Delta Modulation $3.00 October 19E2 Volume 13

Delta Modulation $3.00 October 19E2 Volume 13
4.0
I
t_
('ompanded Pi edict ire
Delta Modulation
-
$3.00
October 19E2
Volume 13 Number 5
-
PRODUCING
UDI
FOR
TAPE
PECORDS
FILM
LIVE PE
RMANCE
:See
Page 150
Can Affor
by DeltaLa
he EFFECTRON features the finest and most natural sounding
igital delay effects available today at unheard o- prices:
Visit our local dealer and check it out.
ADM 256*
t$499
Suggest retail
A real technological
breakthrough un Hatchet by anyone!!!
At last
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can afford to own a High Performance Digital Dela
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Deltalab
October 1982
R -e/ p 5
MARK IV'" MIXING CONSOLE
MARK
IV MONITOR
Features and specifications subject to change without notice.
It is the purpose of any musical
performance, live or recorded, to
successfully communicate with the
listener. To attain that goal is often
even for the most
a challenge
experienced musicians. sound
personnel, and stage crew. At Peavey
we realize the criteria to he met
before this goal can he obtained.
-
talkhack system will help alleviate
the problems musicians sometimes
have in establishing the proper onstage mix, especially if a previous
sound check was not possible.
controls on each sub (20 Hz to 5111)
Hz), and in -lire patching facilities
between the sch outputs and the
IV'
mixing console features an input
gain control, two pre -monitor sends.
MARK
OPTIONS
phase reversal switch, PFL and mute
switches, and S co or -coded rotary
level controls which correspond to
color -coded slider level controls in
the output section.
To make the most ou: of the
Mark IV Monitor Mixer's
capabilities, we have equipped the
mixer with two seçaraie built -in
communication systems. By utilizing
our optional headset o- "gooseneck
microphone," the monitor mix
engineer can communicate with the
musicians through any of the S
separate monitor mixe -s. This
For additional Information circle #2
IV"
equalization, effects rexerh
pan control,
"push /push ' channel assignment
switches. pre and post E(1,
send/reverh patching and PFL (pre
fade listen) sw tch.
4 -hand
send contro
First, the musician must he
satisfied with the Fiend and balance
of the on -stage monitor mix. In
most concert type situations, the
musicians may dersanc anywhere
from two to six separate monitor
mixes. Our new Mark IV' Monitor
Mixer can supply this need with up
to eight individual monitor mixes.
Each channel of the Mark R""
Monitor Mixer features LED status
indication of -10 dBV and *10 dBV.
an input gain control. 4 -hand
equalization, built- n mic splitter,
sum.
Each channel of the Mark
MARK IV " MONITOR MIXER
The Mark R%' Mcnitor Mixer is
available in 16 x S or 24 x S
configurations and features
transformer balanced inputs and
outputs. S unbalanced outputs,
PFL /Solo headphone system, 10segment LED ladder displays for
each of the S outputs, auxiliary
inputs and low -cut controls for each
mix and a unique PFL'Solo patch.
The PFL/Solo patch is a highly
desirable feature that enables the
monitor engineer to patch any of the
mixes back into the switched inputs
so that externally equalized or
processed signals can be monitored.
This is a feature which is not usually
found on custom -made monitor
mixing systems costing $15,000 or
more.
power supply, variable low -cut
,
The Mark
-
IV" Professional
Mixing Console has two
complimentary communication
systems for asc with our dark IV"
Monitor Mixers, headsets, gooseneck
microphone and Talk, Comm "slave"
units. The Mark I"" Series intercom
system allows communication
between the "house" and monitor
A second communication link
can also he establishec by the
monitor mix engineer between the
stage crew and lighting personnel by
utilizing the optional Talk /Comm
"slave" units. The Mark I"'"
Monitor Mixer's front panel utilizes
an LEI) indicator to alert the
engineer as a call function and also
shows when intercom is active.
MARK IV- MIXING CONSOLE
Neat, the house (main) system
must he able to deliver crystal clear,
noisefree sound reproduction to the
associated equalizers, power amps
and horn /loudspeaker enclosures.
For the main PA, our new Mark lV
Professional Mixing Consoles cffer
the sound engineer the necessary
performance, flexibility and
functions to do almost any sound
job.
The Mark
I""
Professional
Mixing Consoles are available in 16
or 24 channel versions (16'24 x 4
x I) and feature transformer
balanced inputs and outputs, PF'I.
headphone system, 10- segment LEI)
ladder display for all outputs.
channel and sub output LEI)
indication ( -131 dBV and If) dBV),
internal reverb and effectsjreverb
return to the monitors. The console
also utilizes a 24 volt phantom
mix engineers as well as stage.
lighting and other associated concert
personnel.
Both the Mark IV- Monitor
Mixer and the Mark IV"
Professional Mixing Console feature
gooseneck lamp connectors (B \l')
with dimmer controls for use with
our optional gooseneck lamps. This
option allows superb visibility of the
mixers in poor lighting situations.
The Mark IV " Series Monitor
Mixers and Professional Mixing
Consoles are the successful result of
our extensive research and
development eForts as well as
constant "man Loring" of the needs
of professional sound reinforcement
companies and soundmen. This
outstanding series of mixers
represents. we ielicve, truly
exceptional Lnd professional
products tha- will outperform
competitive products retailing for
many times the price.
For complete information on
the Mark IV"" Series write to:
Peavey Electronics Corp.. P.O. Box
2ä9H, Meridian, '1S 39301.
PE:\\'El' ELECTRONICS CORI'.
711 A Strccl
Meridian.
?1S 393111
October 1982
N'l
X-e p
7
7N7p)
- Contents -
L
V
ENG/NEER IPRODIJCER
- the magazine
RECORDING
to exclusively serve the
STUDIO and CONCERT SOUND
industries
those whose work involves the
engineering and production of commercially
marketable product for
Records and Tape
Film
Live Performance
Video and Broadcast
---
-
... to recording
Maintenance and Troubleshooting
MARTIN GALLAY
MEL LAMBERT
ROBERT CARR
- Consulting Editors
Technical Operations
ROMAN OLEARCZUK
MARTIN POLON
Video
DOUGLAS HOWLAND .. Broadcast
STEVEN BARNETT ... Film
October 1982
Number 5
-
-
LOGIC TESTERS IN FAULT -FINDING AND DIAGNOSIS
OF AUDIO PROCESSING AND RECORDING EQUIPMENT
by Roman Olearczuk
page 43
Acoustic Design and Construction --
-
EASY SOUND STUDIOS, DENMARK
Converting a Movie Theatre
into a Multi- Function Audio /Video Recording Environment
by David Rideau
page 52
Studio Operations
Editor /Publisher
Editor at Large
Feature Writer
13
Production Viewpoint
The Consummate Production Team ... working with Michael Jackson, Donna Summer,
George Benson, and numerous other artists ... Grammy -award winner
Quincy Jones ... and his technical counterpart Bruce Swedien
by Robert Carr
page 16
- the magazine produced to relate recording
ART
to recording SCIENCE
EQUIPMENT.
Volume
-
CARE AND REPAIR OF MCI Ai- SERIES TAPE TRANSPORTS
by Greg Hanks
Recording Techniques
page 65
-
MIKING AND RECORDING THE HORN SECTION
by Robert Carr
page 73
.
Assistant Editor
SANDY ST. CLAIRE
Art Director
HOLLY FERGUSON
Advertising Service
Manager
ERIKA LOPEZ
Business Manager
V L. GAFFNEY
Circulation /Subscription
Manager
CLAUDIA NEUMANN
i
Concert Sound Reinforcement -
PEACE SUNDAY FESTIVAL AT THE PASADENA ROSE BOWL
MSI /Northwest's Co- operative Sound System Design
by David Scheirman
In -House Concert Systems
UNIVERSAL AMPHITHEATRE SOUND SYSTEM DESIGN
Stanal Sound's Speaker System for This Remodelled Venue
by Gary D. Davis
Film Sound
page 106
-
FANTASIA DIGITAL RECORDING AND POST -PRODUCTION
by Larry Blake
(Digital Sound for Motion Pictures
"RECORDING Engineer/Producer"
(USPS 768 -840)
a year by GALLAY
COMMUNICATIONS, INC., 1850 Whitley
Avenue, Hollywood. California 90028, and is
sent to qualified recipients in the United States.
One year (six issues) subscriptions may be
purchased at the following rates:
United States (Surface Mail)
$18.00
United States (First Class)
$23.00
Canada
$23.00
Foreign
$35.00
(Foreign subscriptions payable in U.S. funds
only by bank check or money order.)
is
published six times
page 92
Music Scoring for Film
-
page 116
page 134)
-
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF FILM SCORING STAGE
Record Plant's Conversion of Glen Glenn /Paramount Facility
by Neil Brody
page 128
(Microphone and Recording Techniques for Film Scoring Sessions
Conversation with Record Plant's Danny Wallin
page 134)
-a
Component Evaluation
-
SPECSMANSHIP AND THE NEW GENERATION OF VCA
What a Manufacturer's Published Specifications
May Not be Telling a Potential User
by Paul C. Buff
page 138
Digital Price Breakthrough
THE dbx MODEL 700 DIGITAL AUDIO PROCESSOR
Utilizing Companded Predictive Delta Modulation
DESIGN PARAMETERS AND SYSTEMS IMPLEMENTATION
u
- OPERATIONAL ASSESSMENT AT CRESCENDO STUDIOS
RECORDING Engineer/Producer Is not
responsible for any claim by any person based
on the publication by RECORDING Engineer/
Producer of material submitted for publication.
Material appearing in RECORDING
Engineer /Producer may not be reproduced
without the written consent of the publisher.
by Robert W. Adams, dbx, Inc.
page 150
by William Ray, Crescendo president
page 150
-
-
Views
Audio/Video Recording: Prospects Looking Good for Pro Audio /Video in 1983, by Martin Polon
page 15 The Transition from Musician to Producer: Ronnie Montrose on the Special Demands of
Working Both Sides of the Studio Glass, and Moving into Production, by David Gans page 18 The
Audio Video Marriage: Bullet Recording's Randy Holland on Combining State -of- the -Art Audio
page 179
Technology with In -House Video Facilities
-
-
i
Controlled Circulation Postage
paid at
Los Angeles, California
Postmaster: Send form 3579
Address correction to:
RECORDING Engineer /Producer
P.O. Box 2449
Hollywood, California 90028
(213) 467 -1111
R -e/p 8
El
October 1982
-
Departments
Let ters - page 12 News page 14 Studio Update page 84 On The Studio Trail --page 90
New Products page 162 Digital Update page 178 Classified page 185 Advertiser's Index
-
-
-
-page
-
-
190
- The Cover -
"Breaking the digital price barrier," another original illustration by Trici Venola. Two articles describing the
new dbx Model 700 Digital Audio Processor begin on page 150
'
First, again
The pioneers of 24 track recording
make the best even better
Less than ten years ago, MCI introduced a rad cal new concept that
made other mult -track recorders obsolete. The design was based on a
totally servo con rolled tra -isport, all new and al D.C. And it made the
p oneers of 24 -track reco-iing the most imitated designers of
professional tape recorders in the industry.
Today, independent international surveys rank MCI multi -track recorders
as the most popJlar in th- world. Yet MCI continues to refine, redesign
ald improve its professional line- -now adding totally new audio electronics
for the future. Contact ycir nearest MCI dealer for details. And demani
the best. Demand MCI.
1400 West Commerc
For additional information circe #3
Blvd Ft Lauderdale. Florida 33309
"elepnone 13051491.0825ITLX 514362
I
.
HERE!
INPUT LEVEL
e
..
,
MAX
MAX
-
STATUS
INPUT MODE
OUTPUT
LEVEL
MAX
MIX
EFFECT
STEREO
BANDWIDTH
15 KM2
OFF
1
MONITOR
OFF
DRY
OFF
2-s
%."---1
2
1
2-'
HEAR!
PROCESSOR CONTROL
DEFINE
SOFT KEY
Eventide
PLATE REVERS
SIGNAL
PROCESSOR
CONTROL MODE
EXECUTE
COMMAND
MODEL SP 2016
ADJUST/SELECT
PROGRAM PARAMETER
POWER
11
II1111I11I
I
I
I
I
EVENTIDE'S NEW EFFECTS PROCESSOR
REVERB PUTS A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF
SPECIAL EFFECTS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS.
EVENTIDE TAKES THE NEXT STEP INTO THE
FUTURE WITH THE SP2016, THE WORLD'S FIRST
TOTALLY PROGRAMMABLE AUDIO SIGNAL
PROCESSOR. FOR OPENERS, IT'S THE BEST
SOUNDING, MOST VERSATILE PLATE REVERB
ROOM REVERB DIGITAL REVERB EVER. YOU
HAVE FULL CONTROL OF REVERB PARAMETERS
(DISPLAYED ON AN EASY- READING ALPHANUMERIC READOUT) PRE DELAY 16.4
3.0 INCLUDING SOME YOU'VE
NEVER SEEN BEFORE: ROOM POSITION
BUT REVERB IS JUST THE
BEGINNING. WITH AVAILABLE PLUG -IN SOFTWARE, YOU TAKE CONTROL OF A WHOLE NEW
FLAY
WORLD OF SPECIAL EFFECTS: B
EVEN
,,BOTS
OUT -OF -THIS WORLD SOUNDS:
YOU CAN CREATE AND STORE DOZENS OF
r
PARAMETER PRESETS FOR LATER RECALL:
SAVE USER PRESET THE 5P2016 TESTS
ITSELF EVERY TIME YOU TURN IT ON: SELFTES
IT CAN EVEN HELP YOU WITH HOW -TO -USE INSTRUCTIONS. JUST ASK... HELP -- HIT RED KEY
BEST OF ALL, YOUR SP2016 CAN NEVER
BECOME OBSOLETE. WE'LL BE ISSUING NEW AND
UPDATED EFFECTS REGULARLY. JUST PLUG THEM
IN. AND WHEN YOU GO DIGITAL, HERE'S GOOD
NEWS -YOUR SP2016 CAN HANDLE SIGNALS IN
AND OUT IN DIGITAL. FORM. YOU MUST SEE AND
HEAR THE REVOLUTIONARY EVENTIDE 5P2016
EFFECTS PROCESSOR /REVERB. IT'S A WHOLE
NEW WORLD OF SPECIAL EFFECTS.
Eventide
next step
"HANDS ON" DEMO CONTACT EVENTIDE FOR THE SP2016 DEALER IN YOUR AREA
EVENTIDE CLOCKWORKS, 265 WEST 54 ST., NEW YORK, NY 10019, TEL (212) 581 -9290
FOR A
For additional Information circle #4
C5
cttcr5
DISK -BASED AUTOMATION
From: Sid Price, Director
Melkuist Ltd., England
SIERRA /EASTLAKE
We write in connection with an advertisment in the August '82 issue of R -e /p.
DEVELOPMENTS
Burbank Honolulu Montreux
WHAT IS THE
SIERRA/HIDLEY
COMPETITIVE EDGE?
Simply ...It's the immediate recognition
i
the worldwide marketplace that you
studio is one of but a relative few that is th'
most hit -proven, acoustically accurat
technically advanced environments ev
conceived ..
SIERRA, HIDLEY DESIGN involveme
can be ... as little, or as involved ... as yo
individually require!
acoustic design & plans only.
the SIERRA,'HIDLEY TM -8
monitoring system.
construction supervision.
or complete turnkey projects
with guaranteed price and
.
-
finish date.
EXAMPLES ... We supplied Complete
Design and Control Room Construction, using our foreman and full crew,
for a famed jingle studio in New York
City for ....Under $25,000.
In Auckland, New Zealand we
provided Control Room Design. TM -7
monitors, and U.S. construction supervision on site for a leading rock studio
for ... Under $40,000.
In Southwest Texas, we supplied
Complete Plans and Consultation
Only for a Mobile O.B. Van, for .
Under $7,000.
We provided Project Conception and
Total Turnkey Construction, (TM7
monitors, console mods, control room,
overdub booth, machine room, and
client area) for a Video Post -Production Room in Hollywood, California
for ... Under $110,000.
In every case... as little or as much as
the client needed ... but every facility
was delivered on time and on budget,
with the
.
.
SIERRA /HIDLEY
COMPETITIVE EDGE!
The extra you can bank on
..
.
Call Kent Duncan or Vencil Wells
and ask about our
VARIABLE ACOUSTICS and
PHASE COHERENT studios.
SIERRA HIDLEY DESIGN
721 So. Glenwood Place
Burbank, California 91506
USA
(213) 843 -8200 843-5900
Teks:
691138 (K Duncan BUBK)
R -e /p 12
October 1982
The claims made by Sound Workshop
for their DISKMIX System seem to be
more than a little misleading. In particular, the claim that the system is the
first of its kind to suit most mixing consoles is plainly untrue, since Melkuist
launched their GT800 system some time
ago and, in fact, now has more than 20
installations on consoles of many types,
including Neve, Harrison, Trident, and
API.
We are most surprised that this error
was not picked up by yourselves, as the
rest of the magazine is notably independent in its reporting and publication
of manufacturers' press releases, viz our
Event Selector press release in the same
issue. We trust the lapse is temporary,
and that you will continue to produce a
vehicle for ourselves and others to reach
our markets fairly.
Reply from: Michael Tapes
President, Sound
Workshop Professional
Audio Products, Inc.
LOSSES IN DIGITAL
STANDARDS CONVERSION
from: Dr. R. Lagadec
Product Manager, Audio PCM
Willi Studer
The well- informed article by Martin
Polon on the Digital Audio Disk [R -e /p
Augist issue, page 6 Ed.] reports an
intriguing, and certainly misleading,
statement by "experts at Sony" on the
loss of signal -to-noise due to standards
conversion (or, to give it its correct
name, sampling- frequency conversion).
According to this statement, the
"experts" doubt that sampling frequency conversion can be done with less
than 6 and perhaps 8 dB of loss. The
article also mentions how there could be
signal -to -noise loss approaching 8 dB in
real terms for each standards change.
A quick remark on this, first. Standards conversion introduces some
amount of noise, and thus reduces
signal -to-noise ratio. If (see below) the
noise component is such that a 3 dB loss
in signal-to-noise occurs, 10 conversions
will not mean a whopping loss of 30 dB
(noise is added at every conversion), but
rather a more modest 10 dB loss. If one
conversion were to cost 8 dB in signal -tonoise (and this would mean lousy, nonstate -of-the -art conversion), 10 of them
would bring the signal -to-noise down by
18 dB, i.e. from 96 dB (the theoretical
value, if and only if the a- to -d's are ideal)
down to 78 dB. Not down to 16 dB as
might be expected if 8 dB were lost at
each standards change.
Purely digital sampling frequency
conversion between arbitrary ratios
(such as the awful 44.1 to 48 kHz one)
was reported by Studer at a number of
AES conventions, and at the recent
AES Conference on Digital Audio in
Rye, New York. "Experts" should know
about it. The presentations (and the easily available preprints) quoted an
increase in signal -to -noise below 5 dB,
worst -case ( "worst- case" means a 20
kHz digital sinewave at clipping level, a
signal utterly without redeeming musical value). With less pathological signals, the system is much closer to the
theoretical loss of 3.0 dB, which, incidentally, means that the sampling frequency converter adds a noise component 97.8 dB below clipping level. No
digital -audio a -to -d is that good, by 7 dB
at the very least. State-of-the-art a- to -d's
mean that many state -of-the -art standards changes could be made in cascade
before a listener or a measuring instrument would begin to notice, as standardschange noise would be buried in a -to-d
-
I deeply regret that Mr. Price found
objection to our ad appearing in the
August issue. While his statements
regarding the Melkuist GT800 system
are accurate, so too is the advertisement
in question. The ad states that DISK MIX is " ... the first disc -based editing
and storage system adaptable to virtually all automated consoles .
."
(emphasis mine). The critical point is
that DISKMIX is not an automation
system; it is an automation storage /editing system. As such, DISKMIX interfaces with consoles that are, in fact,
already automated with systems by
MCI, Sound Workshop, and Allison/
Valley People (which represent virtually all automated consoles in use
today).
The Melkuist GT800 is a complete
automation system which is designed to
be retro-fit into non-automated consoles. While Sound Workshop also offers
a complete automation system (consisting of a VCA fader retro -fit package
along with ARMS Automation and
DISKMIX) which is in direct competition with the Melkuist, DISKMIX is not.
It is being marketed as a stand -alone
product to owners of automated
consoles.
I hope that in outlining the distinctions between Melkuist and DISKMIX,
potential customers will have a clearer noise.
understanding of which products(s)
In-between, the SFC -16 (a commermight be applicable to their needs.
cially available digital sampling fre.
rehearse edits at the tout of a button.
Hewing is believing with the ATR -124.
With 16" reel capability a_ membrare switch
setup panel with fingertip -operated shuttle
speed control and optio-al autc biasing. why
expect less Ilan the most advanced
analog multitrack available.
Call your local Ampex
You can actually hear the difference.
3ince its introduction, the Ampex ATR -124 has
set a new sound standard in multi -cannel
analog recording. You get state -of -the -art
operat cnal features, as well.
Snidard features include
transforrnerless
3alanc
nputs and outputs, a patented
-lux -ga-a record head and
arispead -50% to +200%
=lus you get all the
inicrop tcessor memory needed to recall
mport3lt audio set :ings. "ou can even
Lange setups and
PEX
..
representative, or contact
\Vi lie Scullion, Ampex
National Sales Manager,
Audio -Viceo Systems
Division, .01 Broadway,
Redwood City, CA 94063
(41,3) 367 -2911.
SOUND
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quency converter from Studer) has been
introduced. At full amplitude, the signal to -noise ratio is specified as 96 dB or
better.
Digital sampling frequency converters tailored to the needs of today's digital audio have been invented, designed,
built, measured, and tested in studios.
The "experts" mentioned in the article
have not invented them, not built them,
made no measurements and no tests.
Inherently linear-phase, operating very
near the theoretical limit of 16 -bit systems (and beyond, as our own experience shows), standards converters can
translate from (for example) 44.1 kHz to
the professional sampling frequency of
48 kHz with a quality far in excess of
that of today's a -to -d and d -to -a
converters.
Imprecise, uninformed and erroneous, the statement on standards conversion will hardly reflect the views of the
experts at Sony headquarters.
db Recording Studio
In an article describing the modular
design technique for db Recording Studios, Florida (August 1982 issue, page 38)
we ommited to include a photo credit for
the color illustrations. Our apologies to
photographer Edward Slater, who was
responsible for all the pictures, and also
the cover shot.
CEO DECLARES A VICTORY
OVER SALES TAX ISSUE; BUT
WARNS THAT THE BATTLE IS
NOT YET OVER FOR ENGINEERS
Due to the unceasing efforts of the
California Entertainment Organization
(CEO) over the past nine months, on
September 10 California Governor
Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed into law
AB 2871, the bill that rescinds the retroactive sales tax on all master recording
productions. Sponsored by Assemblywoman Gwen Moore, AB 2871 overwhelmingly passed both the California
Assembly and State Senate with votes
of 53/17 and 40/3, respectively; Marz
Garcia had carried the bill in the Senate.
The passage of AB 2871 brings to a
close the first chapter of the battle
between the CEO and the State Board of
Equalization. Due to an interpretation
of the law passed by the legislature in
1975, the SBE has been assessing and
collecting a retroactive 6% (61/2% as of
July 1, 1982) sales tax on all "fabricating" costs, or expenses incurred, or personal services rendered in the production of a master recording.
"They taxed us for money we had to
spend on studio costs, AFTRA scale,
hotels, rental cars, and take -out food,"
says CEO president David Rubinson.
"And, on top of the tax, they tagged a
10% penalty for failure to file, and 20%
per month charge."
The SBE made this interpretation
depite the law's specific exemption of
"copyrightable, artistic or intangible
material," Rubinson added. Possibly
the most important aspect of AB 2871,
which comes into effect January 1, 1983,
is that it is not a new law, but declaratory of the current law.
The pertinent portions of the new bill
now read as follows:
Section 1. Section 6362.5 of the
Revenue and Taxation Code is amended
to read:
2) "Amounts
paid for the furnishing
of the tangible elements" shall not
include any amounts paid for the copy rightable, artistic or intangible elements of such master tapes or master
records, whether designated as royalties or otherwise; (including, but not
limited to, services rendered in producing, fabricating, processing, or imprinting tangible personal property or any
other services or production expenses in
connection therewith which may otherwise be construed as constituting
"sale" under Section 6006.)
Section 3. The legislature finds and
declares that Section 1 of this act is
declaratory of, and not in change in,
existing law. It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to clarify the
existing law and to affect all applicable
existing proceedings.
BORN IN THE STUDIO,
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THE TOA RX -7 SERIES
Iona! Information circle
7
r
.
Videodisk has had a sickly birth, with
only the RCA SelectaVision system
showing any staying power. The studio
outlined the current situation with the
recording sector, sound reinforcement,
State Board of Equalization. "Although
TV and radio broadcasting have all
we are now at the 10 -yard line," he
mirrored the effects of both a stagnant
offered, "the CEO still has to make sure
economy in the middle of a depression,
that the SBE understands the law, and
-.4UD /0/V/DDEO
and a lack of consumer interest in audio.
administers it the way it was written."
The comparison with forms of elecHaving explained to the meeting that
tronic entertainment is not flattering to
$125,000 already had been spent by the
audio on any level. Motion picture
CEO to ensure smooth passage through
the legislature of which $80,000 was AUDIO VIDEO PERSPECTIVES attendance is still bigger over the last 12
months than at any other time in its
donated by the RIAA the Organization still needs to collect additional PROSPECTS LOOKING history. Cable television is growing
towards a 40% saturation of American
monies so that the SBE can be "perGOOD FOR PRO
homes. Computing, both as electronic
suaded" to interpret the new bill in the
IN 1983 games and full -scale computers, has
"spirit in which it was written." The AUDIO
already reached 10% of US homes, and
next step, he says, is to work closely
by Martin Polon
the figure could well climb to 15% by the
with the SBE in the drafting of regulaThe fall of 1982 marks the first Audio beginning of 1983. The problem faced by
tions that will be used by tax officials in
Engineering Society show since audio is not just the economy, because
actually Implementing the new bill.
"We must make peace with the SBE," November '81. The past year has been the sale of VCRs, movies, games and
Rubinson emphasized. "We have to eventful for audio, and for the growing computers appear to have managed to
make friends with them and write the relationship of audio with other tech- sidestep the recession.
The attitude held by the public
nologies, especially video. During the
regulations together."
Turning to the question of retroactive year we have watched the record busi- towards the quality and quantity of
taxation going back to 1976, Rubinson ness sustain grievious losses as record audio in the home does affect the entire
offered that the situation was still far sales plummeted from the highs of the marketplace for audio software, and the
from being resolved, but that it was end of the Seventies. The last 12 months hardware necessary to produce that
essential for the CEO to act togther in haven't been too good for the consumer software. This last year has finally
the matter, and establish a correct audio business either, as audio compo- offered a light at the end of the proverprocedure for claiming refunds. Other- nent sales stabilize at a level far below bial tunnel for the audio business, from
wise, he felt, a precedent might be set in that of the previous three years. Video- consumer through semi -pro to the proan early case that would affect subse- cassette sales have held pace with pre- fessional audio marketplace.
First and foremost, there has been
quent appeals. There is also a three -year vious growth figures, spurred perhaps
statute of limitations on tax refunds of by fears that copyright restrictions grudging agreement amongst the varthis type for those who have been would choke off the sale of recorders. ious manufacturers on a standard for
assessed for sales tax on recording services since 1976; the CEO intends to discover whether this period can be
extended.
... News continues on page 177
At a September 25 CEO meeting at the
Los Angeles Record Plant, Rubinson
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AUDIO/ VIDEO PERSPECTIVES
professional digital audio recording. A
similar standard now exists for consumer digital recording and the Compact
Audio Disk, though at a lower bit rate
and sampling frequency. Digital consoles are being built and installed, at the
BBC in London and in Marin county for
Lucasfilm. Standards converters have
been successful in connecting units
operating on different standards, thereby making digital accessibility, if not
compatibility, a reality.
Stereo television has had a year under
its PAL belt in West Germany, and
nearly five years of use in Japan. An
EIA committee has been working over
this last year to make a recommendation on a system for use in the United
States. The FCC has finally allowed AM
Stereo to reach the marketplace, albeit
with a myriad of systems.
As much as these and other happenings of the last 12 months can be analyzed and lamented in these pages, the
fact remains that progress has been
made. The ground rules have been
established, and the inexorable pressures of technology are going to push
consumer audio and video closer
together, and hence create new demands
for studio time and studio hardware to
supply entertainment for these
enhanced home audio markets.
1983 could bring a resurgence in high quality audio production and listening.
Digital audio is moving forward, and
the end of 1982 should see the enthusiastic introduction of Digital Audio Disk in
the Japanese home marketplace.
Initially, 11 suppliers are scheduled to
release digital players in the Compact
Disk format developed jointly by Sony
and Philips: Denon, Hitachi, Marantz,
Matsushita, Mitsubishi, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sanyo, Sony, Trio -Kenwood, and
Toshiba. These manufacturers are to
offer 12,000 units per month to the Japanese consumer market (these figures
are for product expected to be shipped
during the Fall of 19821. By January
1983, Sony alone expects to make 15,00(1
units per month. The players will sell in
Japan at prices ranging from $646 for a
Sony CDP -101, to $923 for the Trio Kenwood player with 99 selection
programability.
'I'he digital disks will be priced in the
$13 to$15 range, with CBS-Sony poised
to release upwards of 100 titles by the
end of 1982. Other releases from Polygram (Philips), Denon and Toshiba EMI will boost the available catalog of
selections to over 150 titles. Exposure on
the Japanese market is expected to be
followed by release in Europe and the
United States, although Sony- partner
Philips remains silent about the actual
release timetable for Europe. In the United States, units are expected to be
available for the second quarter of 1983,
with a price tag of $500 per player as
production increases, and the learning
curve of manufacturing digital players
yields cost economies.
Digital audio also will surface in consumer tape recorders during 1983. Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Sansui, Sony and Tecnics all manufacture digital audio units
capable of recording and playback.
Using the 44.056 kHz standard these
units provide the home recordist with
virtual studio-quality recording and
playback. Although they cost several
thousand dollars, prices are expected to
drop during '83 as users see the potential
advantages of home digital recording.
The Hitachi and Technics units are digital audio cassette recorders/players,
while the machines from Mitsubishi,
Sansui and Sony are processors
designed to he used with half -inch VHS
and Beta portable VCRs. All of the units
he offered in the US during 1983.
1983 also will see the EIA Committee's stereo TV report delivered to the
Federal Communications Commission.
It is expected that the FCC again will
bow to the marketplace for implementation of the decision, and it is possible,
though unlikely, that a stereo television
system could be implemented in the
United States by the end of next year.
The market is there, what with worldwide sales of stereo VCRs and stereo
prerecorded video cassettes on the
upswing, and expected to increase in
eCetec Gauss
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Videodisk is also out of its 1982 doldrums, and sales of the RCA system
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Sound quality, versatility, dependability and
cost efficiency were the main concerns of
Ron Ubel of Soundtrek. With the aid of an
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The most critical choice in equipment was
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providing unequalled value regardless of
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now with stereo capability
have progressed from 160,000 units for 1981, to
:365,000 units this year, and in excess of
a projected 500,000 machines for 1983.
What is so exciting about these numbers
is that new owners typically buy over 25
titles in the first year of ownership. The
Laserdisc is still in the marketplace via
Magnavox and Pioneer, who is also
producing all of the videodisks. 3M is
expected to join the ranks of Laserdisc
pressers, and the 1983 outlook for both
systems seems good, but with RCA moving at a faster clip.
'l'he interesting phenomenon of an
increase in RCA sales seems to be
directly related to the concept of the system acquiring stereo capacity. Several
consumer studies echo this, with stereo
video being given a high priority by
most buyers.
It seems certain that 1983 will be the
year when all of the planning for direct
broadcast satellite services are finalized
here by Comsat, and in the UK by the
BBC (oddly enough the custodian of pay
services via satellite in England). It
seems certain that each service will provide a minimum of two audio channels,
and perhaps as many as four, with all of
the audio digitized. The provision of
-
direct -broadcast video with stereo could
well be a selling point for entry into
those US homes not now connected to
stereo pay cable.
The final miracle of 1983 will he the
emergence of a digital video tape
recorder for the broadcast marketplace:
that such a machine exists as a working
prototype seems assured. The recent
adoption of a digital video control protocol by SMPTE makes the prospect of
digital video recording that much more
likely. The elimination of quality lost in
duplication on analog video machines
in a strong incentive to both users and
manufacturers. The audio implications
of such a development are significant. A
digital VTR would provide a proven
transport and electronic technology
upon which to base development of dig
ital audio studio recorders. The presence
of four audio channels on a video recording system is guaranteed by current
broadcast industry practice, and could
provide easier access to tracks for
sweetening. Whatever the ultimate disposition of the relationship between digital video and audio land that relationship is particularly close on the digital
disk 1, the advent of digital video will be
an event of value to the entire audio
video industry.
The reality of 1983 is a year in which
audio will again he at the forefront of
consumer interest, propelled by digital
audio systems, stereo video (and perhaps television), AM Stereo and, hope-
fully, by economic recovery. With this
kind of movement at the consumer level,
and with a whole new range of high quality items applicable to broadcasting and semi -pro audio (Compact Disk
players, and digital cassette recorders),
the studio industry could well find a
surge of new release work, sweetening
and recording to fill studio time
profitably.
ve.5
THE TRANSITION FROM
MUSICIAN TO PRODUCER
-
RONNIE MONTROSE on
the Special Demands of
Working Both Sides of the
Studio Glass and Moving
Into Production
by David Gans
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Ronnie Montrose was responsible for producing the first hit record by
his band, Gamma. In the past dozen or
so years the guitarist has worked with
and observed the methods of Ted Templeman, Bill Szymczyk, Ken Scott, Gary
Lyons, Edgar Winter, Jack Douglas,
and others and his involvement in the
production of his records has grown
steadily.
Ken Scott produced the first Gamma
-
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Gamma 2 with Gary Lyons. When it
came time to choose a producer for
Gamma 3, Montrose says "I asked
myself: 'Am I going to go through this
again ?' It has always seemed to be a
compromise, because I have a set way of
doing things. If I'd had a really incredible success rate with someone I'd
worked with, then my tendency would
have been to stay with him.
"I realized that I was capable of doing
a lot of the things I wanted to get done,
and that I was sort of standing in my
own way by thinking it would be easier
with someone else producing. It's not
easier, for me, so I decided to produce the
record myself." Ronnie had produced
the third Warner Brothers album by
Montrose, "but I'm about 10 spirals up
the circular pattern now," he concedes.
"I have a lot more experience; a lot more
studio expertise; and a lot more
objectivity."
The first records Ronnie Montrose
was involved with were Van Morrison's
Tupelo Honey and St. Dominic's Preview, produced by Morrison and Ted
Templeman. "We worked together musically, but I had absolutely no technical
knowledge at that point," Montrose
recalls. "I was so overwhelmed by the
gift Van has of being able to put mean-
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October 1982 0
R-e /p 19
I
r
ve,5
RONNIE MONTROSE
ing and depth of feeling into a simple
melody, that I just wasn't even interested in the rest. And as far as Van was
concerned, I was just a young guitar
player looking to blow some fast licks."
Following his tenure with Morrison
was a year with the Edgar Winter
Group, during which Montrose played
guitar on They Only Come Out at Night.
"I was completely removed from the
process," Montrose recalls. "Rick Derringer was producing and Bill Szymczyk was engineering; I literally came in,
played my parts, and left I was for all
-
intents and purposes a session guitar
player. This was 1972, and I didn't even
know what the board was about. The
only thing I insisted on was moving my
amplifier into a stairwell, and miking it
from there because the studio was too
dead." But the album went Gold and
spawned two hit singles, "Free Ride"
and "Frankenstein," the latter a
Number 1 hit and a Gold record.
When Montrose formed his own band
with vocalist Sammy Hagar, drummer
Denny Carmassi and bassist Bill
Church, he remembered how much he'd
enjoyed working with Templeman. The
band and Templeman co- produced
Montrose's self -titled debut album and
followup, Paper Money.
"I was really shy about working with
Ted and Donn [ Landee, who engineered
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are LA studio pros they know everything about the studio, and I know
-
nothing.' "
During the making of the first two
Montrose albums, Montrose observed
the way Templeman and Landee operated and began to involve himself in the
recording process. "Ted thinks in terms
of frequency layering," he says. "You
divide up the frequency spectrum and
know what's going to occupy which sections of it. You know that the kick drum
and the bass are going to occupy certain
areas of the low frequencies, and that a
rhythm instrument will be, say, from
800 to 3,000 Hz; if I know that there's
going to be a lead instrument with a lot
of bite at around 2 kHz then I'll notch
out a spot in the rhythm instrument.
The point is to make sure that there isn't
a tremendous amount of buildup in one
particular part of the audio spectrum,
and that things are there or not there
by choice, and not by happenstance.
"And from Donn," Montrose continues, "I learned the patience to work at
it and get it right. When the echo wasn't
quite the way it had to be, he'd crawl
around the chamber with packing
blankets, move the mike around whatever he had to do, because Amigo [a
Burbank, California, studio owned by
Warner Brothers] was a totally dead
room, and that was all we had to work
with." Montrose also notes that the
team worked quickly, so staleness was
never a factor.
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removing noise from old, noisy tapes, and can be used to reduce
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With the advent of higher quality audio in radio, television, and
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-
Self-Production
- The Pitfalls
Montrose decided to try his hand at
producing when it came time to record
the third album, Warner Brothers Presents Montrose. "I knew I was capable of
doing certain things, and in those days
there wasn't any worry about having a
hit single," he says. "I wanted to try it
myself."
He knows now it was a mistake to use
an inexperienced engineer on the project. "Neither of us had any firm sense of
how to place mikes around a drum kit or
bass amp or piano, or how to use room
ambience," he recalls. "From the beginning, I knew how I wanted my guitar to
sound. I drew an imaginary grid of finch squares and worked in a spiral
pattern out from the center, with the
mike an inch away from the speaker,
and finally found a spot a couple of
inches off the center that gave me full
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VIewS
RONNIF. MONTROSE
frequency response. One inch
especially on a speaker that has quite a midrange beam out the center can make
all the difference in the world as to the
way that a microphone picks up what's
coming off your speaker, and it varies
from speaker to speaker."
Montrose notes also that he failed to
acquaint himself adequately with the
characteristics of the room and the Westlake speakers on which he mixed the
album. "I should have used an A/B
speaker setup for comparisons, and I
should have listened to albums and
things I'd done that I really knew well,"
he offers. "The Westlakes were so
'bright' that I ended up attenuating all
the high frequencies. I did listen on
smaller speakers, but I just didn't have
the objective ear that I have now."
When Warner Brothers Presents
Montrose wasn't as successful as everyone had hoped," Ronnie says, "Bill
[Graham, the band's manager since just
after Paper Money was released] suggested that we get a producer who would
help us get a hit. The market was starting to become more singles -orientated."
Jack Douglas, who'd had success with
Aerosmith and Cheap Trick, was suggested. "He seemed easy to get along
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with," says Montrose, "and he wa3 a
drummer and bass player, so he was
able to help with the rhythm arrangements, so I could concentrate on the
guitar."
The Learning Curve
By this time, Ronnie understood
0
009
409
much more about sound and studios,
and wanted to use a more methodical
approach to experimentation than did
Douglas and his engineer. "They had a
kind of haphazard approach that I
wasn't comfortable with," says Ronnie.
"There is one school of producing that is
very cautious, logical and precise 'get
everything on paper' and think everything out before it's even attempted.
Another approach is 'We don't know
anything, so let's get all these amplifiers, daisy-chain everything into 'em, put
all these mikes up, and lemme just go in
and flip some faders around.' And that's
-
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Montrose found himself closer to the
first approach, and Douglas and his
engineer closer to the latter. "You're
dealing with so many variables that
without some scientific way of notating
what went on, you can never duplicate a
sound," he feels. "You bring up a fader,
move a microphone, do this, do that
and four moves down the line you say,
'Something back there was good,' and
you've lost it. You're wading through all
these variables, and it's very precarious."
Nevertheless, Montrose says he prefers the "We don't know anything"
approach, "because that's where spontaneity comes from; where wonderful
mistakes happen. But I prefer to do at
least some calculations and notation to
season the approach."
An example of a "wonderful mistake"
is the guitar sound on the title track of
Jump On It. "I described a sound I
wanted to get: a kind of 'warbling'
sound," Montrose recalls. "Jack said, 'It
sounds like you're talking about a bum
tape capstan.' He took a piece of tape
and wrapped it around the capstan of
the 2- track, building up a little wad on
one side, and then fed [the recorded
... continued on page 25
-
The Furman Sound SG -10
When the engineers at FURMAN SOUND
set out to design a graphic equalizer they
decided to leave it up to you which frequencies
need to be boosted or cut. Or whether you need
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decide, could you ever settle for just a graphic?
For complete information
write
FURMAN SOUND, INC.
30 Rich Street
Greenbrae. CA 94904
(415) 927-1225
R -e /p22
0
October 1982
For additional information circle #15
-
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- continued from page 22
V
.
eI5
RONNIE MONTROSF:
sound] into the board. That gave the
guitar severe flutter, and it was strictly
from improvisation."
Following the breakup of the Montrose band, Ronnie cut a first -ever solo
album, Open Fire. "There were so many
other types of music that I wanted to
experiment with," he remembers. "It
was vitally necessary that I make that
kind of statement at that time." He had
planned to work with Ken Scott, he
says, "because I liked what he did with
The Beatles, and Supertramp's Crime of
the Century. He gives a lot of separation
and presence to the instruments, and
even when parts are complex and busy
there's an open, uncluttered feeling. It
has to do with his use of frequency layerthe spatial dising, and echo usage
tance from full echo to dry." But the timing wasn't right, and Scott wasn't
available, for the project.
"I had talked to Edgar[Winter] about
writing some songs, and the more I
talked to him the more I thought we'd be
a good working team," Ronnie says.
"The only thing I really needed on Open
Fire was objectivity, and Edgar knew
my playing well enough, and knew
what I was talking about. I totally
trusted him."
Dick Bogert engineered those sessions. "I call him 'Mr. MOR,' and I mean
that in the most respectful way," says
Montrose. "He's responsible for all of
The Carpenters' hits; he's an excellent
orchestra engineer, and he really has a
feel for the radio speaker.
"Edgar reinstated the awareness of
frequency layering in me. With no
vocals, we had a wide spectrum available, and we could bring anything we
wanted to the foreground. Edgar would
say, 'The kick drum should occupy this
area, the cymbals this area, the guitars
here.' From low to high, things were as
expanded as possible which was still
lacking even as late as Jump On It."
Montrose and Ken Scott finally did
get to work together when Scott was
called upon to produce the first record by
Gamma, the band Montrose put together
in 1978. "He did The Dregs' What If, a
phenomenal- sounding record," Ronnie
enthuses. "Not only is the music beautiful, but the sounds and the arrangements and the way it's recorded are
extremely clean, and to my mind it's a
classic album. That and Crime of the
Century were enough for me."
By this time, Montrose says, "I was
approaching each project as a seminar.
I knew there were certain things you
could learn in the studio with a given
talent." He was amazed by Scott's effortlessness in the studio. "It's second
nature. For example, Ken might not pay
attention to the position of a mike, but
he'll instinctively compensate with EQ
on the board. Where someone else would
-
-
go out and make sure the mike is in
exactly the right position, Ken instinctively understood what he was hearing."
Montrose disagreed with the extreme-
ly high listening level Scott favored. "I
love listening loud for a little while but
pretty soon there's too much audio
amplitude input and your ears give out
but not Ken's! He's got calluses in his
ears," says Montrose with a laugh.
Another interesting aspect of Scott's
style, Montrose notes, is that he uses
almost nothing but Neumann U -87s.
"He doesn't like any other mike," says
Montrose. "He'll use 87s on almost
everything.
I use a Sennheiser 409 on my guitar.
It's a little gold- and -black mike originally intended for use with an echo unit
that never got made. The [original]
company went out of business, and
Sennheiser bought the mikes back and
it's not even
sold them as the 409
listed in the catalog.
"Ken wanted to mike my guitar with
an 87, and I showed him that at low
levels the 409 and the 87 were both fine
but when you turned up the guitar,
the 87 softened in the upper-mid range,
and the 409 held on." The 409 was used
for the recording.
-
Become a
Recording
Engineer!
-
-
Control Room Chemistry
Ronnie also disagreed with Scott's
practice of recording each individual
instrument separately. "He starts with
the drums, and there's bass in the headphones but never recorded at the same
time," he says. "When he proposed this
style to me, I said, 'Ken, you've got to be
kidding!' He said, 'Listen to the Dregs
album.' And it does sound great. So I
went along with it, to see what 'Ken
Scott's technique' was all about."
Montrose also learned from Scott the
technique of recording the drums on a
16 -track tape and mixing them on to one
or two tracks of the 24 with SMPTE
timecode. "That way you're not scrubbing the highs off them every time you
run the tape back and forth," Montrose
explains. "It's a standard technique, but
I hadn't been aware of it before."
Although he says he was not happy
with Gamma 1, he does not blame
Scott's style of recording. He is pleased
with what he learned from the experience and does not blame Scott: "That
band needed spontaneous, live interplay," he says, "so they were the wrong
players for Ken's approach to recording."
