The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > RECORD

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #31  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:29 AM
Rick Shepherd Rick Shepherd is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 3,353
Default

Something else to consider: I read somewhere that a high end preamp will also allow better results in recordings that contain multiple tracks, the argument being that whatever harmonic distortion there may be in a low end signal will get multiplied, causing a less desirable mix as far as track separation and clarity. I have done recordings with 8 to 10 tracks here at home, and each track is distinctly audible and clear. If you use a preamp like the Avalon AD2022, which is known for being very clean and transparent, along with nice microphones, AD/DA conversion, and good monitors, you will notice the difference. I imagine that, in studio situations, when dozens of tracks are stacked up, this becomes more obvious.
__________________
1979 Taylor 855
1998 Taylor 414
2001 Taylor Big Baby
2003 Taylor 914CE
2011 Taylor 814C
2015 Martin D-41

Website
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:34 AM
moon moon is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Scotland YES!
Posts: 1,983
Default

Isn't that a bit of a myth? As you add more instruments, each individual instrument - and its noise floor - will get turned down in the mix, otherwise you'll start clipping.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 01-05-2012, 10:56 AM
Rick Shepherd Rick Shepherd is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 3,353
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by moon View Post
Isn't that a bit of a myth? As you add more instruments, each individual instrument - and its noise floor - will get turned down in the mix, otherwise you'll start clipping.
The way I interpreted what I read, it made sense. Even turned down, the noise floor is still there.
__________________
1979 Taylor 855
1998 Taylor 414
2001 Taylor Big Baby
2003 Taylor 914CE
2011 Taylor 814C
2015 Martin D-41

Website
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:09 AM
flagstaffcharli flagstaffcharli is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,526
Default

Great thread and a shot of reality to a guy like me who gets a little envious of other people's gear.

I wish I was more of an A/B test kind of guy. The truth is, I'm not. I'd rather write a song. But I appreciate the work some of you have done. Maybe I'm now done buying recording gear. Maybe.
__________________
Chuck Cheesman
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:13 AM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 3,405
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Well, there is the AB Pre CD. It's been a while since I heard it, but I recall that the first 5 times I listened, I heard no differences at all. Then I picked up on the sound of the guitar players attack on the d string and began to hear a very subtle difference. I'm talking squinting and cramming the headphones to my heading and saying " I *think* I hear a difference". From there I picked out the ones I "liked", and finally looked at the key. Turned out I picked all the cheap ones :-) I have a lot better monitors now, it'd be interesting to see if my experience would be different. I suspect not.
As I recall, those were not same performance clips. It's a tiny bit tricky doing a same performance comparison between two devices, doing it for dozens of devices is impractical. Lynn Fuston's project relied on the player/performer to duplicate their performance.

Fran

Last edited by Fran Guidry; 01-05-2012 at 12:18 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:22 AM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 3,405
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Whigham View Post
The thing with Lynn's CDs is that they were comparing all high end to high end. Fran's not just saying, "There's no audible difference between an API 512 and a Neve 1073"; he's taking it 10 steps further and saying there's no audible difference between the cheapest pre and the most expensive.
Actually, Scott, what I'm saying is that in my comparisons I've not been able to hear a difference. And that my results make a lot of sense considering the state of electronics manufacture today.

Also, I would not claim the cheapest pre will achieve transparency, but that transparency is available at a very low price point. There are some very inexpensive preamps that don't even aim for transparency, but are designed to _add_ distortion. Those will not be transparent.

And finally, my real point is that listening to same performance level matched clips is useful and listening to different performances on different days is not.

Fran
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:24 AM
Doug Young's Avatar
Doug Young Doug Young is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Mountain View, CA
Posts: 6,487
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
As I recall, those were not same performance clips. It's a tiny bit tricky doing a same performance comparison between two devices, Lynn Fuston's project relied on the player/performer to duplicate their performance.

