Show 144 – Active and passive guitar electronics and more

This week we talk about passive and active guitar electronics. In Rapid Fire we cover: Vintage gear- cool because its good or cool because its on the old records?; How do you convince your wife or girlfriend that microphones are more important than shoes?; and What’s the hardest thing to fit in the mix?
Our guest this week is Peterson Goodwyn from SoundHow and DIY Recording Equipment

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12 thoughts on “Show 144 – Active and passive guitar electronics and more

  1. Great show guys as usual. I recently put together a microphone from the handset of an old rotary phone and found out that the receivers in those are not dynamic moving coils but carbon microphones. Aparrently carbon mics are similar to condensers in that they require a current to go through them. To simplify things I just used the speaker side and wired a 1/4 inch jack into it. It turned put to be a pretty good little harp mic. Anyways thanks for the show.

  2. @Randy Coppinger

    Thanks for the link, Randy, that’s almost exactly what I was looking for.

    I’m still not sure whether the best first mic for a novice is a cheapish condenser like the AKG Perception 220, or a similar-priced dynamic.

  3. Hey guys,
    Talking about that microphone for vocal and guitar, it is SO hard to have a Swiss-Army mic that does everything well. Just ask guys like Slau and Matt McGlynn, they devote ungodly amounts of time to that holy grail of mics.

    Ok, enough rambling. I do a lot of small projects, and sometimes simple is good enough. I picked up one of these:

    What I like about it, is besides being a very versatile mic, it has a built in USB converter, so using an external interface is redundant,(though possible) and it has a headphone jack for monitoring as you use it to record.

    Granted, it isn’t incredible, as far as uber-fidelity mics go, but for a stereo, figure-8, Omni, cardioid mic, it is great to set up in 2 mins and be tracking.

    my 2 cents.

    jason from KY.

  4. I have 2 off-topic questions regarding parallel compression and master bus compression:

    When parallel compressing, do you change the EQ curve of the parallel track? I learned, especially when doing this to distorted guitars or to an entire mix, to cut 250hz (even hi-pass at 250hz). I’m sure there is no right or wrong, just wondering how you all treat the “parallel” track.

    On the master bus, assuming you’re going for a nice 1-3 db of gain reduction just to glue a mix, do you use make-up gain of say 3 db or leave it alone? I’ve heard some say that master bus comp isn’t to make the mix louder and adding gain at this stage is entering into the mastering realm while other say, “It’s a compressor. 3db of gain reduction means 3db of make-up gain.”

    Thanks for the show. I know you guys must put a lot of time into it every week. It is appreciated. Dan

  5. Thanks for sharing the Shaking Through website. Didn’t realize there were the “Recording ” videos until you mentioned on the show. Those were awesome. Fantastic stuff.

    I’ll be in my bunker…

  6. Guys, I’m only up to show 111… I’ve been listening to about 1 or 2 a day since mid July and I’m going to wait until I’m caught up to ask some questions I have. So why am I here now? My guitarist texted me yesterday and said that he got a mic for free from one of his customers at work. He asked, “Is the AKG D112 any good?” I started laughing my d112 off at work and had to explain the whole joke to him. He then explained to me why inside jokes aren’t funny.

    Any who, thanks a ton for what you guys do. My recordings are so much better now that I’ve listen to your segments, interviews and general tips and tricks. My top three: All the phase explanations and tips (I multi mic acoustic guitars in weird ways all the time and run in to phase issues often… D112 on the sound hole anyone?), the metering segment explaining VU, DBu, DBfs, etc… And finally, Jon’s interviews. I just listened to the Dynamic Range Day 2011 interview with Ian Shepherd and Allen “Big Al” Wagner. Fascinating. I spent about 3 hours looking for the TT Dynamic Range Meter last night. I found the offline version, but not the plugin. Brainworx are charging for one that looks eerily similar. Did Brainworx buy the free plugin’s rights and are charging for it?

    Thanks a ton guys! D112ing great show!


  7. Great show as usual. I find that active pickup guitars loose the “sound of the instrument” but make up for it by being more of a pure source wall of sound. I’d stay away from EMGs for a blues jam but dive right in for modern rock. I try not to think of one as “better” but rather say that if you’re looking to plug into a delux twin or an AC30 go passive and if you’re looking to plug in to a dual rectifier go active.

    On a completely off topic note (I learned it from you!), have you guys seen ? It’s this cloud based music production tool that’s completely free and open source. Sure it’s no DAW replacement but this might just be a great “gateway drug” to get some people, especially young ones or students short on cast, into proper audio production. I’d love to hear your collective thoughts on it! Be fore-warned, I just lost an entire weekend to the thing.

  8. Left field question for Ryan – I want to try an acoustic gig with my duo using just one mic like bluegrass bands do. Any advise on this? What mic etc? Some say they use an AT 4033 for example. Surely feedback is a big problem?

  9. Hey Jonathan, I’d go for something with an omni pickup pattern so you can all gather around the mic. The AT4050 is a good choice. Feedback shouldn’t be any more of a problem than micing one instrument.

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