Gary Lyons and Montrose co- produced
Gamma 2. "This was another part of my
constant, restless search for the right
combination of artist and producer,"
says Montrose. "Gary was diametrically opposed to the Ken Scott way of
doing records he does everything in a
live and spontaneous way. I wanted
that kind of feeling, to move away from
Gamma 1, which was really dry.
"Gary was the opposite end of the
spectrum from Ken," he adds. "He is of
the opinion that things should be spontaneous and sparkling."
-
... continued overleaf -
Learn in
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October 1982
R-e p 25
ve_)s
RONNIL MUN"l'Itt)tiL
Lyons, Montrose and Gamma drummer Denny Carmassi (who replaced
Skip Gillette prior to the recording of
Gamma 2) worked very hard on the
drum ambience. "Gary really searched
for the proper miking positions in the
room [Studio A at San Francisco's The
Automattj, for which he used [Neumann] 47s. Stereo ambience is a very
subtle thing," Montrose says, "and
some people say there is no stereo
ambience. He went hack and forth, moving the mike, around and listening to
the sound witì, the EQ flat on the hoard.
"The miking all around the drum kit
was standard, mostly 87s. He didn't use
any gates, so there was a lot of leakage
and just a big 'wash' of drum sound.
He'd really ride the tom and ambience
mikes to get a pulsating, live drum
sound.
"Gary recorded at extremely hot lev+6 with the meters buried; there
els
was no audible distortion, but that
(Ampex' 456 was completely saturated.
There's a lot of tape compression on
everything, because he mastered at +6
dB above that. It tightens up the bass
-
and makes everything punchier without
losing any top end."
As with Scott, Montrose clashed with
Lyons over monitoring levels. It got so
bad that at one point Montrose muted
the faders, with a white marker and
said, "It doesn't go past this level when
I'm in the room!"
By the time Gamma 3 rolled around,
Montrose knew he had the ability to
deliver what was needed. "I was completely comfortable with miking and
production techniques," he says, "and I
felt that I could be objective enough to
do my job as producer. Mitchell (Froomj
and I did 95% of the writing, along with
the lyricist, before we started.
"We didn't even rehearse; we just
went straight into the studio. it's not
that we had a huge budget we worked
efficiently. I wanted to he in the studio;
in a rehearsal hall, when things get
really sparked up, you're not able to do
them immediately especially with the
drums and bass. I figured it would actually be more efficient in the long run,
and better for the record, to go straight
into the studio."
The basic tracks were recorded with
Carmassi, Froom and bassist Glenn
Letsch, with Montrose only playing guitar when it was necessary to help with
the feel. "There's no way you can get a
sense of feel when you're playing; no
way to monitor the situation," he says.
"We kept the drums and bass, and everything else was recut eventually."
Montrose did some experimenting
with the drum miking, taking the bottom heads off the toms and suspending
-
-
Crown PZMs inside. "PZMs are great sounding, bright mikes, but unless you
stick the mike inside the drum you can't
add top -end on the tape because you'll
get the snare, cymbals and everything
else but the tom -tom. So putting the
l'ZM inside gave us the isolation we
needed so we could put all the top -end
and midrange we wanted into the toms
and no gates, either." When the PZMs
were in use; a pair of U -87s were placed
about two feet above the drums, "at a
sonic midpoint where I could get the
heads of the kit as well as the cymbal
ring. Denny hits the cymbals so hard
that it masks everything else anyway,"
says Montrose, "but you still achieve a
little natural ambience without having
to fabricate it later."
... continued on page 175
-
-
OMNISOUND /MIKE SHOP
From time to time it becomes
necessary to issue a warning to R -e/p
readers that a company trading in
the professional audio marketplace
has ceased operation. To thts end, it
should be noted that from mid August, 1982, Omnisound, Ltd., and
its division, The Mike Shop, of
Elmont, New York, went out of
business.
This announcement occurs as a
matter of record, and to advise readers that still may be responding to
advertisements placed in previous
issues of R -e /p.
THE A.M.S. DIGITAL FAMILY
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R-e/p 26
October 1982
For additional information circle #19
orld -class consoles
should be judged on the basis of
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at realistic prices are the basic factors that
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October 1982
For additional information circle #20
R -e /p 27
f the word "professionalism" can be epitomized by one of the most successful
producers currently working in the recording industry, that man must surely be
Quincy Jones. The reports of his humanity, care and response to the needs of his
recording "family," and an almost telepathic rapport with his favorite engineer, Bruce Swedien, truly makes Quincy Jones a consummate producer. During the many session hours that
R -e /p spent with Quincy and Bruce in the studio, it became readily apparent that their complimentary skills Quincy's proven track record as a musician, composer, arranger, and record
producer, married with Bruce's mastery of the recording process -has resulted in a production
team whose numerous talents overlap to a remarkable degree. Having worked with Bruce
Swedien on so many innovative album sessions, including Michael Jackson's Off The Wall,
George Benson's Give Me The Night, The Dude, and Donna Summer's Summer of '82, it came as
no surprise to anyone in the industry that Quincy Jones should make such a clean sweep of this
year's Grammys, collecting a total of seven awards, including five for The Dude alone. The
following conversations with this illustrious production team were conducted during tracking
dates for Michael Jackson's upcoming album Thriller, at Westlake Studios, Los Angeles.
-
R -e /p
(Jimmy Stewart): How do you
first get involved with a particular
recording project? For example
Michael Jackson.
Quincy Jones: We were working on
The Wiz together, and Michael started
to talk about me producing his album. I
started to see Michael's way of working
as a human being, and how he deals
with creative things; his discipline in a
media he had never worked in before. I
think that's really the bottom line of all
of this. How you really relate to other
human beings and build a rapport is
also important to me; energy that's a
great feeling when it happens between
creative people.
I've been in some instances where I
have admired an artist's ability, but
couldn't get it together with them as a
human being. To truly do a great job of
producing an artist, you must be on the
same frequency level. It has to happen
before you start to talk about songs.
.
.
.
R -e/p (Jimmy Stewart): Then the important aspect, to your mind, is fostering a
faimily feel during a project?
Quincy Jones: Yes. It's a very personal
relationship that lets the love come
through. Being on the other side of the
glass is a very funny position you're
-
the traffic director of another person's
soul. If it's blind faith, there's no end to
how high you can reach musically.
R -e/p (Jimmy Stewart): Is the special
LUJ1NCY JONES
With Engineer Bruce Swedien
THE CONSUMMATE PRODUCTION TEAM
Interviewed by Jimmy Stewart
1
K -e!p
28
D October 1982
-t'
rapport you establish with an artist
based on them saying something unique that triggers off an area in your
creative mind?
Quincy Jones: That's the abstract part
which is so exciting. I consider that
there are two schools of producing. The
first necessitates that you totally reinforce the artist's musical aspirations.
The other school is akin to being a film
director who would like the right to pick
the material.
As to what choice of production style I
would adopt, your observations and
perceptions have to be very keen. You
have to be able to crawl into that artist,
and feel every side of his personality
The face is young, but the credentials show
fifteen years of experience in the industry. In
seven years with A &R Recording and eight
years as an independent engineer and producer,
Elliot Scheiner has worked with the finest: Jimmy
Buffet, Donald Fagen, Roberta Flack, Foghat, Billy
Joel, Olivia Newton John, Ricki Lee Jones,
Phoebe Snow and Steely Dan. With two
Grammys as proof of his engineering skills, he
now spends about a third of his time producing.
ON METHOD
All of my recordings have basically been very,
very clean. like everything that's on tape tc be
heard, without strain to one's ears. My method is to
clean up everything and make sure that everything that was intended to be heard is heard.
guess that's carried over to production. don't
really want to be categorized as...'Oh yeah, his stuff
is real clean, it always sounds good: want to
be able to make really good records of all types :'
I
I
I
I
ON COMING UP
"I still feel the best way to learn about the
industry is being in the industry. The recording
schools teach basic fundamentals and thats OK.
But it doesn't really apply. You have to go in there
and experience it and get in trouble and work it
out yourself. That's sort of how grew up in the
industry. learned everything know from Phil
Ramone. But basically started at the bottom and
it was really the only way to go. It's a long process
I
I
I
I
now days, but you learn a lot :"
ON DIG TAL
recorded in a studio
we were doing an overdub on a piano track
and it was this wonderful grand piano, that
sounded unbelievable in the room. We recorded
it and played it back for the first time digitally
and it was like having my head under the cover of
the piano It's so real. It will have to get a lot more
inexpensive to replace analog totally, but definitely
think that it's the future :'
Weil the first time
with
I
it,
I
I
ON BAD EXPERIENCES
'There was a moment not too long ago when
got into :he studio, producing and engineering,
and was really happy with what everybody was
I
I
playing. The room sounded amazing that day. And
when it came up to the first play back was
thrilled. We reeled back the tape and it starts to roll
and it sounded terrible. There was no top end on
the tape, the bottom end was ill- defined and was
embarrassed. We had a serious tape problem :'
I
I
ON TAPE
"One of the maintenance engineers
suggested that try 226. The first playback just
astounded me, was amazed. The top end, the
bottom end, everything sounded exactly the way
was listening to it when it went through the
console. And became a 226 freak after that.
can't be bought, so if say like 3M 226 it's
because believe in it. really feel strongly about
the tape and what it's done for me :'
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
SCOTCH 226.
WHEN VOU LISTEN FOR A LIVING.
MIN
1111
lib
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Magnetic A/V Products Division/3M
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October 1982
R-e/p 29
ynclavier® II
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Using the new Sample -toDiskriOption, you can now
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4
The Music Printing and Sample- to-DiskTMOptions, advanced
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any analog signal onto a
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-
"Y
VL1U1fl(y
to see how many degrees they have to
it, and what their limitations are.
R -e p: One that working rapport has
been established, hou' do you plan the
actual recording project?
QJ: I think you have to dig down really
to where you think the holes are in that
artist's past career. I'll say to myself,
"I've never heard him sing this kind of
song, or express that kind of emotion."
Once you obtain an abstract concept or
direction, it's good to talk about it with
the artist to see what his feelings are,
and if you're on the right track. In
essence, I help the artist discover more
of himself.
R -e p: Do you heroine
involved with the
selection of songs for the album?
QJ: On average, I listen to maybe N(l) to
900 tapes per album. It takes a lot of
energy! I hear songs at a demo stage,
and would like to think that the songwriter is open for suggestions. If I say,
"We need a C section," or "Why don't we
double up this section" the writers with
whom I've had the most success must be
mature enough and professional enough
to say, "Okay, I'm not going to be defensive about any suggestion you make."
chat do you listen for in
a
song? The lyrics. melody, arrangement.
instrumentation
QJ: I listen for something that will
make the hair on my right arm rise.
That's when you get into the mystery of
music. It's something that makes both
musical and emotional sense at the
same time; where melodically it has
something that resembles a good melody. Again that's intangible too, because
it's in the ears of the listener. So basi.
A
How do you see your role as engineer;
working behind the console and handling the
technical side of the recording process?
Bruce Swedien: Well, I guess : have to go
back just a little bit in my background to really
answer that question. Number one, working
in Chicago in the jingle field was tremendous
training for getting a very fast mix, and being
ready to roll because, quite frequently, jingle
sessions only last an hour. I recorded all the
Marlboro spots, where it wasn't unusual to
have a 40 -piece orchestra scheduled for nine
o'clock downbeat, and literally be ready to
roll at 9:05. And when the band is rehearsing,
I'm getting little balances within the sections;
when the rhythm section is running a certain
thing down, I'll use that time to get the rhythm
balance ready. It happens very quickly.
I guess I learned a lot about not wasting any
movement or motion from the musicians in
Chicago. In the early days of the jingles busiI worked
ness
about 1958 through '62
with probably some of the finest musicians in
Chicago at that time. They were masters at
making the most out of one little phrase. As
they were putting the balance together and
rehearsing parts, I would be getting it
together very quickly behind the console.
That was really great training for me.
-
-
R -e /p: Too much of an emphasis on the
me.
R -e /p: Once the songs have been sorted.
what runs through your mind prior to
the studio session dates?
QJ: I try to get the feeling that I'm going
into the studio for the first time every time. You have to do that because if we
started to get to a stage where Bruce
Swedien and I had a specific way of
recording it wouldn't work for us. I'm
sure some things overlap, because that's
part of our personality, but we try to
approach it like everytime is the first
time; we're going to try something so
that we don't get into routine type of
procedures.
With Rufus and Chaka Kan I'll do one
kind of a thing. where we will have
rehearsals at their home, and talk about
things. Maybe even come in the session
with everybody and do it like "Polaroids." That way you can hear what
everything sounds like rough, and feel
I
R -e /p: So
.
.
Technical Half of the Production Team
R -e p:
cally I'm saying ... it transcends analysis. A good tune just does something to
Conveati
C
technical side of recording is often said to
intimidate an artist in a studio. How do you
try and get into the musical groove with the
musicians and the producer?
Bruce Swedien: You should be prepared
down to the last detail, and get to the studio
early. Start setting up early; there will always
be things to do that you're not apt to think of
unless you have enough time. If your session
starts at 9:00 AM, be there at 8:00 AM give
yourself at least an hour to set up and prepare
the average sized session. Reduce as much of
the routine of your work to a regular habit.
and always do each job associated with the
session in the same order. By scheduling all
-
these mundane mechanical aspects of
recording to habit, your mind will be free to
think of the creative facets of your work.
R -e /p: What type of musician do you like to
record?
Bruce: A musician who gives it up ... doesn't
hold back. Sometimes that's a rare quality
So many musicians go into studios and they
kind of tippy -toe around, or they just don't
want to commit themselves. I listen for the
real sound of the instrument and player, not
the interpretation.
like to get to know the player and learn his
sound. Ernie Watts, he's my kind of player ..
disciplined! His energy is instant! He never
I
l
what the density, structure and contour
of the song is all about.
Other times, like with The Brothers
Johnson, we used to go in with just a
rhythm machine, guitar and bass, and
do it that way. We did the Donna
Summers album with a drum machine
and synthesizer, so that I could really
focus on just the material. But with
Bruce Springsteen everyone played live,
as in a concert. For George Benson's
album, Lee Ritenour came over and
helped us with different guitar equipment to get some new sounds. At the
same time that Lee was there dealing
with the equipment, and George was
trying it out, Bruce Swedien came over
for a whole week to just listen to George
with his instrumentals and vocals, like
a screen test.
R -e p: You have
obviously established a
close affinity in the studio with Bruce
Swedien. Hou' do the pair of you interact
with one another. and hoe' does he make
the moves with you?
QJ: The thing is, what's great about
working with Bruce is I like him as a
human being. In a funny way, we've the
same kind of background. The first
record we did together was probably
I)inah Washington. During that period
of time we recorded every big band in
the business. We did a lot of R &B in
a lot of big
Chicago in those days
records.
Bruce's first Grammy nomination
was in 1962 for Big Girls Don't Cry. He
studied piano for eight years, and did
electrial engineering in school. Along
the way he recorded Fritiz Reiner and
the Chicago Orchestra. And a lot of his
time was also spent recording commercials. So, from the sound aspect, and the
musical aspect, the two of us kind of
cover 360 degrees ... well at least 340.
We feel comfortable in any musical
environment.
Take, for instance, The Wiz, for which
...
October 1982
R -e/p 31
cassette. At this point all we had to do
was push the button, and the song
would play. Once it sounds right we
record the structured tune on tape,
which saves time since you don't have to
record these elements singly on tape
with cutting and editing. This blueprinting method works great when
you're not sure of the final arrangement
of the tune.
17nuincY
Bruce handled the pre- recording and
shoot. He also designed some of the
equipment for the location sound, did
the post scoring, the dubbing and the
soundtrack album. To do all of it, that's
unheard of! Usually there are three to
four different people to handle all those
facets.
"It's the song itself
that's the most
Is there a standard procedure you
use for recording the various parts of a
R -e p:
important element
we are dealing with."
song?
QJ: Each tune is different. "State of
I ndependence" for the Donna Summer's
album is a good example of a particular
process I might use. We started with a
Linn Drum Machine, and created the
patterns for different sections. Then we
created the blueprint, with all the fills
and percussion throughout the whole
song. From the Linn, we went through a
Roland MicroComposer, and then
through a pair of Roland Jupiter 8 synthesizers that we lock to. The patterns
were pads in sequencer -type elements.
Then we program the Minimoog to play
the bass line.
The programs were all linked together
and driven by the Roland MicroComposer using sync codes. The program
information is stored in the Linn's
We
can deal with between three and
five types of codes, including SMPTE on
the multitrack. With all these codes, we
have to watch the record level to make
sure it triggers the instrument properly.
Sometimes we had to change EQ and
level differences to make sure we got it
right.
R -e /p: Do you
try and work in the room
with the musicians, or stay in the control room with Bruce?
QJ: I like to work out in the room with
each player, running the chart down,
and guiding the feel of the tune. We will
usually run it down once, then I'll get
behind the glass to hear the balance and
what is coming through the monitor
speakers, which is the way it will be
recorded and played back. Once I get the
foundation of the tune on tape, and
know it's solid and right, it is easy for
me to lay those other elements to the
song. It's the song itself that's the most
important element we are dealing with.
R -e /p:
Any particular "tricks of the
trade" that you've developed over the
years for capturing the sounds on tape?
QJ: Bruce is very careful with the bass
and vocals, and we try to put the signal
through with as little electronics as possible. In some cases, we may bypass the
console altogether and go direct to the
tape machine. Any processing, in effect,
is some form of signal degradation, but
memory, and on the MicroComposer's
BRUCE SWEDIEN... cue /headphone mixes .. the abil ity
to read music ..
holds back; he'll get it on the first or second
take, because he's so used to giving it up.
Most of the solos on his album Chariots of
Fire are first takes with the band. And that's
unusual for today ... really unusual!
R -e/p:
Obviously the cue /headphone mix is
important to musicians in the studio. How do
you help them get into the track?
Bruce: If the instrumentation is small
enough, I'll split the Harrison console [at
Westlake Studio] and send to the multitrack
with half of the faders, and use the rest for
returns. In that way you also get the cue mix
on the multitrack return faders. It's easier to
.
studio rapport with Quincy Jones ..
for me to go for an orchestral balance when
that's necessary. And I'm talking about the
whole range
even a synthesizer that is a
representation of the orchestra. But, to put
that sound in its correct placement in a mix is
not easy.
My first advice would be to study the technical end first, so that you know the equipment and what it will do, and what it won't do.
Then hear acoustic music in a natural environment to get that bench mark in your men-
-
tal ear.
monitor pots.
I think that it is very important for an engineer to understand a rhythm chart or lead
sheet. I always make up my own chart with
bar numbers on music paper and, as the song
develops, I'll add notes and sometimes musical phrases that will be needed for the mix.
R -e/p: Quincy commented that it's important
R -e /p: Is it important to haue a relative sense
to him that you are able to read music. What
do you consider that a young engineer, in
particular, should know about the musical
side of recording to be a master engineer?
Bruce: I would say the best training is to hear
acoustic music in a natural environment. Too
of pitch?
Bruce: No question about it ... an absolute
must. And I think a knowledge of dynamics is
important too. It's not unusual in classical
music to have a 100 dB dynamic range from
the triple pianissimo to triple forte, and we
cannot record that wide a range with equipment. In addition, it's virtually impossible with
most home playback systems to reproduce
that dynamic range. So, in recording we frequently have to develop a sense of dynamics
that does not necessarily hold true with the
actual dynamics of the music. It's possible to
see what you're doing with the sound using
the faders for the cueing mix, as opposed to
many of today's young engineers only listen
to records. When a natural sound or orchestral balance is required, they don't know what
to do. My folks took me to hear the Minneapolis Symphony every week all through my
childhood, and those orchestral sounds have
been so deeply imprinted that it's very easy
R -e /p 32
October 1982
.
-
do that with little changes of level
what I
would call "milking" the triple pianissimo by
maybe moving it up the scale a little bit. And
when you get to the triple forte maybe adding
a little more reverb or something, to give the
feel of more force or energy.
You see so many guys in studios with their
eyes glued to the meters. I've never understood that. Take the clarinet, for instance,
which can play softly in the sub -tone range;
just an "understanding." An engineer would
have to know how to deal with a player
through the interpretation of the music that
would be soft. On the VU meter, which only
has 20 dB dynamics, so you don't even see it.
In those extremes, your ear is really on its
own. You can't be the type of guy who has his
eyes focused on the VU meter. It's meaningless, absolutely meaningless. The ear has to
have a bench mark so you know where that
dynamic should fall in the overall dynamic
range. Quincy is always very aware of that,
which is a real treat for me.
R -e/p: Having sat in on several of your sessions, I couldn't help but notice that you and
Quincy have your own jargon in the studio.
Bruce: You know Quincy and I don't talk
much when we work. We spend a lot of time
-
listening: "More Spit"
EQ and reverb;
"More Grease"
reverb; "More Depth"
enhance the frequency range, give it more air
in the reverb; "Make it Bigger"
beef up the
-
-
-
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for his mobile TV production center ... here's why!
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R-e/ p 33
"I'm a hands -off producer! When you've got Bruce
Swedien taking care of that area, we can't go
further. If I can concentrate on other things, I
think you can take the plane much higher. To let my deficiency
as an engineer be a limitation ... doesn't make sense."
you are making up for it by adding some
other quality you feel is necessary we
always think of these considerations.
Bruce has some special direct boxes
for feeding a signal direct to the multi-
R -e/p: The rhythm section is often considered to be the "glue" that holds a
-
track together. What do you listen for
when tracking the rhythm section?
QJ: I listen to the feel of the music, and
the way the players are relating to that
feel. My energy is directed to telling the
players what I want from them to give
the music its emotional content, and
Bruce will interpret technically the best
way in which to capture the sound on
tape. And we may try something new or
different to highlight that musical
character. Because Bruce has a good
musical background, he is an "interpreter" that is part of the musical flow.
track, and which minimally affect the
signal. With a synthesizer we very often
can go line -level directly to the machine,
while with the bass you need a pre -amp
to bring it up to a hot level.
Lots of times we will avoid using
voltage-controlled amplifiers, because
there will be less signal coloration. Also,
if possible we avoid using equalization.
Our rules are to be careful, and pay close
attention to the signal quality.
BRUCE SWEDIEN... working with a producer to establish a good vibe in the studio
-
stereo spread; "More Explosive"
bring the
level down, add some reverb, adding a trail
after it. Quincy picks the sound or effect; I put
the thought into application by choosing the
"color," if you like.
R-e /p: While there may be no hard and fast
rules in the studio, haue you picked up any
tips about how to work creatively with a
producer?
Bruce: An engineer's important responsibility is to establish a good rapport with the
producer. Nothing is a bigger turn off in a
studio than a salty, arrogant personality. I
have seen this attitude frequently in an engineer, and heard him describe himself as
"Honest." It is very important for the engineer to know what a particular producer
favors in sound. Producers vary somewhat in
interpretation of a style, or concept. You
must have a mind open to new ideas.
The relationship between the engineer and
producer, like any other human relationship,
is based on the confidence and trust that
exists between the individuals. A bond of
trust and respect can only result between
AMP ROOM
professionals working well
achieve a common goal.
together
R -e /p: How does the engineer set a good vibe
with the producer and the musicians?
Bruce: It's a two -way proposition. I've been
in situations early in my career
fortunately
I don't have to deal with that any more
where producers were not inclined to allow
the engineer to be involved in a recording
project. I don't think that's the case anymore,
at least in the upper level of the business,
because it's a fact that engineers do contribute a lot of useful input. Yes, it's absolutely
true that an engineer can help an incredible
amount in the production of music.
-
R -e /p: After the tracking
-
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DONNA SUMMER
VOCAL
evolved sense of preparation for a
recording project. How do you go about
planning a typical day in the studio?
QJ: We do our homework after we leave
the studio. Bruce will always have a
tracking date planned out, with track
assignments for the instrumentation,
and so on. For overdubbing, he will
work out how the work -tape system will
be structured, and Matt [Forger] our
assistant will be responsible for carrying out that task. I zero in on what my
day's work is going to be by listening to
the musical elements; how they interact
and work in the song in my listening
room at home. Bruce does the same by
working out in his mind the best method
of capturing the music, and structuring
these elements so they can be used in
future overdubbing and mixing.
I keep a folder for each tune, and make
notes as the tune progresses. It may be
that changing a stereo image to mono is
one way to strengthen an element: stereo for space; mono for impact. If it's a
wrong instrument or color it will be
redone. Bruce understands the music
and the musical balance, and never
loses his perspective. Our communication after all these years working
together is very spontaneous. This is
one of the reasons for our success!
It's obviously important to you
that Bruce is able to read music. How
BASS Di
ROOM AND MIKE LAYOUT FOR DONNA SUMMER'S
PROTECTION TRACKING DATES AT WESTLAKE STUDIO, LA.
October 1982
R -e /p: You obviously have a keenly
R -e /p:
GOBOS
D
-
and overdubs, how
do you set yourself up for the mix?
Bruce: I'll have many multitrack work tapes.
For example, on Donna Summer's tune
"State of Independence" I had eleven 24track tapes each tape has a separate element. Then I combine these tapes into stereo
pairs. In the case of synthesizer, horns, background vocals, strings, sometimes I will use a
VARIABLE DECAY ISOLATION ROOM
R -e /p 34
to
I like players who have a jazzman's
approach to playing. They have learned
to play by jamming with lots of different
people, and you can push them to their
limits. I don't like to get stuck in patterns, so I need players who can quickly
adjust to changes in feel. They must also
be able to tell a story through their
instrument. I look for players who can
do it all! [Laughter]
does this help you in the studio?
QJ: The way we work with music
charts, I can get to any part of the tune.
It's fast for drop-ins, and you never end
up making a mistake. Bruce will make
notes on his music chart to be used later
in the mix.
R -e/p: How often do you
listen to a work
cassette during an album session?
QJ: I'll listen over and over again to a
This Is
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He
Is
The
1981
Grammy
Winner
For
"Record Of
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Bette Davis Eyes:
(Kim Carnes).
Musician.
Engineer.
Studio Owner
(Record One).
Producer.
Personal
Manager.
Val Garay Masters and Mixes Exclusively on Agfa Tape.
AGFA
The Mastering Choice of the Masters.
AUDIO
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Mr. Garay accepts
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For additional information circle #24
October 1982
D R -e/ p 35
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QUINCY JO:F.
song until it's in my bones. Some songs
have just a chord progression and no
tune. Others may be a hook phrase and
a groove, and sometimes the song may
call for a lot of colors. Each song is different ... when it's played on the radio
and jumps. I'm happy.
To keep the session vibe up, I use nick
names for the guys I work with: "Lilly"
for Michael Boddicker; "Mouse" for
Greg Phillinganes; "Boot" for Louis
Johnson; "Worms" for Rod Temperton.
And Bruce has many nicknames; it
depends upon the intensity in the control room. If things are going a little
rough and I need a hired gun, I call
tracking musicians is to use slang:
"Anchovy" is a mess up; "Welfare
Sound" is when you haven't warmed up
to the track or the tune; "Land Mines"
are tough phrases in an arrangement.
Hot' do you gauge that a track is
happening in the control room?
(QJ: I listen on Auratones for energy
and performance at about 90 dB SPL.
I'm coming from a radio listener concept. I have two speakers set up in front
of my producer's desk. I don't have to
ask Bruce to move so I can listen to his
set of speakers, and we never play the
two pairs of speakers at the same time.
When it's a great take you can see
R-e' p:
Bruce "Slim"! 'Smiles across room at
Bruce Swedienj
And the way I keep in touch with the
through
it!
R -r p: With such wide experience oi'er
BRUCE SWEDIEN ... setting -up for a mixdown session ... automation in the final mix ... Donna Summer tracking and overdubs
fresh tape, or there are open tracks on the
master tape.
The original rhythm track is always
retained in its pure form. I never want to take
it down a generation, because the basic
rhythm track carries the most important
elements, and I don't like to loose any transients. With synthesizer or background vocal
you could go down a generation without loosing quality. I call this process pre -mixing, and
we use whatever technical tricks it takes to
retain sound quality.
We pre -mix the information on two tapes,
and bring them up through the console. Having established the balance all the way
through the recording process, we then listen
to all the elements, and Quincy will make the
decision based on what the music is saying.
We usually have more than we need. This
stage is editing before we master -listening
to everything once saves time, and we don't
have to search for anything.
Sometimes though, we may have to go
back and re -do a pre -mix if the values are not
right. For example, a background vocal part
may have the parts stacked, and one of these
parts might be too dominant. Or sometimes
everything sounded fine when we were
recording the element, but with everything
happening on the track the part gets lost.
Then we go back and re-establish a new balance by pre- mixing that particular element
again. We also pay close attention to psychoin other words, what sound
acoustics
excites the listener's ears. These are the critical things in the mix that will make the difference between a great mix and a so -so mix.
Also, we are sensitive to the reverbcontent. Quincy may ask me to bring more
level up on a given element. I may suggest
adding more reverb, which will create more
apparent level. I establish what the mix will
be, and Quincy will comment on the little
changes and balances; these are the subtle
differences that make for a great mix. We
overlap our skills. Quincy becomes the navigator, and I fly the ship!
-
R -e/p: Does
it take very long to get a mix that
you both like?
Bruce: Quincy will work with me for the first
few days until all the production values are
made. Then we close down the studio and I
will polish the mix until I like it. After I get it
right, Quincy receives a tape copy for the
final okay. Because of Quincÿ s business
phone calls we have found that to be the best
way to finish a mix. We know the mix is right
when we've made the musical statement that
we set out to make.
Do you use automation during the
final mixing?
Bruce: Yes, because it gives you more time
to listen by playing the mix away from the
basic moves. Automation is a tool I use for
re- positioning my levels. Then I can make my
subtle nuances in level changes to get the
right balance.
For monitoring the final mixes I am a firm
believer in "Near- field" or low- volume monitoring. Basically, all this requires is a pair of
good -quality bookshelf speakers. These are
placed on top of the desk's meter panel, and
played at a volume of about 90 dB SPL or
less. My reason for using Near -field monitoring is twofold. The most important reason is
that by placing the speakers close to the mix
engineer, and using an SPL of no more than
90 dB, the acoustical environment of the
mixdown room is not excited a great deal,
and therefore does not color the mix excessively. Secondly, a smaller home -type book
shelf speaker can be used that will give a good
consumer viewpoint. My personal preference for Near -field monitors is the JBL 4310;
have three sets.
Each musical style has its own set of
values. When mixing popular dance music,
for example, we must keep in mind the fact
that the real emotional dance values are in
R -e /p:
the drums, percussion and bass, and these
sounds must be well focused in the mix. Making a forceful, tight, energetic rhythm mix is
like building a house and making sure the
foundation is strong and secure. Once the
rhythm section is set in the mix, I usually add
the lead vocal and any melody instruments.
Then, usually the additional elements will
fall
in place.
For mixing classical music or jazz, however, an entirely different approach is
required. This is where the mixing engineer
needs a clear knowledge of what the music to
be mixed sounds like in a natural acoustical
environment. In my opinion, this one area is
where beginning engineers could benefit their
technique a great deal. It is absolutely essential to know what a balanced orchestra
sounds like in a good natural acoustical
environment. Often, the synthesizer is used
to represent the orchestra in modern music.
A knowledge of natural orchestral balance is
necessary to put these sound sources in balance, even though traditional instruments
are not necessarily used.
provided us with a studio
setup plan of the recent Donna Summer sessions at Westlake. How do you plan the
tracking and overdubs?
R -e /p: You have
Bruce: I generally record the electric bass
direct. I have a favorite direct box of my own,
which utilizes a specially custom -made transformer. It's very large and heavy and, to my
ear, lends the least amount of coloration to
the bass sound, and transfers the most
energy of the electric bass on to the tape.
From my own personal experience though,
active direct boxes are very subject to outyou
side interferences, such as RF fields
can end up with a bass sound that has a lot of
buzz or noise on it.
The miked electric bass technique alone
usually does not work very well, primarily
because there are very few bass amplifiers
that will reproduce fundamental frequencies
with any purity down to the low electric bass
range. In jazz recording the string bass is
always separately miked. My favorite mike is
an Altec 21 -B condenser, wrapped in foam
and put in the bridge of the instrument; I own
four of these vintage mikes that I keep just for
this purpose. You also can get a good string
bass pick -up with an AKG -451, placed about
10 inches away from the finger board, and not
too far above the bridge. This placement
-
October 1982
R -e /p 37
7
BRUCE SWEDIEN
... microphone and
the years in so many state-of-the -art
facilities. it's perhaps surprising that
you haven't opened your own studio.
outboard equipment selection and setups
gives a nice, mellow, not too close sound.
Equalization and limiting that I use for bass
is to generally boost the 600 to 800 Hz range
about 2 to 4 dB, and limit during the recording
using a UREI 1176LN set for a 4 to 1 compression ration, but taking off only 2 or 3 dB
peaks, maximum.
In a pop recording, the drum set should be
treated as a combination of instruments,
because many of the desired effects have to
emphasized electronically. 1f the effects were
heard in a natural acoustical balance, much
of this sound would be lost. Multiple miking
on the drum set is the only answer.
I mike the overall set with a pair of highquality condenser microphones about six
feet in the air, in a stereo configuration. These
two microphones hear the drum set in a fairly
natural acoustical balance, and usually
include a good pickup on the overhead cymbals. I place individual mikes on the tom -toms
around the drum set, and then these are
mixed together with the two overhead mikes
to form a left and right stereo image of the
drum set. The choice of microphones varies
considerably with the original sound of the
drum set.
A good choice for overhead is the Neumann U -87 in cardioid pattern. On the tom toms this varies greatly with the sound of the
drums. If the drummer has really good quality
tom-toms which are tuned to specific tonalities, usually a Neumann U -87 or KM -84 will
work well placed about 8 to 10 inches away. if
the drummer has tom-toms that have very
little low -frequency content and need a lot of
help, the mike is generally placed closer, to
make use of the low -end proximity effect.
For bass drum I use a Sennheiser MD421,
AKG C412, or an Electro -Voice RE-20. I also
use a specially made drum cover with elastic
around it and a slot in the middle for the mike.
On snare I use a mike technique that I
developed many years ago in Chicago for
recording rhythm and blues records, where a
hard drum sound was necessary. My current
choice of microphone for the snare drum is
the AKG C451, with a cardioid condenser
capsule and 20 dB pad. I mike the snare drum
from the side about 8 to 10 inches away from
the shell of the snare drum, being very careful
not to position the mike anywhere near the
air hole on the side of the shell.
On the sock cymbal or high -hat I use two
types of microphones, depending entirely
upon the sound. One choice is an RCA 77DX
ribbon mike, and the other an AKG C451
(occasionaly I'll use a Shure SM57 dynamic).
While recording drum tracks I never use
any limiting or compression, and very little
equalization. The only drum mikes on which I
would use any EQ would be the kick, usually
boosting it about 2 to 4 dB at 1.5 kHz, and
maybe a 2 dB peak at 100 Hz. On the sock
cymbal I will usually use a highpass filter set at
100 Hz.
The electric guitar has an incredible range
of colors; many players are using two amps,
and have their own signal processing equipment. I mike each amp with a C452 condenser to capture a close representation of
R -e/p 38
October 1982
QJ: I'm not at all interested in owning a
studio. I've got enough things to take
care of, and I like to leave the studio
right where it is when I get out of it. I
don't want to have to think of what's
going on in the studio ... if the 24 -track
heads are clean!
what the guitarist hears from his amp, and
then record the sound in stereo. I may add a 2
to 4 dB peak between 5 and 10 kHz, depending on the range of the music.
For acoustic piano I use a pair of AKG
C414EBs, positioned about 24 inches above
the harp of the instrument in an "X" stereo
configuration, to favor the high frequencies of
the instrument. Both microphones are hearing the total range of the instrument, but in
their position the phase differences of the
frequencies provide a true to life and interesting stereo picture. I usually EQ the piano 2 to
4 dB at 10 kHz, and another 2 dB peak at 3
kHz. If the piano sounds thin a 2 dB boost at
100 Hz will help.
In choosing a microphone for a solo or lead
vocal, the most important thing to consider is
the vocal timbre of the artist. In other words,
is it soft and breathy, or loud and penetrating?
Stacking or doubling a lead vocal is often
helpful. Frequently I will slightly change the
tape speed of the master recorder during
recording of the stack. When this is combined with the original, it seems to add a full,
rich quality to the lead vocal that makes it
more interesting. When mixing a double I
keep it at less level in the mix than the basic
lead vocal track. This serves to add support
to the vocal track, without making it appear
to be an obvious trick.
R -e p: So you look upon the studio
equipment as just being a production
tool?
favorite studio in
which you feel most comfortable?
QJ: My favorite studio at the moment is
Westlake Los Angeles!. I like the vibe
there very much. The people are fantastic
great maintenance handled by
R -e p: Do you have a
I
-
Jimmy Fizpatrick and Dave Concord.
Matt Forger, the assistant engineer we
work with all the time, is incredible; he
shares in the vibe. His duties have gone
beyond the page. In fact, we have given
him a new title: "Technical Director."
Glenn Phoenix, the president of Westlake Audio, has a well rounded knowledge of the whole studio scene. We can
give him feedback for new designs.
When you walk in the door you feel the
flow, and everyone's tuned in. At the
technical level in a studio, Bruce is a real
perfectionist. If something is not working right he'll find it! We have to have
good maintenance.
R -e /p: What kind of outboard equipment do
you use?
Bruce: I have no set plan, but I can give you
some general uses: Allison Kepex II for noise
gate on guitar tracks; Lexicon digital delay
line to pre -delay the echo chamber; dbx
Model 160 as a fast, flexible all around compressor/limiter; a dbx Model 165 Over-Easy
works well for vocals; an Eventide H -949
Harmonizer for speed sounds; Eventide
FL201 Instant Flanger for solo instruments;
AMS digital delay line for fixing the pitch of a
given signal that is a little out of tune; Inovonics 201 comp /limiter for pumping the signal
on low -end instruments (bass synthesizer,
etc.); an Orban De-esser works real good for
stacked vocals with sibilants; I always use two
EMT 250s with my own plate, Lexicon 224
Digital Reverb gives me another echo
"color"; UREi Model 527 graphic equalizer to
EQ the echo send; and Sontec Parametric
EQ.
If I'm going to be working in a studio for any
length of time I'll have them install the two
Ecoplates that were made for me in 1977 by
Studio Technologies. I always use my JBL
4310 speakers for mixing, and I also carry
many of my own microphones; I have a collection of 60 or so. I bought my first mikes
-two Telefunken U47s in 1951 when I was
still in high school, and they are still in mint
condition today. The best way for me to rely
on my approach to sound is having many of
my own mikes with me, plus my own custom
direct boxes.
-
R -e /p: On a couple of the albums
you've
recorded, the liner notes make reference to
something called "Acusonic Recording."
...
QJ: Absolutely
as an instrument;
matter of fact, just like a part of an
orchestra. I think even a variable speed
oscillator is an instrument.
R -e p: Are you a "hands -on" producer.
or do you leave it all to Bruce? 1)o you
ever get behind the faders?
QJ: I'm a hands-off producer! When
you've got Bruce Swedien taking care of
that area, we can't go further. I'm not
the "Do it all type." If you can concentrate on other things, I think you can
take the plane much higher. To let my
deficiency as an engineer be a limitation
.. that doesn't make sense.
.
Although you might leave the
hands -on side of running the session to
Bruce, you seem to have a pretty good
grasp of the technology of the recording
process. Are there any aspects with
which you are uncomfortable?
QJ: Automation sometimes bugs me,
because after a while it kind of tells you
hou' to mix and, if you want to re- adjust
things, it sometimes gets difficult. It
happens sometimes that you can get so
far with automation, and then want to
make a little left turn there; sometimes
the system makes it difficult for you to
do it.
I found I'm going to wait a little while
with digital too. So far, digital doesn't
give me what I'd like to hear it doesn't
sample enough of the regularities. It
nails the characteristics of a sound, but
it doesn't get the dirt ... the build up ...
R -e p:
-
Take Us For
Granted
With 24 tracks going, you don't
have time to reach over and adjust
for tape-induced level variation.
You want to be able to forget about
the tape.
Which is why we test every reel
of our 2" Grand Master" 456 Studio
Mastering Tape end- to-end and
edge -to-edge. To make certain you
get a rock -solid readout with
virtually no tape -induced level
variation from one reel of 456 to
another or within a single reel.
No other brand of tape undergoes such rigorous testing. As a
result, no other brand offers the consistency of Ampex Tape. The consistency that lets you forget our tape
and concentrate on tre job.
AMPEX
Ampex Corporation
Ampex Corporation, Magnetic Tape Division
401 Broadway. Redwood City, CA 94063
(415) 367 -4463
r4
rar
One of The Sgnal CompaniesLf'
4 out of 5 Professionals Master
on Ampex Tape
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r
cluincy
that
I think is necessary to have in a
record. Digital sometimes gets a little
too squeaky clean for me. But I know it's
going to improve, because it's a wonder-
ful direction.
album sessions becoming
more and more complicated, both technically as well as artistically, do you
think a producer has to be a good
arranger too?
QJ: I don't know, because everybody
R -e, p: With
produces with his strength. That ability
can come from the strength of an engineer, player, singer, instrumentalist,
arranger, or a combination of these
things.
R-e p: As founder and president of your
own record company, Qwest, do you find
it hard sometimes to combine the creative ability of a producer. with the busi-
ness side of running a label?
QJ: Let me give you some background.
In 1960 I got in trouble with a jazz band I
had on tour, and when I came home with
my tail between my legs from Europe I
took a job with Mercury Records for
about seven years, in A &R, and eventually vice president. During the course of
that time I had to understand a whole
different area of the record business
that I wasn't even aware of before. It
was a big company because Mercury
merged with Philips, which is now
Polygram, and we started Philips
Records in this country.
It was an incredible education,
because I use to think that all these
An illustrious vocal team during Donna Summer overdub sessions at Oceanway Studio,
Los Angeles. From left to right: Stevie Wonder, Brenda Russell, Michael Jackson, Dionne
Warwick, Lionel Richie, Christopher Cross, Dora Bernard, Kenny Loggins, Michael
McDonald and James Ingram ... producer Quincy Jones.
companies get together once a week to
plan how to get new artists on the label.
You should be so lucky that you get past
being an IBM number on a computer
with a profit and loss under your name
or code nubmer. That gave me an
insight into understanding what corporate anatomy was all about.
Understanding the rules of the game
is important for a producer with a huge
company like Philips, which is dealing
with raw products, television sets,
vacuum cleaners, and all the rest, at the
that time we were doing $82 million a
year worldwide, and music was only
about 2% of the total.
R -e /p: So how do you
communicate with
the business person?
QJ: Somewhere along the way it's got to
make sense if it's going to cost money. If
you want to go to Africa and make a
drum record, for example, you're going
to have to figure out how to get it done
for the people who put up the money.
Somewhere along with your creative
process you have to 'scope out what the
situation is, get your priorities straight,
and don't let that interfer with your
creativity. If they put a pile of money
right in front of you, there's no way to
correlate the essence of what that
means, and yet still tie it into the creation of music.
Being a record company president is a
lot of responsibility, but it's going to be
okay. To become a successful record
company president, you have to apply
and reinforce your creative side with a
business side, but you can't lead with
the business side.
BRUCE SWEDIEN ... "Acusonic Recording" and SMPTE interlock
... going beyond 46 -track with multiple slave reels and worktapes
What does that refer to?
Bruce: Quincy came up with the term to
describe the way I work
my "philosophy
for recording music" if you like. To be more
specific, it's really my use of two multitrack
machines with SMPTE codes
"Multichannel Multiplexing." Essentially, by using
SMPTE timecode I can run two 24 -track tape
machines in synchronous operation, which
greatly expands the number of tracks availa-
-
-
ble to me.
Working with Quincy has given me the
opportunity to record all styles of music.
With such a variety of sounds to work with I
could see that single multitrack recording
was not enough to capture Quincy's rich
sounds. I began experimenting with Maglink
timecode to run two 16 -track machines
together in sync. This offered some real
advantages, but since then I have expanded
my system to use SMPTE timecode and two
24 -track tape machines.
The first obvious advantages that come to
mind are: lots of tracks, and space for more
overdubbing. With a little experience I soon
found that the real advantge of having multiple machines with Quincy's work is that I can
R -e /p 40
October 1982
retain a lot more true stereophonic recording
right through to the final mix. An additional
major advantage is that once the rhythm
tracks are recorded, I make a SMPTE work
tape with a cue rhythm mix on it, and then put
the master tape away until the mix. In this
way we can preserve the transient response
that would be diminished by repeated playing
during overdubbing.
Quincy usually has the scheme for the
instrumentation worked out for the song so
we can progressively record the elements on
work tapes. For example: Work tape A may
have background vocals; Work tape B lead
vocals; Work tape C horns and strings; and
Work tape D may have 10 tracks of synthesizer sounds to get the desired color. All of
these work tapes contain a pitch tone,
SMPTE timecode, bar numbers cues, sometimes a click track, and cue rhythm mix.
R -e /p: What kind of interlock device do you
use to sync the multitracks?
Bruce: We use two BTX timecode synchronizers. A BTX Model 4500 is used to synchronize the two multitrack machines, and I keep
the 4500 reader on top of the console in front
of me to provide a SMPTE code readout. We
work with real time from the reader, and
don't depend on the autolocator during the
work tape stages.
There are times when I'll use the "Iso"
mode on the 4500 to move one element on a
tape to a different place in the tune. Say, for
instance, you have a rhythm guitar part that
isn't tight in a section; I'll find it on the slave
work tape and move it to the new location on
the master work tape.