Fran
That may be right. By the way, getting way of the original topic, here's how I'd suggest anyone who wants to take you up on your challenge proceed:

Take 2 identical mics, and place them as close together as possible, run mic A to preamp A, mic B to preamp B, record a performance. Make sure levels are matched, and that everything else in the chain is identical (same A/D converters, for example). Now, for good measure, swap the mic cables, so you record mic A into preamp B, and mic B into preamp A. Record again. Now you have 4 mono recordings, two different performances. If, in a blind ABX test, you can pick out both instances of preamp A a statistically significant number of times, I'd say the difference between preamps outweighs the difference in performance. If not, I'd say that the difference between preamps is less than the difference between 2 performances and isn't very interesting. Of course, assuming you can pick out the difference, then we get to the "which one is better" debate, which is a whole different can of worms.
__________________
Doug Young
----------------
Music on Pandora
You Tube Channel
website: http://www.dougyoungguitar.com
Fingerstyle Christmas Tunes: A DADGAD Christmas
CDs: Closing Time, Laurel Mill
Pickup tests: http://www.dougyoungguitar.com/pickuptests/
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:27 AM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 3,405
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Here is a comparison of two high end preamps, all else being equal as close as I could make it. If you feel there is a volume difference then tweak the playback to compensate.

http://dcoombsguitar.com/Guitar%20Music/NPNGD_DMP2NW_and_GreatRiver_MP2MH.wav

These are both very nice neutral (uncolored) preamps so the difference is small but evident.


Like I have mentioned before, my gear has evolved from MAudio Omni and AKG C1000s forward to better gear. My first CD was this early gear, my second Great River and Gefell M300s. My third Great River preamp and M295s. My fourth the same plus some room treatment wiht acoustic panels. Some of my recent recordings (posted on the Show and Tell and here) a NPNG preamp, Gefell M295s and a wood floor in place of carpet. Some reverb software upgrades along the way also. All during this time I don't play any differently or mike any differently on average. You can here the changing results if you care to listen.
Derek, I'd offer two comments. First, there is simply no way for the listener to correctly adjust the levels. We have no reference, and the human ear just isn't good at that task. Very small level differences are interpreted by our auditory system as quality differences. That's what reference tones are for.

And second, your contention that you play the same and do your recording without any difference over a number of years doesn't match my experience with the way we humans operate. We can't help but learn.

Fran
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:31 AM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 3,405
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Doug, separate recordings combined into one as you can hear in the playing. There will always be some variation in sitting position relative to the mikes. An active microphone splitter would be a way to do one performance through two preamps.
I use a simple passive splitter and a powered mic or a dynamic. Then I use a 1 khz test tone to tweak the gains to match. Then I print the test tone on both tracks so I have a reference tone. I use a high resolution metering/trimming plugin to get the final level match between the reference tones before rendering. And then I use an ABX tool to remove the labels when I compare results.

It seems like a lot of fiddling around, but eliminating these extraneous variables lets me hear the _real_ differences.

Fran
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:30 PM
Gazzamundo Gazzamundo is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: West Kirby, Wirral, England
Posts: 141
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by redavide View Post
Just heard "Girl on a Train" on your website . . . Great tune, really liked it . . . The recording sounds just fine -- did you use your current set-up to record that one?
Thanks for the kind words Redavide, yeah that is my current set up. I was happy enough with the results, they're better than a year ago. But I want to get a sound that inspires me to record the other 150 or so songs I have in my back catalog!

Getting back on topic guys I note a fair few of you have admitted to having outboard preamps. I, alas, do not. I'm not going to go out and spend a four figure sum, but from what I've read in books and magazines and on-line, a decent mid-range preamp should give me noticeably better results, no? I see quite a few people (in this thread and others) have mentioned stuff like the DMP3 and the ART MPA, the RNP and the GAP Pre 73. Should I be thinking about any of these, or aiming higher at stuff like the UA Solo or Twinfinity?

I feel the urge to buy something real soon!!
__________________
Gary Stewart Smith
sings - writes songs - does other stuff
http://garystewartsmith.com/
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:33 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 3,405
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Whigham View Post
I have cheap and expensive pres - give me an "assignment" and I can run something through the pres. I know, however, that the internet is unforgiving - no matter what/how I do it, someone will complain "It wasn't right" or "Nope, not even close".

