Gain Staging In Your DAW Software

Gain Staging In Your DAW Software | Sound on Sound

On the face of it, gain staging couldn’t be simpler: you ensure that you feed an appropriate level from the first stage of your signal path to the next, and repeat this from the second stage to the third… and so on, all the way from your instruments, mics and preamps to the final stereo mix bus. By ‘appropriate’, I mean an ample level, which ensures a healthy signal-to-noise ratio (the difference between the wanted signal and the noise floor), while leaving enough headroom that you needn’t worry about whether the signal might be clipping.

Today is a good day to re-calibrate the studio monitors. I found the suggestion of setting DAW faders to about -6 dB to start in this article a long while back.

I set my Logic Pro X templates to have channels start there.

Dates and Times – been a struggle since before time began

Scripting News: Saturday, June 9, 2018

One of the things I’m learning is that there is are problems with date-time values. The question is whether or not the date part of the date-time should have hyphens. The Frontier implementation does not. The XML-RPC spec says not. But ISO 8601 seems to say they must be present. The built-in JavaScript function includes the hyphens. I don’t have any other implementations that I can easily check against, so I don’t know what offers the most interop with other XML-RPCs. For now I’m documenting the issue, and leaving the JavaScript implementation as it is, for now. This means in this area it does not interop with Frontier, in that Frontier will not understand the JavaScript date-time values. Going in the other direction there is no problem, because I’ve included a workaround.

 

Unreal. Fourteen years ago a standard was published (ISO 8601:2004) which clearly defined how things should be. Problem is that software developers do not spend their lives re-implementing “standard” software for the rest of their lives.

ISO gave us (back in 2004) this format 20180609T221145Z

What the world wants now is this format 2018-06-09T22:11:45+00:00 (we avoid timezone abbreviations and geo-political nonsense)

I retired from the big data world in 2004, so I never would have had cause to change my preferred world – 20180609T221145Z. To tell the truth, since just before 2000-01-01 I actually preferred the “Astronomical (Julian) day number (at noon UTC): 2458279.5” which for my machines this morning worked out to 2458279.03405093.

From the wikipedia we see

November 17, 1858, 00:00:00 UT is the zero of the Modified Julian Day (MJD) equivalent to Julian day 2400000.5[23] 

and we all basically know that the VMS clock started there 😉 In earlier times (snicker) I discovered the “bad things” that would happen if one entered a proper geocentric clock offset in a TOPS-10 system – I mean, c’mon, I had it right within 200 yards. All hell broke loose in all time-based things. Wonder why it required an OS rebuild to set/change that value.

As a reminder to anyone who uses a database that I have built – 20180609 – is not a date, nor is 2018060915270001 – but it is a very fast integer index 😉 I can’t insert things in my databases faster than 10,000 per second. I learned the hard way that telescope telemetry databases surely can 😉

Ahhh, dates. I would rather slip the bass DI track by 87 samples so it lines up with the bass amp track these days.

Clearing Undo Data in Logic Pro X

Today I learned about the joys of “Undo Data.nosync” folders and “lost” WAV files hiding on my system.

I was investigating a problem someone brought up over on GearSlutz, offered a way to find the culprit. Got a response. Culprit was as expected.

I was doing some “Normalize” testing on newly acquired tracks and saw the very WAV files that can get lost show up in my project. I didn’t expect it, but hey, why not.

The key is that “Undo” settings are different for the “Audio File Editor” as opposed to the regular “Undo”. it is probably prudent to “Clear Undo History” in most cases.

Clear Undo History  Audio File Editor

Why Do Concerts Sound So Bad? – ProSoundWeb

Why Do Concerts Sound So Bad? – ProSoundWeb

Concert sound reinforcement equipment is better than ever, yet we’re frequently burdened with a mess of auditory goo that just sucks the enjoyment from a live event.

I know a place here in Tucson that should really pay attention to Bobby O.’s words of wisdom. I’ve walked out of high-priced shows because the sound wasn’t just awful, it was painful.

The Complete Guide to Mixing Bass Guitar — Pro Audio Files

The Complete Guide to Mixing Bass Guitar — Pro Audio Files

So how do we as recordists and mixers possibly do justice to the greatest instrument of all time throughout the universe? How do we capture its pure glorious majesty? And why is the bass player still out of time?

This week I will go through this guide before I tackle my mixing projects for “Dueling Mixes” and “Produce Like a Pro”.

Discovered on my own the joys of running guitar DI through amp simulators last week. Thought the track was doomed – my bad – the track was OK (not great, just OK). Now I know.

Production Expert | Has The Home Studio Dream Become A Nightmare?

Production Expert | Has The Home Studio Dream Become A Nightmare?

This article is not an advert for easy-to-use plug-ins or indeed a polemic against complex software. Neither am I arguing that a professional studio is better than a home studio, both have their merits.

A thoughtful look at DIY vs. bespoke. I know where the “real” studios are. I plan to use them. But I do love working at my desk at home.

Production Expert | Tutorial – Understanding The Advanced Metering In Pro Tools

Production Expert | Tutorial – Understanding The Advanced Metering In Pro Tools

But before we dig into the 17 different metering options available in Pro Tools, we need to take a brief look at the history of audio metering so help understand how we have got to this point, and a glossary to help understand the different terms used in audio metering. Then we can better understand the 17 options and how to customise them to suit our workflows.