R -e /p:
How long does it take to make a work
tape?
Bruce: We start by adding the SMPTE code,
and I'll make a few passes with a mix until I
like it. Then we record the pre -mix on to the
new work tape. I'm very fussy about the
sound, and we'll listen back and forth
between the master and the slave tape to
make sure the sonics match before we move
on to the next work tape. I always want
Quincy and the dubbing musicians to hear
my best. It takes about three hours per work
tape to finish the job. To keep all the tape
tracks in tune, we also calibrate the speed of
tapes by going through a digital readout.
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._
STUDIO MAINTENANCE AND TROUBLESHOOTING
LOGiC EE5EER5
FAULT FINDING AND
DIAGNOSIS OF AUDIO
PROCESSING AND
RECORDING EQUIPMENT
by Roman Olearczuk
Technical Consulting Editor,
and Technical Engineer, Studio 55. Los Angeles
he increasing use of digital logic
circuitry in today's professional
audio gear requires a different
variety of test equipment for fast, successful fault repair. To fill the need for
simple yet powerful test instruments for
logic fault -finding, in recent years several manufacturers have developed a
family of logic testers that make digital
circuit diagnosis easy.
Digital troubleshooting basically
involves the verification of valid logic
levels at all inputs and outputs of the
individual interconnected ICs in a digital network. For effective fault location,
the technician must have at his or her
disposal complete operational data for
each IC under test. Truth tables and
timing relationships, as well as valid
logic threshold information, play an
important part in the checking of proper
circuit operation.
For analog circuits, a technician
using traditional test instrumentation,
such as an oscilloscope, multimeter, and
signal generator, can apply stimulus response techniques to quickly isolate
an electronic problem. In principle, this
same technique can also be applied to
digital circuitry. However, the use of the
above -mentioned test equipment is, at
best, time -consuming, if not cumbersome, when such instruments are applied in complex digital network analysis. While an oscilloscope will provide
voltage and timing information, the
voltage levels must be read constantly
to see if they fall within the valid logic
family thresholds.
Meanwhile, short pulses or one-shots
are difficult to detect, even with the best
triggering oscilloscopes. A multimeter
can be useful, but only when static logic
levels are prevalent in the circuit design.
A signal generator can also be used, but
only at convenient signal interjection
points; otherwise PCB traces would
have to be cut in order to get at specific
integrated circuits.
Logic testers alleviate these problems
since they are designed to take advantage of the digital nature of the signals
generated within the ICs under scrutiny. They were developed to provide a
simple indication of logic l's and 0's, as
well as generating and detecting pulses.
The purpose of this article is to describe
these popular devices, and show their
application in the recording studio.
Logic Probes
The most common digital tester is the
logic probe. This hand -held device
somewhat resembles a large, fat pencil
with a pin -tip on the end. It is put into
service by simply connecting the power
leads and ground of the unit to the most
convenient and correct voltage supply
points on the card under test. Now, with
this active unit the technician can
"probe" (with the tip) various test
points, IC pins, and circuit traces for
logic levels and /or pulses. Most logic
probes available today provide the following features:
HI and LO level indication using
either one or two LEDs.
Non -valid logic level indication.
Pulse train indication up to 50 MHz.
Pulse memory to capture single pulses
or level transitions.
nanosecond pulse response.
Multilogic family test ability.
High input impedance for minimal
loading effect.
Voltage overload protection.
How these features are designed into
each unique probe differ vastly among
the manufacturers. For example, the HP
545A Logic Probe uses a single LEI)
near the tip, visible from all sides, that
becomes illuminated with a high logic
level. Meanwhile, the B &K DP -51, Global Specialties LP -3, Kurz -Kasch LP770, Non -Linear Systems MLR -1, OK
PRB -1, and Radio Shack 22 -301 Logic
Probes, all use two LEDs to show both a
LO and HI level state. The Production
Devices 110 probe has an added feature
that provides the user with a HI and LO
10
Hewlett- Packard HP -5023 Logic Probe Kit
audio tone. in addition to two LEDs for
logic level recognition. The Heath kit
IT -7410 probe is unique, since it is sold
only in kit form. It also uses separate
LEDs for level indication, but provides
omnidirectional viewing found otherwise only in the HP 545A. Most of the
probes surveyed here also detect invalid
logic levels that are between the
accepted voltage thresholds; these are
usually displayed by the absence of a lit
LEI).
All these units feature pulse detection,
as well as pulse memory, except for the
Production Devices probe. Measured
pulse trains are recognized either
through an additional blinking LED, or
by a flashing high -level LEI) at a steady
rate between 3 and 10 Hz. The B &K DP51, Global Specialties IT-3, and Kurz Kasch LP -770 units provide a relative
display of duty cycle, by varying the
intensity of HI /LO LEDs while the
pulse LEI) is flashing at a fixed
frequency.
The Non -Linear Systems device also
provides a gross indication of frequency
for the pulses under measurement.
Below 100 Hz, the brightness of the HI
and LO LEDs is duty -cycle proportional. From 100 Hz to 100 kHz, the HI
and LO indicators are programmed to
be both on for 50% duty -cycle pulses,
while duty cycles below 25% or above
75% illuminate the HI /LO LEDs in an
Exclusive -OR fashion. Above 5 MHz,
the HI and LO lights extinguish, and
only the pulse indicator is operational.
Most units can capture "one- shots" as
small as 10 nanoseconds. The probes
made by Radio Shack, Production Devices, and Non -Linear Systems detect J
pulses as short as 50 nanoseconds.
When a pulse occurs, the memory
"stretches" the pulse and displays it by
illuminating the pulse indicator. The
OK PRB -1 probe resets the pulse
memory automatically, while memory
storage in the other products has to be
reset by the press of a button.
i
October 1982
R -e /p 43
STUDIO MAINTENANCE
AND TROUBLESHOOTING
LOGiC
tEStE RS
A majority of the units operate up to
and beyond 50 MHz. INote: a few products only have a maximum operating
frequency of 10 MHz, and this drawback
is reflected in an inexpensive price!) The
Kurz -Kasch LP -770, for example, has a
claimed frequency specification of 100
MHz.
The ability to test multifamily logic
states is a fairly common feature among
the probes included here. The most
standard design is usually a selector
switch that provides DTI. /TTL testing
at one setting, and CMOS /HTL at the
other. Generally, voltage thresholds for
valid logic detection are set at 48% and
16'lí (of the supply voltage), or precise
thresholds of 2.4 volts DC and 800 multivolts DC for TTL HI and LO states
respectively. CMOS /MOS thresholds
are typically 70% and 30% of the DC
supply voltage. In addition to these families, Global Specialties also manufactures a logic probe (LP -4) for the ECL
logic family, which requires more precise logic thresholds and supply voltages. The Kurz -Kasch LP -770 unit also
provides a separate switch for HTL
logic, with thresholds set at 1.5 and 9.5
volts DC. Finally, the unique OK PRB-1
logic probe automatically changes thre-
logic probes exhibited an input impedance of well over 1 Mohm. The least
expensive units, as a rule, tend to have
either unpublished and unknown specifications, or input impedances that are
only in 100 Kohm region. Overvoltage
protection features also vary considerably in competing products. The maximum protection is provided by the Kurz Kasch logic probes, which can with-
stand 140 volts DC reverse voltages, as
well as 110 VAC potential.
It should be noted that the model
numbers listed in the text do not indicate the complete range of product models available by each manufacturer.
Several companies produce low -cost
units, and special application devices.
Additional information regarding product line, specifications, pricing and
warranty can he obtained by contacting
the individual companies listed in the
accompanying Table.
Logic Pulser
The logic pulser can be thought of as a
companion tool for the Logic Probe.
While it is similarly shaped and specified, the Logic Pulser is designed to provide the stimulus "signal" for digital
circuit analysis. Basically, the pulser is
a quality pulse generator without the
controls. It is capable of "sourcing" or
"sinking" a test point, by providing
short, bounce -free, high- current pulses
that can overcome stuck nodes without
sholds; based on the logic family under IC destruction. Although not all manutest it senses the supply voltage and facturers in the table offer pulsers, the
adjusts itself accordingly.
ones that carry them provide devices
The input impedance of any logic tes- with similar features. All products have
ter should be high enough not to affect selectable single pulse or pulse train
circuit performance when put into ser- models; TTL and CMOS test capability;
vice. Also, the tester should provide an high input impedance; and overvoltage
overvoltage protection for the user, so protection. However, the HP 546A Logic
that the test tool isn't inadvertantly Pulser is unique in that it offers six
"wiped -out" on a mistaken high -voltage ROM programmable output patterns;
test point. In this survey, the majority of these signals consist of single pulses,
pulse streams of 1, 10 or 100 Hz, and
pulse bursts of 10 or 100 pulse duration.
The pulse -burst feature, when combined
with single pulses, enables a technician
to obtain any exact number of pulses to
check circuits that trigger digital events.
Logic Clip
Another logic tester is the easy -to -use
Logic Clip. As the name implies, this
device resembles a DIP IC clip, yet it
also incorporates 16 LEDs in two rows
that correspond to the DIP pin numbers.
The indicators show simultaneous and
independent logic information on any
8 -, 14 -, or 16-pin logic IC, and is simply
clipped on to the device under test.
Which ever way the clip is connected,
the devices automatically senses which
pins are the supply voltages, and thereby draws its power. In one strong
application, timing relationships can be
viewed easily when the pulsed clock rate
is one pulse per second.
However, the logic clip's use, as easy
as it seems, does have a few drawbacks.
The indicators only light when a single
threshold is exceeded. A true valid LO
threshold is not really verified by an
extinguished LED. Therefore, bad levels are not indicated on this device.
Although pulse activity shows up as a
dimly -lit LED, single pulses are not captured and displayed as they are in a
Logic Probe. Power drain requirements
can also tax the circuit power supply if
all LEDs are continuously in use.
The HP 548A clip accommodates both
TTL and CMOS ICs automatically,
while the Global Specialties LM -1 is
designed primarily for TTL. The HP
unit also provides an auxiliary clip to
power the unit from external supplies.
The only requirement is that the input
voltage does not exceed 30 VDC, and
that it is at least 1.5 VDC greater than
any pin of the IC being measured. Glo-
Investigation of a faulty Ampex ATR -100 Transport Control Card that is exhibiting a total short across its
+5 volt supply rail (as detailed in Example 3 overleaf). In the left -hand illustration, the author has
connected a Logic Pulser to the +5 volt rail, and is using a Current Tracer held in his right hand to follow
the progress of current flow along vertical and horizontal rows of ICs. In the right -hand photograph, the
fault has been located at IC A27, and the chip replaced. Correct operation is now being verified by
mounting a Logic Clip on IC A27, and applying pulses to the input pins while checking state changes of
individual logic gates.
R -e /p 44
October 1982
WHY
M iTSUBISH i
c
No noise and perfect reproduction are
expected from a digital recorder. But
the performance of the Mitsubishi X -80
digital recorder at Fantasy Studios
is why you should investigate owning
this one.
As you've already heard, digital is
big news. In fact, Roy Segal compares
digital with the introduction of magnetic
tape, and the advent of the transistor.
And that's pretty good company.
Roy puts it this way. "Digital will
supplant analog, period. It's simply a
question of when. Recently, I AB'd the
Mitsubishi X-80 in my own studio and
for me the time is now."
No wonder. With a 35 db increase
in S/N ratio, the total absence of hiss
and added noise, and an uncanny
ability to reproduce the dynamics of
original performance, the Mitsubishi
X -80 comes about as close to perfection
as our greatest minds can take us.
But there's more to this machine
than meets the ears, and that's why we
went to a man who has been in the
audio engineering business for 34 years.
For addi-ional information circle #41
THE PORTABLE X -80
2- Channel Digital Audio Recorder.
1982 Mitsubishi Electric Sales of America, Inc
"We chose the X -80 because it's a
natural extension of the analog recording system." It uses 1/4 inch tape. It
has a traditional open reel format. And
it's the only digital machine that's
"In a little over a year,
we've made 24 albums direct
from digital. And like anything
else, a proven track record is
the best reason to buy:'
Roy Segal
Executive Vice President
Fantasy Studios
Roy Segal did not tccept any compensation for this endorsement
designed for good o'.d razor blade
mechanical editing.
But what Roy likes best about the
X-80 is this: "When you consider the
quality, the reliability and the price
of this machine, it's totally cost effective:'
When Fantasy Studios produces
a digital master on the X -80, the record
companies can make disc lacquers
directly from it, and make as many first
generation analog masters as they
require. The end product sounds better.
It sells better. And the artists come
back to Fantasy Studios.
Call or write us for more information.
Because as Roy Segal told us, "... the
Mitsubishi X -80 not only sounds good,
it's good for business."
Mt MITSUBISHI
DIGITAL AUDIO SYSTEMS
800-631 -537- (Outside New Jersey)
201- 981 -141- (Within New Jersey)
STUDIO MAINTENANCE
AND TROUBLESHOOTING
LOGiC tESLE RS
bal Specialties also manufactures a
Logic Monitor (LM -2A) that tests TTI.
and CMOS, and provides fixed and variable thresholds. It is more cumbersome
to use, however, since the device connects the DIP clip through a 24 -inch ribbon cable on to a small case, where the
LEDs are located. The same company
also recently introduced a low-power,
TTL /CMOS, 40 -pin Logic Monitor (LM4) that shows simultaneous logic information on a 40- segment liquid -crystal
display. This unit can be quite useful for
diagnosis of microprocessors, ROM,
RAM, and other LSI chips.
Current Tracer
At this time, the Current Tracer is a
logic tester manufactured solely by HP.
This powerful tool locates current source
and sink faults by sensing the magnetic
field generated by pulse active circuits.
To use the 547A, one simply adjusts the
reference control Ifor a sensitivity of 1
milliamp to 1 Amp) near the tip at a
known pulsing node. The circuit activity then can be traced from this node,
and the changing intensity of the indicator in the tip will show precisely
where the current is flowing. Stuck
nodes in large fan -outs can be easily
diagnosed, as well as complete circuit
board supply to ground shorts. The HP
unit works with all logic families within
its 4.5 to 18 VDC power supply requirements, and will provide an indication
for single pulses greater than 50 nanoseconds in width, and pulse trains up to
50 MHz.
Logic Comparator
Finally, there remains one other simple logic tester whose disadvantages
outweigh its advantages to the extent
that it has not attained popular use. The
HP 10529A logic comparator can easily
verify the operation of an in- circuit logic
IC, by comparing it against a properly
functioning reference chip. Any difference in logic states will show up on the
display indicators. This useful tool is
limited, however, to only DTL /TTI. circuitry. In addition, each reference IC
must be programmed through the use of
either pre -soldered IC reference boards,
or through selectable input /output
switches on a universal socket, prior to
the insertion of the reference IC. As a
result, to test a wide range of TTL ICs, a
large supply of pre -programmed boards
must be stocked, or the technician will
have to continuously program the universal socket as he moves from IC to IC.
For advanced microprocessor-based
circuitry, another level of test equipment
generally in the form of logic
analyzers, signature analyzers, and
micro -system testers
has been
designed by various manufacturers to
-
-
address the intricate fault -finding
procedures required to service these
kind of digital networks. Due to their
R -e /p 46
October 1982
complex nature, a separate article would
need to be devoted to the description and
use of this type of equipment; the following section will only concentrate on the
application of the simple and popular
logic testers discussed above.
Troubleshooting Procedure
Pulser, while he checks their response
against published specifications with
the combined use of a Logic Probe, Logic
Pulser, Logic Clip, and Current Tracer.
The examples detailed below will demonstrate this fault-finding procedure as
it is used in diagnosing of some well known studio equipment. Once the
diagnostic techniques are mastered,
and a thorough service manual is
obtained for the equipment under test, a
service or maintenance technician will
be able to solve difficult logic problems
with less frustration and time.
Prior to troubleshooting digital ICs,
one should have a knowledge of what
faults to expect during the diagnosis
procedure. There are only two types of
circuit faults: internal IC failures and
external IC failures,. Internal flaws
usually comprise of any combination of
the following: input or output open circuits; voltage supply or ground shorts to Further Reading
an input or output; short circuit between "New Techniques of Digital Troubleany two IC pins; and internal circuitry shooting"; Hewlett- Packard Applicabreakdown. External failures usually tion Note 163-2.
show up as one or more of the following: "Logical Troubleshooting "; HP Bench
open circuit signal path; short circuit Bries, June/August 1981.
between signals; short circuit between "Functional Analyzing "; HP Bench
any one or more voltage supplies, Briefs, Jan /Feb 1982.
grounds, and signals; and a breakdown Digital Troubleshooting, by Richard E.
of a discrete component.
Gasperini; Hayden Book Co., 1976; 192
Armed with this information, a good pages; $11.95.
source of digital IC data, and an equip- "How to Troubleshoot Digital Circuits,"
ment service manual, a technician can by L. Steven Cheairs;Radio-Electronics,
easily stimulate circuits with the Logic November, 1978.
EXAMPLE 1: AMPEX ATR -700 QUARTER -TRACK
TAPE MACHINE WITH TRANSPORT FAULT
Trouble or Sympton: Machine does not stop
when the Stop button is pressed.
Troubleshooting Procedure: The first thing
to check is the transport control modes for
correct operation. Will the tape machine stop
after any previous command has been
engaged? Does the machine enter stop mode
initially after the unit has been turned on, and
the tape has been threaded? In our example,
the transport will stop only after power is
turned on! As soon as any other transport
command is issued, the transport has to be
put into Pause mode in order to stop the tape
movement. Also, an audible observation
points out that the familiar "clicking" sound
of the brakes engaging is not heard during
Stop commands.
Based on this knowledge, the first troubleshooting venture should be done on the
transport control circuitry. The assumption
is made that all power -supply voltages must
be correct, since other transport features are
optional, and a quick check of the play/record capabilities also looks correct. The
transport control schematic and associated
information should now be consulted prior to
any dismantling procedures. The theory of
operation and schematics in this manual
shows that the first convenient test point,
using the half -splitting troubleshooting technique,* should be the Brake Solenoid Drive
Signal of the output of IC11 pin 6 (Figure 1).
The useful timing diagrams provided within
this manual show that the logic signal at this
test point should be a "1" whenever Play, FF,
Rewind, or Record Play commands are
issued. In the Stop or Pause modes, the output should be "0," which causes the brake
solenoid to be not released, and thereby
keeps the reel motor brakes still engaged.
Now the control unit PCB is accessed, and
the Logic Probe power leads attached to any
convenient +5 VDC (TTL supply voltage)
and ground. The outpost of this gate is
checked for proper logic levels, with the
probe tip placed directly on pin 6 of IC 11. The
transport is placed alternately in Stop and
Pause. The probe indicates a logic 1 at all
times, except during Pause commands, when
a logic 0 is present; the Stop command "0" is
missing! (Note: If a logic was correctly displayed during Stop, then the next test point
would have been in the middle of the analog
control circuitry, located on the power
supply board. This diagnostic procedure
would then be consistent with the half
splitting troubleshooting technique.)
The next test point should be any one of
the motion flip -flop circuits, which is at a
midway point on the just tested faulty half
section. With the logic probe on IC4 pin 6, the
device indicates that a logic 0 occurs during
Play, Pause and Stop commands. The timing
diagram, however, shows that a logic 0
should not be present during Stop, so the
fault still has not been located.
The third test point is the output of IC2 pin
-
-
-
*ln the technique of half -splitting, a check for
proper operation is made at the most convenient test point midway between any remaining untested circuitry. The tested half -section
that still operates incorrectly is then divided
for the next test point. In this manner, the
fault is eventually pinpointed. In the above
example, the brake solenoid circuit consists
of two PCBs
the control card and the
power supply card. This first test point (IC11
pin 6) occurs halfway at the interface
between these two cards.
-
Soundcraft
Electronics
Soundcraft, Inc.
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Suite 120
Torrance, CA 90501 USA
(213) 328-2595
Telex: 182 -499
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R -e /p 47
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TELEPHONE (0734) 53411 UK TELEX 848722
Copyright 1981 by Audio & Design Recording. Inc.
R-e p 48
October 1982
For additional information circle #43
I
Audio +Design
THE HIT SOUND IN AUDIO SCIENCE
STUDIO MAINTENANCE
AND TROUBLESHOOTING
LOGiC CESCERS
This IC feeds all the motion command
flip -flop reset circuits. While pressing the
Stop button, the probe displays a constant
logic 0 at the output pin 8 of 1C2. The input to
8.
:.
[tLii
I
(ANTNp
1i
this gate (pin 9) is checked next for valid
levels during Stop mode, and this test indicates correct logic levels being fed from the
Stop button. Which means that there is
either an open circuit at pin 9 input, or pin 8
input.
One more check should be made to completely verify the isolated fault. The Logic
Pulser is activated in the same manner as the
Logic Probe. The pulser tip is placed at the
other input (TP5 of Figure I) to the OR gate,
IC2 pin 10, and the probe at the output (pin 8)
once again. A single pulse from the pulser
provides a logic 1 which immediately resets
the motion flip -flops and engages the reel
motor brakes.
Conclusion: Pin 9 of lC2 is an open circuit;
1C2 (SN7400N) needs to be replaced.
_..,.-
T
PIT 5* 904RD ASSN
...,43;I
a
Figure
1:
Ampex ATR -700 quarter -track control unit schematic. Test Points are
numbered in sequence used to isolate the fault in Example 1.
MANUFACTURERS OF LOGIC TESTERS
EXAMPLE 2: EVENTIDE
1745M DIGITAL DELAY
*B & K DYNASCAN CORPORATION
Trouble or Symptom: Noisy, buzzing signal
on output at all input levels and delay setting.
Troubleshooting Procedure: One of the first
things to check is to see if the buzzing signal is
present on one or more outputs, since this
information will provide us with a clue as to
what section is the most likely to be at fault. In
this example all outputs exhibit the same
problem. Individual output cards can be ruled
out as the problem source. Also, since the
noise is not level dependent, we can expect
that the input audio processing circuitry is
also functional.
An oscilloscope shows that a 1 kHz line
level sinewave at the input to the DDL with a
0 millisecond delay setting produces a clean
sinewave output, except for a periodic shifting image that resembles a gated delay of the
signal. This symptom is indicative of an
addressing control problem. The service
manual points out that the addressing and
memory circuitry is located on a large board
behind the motherboard; easiest access is
through the back panel. Once the metalwork
has been taken off, the screws that hold the
board to standoffs can be also removed.
The memory organization for 320 millisecond of delay requires 16K of RAM in the
design. This amount of memory requires 14
address lines, AO to A13. AO to All directly
-
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CHICAGO, IL 60635
(312) 889 -9087 or (800) 621 -4627
Digital Probe, Digital Pulser
ETRONIX
14803 NE 40TH STREET
REDMOND, WA 98052
K(JRZ -KASCH ELECTRONICS
2271 ARBOR BLVD.
DAYTON, OH 45401
(513) 2990990
Logic Probe, Universal Pulser
NON -LINEAR SYSTEMS
533 STEVENS AVENUE
SOLANA BEACH, CA 92075
(206) 881-0857
Low-cost Digital Pulser
(714) 755-1134
GLOBAL SPECIALTIES CORP.
70 FUI-TON TERRACE
NEW HAVEN, CT 06509
OK MACHINE AND TOOL CORP.
3455 CONNER STREET
BRONX, NY 10475
(203) 624 -3103 or (800) 243 -6077
(212) 994 6600
Logic Probe, Digital Pulser, Logic Monitor
(clip), Logic Test Kit
Logic Probe, Logic Pulser
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7857 RAYTHEON ROAD
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BENTON HARBOR, MI 49022
Digital Logic Probe
SAN DIEGO, CA 91211
(616) 982 -3411 or (800) 253 -0570
(714) 278 -1141
Logic Probe Kit
Digital Logic Tester
*HEWLETT -PACKARD COMPANY
1501 PAGE MILL ROAD
PALO ALTO, CA 94304
(415) 857-1501
Logic Probe, Logic Pulser, Logic Clip, Current
Tracer, Logic Comparator, Logic Test Kit
*RADIO SHACK
500 ONE TANDY CENTER
FORT WORTH, TX 76102
(817) 390 -3011 or (800) 253 -0570
Digital Logic Probe
*Product catalogs are available through regional or local sales offices.
October 1982
R -e/ p 49
STUDIO MAINTENANCE
AND TROUBLESHOOTING
and its power leads connected between +12
LOGiC CENE R5
interfato th
requires address lines of
the 4K RAMs in the memory matrix. The
additional two addresses, Al2 and A13, are
handled by a CMOS BCD -to- Decimal Decoder, 1C23 (74C42), which provides four outputs that select IC sections between four different groups within the two RAM arrays.
These four chips select signals, CS1.4, go
directly to the arrays without any additional
buffering. This is a good initial test point.
The Logic Clip is placed on IC23 (Figure 2),
VDC (CMOS supply) and ground. As
expected, we observe the corresponding
decimal outputs, 0 to 3, go LO as the inputs A
and B sequence binarily from 00 to 11. Using
the clip again, we probe IC21, 22, 28 and 29
(74C904), which are non -inverting CMOS
buffers used to drive the large number of
address lines in the arrays. IC21 and 22 control address lines AO to A5 and A6 to All
respectively in array #1, while IC28 and 29
command the same lines in array #2.
For properly functioning circuits we should
see simultaneously lit LEDs on the inputs and
outputs of each buffer in each IC. This test
reveals a discrepancy at pin 13 of IC22 in
EXAMPLE 3: AMPEX ATR -102 TWO -TRACK TAPE
MACHINE WITH TRANSPORT POWER SUPPLY FAULT
Trouble or Symptom: Machine has no display, tape will not thread up.
Troubleshooting Procedure: Since there is
no display or any tape motion, the absence of
one or more supply voltages is suspected.
The ATR -100 service manual shows that the
+5 VDC supply line, which is separately
fused, powers all the LEDs and transport
control circuitry. A quick check of this supply
voltage reveals a 0 VDC measurement. A
continuity test of the fuse shows that it has
blown. As soon as it is replaced, the new fuse
blows when the tape machine becomes
powered again. Apparently one or more of
the circuit cards that contain +5 VDC
powered circuitry is shorting out the power
supply.
The Audio Control and Transport Control
cards are removed first, one at a time. With
the Transport Control card removed, the +5
VDC supply remains stable Reinserting this
card once again blows the fuse; the faulty
card has been found! A resistance check
across the supply lines of the card gives an
indication of a complete short. A visual and
olfactory inspection does not reveal any
burned or discolored ICs and PCB traces, so
we are left with the problem of finding out
which of the 39 ICs and assorted capacitors
are defective.
Typically, the following techniques have
been tried to solve this kind of perplexing
troubleshooting situation. An external +5
VDC power supply with current limiting is
connected directly to the board's supply traces. While the current is slowly increased,
individual ICs are checked by touch for an
increase in heat. Sometimes the PCB traces
discolor, lift off the board, or even burn up.
This drastic procedure can definitely pinpoint
the defective IC, especially if there's a burn
mark surrounding it!
Another common procedure involves
removing all the supply by -pass capacitors
(large and small) from the circuit. The most
convenient way is usually to lift one lead of
the capacitor from the circuit board. If the
short circuit has cleared after this procedure,
then each capacitor is placed back into the
circuit one by one until the short re- appears.
If the short circuit has not cleared after such a
procedure, then another frequently -used
technique is to remove the individual ICs
from the circuit. More often than not though,
the board has soldered, non- socketed components, so IC removal will usually involve
cutting the power -supply traces first to sections, and then to individual ICs. Such a time
consuming method will eventually isolate the
bad circuit but, because trace -cutting technique is a destructive process over the lifetime of a board, it should be avoided as much
-
as possible.
Finally, a last resort solution (besides
scrapping the board) is to ship the defective
unit back to the manufacturer's repair facility. This method can be quite costly, as the
required turn -around time for a repair
becomes critical.
All the processes discussed above can be
avoided with the use of a Logic Pulser and
Current Tracer. With these test instruments,
array #1; the level at this pin remains HI at all
times.
The Logic Probe is attached next to this
same point. The probe, being a dual
threshold device that detects valid LOs and
HIs, also remains lit at all times. However, it
does dim periodically in sync with the HI signal at the input (pin 12) to this IC.
The pulser is now placed at the trace leaving pin 13 output, and the probe is placed at
the nearest AO address line on pin 8 of any
RAM in array #1. The probe gives the proper
indication when the pulser is activated.
Conclusion: IC22 (74C904) needs to be
replaced, due to an invalid LO fault on pin 13
output.
-
the faulty IC can be located without applying
power to the board, since pulser and tracer
are powered by an external DC supply.
First, all electrolytic capacitors located
across the supply traces should have one of
the leads disconnected from the circuit. The
pulser, set in a continous pulse mode, is
placed at the +5 VDC trace emitting from
pins and A in the upper right corner of the
PCB. (Note: A conventional two -sided logic
board usually places the supply voltage traces into an interleaving, comb -like grid on
one side of the board, while the other side will
usually contain all the logic signals.)
The Current Tracer is then placed near the
pulser, and the sensitivity adjusted for a half
brilliance indication of over 100 milliamps.
The pulser is moved along the large trace
horizontally to the left from this first test point
(Figure 3). We notice that the tracer LED is
extinguished after the third vertical intersecting trace. This vertical column consists of IC
A25 to A30. The pulser is moved to this intersection point, and the tracer now shifted from
the new test point down the vertical supply
trace.
We next notice that the LED is extinguished again when IC A27 is passed. To
verify that IC A27 is the faulty device, the
pulser is placed on pin 14 ( +5 VDC supply),
and the current tracer moved away from that
point. The LED remains extinguished even
when the sensitivity control is reduced to the
1 milliamp range.
Conclusion: IC A27 (SN7400N) needs
replacement due to massive internal circuit
failure, resulting in short circuit of voltage
supply.
MEN
1
-
Figure 2 (left): Partial schematic of Eventide 1745M DDL, showing test positions of Logic
Probe and Clip detailed in Example #2. Figure 3 (below): An illustrative example of how a Logic
Pulser and Curent Tracer can be used to
GROUP
track down a +5 VDC -to- Ground short cirARRAY
cuit on an Ampex ATR -100 Transport ConTO OTHER CS INPUTS IN GROUP
trol card, as detailed in Example #3.
2
1
2
DO
DO
LOGIC PROBE
TEST POINT
IC22 (74C904)
MSB ADDRESS LINES
AO
Al2A13
15
19
74C42 IC23
R -e/p 50
2
CS2
LOGIC CLIP
POSITION #1
October 1982
A5
Al
NOTE: GRID -LIKE PCB
TRACES FOR LOGIC SUPPLY
CURRENT
TRACER
LOGIC
PULSER
LOGIC CLIP
POSITION #2
A30
7410
A38
7400
A39
7404
+5 -VOLT DC
TRACE PIN "A"
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0
EASY SOUND STUDIOS
An Unusual, Low-Cost Conversion
of a Movie Theatre into a
Multi -function Recording Environment
by David Rideau
ost studio owners shudder at the
thought of designing and building a
modern recording facility. And most
have good reason, what with equipment
becoming more sophisticated (and more
expensive) than ever, and construction costs
that have all the ingredients for an accountant's nightmare. But still the recording
world goes around, and many refuse to be
intimidated by these obvious threats, continuing to make gigantic investments in the
latest and greatest that money can buy.
This is all fine and very admirable, but
what about the smaller studio longing to
expand, but which doesn't have the money to
back -up its aspirations? This article relates
the story of two young studio owners who
had one alternative.
The most convenient and reliable method
of obtaining a new recording facility is to
contact one of the competent audio firms that
are designing and building studios for a living. This, theoretically, with good communication between company and client, should
result in a modern well- functioning studio. If
your bank -book (or bank) is behind you.
But there is another choice; Do it Yourself!
It is a phrase that somehow has developed
bad connotations over the years, but which
in our super- inflationary times seems to have
new meaning. Before progressing any
further, it should be pointed out that such an
approach certainly doesn't apply to everyone. To design and construct a modern,
competitive sound studio requires a strong
R -e /p 52
October 1982
background of acoustics in theory and practical application; a knowledge of construction techniques; and, most of all, the will to
work.
This last pre- requisite is, by far, the most
important qualification. If you ask one of the
many who have travelled down the long and
lonely road of the self- constructed studio, you
are sure to find hard work as the one common
denominator. No matter how well prepared
you are with your endeavor, you will most
certainly come upon the unexpected delay.
And, once you're behind schedule, only long
hours and /or working through the weekend
can save you!
The Germ of an Idea
This writer first met Easy Sound's coowner Niels Erik Lund when we were both
working for Westlake Audio, in Los Angeles.
As part of the construction crew that was in
the process of building Westlake's existing
recording complex on Beverly Boulevard, we
were two young aspiring engineers glad for
the chance to sweat 10 hours a day. It was, we
considered, a small price to pay for a theoretical and practical lesson learned from a veteran studio builder. Following completion of
the two Westlake studios, we both continued
with the company as second engineers.
Lund and I became good friends during his
year -long stay in the US, and he often spoke
of my coming to work in the studio that he
and his brother Henrik owned in Denmark.
continued overleaf
.
-
For roughly $10,000, you
can own the ultimate
analog mastering deck the Studer A8ORC half inch two -track recorder.
Beyond your budget?
Well, for about 1/5 the price
you can own a Revox PR99
compact professional
recorder. Its made by the
same company, it draws on
the same wealth of
eng neering expertise, and it
reflects the same philosophy
of design and construction a
philosophy established by Willi
Studer over three decades ago.
j
The PR99's bloodlines are
evident in every detail...in the
precision- machined headblock, the
rugged die -cast chassis, the servo
controlled capstan motor, and the Studer made heads. Professional design features
include a flat faceplate for easy head
access; edit switch to defeat tape lifters and
fast wind latching; tape dump button;
balanced XLR inputs and outputs switchable for
calibrated or uncalibrated mode; and two -way
self -sync with auto input switching. The PR99 may
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The PR99 now comes in console, rack mount
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1982
I
I
li r p
:S:j
TIM
a
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8
Dra
EASY SOUND S'l'l"D1O, Denmark
Finally, the day came when he had to
leave the States, to get back to help his
overworked brother.
A year later I received a phone call
from the Brothers Lund. "How would
you like to come over and make some
Danish hits ?" asked the distant and distorted voice from over the line. "Sounds
groovy," I said thinking at the same
time what life would be without LA's
smog, and the Santa Monica freeway
during rush hour.
Little did I know that I would still be
around two years and one studio completion later.
When I first arrived at Easy Sound, it
was a small but well- equipped studio
located in the basement of their parent's house in the suburbs of Copenhagen. Situated half a block from the
beach, the studio possessed a really
charming recording atmosphere; a
home -cooked Danish meal often was
waiting for you above after your daily
session.
But the location did have its drawbacks, limited space being number one.
It was comfortable for smaller pop and
jazz dates, getting cozy with large group
and string dates (Mrs. Lund often forfeited the use of her dining room for the
latter operation), and impossible for
more than 20 musicians.
Then the inevitable finally happened
time to find a larger, more flexible
location. But, with recording in the US
and the rest of the world in a decline,
any modern studio must be more competitive than ever before. The Brothers
Lund realized this, and took on a "diversify or die" attitude.
-
Choice of Site
First, it was decided to stay in Copenhagen. Considered by many to be the
"Gateway to Europe" and a really
charming, almost fairytale city, Copenhagen is a major stop for groups during
more lengthy European tours. It is also
home for the two brothers, and they
have established many steady clients (a
dying breed) that they would stand to
lose by moving to another area in
Denmark.
The next requirement was a more central location. It's strange for a former
resident of LA to hear, but the old studio
was considered "out of town"
even
though it was only a 20- minute bike ride
(a major source of transportation) from
the city's heart.
Also, the "shell" for the new studio
should not be cost prohibitive. The bottom line was obvious: they could only
afford to pay so much.
The one thing that can be dangerously overlooked, however, is what we
refer to as "The Rebuilding Factor ":
how much you will have to invest in
basic isolating construction costs. That
is to say: what's the noise level of the
R -e /p 54
October 1982
-
surrounding environment of the structure, and its ability to impede the noise
coming from this environment. Isolation is expensive, and could be the most
important point of studio construction.
(Of course, it is also equally important
that the surrounding environment is
protected from the sounds being emitted
from a working studio.)
We all agreed that it would be most
advantageous at this point in time to
invest in a larger structure, for several
reasons. First, Video is here to stay.
Anyone who won't admit that the visual
medium is rapidly having a greater
influence on modern society, and on our
industry in particular, is not being realistic. A recording studio that has capabilities for handling video sessions and
shoots has a much better chance of
survival.
Secondly, we were also very interested
in accommodating larger session work,
particularly of the classical variety. We
had done smaller -scale classical recordings in the old studio, and had grown to
realize that the close -miking method
could never capture the full body and
tone of a group of instruments as effectively as the mike placed some distance
away, where the sound can be allowed to
"develop" (the combination of a balanced sound source, and the correct
acoustical environment). Obviously, the
traditional small and heavily trapped
studio is not the place for this type of
recording.
The last point of our studio "shell"
was to have adequate facilities for the
concert/live recording situation. This
seemed to be a particularly wise field of
endeavor, due to the fact that it could be
useful to many Danish groups who
don't have a large enough budget to
spend several weeks recording and mixing an album. Instead, they could use
two concert evenings, with a few added
dates for "repairs" and mixing. The
group's share of ticket sales could also
be used to offset recording costs.
In theory, all these points were valid,
but where does one find such a location
out in the real world? The one thing on
our side was time. With the existing studio in operation, there was no real time
limit. But, although they would never
admit it, I'm sure Niels and Henrik's
parents were looking forward to getting
their house back from the rock and roll
world!
Over the next few months many prospective sites were investigated
large
homes, shipyards, a steel warehouse
but nothing that could meet all of our
requirements. Then, one day while driving through one of the city's more busy
intersections, Niels Erik spotted a "Til
salg" (For Sale in Danish) sign on an old
film theatre. The location proved to be
almost ideal: in the middle of town; close
to a major intersection; but at the same
time well isolated from traffic.
But what about the cost? The Lund
Brothers decided they were interested in
buying, as opposed to a long -term lease.
Then came the bad news: $430,000, and
it seemed like the owner wasn't interested in coming down in price. It was a
letdown, because the price was definitely out of the ball park in relation to
our projected budget.
The realtor took us to see one other
theatre for sale by the same owner, but it
was not nearly as nice, and the location
- -
Easy Sound co -owner Niels Erik Lund surveys the half-completed studio, just after ceiling
treatment had been completed. In rear can be seen a 1/2-ton steel -beam supporting most of
the inner control -room ceiling weight, prior to completion of the surrounding walls
1
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a
0
DOM
EASY SOUND S'I'l'1)IO. Denmark
in town was far from ideal. So it seemed
that we were back to square one, checking the daily paper and other sources of
realty information. This continued for
almost six months, until we received
another call from the same realtor who
had shown us the theatres. It turned out
that the owner was ready to come down
in price.
As we found out later, the theatre in
which we were interested had been
actually sold to a supermarket chain for
the previous asking price. only to he
rejected later by the county zoning
committee. After several weeks of bartering, all parties agreed to a $210,000
selling price; less than half the original
asking price!
The building shell was more than we
had ever hoped for. A well -constructed
theatre built in 1926, and which originally seated 700 people, the facility had
only been closed for 18 months and was
still in good condition. It was also
equipped with a snack -bar, kitchen, four
toilets, and a lobby. All of these fixtures,
which worked in well with our projected
studio traffic pattern, eventually saved
us thousands of dollars in construction
costs. Unfortunately, the film projectors
had been sold in advance, but the wide
screen was still in perfect condition, and
opened up a possibility that neither the
two brothers or myself had even consifilm scoring.
dered
One thing to note at this point is that
we are working with a limited construction budget of $50,000, which was also to
include the purchase of a new set of stu-
-
The Copenhagen Connection
(...Or how to get the best use from your programmable desk-top calculator)
culating the oblique (three -dimensional)
Here in Denmark we are very fortunate to
have truly the "first in sound and vibration,"
Bruel & Kjeer, literally on our doorstep.
Soon after the building for Easy Sound
Recording was purchased acoustical measurements began, using exclusively B&K
instrumentation, Determining the overall frequency characteristics of the proposed studio
area down to 100 Hz was a relatively simple
operation. But what was happening below this
frequency was vital information, especially for
a room of this size.
The room could be tested with a fair amount
of accuracy using a method that utilizes a digital real -time parallel analyzer and a desk -top
calculator, but the technique is both a lengthy
and complicated operation. It then occured to
us that it might be possible to calculate the
needed information using the wave theory of
room acoustics.
This method, based upon the motion of
sound waves within a three -dimensional
enclosure, is characterized by establishing
boundry conditions that describe mathematically the acoustical properties of the walls,
ceiling, and other surfaces in the room. Of
course, the more irregular the room dimensions, the more difficult it is to calculate, but
we were basically dealing with a (large) rectangular room.
When employing the wave theory, a room is
considered as a complex resonator containing
many normal modes of vibration, each mode
having a characteristic frequency of damped
free vibration. These modes can be exited by
introducing a sound source in the room. The
acoustic energy supplied by the source can be
considered as residing in the standing waves
established in the room.
The characteristic frequency of vibration of
the standing waves depends principally in the
room's size and shape, whereas the damping
of these waves depend mainly on the boundry
conditions. Using the simplest possible
boundry conditions of rigid walls and no damping, we could calculate the room's characteristic frequencies. The acoustical treatment
could then be prescribed accordingly.
This all sounded just wonderful to me while
doing the research. But what about application? I made it as far as calculating the axial
modes (one-dimensional), and realized I would
commit Hari -Karl before correctly cal-
modes.
Conceding that maybe I had gotten in over
my head, I decided to talk to someone else
more qualified. I called Eduardo Fayad, a
Brazilian -born studio designer and owner now
based in Los Angeles. As somebody who has
designed and built studios in the US and
Brazil, and has written specific computer programs employing the wave theory of room
acoustics, Fayad was truly "what the doctor
ordered."
It should be borne in mind that we were
operating on a strict budget, and round-trip
airfare, not to mention the fee for a man of his
talents, were out of the question. But Eduardo
is a good friend, and he had made up his mind
to help us. Even though we felt it was too much
of a personal investment, we were glad to have
the help.
On the first day of Eduardo's stay we
decided to take him out to the B&K facility.
Over the past months we had come to know
many of the company's staff that were always
more helpful in showing us how to get the best
results from their measuring equipment. In
turn, they have used our studio for field testing
prototype microphones.
After discussing Eduardo's programs over
lunch with Stiv Sommer and Ole Brosted, two
employees in the B &K research and development department, Brosted suggested "we
should pass by and say hello to Holger"; he
was speaking of Holger Larsen, one of the
most respected names in his field.
The meeting with Larsen proved to be brief,
but profitable. For 10 minutes he and Fayad
compared computer programs and spoke the
same language. As it turned out, Larsen had a
program quite similar to the one Fayad
planned to apply to our room, but with one
degree more of sophistication (for further
details, see Reference 2). Larsen immediately
gave him a copy of his program lay -out, and
offered us the use of his calculator for our
application. Larsen furnished him with the
neccesary data, and 50 hours of calculation
later we picked -up the results.
Eduardo Fayad then took the results, formulated where our problem areas were and,
through the use of polycylindrical diffusers
and slot resonators, designed a workable solution to our problem areas.
dio monitors. To work within this
budget, most of the design and construction would have to be handled ourselves.
The Lunn Brothers worked out the
basics of the control -room design one
long night, using their imagination,
and two chairs situated in the middle of
Henrik's living room. Later their
sketches were checked against a few
other traditional control -room designs,
and it was uncanny how close they had
come to details, such as monitor placement, using only common sense and
past experience.
They next took the sketches to Thomas Sheel, a friend who was in his last
year of study as an architect in the Danish Royal Academy, and had experience
in studio construction methods through
the various expansion and remodelling
projects of the old Easy Sound studio.
Ile would now do the neccesary drawings needed to apply for a construction
permit, and for zoning office approval.
While waiting for the necessary
clearance to begin construction, we
began prelitninary reverberation time
measurements of the room with the following rented Bruel & Kjaer instruments: 4133 microphone; sound power
source type 4205; rotating microphone
boom 392:3; 4417 building acoustic anal
izer; and alphanumeric printer 2312.
Using this measurement equipment,
several points in the theatre were
checked. The 4417 is one of the latest
additions to the B &K family of measuring instruments, and controls both the
sound source and the rotating microphone boom.
The results were very encouraging
an RT60 of 1.3 seconds at 500 Hz, and a
smooth "musical" curve going from an
RT6O of 2.0 seconds at 100 Hz to an RT6O
of (1.58 seconds at 8 kHz. Of course, these
numbers would all change as we began
the first stage of the studio's transformation, that of removing the theatre
seating. It did prove the room had the
potential to sound good, however, which
was the object of the exercise.
-
-
The Conversion Process
Both brothers had made the habit of
checking the classified section of the
daily paper for items that might aid out
construction process. Not long after we
received the go -ahead to begin construction. Neils Erik spotted a lumber sale ad.
An apartment building was being torn
down on the other side of town, and the
demolition crew was offering great discounts on used lumber. There was one
catch, of course, you had to remove all
the lumber from the building yourself.
What first seemed to be the hard way
to get "B" grade lumber turned out to be
a good deal. The general quality of the
wood was very good and, since we were
literally tearing it out ourselves, it didn't
have nearly as many battle scars usually associated with used lumber. And,
hest of all, we could select for ourselves
the type and size of wood we wanted.