Tell me, step by step, exactly what you want me to do and I'll do it. If you want, I can reamp electric guitar through my MW1 which IMO would make it more obvious if there is a difference. There could be no doubt as to the difference (if any) in pres in that regard.

You be the navigator and I'll drive.
Thanks for the offer, Scott. In this post I describe the procedure that I like to use: http://69.41.173.82/forums/showpost....3&postcount=39

The passive splitter I use is the Coleman Audio LS3 http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LS3 Wow, did I really pay $100 for this little box of switches?? I think it was less when I got mine, but I needed a way to switch monitor chains and my earliest interfaces didn't provide it.

Doug Young offers an alternative with a very useful twist: http://69.41.173.82/forums/showpost....6&postcount=37

Using two mics, even very fine and closely matched mics like a pair of Schoeps, would reasonably be expected to introduce more variability than a pair of transparent preamps, since transducers are orders of magnitude less linear than modern electronics. But he compensates for this with his four way comparison - clever guy. I would add reference tones to his procedure and go that way before I'd spend a bunch on a splitter, but if you have some kind of splitter available, using a single mic simplifies things a bit.

Fran
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:38 PM
Doug Young's Avatar
Doug Young Doug Young is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Mountain View, CA
Posts: 6,487
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazzamundo View Post
I feel the urge to buy something real soon!!
If you really feel the urge, :-) go for it. There's no substitute for personal experience. I'd suggest finding a place that will let you try and return things. With higher end gear, at least, many stores are good about even shipping you several items to do your own shootout. Then you can decide, which, if any, you prefer, and return the rest (or all of them). Hopefully the side-discussion in this thread will alert you to the challenges of even knowing if whatever you get is really better, or if you're just imagining it. I personally have no problem even with just "imagining" something is better. If you believe it, and it helps you make better music, no harm.
__________________
Doug Young
----------------
Music on Pandora
You Tube Channel
website: http://www.dougyoungguitar.com
Fingerstyle Christmas Tunes: A DADGAD Christmas
CDs: Closing Time, Laurel Mill
Pickup tests: http://www.dougyoungguitar.com/pickuptests/
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:48 PM
moon moon is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Scotland YES!
Posts: 1,983
Default

What about DIY? You can buy a FiveFish kit from the US for about 200 by the time you've paid all the import duty.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:54 PM
Gazzamundo Gazzamundo is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: West Kirby, Wirral, England
Posts: 141
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
If you really feel the urge, :-) go for it. There's no substitute for personal experience. I'd suggest finding a place that will let you try and return things. With higher end gear, at least, many stores are good about even shipping you several items to do your own shootout. Then you can decide, which, if any, you prefer, and return the rest (or all of them). Hopefully the side-discussion in this thread will alert you to the challenges of even knowing if whatever you get is really better, or if you're just imagining it. I personally have no problem even with just "imagining" something is better. If you believe it, and it helps you make better music, no harm.
That last line, Doug - that's what I'm looking for man!
__________________
Gary Stewart Smith
sings - writes songs - does other stuff
http://garystewartsmith.com/
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 01-05-2012, 01:07 PM
Doug Young's Avatar
Doug Young Doug Young is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Mountain View, CA
Posts: 6,487
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazzamundo View Post
That last line, Doug - that's what I'm looking for man!
That's cool if it's your idea and you're happy with a placebo effect, but I'm a little leary of telling someone to go spend money on gizmo X, when I suspect it won't actually make any difference. There are tons of good ways to improve the quality of your recordings, but few people ask "what can I do to get a better sound?", they want to ask "what preamp can I buy?", "what mic can I buy?", "what guitar can I buy?". Sometimes a new gizmo's the right answer, often it's not. But hey, new toys are fun. I've bought more than my share.
__________________
Doug Young
----------------
Music on Pandora
You Tube Channel
website: http://www.dougyoungguitar.com
Fingerstyle Christmas Tunes: A DADGAD Christmas
CDs: Closing Time, Laurel Mill
Pickup tests: http://www.dougyoungguitar.com/pickuptests/
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > RECORD

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=