper understanding of the basics, so you can even appreciate how such and such effect behaves in a more complex setup like parallel-comp. These days, a lot of people think they know all about mixing because they have read so much about a bunch of "miracle effects". Well, to me the records such guys produce usually sound less than ingenious!
Oct
20
comment How to give more depth to vocals when mixing?
Parallel compression is a useful technique in a number of situations. But so are a hundred of other particular FX tricks. I don't think it's very helpful to list all those! And FWIW, most transients are actually preserved quite well in regular a non-limiting compressor with attack > 3 ms. Such a rather slow compressor is a much better point to start learning dynamics processing, instead of going parallel right away. But before even doing the most basic EQ, get the mic right!
Oct
14
comment What are the advantages of WAV vs. MP3?
And also sound.stackexchange.com/questions/27317/…
Oct
14
comment XLR vs 1/4 (jack/TRS/TS) output on digital piano. What is better to connect to audio interface?
I can confirm this answer: in a studio setup with a short route from keys to interface, there should never be interference problems even with unbalanced TRS connections. The end result will not sound provably different at all; the noise floor should in either case be dominated by thermal/DAC noise of the keyboards, which has nothing to do with the kind of connection used and, if the keyboard is half-decent, won't be audible in the recording unless you compress the track ridiculously. — That said, I agree that "XLR everywhere, why" is a good stance; live it's definitely superiour.
Oct
9
comment How to record a piano with high quality?
Indeed all Shure mics are pretty sturdy, but don't think their recording-suitable condenser models can be called "nearly indestructible". Dynamic mics for recording piano? Not so great. — PZMs are great for many stuff, incuding piano live, but for recording I would hesitate to put them directly in the piano – it does make for a rather uneven response and a strange room sensation. Speaking of room... "piano a mono sound source"?? Beg to disagree. A couple of even cheap condenser mics in a well-setup stereo configuration will give much "greater" sound than anything you can do in mono.
Oct
8
comment What guitar effects pedals are important to get according to genre?
Fuzz is nowadays perhaps more common on bass than on guitar (unlike distortion/overdrive, it doesn't alter the frequency response very much, so works well in frequency domains unintended for).
Oct
8
comment What guitar effects pedals are important to get according to genre?
"...benefit from compression that you don't get from fuzz is sustain..." – actually you do get a bit of sustain from fuzz. Most distortion/overdrive etc. actually compress the signal quite a lot, in addition to the more obvious effect of adding of harmonic/intermodulation overtones (that's what compressors don't do, at least not a lot).
Oct
6
comment Are octaves, fifths, fourths and thirds considered as “consonant” in all music cultures?
Hang on... 12-edo was actually developed in Europe by Bach's time, that bit was wrong.
Oct
6
comment Are octaves, fifths, fourths and thirds considered as “consonant” in all music cultures?
Bach was not an advocate of equal temperament (12-edo), that wasn't even developed in Europe yet. He was an advocate of well-tempered tuning, which though it allows playing in all keys doesn't treat them all the same. WT has some fifths much more notably flat than in 12-edo, whose fifths are actually extremely close to Pythagorean; but in the "white keys" WT has sweeter major thirds, more narrow than the somewhat agressive ones 12-edo gives you.
Oct
4
comment What is balanced audio all about?
About "balanced systems allow for longer cable runs because they lessen the effect of signal loss": For the signal loss it doesn't matter in itself whether the connection is balanced. The reason the statement nevertheless holds in most practical applications is 1. balanced connections are generally low-impedance, while you'll often find high-impedance in unbalanced connections 2. balanced connections don't need a tight screen as urgently as unbalanced ones, so the cables can easier be made with low capacitance.