After four days of hard labor we had
nearly half of the wood we would even -
-
October 1982
R -e/ p 57
TUB o
orri
B
EASY SOL' til)
1)10, Denmark
tually need to complete the project. Most
of these were larger beams that would be
very expensive to buy new, and were
much easier to remove from the building
without their being damaged in the
process.
The general plan of attack basically
was to build a control room within the
theatre, which would then become the
studio area. Niels Erik and myself
would be the main construction crew,
augmented by friends and family when
they had the time and will for hard
work. This left Henrik to run the existing studio alone, which meant double
sessions regularly. Still, he often would
come by to help us.
Seat removal was the first step, which
proved to be quite a chore. Each chair
was bolted to the floor in four places,
and had to be loosened from the small
crawl space underneath. After the seats
were removed, the reverberation time
was measured again. As we had more or
less expected, the RT60 was about 1
second longer over the entire frequency
spectrum.
At this point we were in a slight
dilemma. The ceiling had a series of
plaster beams with ornamentation that
were spaced evenly apart, and spanned
the width of the room. We wanted to
View from performance stage area along the length of the studio recording area to the
corner control room. Clearly visible is the acoustic treatment applied to the unusually high
and ornate ceiling. The treatment consists of V- shaped slabs of Rockwool "Rockfon"
insulation suspended on cotton belts to save the cost of contruction a supporting frame.
avoid covering this ornamentation with
the lowering of the entire ceiling, also a
very costly operation. Rockwool International was consulted on the various
possibilities of its insulating materials,
and the company offered us the service
of in -house acousticians to calculate the
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results of any treatment that we might
have in mind.
After two weeks of deliberation, in
which time we also constructed a scale
model of the ceiling to experiment with
the visual effect of the various applications we had in mind, we reached a workable solution. "Rockfon ", a compact,
rigid -type insulation with 41/2 pounds
per cubic foot density, was selected, and
hung between the plaster beams in a
"V" configuration, leaving the ornamention exposed.
The cotton "belts" supporting this
free- hanging configuration could be
attached to the beams easliy, thereby
saving the cost time of constructing a
frame over the entire ceiling. The insulation material could also be ordered in
several colors, but its natural state was
chosen. This turned out to be much
cheaper, and a nice contrast to the
newly painted white ceiling.
After application of the acoustic
treatment for the ceiling, our measurement gear was brought in for the third
time. The results were fine, with an
RT60 of 0.8 seconds of 500 Hz, and the
overall curve relatively free of dips and
peaks.
Isolating the studio area from the
outer environment was one of our more
painful endeavors. Although its main
entrance faces a well -travelled street,
the theatre itself is 130 feet from this
source of noise and vibration. The ceiling is also well isolated with two separate concrete layers, and enough air
space for someone to stand between the
two. Running the length of the theatre
are two air channels enclosed between
these two ceiling layers. These in turn
are connected at mid -point by a third
channel, creating an "H" design. In the
middle of the connecting third channel
is a vent that opens to the roof. This vent
TENORS 114)
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EASY SOUND STUDIOS, MARCH 1982
is fully adjustable, and for the most part
only partially open. But, as an added
precaution, the air channels have all
been lined with a semi -rigid insulation.
The basement area is especially well
isolated and, as we found out later, was
an ice factory built before the turn of the
century.
All of these factors added up to a
background noise level of 22 dB before
we had even touched one roll of insulation material!
What was more our concern, however,
was the noise (in the form of music) we
could be sending out to all our neighbors. Transmission -loss measurements
through the walls proved that we could
eliminate the problem by further insu-
ROYAL THEATER OPERA COMPANY
EASY SOUND STUDIOS, AUGUST 1981
lating the side doors which served as to its original foundation at the point in
original exits for the theatre. This would the structure where the control room
be done through the construction of foundation should be laid. The main
supporting structure was then built restexternal sound locks.
ing entirely on thick rubber (somebody
came up with the idea of using old pieces
Control Room Foundation
Part of the art of building a studio of car tire for this function), on which a
yourself is knowing when to seek out- tongue and groove floor was constructed
side help, but at the same time keeping (Figure 1). Several layers of compact
expenses down. An engineer was found insulation were then laid upon this
to calculate the support requirements of floor, with heavy plastie covering the
the foundation, and the major support- final layer.
After constructing a form in which to
ing beams of the control room. The
engineer had extensive experience with pour the concrete, several layers of steel
special construction problems, and reinforcing rods were laid upon one
wasn't intimidated by our unusual another, to avoid cracks and fissures
that can occur when concrete is resting
requirements.
The theatre floor was stripped down on this type of isolation pad.
EIigU8I
Services
would like to thank
Dionne Warwick o Middle Ear Studios o Dale Peterson
Earl Thomas Conley o Scruggs Sound Studio
Creative Workshop o Nelson Larkin o Norbert Putman
Willie Nelson and the Texas Music Awards
Bob Montgomery o Texas Baroque Ensemble
Newpax Records o RCA o Arista o Third Coast Sound
Doctor Rockit and the Sisters of Mercy o Ernie Winfree
Great Plains Blues Festival o Wishbone Studios
Omega Audio o Buzz Cason
and everyone else who made
our first year incredibly successful!
Oigitai SePvices
John Moran Houston. Texas (713) 520-0201
Tom Semmes Nashville,Tennessee (615) 255 -4609
24trki2trk Digital Recording. Editing. Alasteriny Sony Digital Recorder alci Reuerb Rentals
October 1982
For additional Information circle #49
R -e /p 59
TUB © DE
o
DON
WINDOW CONSTRUCTION
EASY SOUND STUDIO, Denmark
The first isolation room directly adjacent to the control room was also poured
within the same form. and "floating" in
the same manner. But, at the same time,
there is also a complete break in the
foundation between the two, with a
double layer of heavy rubber ensuring
discontinuous construction.
Soon after the concrete had set, the
control room wall construction was
started. The bottom plate of every wall
also rests on a thinner piece of machine
rubber, as the final guarantee of attenuating the transmission of unwanted
acoustical disturbances.
The control room actually consists of
two completely independent structures:
one resting on the studio foundation;
and the other, enclosed within, resting
on the "floating" foundation. The
majority of walls consist of a single stud
construction, both sides being covered
with a sandwich of gypsum board, '/finch, two pounds per cubic foot density
insulation, and gypsum board again
(Figure 2). In addition, the inner walls
were filled with six inches of insulating
material of the same density. The exception were several outer walls, which followed the same formula with the addition of staggered studs.
The second isolation room is also of
the floating variety, and has a special
STAGGERED STUD
CONSTRUCTION
ICH GYPSUM
INCH INSULATION
,,NCH GYPSUM
5 -INCH INSULATION
I
MACHINE
RUBBER
FLOATING FLOOR CONSTRUCTION:
CONCRETE SLAB
INSULATION (3 LAYERS)
T&G FLOOR
T,-,.4aarrtardotD,t,R.Rlf4tcto0406.41[0.030Xt&I...O.Edek'iY.444iealRWG444046YnR414.
SUPPORTING WOODEN
CONSTRUCTION
HEAVY RUBBER
FIGURE
1
EXISTING CONCRETE SLAB
double -door construction to allow for
passage of the studio's concert grand
piano.
When Niels Erik did the layout of this
room, he actually had the stage wall following the sight line from the projection
booth windows to the screen. As a result,
when we show a film using the entire
screen, it will be just inches from "hitting" the isolation room's stage wall,
utilizing the maximum space available.
The same room, divided by a supporting
pillar, has a heavily trapped area and a
more live side with minimal trapping.
The third and smallest isolation room
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doubles as a sound lock to the door,
opening outdoors in the stage area.
The stage, which lies directly beneath
the screen, offers the control room an
excellent view of its entire width. The
supporting structure also rests upon
heavy rubber, isolating it from the studio floor. Beneath the stage is a large
storage area designed to contain the
seating for concerts when not in use.
Just prior to beginning to finish work,
Henrik joined us full -time. Seeing completion of the new facility drawing
nearer, it appeared that all of our clients
had stopped booking time into the existing studio, choosing to postpone their
respective production schedules to coincide with the grand opening. This was
fine, of course, since we would be guaranteed work upon completion. Unfortunately, it also stopped cash flow at a
critical time.
It was a clear case of "time is money ",
so the boys decided to hire two professional carpenters for the final push. It
was also the perfect time too, with such
delicate tasks as door frames, stair construction, and finish woodwork ahead.
Though by this time we were all "semi respectable" carpenters, there were still
some things that were better left to
skilled hands.
One final used purchase saved us
time, and hundreds of dollars. It was
another ad spotted in the paper, where a
bananna warehouse was selling a set of
six freezer doors. We went down to see
them and it was just what we needed
set of six doors complete with jams and
hinges. Although they were old, the
basic design, in which a large handle is
closed and gradually tightens until you
have a perfect seal, was perfect for our
application.
Once the doors had been taken to the
theatre, we began the process of giving
them more mass. Tearing off the inside
panel to expose the original loose insulation, this material was disgarded
leaving only the hollow door. Layer
after layer of gypsum board and '/cinch
insulation was then added, finally ending up with three layers of each. The
door was then recovered with a sheet of
-a
ACTIVE TRAPPING
TRAP OPENING
REAR CONTROL ROOM CONSTRUCTION
4
SINGLE STUD
SANDWICH
CONSTRUCTION
TAPE MACHINE SOFFIT
.V
vL4
FIGURE 2
-inch plywood. This made for a very
heavy door, but the heavy -duty hinges
could easily stand the load and, when
properly mounted, could be opened easily by even a small child.
1/2
Monitor Selection
By now the new control -room monitor
system had arrived. This was one new
piece of electronic equipment to be purchased for the new location, having
most everything else we needed, and the
decision of what make and model to use
took some time.
The first requirement in selecting the
monitor system was accuracy; not only
at medium and high volume, but also at
lower levels. The second consideration
was power. We wanted to be able to play
reasonably loud, and still have a respec-
table amount of headroom. We finally
agreed on the Westlake HR-1 Phase
Coherent, Four-Way Monitoring System. Not only did it meet the previously
mentioned requirements, but Niels Erik
and myself had both worked extensively with the system.
We had now been working intensively
for five months, and 14 -hour days, or
longer, were becoming more common.
But the end was in sight. Niels Erik has
begun to start wiring, while the rest of
us forged ahead with finish work.
layers in the main control -room window. The layers varied slightly in
thickness (0.31, 0.39 and 0.47 inches) to
avoid any common resonant frequency.
Of all the construction dilemmas
heard from studio owners, the installation of glass is somehow the most mentioned. We were lucky to find a fast, efficient company that installed a total of
25 pieces without a single complication.
Being the second most expensive single
investment ($5,000) after the control room monitors, it was quite a relief to
have the job done right the first time.
We had come to the point of no return.
It was just two weeks until our first session. This was a very brave move, booking so soon, since we had just begun
moving equipment in from the old studio, and hadn't even begun wiring the
cue system. Nonetheless, we all felt we
had a decent chance.
Voicing the Control Room
The last few days were spent voicing
the control -room monitors. We first tried
to use the system without equalization,
which looked and sounded very good in
the mid- and lower- frequency region,
but was unfortunately too bright overall. A White Instruments sixth-octave
equalizer was then inserted in the moniGlass: A Critical Detail
Glass is another critical point in the tor signal path, and used to create a genstudio that nobody should ever attempt tle high- frequency rolloff beginning
unless they have extensive experience around 3 kHz, and continuing at a rate
in that area. It was a heavy job for us in of about 2 dB per octave. The B &K 2131
particular, since we chose to have three Real-Time Digital Frequency Analyzer
ONVERTI BLE.
Omni, cardioid, bi- directional or something
in between. Flat or low cut, highly sensitive
or with a 12 dB pad. The DC 63 turns into
anything you
please, but it
\\
Ai
will always be
true to its
sources.
ça.
Manufactured by CTAB, S-265 00 Astorp. Sweden
PROFESSIONAL MICROPHONES
BELGIUM Trans European !kale 02 569 18 23 FINLAND Studiotee 90 556 252 FRANCE MCI France 1 227 25 95 GERMANY EMT -Franz
07825 1011 HONG KONG Studer Revox 5- 412050 JAPAN Continental Far East 03 583 8451 NEW ZEALAND General Video 4-872-574 NORWAY
Pro -Technic 02- 460554 SPAIN SIngieton Production 2283800 SWITZERLAND Audio Bauer 01 64 32 30 UNITED KINGDOM AVM Audio Video Marketing
0632 893092 USA west Cara International 213 821 7898 USA south Swedeks 404 881 9981 USA east Facer 212 370 0032
October 1982
For additional Information circle #51
R -e /p 61
0
EASY SOLINI) STUDIO, Denmark
was used for these adjustments.
The First Sessions
The first thing we noticed in the new
locale was how much musicians enjoyed
playing in the big room. Many times
I've heard musicians complaining that
he can't hear or "feel" his instrument.
This comes from playing in an environment where the tones are literally
sucked into surrounding traps; in the
new room it is quite the opposite.
Modern studio design has learned to
depend on active trapping, especially in
the lower frequencies, to provide isolation between instruments and the
acoustical comfort of the musicians. At
Easy Sound we feel that we have created
a more variable work space, where
through the careful and considerate
planning of a session
such as the
judicious use of carpets and gobos an
engineer can create a more interesting.
yet still intimate recording atmosphere.
You can almost always achieve a
"tight" recording in a reasonable
sounding environment through the use
of close-miking techniques and gobo
placement, but it is very hard to manufacture a genuinely live sound.
Since completion of the studio, Easy
Sound has been fortunate enough to
keep fairly busy and, at the same time,
had the chance to do many different
types of sessions. The first project was a
popular Danish pop-rock group that
Niels Erik was producing and engineering. I soon started with another Danish
act that ran in parallel with Neils' project. These first sessions gave us both an
opportunity to experiment within this
new acoustical environment. Soon after,
Henrik began a series of dates with the
Royal Theatre Opera Company. This
was pure excitement, with a choir that
at times was as many as 60, and a completely different approach to using to
-
-
Control room equipment centers around
an API 2488 console, Studer A800 and Lyrec
TR532 multitracks, Studer, MCI, and ReVox mastering machines, Westlake HR -1 monitors, and dbx, UREI, Eventide, Lexicon, and Orban outboard signal processing units.
of these film dates, with 45 musicians,
proved that the room responds very well
to a larger string session.
Video and Live Concerts
There have been several video recording sessions, with the band hiring an
independent company, and the studio
usually recording the tape for subsequent lip -sync playback. These sessions
have worked well with the large stage,
which provides plenty of room for the
most complex scaffold and lighting setup. Several playback tapes have also
been done for live television broadcasts.
Our first concert at Easy Sound was
coordinated with a private party given
by a major record company for local
record distributors. This functioned
very well, with the guest mixer reported
to be quite pleased with the acoustic
situation. There are also several groups
interested in doing live recordings,
which we hope to arrange in the near
future. Capacity, with a concert seating
arrangement, will be between 350 and
400 people.
room.
Copenhagen has been a major jazz
center in Europe for many years. It has
also been the home of many international artists, including Stan Getz,
Kenny Drew, Ben Webster, Thad Jones
and Niels Pedersen. Easy Sound has
always done a great deal of recordings
within this idiom, beginning with its
first release that Niels Erik recorded on
a ReVox machine some eight years ago.
I now find doing jazz sessions in the new
room very enjoyable, with the opportunity to incorporate a natural reverberation into the recording. It seems that the
"classical" miking technique of finding
a point where the balance between
direct and reverberant sound is optimal,
at times can be also applied to jazz and
pop dates.
Since its opening, Easy Sound has
been the venue for the recording of film
music, the room lending itself well to
classical instrumentation. The largest
R -e /p 62
October 1982
Towards the Future
When speaking with Niels Erik and
Henrik Lund about the future of Easy
Sound, they both maintain a positive
and progressive tone. They're interested
in buying a larger console with automation, but concede that an SMPTE synchronizer would be a more practical and
realistic purchase at this point. With
such an addition, engineers will be able
to get more out of the studio's second
24 -track
machine, and we will be able to
utilize a method of film and video dubbing that Niels Erik has been
developing.
With 1,500 square feet of available
basement area, there are all ready plans
for a small "B" studio, and serious talk
of establishing a video facility. Disk cutting equipment has also been discussed,
and it's one area in which we all are
interested.
All of these things will take time and
money, but Easy Sound's new location
is standing proof that anything, with
the right combination of determination,
skill, and hard work, is possible.
References
1.
"Architectural Acoustics ", by K.B.
Ginn.
"Reverberation Process at Low Frequencies", by H. Larsen; B&K Techni2.
cal Review, Number 4, 1978.
STUDIO DIMENSIONS AND
CONTROL ROOM EQUIPMENT
Main Studio Area: 4,500 square feet.
Ceiling Height: 30 feet.
Stage Area: 475 square feet.
Isolation Room "A ": 200 square feet.
Isolation Room "B ": 100 square feet.
Isolation Room "C ": 65 square feet.
Control Room: 300 square feet.
Basement Area: 1,600 square feet.
RECORDING EQUIPMENT:
Console: API 2488, with auxiliary Neumann
0023.
Multitracks: Studer A800 and Lyrec TR532
24
tracks.
Tape Machines: Studer A80, MCI JH -110,
and ReVox stereo machines.
Noise Reduction: 24 and two -channel
Dolby racks, two-channel dbx, and 2- channel
Teletronix.
Monitor Speakers: Westlake Audio HR -1,
Tannoy, JBL 4311, Yamaha and Auratones;
powered by Crown amplifiers.
Echo: EMT 140 and 240 plates, MICMIX
Master Room, and live chamber.
Outboards: includes dbx, UREI and
Teletronix LA -2 compressor -limiters,
Eventide, Lexicon, and Orban digital delay
and effects units.
Microphones: and extensive collection
that includes several "classics," such as a
Neumann M -49, KM56, SM -2 stereo, and six
U47 tube models, plus five Bruel & Kjaer
mikes, described as being a "personal
favorite" of the author.
NNE
Everything Audio
for the Professional
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Since 1975, we have grown to become the
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recording studios, film industry, broadcast
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16055 Ventura Blvd. Suite 1001
EnYTHINÏO
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Encino, Ca. 91436 (213) 995 -4175
In Orange County (714) 870 -6632
For additional information circle #52
The new UREI Series "A" Time -Aligned'
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From small intimate listening situations to
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Evaluate the combined technology of a
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UREI: The NEW
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Time -Align is a Trademark of E M. Long Assoc.. Oakland. CA.
All referenced Trademarks are property of. or licensed by.
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LIJI
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From One Pro To Another
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See your professional audio products dealer for full technical
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Over the last 10 years MCI (now MCI
Sony) has established itself as a leading
figure in the manufacture of professional multitrack tape recorders. This
has been accomplished (in this author's
opinion) through technical innovation
and budget pricing. A number of MCl/
Sony features have set the trend for
modern day recording, including:
Monitoring logic of the JH -100, -114,
and JH -24 Series
Autolocator systems
Constant tension reel servos
Wrap and azimuth adjustable heads
Ceramic Capstans
One button punch -in and -out, etc.
MCI /Sony machines are modestly
priced and provide very impressive
results, in addition to being a service
person's dream in terms of accessibility.
The number of hits made on MCI
machines is very large but, due to the
price structure, and, I think, technical
"intimidation," MCI equipment has
been somewhat maligned much of its
life. As a maintenance person, this writer has cursed the company many times
myself. (But, there again, I would be
sorely pressed to name a brand that has
not at one time or another been blistered
by my frustrated ravings.) Having been
involved in the care and feeding of MCI
machines for more years than I care to
count, I have been able to watch the
designs evolve and mature. The following article details some of the modifications, set-up procedures, and repair
practices that I have gleaned.
Before launching off into technobabble, however, I feel you should be
warned all machines created equally
are actually different! In pragmatic
terms, while the basic theories of mag-
-
netic recording are applicable to all tape
machines, each and every one, of whatever make, is distictly individual. The
information presented herein is
intended to assist you in case your problems are similar to those described, or
for intellectual perusal. This is 'rot
intended to he a how -to modification
manual.
A good
Getting Started
starting point is to assure that
you have the proper documentation for
your machine. MCI in Fort Lauderdale
has most of the schematics applicable to
your recorder unless you own one of the
original J11-10 prototypes). To see if
your manual is complete, match your
PCBs to the schematics by assembly
number. When all the boards, including
power supplies and chimneys, have cor(
responding prints add an "Interconnect
Harness Diagram" (the transport wiring) and a "Wiring Diagram" (the audio
wiring), and you are complete. Once this
is done the next step is to acquire a full
set of service bulletins for your machine.
These can be obtained through your
local MCI dealer, or from MCI directly.
Always include your machine's date of
manufacture when communicating with
-
-
The Author
Greg Hanks, formerly service manager at
Audiotechniques, Inc., recently formed
New York Technical Support Ltd., which
will specialize in studio installation and
service. Previously chief engineer at Wally
Heider Studios in Hollywood, Hanks is
currently consulting on several film production and editing suites, as well as
recording studios.
MCI.
It is my belief that the proper
approach to tape recorder optimization
begins with obtaining tape position in
travel that is perpendicular to the plane
of tape travel. Tape travel will be at a
fixed and uniform height in a series of
parallel planes, and should be accomp-
lished with minimum tension sufficient
to provide intimate tape -to -head contact. This tension should not exceed 9
ounces, and the tape reference to the
bottom of the tape guides. Hard contact
should not be maintained. However, the
"low -side skew" of the tape (as induced
by slitting tolerance) will be bounded by
the bottom guiding edge.
The center line( s) of the bottom tracks
of all heads should be the same height
above the reference surface of the deck,
and parallel to tape travel. Once these
characteristics are obtained, the heads
should then be adjusted for optimum
wrap, followed by a rough azimuth
alignment. The playback system should
then be conformed to the studio's slowest speed test tape. The bias system
should then be optimized for erase and
bias, at which point standard playback
and record alignments can be
performed.
At this time it might be wise to tell you
a little about the material this article is
supposed to cover. The best arrangement is to break the topics down to subsystems, and discuss each. So here goes.
Transport Systems
The MCI Transport System is comprised of the following components:
1) Take Up and Supply Motors, with
their associated Motor Drive Amplifiers
(located in the Transport power supply)
October 1982
0
R -e /p 65
CARE AND REPAIR OF
JH- SERIES TRANSPORTS
2) Capstan Motor and Tach
3) Analog Torque Board
4) Control Logic Board
Assembly
Phase Lock Loop Board
Interface /Lampdriver Board
7) Solenoid Driver Boards
8) Transport Mother Board
9) Autolocator and Remote Control
Assembly
10) Associated Whirling Widgets and
other Gizmos that help the machine
work, and further confuse the issue.
5)
6)
:
Before discussing the transport system, a brief overview of the operating
theory is in order.
Reeling tensions (in all operating
modes) are controlled by the Analog
Torque Board, and are selected in the
various operating modes by the FET
packs (IH 5011): on older JH-100s designated IC21, 22, and 23; on newer JH114s these are IC16, 19, and 25. The out-
put of the analog torque board drives the
associated motor drive amplifier(s)
located in the transport power supply.
The FET packs are driven by the control
logic card by levels that go high for an
on condition. Inputs to the analog
torque board are:
MCI JH- SERIES MULTITRACK FAMILY TREE
ELECTRONICS
so
MULTITRACK TRANSPORTS
MN
'oMI:
-
JH -5 Electronics
(For Ampex Transports)
JH -10 Transport
1970/71
(All AC Motors and
Synchronous Motors)
A) The supply and take -up motor DC
tachometers, which provide a DC output
directly proportional to the rotational
velocity of their respective shafts, and
which are directly coupled to the motor
shafts.
B) Analog capstan speed, which is a
DC signal directly proportional to the
rotational speed of the capstan, whether
it is a fixed, variable or external drive.
C) A/L analog velocity, which is the
signal generated by the Autolocator to
drive the tape to the desired position.
D) 15 Volts, which provides "hard"
drive to the reel motors for Fast Forward
and Rewind.
Together these input signals are conditional, modified and adjusted to provide the proper operating tensions for
the mode selected.
Older analog torque boards, such as
that used in the JH -100 and JH -110, utilize a voltage -controlled oscillator,
chopper, and active filter to provide for
the tension controls, rather than the
quad multiplier found in the newer
units. The documentation shows ripple
voltage for the analog capstan speed
line, rather than the DC voltage actually necessary. The DC voltage determines the time for which control of
empty reel is active. The shown ripple
should be the maximum ripple on this
line.
The PLL or Phase Lock Loop board
controls the capstan speed. This system
is composed of:
A) Crystal- controlled Oscillator and
Divider
B) Voltage- controlled Oscillator and
Control Voltage Scaling Amplifier
C) Digital Reference Selector (applicable to new style PLLs only -crystal
on lower left of PCB)
JH-10 in JH-16 System
+
JH -8 Electronics
JH -16 Electronics
(Advent of
Autolocator
I
-
JH -100 Multitrack Transport
1973
(AC Reeling Motors, DC
Stripboard Concept)
Capstan
+
i
& Impedance Roller)
Autolocator It
JH -114 Transport
(Dancer Arm &
DC Reeling Motors)
'm 1.°
..
......
..
,-.,
gm
.0 No
JH -24 Electronics
(Transformerless Circuits)
THE PRESENT GENERATION
R -e /p 66
October 1982
..
JH -24 -24 WITH
.
AUTOLOCATOR III
JH- 1108 -2 -VP
STEREO MACHINE
D) Tape Velocity Generator, which
provides the DC voltage proportional to
capstan speed
E) Phase Comparator
F) Motor Starting Circuit and Output
Amplifier.
The system in the fixed -speed mode
works very much like any PLL, i.e. the
reference is divided down, and the speed
selected via different dividers feeding
one side of the phase comparator, the
other side of the phase comparator
being driven by the motor tachometer.
The time difference between the two
signals varies the duty cycle of the signal being fed to the active filter, which
in turn provides a DC signal to control
the drive circuit that powers the motor;
the Tachometer Buffer also feeds the
tape velocity generator. When the variable speed mode is selected, the voltagecontrolled oscillator is selected through
the digital reference selector. The VCO's
frequency is determined by a DC voltage, varied by a potentiometer applied
through the "Vari /Fixed /External"
selector switch.
When in "Ext" mode the source of the
reference may be either a DC voltage, or
a nominal 19.2 kHz external signal. The
digital reference selector will select the
appropriate line through the use of the
The whole truth.
Bipolar transistor poweramplifiers are
obsolete.
Now there's HH MOS -FET technology; with
no thermal nmaway, no secondary breakdown,
simpler circuits, fewer
components and superior high_
end performance forbettersound
quality when reproducing fast
transients.
Naturally, we anticipate
that most professional sound
e e
engineers will be eagerly
-T'
switchingover to MOS -FETat
the first opportunity. So to make
it easier, there are 4 models (all
e e
19" rack mounting) with outputs
I
from 150 to 800 Watts...and multiples thereof, using
the X 300 frequency dividing network.
And once installed,ourcool MOS -FET
amplifiers will perform with so little distortion, that
i.m.d d.f.d.and t.i.m.d.are almost immeasurable by
contemporary standards.
So at last you can boost your input with total
honesty -ar d nothing else.
Graduate to the 80's. MOS-FET.
H H Electronic Inc.,
2500 East Fender Avenue,
Unit 1, Fullerton, California 92631.
(714) -680-4293.
For additional information circle #82
October 1982
0
R -e/p 67
CARE AND REPAIR OF
JH- SERIES TRANSPORTS
re- triggerable one shot, IC18, and NOR
gates, IC16, 17, and 19. When an exter-
nal frequency source is applied it is
selected through the one shot; in the
absence of this signal the VCO is
selected. When there is a DC control
signal applied, it varies the voltage that
controls the frequency of the VCO; in
the absence of a DC voltage, the VCO
runs at a frequency determined by the
"Cal" pot located on the PLL board.
The start time of the capstan is determined by the "slew up" amplifier held at
a negative voltage, which forward
biases CR10, and shuts off the motor.
For start up, the left motor play command applies a positive voltage to R39
and C24, driving the output of this
amplifier positive, back biasing CR10,
and turning the motor over to the motor
amp.
The Control Logic Card does exactly
as its name implies it receives commands from the push switches, and logically converts these to control the
transport and record functions. The
main problem with this card has been
dirty IC sockets, so we do not really have
to get into this area.
The Interface Lamp Driver provides
five different functions that are necessary to the operation of the machine.
These are:
1) Lamp Drivers that provide a logical
low for the lamp to be illuminated.
2) Manual Velocity Control sensor,
-
FIGURE
LM340
-¡
I
LM320
-'V
R29
510
f
T
1
W1r- T
1
05
1
06
/
2N5416
03
MOTOR DRIVE
BOARD
P N 250080087
1
R31
which provides a logical low to the control logic board, when the MVC is
engaged.
3) Autolocator enable line that goes to
the Autolocator is sent from here; if the
"start" button does nothing, check IC6.
4) Ta-ch Generator (or tape counter if
you prefer) buffer, is comprised of IC7
and 8. When you begin to loose counts
with your 'locator, the top of R11 is the
place to look with your scope to see if the
pulse frequency is decreasing.
5) Record Momentary Pulse, and the
Record Hold lines are both buffered by
this heard.
02
V.)
cy,
(Á
o
z
2
1
VR4
680
SHADED AREAS DENOTE MODIFICATIONS
TO JH -110 POWER SUPPLY BOARD
117 VAC
OUTPUT
TP4
1
DTS-423
2
1
LM320
V TP3
NC
INPUT
10
V R2
1
NC
AC NEUT
TP2
LM3401
VR3
01
2N3439
1
VR1
R28
510
FIGURE
INPUT
R30
680
TP1
2
04
08
2N5416
DTS-423
SHADED AREAS DENOTE AREAS OF MODIFICATION. NOTE THAT
FOR CLARITY PARALLEL DEVICE IS ONLY SHOWN ACROSS 07.
MOST NEW MOTOR DRIVE BOARDS HAVE THIS MOD IN SITU
'1'he Solenoid Driver Boards provide
the machine's power switching functions, including pinch -roller solenoids,
head gate rotary solenoid, brake solenoid, lifters, etc. All of these outputs go
low when they are active.
The Mother Board ties these previously mentioned sub -systems together. The interface to and from this
board is done with Molex connectors,
and they are the only problem this
board has. In newer MCI machines
there are two buffer amplifiers on this
board located under the PLL. Not
shown on the interconnect harness
drawing, IC2
the bottom one
buffers the VCO of the PLL, and this
signal goes to the capstan servo programming plug, for use in SMPTE time code systems. The top ICI provides buffering for the capstan tach pulse, which
is also sent to the programming plug for
use with SMPTE. Also on the mother
board is the Run -Time Indicator, which
provides an indication of the amount of
time tape has been running across the
heads. The timer only works in the play
or record modes, and it is also under the
PLL. The lifter command is buffered by
Ql on the mother board.
Something to note at this time is how
to work your way around the MCI
schematics. The easiest way to tie everything together, is to realize that the
interconnect harness drawing shows
what goes to /from the mother board,
and all the connectors that live on the
transport. So, to find out what drives
what, first find the connector and pin
numbers on the board in question, go to
the mother board and locate the path,
and then see where it goes with the interconnect harness diagram.
At this point in time we should
address some of the specific circuit
boards and the problems that they
possess.
-
1)
Power Supplies
Older JH -100s:
-
Problem: Reel motor transistors
R -e /p 68
October 1982
6."
61.6.16.6.66
6.Lig
Low
61.
1111WWO:k
101004A,4 AliAg
stifd
......
V
iiistW11..b;
Full Sail Re
(305) 788660 Doug
Altamont
(Orlando)
For
lion
I
informat'on circle #55
changing transistor types, its mate
should be changed also.
3) Note: When changing any of the TO3 type negative regulators, the case is
the V- input and not ground. If care is
not taken to ensure that the insulating
keep blowing up.
washer and heat compound is used, traFix: Update the circuit to the sche- ces that feed these guys can easily vanmatic of Figure 1, and replace the 1TS ish into smoke.
411 transistors with I)TS 423s, made 4) Odd: After many hours of chasing an
either by Delco or Solitron. Remember increasing number of erratic and internot to subject yourself to the circular mittent problems, one of my clients
failure game; meaning, when the output found that the wire that energizes the
transistors blow they are usually flywheel solenoid on his JH -100 was
accompanied by the driver and the rubbed through. A lesson that we
pre- driver.
relearned was that when there is a prob2) JH -1 14s:
lem with the deck, or electronics, check
Problem: Heat is the enemy of any the integrity of the power!
bi -polar power circuitry. One of the 5) Noteworthy: On some older JHcommon failure modes of the JH -14 and 110s, the t15 and t24 volt regulators
were both LM320 15V and LM340 -15V
-24 is when the "chimney" fan conks
out, the motor drive transistors over- devices. Not shown on the schematic are
heat, and one or more of them short. additional diodes and resistors on the
This turns the corresponding motor ground sensing leg of the 24 -volt regulators. Those familiar with these devices
fully on.
Fix: The easiest diagnostic proce- are aware that the voltage on the output
dure is to remove the chimney, turn the can he increased by removing the
machine on, and unplug the power tran- ground leg, and re- inserting a portion of
sistors until you get to the dud. When the output voltage into this port. This is
you pull the plug on the bad device, exactly what MCI has done on these
inspect the insulation for brittleness machines. Therefore, if your machine
and cracking. For maximum reliability, has a 15 -volt regulator in the 24 -volt
this device should be either an RCA socket, measure the voltage before using
2N3055H or a JAN 2N3055(A1. When a 24 -volt regulator in this position, or
CARE AND REPAIR OF
JH- SERIES TRANSPORTS
FIGURE 3
f
24V
PIN 162 24V
COMMON OF J3
_437
COMMON
39V DC REG
PUSH -PULL
BIAS OSCILLATOR
PLAY HOLDING
SHIELD
39V COMMON
FC3
-04
C4
4
L
1
CR7
,
12
t3
12g11
}8I
Ij
01
RECORD
12t
K1
K3
CRB
PLAY
05
14
CR9
121
Il
t80
1'8
6
-
HI-E0
LO -EO
011 NON -RECORD
08
QiQ MOMENTARY
J2
24V
RECORD
TO
ELECTRONICS
--
13
14
R1
schematic following modifications
detailed in MCI Bulletin #204, dated
July 22, 1976, and which was intended
to improve reliability of the 24 -volt regulator circuit on JH -110 machines; added
components are the pair of 680 and 510
ohm resistors connected across the output and reference legs of the four voltage
regulators.
7) Problem: Punch in clicks on older
JH -100s.
Fix: This problem as it relates to the
power supply is rather simple to fix.
There are other causes of punch in/out
noises on this vintage machine which
will be covered a little later in the article.
Apparently, some JH -10 power supplies
found their way into some of the early
JH -100s that had a different grounding
scheme. I found a service bulletin, dated
August 13, 1975, that covers some additional wiring in the power supply chassis that I will share with you:
"For JH-16 and JH-24 cabinets using
one or more JH-8 supply, the following
modification will be needed. Supply is
identified by the one 12 -pin Cinch Jones
sockets on the top of the supply, and
three internal relays.
1) Power off. Remove each JH-8
supply one at a time. Remove bottom
panel. [Refer to Figure 3.]
2) Connect jumper between pin #4 and
pin #10 of K3. Connect 22 gauge insulated lead from pin #6 to lug of terminal
strip, 24V common.
3) Replace bottom cover and return
supply to same position."
8) Problem: In some installations, utilizing the Melco "Glide Mount" and a
JH -114 with A/L 3, motor noise can
appear on all outputs unless the Autolocator case is electrically isolated from
the mount. The chassis on the 'locator is
at 5 volt ground, and the console chassis
is at Audio ground. If the tape machine
is now brought to Audio ground, a big
loop is formed that puts digital chatter
on the audio.
Analog Torque Board
K2
CR10
else you could inadvertantly end up
with 32+ volts on your 24 -volt line!
Figure 2 shows the power supply
MOMENTARY
RECORD
180
Sometimes on the JH -114 and -24
(through rarely), tension inconsistency
problems crop up. The supply reel tension can be observed using the centering
of the dancer arm; note its position at
the beginning, end and middle of the
reel at both speeds
it should remain
constant at all times. The take -up side is
checked by pushing the pinch roller
away from the capstan in Play (allowing at least 10 seconds after initiation of
Play, to allow the start boost to subside),
and observing that the running speed
does not change. Again, this test is performed at the beginning, middle and
end of the reel in both speeds. If the ten ,sions are deviating, it must be determined if the problem is with the
tachometers, the analog capstan velocity, the quad multiplier, or off-sets
within the system. These elements are
checked as follows, but set the off-set
-
PIN 182 24V
COMMON OF J3 12
1
2 3
5
7
9
1Q 11 12
8
131- 14
K3
K2
K1
MODIFICATION TO JH -8 POWER SUPPLY BOARD TO PREVENT
PUNCH -IN CLICKS ON OLDER JH -100 TRANSPORTS
R -e /p 70
October 1982
nulls first!
Tachometers: Measure the offset voltages at test points one and two in low speed play at a given point in the reel,
then switching to high speed. If working
properly, the voltages at these points
will double.
Analog Capstan Velocity: Measure
the voltage at P11 pin 2 on the analog
torque board in low -speed play. Again,
switching to high -speed play should
double this voltage.
Quad Multiplier (on newer machine):
Measure the output voltage in low -speed
play, then switch to high -speed play.
This voltage, unlike the previous tests,
should not change. To thoroughly
examine this chip for proper operation
some math is necessary. The output of
the quad multiplier is a percentage of
the quotient of the analog capstan voltage divided by the Tach output. These
voltages are to be measured and noted
from the beginning of the reel. Also
measure and note the output of the multiplier. Then perform the same measurements at the end of the reel.
Perform the following calculations:
Output
V /(Analog
Capstan
V /Reel
this point with a current probe you just
won't see anything. If you do get a reading, however, the op -amp is defective.
Also, if in fast wind modes the
machine acts very sluggishly, or throws
loops or performs other nasty behavioural things, check the notes on the
schematic, and make sure that the
board is configured to the required track
format. It is very disturbing to discover
that your two -inch 15/30 IPS machine is
running with a torque board configured
for % -inch 71/2/15 operation.
Repair: On some of the older JH -100
analog torque boards there were some
problems with the plated- through holes.
Installing a jumper (or "z" strap) and
soldering both sides of the board has
solved many intermittent tension problems on several machines. Another useful tip for these older boards is to install
68X -type top turn, multiturn pots in
place of the full reel /empty -reel pots. At
the saine time replace the off-set null
and 50/60 Hz pots. When you find an
older board requiring "z" straps, also
perform the same connection confidence modification to the mother board,
PLL, and control logic boards.
-
Part Two of this article, to be published in next month's issue, will
cover Phase Lock Loop Boards,
Interface Lamp Driver, Motherboard, and Autolocator.
four
important
things
Tach V) =X.
Beginning of the reel "X" should equal
end of reel "X," or be within 10%. If they
do not, replace the chip.
Modulator Circuit (on some of the
older machines, without the multiplier):
This circuit is treated much the same
way as above, with
for the take -up
side Analog Capstan V measured at
pin 6 of EC2, Reel Tach at pin 6 of IC13,
and the Output at pin 6 of IC14. For the
supply, the tach is measured at pin 6 of
ICI 1, and the output at the junction of
R63 and R64. If the tensions cannot be
adjusted to provide the same "X" that is
given in the above math, then the modulator must also be checked. Between
low- and high -speed the duty cycle of the
signal at the base of Q3 should change
-
to remember
about signal
processing
-
by 50%.
Pitfall: When measuring the off-set
nulls of the Analog Torque Board with
an AC- powered instrument (scope,
DVM, etc.) be careful to use one of the
capacitor -minus terminals at the test
point as ground, and make sure the
third pin on the AC cord of the instrument is lifted. Otherwise large DC
offsets are introduced into the reading!
Repair: Sometimes at the end of the 30
IPS reel, you hit play and nothing
happens. Well folks, it could be one of
two things:
1) Too high a hold -back tension
setting;
2) The puck /pinch roller tension isn't
high enough.
I have seen a few occasions where
replacement was the only cure, but usually a quarter to half a turn on the
adjustment nut is enough.
Troubleshooting: When chasing
down tension abberations, it is sometimes necessary to look directly at the
output of the FET pack. This can only be
accomplished by removing the driven
op -amp, since the FET pack feeds the
summing junction, and without reading
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October 1982
0
R-e /p
71
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MICROPHONE AND
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by Rober Carr
Aside from being among the staples of classical and pseudo -classical works, wind
instruments have
found a comfortable niche in show music and jazz, both as solo and ensemble instruments. But their
use as a "section" in R&B and rock and roll currently is limited to the styles of primarily three
well -known groups: Tower of Power, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Chicago. Each of these bands has maintained its respective success for more than a decade, because they developed a distinctive sound that
caught the public's fascination in spite of, or in conjunction with, the onslaught of electronic keyboard
technology and electric guitar "acrobatics."
A look at the methods of recording
these three ensembles can go a long way
towards explaining the current "state of- the -art" in section miking. One point
should be considered first though
how the instruments function in a general sense.
The wind instruments encompass two
families of the orchestra: the woodwinds (clarinet, saxophone, English
horn, oboe, bassoon, flutes, recorder,
piccolo, fife, bagpipes, etc.); and the
brass, itself being comprised of two subgroups. First, there are brass instruments that have a relatively large
amount of cylindrical tubing in their
center section, and a bell that flares
abruptly, such as the trombone, trumpet,
and French horn; and, secondly, "conical" horns, including the flugelhorn,
alto horn, baritone horn and tuba,
whose tubing increases in diameter
from the mouthpiece to its smoother
flaring bello. For immediate convenience, the focus of this article will
remain primarily on the common
members of a horn section
trombones, saxophones, trumpet, and flugelhorn.
Throughout both of these two families
are uniformities and conformities,
which led to the classifications in the
first place. Yet the number of operational variables is still overwhelming.
For an in -depth study of coloration versus design, and an analysis of the various methods of sound production, "The
Physics of Music," a compilation of
reprints from Scientific American, is
highly recommended.
-
-
The audio engineer can only benefit
from possessing a basic understanding
of the mechanics behind these instruments, especially when called upon to
capture a unique horn impression, or
straighten out an incorrect blend that
has resulted in harmonic clashes. Any
attempt to distill the information contained within that scholarly publication
would do justice to neither you, the
reader, nor its writers.
Therefore, what follows represents a
slight departure from the procedure
established in previous miking articles
in this series, and a refrain from
addressing the principles responsible
for producing tonal characteristics of
given wind machines. Instead, it seems
more appropriate to concentrate on the
conditions that an engineer should be
aware of in recording horn sections.
A Soloist's Viewpoint
Electra recording artist John
Klemmer has been making albums with
his saxophone for approximately 15
years, and is now also producing. From
his unique position of working on both
sides of the studio glass, he's able to
provide some valuable insights into the
world of the horn player as an
individual.
At the present time, Klemmer is vacillating between two similar tenor saxophones
gold -plated Selmer Mark VI,
which he uses most of the time, and a
standard, brass Mark VI. "The gold plated horn is very brilliant," he offers.
"It's not so much that there's a lot of
highs, but the gold plating gives a really
-a
powerful sound. We've had difficulty
miking it.
"Even though I've been producing
myself for quite a while, I still go by how
the horn sounds, and how it feels. We
look for a microphone that will tone
down that brightness. I can pick out certain ones that I like, but each engineer
has a different way of using that mike.
So I go by sound and feel."
For a full, open sound, John Klemmer
likes to have distance between his horn
and the microphone. "But I've developed a bad habit from playing so many
joints with one of those cheap mikes,"
he confides. "I used to play with the microphone right in the horn. So what
we've done over the years is set up a
dummy mike that I can stick the horn
into, while the real microphone is placed
at whatever the accurate distance is for
the day; it depends on how hard or soft
I'm playing, the nature of the tune, and
what register I seem to be concentrating
in. The sound is also affected by the
physical condition I'm in for any given
day, and even whether I'm sitting down,
or standing up while playing."
The sound depends a lot on the reed,
too. In a single three - or four-hour
recording session, Klemmer might go
through as many as 10 reeds. "I play so
hard and so intensely that I may blow a
reed out on one take. Changing reeds
can drive engineers nuts, because a new
reed will give the horn a completely different character
either a little 'fluffier,"buzzier,' or whatever. Plus, as I'm
recording, the reed starts breaking in.
The sound can change every 10 minutes,
-
October 1982
R -e /p 73
RECORDING
HORNS
and the engineer has to be aware of
adjusting to that."
Likewise, brass instruments are
equally as susceptible to a number of
variables, such as the bore and shape of
the mouthpiece, and the size, shape and
coating of the horn.
Jerry Hey is a first -call player for all
the Los Angeles sessions. Most of his
dates involve overdub, section work. He
uses a Calicchio trumpet, and a Flugelhorn by Couesnon. "I prefer a brighter
trumpet, and a Calicchio is the brightest
around. For what I do, which is pretty
much hard, loud playing on dates for
Earth, Wind & Fire, or Michael Jackson,
a 'dark' trumpet doesn't seem to print on
tape as well. Even if the soft- trumpet
sound is turned up loud, it still doesn't
get that same intensity. The Calicchio
generates that intensity with no problem. I've found that if I play another
instrument in a section with two guys
playing Calicchios, I can't balance with
them. The Calicchio is not my favorite
horn for solo work but, in a section, it's
the best."
