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Author Topic: A question about: Priority of acquisition  (Read 4065 times)

Dinogi

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A question about: Priority of acquisition
« on: November 28, 2013, 07:35:20 am »

Obviously beyond the microphones, pre-amplification and digital conversion that will acquire the basic sounds, and accepting that there are many ways to approach recording based on what is being captured, my question involves whether compression or equalization would be considered next thing on the wish list.  There are of course, preamps on the market with EQ built in as well as ones with compression. There are also full-featured channel strips that have both. From the perspective of a modular approach like with a 500 series rack, it’s not clear to me, which should be added next.

Because most of my work involves going into a location cold, without a lot of time to experiment, I have mostly (mis) used compression during the recording process to control unexpected level changes during a performance, thereby giving myself a little wiggle room when setting initial levels. I realize that this is probably not the best practice but it does allow me to exert a little bit of control into an often-uncontrollable situation. Equalization has mostly been limited to high pass filtering to give my mediocre converters a fighting chance against low frequency garbage that robs headroom without adding anything useful to the signal. As I try to evolve as a recordist, I would like to start using these tools for tone shaping instead of devices for avoiding “Oh shit” situations. The question then is which device would be the better to add next?     
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Jim Williams

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2013, 12:33:36 pm »

Other than a safety peak limiter (which I avoid using more conservative record levels), nothing should be applied until you are experienced in the benefits/pitfalls of of such devices. With digital recording that stuff is best left for later processing, just like EQ.

Picking the correct mic and position for the source is far more important. Other than some unwanted very low frequency pickup, I found capturing "raw" audio files like in photograhy to offer the best post solution. I will use the low cut on a mic or a high pass filter on occasion to control that low frequency pickup problem. At mix time, anything goes as you are not under time pressures to make a bad choice.
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Dinogi

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 07:37:23 am »

Thanks Jim,

Taking this thought a little farther then, (Correct me if I'm reading this wrong) It would seem that my efforts, and limited finances should be used to acquire the best pre-amplification I can afford and that my first priority should be to capture the highest quality signal possible and worry about tone shaping in the mixing process. In my case this would probably mean relying on plugins, as the DAAD process with the converters I have would probably negate any advantage of esoteric analogue compression anyway.
Additionally, it would seem prudent for me to go in the neutral direction with pre-amp choice, simply as a way to assure the most flexibility down the line.

Thanks again. I truly appreciate you (and Fletcher) taking the time to respond to my often longwinded questions.... olduncledino

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Fletcher

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2013, 09:42:10 am »

Unless you're in a serious / controlled monitoring environment when you're recording, I would suggest you try to leave as much of the whole "processing" thing until later.  If you're working quickly -- use a microphone you know can handle what you're doing and a pre-amplifier that won't impart too much of its own opinion on the audio... then "sweeten" the recorded product in post for presentation.

I'm pretty much from the "engineer do no harm" school when it comes to "field recording"... get it recorded, then you can play around with the necessary toys that will "enhance" the presentation... which is a hell of a lot easier to do when you have the luxury of a "rewind" button.

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Dinogi

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2013, 07:45:21 am »


I'm pretty much from the "engineer do no harm" school when it comes to "field recording"... get it recorded, then you can play around with the necessary toys that will "enhance" the presentation... which is a hell of a lot easier to do when you have the luxury of a "rewind" button.

Peace

Excellent  point sir. This original idea was based on my wanting to move to 500 series stuff, and makes me think that perhaps a lunch box with six quality preamps would be a decent idea. I would probably lean towards acquiring two of each module as opposed to six different ones or six identical ones. If I were buying today it would probably include a couple API 512's and a couple of AEA RPQ's for my ribbon/dynamic microphones. There are so many 500 modules available it's both exciting and a bit overwhelming to have to choose between them. For the best space utilization I would probably avoid double wide modules, although I've long coveted the Great River one. Do you have any particular choices of fairly neutral modules you would recommend based on the previous description of how I work? 
Dean
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Jim Williams

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 11:13:02 am »

500 modules are probably the highest cost solution. $400~$1000 per module plus the rack = $$$.

