Show 165 – EQ Matching and Bourns Pro Audio

This week we use the Matching EQ mode in Ozone to fix some difficult acoustic guitars and talk to Jim Lawson from Bourns about the superior quality variable resistors Bourns makes for guitars and other audio applications.

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14 thoughts on “Show 165 – EQ Matching and Bourns Pro Audio

  1. I haven’t checked out 165 yet, but since it’s the newest show I figured I’d leave my comment here.

    I’m preparing to relocate my studio, and would like to know your feedback on studio construction. I’m doing research, but since I wanna get this right I wanna check as many resources as I can. I’m not necessarily talking what types of materials to use for acoustical purposes, but rather the angles and thicknesses of the walls, ect. Also, any information on room sizes would be great. I’m relocating the studio from a house to a commercial space and if I get the place I’m looking at I will have about 700 square feet. The place is gutted right now, but the rental company will build the rooms to my specs (with reference to size) at no cost to me. If I want specific materials, I’ll foot the bill for it, but for now I’m more concerned with what room dimensions would work best for a control room, and a live room, since I’ll have the option to build them to my size specs.

    Also, For anyone interested, The Metal Shop Podcast #2 is out now. In it we continue the conversation with Brad Smalling. Thanks to the many people who’ve downloaded both episodes, the numbers jumped quite high after I was on HRS #162.

    TFAGS – The Death Metal Rooster just sacrificed your chicken to Beelzebub while shredding to Swedish death metal. – http://youtu.be/A43JOxLa5MM

  2. That EQ matching was pretty Slick Jon. Considering the sonic content, it worked reasonably well. Team Jon 5 points!

    Ryan I think I have a solution to your problem (getting your kids to listen to complete albums and incorporating vinyl).

    1.) Find a turntable on Craigs List; something really cheap that you don’t care about
    2.) announce that you found it, and build some excitement/anticipation about the turntable
    3.) When you bring the turn table home, gather the whole family ’round and tell the kids, “This is not a toy; it’s for DAD!!” (even though it’s especially for the kids)
    4.) This is important: TELL THEM NOT TO TOUCH!!!
    5.) tell them that if you listen to more than 4 tracks in a row, it’s bad for the needle and can ruin it.
    6.) mission accomplished

    If you kids are anything like my 3-year-old daughter & her friends, they are now hopelessly obsessed with the turntable, the cheap records that the Craigslist guy probably threw in (if not pick up Switched on Bach at your local thrift store for $.25) and will sneak out in the middle of the night to use it and find out exactly what DOES happen to the needle if you listen to the entire album start-to-finish.

    In my house, anything that’s labeled “Only for Dad” inevitably gets taken over by my daughter. Not kidding, she now possesses my original Akai MIDI controller.

    You’re welcome.

    In order to ride a chicken you probably have to mount it. In the zoological terms, mounting a chicken means something VERY specific that doesn’t sound entertaining to me. Besides, the quills are kind of pokey. So I’ll continue to,

    Ride the Lightning,

    -James

  3. Thanks for last weeks respond. I guess I put away that dream and create a new one. Just wanted to tell you what a “tele”-cable is. It’s simply what we call a guitar-cable in Sweden. Thought it was a world wide expression.

    I tried another guitar with humbucker mics and there is no noise at all. Guess I will have to mod my guitar.

    Once again, thanks

    Best regards, ride the chicken
    Andreas F

    and BTW, really great episode this week.

  4. Hey guys, another good show. I have a couple comments i would like to add. First, just want to clarify my comments regarding the D112 were intended to be somewhat tongue in cheek. I agree with all your comments about the difference between the current trends for kick drums relative to the old school methods. I was hoping my use of the word flaccidity would tip people off. I did get the joke! I would only add that I do have to do all kinds of things to my 18″ acrylic floor tom to get it to sound more like a tom than a very tightly tuned bass drum!

    Next, I would like to add another comment regarding ribbon mics and having enough gain. The Cloudlifter is great, but if you are considering a new pre amp, Not intending to sound like a shill for Focusrite, I have to very highly recommend the Focusrite ISA 1. It is the ideal pre for ribbon mics. First, it has a whopping 80dbs of very clean and clear gain with a great noise floor. And while it is essentially considered a fairly transparent pre, the Lundahl transformers do add a touch of warmth that give it that Focusrite sound. So right away you have high gain with a low noise floor:

    EIN (equivalent input noise) = -126dB measured at 60dB of gain with 150 Ohm terminating impedance and 22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter; Noise at main output with gain at unity (0dB) = -97dBu measured with a 22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter; and a fantastic signal to noise ratio relative to max headroom (9dBu) = 106dB. So as you can see, considering you have another 20db more of clean gain available, this pre is perfect for a ribbon mic.