For ligitimate solo work, Hey recommends a Bach C, and for jazz soloing, a
Bach B -flat. "Choosing the right horn
for a particular application gets pretty
involved. Just the mouthpiece alone will
really change the sound. As an example,
Bob Reeves, here in LA, can make any
style of mouthpiece to any dimensions
that will give you any sound you want."
Obviously, with all the possible combinations of instruments, mouthpieces,
players, and musical styles that an
engineer can encounter, even generalities are hard to come by. Every date is
an individual, problem -solving situation, yet there are several basic ways to
approach a horn section that lead to a
solid starting point.
Humberto Gatica
0 October
gio Moroder.
section sound."
Because musicians like Jerry Hey and
Chicago's Jimmy Pankow have incredible power when they play, Gatica looks
for miking techniques that will give him
a "thickness" to the horns. "I've found
that the harder a player blows, the
thinner the horns sound. If I use the
wrong mike, all you hear is sort of a high
distortion."
Distance is critical in these cases, too,
Gatica offers. A microphone positioned
too close or too far away will cause individual problems that need to be overcome. "I like to let the horns 'breathe.'
The closer the mike is to any brass, the
more the amount of space within the
brass section tends to be limited, and the
overall effect will sound very dead,
when you put it in the mix. Then you
have to add echo, and /or EQ, and that's
when the sound gets lost completely.
"On the other hand, if the microphone
gets too far away, the sound gets spread
apart, and it's gone. You get such a
'roomy' sound that there's nothing to
work with. I like to be able to control
how far the sound travels without losing
it. You have to pick that optimum dis-
- Chicago
Chicago represent an excellent example of a small horn section with a definitive sound, and Humberto Gatica offers
the following ideas culled from his years
of recording all kinds of horn combinations, and explains how he applied them
to the recent Chicago XVI sessions.
Most of Gatica's horn dates are done
as overdubs, he says, which affords him
flexibility in terms of player placement,
and using room ambience to enhance
the tracks. "I never like having all the
horns face one end of the room; that
never worked for me. I like to have the
trumpets and the trombones facing
each other for two reasons. First of all,
eye contact is very important. Usually
the trumpet player is the leader, and he
gives all the cues. Secondly, by blowing
towards one another, a natural combination of the instruments' harmonics
creates a warm sound, even when they
are blowing really hard. Taking advantage of that leakage can improve the
R -e /p 74
a first -call trumpet /flugel
horn player who came to Los Angeles from
Hawaii about six years ago with a group
called Seawind. After four albums he started
doing dates in town, and now gets regular
calls from producers and artists including
Quincy Jones, David Foster, Earth, Wind &
Fire, Elton John, Donna Summer, and Gior-
JERRY HEY is
1982
tance where the sound is going to retain
all the fullness and richness."
Usually, the standard section that
Humberto Gatica works with is three
trumpets, two saxes, and three trombones; his set -up and microphone selections are shown in Figure 1.
The choice of a Neumann U -47 tube
mike for the trumpets is placed a good
nine or 10 feet from the source. Regardless of how many horns there are in that
trumpet section, Gatica uses only one
microphone. "Sometimes the gain is
extremely huge, and I have to add a 10
dB pad at the mike input. Then I can
open my pre -amp any way I want, and
bring the faders up to where I have the
cleanest, most punchy sound. If there is
any balancing necessary within the
trumpets, I request that the first or
second trumpet move farther back, forward, or whatever, depending on the
parts."
Session trumpet player Jerry Hey
presents a musician's perspective: "I
generally prefer one mike for the
trumpets. It's much easier for the players to balance themselves, than it is for
the engineer to set up one mike per person, and try to achieve a balance in the
control room. Trombones are a little
harder to play into one microphone,
because the slides, when they're in the
extended position, tend to hit each
other! And looking across their bells to
the music gets a little more difficult for
the players. They usually prefer one
mike apiece, and the same with the
saxes, because they don't play at the
same volume as the brass. One mike for
all the saxes would be a little too much
room."
Humberto Gatica sets up one Neumann U -87 with a 10 dB pad per trombone, the bell of which is usually about
an arm to an arm -and -a -half distance
away. "I have to be careful with the distance. The farther away I get from the
'bones, the more trumpet leakage I get in
the 'bone mikes. But the individual microphones give me good control, because
each trombone is usually playing a different part."
The saxes, too, get separate microNeumann U -47 FETs about
phones
18 inches from the bell, again to avoid
trumpet leakage. If this isn't sufficient
separation, Gatica will put a baffle
dead side towards the saxes approximately an arm's length in front of the
bell. This is not an absolute rule, but a
possible solution should the need arise.
Gatica is concerned about separating
all the parts within one track. "I should
be able to hear a lot of space between the
trumpets, 'bones and saxes, and also be
able to pick out each trumpet, let's say,
when they play different parts. That's
very hard to get when they play hard
and aggressively. If the mike is too
close, or I choose the wrong one, the
sound begins to choke. It seems that
there's this huge amount of energy that
gets almost compressed, and the sepa -,
-
JOHN KLEMMER started studying classical alto sax at the age of 11, but soon
switched to tenor to play the music of Elvis
Presley, Little Richard, and Fats Domino in
rock and roll bands. By the age of 19 he had
his first record deal with Chess Cadet. His
third album for that label, Blowin' Gold in
1969, is still regarded as one of the premier
jazz /rock fusion albums, due in no small part
to Klemmer's use of electronic effects, especially Echoplex, on saxophone. To date, he
has 22 albums to his credit as a solo performer, and has recorded or performed with
such names as Don Ellis, Oliver Nelson,
John Lee Hooker, Nancy Wilson, and Steeley Dan.
-
-
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October 1982
R -e /p 75
each other, and the sax in the base of the
"U" (Figure 2). What did vary was the
distance between the trumpet and microphone now four feet instead of nine
RECORDING
HORNS
or 10.
ration disappears. When the mike is
overloaded, the overall horn sound is
small within the track.
"The room can be a factor, too. The
studio changes with changes in temperature, and so does the horn. Even with
good control of the environment, it's
important to go into the studio and see
how the room sounds. A lot of times you
could be dealing with sound that is thin
in the studio. Then you have to move
people around to take advantage of the
acoustics. I've been in rooms that are too
dead, and trying to create that separation in there is extremely difficult. I like
to put players in a place where the ceiling is high, again so the horns can
breathe."
To add fullness to the sound, Gatica
has found that an additional microphone, such as a Schoeps CMC5 -U,
hung in the center of the section about
eight or nine feet above the floor, and
recorded on a separate track, helps capture all the harmonics that are ringing
together. By putting that track on top of
the overall mix, the technique can create
more depth in a small, dead room.
He tries to avoid any equalization
when recording horns, feeling that EQ
generally takes away from the real
sound. Equalizing the instruments one
by one creates an undesirable harmonic
distortion once they are all blended
together again, he feels. At the most,
Gatica may add a 2 dB boost at800 Hz to
the trumpets, but only if the sound is
still thin, and he can't get what he
wants with mike techniques. He will,
however, add "just a hair" of limiting on
the overall blend, in order to maintain a
very consistent peak. Using a UREI LA2 limiter, he sets the threshold to the
loudest passage in the music, which lets
the power of the brass through without
any "dangerous" fluctuations in level.
Gatica prefers to commit himself to
the appropriate mix during the recording process, and usually chooses to keep
the trumpets a little up front. "Those are
the instruments that have the bite; the
initial attack. The 'bones are down, and
the saxes are in the middle in terms of
relative levels. That's the balance we
use to create depth."
But he does warn that "If it's an R &B
tune where the brass lines have a lot of
movement, like an Earth, Wind & Fire
or Tower or Power style, I like to keep the
section in the track by raising their level
just a hair above where I normally keep
them. Instead of mixing the trumpets
out in front, I try to keep all the levels
more even. That way, wherever I put the
brass in the mix later on, I can still hear
all the parts within the section. If I leave
the trumpets a little out in front, that's
all I hear, and the rest of the instruget lost."
R -e /p 76
October 1982
HUMBERTO GATICA started
The band features the trombone,
meaning that the horn mix is slightly
'bone heavy. The other aspect of their
sound is the unison -line arrangements
on, for example, "Waiting for You to
Decide," and "What Can I Say." Humberto Gatica would let the players balance themselves in the studio, lay them
all on one track, and double the same
part for a spread and fullness.
Where the trumpet, for example, temporarily switches to flugelhorn in the
middle of a tune, he recalls, "I'd rather
punch in those sections on the same
track later on. That way I get a chance
maybe bring it
to adjust the mike
closer, because I like close -miking on the
flugelhorn. So we go through the entire
song, double the parts, change the
mikes, and punch in the flugelhorn or
flute overdubs on the same tracks. When
I mix, I just bring in those two faders,
and I know I have a perfect left and
right with my horns.
"There are three tracks on the [Chicago XVI] album where we recorded
three separate mixes of horns "What
Can I Say," "What You Missing," and
"Bad Advice." One track was the way it
his career
janitor and golfer at MGM Recording
Studios a little over a decade ago. During
that time he's accumulated at least two
dozen Gold and/or Platinum records with
artists like Hall and Oates, Kenny Rogers,
Average White Band, Leo Sayer, the Tubes
and, most recently, Chicago.
as a
-
Chicago XVI Sessions
Chicago has only three horn players
but
trumpet, trombone, and sax
Gatica still used three mikes (a U -47
tube, U -87, and a U -47 FET, respectively). Their physical arrangement in
the studio also remained in a IJ- shape,
with the trumpet and trombone facing
-
-
FIGURE
-
-
1
SAXOPHONE
SAXOPHONE
II
FOOT
0
U -47 FET
U-47 FET
4FEET
SCHOEPS ABOUT
U-87
8 TO 9 FEET
FROM FLOOR
(E OUIOISTANT
9 FEET
FROM TRUMPETS
ANO TROMBONES)
2'2 FEET
8'h FEET
U-87
U
FIGURE
-47 TUBE
2
SAXOPHONE
1
FOOT
U -47 FET
U -47
4
TUBE
FEET
FEET
SCHOEPS
10 -12 FEET
U-87
,AP9.9'9%%-;
.
,, ,,,,.,,,..
.
_
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are capable of completely'
the room
covering the concrete block walls. The
curtains can be opened or closed independently to acoustically control the
reflection and absorption characteristis
normally is a little 'bone heavy; the
of any area of the room.
second track I featured the trumpet a bit
"Without the curtains, the mid -range
more; and the third pass was just a hair
reverberation time is very long," says
more sax. If I needed more of any instuGuzauski. "The low -end reverb really
ment later on, I was protected, since I
isn't a problem with the horns. Any
could bring up whatever track was lackstanding wave in a room this size is far
ing. The blend that seemed to work well
below the fundamental of anything
was [achieved by] placing the first track
we're concerned with. The high- frequon the left, the trumpet on the right, and
ency decay time is not really very long,
a little of the `sax -mix' track in the
because of the concrete block's porous
middle."
At the age of 16, MICK GUZAUSKI built a
surface. So what we're really talking
On songs where the arrangements
recording studio in his basement, which later
about controlling is reverberation from
were quite involved, doubling and tribecame PCI Recording of Rochester, New
about 200 or 300 Hz, up to about probapling yielded such a bright section
York. In 1971, he began working with Chuck
bly 5 kHz. With the absorption of the
sound that it resembled a big band. In
Mangione, and continued as engineer
drapes on 50% of the wall surface, we
those instances, Gatica recorded either
through the Fun and Games album that
can keep that time down to about a
two stereo tracks, or just each instrucontinued the official theme song of the Lake
second and a half."
ment on a separate track. He still took
Placid Olympics. By 1978, Guzauski decided
The horn section for the EW &F sesadvantage of the leakage by putting the
to go independent in Los Angeles, and has
sions
consisted of three trumpets, three
overhead room mike in the mix to marry
since completed the last two projects for
trombones
and two saxes. Like Humthe tracks together.
Earth, Wind & Fire, as well as work for Cher,
berto Gatica, Guzauski set up only one
Monitor levels he keeps very low: "By
Lani Hall, and Peter Mclan.
microphone for the three trumpets, but
monitoring at loud levels, everything
his choice was a Neumann U -48A set to
sounds great. You never hear if the mike
is breaking up, or the pre -amp is a little Fire's Raise album, and is presently a cardioid pattern. "Using two mikes
unless they're in a X/Y pattern
too hot. Then it shows up in the final recording their new LP, due for release
in November '82. All of the horn parts would cause phase problems," he says.
mix, or on the radio. That's too late."
were cut in a large room (48 -foot wide by "Because the sound is going every70 long by 32 high) at The Complex, in where, I didn't want to pick it up from
Mick Guzauski
west Los Angeles. Two separate sets of two different instances that are pretty
Earth, Wind & Fire
close to each other. The section was
Mick Guzauski completed the horn thick theatre-type, multiple curtains
and string overdubs for Earth, Wind & one each for the top and bottom half of doubled on this album, and the final mix
is two stereo pairs mirror -imaged to
each other. There's really no reason for
X/Y stereo on the trumpet section."
The three trombones played into three
Neumann U -67s, and two AKG C414s
L
were set up for-as many saxes. All of the
o)
-musicians played towards the north
L
wall for one hard reflection. The 12 -foot
distance let them hear pretty well,
because the first reflections came back
at them in a very short amount of time
(Figure 3).
In addition to the close miking, a pair
of cardioid- patterned AKG C12As in an
X/Y configuration were hung facing out
about a foot from the wall, and at a
height of approximately 10 feet.
Guzauski points out that the mikes
rejected a lot of that first reflection, "but
The most respected audiophile -quality power amplifier line in
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with them years of hands -on experience in sound -studios, where they
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of reverb. The ambience was pretty conhave proven their unique accuracy; on the road, where they have
trolled, because the close mikes were all
proven absolutely unmatched reliability; in hundreds of professional
cardioid too, and facing towards the
installations all over the world, where they continue to prove every
players. They rejected a lot of the first
reflection, and didn't get that much of
day that for uses requiring flawless sonic quality, tremendous load the room reverberation. The C12As, at
driving ability and zero down -time, Bryston has no equal.
the 10 -foot height, got very little direct
sound. We didn't have a phase problem
Discover the advantages of the Bryston philosophy for sonic
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the first reflection, and rejecting it anyFor further, more detailed information, and a list of dealers in
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Even though Earth, Wind & Fire is
known
for their fast, intricate horn
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RECORDING
HORNS
mikes get too hot in the mix for most of
the fast passages. The major advantage
was the depth that the room added to the
trombones in the lower registers.
Mick Guzauski choose primarily tubetype mikes, because he finds they have a
tendency to reject a good deal of the
"spitting" harshness that is characteristic of close miking. "Effectively, they
provide more distance between the horn
and the mike when you have them up
close, but you maintain the advantage
of keeping the room sound under control
with a close mike."
The U -48A on trumpets is similar to
the well -known U -47, but has a slightly
newer capsule. According to Guzauski,
the two models sound similar, and
neither have a switchable pad. But the
pre-amp in the 48A is set for 12 dB less
gain, which translates into 12 dB more
headroom, and no problem with over-
loading.
He avoided compression and limiting
during the recording process, because
the horn section was so consistent; all
the levels were easily controlled through
manual gain riding. Likewise, very little
EQ was necessary either, but may be
required while mixing, he offers,
"depending on the rest of the tracks and
how the horns fit in the mix. For the
trumpets I probably added 2 or 3 dB of
'peaking' centered at about 200 Hz for a
little warmth. The U-67s for the 'bones
are very mellow -sounding mikes. I did
add some top: a 2 dB shelf starting at
around 7 kHz. I boosted the bottom a
little bit, too: a peak at around 100 Hz. I
think I shelved the saxes, and added
about 2 dB on a 10 kHz shelf. The room
mikes were flat."
The new album was recorded simultaneously on three reels
master tape
and two slaves, although mixing will be
handled with just two machines. Some
tunes have over 50 tracks (many of them
vocal overdubs), so there was plenty of
room for horn tracks.
Track assignments on the first pass
breaks down to one track each for
trumpets, trombones, and saxes, and
two tracks for the stereo room mike. All
five will eventually end up as one stereo
pair. The double was mixed to a stereo
pair on two tracks during recording
with the same perspective.
"I had all the mikes coming in
through separate inputs, and bussed to
five tracks," Guzauski explains. "Those
busses returned through five faders
and, in turn, were mixed to two more
busses. I could record the second pass of
five tracks at any level I wanted, and
then mix them to a pair of stereo tracks
while recording. If we need more of any
individual instrument, we have control
of that through the first tracks, using
the second stereo pair as the approximate mix."
LARRY BROWN served as engi
neer for the first modern direct disk record
for Sheffield Lab. Again in 1971 he engi
neered Sheffield's second release, The Missing Linc. Over the last several years Brown's
reputation has grown, not only as an
engineer -producer, but as one of the finest
drummers in Los Angeles, an excellent keyboard player, as well as a composer. In 1977
Brown and his partner opened The Pasha
Music House, Hollywood, which comprises
two state -of-the -art 24 -track rooms.
In 1968
Larry Brown
- Tower of Power
Over the past decade, Tower of Power's horns have grown to be probably
one of the most sought -after sections in
the music business. Larry Brown,
equally well-known around Los Angeles
as an accomplished musician, and as an
engineer, especially for his direct-todisk sessions for Sheffield Labs, has
worked with Tower of Power on two
separate projects. One was a direct session with the entire group [see October
1981 issue of R-e /p
Ed), and the
-
AKG
IN
-a
R -e/p 80
0 October
1982
X Y
C -12A
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G
0O
AFr
S
--
MIKES
0
CONFIGURATION
d0
oc.
second, an overdub horn date for Peter
Noone's last album project.
"I'm a purist when it comes to recording horn sections," Brown concedes. "I
feel that `less is best,' and try to use as
few mikes as I can. I'm not one to put a
mike in front of every player, unless the
guys are reading music off stands, or
don't know how to play as a section. To
me, tight miking a horn section just
doesn't sound real. If you get guys, be it
horn players, a rhythm section, or whatever, who listen to each other, and don't
try to outplay each other, you can get
away with a minimum amount of miking, and a maximum amount of sound.
If the guys don't listen to each other,
and don't balance, you have to resort to
heavy miking, and a lot of balancing in
the control room.
On the Tower of Power direct date,
Brown used just one stereo microphone:
a Sheffield lab, line-level mike in an
M/S configuration, which was positioned, basically, equidistant from all the
horns (Figure 4). "We went back to the
old days of radio miking, when they put
marks on the floor," he remembers. "At
rehearsal we found a place where the
tenor player, for instance, could stand in
order to get the right balance. When it
came time for the solo, he would move to
his mark, and then move back into the
section when he was finished. I was trying to avoid riding the faders, or doing
anything unnatural. I wanted the session to sound as much like a live performance as I could."
Sheffield's studio on the MGM lot in
Los Angeles is quite large at least 85
feet long according to Brown so additional reverb and echo were not necessary. He placed two ambience mikes
C414
U-67
®
,y
C414
U-48A
U-67
®
o 0
Ø
12
FEET
O+Oe
5P
TROMBONES
ROOM MEASURES
48 -FOOT WIDE
BY 70 LONG, BY
33 -FOOT
HIGH
Figure 3: Room layout for Earth, Wind & Fire horn overdubs at The Complex, Los
Angeles. Engineer: Mick Guzauski. The three trumpets are located four feet from
their single U -48A microphone, while the pairs of trombones and saxophones are
positioned 18 inches away from their respective individual U -67 and C -414 mikes.
ss'
BARITONE
SAXOPHONE
RECORDING
HORNS
about 60 feet away from the section.
However, he did take advantage of the
EMT 140 plate that was there, by putting a 30 to 50 millisecond delay (not
enough for a slap) on the horn send to
the chamber.
"There's a lot of space around the
horns," says Brown. "You feel the width
of the room. The date was R& B, and we
didn't really want that 'total presence.'
We wanted a natural, live sound where
the horns felt like part of the band. The
main objective was to catch the band
sounding exactly like they do in that
room, without fabrication of a 'studio'
sound."
Brown didn't use any limiting or
compression on the date either, and
reports that he had no trouble with
transient spikes or overloads. "I don't
have anything against limiting and
compression. But a horn section like
Tower of Power plays so well that you
don't really deal with that kind of problem. There isn't that one guy who honks
through the section, and sticks out like a
sore thumb. No matter what they do,
they always play as a section. [fit was a
normal session, I probably couldn't
\ have gotten away with this."
\Also like his colleagues, Brown
4',
6
FEET
FEET
4
FEET
SHEFFIELD M/S
STEREO MIKE
Figure 4: Instrument positions and orientations for Tower of Power's horn section
during overdub sessions at Sheffield Studio, Culver City. Engineer: Larry Brown. The
centrally -located Sheffield M/S tube microphone shown here in profile, rather than
side -on to the instruments utilizes the same C 12 capsule used in the AKG 251 mike,
linked to a custom -designed tube pre -amplifier.
-
-
employed very little equalization. He tube pre- amplifier designed by Sherattributes this to the quality of the Shef- wood Sax; specs are within 0.2 dB from
field microphone la joint development 15 Hz to 17 kHz, 116 dB signal -to -noise
between AKG and Sheffield Labs, and ratio, and under 0.009% THI) at +10 dBm
Ed].
which uses the same C12 capsule found
"The live record doesn't sound 'hypein the C251, mated to a transformerless,
-
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The 370 will make "new"
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For additional Information circle #62
1.
October 1982 0 R-e /p 81
RECORDING
HORNS
TROMBONE
-
4
Figure 5: Microphone layout for Tower
of Power horns used on overdub date
for Peter Noone song, "Give Me a Little More Time." The pair of MILAB LC25 cardioid mikes are positioned close
up to either side of the 18 -inch baf
Engineer: Larry Brown.
where the engineer needs some acoustic
control. In a way, I like the imaging on
this set -up better than the M/S stereo,
because it's a little more 'Hi -Fi.' The
only complaint I got on the direct album
was that, because it was recorded M/S
and very natural, some people really
didn't feel it was quite 'hype -y' enough
svfoolcoG
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October 1982
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as far as the left and right spread. By
going with this technique, you get a
really nice spreads, especially through a
pair of headphones."
In the mix, the horns are panned hard
left and right. The baritone sax and
'bone end up being a little mid -right and
mid -left, respectively, with the biggest
spread between trumpet and alto sax.
There were no distant mikes at this
session at The Pasha Music House studio. "I was dealing with a pretty dead
studio environment," Brown recalls.
"Because of the baffle, this is a real upfront, 'hit- you -right -in- the -face' horn
sound; it's like they're sitting in your
lap. There's a good amount of air around
the section, but it's not a big 'roomy' air
it's like a 'presenty' air. This is basically a rock and roll date, and I needed
the horns to cut through a pretty popping rhythm section."
As a purist, whenever feasible he
eshews as much electronics as possible
by plugging directly into the tape
machine. If not, he will at least eliminate the EQ and other non -essential sections of the console. "Whatever I can
avoid while recording helps me get the
horns back a little more real. Both the
MILAB and Sheffield microphones are
transformerless. And without trans formerers in the board, the transient
response is better. I think it's much more
realistic, unless you want that softer
sound, like a jazz date, or a flugelhorn
solo. The specials I've done for CBS
Cable, and the musicals outside of rock
and roll and R &B, tend to demand a
little softer horn sound. Instead of a
condenser mike, I'll go to an RCA 77 or
44 ribbon on brass. The sound is a little
smoother, and more legitimate. The ribbons won't clip on top like a condenser
-
IAeosI,IOO ISO
12131
MILAB
LC-25
FOAM BAFFLE
s\ic
.1\1G
FEET
t18INCHESi
MILAB
LC-25
at all."
The Peter Noone date, an album for
Johnson Records with producer Spencer
Proffer, was basically a 24 -track overdub session that involved just the Tower
of Power horns. Larry Brown's choice
for microphones was a pair of MILAB
LC -25s, which also feature a line -level
ge
FEET
4
-
output like the Sheffield, but are factory produced. One mike is attached on the
top edge of each side of a four -foot -high
foam baffle (Figure 5). Both microphones exhibit a cardioid pattern facing
the band. Brown refers to this as a
'pseudo- binaural' technique, because
the width of the baffle approximates the
size of a human head (one foot).
"I had the horn section set up as they
normally would for a live performance,"
he says, "and I let them balance within
themselves. Sometimes that's not possible, like on a heavy electric session,
sq+0
SAX
4TO
Sy
-f
y' or sound processed. We were dealing
with two modified [Quantum] QM -8
hoards with no EQ just 16 faders. We
brought in some UREI 500 Equalizers
as outboard gear, but the Sheffield mike
is, for the most part, virtually flat from
20 Hz to 20 kHz. We ended up rolling -off
a teeny bit of top end
about 2 dB at 15
because the sound was just a
kHz
little 'bite -y.' We didn't add any bottom
-
TF
BARITONE
500
o
mike."
Of real concern was the fact that the
condensers would clip on these Tower of
Power sessions. The level at the front of
the microphone was measured at 125 dB
SPL. Fortunately, Brown didn't have to
attenuate the LC -25s, but the Sheffield
on the direct date required the use of its
internal pad.
Although Brown has used the techniques before, doubling and tripling
didn't seem appropriate for Tower's
tracks. "In both cases, Tower wanted a
loose, live horn sound, as opposed to a
tight double -horn sound. I always hear
a kind of funny phasing sound from
double tracking that takes away some of
not so much with the
the realism
reeds as I do with the brass. It's especially noticeable when the same musicians use the same horns. To get around
that, I'll either have players change
positions a little bit, or change horns, if
they can. Maybe have the trumpets go to
flugels, or whatever. A lot of people like
that sound. Quite often, for rock and
roll, you look for that phasing."
-
Odds and Ends ...
Occasionally, a section will call for a
blend with a flute, or a clarinet. While it
is possible to record these instruments
with the brass and saxes, it may not
always be the most practical method. A
couple of miking suggestions are submitted for approval:
In an overdub situation, Mick
Guzauski positions the microphone
Schoeps CMC -5U, if it's available, or an
AKG C452
at approximately a 45degree angle above, and 18 inches
behind the flute.
Humberto Gatica recommends a Neumann U -47 FET. The placement is also
a 45-degree angle above the instrument,
but about a foot in front. "In most
arrangements," he says, "any time the
flutes or clarinets are used, the music in
the section is really soft. If they are playing in conjunction with the brass, I
would still mix them all together on one
track, as though they were sax parts. I'd
rather go through the struggle of doing
the mix at the time of the recording.
Single tracks of parts never give me the
same sound as if the instruments are
recorded as a section."
When the arrangement calls for a clarinet and flute double on the same track
(not to be confused with doubletracking), Gatica places the microphone
about 30 degrees below the player's
mouth, and 18 inches away. The mike is
far enough from the player's embouchure to reject any wind noise, and
spaced appropriately to pick up either
instrument. "The arrangement will
probably require a lot of space," he cautions, "and you don't want a microphone any closer than that.dt helps add
more depth to the music."
For television mixing, Larry Brown
finds he has to go a little overboard with
equalization in order for the sound to
come across as being natural. "In directto -disk work, you're dealing with a
really pure sound source, where 'less is
more'; the subtleties are obvious and
-
-a
audible. The television medium is nature can accomplish is to prove con -'
unnatural, unless you've lost the hear- clusively that audio engineering is
ing in one ear, and you can't hear any somewhere between in inexact science,
bass or treble with the other; nobody and an extremely sophisticated art
hears in mono. The limited response form. All engineers have "tricks" that
means that both ends of the frequency work for them and, in most cases, will
spectrum will get lost, and the final readily admit that they couldn't do their
broadcast copy will be down a few gen- job so well if it wasn't for the quality of
musicianship they deal with.
erations. I go for a little more top -end
Extract from this piece the informaand boost the bot10 kHz and above
tom. Echo also gets lost, so I add more of tion that is applicable to your individual
NMI situation, and experiment constantly.
that."
And above all, listen to the music, and
* * *
your own feelings. If a track feels good,
chances are it will touch someone else.
About the best that any article of this That's the only secret.
-
-
/
The Last Generation of Analog Audio
The last generation of analog audio recorders shall be
analog in the audio signal path only. All else shall be
under digital control. A sophisticated "nervous system"
of microprocessors, RAM's, EPROM's, and digitally
controlled pad networks shall direct all transport
functions, all audio and bias switching, and all setting
of audio parameters: bias, erase, level, and EQ. A
variety of user functions shall be field programmable to
allow unprecedented operational flexibility. A SMPTE
time code system (optional) shall place the code track
between two audio channels on 1/4" tape and still
achieve a crosstalk spec better than 90 dB. And, because
they interface directly with computers, these recorders
shall open the way to automated recording /playback
systems limited only by the imagination.
They shall also be built with meticulous Swiss precision.
The last generation is here. The new Studer A810 Series
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Hotel in Anaheim during the 72nd meeting of the Audio
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STUDER
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Offices: Los Angeles (213)780-4234 /New York (212)255 -4462
Dallas: (214)760 -8647 Canada: Studer Revox Canada, Ltd.
October 1982
0
R-e/p 83
EU EN
C11-ITIE
MP1
PE_/
Northeast:
SKYLINE STUDIOS (New York City) has installed a Neve 8058 console and a Studer A8OVU Mark III 24 -track recorder, with half -inch
two track mastering machines. The Neve includes custom modifications providing 40 inputs and
10 VCA sub-groups, according to studio owners Paul Wickliffe and Lloyd Donnelly. Other
equipment includes 28 channels of Dolby noise reduction, UREI 813 Time Aligned"' monitors, JBL
4311 and Auratones, EMT 140 stereo plate, and EMT 240 Gold Foil reverberation, and Neve,
UREI, and dbx compressor /limiters. Microphones are by Neumann, Sony, Shure, RCA, ElectroVoice, and AKG, including some old tube models. The instrument list boasts a Baldwin Grand
piano, Gretch drum kit, Fender, Marshall, and Ampeg guitar and bass amplifiers, a Hammond C -3
organ with Leslie. 36 West 37 Street, New York, NY 10018. (212) 594 -7484.
RCA RECORDING STUDIOS (New York City) has a new MCI JH- 636-36 automated
console in Studio A. Purchased through Audiotechniques, the new 32- channel desk is equipped
with dual microphone pre -amplifiers, which will allow for up to 72 active mike inputs. Also installed
SKYLINE STUDIOS
was a new MCI JH -24 multitrack. Both console and tape machine utilize differential technology for
transformerless balanced inputs and outputs. Installation was handled by Audiotechniques. New York, NY.
LE MOBILE (New York City) mobile recording has restructured its US operation by re- incorporating in Nashville, Tennessee; original
headquarters were in Montreal, Canada. "We're working all over the country," says owner /engineer Guy Charbonneau, and Nashville's central location is convenient. The business address will
be Nashville, but the truck itself won't be permanently based there." All booking and scheduling
responsibilities will be kept in New York. The Le Mobile facility is housed in a 35 -foot GMC truck,
and boasts two 24 -track Studer A800 recorders interfaced with a Neve console. A Studer TLS
2000 SMPTE synchronizer links the two tape machines, while the two-tracks are two Studer B67
decks. Two EMT digital reverb units are also featured, as are over 90 microphones and a video
monitoring system. Olympic Entertainment, 211 West 56 Street, Suite J. New York, NY 10019.
(212) 265 -1979.
BEARSVILLE (Bearsville, New York) is nearing completion of its Studio B. With studio design
George Augspurger, the new room will feature a Neve 8068 console, Studer A80 tape
machines, and a UREI 813A monitoring system. Wittenberg Road, Bearsville, NY 12409 (914) 679 -7303.
LE MOBILE
CzRAMAVISll7114STUDIO (New York City) features a Harrison MR3 automated board, Studer 24 -track A80 Mark Ill with transformerless outputs, and an A8OVU half -inch two track for mastering. Other equipment includes and EMT 240 Gold Foil echo plate, Teletronics
LA-2A tube limiters (among others), UREI Time Aligned" monitors bi -amped with Bryston and Audio Research amplifiers, and Shoeps and
Neumann microphones. The studio was designed by Alan Fiersteinl of Acoustilog in New York, with systems design by Michael
Salafia of Visionsound. Gramavision affiliated engineers are David Baker, Alec Head, and John Kilgore. 260 West Broadway, New
by
York, NY 10013. (212) 226 -7057.
BEAR TRACKS (Rockland County, New York) is the new facility recently opened by -rocs ed Bear Productions. The studio is
equippe with an automated Solid State Logic 48- channel console, feeding two Studer A8OVU MK III 24synchronized by
an Audio Kinetics Q-Lock system. Mastering is handled by A8OVU half- and quarter -inch decks. Live chambers, including a three -story
stone silo, supplement three reverberation units, and a full complement of outboard signal processing gear. The facility was designed by
George Augspurger of Perception Inc., built by Jerry Salveson of JLS Interiors, and equipped primarily through Visionsound
Professional Audio. Bear Tracks and Crosseyed Bear Productions are owned by Richard Calandra and Jay Beckenstein, producers of
the jazz- fusion group, Spyro Gyra. The studio will be limited to in -house work for the first year, with outside projects anticipated in the
future. P,O. Bo 239, Tallman, NY 10982. (914) 362 -0447.
WIZARD REC
UINCa b IUDtL7S'MITRIR1tTa
, New York) has acquired a new Studer A80 Mk Ill 24 -track recorder, giving the
facility 48 -track capability. P.O. Box 25, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510. (914) 762 -3015.
traders,
ó
Southeast:
CRITERIA RECORDING STUDIOS (Miami, Florida) has appointed Chris Joyce director of engineering; his responsibilities include
overseeing the audio- maintenance department, and maintaining overall technical standards. 1755 North East 149th Street, Miami, FL
33181. (305) 947 -5611.
WOODLAND SOUND STUDIOS (Nashville) has replaced its older Studer A80 VU Mark II recorders with the new A800 24 -track
machine. Additionally, a new A8OVU Mk III 24 -track recorder has been installed in Studio B, while the A800 will go into Studio A. According
to president, Glenn Snoddy, there are 11 Studer decks currently in operation at Woodland. 1011 Woodland Street, Nashville, TN37206.
(615) 227-5027.
OAK VALLEY RECORDING STUDIO (Nashville) has added a new Studer A8OVU Mk
equipment. 105 Oak Valley Drive, Nashville, TN 37207. (615) 227-9404.
III
24 -track
recorder to its roster of
Midwest:
TRAX 32 RECORDING STUDIO (Mequon, Wisconsin) has remodeled it facilities, including the installation of an MCI JH -652 console
and an MCI 24 -track machine. The new control room has 575 square feet of space, and features JBL 4343, 4301, Auratone and Advent
monitors powered by SAE, Yamaha, QSC, and Sansui amps. Other outboards include a Lexicon Prime Time, Eventide Harmonizer, CBS
stereo Volumax, a Systec Flanger, and dbx noise reduction. Mikes are by AKG, Shure, Sennheiser, Electro- Voice, RCA, and Audio
Technica. Other tape decks include 3M 8 -, 4 -, and 2 -track machines, and a Scully 2- track. Construction was done by Frank Greefkes Jr.,
with installation by Milam Audio. John Walsh is the studio's chief engineer. 11249 North Riverland Road, Mequon, WI 53092. (414)
242 -9010.
THE CHICAGO RECORDING COMPANY (Chicago, Illinois) has opened its third 24 -track studio, with the new room slated for use
in commercial, album, and audio /video sweetening. CRC's new facility is equipped with a Neve 8068 console, MCI 24 -track (soon to be
complemented with a Studer 24- track), a Sony BVH -1000 Type -C, one -inch video recorder for video sweetening sessions, and a BTX
Shadow SMPTE synchronizing system. Also found in Studio B is a 102 - year -old Bechstein grand piano previously owned by Pete
Townshend of The Who, and fully renovated by CRC. 528 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. (312) 822-9333.
HUFKER RECORDING (St. Louis, Missouri) has acquired a Sony PCM F1 Digial Audio Adapter, reported to be the first unit of its type
in the Saint Louis area. Specifications for the unit include a signal -to -noise ratio of 90 dB; frequency response within 5 dB from 10 Hz to 20
kHz; distortion of 0.005% at maximum output level; and unmeasurable wow and flutter. The 16 -bit binary computer code stored on
conventional videotape cassettes allows two hours of continuous recording. Rates
4561 Whisper Lake Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63033. (314) 741 -7829.
R-e p
8-1
October /AN?
will be
on a par with those charged for analog recording.
MELKUIST AUTOMATION
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Write or telephone for full deta.ls:
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Studio Maintenance Services Inc 12458/60 Mag iolia Boulevard, North Hollywood. Ca. 91607. Telephone: (213)877 -3311
Valley Audio. 2821 Erica Place, P.O. Box 40743. Nast -ville TN 37204 -3111. Telephone: (615) 3834732
Trident (USA) Inc. 652 Glenbrook Road. Stamford. Conn. 069C6. Telephone: (203) 357 -8337
ACE
u,ñM-1
Dl__E
WILLOW WIND PRODUCTIONS (Bartonville, Illinois)
has completed construction of its new Milam Audio -designed studio. The
ceiling, an isolated drum booth, a vocal isolation booth, and live and
dead areas. the control booth keys around a TEAC Tascam Model 15 24 -input console feeding an
MCI JH-24 16-track recorder with Autolocator, and a Tascam 80.8 with DX -8 dbx noise reduction.
music room features
a 14 -foot
Outboards are by Lexicon, UREI, Sound Workshop, and Omnicraft, while monitors throughout
are by JBL. The mike complement includes units by AKG, Beyer, Crown PZM, and Audio
Technica, and the instrument list boasts a Kroeger Grand Piano, Ludwig drums, and guitars and
amps by Gibson and Fender. The facility also features living quarters, a kitchen, three offices, and
a hot tub. P.O. Box 4189, Bartonville, IL 61607 -0189. (309) 697 -2434.
SOLID SOUND RECORDING (Hoffman Estates, Illinois) has installed a Publison DHM 89B2
stereo digital audio computer and pitch shifter, and a series of Symetrix signal gates. The
instrument package has also been reinforced with the addition of a Kawai grand piano, and Ludwig
WILLOW WIND
drum kit. 2400 West Hassell Road, Suite 430, Hoffman Estates, IL 60195. (312) 882 -7446.
AJAX RECORDING TEAM (Fort Wayne, Indiana) has upgraded with a Sound Workshop Logex 8 console, as well as an EXR Exciter,
Valley People Dyna -Mite, and four more channels of dbx noise reduction. Also included in the update was an expansion of the main studio to
include a "live area ", with oak parquet flooring and curved Lexan windows. The new area incorporates Helmholtz absorbers, polycylinders,
and Sonex foam. Mike Gemmer is the facility's new chief technical engineer. 902 West Wayne Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46804. (219)
423.3479.
South Central:
D SUNRISE SOUND STUDIOS (Houston, Texas) is the new name adopted by Sundance Sound Studios, to avoid confusion with
Sundance Productions of Dallas, Texas. The current equipment list at Sunrise includes an Otani
MTR -90 24 -track with dbx noise reduction, an Otani 2 -track mastering machine, Tangent 32 -16A
28- channel console, Lexicon 224 Digital Reverb, Studio Technologies Ecoplate II reverb, Orban
Delta Lab Acousticomputer, JBL and Auratone monitoring. Mikes are by Shure,
Crown, Neumann, AKG, and Sennheiser. The instrument list includes a Yamaha grand piano,
Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 synthesizer, ARP String Ensemble, and Tama drum kit. 3330
Walnut Bend Lane, Houston, TX 77042. (713) 977 -9165.
Mountain States:
COMMERCIAL SOUND STUDIO (Las Vegas, Nevada)
has added an MCI transformerless
with Autolocator III. Also installed are a Lexicon 224 digital reverb unit, and 34 -inch
pre -and post- production video facilities. Producer Mark Harmon has been added as staff
engineer. 2010 East Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89104. (702) 384 -1212.
24 -track
SUNRISE SOUND
Southern California:
THE SOUND CHAMBER (Pasadena) has upgraded from 16 to 24 tracks, and remodeled
both the control room and the lounge area. New gear includes UREI 813 Time Aligned° monitors,
Stephens 821 24- track, MXR Digital Delay and Flanger /Doubler, and mikes by Neumann,
Sennheiser, and AKG. Randy Farrar and Dick Mcllvery are the studio's owners. 27 South
Molino, Pasadena, CA 91101. (213) 449 -8133.
SOUND CITY (Van Nuys) has added a new Studer A8OVU Mk III 24- track, and a half-inch
conversion kit for its A80 2 -track mastering machine. 15456 Cabrito Road, Van Nuys, CA 91406.
(213) 787-3722.
THE SOUND CHAMBER
Northern California:
HEAVENLY RECORDING STUDIOS (Sacramento) has installed an ADR /Scamp SO-23 Auto -pan module and Lexicon Model 97
Super Prime Time. 620 Bercut Drive, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 446 -3088.
INDEPENDENT SOUND (San Francisco) is now equipped with a Sound Workshop Series 30 console with VCA sub-grouping, and a
TEAC Tascam 85-16 16- track. Outboards include an Eventide H949 Harmonizer, ADR Scamp Rack, and Lexicon Prime Time and 224
digital reverb. The instrument package boasts a modified Linn Drum Machine, plus Yamaha CP -70, CS -80, and Sequential Circuits Prophet
10 synthesizers. 2032 Scott Street, San Francisco, CA 94115. (415) 929 -8085.
D PATCHWORK STUDIOS (San Rafael) has expanded its 8 -track facilities to include full 24/ 16 -track recording and two -track mastering.
The new equipment includes a modified Soundcraft Series Three 32/16/16 console, an MCI JH -114 2- track, AKG BX -10/11 spring reverb,
Lexicon Prime Time, Sound Workshop stereo reverb, Ashley parametric EQ, UREI LA -2A limiters, and 32 channels of dbx noise reduction.
Microphones include models by Sony, Shure, AKG, Sennheiser, E -V, Audio Technica, and Neumann, as well as a collection of classic tube
microphones. 2111 Francisco Boulevard, San Rafael, CA 94901. (415) 459-2331.
At HYDE STREET STUDIOS (San Francisco) the control room of Studio C has been completely rebuilt and is slated to go 24- track.
Design and construction are under the direction of Hyde Steet co -owner Michael Ward. Also a highly modified API console, featuring
sweep and graphic EQ, formerly installed in ABC's Studio A in Los Angeles, is to be installed in Hyde Street's Studio A. Other new gear
includes an Eventide H949 Harmonizer, and Lexicon PCM 41 DDL, a Lexicon Prime Time, four UREI limiters, two MICMIX XL -305 reverb
units, and a Lexicon 224 digital reverb unit with all updated software programs. Tape machines installed include an Ampex ATR -100, and
Otani MTR -10 two- tracks. 245 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94102. (415) 441 -8934.
CORASOUND RECORDING (San Rafael) has replaced its older multitrack with and Otani MTR -90 16/24 track machine with full
remote and autolocator. Corasound plans to complete an upgrade to 24 -track in the near future. 122E Paul Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903.
(415) 472 -3745.
- AUDIO/VIDEO UPDATE Eastern Activity:
UPSWING ARTIST MANAGEMENT (New York City), in conjunction with John Scher's Monarch Entertainment, has co- produced a
tour and video project of the reunion of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers Band. Production services were provided by Monarch's
Performance Video division with Len Dell'Amico directing. Unitel Video's Odyssey I unit handled the video remote at the Capitol Theater
in Pasaic, New Jersey, while the Record Plant mobile truck did the sound recording. Initial release will be on RCA SelectaVision videodisk,
with other markets to follow. 156 Bank Street, 2A, New York, NY 10014. (212) 242 -0783.
R-e p 86
C7
October 1982
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112111-
SCHARFF COMMUNICATIONS (New York City) supplied its mobile audio truck to Bill Sieyler Productions during a recent
two -night engagement of Lena Horne's "The Lady and Her Music." During production of the event for cable television's "The
Entertainment Channel," duties in the mobile unit were handled by chief mixer Blake Norton and
mix engineer Aaron Baron, using Scharffs modified- for -video Harrison MR 3 desk coupled with a
second sub -mix console to handle a total of 48 mike inputs. Inside the house, Scharff supplied
Shure SM -81, AKG 451, and Schoeps microphones for the band and back -up singers, as well as
lavelier and hand -held HME wireless microphones for Lena Horne.
Scharff also recently sent its gear to the Dominican Republic to supply audio services for the
video taping of Frank Sinatra and Buddy Rich and, two nights later, Heart and Santana at
Altos de Chavon's new 5,000 -seat ampitheater. Both shows were produced by Imero Fiorentino
Associates for Paramount Video, and will be distributed through several pay television services.
To meet the demands of this operation, Scharff dismantled the entire contents of its truck for
transport to the Caribbean via Miami, where it was flown to the Dominican Republic with the video
gear. The system was reassembled on site by Scharff chjeLauclio engineer Gary Rotta and audio SCARFF IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
stage manager Bob Aldridge. qpn Worsham wasshe chiefmix engineer for the projects. Concert -sound equipment was supplied by A -1
Audio of Hollywood. 200 West 51 Street, New York, NY 10019. (212) 247-2159.
NATIONAL VIDEO CENTER/RECORDING STUDIOS (New York City) has completed post -production on a two -hour Allman
Brothers Band video project to be released as a stereo RCA SelectaVision videodisk. The program features the band in hotel room jam
sessions, studio rehearsals, and in concert in Gainsville, Florida, and at the Capitol Theater, in Passaic, New Jersey. Following video editing,
National's engineer Brent Hahn employed the facility's Q -Lock SMPTE system to transfer the 16 -track final mix to one -inch video. Lenn
Del'Amico directed for Performance Video Productions, with co-producer Amy Polon and John Scher executive producer. New York,
NY.
