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That Sheen Condenser Microphones
Old 23rd July 2014
  #211
Quote:
Originally Posted by futura2012 View Post
Im sorry I dont fully understand would you mind explaining this in a bit more detail?

Say for example if you were using an eventide H8000FW (something i am thinking about buying btw) how would you interface this with say an Apogee Setup?

say something like this. i assume this would be the type of setup you might see in a posh studio.



The eventide FW has a WCLK in / out would this be a case of an external clock needed or would it not be needed as the signal would come in and out of the DAW without any conversion required?
Well, if you needed all that IO you'd probably have a LFAC so you wouldn't be interfacing digitally at all.

If I were integrating the H8000 via digital IO, I'd make it the slave for sure - it's far less significant than the main outputs! You could either clock via AES in or via wordclock.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
But at least I didn't call anyone ignorant, seems like all you guys are so insecure you jump down this poor guy's throat and tell him how bad his "skill" is.
Everyone has been very positive with the OP's mixes and tried to help him learn ways to improve to take them further. I think you are looking at this very wrong.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
If picasso posted a bitmap of one of his paintings it seems to me like y'all would all be telling him he needs work on his "skills"
I'm the only guy who didn't criticize the OP, don't you find that a little ironical? wow you take the cake bro with that train of thought.



, But I didn't' call anyone ignorant, seems like all you guys are so insecure you jump down this poor guy's throat and tell him how bad his "skill" is. I only equated it to a piece of 15 year old equipment. And none has posted anything done of a FF to prove my theory wrong.
there's no point arguing this. whilst I agree with you that conversion and to the same extent speakers and acoustic treatment do matter because they inform every single decision you make along the entire line including where you place the mic, how you eq the vox, what knob twisting you do on your comp, how you pan and mix etc etc. i also don't agree that conversion here is the only issue as well.

most people on gearlsutz seem to feel all converters generally sound the same, there is no difference between preamps and 44.1khz is good enough because people only listen to mp3.

it's better just to let each to there own and move on.

you're not going to win this one. unfortunately.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecandy View Post

you're not going to win this one. unfortunately.
schooling people on the facts is not a win or lose situation

kidding

I just know from my experience the FF is so inaccurate and shrill sounding it's virtually impossible to make valid sonic decisions with it.
"sheen" aside, you can't get an accurate representation of the spectrum. How can anyone track and mix that way?

Step one for me would be to upgrade the interface, then get a good grip on what you are or are not hearing. The bottom end on the FF is juts plain weird sounding.
The high end is so harsh words cannot describe.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #215
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yep.

if you can't hear it properly you can't make informed decisions.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #216
Quote:
Originally Posted by gouge View Post
most people on gearlsutz seem to feel all converters generally sound the same, there is no difference between preamps and 44.1khz is good enough because people only listen to mp3.
I don't think that's a fair comment based on this or any thread.

A vast number of GSers seem to think upgrading conversion is the FIRST thing they should do (even when the rest of their chain is far weaker than the OP here!), and the comments about sample rate and preamps is completely off topic for this thread, so please take don't continue along these lines.

If you don't have comments to help the OP - please refrain from posting. Much as I disagree with chainrule in his statements, he at least is trying to help the OP. The above doesn't.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #217
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yes logic dictates you would slave it but I guess what im getting at is if you have say an H8000 or many other devices similiar to this for example how would you sychronise them if you weren't relaint on a master clock?

I assumed the only way you would cope at this higher level is a master clock of say Apogee Big Ben kind of level?
Old 23rd July 2014
  #218
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Animus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
schooling people on the facts is not a win or lose situation

kidding

I just know from my experience the FF is so inaccurate and shrill sounding it's virtually impossible to make valid sonic decisions with it.
"sheen" aside, you can't get an accurate representation of the spectrum. How can anyone track and mix that way?

Step one for me would be to upgrade the interface, then get a good grip on what you are or are not hearing. The bottom end on the FF is juts plain weird sounding.
The high end is so harsh words cannot describe.
Yeah facts and empirical evidence. Ain't it a bitch. Both yours must have been broken if it's as bad as you said it was. I used to have a Fireface and it was a decent converter; if you ran shrill stuff through it it would sound....shrill.

