apartment 42 productions

_ musical ears

MONOGLOT

MONOGLOTFinished a remix for the icelandic/swiss band MONOGLOT.

Looking forward to hear all the other contributions.

Double Bass Recording – Input Impedance

Did some research about recording double basses using piezo-pickups recently. It’s always nice to have one track of acoustic bass totally clean and leakage free, just in case. We all know the problem though: nosy, bass-less sounds, almost useless in the end. Solution?

The Summit Audio TD-100 tube instrument pre-amp and DI features variable input impedance up to 2 MΩ

The Summit Audio TD-100 tube instrument pre-amp and DI features variable input impedance up to 2 MΩ

Piezo-electronic pickup systems used for acoustic double basses and other acoustic instruments feature extremely high impedances, typically higher than 1 MΩ (Mega-Ohm). In studio and live environments the connections usually will be made using DI-boxes. Those work well together with magnetic pickups we find in electric guitars and bass-guitars, that have impedances around 1 MΩ and lower. But if we connect a piezo-PU with it’s extremely high impedance to an input with a lower impedance, we run into problems. To put it short, the sound of the PU will interfere with its own out of phase copy, mirrored by the input. The result is the apparently typical piezo-sound we seem to know.

The Countryman Type 85 DI features an input impedance of 10 MΩ

The Countryman Type 85 DI features an input impedance of 10 MΩ

But if we use an input with the same impedance of the piezo-system or higher theses interferences go away almost totally. The result is a well balanced bass-sound with rich low and high frequencies and no high-mid-scoop. Still an electric sound, but highly usable together with one or two mic-tracks.

Problem solved!

New: See Videos of Recent Productions

Bildschirmfoto 2015-04-13 um 18.54.42

New guy on the block

The Decca Recording Company acquired a phenomenal reputation over their long history in recorded music. The technical quality of their output was always to high standards, largely because of the calibre of their recording engineers, but also because the organisation tended to build or develop their own equipment when commercial alternatives were deemed unsatisfactory in some way. Don’t forget, this was the company that developed the famous Decca Tree microphone arrangement that has been a stalwart of classical recording engineers around the world for half a century. … — the Broadhurst Gardens [line of] microphone preamplifiers — share a similar lineage.

Broadhurst Gardens?

For those in the know, Broadhurst Gardens in West Hampstead was the location of Decca’s London headquarters through the ’60s and ’70s, before their relocation to new premises on Belsize Road. Mick Hinton joined Decca in 1969 and worked in these facilities as a maintenance and design engineer, developing four-channel mic preamps that are apparently still in use by the former Decca engineers at Classic Sound.

Operating now as DAV Electronics (the DAV standing for Digital, Audio, Visual), Mick Hinton has developed an interesting and cost-effective line of high-quality audio products, all hand-built and designed to sound both ‚big‘ and quiet, in the Decca tradition. The BG1 is said to be derived from Decca circuits dating back to the late ’70s, benefiting from the careful development afforded to Decca’s specialist electronic designs. The BG1 preamp is accompanied in the DAV catalogue by a sister preamp, the imaginatively named Broadhurst Gardens Number Two. This is a four-channel rackmount version, providing very similar facilities…

DAV Electronics have already built a decent reputation for themselves, listing amongst their clients Whitfield Street Studios, The Decca Recording Company, Townhouse Studios, Metropolis Studios, Master Room and many other prestigious recording studios and production facilities.

—Hugh Robjohns, Sond on Sound

Upcoming Projects

DACHMixing „DACH

Andrej Prozorov – soprano saxophone
David Six – piano
Ilya Alabuzhev – bass
Mathias Ruppnig – drums

 

 

 

 

Grzegorz WlodarczykMixing the Grzegorz Wlodarczyk Quintet

Maxime Breton tenor sax
Virxilio da Silva – guitar
Enzo Carniel – piano
Grzegorz Wlodarczyk – bass
Joao Lopes Pereira – drums

 

 

 

 

Royal Garden Jazz BandRecording and Mixing the Royal Garden Jazz Band

Peter Kunsek – clarinet
Franz Schober – trumpet
Schorschi Kreuzer – trombone
Bernd Kainz – piano
Dusan Simovic – bass
Joschi Schuster – drums

Why on earth does it have to be vintage?

Sound people always tried to achieve the best sound. Period. Every time had its tools of the trade, had its knowledge. Be it the early days of the phonograph, recordings on steel wire and magnetic tape, the inventions of the vacuum tube and the tranistor, the mono days, the stereo revolution, … – every technology had its pros and cons, engineers of every era tried to get the most accurate sound, the best quality.

With the enormous progress of digital recording during the last decades, the industry left most of the former problems behind. We have more accuracy then ever before, we can capture a larger dynamic range then any LP or CD is capable of. The fidelity of digital audio leaves the reproduction capabilities of any existing microphone far behind. On top of that: ease of use, tremendous storing capacities, nearly endless options to manipulate the recording during post production.

Having said this, why do many engineers (and musicians) want to have the old times back? Why do we have tape emulators, analog summing, vintage gear?

Vintage is booming! – but vintage is nostalgic and sentimental, like the most part of the pop music business.

Using a tool, hardware or software, which is or tries to emulate old technology, must be carefully chosen. Engineers of the 50ies did work with analog tape and tube equipment, because it was state of the art and they did not have anything else. The current vintage boom is greatly a marketing gag. You buy a digital plugin for your digital audio software, that has mainly a vintage look. But please: listen, listen, listen!

On the other hand: When there were three tracks only, uneven colorizing mics, lousy signal to noise, and almost no post production, you had to work on the sound straight from the recording itself. That is something, we could incorporate more in modern production design, instead of following the same procedures over and over. This is especially true, when you have to a studio environment designed and geared to commercial productions. Did they ever listen to your kind of music? Do they normally record acoustic piano, jazz drums, classical strings, …?

A good sound comes from your ears. Listen, listen, listen!

Lila Lotus – CD Live-Recording

pan tau-x ‚Lila Lotus‘:

  • Lorenz Raab – trumpet, flügelhorn
  • Klaus Gesing – soprano saxophone, bass-clarinet
  • Henrik Hallberg – SWE – gitarre
  • Uli Rennert – piano, preapared piano
  • Magnus Bergström – bass
  • Uli Soyka – drums, toys

@ OFF Theater, Vienna

Bernhard Ludescher – Loktor NEW CD

Ludescher Wilding Stabler - LOKTORThe recording-sessions went very well – musically, as well as soundwise. With the help of Loktor mastermind Bernhard Ludescher the tracks were edited and mixed and the music is ready now for being mastered and
released on CD/iTunes within the next future.

Von den Göttern weiss ich nichts

Neu auf pan tau-x.

Götter CD-Cover

FunArt…Music – new CD coming up

FunArt...Music at Jazzredoute2014Just listened to the recordings with rennert.at/projects (Peter Kunsek – clarinets, Uli Rennert – prepared piano, synthesizer, Jan Roder – bass, Uli Soyka – drums, toys) from our sessions at the Royal Garden Jazz Club in Graz.

Great free improvised music captured with only a few decent microphones in a minimalist approach. This will have to be a double album, maybe also including our concert at the recent Jazz Redoute Graz 2014.

Looking forward!