Show 201 – Auralex Mudguard reviewed and more!

This week we talk about the Auralex Mudguard and other microphone reflection isolating thingies, also some recent DIY projects we’ve been working on. No guest this week.

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22 thoughts on “Show 201 – Auralex Mudguard reviewed and more!

  1. Hey guys, I have a pair of Tannoy pbm 6.5 nearfield monitors that are as old as me. Are they junk or should I roll with it? Also, Big Wrecks’ new album is totally badass! Maybe Jon has heard of them….

    • Hello,

      I have the same monitors. To my ears they sound great. I got them for free and bought a used 75 watt amp for $30. I like them a lot more than the entry level m-audio monitors that I paid for.

      In my opinion you should definitely try them out with an amp. You should give them a go and spend your money on something other than new monitors.

  2. Hey guys, I’m kinda off subject but I’d like to reply to the comment on what and how much should you charge a client. As mentioned, you should factor in how much you’re worth, along side with the quality and skill you can provide a client. Now I have also considered this personally, but there is another factor missing I think. I ran across this little video called “F*ckYou. Pay me.” on Vimeo, and at first I thought it was related to Mercenary Audio because for a while the F U pay me statement was featured in their payment disclaimer on Mercenary’s recording studio website, but shortly taken off for whatever reason. The video talks about getting paid and not getting burned for what you love to do. Now… they’re talking about web designers here, but I think you can apply what Mike Monteiro is saying here to the audio biz you just have to watch it. And if you could follow Mike on Twitter, but be prepared for obscenity laced jokes, hey it brightens my day up.

  3. About not giving up the audio before you get the money: what do you guys think of uploading to soundcloud, set the file to private and not downloadable, and sharing to the client’s email address?
    This way they can play the whole thing in mp3 but can’t download a real file or spread it around at all.
    Is that a good idea, or should I change my plan?

    • Justin re “This way they can play the whole thing in mp3 but can’t download a real file or spread it around at all.
      Is that a good idea, or should I change my plan?”
      Change your plan as there are a million and one bits of software that let you grab the audio you hear on your computer and save it to your hd bypassing your cunning plan.
      Ps is Jon moonlighting as Tina, Bob’s eldest in Bob’s Burgers?

      • I guess I should have said, I realize they could find a way to steal the mp3 from soundcloud by recording the stream locally but I was asking about people’s feelings about private files on soundcloud as a way to let the client hear the mp3 of the product and get paid before releasing the full res files. As in what do you think is the sweet spot between client convinience and acceptable risk? At least it’s not the full res files so a client that you only interact with online doesn’t get everything they need right away and vanish.

  4. Nice Jon…The hakko stuff is awesome, I myself have the Weller with the vairiable temp gauge( and I will never go back on it)…Very nice.- Variable temp is aweome, I would suggest soldering between 6 and 700 degrees, a short soldering period actually protects components over soldering at lower temps for longer… Just my two cents
    I have my dedicated electronics area in my basement, I installed some fans across my work bench to prevent breathing in the dreaded smoke from soldering… Also look into clampable heatsinks to protect your components even more..
    Dont forget Ryan, transistors are very touchy-feeler to Static…

  5. Hey Guys,
    Since we got on the topic of business, what recommendations do you have for finding your first clients in a new place? I just built my home studio and am getting back into in after about 6 years. No one I recorded before is in the scene anymore. Obviously traditional advertising methods aren’t the way to reach these customers. What suggestions can you give?

    Reifer350- yes that’s my nickname, and no i never smoked weed

  6. Wow, great show guys, just started listening about a week ago and I’ve finished every episode on iTunes. Guess I’ll have to start digging through the archives.

    I’ve been wanting to pick up one of those Golden Age preamps for a while now and if I do end up having the cash one of these days, I will definitely go the Amazon route through you guys.

    Also, I have a question on clock sync. I have a Tascam fw-1884 interface and an M-audio TAMPA preamp with SPDIF. I always have the Tascam set up to receive clock through the SPDIF on the TAMPA because it does not have a word clock out. However, I want to get something like the Focusrite OctoPre, so I can utilize my 8 channels of ADAT on the Tascam. Would it be possible to keep all three pieces of hardware in sync so I can use them all when tracking simultaneously? Can I have the Tascam use the SPDIF clock, and then use the word clock out on the Tascam to the OctoPre?

    Thanks for the awesome show and great resource!

  7. Hey guys, Love the show! I’m hoping you can help me out. I can’t decide if I should get the Focusrite octopre and the TC level pilot or the Saffire Pro 40. I have a Moto 24I/O but the pre’s I have now is the SM pro audio PR-8 and a Behringer mixer with 8 direct outs, that also acts as my monitor control ( I know Ryan….LOL). I was originally just looking for some quality pres but for the same price I can get all the other functionality that comes with the Saffire. Help?!?

    Oh yeah, I’ve had my Sennheiser MD 421 for some time and it rocks. I’ve used it on so many things and is now my go to kick mic ( Led Zeppelin used it on Bonhams kick). Great mic I highly recommend it, I wish I had five of them!