ARTISAN RECORDERS (Pompano Beach, Florida) was on hand in Montego Bay, Jamaica. to supply audio services at the video taping
of the Fifth Annual Reggae Sunsplash for Synergy Productions, Ltd., and the KSR Group. The MCI- equipped GMC Motorhome was
transported from Miami in a Hercules L -100 aircraft. Artisan provided simultaneous live mix audio feeds to Trilion, the London -based video
facility, and the Jamaica Information Service for radio broadcast. Peter Yianilos and Jim Fox engineered with Stan Strawbridge, and
Rey Monzon. 1421 Southwest 12th Avenue, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. (305) 786-0660.
-
Central Activity:
SCENE THREE (Nashville) has produced
a video promotion piece for Ronnie McDowell based on his single "Step Back." The
concept video piece will screen on national, regional, and local cable television, as well as in night clubs and on college campuses. The project
was shot concert -style with twin Ikegami HL79 cameras and RCA TH50 one -inch video recorders, and then married in Scene Three's video
editing suite into a multi -image performance, integrated with live action inserts and traveling freeze frames. Joe Askins edited the piece for
Scene Three director Marc Ball. 1813 8th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 385 -2820.
CELEBRATION PRODUCTIONS (Nashville) has completed a video-music piece for the Johnny Van Zandt Band. The work, a
promotional piece for their new album, It's You, commissioned by Polygram Records, was shot on location in the Agora Ballroom in Atlanta,
Georgia. Production was done on 16mm film to capture dramatic lighting effects, and then transferred to one -inch video tape for editing.
Release to MTV and other video -music outlets is scheduled. 16 Music Circle South, P.O. Box 24459, Nashville, TN 37202. (615) 244 -5766.
OMEGA AUDIO (Dallas, Texas) has been busy in the video world of late, supplying audio services for the video taping of Earl Turner
performing at the Celebrity Theater of the Le Bossier Hotel, in Le Bossier City, Louisiana. Omaga provided 24- tracks of SMPTE locked
recording for the cable television special, which Omega will also sweeten in its studio. Clearwater Teleproductions of Dallas provided video
facilities. Producer for the special was Earl Turner; while the director was Giles McCreary. Audio engineering was handled by Paul
Christensen, Ken Paul, and Russell Hearn. 8036 Austin Place, Box 71, Dallas, TX 75235. (214) 350 -9066.
Western Activity:
THE COMPLEX (Los Angeles) recently played host to Schulman Video and Rick James to video tape several tunes from James' new
album, Throin Down. 2323 Corinth Street, West Los Angeles, CA 90064. (213) 477 -1938.
TELEMATION MOBILE PRODUCTIONS (Salt Lake City, Utah) supplied video services to record the Conway Twitty: Delta King
television presentation. The concert was recorded on the football field of Clarksdale High School, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, while a
separate video crew followed the country singer around during the day of the concert to record reactions to the visit to his home town.
Nashville's Fanta Sound interfaced its 24 -track audio facility directly with Telemation's 32 -foot Unit 4. The Multimedia Productions
program was produced by Jim Owens Entertainment; Steve Womack directed. Following this operation, the Telemation crew traveled
to Canton, Michigan's Center Stage Concert Hall to video tape a Ted Nugent concert. The video unit was again linked to a 24 -track audio
truck for high -quality sound. The concert was produced by George Salovich, and directed by Chris Bolton. 2117 South 3600 West, Salt
Lake City, UT 84119. (801) 973 -7700.
ALCON VIDEO/FILM PRODUCTIONS (San Francisco) has completed two music -video projects for 415 /Columbia Records. Both
songs were taken from Translator's new album, Heartbeats and Triggers. The video single, "Everywhere That I'm Not," has been added to
MTV's rotation playlist, and is currently being distributed nationally by the RockAmerica Organization. The work was shot in San
Francisco's 181 Club. The second piece, "Sleeping Snakes," is a composite of archive, news, and documentary footage. Nigel Paul and
Vinton Medbury produced both pieces for Alcon. 950 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111. (415) 397 -0490.
THE VILLAGE RECORDER (Los Angeles) has expanded into television audio post- production and motion -picture scoring. In the film
area, The Village has installed Studer and other synchronizers, which lock together video and audio recorders for scoring sessions.
Charles Bernstein scored a 20th Century Fox film, The Entity, at The Village, with a synthesist and a 30 -piece string section playing while
the musicians viewed the action on video tape synchronized with the 24 -track recorder. Robbie Robertson, late of The Band, is scheduled
to record the score of Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy in the studio. In video, The Village has linked with Canyon Recorders, a
video post- production house owned by Ed Lever. The Village has leased its Studio C to Canyon on a long -term basis for the syndicated
television series, Jack Smith's You Asked For It. "The unique aspect of this project," says Village studio manager Joel Fein, "is that we have
installed five high -quality 'phone lines which link us to Editel, a post video facility located 12 miles from us in Hollywood. Editel is putting
together the SMPTE completed half-hour programs." 1616 Butler Avenue, West Los Angeles, CA 90025. (213) 478 -8227.
SOUND SMITH STUDIOS (Portland, Oregon) supplied 24 -track recording with interlock for the video taping of a number of Portland
jazz performers at the Lung Fung Dragon Room. The program was produced by David Tower and Jack Santry. Among the bands video
taped were The Rythmn Method, The Ron Stein Trio, Abrupt Edge, and The Keith Werner Big Band. 426 North West 6th Avenue,
Portland, OR 97209. (503) 224 -7680.
CHATON RECORDING (Scottsdale, Arizona) had its mobile recording truck, "The Cat" in Telluride, Colorado, to interface with
Visual Marketing of Denver, for the video taping of The Rastafarians at Telluride's annual rock and roll festival. Interface capabilities for
October 1982
R-eip 89
the 24 -track mobile unit are supplied via SMPTE and BTX Shadow systems. The same services were provided in Rui Doso, New Mexico, for
the video taping of Michael Murphy's upcoming special, What's Forever For?The program was produced by Mikael Arc of One World
Productions, with Steven Moore handling engineering duties for Chaton. Scottsdale, AZ.
WESTWOOD ONE (Los Angeles) provided its mobile recording facility to handle the audio end for the video tapings at the recent US
Festival in San Bernadino, California. Working in conjunction with personnel from The Record Plant, Westwood One interfaced its audio
truck with the Greene -Crowe mobile video unit. SMPTE timecode was used to synchronize video tape machines with Westwood's two
Ampex MM -1200 24- tracks, and an Otani 24 -track in the Greene -Crowe truck. This latter deck was used for crowd reaction picked up on 12
different audience mikes. Ed Greene acted as chief mixer for the three -day festival, assisted by Paul Saunders, Doug Field, and
maintenance engineer Dave Faragher, all from Westwood One. The bands appearing at the US Festival were video taped for possible use
in a television special, or on a video cassette or disk release. 9540 West Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90230. (213) 204 -5000.
THE POST GROUP (Los Angeles) has completed post- production for Millany -Grant Productions on two rock and roll videos. The
first stars Billy Joel, and features three songs from his new album Pressure. The second was produced for Kim Carnes and her new single,
"Voyeur." Director on the pieces was Russell Mulcahy; the producer was Jackie Adams; and Post Group editor Doug Dowdle.
Production House, 8335 Homewood Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028. (213) 462.2300.
Canadian Activity:
COMFORT SOUND (Toronto, Ontario) recently made its first recording for US pay-television. The New Zealand group Split Enz was
recorded on 24 -track and video at Hamilton Place for an upcoming one -hour special on the Warner -Amex MTV Network. Other video
projects include The Motorhead concert at The One for a CITY -TV /CHUM -FM simulcast. 2033 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario,
Canada M6E 3R3. (416) 654 -7411.
ON THE STUDIO TRAIL
-
An all too brief day's visit to the Bay Area resulted in tours
of four particularly interesting studios: The Automatt, Pat
Gleeson's Different Fir, Russian Hill, and Hyde Street.
After a conducted tour of the revamped CBS Studios that
form the basis of The
Automatt's Folsom Street
facility, studio manager
Michelle Zarin arranged
a demo of the ADC monitor system recently installed in Studio A. The
Meyer system, which comprises an outer pair of
mid -range and high frequency drivers, and a
center pair of bass driv- THE AUTOMATT
ers (plus some of John Meyer's magic in the amplifier, crossover and phase- alignment circuitry), results in a very clean
and well -controlled sound. Drums and percussion, in particular, maintained a crispness and clarity at both moderate
and high monitoring levels. Automatt engineering staff
also report that the room's new 40- input/32 -bus Trident
TSM board is particularly easy to set up and operate due
in no small measure, they consider, to the TSM's "split"
rather than in -line design, which enables a producer working on the left-hand monitor section to set up control -room
mixes without getting in the way of an engineer. In fact,
everyone seems pleased with the Trident /Meyer combination, in terms of signal clarity, and transient response.
Different Fir has now re-equipped with Studer A-80 Mk III
multitracks and A -80 Mk III half-inch two-track deck for
improved signal -to -noise and dynamic range during mastering. Engineering staff that I met during my visit were
particularly impressed with the signal quality, speed of
operation, and gentle tape -handling of the new A-80 multitrack transport, and comment that most sessions at Different Fir are being run at 30 IPS with no noise reduction. The
facility's Harrison 40/32 console also has been modified to
provide additional effects busses. The level control for monitor outputs now features a built -in push /pull switch section
that enable an engineer to select the normal monitor function, or by engaging the switch connect the output directly to
the routing section. In this way, during mixdown up to 32
additional effects sends are available from each input strip.
(The next problem facing the studio's technical staff, I
understand, is how to provide sufficient returns from each of
these supplimentary output busses!). Other recent mods
made to the Harrison include tri-color LEDs to indicate
"plus," "minus," or "null" on each channel strip's automation display; NE 5535 op-amps at all summing points; and
push/pull switches on the HF EQ section's cut /boost pot,
which select shelf rather than peak equalization.
-
R -e/p 90
October 1982
Mel Lambert at large this
month in ... San Francisco
Jack Leahy, co -owner and chief engineer of Russian Hill
Recording, appears to have cornered the market in jingle
and commercials work, if the amount of traffic pasing
through his Jeff Cooper-designed tworoom facility is anything to go by. Studio
"B," which features a
28/24 Neotek III console,
MCI JH -114 multitrack,
and UREI 813 TimeAlign monitoring, looks
into a long and narrow
recording area that can
easily accommodate a
reasonable size band or
vocal group. Studio "A"
DIFFERENT FIR offers a larger recording
area, complete with drum and piano traps, and variable acoustic side louvres. The associated control room features
an L- shaped 48 -in /24 -out Helios console which, according to
Leahy, has been sitting in storage for the past several years.
It wasn't until a recent visit to San Francisco by Helios
designer Dick Swettenham that life could be put back into
the various modules. Besides practically having to turn
away advertising business, Leahy tells me that his plan to
open up in the evenings for demo sessions
at a bargain
basement rate of $35.00 per hour, including engineer
has
been pulling in work from far and wide.
Across town at Hyde Street Studios (the old Heider facility), Dan Alexander must have one of the finest as well as
collections of vintage tube microphones in the
extensive
country. You name it, Alexander seems to have not one but
two of them: Telefunken /Neumann M49, M50, M269, U47,
U48, U67, KM -254 and stereo SM -2; Sony C -37A; AKG C12,
C12A, stereo C24, and C61; and numerous other rare exotica.
As well as offering them for sale through his used equipment side line, Alexander also regularly makes the
mikes available for sessions at Hyde Street. The vintage
mike flavor carries over into the studio's recording equipment, with several elderly
but perfectly respectable
Ampex and 3M stereo and multitracks at various locations
around the facility, as well as LA -2A and Pultec MEQ5 tube
equalizers, and vintage consoles. Incidentally, while wandering past the maintenance department I couldn't help but
notice a bread- boarded project under construction on the
bench. It turns out that Don Kruse was just putting the
finishing touches to a spectrum analyzer circuit culled from
one of Ethan Winer's articles in a recent issue of R -e /p, and
planned to use it to test out some equalizer modifications he
is currently working on for the studio's Trident A -Range
console. Kruse says that the circuit powered up okay, and
works just as predicted; he also plans to use the analyzer to
EON
check room EQ.
-
-
-
-
-
-
You can't stop
the reels of progress.
TDK's reels are always turning- advancing
tape technologies- moving tape recording and
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Revolutionary SA /EE is the first open reel
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2.5 -3dB lower bias noise at 3' 4 ips -half the
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time with optimum reproduction quality.
MASTERING THE ARTS
For mastering applications it's hard to exceed TDK GX. Designed for live music mastering, disc -to -tape and tape -to -tape uses.
GX features an ultra refined
ferric oxide particle formula
specifically developed by
TDK -yielding a very high
MOL, low distortion and ultra wide dynamic
range. TDK's exclusive binder, coating and
mirror -finish calendering processes make GX
perform brilliantly. And GX offers special back coating which reduces wow and flutter, and
minimizes static. TDK GX is fully compatible
with any quality open reel deck.
Equally impressive is TDK LX -the open
reel tape ideal for professional broadcast, semi
pro or audiophile applications. It delivers high
output performance with low noise and lower
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range.
All TDK open reel tape is available on
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For additional information circle #68
October 1982
D
R -e /p 91
e
PEACE SUNDAY FESTIVAL
PASADENA ROSE BOWL
by David Sheirman
MSI- Northwest's Cooperative Sound System Design
for Stevie Wonder, Jackson Browne and Friends
Sfitting in the audience
at an out-
door rock festival used to be quite
a gamble. The sound system might
function correctly all day long; the set
changes would maybe take less than an
hour; and it was even occasionally possible to hear the music at the rear of the
seating area. In recent years, improvements in concert -sound system technology, coupled with the ever- increasing
expertise of sound companies and their
technicians, have all helped to make
outdoor shows an enjoyable experience.
This writer recently observed what
justifiably could be called a "state -ofthe -art" outdoor festival; two sound
companies cooperated to provide audio
services at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena,
last June for 94,000 people who listened
to a dozen rock groups, three choirs, and
countless guest speakers at an event
known as Peace Sunday. the well orchestrated production featured three
separate stage areas, rolling risers and
duplicate house mixing positions.
The Event
This particular festival offered benefit
performances by an array of well known musicians, including Stevie
Wonder, Jackson Browne, Linda Ron stadt, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Dan
Fogelberg, Stevie Nicks, Joan Baez, and
Bob Dylan. Special guest appearances
were put in by Dave Mason, Donovan,
Tom Petty, and Gary "U.S." Bonds,
along with Timothy Schmit of the
Eagles. With such a large number of
R -e/p 92
0
October 1982
notable performers on hand, each of
whom is used to being given preferential
treatment when travelling with his or
her own show, it was important that the
stage setup be arranged to allow quick
set changes, and maximum flexibility.
Several groups had rather complex
sound requirements. Staying on schedule meant a lack of time for the usual
sound checks and preparations, however. The situation presented an interesting set of logistical problems, particularly in the area of stage monitoring.
To solve these problems, and to help
ensure that the show would go smoothly,
the event's producers retained Richard
Irwin as sound coordinator for the festival. Irwin is a Los Angeles -based audio
engineer with many years of touring
experience behind him, mixing such
acts as the Eagles and Boz Scaggs. It
was his job to assemble sound requirements for the constantly- changing
lineup of guest performers, to put
together a master audio staging plan,
and to make arrangements for procuring the sound system.
Richard Irwin chose the newly- formed
coalition known as MSI- Northwest to be
audio contractor for the event. Bob
Goldstein, owner of Maryland Sound
Industries and Bob Stern of Northwest
Sound recently pooled some of their
technical resources specifically to serve
the outdoor show market for the 1982
touring season. Both companies have
experienced tremendous growth over
the last decade, and the mutually-
beneficial arrangement makes available a large amount of audio gear for outdoor events. Last June's show at the
Rose Bowl in Pasadena was to be the
first such event done on a cooperative
basis.
With less than a month's advance
notice, the two companies began their
initial planning for the Peace Sunday
event. For the production to be cost effective, both companies planned to
rely on touring systems that were
already in the general vicinity, additional truckloads of gear being brought
in from warehouses on the East and
West coasts if needed.
Northwest Sound would cover the
Rose Bowl with its time -tested four -way
house system, and provide stage monitors for the main and thrust stages.
Maryland Sound would provide the
extensive stage monitoring facilities
required by Stevie Wonder, and also
bring in a duplicate house mixing setup
with which to handle Stevie's set, and
the auxiliary performance area in the
stands that was to feature three large
vocal choruses.
System Set -Up
Initial load -in for the event began on
May 31, six days prior to the show. United Production Services brought in one
of its modular outdoor stages, and provided high -rise scaffolding for the sound
wings. The main staging area was
approximately 60 feet wide and 40 feet
deep, with side extensions for case stor-
No`s
~!
the rofessionals'choice
James Guthrie, Robbie Williams and Nigel Tcylorwith Britannia Row's 106 channels of MIDAS
used to mix "THE WALL" concerts by'Pink Floyd' Robbie Williams, Britannia Row Director, "On
the road, Midas is second to none ... can't see Ls using any -hing but MIDAS for quite a few
years." Britannia Row own and operate over '20 M. DAS conso es, they know that when it comes
to reliability, customeracceptance anc theall importantfactorof non -obsolesence Ina rapidly
changing market, MIDAS is a sound investment. Britannia Row are professionals, MIDAS is the
professicnal's choice.
I
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í1U010 SwSTERIS LTO ,4 -56 Stanhope Street, Eus-on. London NW1 3EX. Tel 01- 388 706001- 387 7679
Crtr1ROR Bob Snelgrove, Gerr -Electro- Acoustics, 363 Adelaide Street, Toronto, Ontario M5A 1N3 Canada. Tel 416 -868 0528
PEACE SUNDAY FESTIVAL
MSI /Northwest Sound System
age and monitor boards. An additional
30 -foot area was set upstage in the center to provide storage space for a rolling
stage that was to be filled with gear for
Stevie Wonder and his band, Wonder
love. The main stage area would be set
with gear for Jackson Browne and
Crosby, Stills & Nash, and plans were
for most other groups to use the same
space and equipment.
Additionally, an 8- by 20 -foot "thrust"
stage was assembled in the downstage
region, and placed 3 feet below the main
stage level. This stage was to be used by
a seemingly endless parade of guest
speakers, announcers, celebrities, and
film stars, along with the "acoustic"
acts.
The stage and sound wings were completely assembled and secured by
Thursday evening. Scaffolding on the
wings was erected with adequate height
to allow for the vertical stacking of
speaker cabinets by chain -motor hoists,
which would be attached to steel beams
laid across the top of the scaffolding
towers. By Friday morning, the Northwest Sound and MSI gear had arrived
by tractor -trailer truck from various
points of origin. Half of the house
speaker system was placed, while set -up
of the balance of the system had to wait
for the truck to arrive from Dan Fogel
berg's concert being held in Irvine, California, the night prior to Peace Sunday.
Maryland Sound's gear came in from
shows with the Village People in Las
Vegas, and from the Al Jarreau Tour.
Power for the event had to be supplied
-
-
Figure 2: Each sound wing housed six identical vertical columns of six Northwest
cabinets. Scaffolding towers were draped
in decorative blue fabric. The entire
speaker array comprised of 84 cabinets.
1: Northwest speaker cabinets being
hoisted into position through the 35 -foot
high scaffolding towers using CM- Lodestar
chain hoists. Heavy -duty nylon straps were
used to link cabinets together in situ.
Figure
completely by on -site generators; the
Rose Bowl was never intended to host
outdoor rock concerts, and no provision
has been made for massive AC power
hookups when the facility was built.
Two truck -mounted diesel generators
arrived and began paying out their
heavy copper cable. The units were
parked out of sight in the tunnel behind
the backstage area, so many yards of
600 MCM wire were required. Breaker
panels were placed directly behind the
upstage edge of the stage, and Northwest and MSI engineers each did a separate hook -up of their respective power
distribution systems.
Northwest Speaker System
The Northwest cabinets were pulled
up through the 35 -foot scaffolding towers by CM- Lodestar chain hoists ( Figure
1). As each cabinet is lifted off the deck,
another is rolled into position beneath
it, and secured to the first cabinet by
means of heavy -duty nylon straps.
Hooks on these straps are fastened to
steel plates built into the sides of the
cabinets. The speaker boxes were hung
in vertical rows of six, and each sound
wing housed six such columns (Figure
2). An additional group of six cabinets
per side was stacked two high on the
stage, bringing the total number of
cabinets in the house system to 84.
The vertical columns of cabinets were
hung in pairs, with two chain motors
being secured to each steel beam. The
two inner pairs faced straight out into
the audience seating area, the outer pair
of columns being angled away from the
stage towards the sides of the bowl at a
60- degree angle. Low -end supplementary cabinets, known as "Bass -Aug"
boxes, were stacked five per side in one
R -e /p 94
0
October 1982
vertical column to create a strong line
array of 30 15 -inch drivers on each
sound wing to carry the low -bass signal.
All cabinets were built basically to the
same dimensions, and all horns and
tweeters were contained in the cabinets.
No additional long -throw horns were
placed.
Three basic types of cabinet were provided. The three -way Model 590 (Figure
3), which houses two 15 -inch JBI.2220B 16 -ohm cones, a JBL 2440 driver
mounted on a Northwest Model 350
fiberglass radial horn. and a vertical
column of six Motorola piezo- electric
tweeters, is intended for use as a full range cabinet, or as the high -end complement to the Bass-Aug boxes. The
Model 590 weighs 225 pounds, and features a fiberglass horn insert for the low end section. The Bass -Aug has essentially the same 4- by 3- by 2 -foot
dimensions as the 590, but is .3I inches
deeper due to its increased internal
volume. It contains six front -mounted,
15 -inch TAI) speakers loaded in an infinite baffle.
The third type of Northwest cabinet
is, to this writer at least, an exceptionally smooth -sounding two -way cabinet
loaded with a pair of TAD 15 -inch cones,
and a TAD high -frequency driver with a
two -inch throat mounted on a Northwest fiberglass 90- degree radial horn
with balsa -wood phase plug inserts.
These components are housed in a
cabinet with the same dimensions as
the Model 590 three -way box.
All of the Northwest cabinets have
one very practical feature: two built -in
wheels mounted on the bottom side,
with the box made so that the wheels do
not touch the floor until the box is tilted
Figure 3: Model 590 three -way box, which
houses two 15 -inch JBL 2220 -B bass units,
JBL 2240 driver on a Northwest Model 350
fiberglass 90- degree radial horn, and six
Motorola piez -electric super tweeters.
i
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Features like loudness combined with accuracy. The kind of
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And the convenience of a
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ability to accommodate the bi- or
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And a system so complete
and rugged that it can't be beat. Or
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The S5115HT. Because the
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Visit your Yamaha dealer or
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THE WAY IT WILL BE.
For additional nformat on circle #70
October 1982 E
R-e/p 95
PEACE SUNDAY FESTIVAL
MSI /Northwest Sound System
back at a 45-degree angle (Figure 4). A
solid, easy -to -grip handle is built into
the top panel to provide ease of handling, and a recessed connector plate set
into the back panel.
Power Amplification
The Northwest system is powered by
three different models of Marantz
amplifiers. Low-end is pushed by the
Model 510, which produces 450 watts
per channel. The system is set up so that
each side of a 510 is powering two of the
15 -inch speakers in a cabinet. The Bass Aug rack consists of five Model 510s,
whereas the standard rack contains two
Marantz Model 240 amps to power the
horns, and a Model 140 to run the
tweeter units, along with three 510s. The
system used to cover the Roser Bowl
contained 11 amplifier racks, capable of
producing an estimated total of 40,000
watts.
The amps were housed in a practically
indestructible rack (Figure 5). In fact,
some of the ones in this system were 10
years old, and still looked sturdy. As
Northwest engineer Steve "Lance"
Mazy put it, "We feel this is a very good
design. The racks we are putting
together now are the same as the original design from 1972 or so. Some of them
have suffered unbelievable abuse, fallen
out of trucks and stuff, and they've held
together real well."
A rigid metal frame is covered with
impact-resistant panels, and the
removable front and back covers are
secured by recessed cam -lock latches.
(The side panels are also easily removed
Figure 4: Two wheels built into the bottom
of each cabinet, combined with a handle cut
in the top, simplifies movement of the
cabinet during loading and set -up.
Figure 5c Northwest amplifier racks contain
Marantz Model 510, 240, and 140 units
housed in a rigid external metal frame, with
impact- resistant front, side and rear panels.
for cooler operation in hot, outdoor sun.)
Each rack is mated to a lightweight
aluminum, two -wheeled handcart that
has a nylon strap on a roller mechanism. A ratchet -type crank secures the
strap around the rack for easy removal.
It is a rather heavy unit, but the two wheeler allows one person to easily roll
a rack from the truck across the stage to
the sound wing. The combination makes
up what is probably the best -protected
amplifier rack I have ever seen, and it
may be the fastest to set up.
Northwest Front End
The main system was overseen by Ed
Wynne. a long -time Northwest veteran
of such tours as The Grateful Dead and
Joni Mitchell, and who has been using it
in various evolutionary forms since it
was first conceived. Probably one design
idea unique to the system is the fact that
the crossovers and equalizers are
mounted in the amp rack. According to
Wynne, "Every single amp rack has its
own electronic crossover and third octave graphic equalizer. This greatly
simplifies wiring up the house mix position, and reduces signal loss due to distance between the crossovers and the
amplifiers. It also obviously cuts down
on the number of lines running back to
the stage from the house console."
Another advantage is that the system
has a built -in fail -safe mechanism:
instead of relying on only one or two
crossover units for the entire system,
there are many; should a crossover ever
fail, the output signals from the adjacent rack can quickly be jumpered over
to the rack with the faulty unit.
System crossover points are 140 Hz
and 1.2 kHz. The Bass -Aug cabinets
receive the lower three octaves or so of
signal, and the horn-loaded pairs of 15inch speakers carry the signal up into
the vocal range. The radial horns are
given a signal which runs all the way on
out from 1.2 kHz, and the piezo-electric
tweeters are passively crossed-over.
They are protected from all frequencies
below 9 kHz or so by in -line capacitors.
Outboard processing devices included
a Lexicon Delta -T digital delay, a Lexicon 224 digital reverb unit, an Eventide
Harmonizer, and a Publison DDL/
pitch- shifter and effects device. Situated
within easy reach on top of the two
Yamaha PM- 2000 -32 consoles were
eight API limiters and four API noise
gates, the limiters being patched into
the individual vocal channels, and the
noise gates used on the kick drum and
tom channels to help reduce stage noise
leakage.
Northwest was an early supporter of
the PM- 2000 -32 console, and worked
closely with the manufacturer when it
was still in the prototype stage. For this
show, the two consoles were tied
together, giving an input capacity of 64
lines (Figure 6). Two input snakes carried the microphone signals out to the
console position, which was located relatively close -in at 125 feet. The left and
Figure 6: A pair of Yamaha PM- 2000 -32 consoles provided a total of 64 mike channels
for the main -stage sound mix; house engineer Ed Wynne at the controls.
R -e( p 96
October 1982
AP HOE AURAL Exam
examen-
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7801 Melrose
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(213) 655-1411
TWX: 910-321.5762
For
#71
October 1982
D R-e/ p 97
PEACE SUNDAY FESTIVAL
MSI /Northwest Sound System
right main output signals were processed through dbx Model 160
compressor- limiters; Yamaha Q -1027
third -octave graphic equalizers were
also placed in -line at the board for use
by the engineers. (The EQ units in the
amp racks are of the "set it and leave it"
type; the few system "peaks" that are
present in most any loudspeaker system
are tuned out, and day -to -day equalization for a particular show can be done
from the mix position).
The house-mix consoles were set to
handle all program material coming
from the main stage area. With nearly
all artists using the same basic equipment set -up, channels on the console
labelled for a particular instrument
remained constant for the entire show,
which helped reduce the time -consuming
process of resetting levels and equalization each time a new group came out.
Oftentimes the same musicians were on
stage with many of the guest artists, so
the sound of the show was actually quite
consistent from act to act.
House Engineers
- Main Stage
Much of the consistency of the show's
sound was due to the fact that Northwest engineers had already handled
many of these performers as clients in
FNRoC.
TRAN(I
30030
ROLLING
STAGE
(Steele
Wunder)
MSI
CURTAIN LINE
MONITOR
BOARD
ROLLING
1
RISER
1
PA
TOWER
FENCE
RA
MAIN STAGE
AREA 160X101
m
the past. Jesse Colin Young and Crosby,
Stills, & Nash have had a long -term
relationship with the company. Dan
Fogelberg was in the middle of a tour
with Northwest, and had his regular
engineers there, including "Snake"
Reynolds, who also had logged many
shows with Timothy Schmit and the
Eagles. And Jackson Browne and Linda
Ronstadt are both taken care of by
Buford Jones, an independent engineer
TYPE 85 FET DIRECT BOX
AMP.
INST.
PICKUP
RISER
THRUST STAGE
S)
120
lirTO
ON THE ROAD
ROLLING
PA
TOWER
SEAU ^ITT
HOLDS UP
NORTHWEST
MONITOR
HOARDS
MIS POSITION
1125 FEET)
STAGE LAYOUT
AT ROSE BOWL
from Dallas, Texas.
Jones offers some interesting insights
into how he approaches his job as a concert sound engineer: "Usually, I will
have about a month's notice
the
preparation is very important beforehand. After a group starts working on
the new album, I'll receive a copy of the
mix, and start thinking about how to
approach the material. With Jackson
[Browne], I was very fortunate on the
last album to be able to sit with him in
the studio in Los Angeles for the album
mix before the tour started."
Sharing the system as he was with
other engineers, Jones had to make do
with a few compromises here and there,
but basically he was able to pre-set his
primary input channels at sound check,
knowing that they would remain
untouched until he gained control of the
consoles. With 64 input channels at the
mix position, each of the major acts had
some input modules which were not
used during any other set. For Jackson
Browne, one thing to which Jones paid
particularly close attention was the
acoustic piano: "Picking up a grand
piano outdoors can be difficult at
times," he noted. "Here at this show, we
are using the Countryman set-up
I
find that it gives a good, `full' sound.
The Helpinstill is also a fine pickup, but
takes longer to get set up. I like to try to
place mikes as well, putting them inside
the piano directly over the hammers to
get that true percussive attack. Lately, I
have been using an Aphex [Aural Exciter] unit on the microphones to increase
...
...
the brightness, and help the piano
really cut through the mix. I bring that
signal in over the full -bodied sound of
the pickup, and it works really well."
COUNTRYMAN
ASSOCIATES INC.
REDWOOD CITY, CA.- 94063- PHONE 41S-364 -9988
424 STANFORD
AVE. -
R -e /p 98
October 1982
Main Stage Set -Up
During the course of the 12 -hour show,
the center stage area received the most
use. Due to the extremely short intervals
allowed for set changes, all heavy pieces
of gear such as the keyboards and
amplifiers were placed on rolling risers,
which could be brought into position
from the left and right wings. The stage
set for Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt
and Crosby, Stills, & Nash consisted of
a drum kit, percussion set, two keyboard
positions, including grand piano and
Hammond organ, six different guitar
amplifiers including pedal steel and
bass, and five vocal mikes. This basic
set -up was used by nearly all of the
groups and artists on this stage. Guests
such as Tom Petty, Dave Mason and
Bonnie Raitt often walked out practically unannounced, causing the engineers to occasionally scramble for
unused channels.
Northwest Monitors
With such a fluctuating guest list on
this stage, the basic monitor strategy
chosen was to set out plenty of boxes,
most on separate mixes. According to
Northwest's monitor engineer Sandy
Battaglia, "I have 12 slants out there.
For Jackson Browne we are using eight
mixes: his downstage mix; piano mix;
one each for the guitarists and bassist
who sing; one for the keyboard position;
drum mix; and an open one for the guest
artists."
horn backed with a TAD high -frequency
driver. The cabinet has a very distinctive appearance due to the curved metal
housing placed over the front of the box
to protect the speaker components (Figure 7). Reinforced steel bands help support the metal grill, and the box has
hand -holds cut into the sides.
Northwest engineer Dennis Darby
attributes the design of the 671 slant
monitor to a cooperative effort by the
company's engineers. "It was basically
a state -of- the -art development in the fall
of 1978," he recalls. "We first put these
boxes out on the Eagles tour, and they
loved them; it is an extremely flat box.
As a matter of fact, it was on that tour
that we decided we d not really need
the additional stage noise that comes
from sidefill monitor stacks. These
slants are so clean that sidefills just are
not necessary."
As Darby pointed out, no sidefills
were being used for the Rose Bowl main
stage. Bear in mind that this was outdoors, with reasonably loud groups
playing on a large stage. The 671s did
indeed put out a very clear, high -level
undistorted sound, and there seemed to
be no complaints from the performers.
The monitor mixes were all biamplified using Yamaha crossovers set
at 1.2 kHz. dbx Model 160 compressor limiters were available for patching to
input channels, and stereo lines were
returned from a Lexicon 229 digital
reverb unit to get a sweetened vocal sig-
Figure 8: Maryland's monitor electronics
rack contains crossover /limiter circuit
cards for bi- and quad -amp mixes.
nal out to the stage.
Microphones used on the main stage
included Shure SM -57s for vocals, guitars and snare. An Electro -Voice RE -20
was placed in front of the kick drum,
while phantom -powered AKG C -71s
covered the toms, hi -hat, and overhead
cymbals. The percussion set -up was
picked up with more 57s, and all electric
keyboards were taken by direct boxes,
as were the acoustic guitar and
NOISE GATE GT -4
The remarkable low cost noise gate that is
so simple and economical to use
that people are finding new
applications for them every day.
Figure 7: Model 671 floor slant houses a pair
of TAD 15 -inch speakers and a TAD high frequency driver in a custom -designed
cabinet. Frequency response is said to be
flat enough to not require outboard EQ.
The Northwest monitor system was
centered around a Yamaha PM-2000-32
console, which was "stock, right out of
the box ... ," according to Sandy. "However, we do one minor modification," he
offered. "We remove a small jumper
inside, which changes the foldback
sends to post -EQ, as opposed to pre -EQ.
And we normally run our mixes without
our boxes were
any outboard EQ
designed not to need it. However, today I
am supplying third -octave graphics
it
[Yamaha Q- 1027s] on each mix
makes the engineers who have never
used this system a bit more comfortable."
The slant monitor used by Northwest is known as a Model 671, and comprises a unique box housing two 15 -inch
TAD cone drivers. These are front mounted, and set close on either side of a
custom -engineered, fiberglass bi- radial
...
...
Use one
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For the full story and a list of dealers call or write
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Octr)hrr 1982 O
R-r' p.99
PEACE SUNDAY FESTIVAL
MSI /Northwest Sound System
Syn-drums.
Stevie Wonder's Stage
The rolling stage which held band
gear and monitors for Stevie Wonder
was a completely separate entity from
the main stage. Hidden from the public's view by a large, bright blue curtain
that remained closed until time to bring
the rolling stage out, all cables for the
rolling stage were coiled at the edge,
ready to be connected quickly. According to MSI's "Jeep" Parker, the entire
changeover from the main stage to the
rolling stage had to be accomplished in
a matter of minutes.
Microphones selected for this stage
were of a higher quality than is often
seen at an outdoor show. Stevie Wonder's personnel had originally requested
Shure SM -58s for the vocals, but MSI
engineers successfully substituted one
of their favorite vocal microphones: the
Sennheiser 431. According to Jeep, "We
find this mike to be an excellent choice
for vocals. It's good and bright, and has
excellent background noise rejection
characteristics. I always try this mike
first on featured vocalists."
For the horns, Electro-Voice RE -20s
with shock mounts were put up. Guitar
amps were fitted with Sennheiser MD421s, as was most of the percussion setup. On the drum kit: Beyer 88 for kick;
Shure SM -57 snare; Beyer 201 hi -hat;
Sennheiser 421s on toms; and AKG
C451 set for overheads. Twelve Countryman direct boxes were used on electric keyboards, which included a
Yamaha CS -80, Stevies's Clavinet, a
Fender Rhodes, and a host of synthesizers. The acoustic piano was given a Helpinstill pickup, and also a relatively
new pickup from England known as the
What
is'what e
you
het...
9: MSI provided Stevie Wonder with Meyer Ultra- Monitors at his on -stage
keyboard position. A custom- designed phase -correcting crossover and self- analyzing
line amplifier with overload circuitry is supplied with each pair of cabinets.
"C'Ducer." In addition, a Crown PZM
was mounted inside the lid.
MSI Monitors
Having supplied a system for Stevie
Wonder in the past, MSI engineers were
not unfamiliar with the situation, which
has ranked as one of the more complex
monitoring systems used by any touring group. The original set of sound
requirements called for 24 discrete
mixes, 64 channels of input, and 21
separate floor slants. After many preproduction meetings, the decision was
made to reduce the system somewhat in
the interest of keeping this particular
show on schedule.
"We had five days of rehearsals with
Stevie's band a week before this gig,"
says Jeep Parker. "By the time we fin-
The MRL Calibration Graph is your proof of
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MRL Calibration Tapes are designed and
supported by experts in magnetic recordiny
and audio standardization ... we helped write
the standards. Each tape comes with
detailed instructions and application notes.
The MRL catalog includes tapes for all studho
applications. In addition to the usual spot
frequency tapes, we make single-tone tapes,
rapid-swept frequency tapes, wideband or
1 /3rd octave-band pink random noise tapes,
and difference-method azimuth -setup tapes.
Most are available from stock.
For a catalog and a list of over 60
dealers in the USA and Canada, contact
J. G.
Figure
(Jay) McKnight at:
Magnetic Reference Laboratory, Inc.
229 Polaris Ave., Suite 4
Mountain View, CA 94043
(4151 9658187
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New York, NY
R -e'p 100
October 1982
For additional information circle #74
ished rehearsals, we were down to 18
mixes and 60 inputs. For the show here
we are actually using 14 discrete mixes
plus stereo sidefills, and we're taking 54
inputs."
The Maryland Sound stage system
used two Yamaha PM-2000 -32 consoles,
the pair having been modified to put out
14 discrete mixes. The sliding fader in
each input was replaced with eight
miniature, rotary volume pots, so that
each channel went directly to eight mix
outputs rather than being assigned to
submasters. The two boards were
ganged together, and each mix processed by a Yamaha Q -1027 graphic
equalizer. Twenty such units were
available in the system, spares being
patched into individual channels if
extensive
EQ was
needed.
The equalized mix signal was sent to
an MSI- designed line -driver circuit card
that housed a limiter and electronic
crossover (Figure 8). The card has an
internal variable-threshold adjustment
for the limiter, and the crossover point
may be altered by substituting different
chips. This system used a 1.6 kHz crossover point for the bi- amplified mixes.
Twelve bi -amp cards were available,
and eight quad -amp cards for drum
monitors and sidefills. Mixes for Stevie
Wonder were as follows: two horn
mixes; two guitar mixes; bass vocal;
bass amp (used in place of a stage amp);
drum; percussion; two keyboard mixes;
background vocal; Stevie's vocal; and
Stevie's piano.
Most mixes received the MSI 2X12
floor slant, which is a ported cabinet
containing two rear -loaded 12-inch JBL
or Gauss speakers, and an Emilar HF
driver mounted on a JBL perforated
lens. The four background singers each
had their own single -twelve ported monitor cabinet, which had an internal passive crossover with a variable high frequency level control.
For Stevie Wonder, MSI engineer
Harold Blumberg had placed a Meyer
Ultra- Monitor on either side of Stevie's
seat at the keyboards (Figure 9). Each
pair of Ultra- Monitors comes with a
phase- correcting crossover and selfanalyzing line amplifier with overload sensing circuitry. As the output of the
cabinet approaches its maximum safe
pM PLEX, L
11
"HIGH PACK"
Four JBL 12 -inch
drivers in sealed
compartments
STEEL PLATE
HANDLES FOR
Two Gauss HF
drivers on fibreglass
horn moulding
ATTACHING
HANGING
SHACK-ES
Two Yamaha 'Super Tweets.'
HARDWOOD
FIRRING
STRIPS
"CLAM"
Four JBL 2205 15inch drivers in Carlson enclosures
Figure 10: Sidefill monitor stacks for Stevie Wonder consisted of two "High Packs" and
a single "Clam" bass bin /Carlson enclosure set up on either side of the stage area.
level for a clean signal, the circuit
senses overload and begins to attenuate
the low -end and the very high frequencies. This allows the engineer to keep a
very strong signal going into the box
without encountering a loss in audio
quality.
NELSON, TEXAS
-A & M RE
C'IED WESTERN, HOLLYWOOD- FANTASY
(STATION, N.Y.
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COUNTERPOINT, N.Y.
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recording engineers choose
ECOPLATES for their exceptional,
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Meyer cabinets are said to have
finally allowed Stevie Wonder to hear
his music live as he has wished to; with
an extremely accurate reference monitor onstage, he has begun to experiment
with playback tapes and exotic effects
devices in the monitors to give him the
1
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ECOPLATEII
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October 1982
R-e/p 101
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R -e/p 102
October 1982
PEACE SUNDAY FESTIVAL
MSI /Northwest Sound System
sense of actually recreating the sounds
of his albums live in a concert setting.
Unlike the main stage set by Northwest, Maryland Sound did utilize side fill monitor stacks, which consisted of
an MSI "Clam" enclosure (so named
because the elliptically-curved front
baffle-board in each section of the
cabinet is reminiscent of an open clamshell), and two "High- Packs" on each
side (Figure 10). The Clam houses four
separate Carlson -type speaker chambers, each loaded with a single JBL
2205. The chamber is adapted by MSI
from the original Carlson speaker
cabinet that was first designed in the
Thirties for home hi -fi use, and which
contained a single 12 -inch speaker.
The High-Pack is loaded with four 12inch JBI. speakers, and two Gauss HF
compression drivers loaded on fiberglass 90- degree radial horns; next to the
horns are two Yamaha "Super- Tweets."
Set up to run as a four -way system, these
sidefill stacks were crossed -over at 180
Hz, 1.6 kHz, and 9 kHz.
Amplifier Racks
Both the sidefill stacks and the floor
slant monitors were powered by the
standard MSI amp rack: a heavy exter-
nal metal frame with polished oak side
panels containing three Crown PSA -2s
to drive the cone speakers; a single Crest
Model 3500 for the mid -range drivers;
and one Crest Model 1000 for the HF
units (Figure 11). The amplifier rack is
equipped with a unique patch -panel on
its rear access plate. Patch points are
provided with Telex mini -connector
Figure 11: Amplifier racks for the four -way
monitor system housed three Crown PSA2s, a Crest Model 350, and a Crest 1000. A
mini -connector patch panel is also provided on the rear access panel.
Figure 12: Joan Baez and Bob Dylan on the
forward thrust stage, with Northwest 2" 12
floor monitor slants. A rear curtain shielded
the main stage area during set changes.
jacks so that any input signal may be
switched to any amplifier channel with
Switchcraft patch cables. The patch points are normalled so as to operate in
the standard multi -signal mode until
the line is broken by inserting a cable.
Additional Staging Areas
The thrust stage in front of the main
area was treated as a separate production environment. A curtain was suspended in front of the main stage work
area while the thrust stage was in use to
hide set changes. Here guest speakers
introduced groups, and solo acoustic
acts performed. A six -pair snake carried
lines over to a Yamaha PM -700 mixer,
which supplied a submix to both house
consoles, and a foldback mix for the
Northwest 2X12 slant monitors placed
on the front edge of the thrust stage
(Figure 12). This area was difficult
acoustically for both performers and
engineers, since the platform was actually set up in front of the main stage
line.
Another area apart from the main
stages that required microphones was a
large section of the seating region which
had been roped off. This section hosted
three different 50 -voice choirs at varioustimes, and an 8- by 12 -foot riser had
been installed for a Hammond B -3 with
Leslie cabinet and a bass guitar amplifier. Six Sennheiser 441 dynamic microphones were suspended above the choruses; condenser mikes were tried at
first, but the engineers yielded to excessive wind noise and put up the dynamic
cardioids instead.
MSI House Console
Directly next -door to the Northwest
house mixing position, MSI had set its
64- channels of inputs on the same riser.
From the stage, a 54 -pair and a 24 -pair
snake cable brought lines out to a couple
of Harrison Alive 32- channel boards
(Figure 13). Rather than having a massive front metering panel protruding
above the console, Harrison utilize
unobtrusive LED displays in the center
of the unit above the eight VCA group
faders. The mix of Stevie Wonder's set
was done in stereo and sent directly to
Puzzled...
the Northwest PM- 2000-32, after having
been passed through a pair of Yamaha
Q -1027 third -octave graphic equalizers
and a dbx Model 165 Over -Easy
corn pressor-limiter.
Output functions of the main Harrison were set up as follows: mix group
"A" left and right went to a dbx Model
162 for processing the vocals; group "C"
left and right were assigns to the main
output feeds; and group "D" left was
sent to an Eventide H910 Harmonizer,
which was used as a stereo synthesizer.
Stereo returns from the Harmonizer
were put into two channels on the console, and panned left and right respec, 1.1,1.1,...
.:.'ïì'
i. ,.
.::;:.....::,.`P`
-,,.,.. ,%i,
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Figure 13: A pair of 32-input Harrison Alive
consoles with VCA subgrouping provided
64 channels for Stevie Wonder's stage.
tively. A small amount of delay (30 milliseconds or so) added to the input signal
gave an effect that greatly increased the
spatial dimensions of whatever channels were assigned to this bus. Additionally, the console has eight auxiliary
outputs through which each channel
can be routed in a pre- or post -EQ mode.