RME Fireface 800

Testing chain: External loopback (line-out - line-in)
Sampling mode: 44.1 kHz, 16-bit playback, 24-bit recording

Summary

Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.02, -0.06 Excellent
Noise level, dB (A): -96.6 Excellent
Dynamic range, dB (A): 96.2 Excellent
THD, %: 0.0013 Excellent
IMD + Noise, %: 0.0046 Excellent
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -97.9 Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, %: 0.0053 Excellent

Old 23rd July 2014
  #219
Quote:
Originally Posted by futura2012 View Post
yes logic dictates you would slave it but I guess what im getting at is if you have say an H8000 or many other devices similiar to this for example how would you sychronise them if you weren't relaint on a master clock?

I assumed the only way you would cope at this higher level is a master clock of say Apogee Big Ben kind of level?
Well yes - if you have many devices that you're integrating via digital IO, you'll need some form of clock distribution. In this situation, you might well find an external clock is the easiest way to do this.

Note that at this point you're not doing it for SOUND - you're doing it for workflow/technical reasons.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by futura2012 View Post
how would you sychronise them if you weren't relaint on a master clock?
You could use your internal computer clock as the master, generally controllable by your sound card with an "internal" setting and providing you have word-clock connectors on your soundcard. But this is really bad idea to clock in this manner since your internal clock is at he mercy of the operating system priority queue and round robin. You will not get a stable pulse. This is why you need an external master clock like an antelope or bigben etc.... to ensure your DAW is being driven properly. However a "master clock" does not need to be just a standalone clock unit. For instance my 2192 has multiple word clock connections as do other full featured converters, so some A/D converters can be a great master clock. I recommend 2192, it sounds absolutely amazing.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #221
Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
However a "master clock" does not need to be just a standalone clock unit. For instance my 2192 has multiple word clock connections as do other full featured converters, so some A/D converters can be a great master clock. I recommend 2192, it sounds absolutely amazing.
This is very true - you can also get word clock distribution units which can be an alternative to a standalone clock.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Animus View Post
Yeah facts and empirical evidence. Ain't it a bitch. Both yours must have been broken if it's as bad as you said it was. I used to have a Fireface and it was a decent converter; if you ran shrill stuff through it it would sound....shrill.

RME Fireface 800

Testing chain: External loopback (line-out - line-in)
Sampling mode: 44.1 kHz, 16-bit playback, 24-bit recording

Summary

Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.02, -0.06 Excellent
Noise level, dB (A): -96.6 Excellent
Dynamic range, dB (A): 96.2 Excellent
THD, %: 0.0013 Excellent
IMD + Noise, %: 0.0046 Excellent
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -97.9 Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, %: 0.0053 Excellent

Yeah someone else posted this a couple days ago. In a nutshell specs don't really tell you much. It tells you nothing about the quality of the circuit and subsequently the quality of the sound. If I need a sustaining A note to fill in a chorus for one of my songs I can pick up the telephone and record a dial tone, but I'd much rather use a moog or an arp VI at 440hz. And then there is some purist who would only use the actual analog hardware version of the moog.

Make sense?
Old 23rd July 2014
  #223
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futura2012's Avatar
 

Quote:
But this is really bad idea to clock in this manner since your internal clock is at he mercy of the operating system priority queue.
Bar turning the clock on and off I cant see what other influence the OS would have on the actual quality of the clock signal? Usually a crystal based oscillator circuit with various strains of compensation / balancing circuitry depending on how much effort has been thrown at it.

but..

I am causing a digress. sorry.

So assuming my sketchey test is correct clocking makes very very subtle and small difference but not "sheen" difference. Also as covered in the SOS article lets assume most modern convertors have the clock drift / jitter issue nailed.

Whats the key? Whats the most influential thing say I could do having extremely limited ability at mixing this type of music?