    Thanks guys and only ride the chicken, thats it, none of that funny business… know who you are.

  8. GSAA

    Never under estimate the power of important looking studio gear in attracting new clients… especially the inexperienced ones. We tracked one of our first demos in a studio that we picked out just because it had a really fancy looking board and microphone. I’m sure if they would have had the mudguard it would have been that much more exciting.

    I would have loved to have a professional microphone reflection isolation get up last time i tracked vocals. Instead i stuck to sleeping bags and knitted throws. Nothing kills the studio boner like the aesthetic of a 80 year old woman. Its hard to be a soulful menacing rock and roller while you are surrounded by hand crafted yarn lilies and butterfly’s.

    I just purchased the beginnings of my next DIY project. I took the leap into microphone land. Considering it only took me 4 months to get this far after threatening to do it i might have a functioning mic some time in 2014.

    Solder the chicken

  9. Hi folks,
    Just thought I’d post about an interesting scenario that I ran into this week…maybe help a couple other folks out. I’ve been using a pair of Focals as my main near-fields for the last couple of years along with a Tannoy sub (I should probably spring for the matching Focal sub, but the Tannoy still works fine and I just can’t bring myself to drop the cash on it). Anyway, I was working on a kick drum this week and turning on and off the sub to check balance when I noticed that every time I brought the sub in it felt like a bunch of content around 80Hz and lower disappeared. Turns out the sub is overlapping some of the low end frequencies being put out by the Focals and is in just the right spot in the room to cause phase cancellation. I walked over, turned the phase knob on the sub to 180 and, like magic, suddenly it’s all remedied. Keep in mind that it’s been set up this way for at least three years…so I’ve been in a room that looks like an Auralex factory exploded and has some really nice outboard, but every time I’ve turned on my sub I’ve been mixing with a giant hole in my bottom end (ahem,so to speak…go ahead and make the comment Jon…I’ll wait).

    Anyway, the moral of this little story: monitor placement, monitor placement, monitor placement. And don’t think that just because something has been working there aren’t still problems. Oh..and did I mention monitor placement?


    • Wait…I mean “Go ahead and make the comment Ryan” not, Jon. My apologies Jon…you’re polite, demure and proper as always.


  10. Hey Jon and Ryan,

    This is a follow-up to my “How Should I Spent $1500” question.

    First of all…I spent it.

    I actually changed paths completely away from tube gear. Instead, my research led me to purchase the A-Designs Pacifica preamp. It’s a dual channel, solid state preamp. And after a month of it living in my studio, I can say with certainty that it’s really f’ing nice.
    I got it just days before a drum tracking session, and I used its two channels on mono overhead, and snare. If I had one word to describe the Pacifica’s sound, that word would be: “open”.
    This is also my first high-end preamp in my humble home studio, and I was really impressed at how it handles transients. They just seem to be punchier through it.

    So enough talk – I uploaded an mp3 of the drum recording we came out with that day. What you’re hearing is a mono overhead (Rode NT2a placed about 4 feet above the snare), and a 57 on the snare. My interface is the RME Fireface 800. No compression. A few dbs of subtractive EQ to clean up a bit of mud, but nothing crazy. I had more mics on the kit, but these are just the two tracks that went through the Pacifica. Listen to the mp3 here!

    Thanks a lot for the help, and a continued fantastic show.
    Also, totally unrelated – I just hired Jon to do a master for me, and it came out spectacular.

  11. The other week when you were talking about Mics as speakers, I meant to leave a comment. If you’re using a slim dynamic mic, {57s work great at this.} and you stick it right at the corner of your mouth, if you move you mouth all Peter Frampton, talk-box style, you can get the same effect. Then just mic it and record it. {I always hated “Do You Feel”, but you can pull of a great version of Steely Dan’s “Haitian Divorce.” Just sayin’.} You do have to be careful about unwanted mouth sounds. That weird lip-smacking sound just not not fit every clients track, {unless you’re doing a 70s porn remix ..I hope you’re not..}
    Anyway, it’s another idea that folks come up with during idle studio downtime. {yet another “un-billable hour”}, but if you ever use it in a session, tell the client it’s called the BlindDog effect. ..could be my only claim to fame …but I’ll take it..

  12. Hey guys, I’ve got some questions about stacking compressors. On what instruments do you usually do it? Do you set the thresholds the same, or stagger them? How do you set the ratios in relation to each other? I hope these questions make sense. TFAGS and ride the chicken. -Kris

  13. Hey Guys,
    really enjoy listening to the show and have passed it on to a couple of friends already. My question is regarding Hair Ball 1176 kits, or indeed any 1176 clone kits. Between working, gigging, practicing, lessons, writing and recording I have absolutely no time! And I was wondering if there was anyone you guys had heard of that will build these things and sell them on…

    I did enquire a few weeks back to SCA Kit Builder but no reply as yet.
    I know little about electronics and am reluctant to build anything that may blow me up! I would love to find one built for 240V Australian power, or even just somewhere that I can find a list of the correct components I’ll need to spend my next 2 years constructing one myself (with the 10 minutes a day that I have free).
    I can’t really make sense of the Hair Ball site, or MNATS for that matter.