    It also has not 1, but 4 impedance settings:
    low of 600 Ohms, 1400 Ohms (the ISA setting), 2400 Ohms, all the way up to a high of 6800 Ohms. So here again, you can get incredible high end response out of a ribbon. Add to that you also get a separate, and also very clean DI section that can be used along with the pre amp section, great for direct/mic recording of bass, guitar, etc. So as you can see, this really is an ideal pre for ribbon mics, no external boosters, etc. needed! And it sounds great! Although it is great with vocals or anything else, it makes a great pre for recording acoustic instruments, especially with a ribbon mic. And now, they are releasing the ISA 2 which is two complete ISA 1’s in a 1u box). Considering the ISA 1 is only $499, the pricing on the new two channel version is going to be similar. You will have to spend a whole lot more money to find a more versatile pre that is also so well suited for ribbon mics.

    Finally, I just wanted to add to the comments regarding getting a clean sound to stand out in a more metal/rock mix with distorted guitars:
    Your suggestions regarding EQ and dealing with masking were right on. However, while not the first thing that might come to mind, you can also try using different chord inversions and using a harmonic scale as opposed to playing the same chords and scales. It might take some experimenting to determine which instrument/s need to be playing the other inversion, etc., this can also help separate similar instruments/sounds in the mix, especially when trying to separate the sound of two of the same instrument like guitars. It also can work very well to separate keyboards. A similar option would be to drop or raise the octave of one of the guitars. Again, this might not be the most obvious and might take a little more work to get right, but it is well worth the effort if everything else is not getting the wanted results. Sorry to once again take up so much space, but hopefully these are all useful and helpful comments.

    For those interested, here is a link to the complete specs for the ISA 1:

    http://www.focusrite.com/products/mic_pres/isa_one/specifications/

  5. I almost forgot, I have a possible DIY project I am entertaining suggestions for. I have an older Electro Voice EVT 5208 stereo mixer. It has decent specs but I thinking about doing some upgrades to use it as a summing mixer. My initial thoughts are to go through and replace some of the caps with high end ones as well as maybe replacing the pots. My real issue though is while all the inputs have balanced/unbalanced mic/line ins and all have dedicated insert loops, none of the sub A and sub B stereo outs are not balanced. Anyone have any suggestions for the best way to mod the outputs to make them balanced? My first thought is to convert to transformer balanced outs, but I have to admit this is getting to the limits of my electronics knowledge. Anyone have any ideas, suggestions, etc.? I do have the service manual (geezus! autospell tried to correct my typo when typing service to cervix!!!!) parts specs, schematics, etc. and can provide PDF’s to anyone that is interested. Thanx up front for any input from Jon, Ryan, or any listeners that might have some ideas. Ryan, I don’t know if this would be similar to your Yamaha mod or not, but am hoping you might have some ideas. I am also considering upgrading the pres, but so far upgrading the caps is all I have come up with.

  6. i just listened to your last 2 shows. someone mentioned SSD4 groove preview not snycing to the project. the latest version does indeed sync groove preview to the project tempo

  7. Was just curious why you deleted my comments on how perfect the ISA 1 is for ribbon mics as well as my comments regarding other options to make clean guitars stand out in the mix. None of it was critical and all of it was relevant and helpful information…

  8. TFAGS!

    Since no one went for the low hanging fruit ill do it. Take it from me the right pot can make music sound way better!

    I didn’t know it but EQ matching is probably what i’m looking for. Ive had some guitar tracks that have sounded lopsided and i couldn’t figure out why. I went as far as to download an app to check my ears to make sure i wasn’t going def in one. Ive now got something else i can throw at the problem. The only hangup is I’m broke and cant spend any more money for a while. Ryan had mentioned it would not have been his approach… so I’m curious what your approach would have been.

    ride the chicken

  9. All this effort spent finding good guitar tones, and I could’ve just cheated my way there?!?

    Have either of you tried using EQ matching on a full mix? Would it compliment the mix, or would it just all fall apart? I looked around, but the only people I found using matching on full mixes are hip hop and electronic guys.

    Of course techniques like this shouldn’t be relied on too heavily, because the art is lost in the process.

    Cheers.

  10. Hmm Think I need Sheldon (badseed.co.nz) to speak to Jim and Bournes!! I think he would be interested in the high quality components on his high end custom guitars. Thanks for the heads up guy’s.

  11. Thanx Jon. I didn’t think you guys actually deleted things. I was confused because I had seen it the minute after I posted it and then later it was gone but obviously is there now.

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