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Avalon VT737sp/Neuman149 Front End

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Mindsender, Jun 3, 2001.

  1. Mindsender

    Mindsender Guest

    1. What's the best mike for.. (just kidding). New to the board. You guys are great. Learned so much the first stop-by in this rarified air. Love the "reasoned" approach, and the punishing disdain for those who won't exercise the right. Recently purchased Yamaha aw4416 (you record with it), and am buying mike and pre-amp, as I don't like what I'm getting with my Microtech Gefel um70 straight in. Have new Focusrite110 which greatly helps, but have heard great things about AVALON VT737sp, and will soon a/b with Focusrite ISA110? Any feedback before I have to trust my own ears without a proper bias? Any other units anyone HIGHLY recommends over either of these two? I can't find the Avalon reviewed in Sound on Sound (English magazine)so don't know if I'm being hyped by an LA salesman. 2. Would appreciate hearing your suggestions for a male vocals only mike (I've ordered a Neuman 149 to try), rock (say..music like the eagles, to Phantom of the Opera). Most of the other instruments I'm pulling off the Yamaha 9000pro keyboard (drums, piano) except bass which is live. I'm running bass and Lead guitar through Line6 pods, and happy with the results, though I'm open to anyone's gag reflex if it is way off base for professional results. Using aw4416 (Yamaha 24bit recording, child of 02r) with Yamaha msp10 powered speakers. Supposedly, anything that's won a grammy in the last 10 years could theoretically have been done on this machine (with a good engineer who has ears). Maybe I'm wrong, but I figure I've probably got something better here than the 4track the Beatles started with (fidelity wise)? How's that for leaving yourself open? I know it may not have been true before 24 bit, but my God the sound is there to my ear, when you feed it nicely. 3. Everything I read suggest no eq or compression as you lay the tracks down, and in the next sentence there is always a "unless you need too." What is this.. art? Can someone elaborate. It seems to me every mike has an eq setting that "Opens" it up, and as long as you're achieving this by small boost (that can be pulled back later if you went too far,as opposed to cutting freq. that can't be added back in a mix) one SHOULD eq a little to bring an open sound to the original. As for compression, I know mike technique is better, but even at that,if you're a powerful singer, even backing up as far as you can (without changing the ambience too much) doesn't do the job. Anybody have a strong opinion that you just know to the quick will serve me well.. against my instincts? 4. Another quesiton.. after you buy this aw4414 you find out you can only mix down to a cd if you've recorded in 44.1khz. Is it better to use the 48khz option, and send everything out in WAV files to mix down elsewhere, if in the future I wanted to do something professional with these takes? Or would I lose more in the conversion from 48 to 44.1 redbook? I know if I had the option of 96khz (which I don't)that would certainly be worthwhile, but from 44.1 to 48??? Common sense says you might lose more converting than you had gained? Thanks for your help. As for the 3D Mike comparison CD, after spending hours doing blind listening, grading various aspects of the male & female takes, then finding little correlation in the mikes I had liked between male and female, I concurred with myself that the exercise had been pointless, other than to play them through my system as a general reference against my own chain. So, come on now, just tell me.. what's the best... (Actually.. I'm not kidding. I really could use some targeted help. PS Steven Paul, you're a great writer. Such a nice lilt on life. Fletcher.. you're like a dog you can't help but love, because he thinks enough of himself to bite when people.. you know... need it. Paul Larisey
     
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Originally posted by Paul Larisey:
    1. What's the best mike for.. (just kidding). New to the board. You guys are great. Learned so much the first stop-by in this rarified air. Love the "reasoned" approach, and the punishing disdain for those who won't exercise the right.
    Welcome. I'm just a tad curious, do you breath? Or did you just do a great big line of Methamphetamine? Paragraphs are often a helpful tool for communication, just a thought.

    Recently purchased Yamaha aw4416 (you record with it), I'm going to let that pass and go with you can record with it and am buying mike and pre-amp, as I don't like what I'm getting with my Microtech Gefel um70 straight in.

    Alright, I'm going to stop breaking your balls and get serious for a couple of minutes.

    What is it that you aren't digging about the UM-70? Is it too bright, too dark, too fat, too flaccid? What? Without a point of reference, it's difficult to point you in a direction.


    Have new Focusrite110 which greatly helps, but have heard great things about AVALON VT737sp, and will soon a/b with Focusrite ISA110? Any feedback before I have to trust my own ears without a proper bias?

    Yep...they sound rather different, and you might even find that they compliment each other. You may find one superior to the other in certain applications, and in other applications the other may be superior to the first.

    You're going to know your music and your goals better than any of us...use your judgement. Yeah, I know the hardest part of the whole exercize is knowing what's cool and what's stool...but it's all part of the education process. I could tell which I prefer in a given situation...but chances are better than even we don't now, nor shall we ever, work in the same manner. It's not a rag, it's just the way it is. No two people play guitar, piano, drums (you get the idea) the same way..."recording studio" (engineering) is just another instrument in the band...the one that makes the music "portable".


