Show 96 – AES Convention and tracking without compression

This week Ryan and Jesse talk about their recent adventure at the AES Convention in San Francisco. Jesse talks about recording without compression.

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Mix experiment submissions are due soon! Email your mp3 to ryan[@]

26 thoughts on “Show 96 – AES Convention and tracking without compression

  1. Great episode guys. I’ve learned quite a bit from your show, and have been following it for about a year now. I know the topic of the show is “home” recording, but if I could put in a request it would be for some shows about live recording.

    Sounds like AES was loads of fun. Wish I could’ve been there. Can’t wait for #97.

    Brandon S. Hire
    The Metal Shop Podcast
    Skyline Sound Studios

    • I just did an article and interview for Joe over at Home Studio Corner all about live recording. The interview was actually taped today and was about 30 minutes long. We will be sure make it available as soon as Joe puts the whole thing together.

  2. Have dropped a mix of the experiment song to you. I thought I was going to miss the deadline, so it’s been a bit of a rush job (10 minutes max per track, 90 minutes to complete the mix). Given some of the rush jobs I get to do professionally it’s actually good practice!

    I’ll be over on the East coast of the USA very soon for a couple of weeks, where I’m hoping to pick up a few goodies at the prices you guys over the Atlantic enjoy (grr!).

    Anyway, comments on the recent discussions…

    I frequently use a graphic display to assist me. When you’re long into a session your ears begin to tire, and it’s a comforting thing to know you’re not hitting 12dB 80Hz peaks or some other such disastrous results of over-tweaking late in a session. It can be the difference between someone taking away a finished mix, or a second night’s mixing. Yes, use your ears, but if there are tools that can help you, let them help.

    It’s also good to check your references through a graphic display and compare with material similar to the song you’re working on; you can learn a lot.

    For a long time I tracked dry, but with some vocalists I may now add in a little ‘safety’ compression, peaking at 2-3dB, but ideally I don’t want to see the compression kick in at all during a take. I’ll do the same with bass and acoustic guitar on occasions, but I’d more often take a lower recording level than a compressed signal.

    Finally Pro Tools 9 has torn itself away from it’s ludicrous hardware embargo. Having used both PT and Cubase for many years I think I’ll remain with Cubase by choice (which I find much easier and faster to use), but at least I can now offer the choice without limiting myself to the appalling PT LE.

    Keep up the good work, guys!

  3. Hi Guys,

    Thought I’d share a link I came across while researching on room acoustics. This is from Crutchfield and was geared towards home theaters but I think it can be applied to home studio setups as well as it shows you how to understand your room.

    I’ve been reading home recording blogs and forums about treating your room but since every room is different I haven’t found anything that further explained what kind to use (absorption or diffusion) and where to put them exactly and why… except for the generic bass traps in the corners and treating behind and on the sides of your monitors… as for the rest of the room it’s anybody’s guess and “use your ears” method.

    This Crutchfield article actually explains the practical science of reflections and how to “LOCATE” and treat them. They actually suggested using a mirror as one tool.

    They explain sound wavelengths, room resonance, absorption, diffusion, locating trouble spots and more.

    Well, I’ll let you read it and tell me what you think and maybe share it with other listeners on the next show.

  4. Did any of you actually get PT 9 yet? Used it? You seemed to Really quickly pass over it in your report… The Cascade mics you talked about, do you have any links to any of those? Models? How about Telefunkens new more inexpensive offerings…. The new Retro Brass mic looked cool, did anyone try it?

    • I would hope that the audio industry insiders over at Audionowcast would do a better job than us on covering the AES show! I am pretty sure that our audience could not give a crap less about the corporate and marketing side of the recording industry. Let us know by leaving comments here so we can know for sure what you guys want.

  5. Audionowcast DID do a great job on the AES report. To be completely honest, it’s not that interesting to us or most of our listeners. This event was just not that exciting.
    Pro Tools 9 is not that much different from 8, it’s more of it for more money. We’re not upgrading for a while because there’s always bugs in the first version and early adopters tend to get burned.
    Ryan and Jesse’s trip to AES was more about meeting people than gear.

    Maybe next time they won’t be hungover when they show up on the afternoon of the last day of the event and they’ll have more to talk about.

    PS. Thanks for listening and commenting.