Say if the OP were to upload some stems what would be my top 5 must do this before anything else to make the OPs tracks have sheen?

kind of like yes this is clearly a "many things to do" scenario but what are the biggest factors in this equation?
Old 23rd July 2014
  #224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by futura2012 View Post
Bar turning the clock on and off I cant see what other influence the OS would have on the actual quality of the clock signal?
it's called latency due to round robin

Quote:
Originally Posted by futura2012 View Post
Usually a crystal based oscillator circuit with various strains of compensation / balancing circuitry depending on how much effort has been thrown at it.
maybe if it was running under a RTOS


Quote:
Originally Posted by futura2012 View Post
So assuming my sketchey test is correct clocking makes very very subtle and small difference but not "sheen" difference.
well to be fair I don't think we have agreed on what "sheen" exactly is


Quote:
Originally Posted by futura2012 View Post
Also as covered in the SOS article lets assume most modern convertors have the clock drift / jitter issue nailed.
One would think they have the jitter issue nailed but they don't. The problem with clocking has a lot to do with the collective unit which is made up of so many components combined into a sequential circuit. Then you have multiple units connected by external cables. Say hypothetically and external clock unit is capable of a 100% accurate pulse and is capable of transferring that pulse 100% accurately, you still have to deal with the fact that the other slaved units perhaps do not have the ability to be externally clocked 100% accurately. Lavry brings this up in one of his papers. He states something to the effect of: this is why external clocking is not always going to be an improvement, since the slaved unit may not be built optimally like the master. Or vice versa for that matter. There is a standard but IC quality in the individual units can vary. It's like trying to find a "stereo pair" if I dare to use that analogy. Digital is not perfect in the sense that Digital devices still have tolerances and they are not all created equal.

I think if you had 6 of the same unit like in that picture you posted of the 3 AD16x and DA16x that are all the same manufacturer, they are probably near 100% stable. But look at apogee, they made the big ben and claimed even multiple rosettas would seen an improvement clocked externally to big ben. Was it marketing hype? not sure, But AD16x was better than rosetta to my ears. And bigben was cool if you had a situation like yours. With effects units requiring a pulse along with the converters and DAW.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #225
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Quote:
well to be fair I don't think we have agreed on what "sheen" exactly is
Yeah good point. I think most of us are talking about the same thing or are we? LOL. What would be your definition of sheen?

Quote:
One would think they have the jitter issue nailed but they don't. The problem with clocking has a lot to do with the collective unit which is made up of so many components combined into a sequential circuit. Then you have multiple units connected by external cables. Say hypothetically and external clock unit is capable of a 100% accurate pulse and is capable of transferring that pulse 100% accurately, you still have to deal with the fact that the other slaved units perhaps do not have the ability to be externally clocked 100% accurately. Lavry brings this up in one of his papers. He states something to the effect of: this is why external clocking is not always going to be an improvement, since the slaved unit may not be built optimally like the master. Or vice versa for that matter.
It would seem the clocking as a potential cause of this problem is effectively a very minor upgrade. Of course on a high level a must do but if we refer back to the OP I think my initial idea of this being something to try in his scenario is DEFINITELY NOT in the top 5 of "sheen" upgrades.

I think maybe we should narrow this down to PRIORITY UPGRADES either in techniques or gear.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by futura2012 View Post
Yeah good point. I think most of us are talking about the same thing or are we? LOL. What would be your definition of sheen?
I think sheen is like a color compressor or a driven micpre or slamming analog tape Although I could understand someone classifying sheen as simply a polished sound. But I sort of disagree with that in the sense that I still think a garage punk record or a raw metal album can have sheen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by futura2012 View Post

It would seem the clocking as a potential cause of this problem is effectively a very minor upgrade. Of course on a high level a must do but if we refer back to the OP I think my initial idea of this being something to try in his scenario is DEFINITELY NOT in the top 5 of "sheen" upgrades.

I think maybe we should narrow this down to PRIORITY UPGRADES either in techniques or gear.

I don't necessarily look at an interface as giving you sheen out of the box, but it is a tool that helps you hear your stuff more accurately and is capable of tracking sources accurately, subsequently you can put a sound together quicker and have no surprises. Although there are color converters that can add a little summthin' and then I think there are some that can take away a little something.

Analog tape never gave you back what you put on it, but it gave you back something better. There are converters like that too which is what I like. But there are also units that give you something back that is not what you wanted. This is the gray area, this can confuse people. Things get hazy, lose focus. I think monitoring is THE most important aspect of recording not including the band. The reason is simple, if you can't monitor properly how do you make decisions to move mic or tweak a drum or an amp.? How do you know what your room really sounds like. How do you eq something, do you need to even eq it? this is why I think A/D D/A is so critical.

