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Looking to those that know for guidance.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ENC016, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. ENC016

    ENC016 Active Member

    Ill give a quick run down on what others have done and i am attempting to do. Please bare with me, i dont intend to insult anyones itelligence, but im going to just assume that everyone will find this a pointless waste of time. and not understand what im talking about.

    Im attempting to utlize protools with an mbox 2 mini and a sm58 mic to process vocals to am/fm transmitter. Citizens band and Ham radio. Many others have done so i hear them on the air and talk on other forums. But its hard to get solid responses to questions. either they dont know or dont care to help. Or the answers i do get are mixed leaving me with only more questions. The most common answer is ill just have to play around with it to figure it out.... These guys know how to talk around the world and get impressive numbers out of a radio, and they can get their equipment to sound like they want, but cant accurately explain how is what im assuming.

    So im jumping over to this side to seek input from those who do this kinda thing on the daily.

    What id like to achieve is the loud puchy wide audio sound that like a broadcast radio station. I was sent a session file that apparently is used by other reputable radio operators to acheive this sound. However im rather ingnorant to how and what i can do with protools.

    Heres an example of what im looking for.
    YouTube - Sidewinder ,Motormouth Maul July 12, 2010, 09:03 AM
    fast forward to 2:30 to skip the nonsense... apparently the file i have is similiar to what he is using, however i cannot get it to sound remotely like it. I sound like a PA to a cheap loudspeaker at the highschool football game. The operator "motormouthmaul often has alil more base to his audio than id like, but if i can get anywhere close to that sound, im sure i can cut the bass out some. ive also got a humm, that seems to be coming from the mbox. I have a rather low tone to my voice, often softer spoken than most. My fiance says i mumble, but i speak in the same fashion daily dispatching for LEO, fire, and EMS. Even have asked those on the other end of the radio if i ever seem muffled or hard to understand explaining why i was asking. none have mentioned me being hard to understand, rather that i have a "very warm controlled tone of voice much appreciated by them when everythings going to hell in a handbasket out in the field." as i was told.

    a good example i think of a sound i find soothing to the ears is a good recording of Paul Harvey, aside from his whistle. i very much enjoyed listening to his broadcasts as i was growing up and still to this day enjoy listening to recordings.

    Can anyone shed any light onto what i should be doing?

    Which leads me to the next issue, hummmm...ive disconnected everything except for the mbox to the PC, and the cable leading to the radio, and the humm is still there. so i picked up a behringer Micro HD400 to try to cure the hum. It took care of the hum. but attenutated the signal to nothing. i have to run the gain and level wide open on the mbox to get a bit of sound out of it. and even then its not at all linear or smooth... Is this to be expected? How do i compensate.

    I should mention that i am feeding the audio into the transmitter by cutting a xlr cable and directly soldering to a hand held microphone normally used with a CB. " simplest way to incourporate a keying circuit into the audio chain until i get this all figured out." Only 1 solid wire is soldered. the braid and 2nd wire in the xlr is left unconnected to anything.... i dont know how this will effect anything but i thought i should mention.

    Now i wont even begin to act like i know much at all about this stuff, but i learn rather quickly. So ill gladly take any input on this stuff that anyone wishes to share. I may have even posted this in the wrong area of the forum, my apologies. if so please move to it to a correct section.

    I will send a copy of the file given to me and my copy which is only slightly altered from the original to see what im dealing with if that would make things any easier. I dnt even remember off the top of my head what version of protools i have. i believe its 7.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The simplest way to insert a key into a mic/instrument chain is with a Cough Drop. You can buy boxes premade that are either momentary on or momentary off. Leaving two wires off of an XLR cable is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. There are even keyed microphones that are designed for pro broadcasting. Alternatively, you could just use what's called a "gate." This would cut any signal below a certain dB set by you. This is also a widely used tool in broadcast and live audio.

    Now, most radio broadcast signals are compressed. Heavily. That happens at the radio station itself when it goes to the transmitter. If you are going out short wave or civilian band then you don't want a wide signal. Reproducing 20Hz-20KHz doesn't do you any good since you're only going to be using a band of about 100Hz-550Hz. Using the SM58 is a great place to start. Then you will want a compressor to tighten it up. You have to go gentle on the compressor at first because if you crush the audio too much it sounds like a$$. Also, be gentle with any make up gain because this is where most people screw up a compressor. They overload whatever is next in the audio chain and can't figure out why it sounds like garbage.

    I would think you would actually be better off with some sort of stand alone processor rather than using Pro Tools and a USB interface full of latency unless you're trying to record the whole thing. There are boxes that have FX built right into them. So you would run your mic (keyed or with cough drop) into your interface/fx box and process the high and low pass, and compression, and then out to your broadcast device.
  3. ENC016

    ENC016 Active Member

    Thanks for your reply. I did a quick google search for a "cough drop" and it looks like that might work. It would probably vary radio to radio, some have different key circuits. but im sure it can be made the work. 2 wires off the xlr sound is not at all a great method, but thats what i was given as a quick option by others. ill try to look further into the "gate". Im using izotope and another plug in i forget the name with Pro Tools also. where i have utilize the gate provided to cut noise. "i found this useful for tracking down background noise. ie noisy pc fans hum from inverters and other equipment...