This is a nice and concise set of definitions surrounding metering. Understanding the terminology really helps.

How to move Logic’s additional content to a secondary drive – Logic Pro Music

How to move Logic’s additional content to a secondary drive – Logic Pro Music

One of the strengths of the symlink is that the system treats it as a path to a location. This is why it stays intact even when updating your libraries.

The joys of different file systems.

For the most part the “right” way to deal with the Mac file system(s) is to use aliases. They work like a charm. Except when they don’t.

Symlinks to external drives is a great way to help with massive library locations.

Now if there were enough ports on the laptops. 1TB SSD prices are down low. Mostly depends on the device speeds – USB3 enclosures should allow 100+Mbyte/sec transfers, but it sure is nice to have 300+ MB/sec on an internal SSD. Those orchestral libraries take an eon to load.

I guess for my ideal music machine I want 4TB of superfast SSD, 64GB+ of RAM, 8 cores or more. iMac Pro gets close – could I get rid of the screen and add more storage please?

 

A Philosophical Guide to the Role(s) of an Audio Engineer — Pro Audio Files

A Philosophical Guide to the Role(s) of an Audio Engineer — Pro Audio Files

Record production is a team sport. From writers to producers to artist to engineers to managers and A&Rs, the goal is to create a song, cement it in time, and get it out to listeners. So where does the engineer fit into this picture? What exactly is our role, what are our boundaries and what are our expectations?

De facto producer when one is not present. Yes, that would be a really good starting point.

MIDI Month Tip of the Day –

MIDI Month Tip of the Day –

Looks like there are going to be 31 tips. Who knew? MIDI is alive and well at 30. I’m a card-carrying member of the association these days.

The Complete Guide to Recording Electric Guitar — Pro Audio Files

The Complete Guide to Recording Electric Guitar — Pro Audio Files

One of the biggest fundamentals of getting great guitar tone is having a taste for great guitar tone. It would be hard to cook something in the French culinary style if you’ve never had French food. Yet, I see a lot of guitarists and engineers approach recording guitar this way.

At the heart of any great tone is great ears. Tools like microphones and amps can help sculpt your tone, but if you haven’t acquired a taste for fine tone, how will you know when you’ve arrived?

It’s not simply a matter of placing a mic in position and pressing record. Great guitar tone is often the culmination of many elements.

This sums up lots of thoughts about electric guitar (and other things run through the amps and pedals). 

My struggle is with DI signal that’s way too distorted when distorted, and way too loud when the volume pedal got pressed (I think it was a wah-wah). Finally figured out something that started to work, but still have a very hard time.

How to Make Your MIDI Sound Less like MIDI — Pro Audio Files

How to Make Your MIDI Sound Less like MIDI — Pro Audio Files

While virtual instruments and sample libraries have come a long way since the early 1980’s, you might find that the musical ideas that you create using MIDI still sound like, well … MIDI. The dynamics, tone and overall feel of music produced using MIDI tends to be lacking in comparison to music created using more traditional means. Here are some tips if you want to make your music sound less like it was created using a digital protocol, and more like an organic, expressive musical performance.

Always good to know how to help the “cheesy” sounds that MIDI instruments sometimes produce. New things in Logic Pro X allow for articulation to help. Miroslav Philharmonik has some decent articulations as well. Music has to breathe at a natural pace.

The latest MIDI specification includes Polyphonic Expression – new things happen! This should help. Like listening to a Disklavier that uses the “extra” performance information.

 

How to Make Your MIDI Sound Less like MIDI — Pro Audio Files

How to Make Your MIDI Sound Less like MIDI — Pro Audio Files

While virtual instruments and sample libraries have come a long way since the early 1980’s, you might find that the musical ideas that you create using MIDI still sound like, well … MIDI. The dynamics, tone and overall feel of music produced using MIDI tends to be lacking in comparison to music created using more traditional means. Here are some tips if you want to make your music sound less like it was created using a digital protocol, and more like an organic, expressive musical performance.

Always good to know how to help the “cheesy” sounds that MIDI instruments sometimes produce. New things in Logic Pro X allow for articulation to help. Miroslav Philharmonik has some decent articulations as well. Music has to breathe at a natural pace.

The latest MIDI specification includes Polyphonic Expression – new things happen! This should help. Like listening to a Disklavier that uses the “extra” performance information.

 

The MIDI 1.0 Specification

The MIDI 1.0 Specification

The newly adopted MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) specification is available for download at the bottom of the Complete MIDI 1.0 Detailed Specification page

Polyphonic Expression. Right up there with Polyphonic Aftertouch – a rare beast indeed.

 

Why restaurants became so loud — and how to fight back – Vox

Why restaurants became so loud — and how to fight back – Vox:

This experience is by no means unique; it’s become a fixture of dining out in America. ‘What did you say?’ ‘Can you repeat that?’ and ‘It’s so loud in here’ are now phrases as common as ‘Can I take your order?’”

I carry a sound meter. I check. I have earplugs in my pocket (-12 dB flat)