    Any other units anyone HIGHLY recommends over either of these two? I can't find the Avalon reviewed in Sound on Sound (English magazine)so don't know if I'm being hyped by an LA salesman.

    The 737 came out several years ago, so you'll probably have to go back several years to find a review in 'Sound on Sound'. That book, and Audio Media aren't bad...but they both have a definite bias toward "English made gear".

    You very well may be "being hyped by an LA Salesweasel", but as long as you can return the unit if it doesn't work for you...no harm in trying it.

    2. Would appreciate hearing your suggestions for a male vocals only mike (I've ordered a Neuman 149 to try), rock (say..music like the eagles, to Phantom of the Opera). Most of the other instruments I'm pulling off the Yamaha 9000pro keyboard (drums, piano) except bass which is live. I'm running bass and Lead guitar through Line6 pods, and happy with the results, though I'm open to anyone's gag reflex if it is way off base for professional results. Using aw4416 (Yamaha 24bit recording, child of 02r) with Yamaha msp10 powered speakers. Supposedly, anything that's won a grammy in the last 10 years could theoretically have been done on this machine (with a good engineer who has ears). Maybe I'm wrong, but I figure I've probably got something better here than the 4track the Beatles started with (fidelity wise)? How's that for leaving yourself open? I know it may not have been true before 24 bit, but my God the sound is there to my ear, when you feed it nicely.

    That's about when you did the bump of Meth right? Holy $*^t batman, I can't remember the last time I've seen a 'semiparagraph' cover quite as much ground...without getting anywhere.

    For every voice there is a mic, but there is not a mic for every voice. I've done some great records with a handheld SM-57, and I've used $22,000 Telefunken ELA M 251s...it depends on the singer and the song. The M-149 is often a good mic, sometimes it totally sucks. It all depends on...[that's right, you guessed it!!] the singer and the song.

    3. Everything I read suggest no eq or compression as you lay the tracks down, and in the next sentence there is always a "unless you need too." What is this.. art? Can someone elaborate. It seems to me every mike has an eq setting that "Opens" it up, and as long as you're achieving this by small boost (that can be pulled back later if you went too far,as opposed to cutting freq. that can't be added back in a mix) one SHOULD eq a little to bring an open sound to the original.

    OK...let's look at this for a moment. First, briefly, how an equalizer works...you have a filter set that picks out a frequency [while filtering out the other frequencys] and you add level to the signal either "in phase" [boost] or "out of phase" [cut]. This is "phase distortion" any way you look at it.

    As you add layers of 'phase distortion', your signal gets harder and harder to "focus". With microphone selection and placement, you can often achieve the effect you were trying to achieve with an equalizer without damage to the signal. This, unfortunatley, usually requires a fairly comprehensive microphone collection, which isn't an inexpensive proposition...so...a little dab from a good equalizer on the way into the digital domain may not be such a bad thing. [Key word in that sentence was "good"...there are a whole lot of really shitty equalizers out there!!].

    Now...as for the "achieving this by small boost (that can be pulled back later if you went too far,as opposed to cutting freq. that can't be added back in a mix) one SHOULD eq a little to bring an open sound to the original."

    One should never do anything as a matter of course without listening and evaluating. EQ'ing every track several times is really a recipe for an indistinct ball of $*^t unless performed by someone that seriously knows what they're doing.

    That, and I've always found that you really can't take treble off things without really ^#$%ing with the midrange as well. More often than not, find a spot to turn the equalizer's gain knob anti-clockwise will give you greater benefit.

    As for compression, I know mike technique is better, but even at that,if you're a powerful singer, even backing up as far as you can (without changing the ambience too much) doesn't do the job. Anybody have a strong opinion that you just know to the quick will serve me well.. against my instincts?

    Kid...lay off the narcotics...that $*^t will leave you null and void.

    Let's talk compression for a minute. All a compressor does is reduce the dynamic range. It makes loud $*^t softer, and soft $*^t louder. You can influence the general tone with compression by altering the envelop of the sound, but those techniques are really used more for things like "bass" and sometimes "drums" than they are for vocals.

    With vocal compression you're trying to limit the dynamic range of the singer. It makes it easier to mix if you don't have constant level rides when mixing. In fact, constant level rides when mixing are a form of compression. You're making the soft $*^t louder, and the loud $*^t softer...sound familiar? It's the essence of compression.


    4. Another quesiton.. after you buy this aw4414 you find out you can only mix down to a cd if you've recorded in 44.1khz. Is it better to use the 48khz option, and send everything out in WAV files to mix down elsewhere,

    No, sample rate conversion bad. Stick to 44.1 the whole way through and you might have something that resembles audio at the end of the day.


    if in the future I wanted to do something professional with these takes? Or would I lose more in the conversion from 48 to 44.1 redbook?

    See above.

    I know if I had the option of 96khz (which I don't)that would certainly be worthwhile, but from 44.1 to 48??? Common sense says you might lose more converting than you had gained?

    Bingo!! Congratulations, you worked it out for yourself!! That's one of the first steps toward 'getting there'.


