Show 237 – Ask HRS # 3

This week we respond to your questions and comments. Topics include: drum comping; 500 series preamps; micro tube amps; location audio kit; mixing with iphone in mind; thoughts on Shure Beta 57a; Les Paul replacement pickups; the beginning of the end; more 500 series stuff; buffers; Slate VTM and tape emulations; more buffers; don’t be scared of MIDI piano; wah pedal replacement pots; making plugins with iplug; it’s possible we went off topic a couple times too.

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14 thoughts on “Show 237 – Ask HRS # 3

  1. Please, please, please do not stop this show. There are only 2 things I need on a regular basis. Game of Thrones and THRS. As soon as I get a job I will donate before I reinstall my cable. Thanks

  2. Best line of the show (actually it’s more mental imagery), Ryan (who lives in California) looking online for people making high quality Pot. Giggity!

    Definitely do the awful rhythm guitar sound segment. I’ll triple last month’s donation ($0.00) for that kind of awesome sauce.

    Lastly, I firmly support Ryan’s location-sound/sound-for-picture segments. I’m probably the sole listener who gets off on that; but I do. Also, I’d love a breakdown of the ultra high-dollar motion picture sound consoles that mix our favorite movies and/or TV shows.

    You guys are awesome,


    • I second the bit about the awful rhythm guitar. Actually, since it was my suggestion in the first place, maybe I first it instead, making these first two sentences redundant.

      Anyway, to address some of the things you mentioned about this:
      “All guitar tones work in some contexts and styles”. I suggest just keeping it simple and go for what you would do for the main guitars for a straight-up rock tune (no pussy rock, either!).

      “I don’t know how to dial in a crappy tone”. As I said, this is where I excel, so if you need help… šŸ˜‰ Anyway, my thoughts were mostly related to the settings on the amp itself. I know that is only part of the story – but mic placement etc has been covered before, which I don’t think amp settings have been.

      – Too much gain
      – Too LITTLE gain
      – Too much bass, mid or treble (and possibly presence?)
      – Too little bass, mid, treble
      – Maybe “common” combinations of too little/too much bass/mids/treble
      – Too low master volume (and too high master volume if that’s a thing) – or just examples of the point at which preamp gain gets too high in relation to master volume…

      And then comment on what sounds good, what sucks and why. And maybe if you think of a specific place where one of the crappy tones WOULD fit in, you could mention that as well.

      You must have experienced bands coming in with a rhythm guitar tone that sucks balls. Just a little. Take some inspiration from that :-).

      I have not heard anything like this on any other podcasts or been able to find it anywhere on the internet.

      I think this setup would be a good primer on guitar tones without too many variables to muddy the picture.

      If you lack a segment idea in the future, you could go to the next link in the chain and go to mismatching cabs (8″ speakers for death metal anyone?) – or the previous link (strat for death metal anyone?).

      You get that one for free. Next time it’s gonna cost ya………

  3. Hey guys, still a big fan down here in Colorado, and I’ve got a little ask HRS for you guys for number 4.

    I recently did some recording for my band and really busted my butt to get it as good as I could. By the time I was done I’d been cross referencing on monitors, laptop speakers, headphones, my surround sound system, and my car and the mixes translated across all of them. I was done, I was happy… Then I went out and upgraded from my M-Audio bx5 d2 monitors to some yamaha h5s and playing the tracks on those monitors it all seems to fall apart. I still like the songs in my car, on my headphones, and even from my iphone speaker but on the new monitors it sounds like a drunk deaf monkey mixed them. What am I supposed to do with this information?

    If anyone wants to listen and tell me exactly why I am in fact a drunk deaf monkey, here’s the link:

    • Hey Sven

      Maybe try mixing one of the songs from scratch on the new system and then compare the new mix to the old one on all these systems?

      Out of curiosity, how many tracks are the sessions?

      • As a base number it’s 18 tracks of audio plus 3 FX tracks, then as needed I’d add a random effect here or there or a sound effects track. I think my biggest was 26 tracks in all, but that’s because I did a complete change in feel for a “breakdown” section.

        And more info if you want it, each guitar would get 3 stems that I’d set levels then sub down and treat as a single stereo track. The bass had a mic and DI that I’d do light EQ shaping on the stems then treat the sub as a track. The most elaborate work came with vocals are drums, vocals because we do a lot of doubling and multi part work so you have to make them play nice before you can sub them down, and of course the drums each need their own EQ and compression before hitting their stereo sub.

        Thanks for the idea, so obvious and yet I didn’t think of it.

        • No problem – sometimes the most obvious solution is the hardest to spot, hehe šŸ™‚ I’m sure I would have asked the same question if I were in your shoes!

          I dig the “cowboy up” song especially. I was wondering if you would be willing to let me have a crack at mixing that song, just for my own practice? Only if you and the band is comfortable with sharing the original tracks, of course.

          • Hey thanks for giving it a listen. The band and I are pretty open to sharing our raw tracks as long as you don’t distribute our try to sell it. Totally fine with using is as a “portfolio piece” for you promoting your mixing skills and that sort of stuff. I’ll have to pull the working files out of the archive but if you shoot an email to I’ll get them over to you.

            Also I recored in 48k but I don’t mind bouncing them down as 44.1 if you want.

    • OK, first thing I’ve noticed is that the bass DI and mic are damn near perfectly lined up. Nice job šŸ™‚ Next thing I noticed was that the three mics on each guitar weren’t šŸ™‚ First I tried flipping the polarity of the tracks in turn, which helped. But just manually aligning those (time-wise) made a huge difference in sound (no polarity swtiching necessary after all). Haven’t gotten to mixing yet, but I thought I’d post that here so other people can see and learn.

  4. Hey Jon – can you talk about what you think of your new Focals in the next show? Would love to hear what you think about them!

  5. Jon, i remember you saying some time ago that what really made a difference in your listening environment was your second set of acoustic treatment. Could you explain what you had before, what you added the second time around, and what difference you heard?

    I’ve just treated my room with 1st reflection panels and four 2 feet by 4 feet basstraps, and needles to say I’m disappointed in the result. I may have been too naive with regard to amount of basstraps.

  6. How about a show where you demonstrate all the fun and crazy stuff you can do with delays when you automate some of the parameters, get it to oscillate etc?

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