Track price: FREE
Free Audiophile Recordings
An acoustic stereo percussion duet (no close multi-miking and subsequent electronic mixing) featuring an assortment of famous rhythmic influences: Brazilian Samba, African Danza, Argentinian Tango and Afrocuban Tumbao.
The musicians and their instruments
Free Audiophile Recording
Free Audiophile Recording
The troubles started way before the first take
A real concert hall was supposed to have been made available to us for this recording, but we were "declined" at the last moment by the authorities there. You see, audiophiles are a secret underground organization, and are hated by the following: shipping companies, wives, neighbors, and the superintendents of concert halls boasting beautiful acoustics.
Therefore, we had to find, in an awful hurry, a "second best place". This was in a small town which had only one such room. It was winter. The place was unheated. And we had no choice. So, never mind the acoustics. Never mind the cold. We don't complain. We just go and do it. Even if it turns out to be an abandoned TV studio, which it was.
Getting the hall to stop ringing.
First up was addressing the metallic ringing sound which emanated from about 8 iron posts which held up a balcony which went around three walls of the hall. That sound was very obnoxious to our ears. Not a nice reverb. We finally found the solution, much better than suicide, by tying a couple of chairs (soft side) to each of the 8 iron ringing poles. Just look at the pictures. Don't laugh. Come on, we were in distress. Give us a break.
Getting the hall to start singing.
Then, we set up a makeshift "acoustic shell" stage out of the remaining chairs. Yes, they are made out of foam. So we turned them around to get as much acoustic reflection off of their plastic backs as possible. Horrible acoustic conditions? Well, we fight to the death. Because it's about audio.
Then we set up the mics.
The mics were two stereo pairs of Schoeps 48V phantom powered omni microphones. The two left channel mics and the two right channel mics were set up as close to the physically same location as possible. It was our aim to get acoustically identical signals into each stereo pair. We placed a Jecklin Disk between the two mics for better stereo separation.
The secret to good sound.
For those who just have to know everything, the disk is highly compressed fiberglass covered with a nylon pantyhose we purchased in the supermarket. But I will not reveal the size purchased, nor where I put the legs once I cut them off. This is a proprietary technique. Very effective...
Then we set up the gear.
This recording was made using hand-made gear. The power comes in through a LessLoss DFPC Signature and goes through a LessLoss Firewall, then through another Signature to power the hand-made mic preamp/ADC device. The recording device itself, and the Firewall, are conditioned by Blackbodys. This recording is absolutely pristine except for occasional very low-level 50 Hz buzzes which we have not yet tackled. But the sound quality speaks for itself, and we very happy to share this super high quality recording with you. ENJOY!
Then we had a grounding problem.
We had to fix a buzz. To our dismay, it was not entirely taken care of in the end, but we made good progress. You will sometimes hear some hum in the right channel. Sorry about that. We finally solved it by using the method of voodoo (capacitance of the human body to ground potential). My assistant would place his hand on the gear before the start of each take. I instructed him to think of ocean waves instead of 50 Hz waves. I don't think this method was effective, as his mind was wandering. Concentrate, man, concentrate! The audio is at stake!
Then we had fun! Join us!