    The main radio i intend to use this on unmodified will transmit 400hz-5000khz respectively. I cant say exactly the bandwidth it will be capable of once its expanded. But id expect at least a slightly wider ability after thats done. Not all other radios will be able to receive the full spectrum of what i intend to broadcast, but the definition is still there. Just because everyone else sounds like junk doesnt me i have to.

    The session file i have has 4 channels each with an eq and compressor. a last channel with izotope alloy and the other plugin. id really rather share the file with someone to see what ive got, rather than explain. anyone else reading this is in this business and would understand more by looking at what ive got than me tring to explain it. anyone of you would most likely teach me something i dont know about what ive got, because i know very little. I decided to use pro tools being i already had a computer more than sufficient to run alone with protools by itself as a second computer. and the Mic mbox and software only set me back $150.

    Once i put my shack back together from this sudden remodeling ill get to messing with pro tools more. i appreciate the tips. and any other input would be much appreciated!
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    By bandwidth, I meant the frequencies you will be needing as a speaker not what you are pushing on the airwaves themselves. The human voice has a pretty limited range of notes/frequencies it can utilize. No need to record the frequency of the top C on the piano if the voice can't sing or speak it.
  5. ENC016

    ENC016 Active Member

    well that sounds alittle over my head, or different from what i was told before. but id expect more accurate info from this place that the other sources ive looked at. So it leaves me a bit confused.
  6. ENC016

    ENC016 Active Member

    i was really beginning to think that i should figure out how to start a clean slate adding plugins as a go to try to teach myself what affect each one will impose on the sound of my voice. Being that i have not pro audio type experience or knowledge i really should learn something. I can make a car or home stereo sound choice, but thats like being the top student in a special ed class. but thats the extent of it.
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Well you're confusing two things. There is the frequency range of what is going in the mic, and there is the broadcast range of your transmitter. These are not the same. You're used to thinking in broadcast frequency: 1093hz 1396hz whatever. You'll still be tuning your ham radio the same way but what I'm talking about is the other end of the deal-the gozinta end. All of that audio is converted to your broadcast format by your ham radio. Remy could probably explain it better in her special way since she did broadcast for NBC for decades. My radio experience by and large is dealing with AN/PRC radios and at the end SatComm and we weren't worried too much about audio quality. It just had to work.
  8. ENC016

    ENC016 Active Member

    If you will, just take a peek at this pdf. on the second page 1.1 for transmitter, the AM/FM frequency response 400hz-5000khz as being the audio "my voice" that is able to be processed by the unit and broadcasted lets just say 28.2850mhz. and same page under 1:2 Receiver, the Audio Frequency Response being 400-2500. im understanding this as being the the sound coming through the speaker that i hear as another operator. Not being argumentative just making sure were on the same page.
    Im perusing through other threads on the forums just to try to piece things together to get a better understanding of things. so please bare with me.
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    You are still confusing the issue. The audio you record is a set of frequencies that are then formatted and broadcast by your radio. They are not the same. There is NO WAY your voice can produce 5KHz. Middle A on a piano is 440Hz. That's getting high for a male voice. The "a" two octaves below that is 110Hz and your voice would be severely stretched to reach that if you were a trained opera singer or had guzzled whiskey and smoked several cartons of cigarettes for years. You see what I'm saying? What you are recording is processed and then broadcast over a compact set of wavelengths. Let's say you are transmitting on 1390. Does that mean there is only one single pitch of audio (roughly F three octaves middle C) that's being transmitted? Obviously not since back in the day we listened to Basie and Nat Cole and Harry Carrey and they definitely weren't monotone. Paul Harvey for gosh sakes broadcast his well modulated voice for what....forty years?
  10. ENC016

    ENC016 Active Member

    Ok, i did some google'n and ive got an idea of what you mean now, i dont completely understand but i kind of get the jist of it. After more reading hopefully ill understand more. I on a whim posted on this forum hoping it would be a simple. but its a whole other ball park so it seems. Again thanks for your help.
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Well, it really is pretty simple if you can make the connections and especially if you aren't concerned with latency. You just want thicker beefier vocals. Every singer wants the same thing only they're also usually screaming at the tops of their lungs. You're getting hung up in the theory. A simplified rendition:

    Sound is made of vibrational frequency, but not all frequency generation produces sound. A shortwave radio EM wave itself is not audio sounds until it is decoded by a radio receiver and sent through a transducer (speaker).

    Vibrational audio sound like what you hear with your ears is converted to electrical energy by a microphone or other similar device and then transmitted via cable to (in your case) an analog to digital converter (MBox) and into your DAW. Your DAW then sends the digital signal back out to the MBox and converts the digital audio to analog electrical signal and then out to (in your case) a short wave radio which then converts that electrical signal into EM radio waves.

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