    As for the 3D Mike comparison CD, after spending hours doing blind listening, grading various aspects of the male & female takes, then finding little correlation in the mikes I had liked between male and female, I concurred with myself that the exercise had been pointless, other than to play them through my system as a general reference against my own chain.

    You figured that out exactly right as well. Let me add a couple thoughts for you...you never heard the original voices, so you have no point of reference for the "source tone", you also have no idea how the microphones were positioned.

    Microphone selection and placement is the best 'equalizer', so if they didn't specifically place each microphone where it sounded "best" on that singer, then there is a flaw in the methodology. If they did place the mic where they thought it sounded "best" on that singer...who's definition of "best" was it? Lynn's? OK, that's great for Lynn, and the other folks that were there on the day of the event...but of limited use for anyone listening to the CD.


    So, come on now, just tell me.. what's the best... (Actually.. I'm not kidding. I really could use some targeted help.


    I'm afraid you're going to have to experiment and learn. There is no best microphone, there is no perfect woman, there is no greatest food, there is no paradise. You're going to have to define what you find to be the best tool for each and every job you do.

    Oh...just to make life a little more fun...often what worked great for the last song, won't work worth a $*^t for the next song.

    Experimentation, experimentation, experimentation...and as it seems from your writing style that you've had a most excellent experiment with Amphetamines...you need not further experiment with that particular product.

    Best of luck bro...just don't be in a hurry. That's why they call this 'slow-biz'. Speed kills, slow down.
     
  3. Mindsender

    Mindsender Guest

    Fletcher:
    Thank you so much for the 20 minutes or so out of your life that it must have taken to do such a good job helping. Truly, it's so nice of you. Just for your amusement though, (because I know you can't help creating some kind of image in your mind when you're reading all the "newbie" request, I'm 52, day-trade the market when it's good, deal with tension well, and while mentally active, physically relaxed, not hyper, and a cup or two of coffee a day is as close as I get to drugs nowadays. I'm enjoying the hell out of finally being able to spend "enough" time with my guitars. I'm not trying to get famous, but just love doing my own music. (paragraph..take note.)
    I suppose I just have a style of writing that is kinda legaleeeze, where you get the most bang for the buck to avoid waisting time, and to marry ideas. Or, like a sonnet that uses the fewest words possible to get the most across (only minus Shakespeare). However, it is truly at the expense of emotion, so I'll try to add a little drawl in the future, and hope not to be "..so misunderstood." Oh lord..
    I'm especially interested in why you feel the AW4416 is such a dog (I'm not arguing, because I don't know enough to)? Suppodedly, it is truly spec'ed to the O2R (they absolutely promise)and has true 24 bit recording, with higher internal effects, and a WAVE plugin coming in August for compression, reverb, etc. What would be an example of bare minimum equiptment (16tracks?) to achieve pro results, assuming good engineering(which I hope to gradually arrive at)? Radar, or Mackie 24 Hard Disk would be doable for me, but then there is a mixer needed.. the chain looks endless not knowing more than I do. If the question is beyond the scope here, I understand and appreciate what you've already given.
    Your explanation about eq not being so benign was great. However, my results with compression are that the theoretical simply lowering highs does not end up so benign as simply using faders. I have an older Manley tube compressor, as well as those in thw aw4416, and even a little squashes the high frequencies, the , which is why I'm interested in the Avalon, because reviews say it is truly transparent within a reasonable range.
    Unfortunately, If I don't compress vocals as I lay the tracks, I'll be forced to D/A/D in the mix-down, which reading tells me will truly hurt the signal. There are a lot of opinions out there, and while your's may just be another, I'm so impressed by the experience and knowledge of you and many on this site, that I'm delighted to mull your take on reality.
    Again, thanks for the help, and I have to say I'm a great appreciater of your disgruntled discontent with the bull-$*^t in the world, and like your willingness to do a little "policing" as you go. A few lines here and there are a good thing. It's just the kind of "lines" change for the better as you get older (a delight, by the way, which beats all the options). Paul
     
  4. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    I'd posit that Fletcher's problems with the Yamaha box have a hell of a lot to do with its home/project studio alignment, and there's a long tradition of crap marketed to that segment. Crappy gear with inexperienced operators has lowered the bar on what's acceptable audio, and thats caused some [url="(dead link removed)[/url] among some pros. I'd say keep up with the the thing until you have enough reason to move on.

    If I had that box, I'd focus on good outboard (pres, compressors, eq's) and mics, and try some outboard a/d and d/a converters to seem if you can't do better than the onboard ones. I wouldn't place a hell of a lot of stock in the onboard effects and use them sparingly unless I have reason to trust them.

    Just listen critically and alter your techniques and gear where you hear margins for improvement. If this is for fun, make sure you're having a good time on the journey and don't sweat the destination.

    Bear
     
  5. Mindsender

    Mindsender Guest

    Thank you, Bear. What outboard A/D turns you on? Paul
     
  6. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Paul, you are a trip... :D

    Nathan Eldred
    Atlas Pro Audio, Inc. http://www.atlasproaudio.com
     

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