I think it's especially critical for people starting out because they don't have that instinct yet. they don't have that toolbox of proven tricks/techniques that they know work every time. like filters lowmid cuts, shelving and certain compression settings or certain reverb tricks and ducking and side-chaining etc.... I love critical listening. some days I just do nothing but listen to CDs and try to pick out performance mistakes, or try to find bogus frequencies that the mastering engineer missed. You can't do this as easily on cheap equipment they don't recreate the nuances in the same way as the top of the line stuff.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #227
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My guess on what the OP means by sheen is that sense of impregnable slickness a proper mix has got. The other reading would be like you say, something like sending it through a Phoenix comp or such. Or putting a couple of dB of 16kHz on with a GML.

In reality it is likely a bit of both, but I reckon the first reading is more valid, as if the mix is tight as (and that IMO here means mainly make the vocals REALLY strong and flow all the way through without making you 'fall off the horse' while listening) then it is done. Even the instrumentation will become quite secondary to its ultimate function. And the sheen from something expensive over the mix is just a little glazing.

And if you glazed it as it is now it would still be a cake with bumps on the top and glazing over that.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #228
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Hi guys! Nice thread indeed.

Anyway, you guys seem to think that OP's problems are quite techical, ie. converter problem, microphone problem and so on.

You seem to think that OP is cabable to achieve that "sheen" (whatever that is) with a minor technical fixes, or am I mistaken?

To my ears there is stuff on the actual material that I would "fix" in the first place. In the first song I'd redo backing vocals and re-consider the combination of backing vocals and strings. I'd also re-think the sonical athmosphere, should the guitars and percussions be more front than the vocals? Don't get me wrong, they all sound lovely but for me there's some artistic decisions to be made.
I'd also think about the vocals, they're good but to my ears they sound like 10'th take vocals, a tad too safe. I'd check the first vocal take and compare that to ones that has been picked.

But please don't get me wrong, I think OP is almost there.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
Yeah someone else posted this a couple days ago. In a nutshell specs don't really tell you much. It tells you nothing about the quality of the circuit and subsequently the quality of the sound. If I need a sustaining A note to fill in a chorus for one of my songs I can pick up the telephone and record a dial tone, but I'd much rather use a moog or an arp VI at 440hz. And then there is some purist who would only use the actual analog hardware version of the moog.

Make sense?
No this doesn't make any sense, because it's nonsense. There is no magic on those converters. If the specs are flat, the device will sound flat.

Synths are supposed to have a tone (which is not that of a telephone), converters are not. And of course, if you want converters with color, you can't possibly say that the FF800 sounds shrill and not transparent at the same time.

It looks like either your FFs were indeed broken, or your new converter has extreme high cut engaged.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #230
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oden View Post
No this doesn't make any sense, because it's nonsense. There is no magic on those converters. If the specs are flat, the device will sound flat.

Synths are supposed to have a tone (which is not that of a telephone), converters are not. And of course, if you want converters with color, you can't possibly say that the FF800 sounds shrill and not transparent at the same time.

It looks like either your FFs were indeed broken, or your new converter has extreme high cut engaged.
Well, converters do have a tone/sound/whatever you want to call it though. And it does make a difference. They don't sound the same just because a frequency spectrum seems to imply it. Just like speakers, mics and all the other stuff doesn't. Only, on this forum the importance of that is a little misunderstood/overrated.

If the engineer is top notch he will get further with a sweet converter than with an average one. He will have to fight less and get more sweetness for free. He'll hear more. Definite fact.

But I'd still say if you make a great engineer mix on a fireface you wouldn't be able to tell after. It would just sound great, as he will make up for the sound of the gear where necessary. Just like all those records ages ago, that were made with what would today rate as complete garbage conversion (admittedly with a lot of hardware). So hence, while the fireface here might not make it as easy for the OP as some other converters, it most definitely isn't the weakest link.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #231
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wow so much nonsense! and half of it by chainrule -- are you 12? you really need to learn not to take up so much space with so little info -- it's downright rude. please learn something and DO NOT reply to me!

