Show 203 – just comments and questions

In this episode we’re just answering your questions. We have another big roundtable episode coming out later this week.

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10 thoughts on “Show 203 – just comments and questions

  1. In response to the electrical engineering students information regarding impedance. I am a grad of all the Navy’s Advanced Electronics Schools (Electronic Warfare) and the Navy School of Music at LIttle Creek.

    I specifically entered the Electronics field because I am your typical guitarist that wanted to learn how to make pedals, amps etc. So, I joined the Navy and the training was awesome. I understand what the student was saying, but honestly unless you really want to customize stuff or DIY stuff then most of that stuff is just nice to know. Todays gear is almost impossible to work on or repair (unless you have a Genrad) its not worth opening and working on surface mounted components. Thats why they have extended warranties. Understanding basic electronics and impedance concepts is important, but really, just knowing how products interconnect for the best result is the best knowledge. Leave the heavy knowledge to the Engineers and call them dirty names when stuff doesn’t work.
    So, after a you get the basics down and you dont want to truly geek out like Ryan or people like me. Work on stuff like
    Basic Musicianship
    Ear Training
    Instrument Proficiency
    and most important of all listen to everything, take it onboard and recreate it with your own mouth full of flavor (for Ryan begin) because you have to reach deep in the inside of your soul, pull it out and let is gush all over the studio like a testosterone fueled cave man with ADHD. And when you finally feel satisfied with what you have emptied out. You need to go back for more and continue to ram home your musical desires with the passion of a horny Tibetan Yak perched on a mountain of love. (Ryan ends here) Chicken aint got shit on a T. Yak WERD!!!!!

    • I am not mad…You GUYS FU*&ing ROCK..KennyMac an education does help us get from point A to point B. The new stuff seems to be going into the compact SMD/Digitial route. I personally think its shit. The old school electronics from the 50,60’s and 70’s is what I love. Big transformers…transistors , and tubes make my clock run at 96khz! I currently build older gear cause I think it does sound better over the new crap that is coming out… I would rather re-build something from the 50’s then buy the 250 dollar put together piece you can get today. I think quality equipment comes at a price and there is no way to get around it. I am building a ton equipment, and I am paying the price…

      Thanks Guys..

      • I agree with you. The older analog stuff has its charm. I was at a Sound Course awhile back. The instructor asked the class a simple question. What other industry out sales the entire live sound industry every year? Nobody could guess the answer. FInally he tells us. Halloween Candy. Every year Halloween candy out sales Live Sound Audio Gear. Why is this important? Because our industry, Live sound, Recording ect. Is a hair on the ass of the electronics industry. We have to move in the direction of that industry. Clocks, VCRs, phones, TVs, the list goes on. We have to use the parts that the Electronic Industry uses. Old Analog stuff will never comeback to a useable level because all of the other devices cant use those parts. Just Food for thought.

  2. Thank you guys for taking the time to answer my questions on loudness!

    Since my last post, I have re-worked a lot the anti-loud/recording riddle song in order to basically change the sound design of my synths so that they would be more rich in harmonics. Basically, I think I have almost achieved my loudness goal without distorting too much and still keeping a dynamic range of 9 dB (1dB more than what’s recommended by Tischmeyer for dance electronic music). Tomorrow, I will spend some time in my university’s studio to be sure that I got the things right, and I will e-mail you some of my results and the process I used. Maybe, if you are willing, you could point out to me the weaknesses in the quality of my work so I can learn and get better!

    Meanwhile, I will be doing some listening, for I also want to be a candidate for the HRS diploma…

  3. Hey guys, great show as usual.
    I’m medium term listener making my first real comment.
    Having been listening back through your archive I have picked up a load of tips and ideas, as well as getting confirmation that some things I have been doing are in fact right!
    Your podcasts have reignited my passion for writing and recording, and have pushed me to commit to writing and recording a song a week for a blog. I know, madness.
    Thanks guys for your regular and highly informative podcasts, A donation will be heading your way when I stop spending money on gear and plug ins you recommend!

  4. Jon, Ryan…send them my way if they need an 1176 built!!
    **Hey, you need an 1176 build? get ahold of me at

    Its only 500 bucks for a Hairball Audio 1176( this is for the standard Rev D)….the calibration process is the hard part…knowing how to correctly set it is the difficult section… I know what I am doing, get ahold of me… Joe Marsh
    I have sound files for examples as well

  5. Hey guys, thanks for the advice on the 1176 clone.
    My girlfriend’s dad is an electrical engineer, and when I asked him if he thought I’d be capable of something like that he offered me access to his home workshop, and help with getting the project underway.
    I went ahead and bought a Revision A kit, and all up with parts and postage it came to about $600.
    You guys have a really cool thing going on, and I dig that you reach out not only to your listeners, but to other podcasters too.

  6. GSETIGLOSOTS (Great Show Even Though I Got Lost On Some Of That Shit)

    I’m only bringing this up here because of the compression discussion near the top of the show. It’s a question I’ve been thinking about a whole lot lately:

    How do you guys handle the attack times and its effect on transients in your various compression layers?

    By the way: feel free to skip to the “Question” at the end if you just want the quicker question without the rambling setup.

    A lot of us are compressing on the way in, on the channel, on a sub, on the 2-buss, then into a brick wall limiter (if we’re also mastering it ourselves). That’s a lot of opportunity to accentuate, round off, or smash transients using attack times (in balance with ratios and threshold).

    What are you basing your decisions off of when deciding your attack times? Is it purely “what sounds best at this second” or are you scheming all the way down the line saying “I’ll get all the punch I can out of the channels and handle the overall loudness and transients at the 2-buss?” Maybe a combination of both? Neither?

    On my last mix, I was experimenting with slower attack times (slower for me, anyway…what IS a slow attack time? 50ms-ish?) to try to really let a bunch of punchy transient through on pretty much everything (three acoustic guitars, 1 lead synth, aux percussion, and an improvised suitcase bass drum) then save the handling of transients for the brickwall. I was able to get what I think is a pretty decent sound with loudness rivaling others of the genre (pop/indie/folk/acoustic) by just electing to deal with almost all the transients at the 2-buss (vocals had a slow compressor 2:1 and a fast compressor 6:1 to whack peaks down). Of course, that genre is less worried about a slammed level than others are. Is this approach common?

    So that brings me to a clearer statement of my main question and the pile of questions that follow.

    When trying to produce music with professional-level loudness (DR8-to-DR6-ish, we’ll say) where you have to balance punch and spiky transients with overall level: How are you handling the transients in your compression layers? Another way of saying that is “When are you deciding to cut off transients with fast attack times and when are you letting them through with slow times?” On the 2-buss? On subs? On individual tracks? On the way in? A little bit of everything? How are you making that decision?

    Thanks again for taking my Poorly Written eBook® (patent pending) of a question.


  7. Can anyone direct me to some Pro Logic v9 tutorials that are simple to follow? All I C out here are Pro Tools pod casts, I probably should have bought PT, but I didn’t, now I’m stuck with PL v9.

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