Until you are familiar with the sonic attributes and 'flavors' of each of those modules, you are best to cut with neutral stuff. If you avoid fashion pieces you can get the job done for far less money.

That is money you can use for post processors.
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Dinogi

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2013, 06:34:21 pm »

Thanks Jim,
One of the things I was looking at last year was the True Precision 8. I purchased one of their little P-Solo units which has performed quite well. The P-8, at around three hundred or so per channel would indeed be more affordable than most 500 series modules. One caveat that was mentioned was the lack of pads.  I've done OK without them on my current setup (Grace M101's) so I assume they are nice to have but not entirely necessary. I suppose I could acquire some inline attenuators from Shure or equivalent if I ran into a situation where I actually needed them. The Grace eight channel unit at around six hundred per channel is quite a bit pricier than the True or I would have considered it. Another unit I've considered was the Presonus eight channel box but my limited experience with that brand was not terribly convincing. The unit I demo'ed seemed to get rather harsh when pushed near the limits. I'm in the tweener situation in that I can afford to get decent stuff, but not esoteric stuff, and definitely can't afford to make expensive mistakes.
Thank you guys again for your patients and valuable advice.
Dean
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DarinK

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2013, 07:19:04 pm »

You might also want to look into the 8MX2, formerly badged by ATI and now made by JDK.  I think it comes in under $350 per channel, and has received a lot of praise under both the ATI and JDK incarnations.
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Dinogi

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2013, 05:02:55 am »

Thanks Darin, That's another possibility I have considered. And it's a mixer also. About the only negative thing I've heard about it was that the limiters are only for emergency purposes. The price per channel is in the right neighborhood, although closer to $400 ea which is still really good for quality pre-amplification.
The question becomes whether the extra features (Mixer & Limiting) would be used enough to justify the added cost.
Dean
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Fletcher

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2013, 12:10:58 pm »

You might want to consider some FMR Audio "RNP" units... at about $250/channel they're pretty hard to beat and sound quite professional.

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Dinogi

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2013, 05:14:00 pm »

I would have no problem with the RNP other than size and weight. Eight channels in two rack spaces is pretty good I guess. Not quite as tightly packed as something like the P8 but considerably less money. For my purposes, space and weight are important considerations as I'm an old guy, possibly older than most on this forum. I'd like to limit the wear and tear on my body as much as possible.  I'm just trying to get to a point where I am able to use more of the microphones I already have on projects.
Thanks Fletcher for sharing your wisdom, and I hope you (and everyone here) have a great holiday and fantastic new year.
Dean
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Fletcher

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2013, 11:00:51 am »

In the "size and weight" department, while I don't have hard numbers, I believe that 8 channels of RNP in 2x Funk Logic mounting frames will be less weight than the True Systems "Precision 8".  I do know from personal experience that the FMR unit sounds better than the True Systems unit in terms of clarity, depth and detail of the audio [I was rather unimpressed with the True Systems unit when I tried it... especially with the "more gain" button depressed].

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Nobtwiddler

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2013, 07:24:56 pm »

I like Fletcher, and a few before me, totally live by the less is more rule, especially if the listening environment is less then stellar~!
For the last 25 or so years I've worked on the premise that if if the tracks can be recorded separately, then I feel there is no real reason to EQ anything on the way in.
Because you can move a mic, change the mic or instrument, and get the sound you are trying to achieve at the source to achieve the sound you are looking for.
And this leaves you many, many options while mixing.


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Dinogi

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2013, 07:09:59 am »

I just noticed that those wacky folks at Funk Logic have added a vertical mounting bracket for the RNP. Making a rough guess-timation it appears like you might be able to put 20 to 22 channels of preampfification into one five space rack. Aside from the humongous wall wart pile it would require, that seems like a pretty efficient use of space.. Heat buildup might be an issue though....d
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Fletcher

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Re: A question about: Priority of acquisition
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2013, 08:24:07 am »

You might want to find out if you can get some kind of "power distribution" that would work off one transformer with a bunch of output power connectors to feed the various units in that vertical frame... I'm sure power distribution was something Derek [sp?] at Funk Logic thought about when creating a vertical frame.

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm
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