Several of these busses were used to get
into the URSA Major SST -282 Space
Station, the MICMIX Master -Room
XL305 rack -mount spring reverb unit,
and an EMT Model 250 digital delay.
The MSI equipment racks were built
in the same fashion as the amp racks;
they had sturdy metal welded frames
with solid oak side panels (Figure 14).
The racks interconnect with the console
and each other by means of heavy -duty,
52 -pair multicable with quick disconnects. The front panel of the rack contains a mini patch panel that enables
any device in the rack system to be
bypassed; this also provides easy access
to all lines coming and going from the
rack. In addition to the above effects
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Unlike other synchronizers on the market the 0 -Lock is a complete self-contained system, fast and easy to operate,
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October 1982
R -e /p 103
it by hearing the count -in on the track.
Stevie also supplies an EMT -250 digital
reverb unit, which I use constantly on
the horns, persuasion and vocals to get a
'plate' sort of sound
a particular
reverb effect similar to what Stevie does
in the studio."
PEACE SUNDAY FESTIVAL
MSI /Northwest Sound System
units, the racks contained a TEAC
cassette deck for playback, and a Technics for recording. Also housed were
Audio -Arts Model 1400 electronic crossovers; the MLE -4000 limiter-EQ panel
built by MSI, which contains four sections of variable compressor- limiting
and four -band equalization; and power
supply for the Harrison console.
The Maryland sound house position
was watched over by engineer Al
Tucker, who seemed to be perhaps emotionally involved with the Harrison
consoles. "This is the only way to go,"
he exclaimed. "I love it. The difference
in audio quality when using VCA
grouping as opposed to ordinary sub masters is really noticeable. The board
is extremely versatile, and it's a joy to
use."
Similar sentiments were expressed by
Paul Devilliers, a Canadian engineer
hired by MSI specifically to mix Stevie
Wonder at the stadium shows this
summer. "I am quite used to the Harrison consoles due to my work in the studio," he says. "I feel that the sonic quality of the board is excellent, and am
quite pleased to see them here. Just like
Harrison says in their advertising: 'No
Compromises. "'
Devilliers commented on his approach
...
Showtime
After several days of set -ups and
rehearsals, a few of the crew members
seemed to find the actual event almost
anti -climactic. The thousands who had
bought tickets, however, were quite
eager. The sun rose the day of the show,
and shone down on a miniature city of
tents and sleeping bags in the parking
lots outside. By noon, an estimated
94,000 people had found their way into
the seating area, so many, in fact that
an overflow crowd spilled into the area
behind the speaker towers that was not
Figure 14: MSI house electronics racks covered by any direct sound.
As the concert was about to get
housing a variety of outboard equipment.
underway at 12:45 pm, I spoke with Bill
to satisfying Stevie Wonder's desire to Geremenz, Outdoor Facilities Adminisreproduce the sound of his albums in trator for the City of Pasadena. Gereconcert: "Basically, whatever it takes to menz was holding an RCA sound get the sound right, that's what Stevie is pressure level meter, and had come up to
into," he offers. "For instance, a Sony the mix platform to make sure that the
PCM -10 digital audio processor is [used] engineers understood the rules: 90
for playback of a pre- recorded sound- Decibel Limit at the Rim of the Bowl.
track, which contains tracks of a 15- [The maximum allowable limit has
piece horn section, and some extra per- since been revised to 95 dB
Ed.] The
cussion which we use on one of the City Board of Directors of Pasadena
tunes; I send this signal up to the stage had decided to pass and enforce this
also, and the drummer gets in sync with ordinance to try to pacify residents of
-
MONITOR EQUALIZATION
FROM
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REAL TIME ANALYZERS
ACTIVE & PASSIVE EQUALIZERS CROSSOVERS & FILTERS
\tNaic,
R -e /p 104
October 1982
instruments, inc.
Box 698, Austin, Texas 78767
512 892 -0752 TELEX 776409 WHITE INST AUS
P. O.
For addi-ional information circle #78
the neighborhood surrounding the Rose
Bowl.
"I don't expect any problems," Geremenz told me. "The fellows know the
rule, and have agreed to comply with it.
It just plain cannot be louder than that."
I asked Bill if his meter was set to take
A- weighted or C- weighted SPL readings. He replied that he did not know.
Buford Jones viewed this requirement
to hold the show's volume at a given
level as perhaps a necessary evil.
"Sometimes we just have to work with
this sort of thing," he noted. "With
groups like Jackson's and Linda's, it is
not so bad ... I don't have to run it at
killer levels. It's not that we want it to
necessarily hit a certain decibel level ...
we just want to preserve the dynamics of
the music and make it sound right;
whether that takes 90 dB or 120 dB will
depend on the type of music you are
dealing with. What we have on stage
here today shouldn't really be a problem.
Bill Geremenz, the "Man With The
Meter," looked quite concerned at the
start of the show when he found that he
was getting a reading of 92 dB just on
the opening speaker's remarks. As
Tierra, a Los Angeles -based Chicano
band struck out the first chords of the
afternoon, the meter showed that the
system was operating at about 15 dB
over the limit. However, by the third
tune, the level had been reduced, the
program material was relatively well balanced, and the crowd had settled into
the speaker stacks. Here, strong low frequency standing waves seemed to
occur. This effect was particularly
noticeable during a tune in Gil-Scott
Heron's set, which featured an Alembic
bass guitar line taken down an octave
with a pitch- shifter. The effect was
stunning at the mix platform, and onaxis with the Bass -Aug cabinets, but
was barely discernible up in the stands.
Subjective Analysis of
Perhaps a spreading throughout the
Sound Systems
stacks of these cabinets might tend to
The Pasadena Rose Bowl is a large correct the linear "beaming" of the bass
area to cover with audio program mate- frequencies. One thing can certainly be
rial. If this had been a regular, full - said ... the TAD 15 -inch cones do move
blown rock concert, perhaps twice the some air!
number of cabinets would have been
Perhaps the only other personal note I
required. As it was, the music was gen- might add is that occasionally the
erally well -projected to all areas of the announcers' voices sounded a touch
audience seating area, except for the unnatural. While the sound of the music
extreme sides near the stage and, of was quite pleasing, a single voice tended
course, the seats which filled up behind to bring out a peak in the vocal region,
the speaker stacks. SPL meter readings perhaps at around 600 to 800 Hz. The
were quite consistent as one walked peak was not noticeable at the mix plataround the rim of the stadium. As men- form, but became evident at a distance
tioned before, the overall sound of the of perhaps 300 feet from the speaker
show was quite consistent; this could stacks.
have been due, in part perhaps, to heavy
The MSI- Northwest system did make
limiting. Most members of the audience Peace Sunday enjoyable, and it did
agreed with each other in calving it what it was designed to do. 94,000 peo"good sound," although few isolated ple heard a dozen different acts outindividuals in the very rear (750 feet or doors, and the groups sounded good.
so from the stage area) did yell "Turn it And no over- heated amplifiers. No hourup!" throughout the day.
long delays. As Stephen Stills said to
The frequency reponse of the system the audience at the opening of his set,
was fairly smooth except in the corri- "We've come a long way since
dors directly on -axis with the center of Woodstock!"
the groove. The show flowed extremely
well; no feedback; no sudden changes in
level. The only audio -related problem
occurred when a fault developed in a
mike cable. By my count, at least two
dozen different individuals had already
handled this microphone and removed
it from its stand. A spare mike was
quickly brought out.
E
gilM
GAMBLE
ASSOCIATES
For additional information circle #79
PO Box 7047
TAHOE CITY, CA 95730
(916) 583 -0138
October 1982
R -e /p 105
00LU1,1»WU:ERI4MOKH":_F00
'2 HE- 13.FiIIJTIIZ.k.
.MITJU`1HEMATP ET
Stanai Sind Loudspeaker Syst -emát this Remodelled Venue
ust under seven years ago, in the
December 1975 issue of Recording
Engineer- Producer, I first wrote
an article describing the Universal
Amphitheatre which, at the time, was
an outdoor music venue with just over
5,000 seats wrapped in an arc of nearly
180 feet that spread 350 feet at the stage,
with about 140 feet from stage center to
the last row. The setting, on a hill in
Universal City, California, five minutes
out of Hollywood and overlooking the
San Fernando Valley, helped make the
Amphitheatre a premier showplace
where major talent put on their biggest
and best shows.
In 1975, I wrote: "Although the stage
and seating area is completely surrounded by high walls, there is no ceiling; performances are done under the
J
stars."
To reduce sound leakage into adjoin-
ing neighborhoods, the Amphitheatre's
original lower walls already had been
built up higher by 1975, and acoustic
"clouds" (horizontal baffles) placed
atop the speaker stacks. These measures were of some value, but ultimately
a combination of politically loud "noise"
complaints from the neighboring community, plus susceptibility to weather,
and a limited season, led to a complete
rebuilding of the facility to make it an
indoor "amphitheatre."
The original concrete slab for the
seats was about the only part of the old
structure that remained the same. A
balcony was added, increasing the seating capacity by 1,000 or so to 6,251. Of
course a roof was added with new supporting walls (ceiling height about 40
feet above the stage), and an all -new
stage complete with full theatrical curtain and lighting equipment.
New House -Sound System
Sound, as always, is a key element to
the success of the Universal Amphitheatre, and the task of designing and
installing a new house -sound system
fell to Stanai Sound.
An unusual move perhaps? After all,
Universal might be considered by many
to be perfectly capable of purchasing
and operating its own sound system. So
why, we asked Stan Miller, president of
Stanai Sound, had Universal gone to an
outside contractor?
"In this kind of theatre with varied
shows, it doesn't make sense to install a
'house- owned' sound system," he offers.
"The needs of shows are so varied that
the theatre can't, on a practical basis,
afford enough equipment to meet them.
Stanal can do it because we run lots of
shows. [Stanal also handles sound at
the nearby Greek Theatre.] Even then,
_
.
t
SOUND
CONTROL
BOOTH
CROSS SECTION OF AMPHITHEATRE STAGE AND SEATING AREA 4
R -e /p 106 D
October 1982
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R
/p
107
tt é
UNIVERSAL
AMPHITHEATRE
we have to rent sometimes. Even if it
were practical to own all the equipment
one might need, and fill in with rentals,
there's something else we can bring to it
... qualified operational personnel."
Looking back to R -e/p's original
story, when Stanai also handled the
sound for Universal, the same basic philosophy was true then. Miller told us
that, as originally conceived when the
Amphitheatre first opened, performers
were expected to supply their own audio
systems. That situation soon proved
unworkable for a number of reasons,
both financial and practical. (It was,
and still is, practically impossible to
learn the acoustic requirements of a
house as complex as the Amphitheatre,
critically adjust the system, and do a
polished mixing job with only a day of
preparation time ... typically the time
available for rehearsal.) So, for the last
seven or so years, Stanal has been making a "house" sound system
in reality, one of Stanal's systems specifically
set up for Universal available to performers at the facility.
-
-
Old Versus New Sound Systems
In 1975 the sound booth was centered
at the far rear of the seating area
-
Mixing booth setup for Linda Ronstadt Tour, September 1982. Main sound contractor
for the tour was Showco, who supplied a custom -designed 30 -in/8 -out stereo console,
Kelsey 12/2 keyboard mixer, Sound Workshop 12/8 effects subconsole, and various
effects units. Stanal Sound also furnished an outboard rack containing a Yamaha
Q1027 graphic equalizer, dbx Model 162 compressor -limiter, Clear -Com KB -115 intercom remote station, Yamaha M406 submixer, and crossover units.
hardly an ideal location. Being centered
between two stacks of speakers, it was
subject to phase cancellation between
the speakers, so that the sound mixer
could easily be judging the mix while
listening to an inaccurate representation of what the majority of the audience
was hearing. Furthermore, since the
UNIVERSAL
AMPITHEATRE
FLOOR PLAN AND
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R -e /p 108
October 1982
booth had a low roof and was located up
against the rear wall of the Amphitheatre, there was some bass build -up.
Nonetheless, a semi -permanent sound
system was installed, with two Yamaha
PM -1000 16 -in /4 -out consoles, several
... continued on page 112
after System Block diagram
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r ÙNIvERsAL
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FULL -RANGE PROGRAM FROM
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YAMAHA M406 6:? MIXER
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"HOME'
YAHAMA 01027 THIRD -OCTAVE
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dbx MODEL 162 COMPRESSOR LIMITER (Hall of Stereo Unit)
STANLEY SCREAMER
BANDPASS FILTERS:
20 -80 HZ:18 DB /OCTAVE
YAMAHA F1030
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LOW
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SIX YAMAHA P2201
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8 YAMAHA JA6681B COMPESSION
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Pao
AUDIO
Mr. G. C. "Jeep" Harned
MCI Inc.
A division of Sony Corp. of America
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Dear Jeep,
Fifteen years ago, the difficulty I had convincing most equipment manufacturers that enough
pro audio market existed in the Mid-West to warrant one dealership, seems impossible to believe
today.
The Mid -West has grown into an industry giant, with stability and professionalism second to
none in the world. I am proud that MCI and Milam Audio have played major roles in its growth
and development, in conjunction with the multi- talented owner /operators who make it all
happen.
1982 has been another very successful year, with increased MCI sales and installations of 14%
over 1981, with indications for even higher growth before year end. The upgrading of present
facilities accounts for most of the major sales, but new rooms are also on the increase.
Of the many great Mid - West cities where professionals profitably use MCI products, one of our
Chicago clients has recently ordered his 50th major piece of MCI equipment. His incredible
testimony is representative of the vast number of our clients that own MCI products in quantity.
Information regarding your "Next Generation, High Technology Products" is being requested.
We are making everyone aware that many of the new designs take giant technological steps into
the future, and are not being rushed onto the market.
MCI's philosophy, to protect its valued clients against early obsolescence by releasing new
products. only when the latest technology, serviceability, and cost are in proper alignment, is
evident in the tremendous acceptance of your products.
As MCI's oldest U.S. dealership, we remain appreciative of your dedication and belief in the
Mid -West pro audio market, and we look forward to our continued success as your Mid -West
representative.
Sincerely,
&?/74/1")
Jerry Milam
1470 VALLE VISTA BLVD., PEKIN, IL 61554 -6283 /309- 346 -3161
For additional Information circle #54
October 1982
R -e /p 111
tt é
WIIyERSpL
AMPHITHEATRE
smaller PM -400 submixers, and a variety of Altec and Auditronics equalizers
and UREI compressor -limiters. The
booth could accommodate 64 mike /line
channels, while the stage monitor system had an additional 20 mike and two
line inputs, plus submixed feeds from
the main booth.
In the new Amphitheatre, the audio
booth is an open area located in the
middle of the audience, not at the back
of the house; there are 4 -foot walls
around it, and nothing to change the
soundman's impression of the mix relative to what the audience hears. As previously stated, this time Stanal Sound
has not installed a total, permanent
sound system at the Amphitheatre.
However, due to the tremendous size of
the speaker system needed to cover the
house, and the fact that it was installed
on a catwalk some 25 or 30 feet above the
stage, the power amplifier racks and
speaker clusters are semi -permanently
installed.
The catwalk follows the curvature of
the front of the stage, and is aimed down
somewhat toward the audience. If visiting artists want to bring their own
sound systems, fine; they are welcome to
use their own mikes, mixers, signal processing gear and stage monitoring, but
are encouraged to tie into Stanal's amps
and speakers for the main house feed.
That's no handicap when you realize
what's involved.
Miller considers his personnel to be
equally important to the equipment
Stanal provides: Consoles, amps, etc.
are tools of trade the doctor's scalpels
but having them doesn't guarantee a
successful operation. Finding qualified
personnel for an in -house system is
extremely difficult. Even if there's a
qualified person running the system at
one point, people change, and then the
system is usually changed to meet
someone else's ideas. Which can get
-
-
very expensive.
"We offer not only a particular qualconsistency for
ity, but a philosophy
solving problems as they develop. We
also are able to respond at a moment's
notice to the needs of people here."
No matter how skilled the personnel,
or how sophisticated the sound equipment, the environment of a liveperformance venue will always play a
major role in shaping the ultimate
sound; indeed it affects the overall experience for the performers and audience.
These factors were carefully considered
before construction began. Architectural design for the new Amphitheatre
was handled by Skidmore, Ownings &
Merrill, and additional acoustics by
Jack Purcell, of Purcell and Noppe, the
joint goal in the new design being an
acoustically neutral hall.
One tricky aspect to the design is the
fill speakers, certainly aided the quest
nearly 180 degrees seating arc around
the stage. Regarding the acoustics,
Miller says, "We wanted to add a roof,
but to still have it sound like outdoors. I
think it's very close." Coverage of such a
wide area makes true stereo sound
impractical; only a fraction of the
audience would ever hear the stereo
effect. Therefore, the system is set up in
redundant mono, as shown in
mono
the accompanying speaker /amp system block diagram.
for uniform sound distribution.
Apparently, the calculations, "gut
feel," and equipment met the challenge,
judging by subsequent reviews. In the
August 3 issue of Orange County Register, in a story about Frank Sinatra's
grand opening concert, Gary Lycan
wrote:
-
"Which brings us to the Amphtheatre's best asset, its sound system. You
don't have to be an expert on tweeters
and woofers to know the music and
vocals coming through the speakers
were full and free of distortion. [Sinatra
side-man] Tony Mottola's hauntingly
elegant guitar solo, for instance, would
have satisfied the most critical ear."
In an August 6 Los Angeles Times
story, titled "Fine- Tuned, but Southern
California Sky is Lost," John Dreyfuss
described the blending of the acoustics
and the sound system. He quoted Bob
Kiernan, Sinatra's sound manager, who
ran the mixer for the opening show:
"The quality of sound seems more
controlled than it did in the open amphitheatre. You hear more sounds. You
hear the finer, softer sounds that got lost
-
Speaker System
The Key to Good Sound
Given that basically neutral acoustic
environment, Miller has installed a
speaker system that he says is capable
of delivering "virtually flat response
across the audio spectrum, and with no
more than 3 dB variation at 4 kHz (our
ear's most sensitive frequency for
speech and music) between any two
seats in the house."
That's a marked improvement over
the original 1975 system which, while
good by most standards, permitted
about 6 dB level variation between the
front and rear seats. How had Miller
achieved such results in the new
Amphitheatre, which basically was
covering the same seating area with the
addition of a balcony? The design, he
offers, was "defined by mathematical
calculations for SPL [sound pressure
level], which told us the number of components needed, and the amount of
to drive them. Also, it was
power
based on 'gut feel' that comes from
doing this kind of thing for a number of
years."
The availability of a high catwalk to
distribute speakers instead of scaffold supported stacks, and the provision of
rear structures to support time-delayed
before."
In that same LA Times story, Frank
Sinatra was quoted as saying the new
theatre was "acoustically sensational ",
and that it gave him a feeling of being
"connected" with the audience. "As
large as the building is," he continues,
"I feel it has a smallness about it ... I get
a feeling it's a small room. It's not
cavernous."
In a space that measures about 375
feet wide by 160 feet deep by between 20
and 50 feet high, such statements can be
taken as a compliment to the sound system, as well as the acoustical design.
The accompanying block diagram
...
Front view of Stanal loudspeaker system mounted in a gentle arc above the stage area,
and angled downwards to provide coverage to all areas of the auditorium. The black
scrim that normally covers the speaker stacks has been raised here to improve visibility. Access to individual cabinets can be gained by means of a special catwalk running
along the front of the arrays.
-a
R -e /p 112
October 1982
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October 1982
R -e /p 113
.UNIVERSAL
AMPHITHEATRE
details Stanai Sound's speaker system.
It was assembled with a combination of
components, some of which Stanai has
used for many years, and others that are
new, including a large number of
Yamaha speaker components and ATD
subwoofer enclosures.
The speaker system, while mono, is
divided roughly into three portions: two
nearly identical three -way, full -range
systems; plus a special subwoofer system. In one of the full -range systems, the
high- frequency compression drivers
operate into a combination of mid- and
long -throw horns aimed well out into
the house. In the other full -range system, the HF drivers operate into short throw horns for near -stage coverage.
Subwoofer Approach
The subwoofer system is something
that Stanai set up in a different way
from most other low -end rigs. Instead of
using four -way electronic crossovers,
and simply driving the subwoofers with
a very low frequency portion of the full range program, Miller utilizes Yamaha
F1030 three-way crossovers, plus a
separate subwoofer system to enhance
certain instruments. This is achieved by
assigning those input channels with
bass -heavy instruments (for example,
kick drum, bass guitar, or synthesizer)
to two busses: the main program mix,
and a subwoofer mix.
The full -range system's bass bins take
those instruments down to 40 Hz (via
the F1030). The ATD LBC -225 subwoofers then overlap this bass by covering
the region between 20 and 80 Hz. The
subwoofer feed is bandpass filtered and,
as a result, very clean. It also keeps the
main speaker system "cleaner ", because
when more bass is needed, Miller can
punch it up in the 18 -inch subwoofers
without creating muddiness in the 15inch woofers.
Failsafe Design Elements
The use of redundant graphic equalization (Yamaha Q1027), compression
(dbx Model 162 and 160), electronic
crossover networks (Yamaha F1030),
power amps (Altec 9440 and Yamaha
P2200), and speaker components means
that a failure in any one major component cannot bring the show to a halt.
The possible exception is the failure of
whatever console is being used to mix
the house, but even here Stanai has provided a backup: a rack -mounted
Yamaha M406 6 -by-2 mixer, with an
emergency switch that swaps it for the
house console. (The soundman keeps a
local mike plugged into the M406 so that
the crowd can be controlled in the event
of an emergency).
While the graphic equalizers, compressors, and crossovers are located in
R -e /p 114
October 1982
the sound booth at a mid -audience position, the power amps are located in
locked, 77 -inch tall, steel Soundolier
racks up on the catwalk, thereby minimizing losses in the amp -to- speaker
cables, and providing added security.
Black Melotone grille cloth covers the
entire catwalk area, including the
speakers. Patching between the amps
and speakers is done with two- conductor
#10, #12, or #16 wire, depending on the
specific components, and plugs are used
so that changes can be made quickly.
Should a component fail during the
show, an engineer can move out on the
catwalk and disconnect any one bass
bin, high- frequency driver, or compression tweeter, without affecting the
others.
It would probably take a major power
failure to stop the show, and even here
Stanai has taken extra care. An AC distribution system has been set up with
five Topaz Ultra- Isolation transformers
from the main building feed. (In 1975
Stanai was using three of these special
transformers, so it must be that the seldom discussed spec of "audio kilowatts
per acre" has increased about 160%.)
Non -standard outlets are used on the
main AC feed boxes so that nobody but
sound personnel can plug in; lighting or
stage set -up equipment will be forced to
use a separate AC system. To minimize
hum and maximize safety, the ground
path is very carefully thought out and
meticulously installed. Even so, the AC
ground system was undergoing a few
last minute adjustments when R -e /p
visited the venue, prior to the gala opening show.
Concert Example
While no permanent mixing system
has been installed at the Amphitheater,
for one of the opening shows, a charity
benefit performed by Frank Sinatra,
Stanai used several Yamaha consoles: a
PM -2000 (32 -in /8 -out); an MQ -1602 (16-
by -2); and an MQ -802 (8 -by -2) that
jointly covered the main house and the
monitors. The PM -2000 provided most
of the required inputs with lots of EQ,
subgrouping, and a mix matrix to combine the subgroups into house feeds,
recording feeds, etc. The smaller MQ
Series mixers were chosen because they
provided the necessary number of extra
mike /line inputs, yet did not take up a
lot of space in the booth. One of the PM2000's eight main program busses was
used for the special "bass -heavy
instruments" subwoofer mix.
There were nearly a dozen monitor
cabinets on stage for Sinatra, mostly
Yamaha S2115Hs with a few Yamaha
6115 systems for side -fill (S6215 double
bass bin, 6215H mid -range horn, 6115T3 triple compression tweeter). As mentioned earlier, the monitor mixing for this
particular show was done with the same
PM -2000 that fed the main house.
Regarding choice of monitor -mix consoles for other acts, Stanai has a
number of Yamaha boards specially
modified as monitor mixers by Windt
Audio, Inc., including one or more of the
following: an M1532 32 -in /8 -out; an
M1516 16 -in /8 -out; a PM -1000 32- in /12out; a PM- 100016 -in /6 -out; and an M916
with 16 inputs and six outputs.
The complement of mixers, signal
processing, amps, stage monitor speakers and microphones all depends on the
needs of the act. Which points to one of
the key benefits Universal realizes by
working with Stanai that of service.
The monitor system, as well as mikes,
auxiliary equipment and mixers, can be
changed based on the artists' needs.
Stanai does not send each artist a comprehensive list of available equipment.
Instead, it asks what the artist requires,
and then, after receiving a reply, Stanai
sends back a list of available equipment
to do the job. If the artists or groups
want to bring in their own console, signal processing, monitors, etc., that's
-
Close -up detail of Stanai three -way loudspeaker arrays, comprising
SS -445 custom
bass bins, Yamaha JA6681B drivers on JBL 2355 horns, and Yamaha JA4281B corn pression tweeters. Power is provided by Altec 9440 and Yamaha P2201 amplifiers
to night.
fine, too.
Audio Cables
One learns from experience ... at least
Stanal and Universal have. As always,
balanced lines with XLR -type connectors are used throughout the venue. In
the original Amphitheatre, however,
conduit poured in the concrete slab carried a dedicated set of cables between
the mixing booth and the area below the
stage. The conduit was not continuous
because the Amphitheatre seating had
been expanded at one point, so there
were connectors in the cable below the
concrete. When the concrete slab was
washed down with a fire hose after each
performance, water could leak into the
cables, corrode connectors, and generally cause all manner of problems.
At considerable expense to Universal,
that original set of conduit was torn out
in 1975, and new conduit installed with
continous cabling for 64 mike /line
inputs to the board, plus line feeds to the
stage, eliminating the water and corrosion problems. Still, the cabling setup
was not easily changed.
Now that the Amphitheatre has been
completely rebuilt, and the mixing
booth relocated, 81 mike /line input
cables are provided between the stage
and the booth, routed through four, flinch diamter PVC conduits laid in the
concrete slab for just that purpose. The
large diameter PVC conduit is not only
waterproof, but also permits pulling
new cables easily, as many as are ever
likely to be needed, with adequate physical separation between mike and line
signals to prevent crosstalk.
How Does the New Facility
Compare to the Original?
Whether you like the new Amphitheatre more than the original will depend
on how much you thrive on being under
the stars. The new roof is lit to look
something like a star-lit sky, but of
course you won't see the orange hills as
the sun sets. There is a certain feel to an
outdoor concert, yet the acoustics of the
new Amphitheatre come reasonably
close to the real thing. Certainly the
sound is not like a typical narrow -
walled concert hall; it is open yet intimate. This assessment is all pretty subjective and we've heard comments
favoring the old and the new.
There are other factors, however, that
lead us to agree with Universal's basic
decisions. For one thing, complaints
about "noise" from concerts will no
longer force high- energy rock groups to
throttle down the SPL. That's not to say
that an audience will be subjected to a
continuous 120 dB in the back row, but
levels used to be restricted to about 95
dB -and Universal staff came around
with meters to avoid those nuisance law
suits. Also, because the temperature and
humidity are controlled, the audience
will be more comfortable. You may not
see the sun set, but neither will you be
rained out, covered with dew, or chilled
by the mountain air as it slides from day
Stable environmental conditions will
also help keep the musical instruments
in tune, as well as the sound system.
Remember that the most careful third octave tuning can go down the tubes as
soon as the temperature changes 10 or
15 degrees Fahrenheit. Previously, if a
breeze blew across the audience, it could
effectively re -aim the sound from the
speaker stacks, and wreak havoc with
the coverage patterns; this is no longer a
problem. In fact, the Amphitheatre will
now offer year-round entertainment,
not just a summer schedule. Yet there's
more.
From an overall production standpoint, the new facility is light years
ahead of the old one. There's a covered
65 -seat orchestra pit; an overhead grid diron and 45 full stage pipe capability; a
speaker catwalk; multiple lighting
bridges at 45 and 60 degrees from the
primary playing areas, with 450,000
watts of lighting; a director's booth
behind the mezzanine; a 6- channel by
27- station matrixed intercom system; a
huge rolling loading door at the rear of
the stage; and lots more, including
ample office and dressing room space
beneath and adjacent to the stage area.
There's just about everything needed to
stage a major production. We'll speculate that, in the future, musicals and
theatrical presentations will be
attracted to the facility.
SUCCESS
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Lindsey Buckingham
Mick Fleetwood
Steve Miller
Bob Siebenberg
Soundtek Studios
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Sound FX, Inc.
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THEIR FUTURE IS CLEAR!
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SALES AND SERVICE OF NEOTEK CONSOLES
For additional information circle #84
October 1982
0
R -e /p 115
Re-Recording and Post -Prdiction
J
for Disney's
chance meeting in 1937 between
Walt Disney and conductor Leopold Stokowski marked the beginning of an association which resulted in
the appearance over three years later of
Fantasia, the first film to be released in
stereophonic sound. Though stunning
for 1940, improvements in the state of
the sound recording art over 40 years
diminished the marquee value of the
stereo mix. Ever mindful of the re -issue
potential of Fantasia
it is the only
Disney film which is in perennial
release, and not just dragged from the
vaults every seven years for the next
generation of youngsters executives
at Walt Disney Productions decided to
bring the soundtrack up to date, and
then some, by digitally re- recording
Stokowski's score note -for -note.
-
-
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Disney's original idea was not to
make the feature -length film we see
today, but simply to create a short that
would fuse animation with Paul Dukas'
scherzo for orchestra, "The Sorcerer's
Apprentice." Stokowski was so eager to
handle the music chores that he is said
to have offered to work for nothing. He
saw this as an opportunity to fully
exploit a system that had been used to
record his score of the 1937 Universal
film One Hundred Men and a Girl.
Music for that film was recorded on
eight optical recorders remember, Les
Paul's medium, magnetic recording,
-
R -e /p 116
0
October 1982
`FarLta-
by Larry Blake
didn't come to Hollywood until the early
Fifties
allowing sections of the
orchestra to be handled separately during mixdown. Six channels were
devoted to individual sections, one to a
distant mike, and another to a balanced
-
mix.
However, the film was released with a
standard monophonic soundtrack; for
his work with Disney, Stokowski
wanted to bring multichannel sound
into the theater. Stokowski's involvement with multichannel sound dated
back to the early Thirties, when he
began his research with the Bell Telephone Lab on stereophonic sound.
Bell's most famous demonstration came
when the Philadelphia Symphony
Orchestra was transmitted over three
telephone lines to an astonished audience in Washington's Constitution
Hall.
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was
recorded at Pathe Studio in Culver City
in January, 1938, and during the animation it became apparent that there
would be no way for the short to make
back its negative cost of $125,000.
The Concert Feature
That fall, Disney, Stokowski and
Deems Taylor, the noted music commentator, met to choose the selections
for the rest of the "Concert Feature," as
Fantasia was referred to during production. It was decided to record the remin-
ing selections with Stokowski's Phila-
delphia Symphony at the Academy of
Music, because of the better acoustics
that facility would provide. Recording
in Philadelphia began April 7, 1939,
and consumed almost a half-million
feet of sound film during the mammoth
42 -day session.
For the Fantasia sessions a ninth
recorder was added to the One Hundred
Men system, giving a click track to
animators as a guide in timing. The
freedom offered by the multitrack
recording allowed for overdubbing to
replace a few bars of an individual section, if needed.
Mixing occupied many months at
Disney's then new facilities in Burbank, with much of the time spent figuring out ways to move the sound around
the auditorium. It was Disney's intention to have the music comment upon
the action in both spirit and placement.
Purists would hesitate before calling
Fantasia's soundtrack "stereophonic,"
since a true stereophonic recording captures an acoustic event in proper perspective; in Fantasia, the mixers, and
not fast -footed violinists, made the violins move across the screen in sync with
the animation, courtesy of probably the
world's first panpots.
Sound was recorded on three tracks,
feeding speakers to the left, center, and
right of the stage behind the screen. The
same double -width (200 mil) push-pull
variable -area system utilized on the
original recordings was used in the
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Clipping indicator
LEDs assist alignment with
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LEDs permit accurate Dolby level
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The SP Series' combination of compact
size, ease of operation, high performance, and new features make it
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Regardless of the number of tracks, the
SP Series features:
LED indicates presence of signal
Automatic record/play switching
controlled by recorder
Separate regulated power supply
unit with electronically -controlled
output protection.
Low -noise fan cooling.
Electronic NR in /out switching
User-selectable option of "hard" or
electronically- buffered bypass of
individual tracks and of all tracks
Dolby A-type NR characteristic
provided by standard, interchangeable
Dolby Cat. No. 22 module (over 70,000
now in use worldwide)
simultaneously.
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playback/punch -in of nonstandard
level tapes without disturbing standard
studio Dolby level
clipping.
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Output stages drive either single ended or balanced 600 -ohm loads at
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For additional inicrmation circle #85
job of supervising and conducting the
new recording was Irwin Kostal, who
has won Academy Awards for his scoring adaptations of West Side Story and
The Sound of Music. Working closely
with him in "spotting" the score was
FANTASIA DIGITAL
FILM SOUND RECORDING
final mix. A fourth track contained control tones which could increase the
loudness of the other three tracks by up
to 20 dB each. In the theater the four
tracks ran on a separate piece of film in
interlock with the picture, which had a
standard mono track as emergency
back -up.
Fantasia opened in New York on
November 13, 1940 at the Broadway
Theater, and played there for over a
year. The sound system was named
"Fantasound;" the original installation
cost $85,000 (1940 prices), and included
54 speakers placed throughout the
auditorium.
Beneath the contents in the programs
sold during the original run was the
notice: "From time to time the order and
selection of compositions on this program may be changed." Disney wanted
to re- release Fantasia every year.
Jimmy Macdonald, Disney's veteran
sound effects expert who, incidentally,
can be seen playing timpani in
Fantasia.
Kostal says that working on Fantasia
was one of the hardest things he has
ever done, basically because "Stokowski's freedom was my straitjacket." He
found that in many instances he would
arrange a selection differently than on
Stokowski's Fantasia, because of what
he believed were cuts that had been
made without Stokowski's participation.
the board" cut of the music was done for
convenience's sake, since everything
before and after the cut would remain in
its original sync.
For this reason, and because of cuts
made by Stokowski himself, Kostal
prepared 50 versions of the first two
minutes of the Beethoven segment. "I
worked very hard to stick with the original Beethoven as much as I could. It
was really difficult because to preserve
the order of the beginning meant that,
in our version of Fantasia, all the music
of approximately the first minute and
45 seconds was different than Stokowski. The reason for this was that the
cuts were so bad. Some of this had to do
with his cuts, but most of it was terrible
things, like the across the board cuts,
and cuts which removed the downbeat,
or the upbeat. It was ruined."
Scoring Sessions
Irwin Kostal at the podium conducting the hand -picked orchestra át CBS Studio
Center, Los Angeles, for the Fantasia re- recording sessions. At the monitor console
Dennis Ricotta (left); and foldback mixing engineer Andy Bass.
adding and subtracting selections in
the process. It would not then simply be
a question of where and when Fantasia
was playing, but what was playing in it.
However, Fantasia was not successful at the box office in its initial
engagements, and the plan to alter the
selections for future editions was never
carried out. In 1942, 43 minutes were
deleted, most notably the entire Bach
segment. The film was now in mono and
would not be heard in stereo again until
1956, when it was restored to its original
length and released in the four-track
magnetic format.
Fantasia in the Eighties
The decision to re- record the score
was made in late 1981. Chosen for the
R -e /p 118
October 1982
"In 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice, "' he
says, "there were points where I think
somebody arbitrarily cut eight bars out,
when it would have been better to only
cut seven and go one bar sooner, or one
bar later. I tried to make the cuts consecutively more like Dukas wrote the
music."
One of the more unique problems Kostal was faced with concerned Beethoven's Sixth Symphony. In the original
version of the film there was a scene
where black centaurs could be seen
shining the hooves of the white centaurs. It was not until the Sixties that
this scene was regarded as offensive,
and at that point deleted; the accompanying music was also removed,
resulting in an abrupt cut. This "across
Recording in January 1982 occupied
18, three -hour sessions at CBS Studio
Center's Studio One, chosen over other
LA film scoring facilities for its size.
since Kostal would be leading a 125piece orchestra.
In 1939, multiple tracks meant multiple recorders, and nine were needed to
capture the music for Fantasia. The
1982 Fantasia sessions also pulled nine
recorders, although the reasons were
archival in nature.
The primary recorders were, of course,
digital: two 3M Digital Mastering Systern 32- tracks, recording at the 50 kHz
sampling frequency. Receiving a similar feed were two Ampex MM -1200 24track analog recorders, Ampex ATR104 and ATR -102 four- and two -track
machines being used primarily for reference purposes.
The three -track monitor mix made by
CBS Studio mixer Shawn Murphy during the sessions was recorded on 35 mm
magnetic film, and on three tracks of
the digital machines, in addition to a
Soundstream four -track digital recorder, also using a sampling frequency of
50 kHz. Murphy was not only responsible for recording the sessions, but the
final dubbing as well. In addition, he
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For additional information circle #35
FANTASIA DIGITAL
FILM SOUND RECORDING
was a key figure in setting up the synchronization scheme. The digital recorder interface was done by Dave Spencer
at WED (Walt Elias Disney), the design
and engineering arm of Walt Disney
Productions.
Before the sessions, 11 reels of 35 mm
magnetic film were striped with SMPTE
timecode to be regenerated and fed to
the multitrack machines during recording. Also on 35 mm mag running in
sync to the picture were the original
Stokowski score and a click track, prepared by music editor Dennis Ricotta by
punching holes in magnetic film, and
played back on an optical sound reproducer. Most of the time Kostal didn't
hear the musicians until playback since
track three SMPTE timecode. Ricotta
checkerboarded his cuts over between
two and four rolls, and for all practical
purposes cut without regard to the electronic "sprocket holes" occupying track
three.
Ricotta's cuts were translated to the
original digital master tapes on a
soundstage at the Disney lot that was
being used for the mixing of various
films for EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), the new
expansion to the Disney World theme
park in Orlando, Florida. All work for
EPCOT is being recorded and mixed
digitally, and this stage is equipped
with two 3M 32 -track recorders, and one
3M four -track recorder.
The first step, as shown in the accompanying illustration, was to transfer
the timecode numbers from the 35 mm
rolls used in editing, to a pair of 32track digital submaster rolls. First, 35
mm roll A was duped on to a pre- striped,
timecoded roll on digital submaster
Machine A. This pre- striped timecode
counted from the same 24 -foot start that
would go to Machine A, and so forth.
Because the timecode numbes given
to each take of a selection during scoring were fed from the same SMPTEstriped 35 mm mag film, the timecode
on track three of the editor's roll was
always close to the master timecode
with which the digital submaster rolls
were striped during transfer of the 35
mm editing units.
After this procedure was completed,
the master recording of the digital roll
was threaded up on one machine, and
the digital submaster to which it would
be duped was on the other. Using as a
start -stop reference the timecode which
was transferred from track three of
Dennis Ricotta's edit reel, all the tracks
on the master roll were transferred to
the submaster roll.
Once the transfer to the digital sub master rolls was completed, the master
rolls to be used in dubbing were created
by simply duping each roll to another
32 -track digital machine, transferring
only the tracks Murphy would need for
the final mix. Since the submasters contained basically all 32 tracks of information from the original recordings,
there was no space on them to bounce
the final mix.
Approximately 11 tracks were copied
from the submasters to the dubbing
masters: the three -track mix made at
Evergreen; the X -Y AKG stereo C -34
woodwind mike (in case Murphy needed
"extra beef from the rear "); the AKG
he was listening to "Stoky" and /or the
clicks in his headset during recording.
The ninth recorder on hand for the
sessions was Keith O. Johnson's three track FM analog recorder. Johnson was
recording with just three omni microphones, using Schoeps capsules and
Sennheiser amplifiers. Murphy set up
three Neumann "wide" cardioid U -89s
for his overall pickup, and he ended up
using them for most of the final mix,
although Johnson's were used on a few
selections.
At Evergreen Studios in Burbank,
Murphy recorded over the three -track
monitor mix, and made a master mix of
selected tracks for use during final dubbing. This mix was taken primarily
from a three -mike stereo set -up, with no
spot mikes added.
Music Editing
After the session, the selected takes
were "printed" on to three -track 35 mm
magnetic film for editing by Dennis
Ricotta on a standard Moviola. Track
one contained a mono combine of the
monitor mix; track two the clicks; and
R -e /p 120
October 1982
Inside of Best Audio mobile truck, with Fantasia sound engineer Shawn Murphy at the
Sphere console. All tape machines aboard the truck were analog, simultaneous feeds
being provided to various digital multitracks housed in the CBS studio Center.
played back at every take during the
scoring sessions. The start marks for
Fantasia were 24 feet from the first
clicks, instead of the conventional 12
feet, because of the limited speed variation capability of the digital
machines, and hence their long sync -up
time. One track was recording regenerated SMPTE timecode from track three
on the mag film, recording the in -out
points of each cut. Next, the same
procedure was used to transfer mag roll
B to digital submaster B. If there was a
35 mm editing roll C, then its timecode
M/S stereo mike; the bass mike;
and the harpsichord and keyboard
mikes, if those instruments were used.
A potential problem arose during the
transfer of tracks to the B submaster
roll. Since only two 32-track machines
were available, there was no way to
have the A submaster running in sync
to check the edit; the moment of truth
came when the A and B rolls were
played together in the dubbing theater.
The system worked so well and Dennis Ricotta's cuts were so accurate
that only a few cuts had to be "slid." A
C -422
-
-
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32-TRACK DIGITAL
32-TRACK GIGITAI
DUBBING MASTER A
32-TRACK DIGITAL
MASTER RECORDINGS
DUBBING SUBMASTER
A
Transfer only
flecks
needed for
DIGITAL
Throe-Track MIR
.l Evergreen
!OW Dubbing
Conform Masler Recording
to Edits on 35 mm
Reel
Transfer All Tracks
FANTASIA DIGITAL
FILM SOUND RECORDING
few reels, however, had to
be re-
transferred because of noise problems.
Transi., to 2S mm Three Track
Mono Combina of Monitor MI.
2 Click Track
3 SMPTE TIrn.cod.
1
Vocal Recordings
The narration for the Fantasia reissue has also been recorded digitally,
thus forever removing the familiar
voice of Deems Taylor from the film.
The new narrator is Hugh Douglas, who
and 3M digital recorders.
The famous moment when Mickey
runs up the podium to thank the Maestro is still there, although since Stokowski died in 1977, his voice had to be
dubbed. Mickey will never die, of course,
and his voice is currently supplied by
Disney employee Wayne Allwine.
On reel #5, when the narrator talks to
the soundtrack, the narration was kept
separate from the four-track music mix
to facilitate foreign -language dubbing.
A
REEL
DIGITAL DUBBING
MASTER B
APPLICATION OF DIGITAL MULTITRACK MACHINES
DURING THE RESCORING OF FANTASIA
On all the other reels there are overlaps
only during tune -ups, which will be no
problem to re-mix.
Final Mixing
During the final dubbing sessions in
the Disney main theater built for the
mixing of Stokowski's Fantasia
the
four -track master was recorded simultaneously on tracks 25 to 28 of the A
digital machine, and on four -track,
Dolby- encoded 35 mm mag film,which
-
-
DIGITAL SOUND
FOR MOTION PICTURES
the areas of sound quality and flexibility,
the improvement over today's state -of- the -art
magnetic film offered by digital audio will be at
least as great as that medium's improvement
was over optical sound techniques.
The largest improvement undoubtedly will
be in the area near and dear to the hearts of
film producers worldwide: speed of operation.
When integrated with a video editing system,
digital recording will be to sound editing what
word processors are to writing. An integrated
sound/picture editing system will remove
forever the bane of sound editors' existences,
picture cuts.
Limitations of today's technology and
modus operandi dictate that sound editing not
take place until the picture is locked down. At
this point black and white copies are made of
the editor's workprint, and sound effects layed
in sync with the picture, counting from the
Academy leader start mark 12 feet (8 seconds)
from the first frame of picture. Which goes to
say that if the editor decides to eliminate one
scene, which runs for 90 feet (one minute) at
the beginning of the reel, the sound editors
have to be told to remove this scene from their
prints, lest the previously in -sync dog bark
occur exactly one minute late, in the middle of
the love scene.
Not only will video editing greatly improve
the speed it takes to get the picture to "fine
cut" form, but the computer -based nature of
the beast makes irrelevant such distinctions
regarding the status of picture editing. Sound
editing can proceed apace from the first cut of
the first scene shot, since the computer, and
not the sound leader, will keep everything in
sync.
The end result will be that, except for perhaps the music, all but the most complicated
In
R -e /p 122
October 1982
35 MM FOUR TRACK
DOLBY PRINTING MASTER
Music E011:ng
on Moviola
was recorded in stereo with two Schoeps
CMC -341 mikes on both Sony PCM1600
EDITED 25 MM
films could be made ready for final dubbing
-and not just initial sound editing as soon
as the reels are "locked." In addition, procedures which today have to wait until dozens of
-
--
reels are ready for mixing primarily dialogue
and effects pre -mixes will have been dealt
with by the sound designer during production.
The formal re- recording session (with the
meter counting off Big Bucks) will then be
limited to the final blending of dialogue, effects
and music, and not to getting car -door slams in
sync, or watching the dialogue mixer trying to
remove camera noise from the track without
would be used as a printing master for
the Dolby four -track magnetic prints.
