Category Archives: Sound

45dB Boost on Quiet Track Sounds GREAT!

I recently upgraded some equipment I use for ambient live recordings, and wanted to share how it worked out in a recent session.

I replaced some aging equipment with a TASCAM DR-60D mk II recorder and a 3DiO binaural mic over the holidays. I used them to record a live event recently (a meditation session) and used an AT PRO 8HEx headset mic to record the facilitator’s voice. I forgot to bring an extension for the mic cable, so the facilitator was only about 6 feet from the recorder and 3DiO mic. Continue reading

Convolution Reverb for iOS

Ever heard of a critter called a “convolution reverb”? If you’re a musician who does stuff using computers, you may have. Otherwise, you may be hearing about it for the first time here. A short and rather technical description can be found on Wikipedia.

Most folks know what a “reverb” is when it comes to music and  audio work: it’s a box you plug into your equipment that simulates what the sound would be if you were playing inside of a larger space. It’s used to give “depth” and “ambience” to musical tracks.

If you’ve ever gone into an empty house, garage, or building, you’ve probably noticed that when you talk or clap your hands that you hear some echos that trail off after a second or two. That’s called a “reverberation tail”. It’s caused by the sounds bouncing back and forth off the surfaces in the enclosed space — walls, floor, and ceiling.

The harder and more flat the surfaces are, the sharper and longer the reverberation continues.

I play Native American flutes, and adding reverb to flute music makes it sound a lot “richer” and more hypnotic. Unfortunately, the acoustical properties of most typical bedrooms (where I record myself) isn’t ideal for producing the kind of reverb tails you’d want for this sort of music. To get what you want, you need to record a very “dry” signal, then add reverb into the mix later on using the computer.

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Apple’s Best-Kept Secret About Audio I/O on Macs

I bought my first Apple computer on Thanksgiving night, 2006, at one of those “early Black Friday” sales at some now-defunct computer chain. It was a HUGE (by the standards of the day) 24″ iMac that was near the top-of-the-line in terms of their technology offerings back then.

One of the things I planned to use it for was audio recording and production.

Like most Macs, it had two 3.5mm jacks on the back, one for a mic/line input and one for headphone/speaker output.

Several years earlier, I had purchased a small portable A/D unit for recording stuff using “stealth mics”, and it has an optical digital (S/PDIF) output. I went to the Apple store and asked the “geniuses” there what I needed to plug it into my fancy new iMac.

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What Causes Feedback On Audio Webinars and Teleconferences?

I’ve been on way too many webinars and teleconferences where one of the guests invariably had a bunch of feedback. In many cases, the host couldn’t even hear it, which makes it even worse.

Why does this happen?

I’d venture to guess that the problem is actually quite simple. It’s the microphone that the guest is using. Continue reading

My Recording Gear

I do some audio recording here and there. I particularly enjoy doing live recordings, and I have some special equipment that I use for that. I also record stuff directly into my computer, but I use different equipment for that.

From time to time people ask me about the gear I use with my computer, so I thought I’d post something about what I’m currently using. Continue reading