    I don’t really want to fork out for an expensive clone, or an original, and actually like the look of the clean-faced clones especially at the DIY price.

    Ps. Great interview with Shaun of Valhalla. Very interesting stuff!

  14. Hi guys I’ve been meaning to comment for months and have finally gotten around to it! Congratulations on the show… I’ve been working on a new self-produced album for nearly 2 years now and as you can imagine there are times when it can become a bit of a slog… But when inspiration is shy I’ll just dig into your archives for whatever takes my fancy and by the end I’m gagging to mount the chicken once again.

    I have to be careful listening on earbuds during my day job since i often catch myself grinning inanely at the banter between you guys… One day you will be my downfall!

    I just finished listening to show #192 as was incredibly impressed by Jon’s mix – what a transformation. I’d love to hear Jon expand a little on his ‘inflator’ concept… I appreciate Jon described the set up but it would be nice to know a little of the philosophy behind it so as to make it applicable to different circumstances.

    One other small point of discussion: I think after a year or two of using different plug-in compressors I’m starting to hear their tonal differences, but I can’t seem to nail each one down in every instance ie it’s doesn’t appear as straightforward as 1176 adds mids or LA2 brightens things up… Perhaps it’s dependent on the material being processed? Do you have any comments on how different compressors react tonally?

    Anyway thanks so much for all your hard work and for continuing to inspire me many years into my music career.

    Big cheers from middle England

    *** FREE DOWNLOAD! Get your free download of new track Perfect Lives – mixed by Grammy Award Winning producer Mark ‘Exit’ Goodchild (Usher/Michael Jackson/David Guetta) !!! Visit ***
    “Garfield Mayor’s music, and his gift for song writing are of the most timeless and special I have ever heard” – Evan Lamberg, President, Universal Music Publishing

  15. I have a Behringer ADA8000 but I had mine modded by Black Lion Audio. I dig it a lot along side my Saffire Pro 40. It’s very clean sounding. Nice thing is, as I upgrade to new pres, I can use it for solely conversion. FWIW, the BLA guys liken it (in that use) to an Apogee Ensemble. Unfortunately I have never had the opportunity to do the shootout myself.

  16. Glad you did the bit on the Mudguard, and your observations sound quite in line with what I would expect. It is true that none of these reflection filter systems have a great mounting scheme–and I’m not sure there is any brilliant way to add that much weight to a standard mic stand without some counterbalance system.

    However, I must say that Jon’s comment about the SE product being “pretty much the same thing” makes me think that you didn’t get a chance to A/B the two. I did, in the store, and found a world of difference between these two products (monitoring both mics on headphones with my own voice). Compared with the SE filter, the Mudguard sounded kind of like I was talking into a paint can.

    I’m no expert on that technology, but looking at the construction of the two products you can kind of guess why they’d be different. The Mudguard is just a solid piece of plastic with foam glued to it, where as the other one uses a bunch of layers of absorption and diffusion, but still lets some of the vocal through.

    Anyway, the difference in sound does speak for itself and I cringed and bought the more expensive one. Sometimes you get what you pay for–I don’t use Behringer preamps either, although I’m sure Jon would say they’re “pretty much the same thing” lol.

    I track in the back of my mix room quite often. I’ve done bass trapping and some amount of treatment, but haven’t killed the room completely. I have found that placing the vocalist with the reflection filter in front and two layers of moving blankets behind effectively cuts out the little bit of “room” I was still getting with loud vocalists. It’s a simply, yet effective setup for me anyway.

    One important point though–that I read in the instructions of the SE filter–is that the mic capsule should be in line with the front edges of their product, not “in” the curve. A little experimentation proved this to be quite true.

  17. Oh yeah… one other thing. I ended up putting a 25 pound weight (yeah, the old-fashioned black metal ones) over the base of a standard round-base mic stand. This gave me enough heft to keep the thing steady, without having to go to an expensive stand with a wider base or legs. It’s a little heavy to move, but doesn’t take up precious floor space.

  18. hey guys…I listened to ALL the archived podcasts and I always look forward to any new ones you put out in the future…you guys are not only knowledgeable, but also very funny…I really enjoy listening…hopefully new podcasts aren’t TOO far in the future…I have a question about recording electronic piano…first off, I want to say that I’m not a midi guy…so, once I track the piano, is there a plugin that I can use to emulate other pianos without using midi? in other words, can I make my recorded track sound closer to the acoustic piano I really want it to sound like with some sort of piano emulator? btw, the electronic piano is a Kurzweil and sounds good as it is, I just need to get some other piano sounds in my mixes…
    since I’ve listened to every podcast (some more than once), did I graduate?

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