  6. Yes, we home-recordists are super keen on the corporate and marketing side of the industry!

    Wait… no, we aren’t. Engineering, mixing, mastering, producing, etc. is more what I’m into learning about.

  7. I think your coverage was fine, I quite enjoy hearing the personal stories and the meeting w/ Slau over the marketing. Let the other sites carry that water, you guys need to keep doing what you’re doing…it’s a very cool vibe. My .02

    BTW I’m using PT9, ain’t half bad. I don’t do this for a living so YMMV but I’ve been enjoying it. By the time the 1st update rolls out, if your workflow can accommodate, it’s worth considering it. IMHO

    • I think that it is safe to say that I will be among the first on the show to upgrade to Pro Tools 9. I want to play with new hardware and the ADC is very appealing to me. I am ready.

    • The highlights of the show for me was meeting the people that I have talked to over the years online that I had never met. The fact that there was a showroom full of all the latest and greatest gear was gravy. I have already started working on Jon to get his passport.

  8. Ya know if the guys who want to really get OCD about gear would channel all that energy and brain power into writing better songs on the gear they already have, I think that the music industry as a whole would be a much better scene all over…

    Most all of my gear is no longer up to date and yet I still am able to hit the big red button and make music… My firewire interface is toast so I had to buy a cheap USB one to keep going, and my computer doesn’t run a recent version of OS X… Let us see what the gear hounds are recording these days and I will post up what I have on the table right now…

    • Caleb Hawkins just won the bad ass award of the month! I could not agree with him more. It really is not the gear that makes all the difference. You can shoot out an mic with the DAW built in preamp against a vintage Neve 1073 in perfect condition and find a world of difference, but none of that makes any difference if you are recording something that nobody cares to listen to! Some of my favorite music was recorded on primitive gear and awesome engineers. Gear will certainly give you more options and flavors, but it can not write hit songs or convey human emotion.

  9. Hey guys! I think your AES report was appropriate, the guys at the Audionowcast covered it in more detail, and while it was entertaining and informative, chances are I’ll never buy any of the products that they talked about. I’m more interested in learning about the art of recording and mixing which is why I listen to this show and it’s my favorite podcast! great job guys!

    • Thanks for the kind words Chepster. Also, I just listened to your mix submission. Thank you for participating. I will be played in the next show that we will be taping tomorrow.

  10. Great to see you guys at AES. Nice hang, nice recap here on your show.

    I have a suspicion that a brick on top of a speaker would have about the same effect as that steel plate. 🙂

    If anyone’s interested, my notes and pics from AES-

    Interesting thoughts Jon. I think applying compression is like painting: several good layers are better than one, thick layer. For voice, I like to use a little compression while tracking, a little on each track and probably some parallel compression on a vocal submix. Also, an analog low rolloff BEFORE the compressor can almost completely eliminated P-pops. I also like to ride a vocal into compression.

  11. Great show guys! I never miss a HRS podcast…
    One topic discussed a lot is the colour of different preamps. But it’s still not clear to me how one should use the different types of pres together to build a great sounding mix. I myself have some external pres (tranformer, tube and a cleaner one)but it’s confusing to me which one should I use for each application.
    You guys could set up a shootout with different pres, giving us insights on the relevant sonic characteristics of each type of pre.
    Thanks for the awesome podcast!

  12. Haha, you know guys, sometimes I forget this is a “home” recording podcast! Glad you guys met Slau and survived, not that I know him or anything, he’s just one of those infamous corner stones of the online audio podcast community at this stage isn’t he?!!! You’d tend to forget he’s a completely top knotch engineer too!

  13. Hey Ryan,

    All these years I thought it was JIM Henson that did the Muppets and now I find out from that it was former Talk Soup host JOHN Henson that did it. He looks so young.

    Just busting your ballz…and loooking forward to CRUSHING your mix experiment competition. Way too many tracks is my SPECIALITY! LOL.

    Hey Jack Joseph Puig is doing a mix competition sponsored by Waves plug-ins that runs thru Dec 15th…will any of you guys be taking a crack at it?

    Mangling all that’s fit to be reproduced 20-20000 “hurts”
    DBG/Clever Guerilla

  14. Hi Gang,

    I am a brand new listener, and cannot seem to find where to send questions. Can someone please direct me to an email address or form?

    Thank you in advance.


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