To OP -- equipment matters, but knowing what is does is way more important. Your individual tracks could use more weight to them, ie saturation. you have UAD -- why not get the new 1073 or API channel strips and stick them on your tracks to see what this does to your sounds? one key to sheen (among many other variables) is knowing what frequencies make a track shine and cutting the rest. most "saturation" is cutting or slightly distorting frequency content, esp highs, so you can then eq these tracks or 2 buss without worrying about boosting unwanted frequencies (like noise).

This plus previous mixing advice above is a great starting point to help get a little sheen on your mix. Good luck!
Old 23rd July 2014
  #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I don't think that's a fair comment based on this or any thread.

A vast number of GSers seem to think upgrading conversion is the FIRST thing they should do (even when the rest of their chain is far weaker than the OP here!), and the comments about sample rate and preamps is completely off topic for this thread, so please take don't continue along these lines.

If you don't have comments to help the OP - please refrain from posting. Much as I disagree with chainrule in his statements, he at least is trying to help the OP. The above doesn't.
of course it's relevant. the op needs to understand who to listen too.

the way to understand that is by comparing experiences.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #233
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This is your marker... compare your Cello with this one.... same with the guitars and what's "missing" is apparent?
Old 23rd July 2014
  #234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMoon View Post


This is your marker... compare your Cello with this one.... same with the guitars and what's "missing" is apparent?
That extreme amount of noise?

It must be a soundblaster
Old 23rd July 2014
  #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by futura2012 View Post

Quote:
Give whatever setup to a mixing engineer that you like
and you will like the result.

Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms quality give anyone anything and it will sound polished like this? good luck!

I think you could say give any kit to a talented mixing engineer and he will make the best of it but he will still suffer any potential bottlenecks just like the rest of us.
I agree, this is a very old and tired argument. just like when people used to say "Give Eric Clapton any guitar and he will sound great". Sure his playing might sound great, but the sound quality would not necessarily match his playing.

One could argue, well why doesn't Clapton just use any old guitar and amp then? He sure would save a lot of money.

The same holds true for top notch engineers. If they are so great, then why don't they just use any old gear? There is a reason for this. The gear they use helps them achieve the sounds they are looking for. It really is that simple. The key is mastering these tools once you get them. To say that these engineers can achieve the same results with something like an RME is ridiculous at best. That's why they don't use that type of gear. But that gear is good for people to cut their teeth on until build up their skills and then can afford and justify the need for the "Pro Level" gear.

For those that scoff at this line of reasoning, I am still waiting for clips of mixes done on Soudblasters, and RME level equipment that are on par with something like Brothers In Arms.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMoon View Post


This is your marker... compare your Cello with this one.... same with the guitars and what's "missing" is apparent?
Thanks for posting this. I have heard the name, but never actually listened to Nick Drake. Very organic. I like it a lot and will use this particular song as a reference.

I really like the blending of the vocals and cello at 3:21 - 3:28. Excellent separation. Do you know what the vocal chain was, and what gear was used in general?
Old 23rd July 2014
  #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by futura2012 View Post
sorry phil i missed this post. thats a good idea. i have a range of cards here as im heavily into kit generally perhaps I should do some blind ones

Would you say in your opinion this sheen issue is a CLK / Conversion issue (not all) but something in the overall equation?
I would say the OP has a lot of other things to improve upon that will make very noticeable differences to his mixes. I am very doubtful that changing his converters would make any discernible difference for him whatsoever.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldi View Post
please learn something and DO NOT reply to me!
Why, Do they have posting quotas on this board?
Old 23rd July 2014
  #239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMoon View Post


This is your marker... compare your Cello with this one.... same with the guitars and what's "missing" is apparent?
very ver nice, love Nick Drake
This has nice sheen to it. Probably a studer 1in 8 track or 16track 2in through an A-Range, all comped to the hilt with fairchilds, it's got that fluffy sound ears really like. The sheen is similar to a Cat Stevens record or that sound typical of early 70s folk rock.

Hats off to Roy Harper
Old 23rd July 2014
  #240
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I wonder if its possible to get that sheen recording into an original black face ADAT?

Im guessing there are some great records out there recorded through those converters.

Does my FF really sound worse than those? Doubt it.
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