Friday, February 10, 2006

Violet Mics

I notice two things about this new stereo mic from Violet right off the bat:

  1. It is incredibly cool looking. I want one.
  2. It looks similar to the design theme found in Blue microphones.
Flamingo Stereo 01It is possible, that the second statement should be turned around; the two companies are in a legal battle over who owns what, as far as design is concerned.

Well, I am not an attorney, nor do I wish to become one. Therefore, I will content myself at looking at a pretty picture of a microphone, and hoping that someday I can purchase one.

I have linked to the home-pages of the companies, both of which have links to documentation of the ongoing legal dialog.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

97108085 C55D22481E OI had the opportunity to go visit a recording studio here in Teresina last night. The owner/operator's name is Isaac, and he was gracious enough to power everything up and show us (me, my wife, and her father) around the place.

97107973 0565738F44 OIt was a bit surprising to me to walk in and see a Mackie 32 channel, 8 bus mixer sitting there. Not because one does not need a mixer, but because of the expense involved. Electronics here in Brazil are expensive because most of them must be imported, which at least doubles (and, as in this case, sometimes quadruples) the cost. My surprise was due to the fact that this mixer (and, arguably, a better one) is in the recording software on the computer.

At some point, though, he mentioned that the board is necessary, if only to convince musicians that this is a good studio to record in. The disclaimer here is that sometimes when dealing with technical explanations, translation gets very difficult for my wife.

He paid the equivalent of $12,000 (US) for this mixer. I looked on Musician's Friend, and the current price on this item is about US $4,000. The reason for this difference is the import fees/taxes mentioned earlier.
97108043 E2036C30Cf OHere is a shot of the other gear in the studio. He is using a Motu 2048 for his A/D converter, and Nuendo for the DAW software on the computer. He mentioned that he was using Pro Tools, but found it to limiting in some way (though, I am not sure why). Above that unit is a patch-bay, and below it are two Behringer four-channel compressors, followed by a Sony Mini-Disk recorder, and two Alesis ADAT recorders. The two boxes on the floor are power inverters, as the power here is 220, and the gear likes that good old 120.

No idea on the specs of the computer, but, by US standards it seemed pretty slow (but they don't care as much here about that sort of thing). That is a Yamaha NS-10 on the wall, and in the foreground is a Korg X3 keyboard.

A couple of general observations: I have never been in a studio where the recording area was so dead. The buildings here are only made out of brick, which does not seem to do much for sound insulation, so they put foam on the inside to keep the sound levels appropriate for neighbors. The mix room was this way as well, but to a lesser extent.

The ability to make money back on your gear here is less here than in the States. As mentioned before, gear costs more here. He only charges about $1400 (US) for a 10-track CD, though. That makes for a long time before seeing a return on investment.

That is it for this “field trip,” but I know there are some other studios here in town, and I would like to visit them. Maybe I will get the chance, and if I do, you will hear about it here. In the meantime, if you have questions, I will do my best to answer them.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Yamaha Mixing Studio

Visual Front Mw12 LHaving not tried a Yamaha board for some time now, I can not give my recommendation, but this implementation looks cool.
Its a USB multi-channel mixer that comes with recording software. There are two versions available; the MSW10, and the MSW12, which have 10 and 12 channels respectively.

The included software is Cubase LE by Steinberg (which I have also not used), and will work with either Mac OSX, or Windows 2000/XP/XP Pro. The system requirements are fairly liberal, so most should not have a problem. Here is the product page.

If you have experience with this sort of thing let me know, I am considering something like this for my setup.

[via Engadget]

Pack-Man and the Nine-String Bass

Pac9AnglemediumJust ran across a site with some beautifully crafted basses of varying string numbers. This one caught my eye with its detailed carving of the knobs into the ghosts chasing Pac-Man.

There are many other cool basses here that are worth checking out. Also, if you are interested in seeing/hearing him play, check this out. You may also want to check out his band, which is called Nuclear Rabbit.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

InfraredThe Luminous Landscape has an interesting article about modifying a DSLR to only pic up the infrared portion of the light spectrum. Of course, doing this will not only cost you US $450, it renders your camera unable to do any other type of photography.

Oh, and it does not turn out quite like the picture here, either. While this is a cool effect, the end result is much more black and white.
So, don't get your hopes up to high unless you have an extra DSLR just sitting around. Here is the article.

Baffled By Bozzio

While I may have heard of the name Terry Bozzio in the past, I don't think it has ever really meant much to me. From now on it will.

0306 Terri Bozzio1.Jpg?0I was initially drawn in by the ridiculously large drum set he has. And, admittedly, I was skeptical with regard to his musicality. All doubt was erased, however, when I saw the first of many videos of him playing on the Vic Firth website “Artist Feature.” Very cool stuff.

Evidently he is way into solo melodic drumming, which is why the huge drum set. It looks to my untrained eye that he has very good technique. Further, he has an excellent sense of musicality. Fun to listen to, and probably more fun to watch.

This will have me on the lookout for a CD.
Here is his personal site. Here is an interview with Modern Drummer.