According to Shawn Murphy, "We
interfaced the digital recorder and the
film recorder with the dubbing console
so that whenever I punched -in on the
digital machine, I punched in on the
film machine also."
Many readers will ask a semi -obvious
question at this point: If there is no generation loss in digital recording, why go
through all this trouble, and why not
just make transfers when the digital
mix was locked down? Here's Shawn
Murphy's explanation:
"The real benefit in a digital storage
medium, for our purposes, was the ability to transfer the intermediate steps
the mixed master, the dubbing submaster, and the dubbing master
in the
digital mode, without going outside the
machine, and with little loss. Not with
no loss, but with little loss. If you would
have had magnetic film tranfers at each
of those steps, you would have suffered
-
-
some loss.
"Every step that you go outside this
machine you have a build -up of noise
and some type of distortions which are
different in digital but are still there.
And when you record on a digital system, you have to abide by its rules in
terms of the amount of level there is
no forgiving saturation factor
and
how it handles low- and high- frequency
extremes, which is different from the
way analog handles them.
"The 3M machine was the only multitrack digital machine available to us at
that time which would lock up to a dubbing console and [film] distributor system, and which would have a good percentage of reliability in getting the
-
--
Computer and test console for digital
audio processor currently under
development at Lucasfilm
removing the actor's voice.
While all of this equipment will not come
cheap, to paraphrase J.P. Morgan, while some
have to ask how much the new hardware
cost, they will find a way to afford it.
Undoubtedly there will be more responsibility given to less people, and the distinction
between sound editor and re- recording mixer
will blur along with the differences between
recorder and console, creating a new breed of
sound designer... continued overleaf
will
will
-
show done."
What were the advantages, then, of
using digital recording? In other words,
and it's a question often asked in the
recording and film world: How different
would the project have sounded had an
all- analog system been used? Again,
Shawn Murphy:
"If we had taken great care to make
sure that the analog machines were
lined up optimally at every step of the
way, and had taken great care with the
transfers, though there would have only
"We're sorry ladies and gentlemen,
but the show will be delayed due to technical difficulties."
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R -e /p 12.3
October 1982
DIGITAL SOUND FOR MOTION PICTURES
- continued ..
Digital Sound At Lucasfilm
A version of the dream system described
above is currently on the drawing boards at
Lucasfilm, Ltd. in San Rafael, California. Putting his money where it will give him a better
product, George Lucas has given a staff of
four, headed by Andy Moorer, the time and
money needed to design and build a digital
sound processing system. Work is going on
concurrently on digital scene simulation and
video editing.
Although a working prototype has been in
operation since April, the first two systems will
not be turned over to production until early
next year. As is the general policy of Lucasfilm, the fruits of their R &D are available for
license agreements.
The consoles that will be used in sound
editing and re- recording essentially will be
identical, and differ only in computer controlling software. Like the new Neve DSP
digital console, the Lucasfilm boards will be
reconfigurable and open -ended, with alphanumeric readouts to tell the mixer what knob
is controlling what.
"In our scheme of things," says Moorer,
"firstly, the traditional division between the
.
itally, and remain in the digital domain up to
the printing master. By starting with digital
recordings on location, Moorer feels that the
primary gain will be the reduction of "total
chance of error or misalignment ?'
"We have schemes for cleaning up set dialogue in a semi -automated fashion," he says.
"But since that would require very, very
repeatable calibration of equipment, digital
[location recordings] seems to be the only way
to get this right now."
ACCESS /Neiman -Tillar Associates
Unbeknown to many people in motion picture sound, a digital sound editing system has
been in daily use since early 1977: the
ACCESS system at Neiman -Tillar Associates
in Los Angeles. Living up to its name,
ACCESS (Automated Computer -Controlled
Editing Sound System) gives the sound editor
the ability to audition over 250 hours from the
Neiman -Tillar sound effects library at the
touch of a button. Each computer disk can
store 40 solid minutes of effects, and many
disks can be on line at a time.
Working with a % -inch video cassette of a
cut reel, the sound editor "cuts" the sound
effects by entering into the computer the
desired start -stop times. Usually the only control a sound editor has over the track while
editing is the scraping or wiping of the magnetic emulsion. Any processing
slowing
down, reversing, etc.
cannot be executed in
real time, and must be done elsewhere.
The ACCESS editing system, on the other
hand, can raise or lower the volume and pitch,
and change the equalization of the sound
effect. Most sounds, as stored on the computer disk, are less than three seconds long, for
obvious space /economy reasons. By the
automatic looping of a sound, and creative use
of the pitch and volume controls, movement of
a car or a helicopter can be accurately simulated. The editor can listen to two cut tracks at
a time, and lay a maximum of 19 tracks per
reel.
The start-stop times of a sound, and its
"mods"
the position of the volume, pitch
and equalization controls away from "unity"
are recorded on the disk for each reel. If the
film will be mixed in -house then the effects are
transferred to 16 -track tape with SMPTE
timecode. All other films are transferred to
standard 35 mm mag stripe. The computer
automatically prints out a cue sheet for dub
bing, noting the name and start -stop times for
each effect as it appears in the film.
Should there be a picture cut after the
sound editing is completed, the editor need
only enter in the new start -stop times for each
sound. This feature can be taken a step further
if the film is being mixed in- house; if the director doesn't like a sound effect during the mix,
the ACCESS system can be patched into the
re- recording console, and he or she can audition all other, say, bird tracks doesn't like a
sound in the library. When the right one is
found, the system can be told to replace all of
the old sparrows with finches, as the case may
-
ACCESS System at Neiman -Tillar
cutting and mixing stations would go away: it's
all the same machine. You would have a different program to do mixing rather than cutting,
but it's all the same system. The only difference will be in the software.
"The idea is to carry along the sound in the
digital domain from the earliest possible time
to the latest possible time, until when the six track master is made. The actual storage and
selection of sound effects will be a very, very
small part of what this system is designed to
do. The largest part will be the processing
itself: equalization, filtering, reverberation,
pitch-shifting, ring modulation, what have you.
We would eliminate the need for outboard
equipment. Our machine can do all the operations necessary for music synthesis, too."
Moorer and his staff are currently looking
into the possibility of using a sampling frequency of 35 kHz, both for economy reasons,
and because "in a good theater the highest
measured frequencey response starts to roll
off at 15 kHz, which would suggest that a 35
kHz sampling rate would be quite adequte.
This is not a hard and fast thing, and we have
the capability of running at any rate we like, so
well deliver whatever can actually be appreciated in the theater."
While many might say that on -set noise precludes the need for anything better than the
ubiquitous Nagra, location sound for future
productions at Lucasfilm will be recorded dig-
R -e /p 124
October 1982
-
-
-
be.
A recent addition has been the dialogue editing program, allowing ACCESS editors to
speed up this most tedious sound-editing
procedure. In addition to the A -B rolling of
FANTASIA DIGITAL
FILM SOUND RECORDING
been one transfer before we loaded
everything on a magnetic [film]
machine, I think the difference in terms
of frequency response and distortion
that you would hear would be negligible, if not zero. I think we gained in
terms of signal -to-noise ratio, and wow
and flutter stability because we were
not at the mercy of a film distributor,
which is synced to a 'rubbery' line frequency. The distortions you would hear
with the digital medium would not have
been any better or worse than that you
would have heard from analog hiss or
modulation noise.
"We gained a lot of versatility in dubbing, because we were able to bring in
all of the tracks that we wanted to use in
the final theater version, and still have
a neatly edited package on two reels,
instead of 10 or 12 dubbers. We were also
able to maintain much better sync accuracy, because our synchronizer was
accurate to a hundredth of a SMPTE
frame, which means in terms of phasing accuracy we were much better off.
We were able to bring better quality to
some areas, and make for a much more
flexible dubbing situation.
"But if you take a single shot at the
matter, and say if you had done it 24track, and taken that to the dub, would
it have been any worse
the simple
answer is no."
-
Dolby Stereo Release Prints
The re-issue of Fantasia will be in
both Dolby- encoded, four-track discrete
magnetic, and two -track matrixed stereo optical prints. Digital playback outside of the Disney main theater will
happen
eventually [see sidebar
Ed]. The large number of expensive
magnetic prints
over 100, at three
times the cost each of a standard print
with an optical soundtrack was felt
justified by Disney, because of the compromises implied by the encoding
...
-
-
-
matrix.
The four -track master mix was monitored discrete; that is, without having a
Dolby DS-4 monitoring unit simulate
the effect of the matrix. To make the
two -track printing master for the stereo
optical negative, the four-track mix was
monitored through the 4 -2 -4 matrix.
While the Left-total and Right-total (LtRt) information was being bounced up
to two tracks on the A Machine, a 35 mm
magnetic printing master was made, as
had been done with the four -track printing master.
"We manufactured the surround information for the discrete four-track mix
by delaying the M/S mike 60 milliseconds through a digital delay, with the
matrix set to box 85 to 90%óM' content.
... continued overleaf
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Sales Asst.
Background:
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Eng.. Sales,
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Rec. & Sound
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Background:
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Sound
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For additional information circle #89
Similar care, of course, always has
been taken with the master sound elements, although it was not until digital
recording came along that these could
be protected without going another
generation. A program to protect the
sound effects library
consisting
was
mostly of mono recordings
begun last year, and is now almost finished, a Sony PCM -1600 digital processor being used for this project.
Decision to protect the multitrack
master elements for feature films has
not yet been finalized, pending an engineering study on the standardization of
the multitrack digital format.
The archival function of the digital
recording medium was a prime reason
for its use in Fantasia, as Shawn
Murphy explains:
"I think that where we bought a lot
was in the ability 10 years from now to
take these tapes out and make a new sounding version of this picture in a different format. We will not have to worry
about storage problems and losses
which inevitably would occur on a
magnetic master. Even in the best
temperature- and humidity -controlled
vault, a magnetic master would not
- -
FANTASIA DIGITAL
taking a mix of the three cardioid mikes, and the M/S seemed to give
us the most complete picture to put into
the surrounds. We didn't put a lot of
reverberation in the surrounds."
This surround information was not
used for the Dolby Stereo optical mix,
and Murphy let the matrix create the
We tried
surround information. The surround
delay in the Dolby Stereo optical format
is individually adjusted at each theater.
Archival Storage
Walt Disney Productions is noted for
its 20 -20 foresight in the care and keeping of its films: all feature and television
color negatives are protected against
fading and damage by expensive black
and white separation positives (which
is one reason that Snow White will not
be "Snow Magenta" the next time the
film is reissued.)
hold information as well as we think the
digital master will. We haven't had that
much time and experience in digital
recording.
"But if it works out correctly that the
error correction is good enough to fix
any errors that happen in regard to
level on the tape, then we have gained a
lot. It has already been edited so the
editing process will not have to be
repeated. If someone said, 'Let's do a
version with stereo surrounds,' which is
something that I would like to see, then
we could easily do it."
N
s**
The work of the Walt Disney Productions Sound Department in the digital
recording of Fantasia, while not quite
the landmark effort of its predecessor,
has once again set a precedent. No other
studio has undertaken the task of
recording and mixing a feature film
using multitrack recorders, much less
using the digital medium. Armed with
this experience, and what has been
learned from working on the EPCOT
films, one can only expect that Disney
will apply this knowledge to ;1 greater
extent in future films.
DIGITAL SOUND FOR MOTION PICTURES
- continued ...
tracks and "scraping"
abstracting
- datascanner photo
reprint
create background
tracks.
system their words
synopsis the
'counted'
of noises, ACCESS dia-
information from available
an explanation of the
in
from a
of
paper they plan to deliver at the SMPTE Convention in early November:
"Digital fluorescent soundtracking is a high data density digital sound record multiplexed
with the picture. Six discrete channels of 100%
redundant soundtracking, requiring a data
rate of 10.5 million bits /second, are electrostatically printed, using a high -resolution liquid
toner, over the entire 25 mm space between
the sprocket holes on 35 mm release prints as
a colorless and transparent, brightly fluorescent data image. The soundtrack is invisible
on the screen, but when excited by long -wave
ultraviolet light in a readout stage that retrofits
into the magnetic track penthouse position on
of
logue editing allows the editor to quickly
fill from location
This procedure formerly entailed finding segments between words, making a transfer of a
small section until a loop could be obtained.
Again, this results in considerable time
savings.
material, we
Digital Fluorescentsound
Regardless of where the digital domain begins and ends in the hybrid systems of today,
many re- recording mixers would sleep better
knowing that their handiwork was being
released in a digital format. The leading (and
possibly only) contender in this field is Digital
Fluorescentsound, developed and patented
by Peter Custer and Dr. George Bird. Instead
II
1
I
1
5R
4R
5P
4P
3P
3R
2R
4R
-
i
6R
will
II
I I I
3R
I
2R
1R
2P
1P
6P
1R
6R
C
5R
-
-
3P
2P
2R
1P
6P
1R
6R
5R
4R
3R
6P
5P
4P
3P
2P
I I
FRAME
4P
1P
III
#1
I
II
FRAME #2
5P
11
II
11C
FRAME #3
Digital Fluorescentsound Format for six audio channels on standard 35 mm film Of the
25.4 mm (1 inch) space between the sprocket holes, 24 mm is used for Fluorescent
Digital Soundtrack Imaging. The Format Pattern repeats every three frames. (Key: P =
Primary Data Patch containing 36,000 bits; R is its identical Redundant Data Patch.)
.
R -e /p 126
October 1982
the projector, the surface of the film emits
the
image that is
bright blue visible light
by a 2048 -pixel line
-
diode array [is] error -corrected and converted
back into an analog signal, reproducing the
source with great accuracy, and without distortion or noise. Recording the sound on the
film as numbers that are used to reconstruct
the analog waveform .. separates the sound
record, and gives it immunity from the noise
inevitably imposed on an analog film soundtrack by the recording medium
Film is
damaged by both wear and abuse. The error
correction possible in a digital sound record,
because it uses computer technology, excludes noise caused by grain, splices, dirt and
scratches. The fact that the data is buffered
-stored for an instant
and precisely
clocked out of memory, electronically eliminates distortion of the signal caused by
mechanical wow and flutter. These and other
properties inherent to digital sound make digital soundtracking uniquely advantageous to
motion picture film"
The data -recording format was designed by
Dr. Thomas G. Stockham of Soundstream,
Inc., and is shown on this page.
At this time, the cost per theater is expected
to be in the neighborhood of $20,000, with half
of that going for the electronics, and $5,000 for
the soundhead on each projector. The first
theater demonstration of working prototype is
expected to be made in two years.
A practical advantage of the proposed format, outside of the potential sonic benefits, will
be that for the first time the state -of -the -art
soundtrack will be obtained without the price
premium of a 70 mm print, thus saving distributors millions of dollars annually. Also, the
allotment of the six tracks has not yet been
decided
options include stereo surround
information, five behind- the- screen channels,
and low frequency "boom" information. M
.
...
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October 1982
Re,'p 127
MUSIC RECORDING FOR FILM
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
OF FILM SCORING STAGE
Record Plant Scoring's Conversion
of Glen Glenn Stage on
the Paramount Lot, Hollywood
by Neil Brody
Studio M, Record Plant Scoring's
newly completed motion picture scoring
stage located on Paramount Picture's
Hollywood lot, is the product of a unique
intra- organizational arrangement
involving Record Plant Scoring, Glen
Glenn Sound and Paramount Pictures.
Since 1968, Glen Glenn has provided all
of Paramount's on- the -lot audio services, and currently operates six additional sound studios at Paramount, as
well as its own Hollywood studios, and
others at the Sound Center in the San
Fernando Valley.
Record Plant president Chris Stone
explains the new collaboration: "There's
a lot of excitement in this town that's
been created by this marriage. What
Record Plant Scoring has done is to sublet the stage from Glen Glenn with
Paramount's consent. Record Plant
Scoring has renovated and redesigned
the stage, and will run it and book it
under the auspices of Paramount and
Glen Glenn."
"Now for the first time," Stone adds,
"the filmmaker can make one package
deal for the entire film of any scope or
size. We're coming in here and bringing
state -of- the -art [technology] from the
music business, and Dan Wallin who
is, we think, the permiere orchestral film
scoring mixer in the world."
"The conclusion we've come to,"
states Joseph Kelly, president of Glen
Glenn Studios, "is that the music businsess is very different from television and
film. In the past, sound departments
and some of the sound services companies have tried to do both, because scoring is a part of producing the soundtrack for a movie. It's never really been
successful, because the music business
is different ... a different approach and
a whole different field."
-
Design Considerations
The complete redesign and renovation process for the new scoring stage,
which cost in excess of $750,000, and
now accommodates over 100 musicians,
was based on ideas put forth by Record
Plant's scoring mixer Dan Wallin. Wallin's many film scoring credits include
soundtracks for Star Trek II, Rocky III,
Annie. The Best Little Whorehouse in
Texas, Altered States, Woodstock (rerecording only) Finian's Rainbow, and
Deliverance, as well as extensive work
in television, radio and records. Wallin
has been associated with the Record
Plant since February 1981, when it
opened its first scoring stage- Studio C
at the Third Street studios in
-Hollywood.
R -e /p 128
"The outstanding feature of the new
stage," Wallin concedes, "is the acoustics of the recording room. It's the fact
that we can totally tune the room for
any kind of orchestra of any size, or any
kind of rhythm section. We can tune the
walls perfectly, and I don't think that
that's ever been done before to quite the
extent that we have. [The room] is
October 1982
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The Ultra Low Distortion oscillator cutouts
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Completely floating and balanced signal
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With the 1710 you can measure THD down
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Push a button and reject hum and high frequency noise with the built in 18 dB /octave
filters (400 Hz, 30 kHz and 80 kHz). Flip a
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°Sound Technology 1982
For additional information circle #91
October 1982
R-e p 129
structed of
flat wood resonators. 'l'hese
SCORING STAGE DESIGN rotating slats
can be closed flush to the
wall for maximum reflection, or variaAND CONSTRUCTION
trapped behind the walls with real true
traps, and all the way around the bottom of the floor, which takes care of any
room rumble.
"Basically, the acoustics are an
accumulation of a whole lot of years of
being in different rooms, and finding
out what works best
that's what I
went for. There's no magic like slide rule
mechanics or anything; it's really all
based on my experience."
Side walls of the spacious 5,000square-foot room are composed of several wall- mounted, double-tiered resonating wood panels which, when closed
flush to the wall at a 45-degree angle to
one other, form a convex reflective surface. When the panels are hinged out
from the wall, they expose an absorptive
underlayer, which can be regulated,
depending or. how far the panels are
opened. These variable panels are
alternated between several double tiered, rotating panelled areas, con-
-
bly rotated to diminish reflection,
depending on the desired sound quality.
The ceiling, originally 50 -foot high,
has been dropped to a height of 32 feet,
with the front half acoustically trapped
to absorb any unwanted random low
frequencies. The rear half of the ceiling
houses three suspended wooden resonating wedges, designed to break up any
direct floor to ceiling "bounce." The 65foot wide by 75 -foot long recording stage
utilizes five, four-way Klipsch M -1900
monitors for studio playback, mounted
behind the projection screen on the rear
wall of the room.
"We left ourselves the option to make
the room more live," Wallin continues.
"Behind the ceiling treatments are
traps that can be opened. We can do
whatever we want with them, like put in
more `hardening' surfaces. The stage
was designed with the front-end fairly
dead, and the back -end more live. It's
not live per se; it's more `directed,' actually. Normally, in a room this size, the
ceiling can give you a lot of problems, so
we trapped all the parts that could cause
any trouble. The trapping prevents the
brass, for example, from coming back
out of phase across the ceiling, and cancelling [the in -phase sound]. That's the
reason for it being absorptive. The leakage is minimal, and it's amazing how
much separation we get. I left the back
end of the room fairly live, because
that's where I put the percussion, and it
sounds much better in a more live
environment."
Control -room Hardware
The control room is equipped with a
Solid State Logic SL 4000E, 40- input/
:12-output automation -ready console,
which has individual four-band parametric equalizers, limiter -compressors
and noise gates on each input strip.
Since the monitoring, mixing and
headphone requirements for film are
considerably different from record work,
an additional sub- mixing and monitoring sub-console was designed and built
by Record Plant technical staff. This
outboard unit interfaces directly with
the SSL, and handles up to 40 inputs
and up to eight outputs. It contains
DETAIL OF NEW ACOUSTIC TREATMENT ALONG WALLS OF STUDIO M, COMPRISING ALTERNATING BANKS OF DOORS AND
SLATS THAT CAN BE OPENED OR CLOSED TO MODIFY THE
ACOUSTIC ENVIRONMENT.
OPENING DOORS
TO REVEAL
ABSORBENT
MATERIALS
REVOLVING
SLATS
GRILL
CLOTH
GRILL
CLOTH
R -e /p 130
October 1982
ACOUSTIC
DOOR
ROTATING
WOODEN
SLATS
THE SEEDS
HAVE BEEN PlANTED.
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Coming harvest time '82
009) 255-1690
2727 N. Grove Indus'rial Dr. #105, Fresno, California 93727
A dwisson 01 PF
Communicalwns Inc
For additional Information circle #92
October 1982
R -e /p 131
SCORING STAGE DESIGN tom setup utilizing JBL 2235 woofers
and 2441 compression drivers, operatAND CONSTRUCTION
ing with an 800 -Hz crossover network.
monitoring and mixing capability from
either the SSI, bus outputs, and /or any
of the various film formats, as well as
simultaneous mono or two -track mixing
outputs.
The sub- mixing console has its own
bus /track switching, and sends back to
the SSL a logic signal to continue the
bus or tape selection. The custom -built
unit also provides six discrete headphone feed channels, since musicians in
various sections of an orchestra usually
require different headphone mixes. In
addition, the console enables selection
of any one of six separate echo sources
from each channel. Since generally in
film scoring the orchestra is mixed live
directly to a three -track 35 mm magnetic
The monitors are equalized with White
4003 third -octive equalizers, and are
powered by bi- amplified BGW 750 -watt
amplifiers, as are the Klipsch studio
monitors.
Pen Stevens, chief engineer for the
Record Plant, explains the reason for
choosing a two -way speaker system:
"We felt that with a two -way system we
would achieve fewer phase problems,
because of the fewer 'points' of sound.
The new JBI. horn driver goes out pretty
far on the top -end, and we decided that
we didn't need any additional tweeter.
The 800 Hz crossover is about as low as
one can go on a two -inch horn driver,
and not blow them up at the sound pressure levels that we produce. If you go
lower, it's less efficient, and the life of
the speaker is much shorter. We are
track recorders, and Ampex ATR-100
four- and two -track machines.
"The control room is really versatile,"
Wallin considers. "The SSL console is
very quiet and has] everything a mixer
could desire. The modules are really useful; with the parametric equalization,
gating and limiting it requires only a
small amount of outboard gear.
"The outboard mixing panel is unique, in that it allows you to punch up
any combination of film mixing formats
six -track, four -track, three -track, two track, or mono. The six separate headphone feeds for musicians are great.
Having the ability to discretely separate
the echo sends and returns is really
important, because a lot of times during
dubbing the client might want to re -do
part of the orchestra, and you can't
leave a trace of echo on any of the other
tracks from the original, so you must be
able to keep all your echo separate. It
I
-
View across the sub -mixer to the control- room's main 40input/32-output Solid State Logic SL 4000E automation -ready
console, equipped with compressor- limiters on each channel.
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Custom -designed 40 -input sub -console interfaces directly with
the main SSL board, and provides separate monitor and fold back mixes. Six discrete headphone send busses are available.
recorder (a 16- or 24 -track tape being
recorded simultaneously as a back -up),
the echo for each section of the orchestra
must be kept discrete. In other words,
should a violin string section, for example, later be omitted, or the part rewritten, the echo must not have been
recorded on any other tracks of the
three-track, other than the violin track,
so that they can be re- recorded without
echo leakage appearing anywhere else
in the mix.
Talkback and slate systems are also
interfaced between the two consoles.
Both originate in the main SSL console,
and are linked over to the outboard section. Along with communication with
the studio, the talkback system permits
independent communication between
the mixer, conductor, music editor,
machine room, projectionist, and producer's room. The slate system allows
slate cues to be made directly from the
control room, the machine room, or the
music editor.
The control -room monitor system is a
five speaker (left, left- center, center,
right-center, and right), two -way cusR-e/p 132
October 1982
using the same crossover at our Third
Street studios, and it's worked out very
well."
The machine room at Stage M is
equipped with 35 mm magnetic
recorders: one three -track, and one
mono; along with one non-sprocketed ½.
inch four -track recorder, and one 'Ainch, mono recorder equipped with pilot tone. Because of their increased track
width 300 mil, compared with 70 mil
for 16 -track and 43 mil for 24 -track
machines 35 mm magnetic recorders
have a greater signal -to -noise ratio.
-
-
Since they enable first -generation
recordings to be edited for the final mix,
35 mm transports are generally preferred over multitrack recorders for the
master film mix; very often the only use
of multitrack is for safety back -up, and
to provide a record album mix.
In addition to the 35 mm mag
machines, clients at Studio M have the
option of selecting either digital or
analog multitrack format recorders.
The room will be equipped with an, as
yet unconfirmed, multitrack digital system, one or more synchronized 3M 24-
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works out very well because we have
several echo sources to choose from,
including the live chamber, several
EMT 140s, one EMT 250, one EMT 251
[both digital reverbs], and the [AKG]
BX-20s.
"I really believe that we are the only
scoring stage that is truly state-of -theart. In terms of the acoustics, electronics
and everything else that we have done,
it's really way ahead of everything
else."
Digital Recording
As for the role that digital will play in
the future of film audio, "I'm really
impressed with the digital recordings
that we've done like Star Trek II and
Annie," Wallin says, "and overall digital is really superior to analog
it's
the next generation of recording. I like
...
the dynamic range, the quietness and
the fact that you don't need to use noise reduction. You have to if you're using
multitracks, or the noise will kill you
even at elevated levels at 30 IPS, and
especially with double 24- tracks. Even
though for film you eventually have to
-
Willkommen
..
Bienvenue
...
Welcome!
From cabarets to studios, Soundcraft sets records around the world.
The most popJIa- rrid- oricec ccnsole in Europe is at the
1982 AES Conve-it on, aic is available frorr
Audio Ergineering Associates. Come by bocth 1225 a'
the shcw, or viii' cur demonstration faciity
hers i- L.A. -o discotie all that Soundcraft ofte-s
in ccnsoles and tape machires
audio engineering orrociate,
1329 --. al en avenue
Fasadena, ca 9-04
0a
(213; 798-9-27
that many of the people previously
SCORING STAGE DESIGN tion of potential profits and sales promotion brought about by the marketing
AND CONSTRUCTION
of soundtrack albums from successful
associated with the record industry, and
which is now experiencing a period of
substantial decline, are pooling their
audio talents and joining forces with the
film industry ... as Record Plant Scoring, Paramount Pictures, Glen Glenn
Sound and others have demonstrated.
-
go to mag, and then to optical, if you
improve the sound to begin with you
don't have as much degradation."
Joel Sill, vice-president of music at
Paramount, sees digital sound as playing a prominent role in the future of film
audio: "Digital sound for film is definitely another step foward in the state
of- the -art," he offers, "especially for the
larger-budget films. Studio M can facilitate over 100 musicians and record to
digital.
"There are more films being made by
filmmakers who have come up through
a more contemporary musical environment. Consequently, they are more
aware of contemporary music and the
musicians themselves. The blend of a
contemporary musician into the film
areas has always been a bridge that
both the film and record industries have
wanted to have crossed. With Studio M,
we are providing an environment that is
state -of- the -art, and sensitive to a record
musician. It's the ideal marriage."
Obviously, economics play an important role in any endeavor that requires
significant advance money. Record
Plant's Chris Stone cites economics as
the deciding factor in the decision to go
ahead and renovate the new room.
"When Record Plant first got into the
scoring business," he recalls, "someone
said to me. 'In film, music is an unfortunate necessity,' and it has been treated
that way. Now, with the economic success of such high -quality soundtrack
albums as Chariots of Fire, The Jazz
Singer and Urban Cowboy, music has
demonstrated that sometimes it can
save or promote the film, and therefore
has become much more important. That
realization, coupled with changes in the
state -of- the -art of sound, have become
much more of a factor in the filmmaker's mind. The picture is one thing and
the music is the other; it takes both of
them to make the film and economic
success."
"I believe that digital sound will even
do more for that," Stone continues.
"Record Plant Scoring would not be
spending the money to rebuild this
stage if we didn't totally believe that
film sound was going to be a major factor in our growth. We're looking for virtually all our growth to come from scoring and from remotes. And much of our
remotes will be for the visual medium
television and film."
feature films
along with a growing
public enthusiasm for quality sound
leaves the audio future open to an optimistic forecast for growth in the motion picture industry.
It may also he seen as a positive trend
MICROPHONE AND RECORDING
TECHNIQUES FOR FILM SCORING
-
-
Currently, the film industry is coming
off its most profitable summer season
ever. Several of the major motion picture studios already have committed to
stepping up film production substantially for 1983. A film studio's recogniOctober 1982
R-e/p 134
N
-A Conversation with Record Plant's Danny Wallin
Compared to "conventional" record
sessions, recording the music of a live
orchestra for use in a motion picture, or
any of the other visual arts, shares
much of the same basic responsibilities,
procedures, and equipment. Many of the
same microphones, tape machines, consoles, monitoring and communication
systems are used, as well as the studio
environments necessary to accurately
record and evaluate the music. In addition to sharing common technical components, both processes rely on the
engineer- mixer's talents, know -how,
and ability to interpret and blend the
separate audio elements into an overall
cohesive sound.
Moreover, music scoring for the visual
arts demands some additional requirements for an engineer to consider,
which are particular to recording sound
for use with picture. In music scoring,
since most of the visual music "cues"
are used as "underscoring," dialogue
clarity must always be given the highest priority. Consequently, the music
must be recorded and mixed in such a
way that it is always clear and audible,
but never competes with the dialogue.
Since moving into film -music in the
late Fifties, scoring mixer Dan Wallin,
whose career in audio began in 1946 as a
symphonic mixer for the CRS Radio
Network, has worked on soundtracks
for over 700 motion pictures.
"The most significant aspect to keep
in mind when recording music for film,"
he stresses, "is [to ask] how the music is
going to play against the dialogue. In
film, dialogue is 'king' and should be
regarded as the lead vocal. What the
scoring mixer must acheive is to record
the music in such a way as to allow it to
exist on a slightly different acoustical
plane than the dialogue. This is the reason why a typical scoring sound is conceptually closer to the classical sound,
rather than the contemporary pop
record sound. There's so much more
equalized presence on a typical record
than a film score, because if you treated
the film sound with that much unnatural presence it would overpower the dialogue. You would have to play it so low
against the dialogue that its true characteristics
a thin, 'pinched -down'
sound, which only sounds good if it's
played loud would start to show up.
"I always bear in mind when I'm mixing that the music is under dialogue,
and I try to keep my dynamics in such a
range so that no matter how low they
play, you're still going to hear everything in the orchestra. If you listen to
the old Warner Brothers' pictures,
they've got the music just roaring away,
-
DANNY WALLIN
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and every single word of the dialogue is
perfectly clear- because it's in a whole
different space. The trick is knowing the
right mixes, and where to put them ..
and your conceptual feeling for the
orchestra.
"In film 99% of the time we do everything at once, and we generally don't
overdub. The basic difference between
film scoring and record making is the
approach."
.
Direct to Three -Track
In practice, Wallin relies primarily on
his knowledge of room acoustics, and
microphone selection and placement to
achieve a desired sound. Film scoring,
unlike record making, requires that all
the aesthetic decisions, such as balance,
panning, EQ and echo, be made at the
time of recording. Usually the instruments are mixed "live" to three -track 35
mm sprocketed magnetic tape, while
utilizing a multitrack recorder (usually
16 - or 24- track) as a back -up should the
music cue later necessitate, for whatever reason, overdubbing, replacement
or re- mixing, or for a soundtrack record
release.
Track designation of the
three -track mag music score is as follows: track 1 mix left, track 2 mix center,
and track 3 mix right. For this reason,
everything must be decided on the spot,
and there is little room for error or indecision on the part of the scoring mixer.
Critical evaluation and correction of
possible problems within the orchestra,
such as phase cancellation, intermodulation distortion and mono/stereo compatibility, must be resolved in the first
few minutes of a scoring date.
"I use very little EQ," Wallin says,
"and roll off some bottom when necessary, except on the drums which needs
to be punched -up a bit. I give some 'pop'
to the kick, some 'snap' and bottom to
the snare, and some brightness to the
cymbals. This room [Studio M] has so
little low -end problems in it, I can pretty
much get the sound I'm after with the
right michrophone, rather than the
equalizer.
"When an orchestra is recorded correctly, there's no cancellation, no intermodulation distortion, and no phase shifting. When you go mono from the
stereo [mix], everything adds up and it
sounds just as loud; the instruments
don't disappear back in the mix.
"With regard to intermodulation distortion, for most things tube mikes
sound better to me than transistor
mikes, and they have a lot more forgiving latitude. Plus the fact that with
tubes you have tremendous headroom.
What I try to do in the first few minutes
of listening to an orchestra is to work
out any intermodulation distortion
problems that may exist. I know that
most engineers understand the technical meaning of intermodulation distortion, but I don't know how many of them
are aware of how much that actually
occurs in, say, a string section. I listen to
the physical positioning of the mikes
themselves, and then check them
against every other microphone in the
section.
"I'll start off listening to the inside
pair, and then the outside pair. If I hear
any IM, I'll adjust the position of that
mike. If that doesn't solve it, I'll ask the
concertmaster of the section to perhaps
change the 'divisi'
the way the
instruments are physically positioned
in the section because they are acoustically 'rubbing together' and creating
intermodulation. It's the job of the
mixer to place the mikes so that there is
no trace of intermodulation distortion,
and everything is in phase and sounds
clean and pure.
"Using a lesser number of mikes
reduces your chances of phase- shift,
and you begin to hear more of the harmonic structure of the whole section.
I'm convinced that you can get just as
hot a sound by using a couple of mikes,
as you can by using four or eight; of
course, it all depends on the size of the
section.
"Placement of the overhead stereo
room mike is also critical, and you have
to be careful of the intermodulation distortion relationship between it and the
closer mikes. Once I get the IM worked
out of the closer mikes, I'll listen to the
whole section against the overall microhone. If I still hear IM, I move the
-
-
positioning of the room mike until all
the roughness or impurities are gone in
the sound.
"IM is the one thing that gets worse
every generation and every transfer.
Every section, be it strings, woodwinds,
brass or rhythm, is subject to IM, and it
has to be worked out in order for everything to sound good and be in phase."
Session Setup
Setting up a stage for a large orchestra scoring session is no simple matter.
Microphones, chairs, music stands,
reading lamps, room lights, headphones, baffles, cables, and so on, must
all be arranged, adjusted and checked out prior to the downbeat. Many times,
one or two run -throughs of the first
music cue may be all the time that a
scoring mixer has to get the sound balanced, and to check that the headphone
mix is adjusted to the musicians'
satifaction.
The high cost of recording a large
orchestra imposes a tremendous expenditure on a film maker, and there is very
little tolerance of wasted time. Technical problems must be kept to a minimum, since the session musicians are
being paid regardless of whether or not
any recording is being done. Communication between the scoring mixer, conductor, musicians, machine room operacontinued overleaf
-
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October 1982 0 R -e/p 135
SCORING STAGE DESIGN
AND CONSTRUCTION
that I've ever heard. I've had 40 microphones open and, until somebody does
something, it's extraordinarily quiet
sounding in there."
"If you walk into the room when the
orchestra is playing, there's a very
warm string sound. The players love to
play here; if you put a flat next to them
they hate it, because it sucks up their
natural sound and they start to over blow, since they can't really hear themselves. If they blow harder, especially in
the brass, the instrument starts to
mixed for mono, fourtrack Dolby Stereo,
70 mm six -track Dolby Stereo, television, foreign release (mixed the same
but with the exclusion of the dialogue,
which must later be re- dubbed into the
language of the exhibiting country),
and sometimes even separate versions
for in -flight airplane screening.
Since there are so many formats to be
considered and it's not always known
to the mixer at the time of the scoring
session which format(s) will be used
later in the dubbing- the scoring mixer
will supply the three -track 35 mm mag
tape in a format that can be adapted to
all applications. Therefore, the panning
of the orchestra in the stereo perspective
is of the utmost concern, since the film
may be released as both stereo and /or
mono, and the music must be compati-
torts), projectionists, director and
producer, and music editor is of utmost
importance, and easy access to all participants is crucial, Wallin considers.
Speed. flexibility and steady nerves are
important attributes for the scoring
mixer to possess, since the responsibility for coordinating everythings is saturate.
"If you can achieve a real good, pure
theirs. Because of these restraints, a
mixer must be able to shift gears effort- sound, which sounds like the musicians
lessly between technical, aesthetic and playing in the room, then you've
political judgments, without breaking accomplished what you've set out to do
which is to reproduce the orchestra in
stride and throwing off the momentum.
"There are many other aspects its most natural or enchanced form."
ble in either format.
involved here beyond good engineering
"If I'm doing a feature film where a
Track Assignments
and good acoustics," he confides. "For
great deal of care is given to the overall
and Panning
one thing, the comfort of the musicians
Once the music score has been balance, I divide the orchestra as folis very important. If they are required to
listen to clicks and so forth, you have to recorded, and the other necessary post - lows: high strings on the left; woodhave good, clean headphone busses, production work completed, the film winds, rhythm, keyboards, bass and
and enough to go around. We have six sound is then ready to be mixed by the percussion in the center; and the viola
separate busses, with the availability of re- recording mixers on a dubbing stage. and celli on the right. I usually split the
eight. Each player might need some- There, while watching the scene- to -be- horns, if I can, with the first on the left,
especially if mixed on the picture screen, the dia- and the seconds on the right. I put the
thing a little different
there is a unison line and the players logue, music and sound -effects mixers trumpets in the middle, the trombones
across the room have to be able to hear rehearse balancing together the play- on the right, and the tuba in the center. I
back of individual 35 mm mag sound always try to put the bass in the middle,
each other quickly and efficiently.
"Colors mean a lot ... it all affects the "units," until a satisfactory balance is and divide it up that way, so that if you
mood. Wood is very important for the achieved. Once this is accomplished, put [the mix] up as stereo it really
resonance factor; for the 'warmth' of it. they proceed to record the master mix on sounds like good stereo. I also put the
overall stereo mike left and right.
It's closer to nature, and that's what the an additional 35 mm mag recorder.
"If I'm doing a television show, howThe track format of this mix is deterinstruments like. They are little Helmholtz resonators; the violins and every- mined by how the film is going to be ever, I do it differently. I put all the
released in more than one format, which strings on one track; rhythm, keyboards
thing all respond better to wood.
"I don't like concrete floors even if will necessitate additional mixes. For and percussion on a second track; and
they have wood on them. We have a example, different versions may be all the brass and woods on the third
wood parquet floor that is slightly
resonant. I didn't want it to cavitate,
but I did want a little something hapROOM LAYOUT FOR FRANCES SCORING SESSION
pening to it ... so that when a musician
bows the bass or cello he gets back a
AT RECORD PLANT STUDIO "M ", AUGUST 1982.
little vibration, rather than deadness.
ENGINEER: DANNY WALLIN
It's the same with brass or woodwinds
it deadens their sound if you have real
absorbent baffles around them too
much. I wanted to create an environ3$ MM MAO
ment where I didn't have to use a lot of
MACHINE ROOM
gobos and flats; where there would still
be great separation ... knowing that I'd
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still have to put the drums in a booth.
"I wanted a room where you can't
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actually hear the walls; where you don't
-term
leakage
coming
have any long
back to you out -of- phase. For example, if
the brass are blowing and they are posi- 7
CONTROL ROOM
tioned correctly, whatever leakage you
get in the strings is direct leakage, and
not coming back to them from the walls
El El®..
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behind the string. Since the back of a
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Neumann U67 microphone, for exam..
ple, is down in level from the front by
some 40 dB, that kind of direct leakage
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is really negligible. What kills you is the
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out -of -phase long-term leakage; that's
what muddies everything up and makes
you look for more isolation.
"Due to the bass and other trappings,
and the way everything is moved
around, it's one of the quietest rooms
October 1982
R -e /p 136
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Microphone Selection
As for microphones, Wallin uses a
great deal of tube mikes which, he feels,
are the most compatible with the aesthetic requirements of film scoring. "I
like the sound of Neumann U67," he
says, "and I like the pattern; it has an
exceptionally clean sound. If you corn pare a 67 and a U87 on, say, a vocal, the
first pass through it seems that the 87
has more presence, because of the sound
of the transistors. But if you hear that
same vocal several generations later,
the 67's presence is still there, and the
87's presence is already gone, due to odd -
order harmonic distortion of the
transistors.
"I like the 67 on violins, the U47 on
violas, and the RCA 10001 ribbon mike
on bass and celli. I also like the Sennheiser MKH406 on woodwinds. I use
the KM -84 on percussion, because I'll
get a nice bright, clean sound with very
little or no clipping if I'm careful with
the padding to the pre -amp. I tend to use
very few dynamic mikes, except on the
-
drum kit.
"For recording brass, I like to get the
'bell -tone' sound of the brass that you
get with a good ribbon mike. I particularly don't like that 'crushed- down,'
small brass sound that seems to be popular in record recordings. They use con densor microphones, and the voltage
comes out of the thing so high that all
the transients are crushed, because it
usually overloads the pre -amp. I like
that nice big, 'open' bell -tone because it
sounds fat; you can only get that with a
ribbon mike that's not too close to the
horn. But, you've got to be in a good
room too. The room is the key to
everything."
As far as the rhythm section is concerned, Wallin points out, "Today everyone expects a 'record sound' rhythm
section, because the record people did
more of that than we did. The 'California Drum Sound,' as it evolved, was
something I was aware of all the time. I
mike the kick, snare, toms, hi -hat and
overheads separately, like anybody else
would. Generally the snare and kick
would be in the center, and I do mike the
toms and cymbals in stereo so if they
want to split it up that way they can,
and the toms can travel from left to
right. For ambience on the drums, today
they seem to want a more dry, up- front,
direct sound. But we also use more room
sound, depending on the circumstance.
Guitars are treated basically the way
you would on a record date.
"There's a lot of talented people in the
record industry," Wallin concludes,
"especially those that have been around
a long time, who have begun to recognize that there is more than one kick
drum, or Fender bass sound. There are
other really good sounds that are just as
important as the 'smashed- down,' brash
sound and the 'skinny- distorted' string
sound, with the rhythm section mixed
-
so far forward that everyone else might
as well have stayed home. It could be
better if it all was contributory. Instead,
it sounds like a mistake; like crosstalk.
You could erase the tape completely and
it's still hanging in there.
"There's a reason for everything I do
every microphone, every move, every
balance. I haven't guessed at a.sound in
over 10 years. Up to that time, I pretty
-
much knew what was going to happen,
but I wasn't able to identify it as quickly
and readily when a problem occurred, or
how to cure it instantly
leakage,
phase -shift, or whatever. When you are
recording a film score and you've got 80
musicians out there, there are no second
chances. So, for your own selfprotection, you had better do it right the
first time. "
-
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-
Z,YYI-910-328-8100)
October 1982
0
R -e/p 137
You do better
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SPECSMANSHIP AND THE
NEW GENERATION OF VCA
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R-e/p 138
297-3261
October 1982
by Paul C. Buff
Technical Consultant, Valley People, Inc.
For those of you who don't know
what the term "specsmanship"
means, let me cite an example: A
manufacturer has a new tape machine
design that he wishes to sell in the marketplace. While being very inexpensive, it
it is very
is not a very good design
noisy, and has poor frequency response.
Now, the manufacturer knows that nobody
will buy it if it has poor specs, or no specs.
He also knows he will be sued if he publishes false specs. So he creates a method
of specification which indicates excellent
performance, stated in such a way as to
be technically correct and verifiable.
By manipulating the test conditions to
suit the product, a picture of superior performance may be projected, even though
the product itself might be inferior. Thus,
in its worse case, "specsmanship" is a
clever series of manipulations and omissions designed to fool the average user
into thinking the product is acceptable
for the purpose, even though it might perform terribly in actual use.
There are but two methods known to
combat the ill effects of specsmanship:
legislation and standardization of terms
and methods; and the cultivation of a
higher order of comprehension on the
part of the user. The user who relies on
the former method may have a very long
and rocky road ahead for himself, since
i.e.
legislative bodies are bureaucratic
and
agonizingly slow and ineffectual
easily outpaced by the specsman. Thus,
the only real defense against such tactics
is education of the user to a point where
he can more fully comprehend the technical material presented to him for
analysis.
At present, the specsmanship situation
in pro -audio could probably be called
moderate. There are a good number of
manufacturers that exert every effort to
project the truest possible image of the
performance of their offerings. They are
generally successful, since there are a
fair number of consumers that are able to
-
--
interpret the specs, and buy accordingly.
In the middle ground, there are a large
number of manufacturers who, while basically honest in their specs, are unashamed to perform a certain amount of
specmanship adjusting what is presented to coincide with what the consumer
wants to see. The success level in this
group is excellent, since there are plenty
of customers who don't really know how
to comprehend the specs, and who may
never come to the realization that the
equipment does not perform quite in the
manner indicated by the specs; if it makes
-
music, it's okay.
At the bottom of the heap are a certain
number of outright specsmen. At times,
such manufacturers are not fully dishonest since they, themselves, may not even
understand what they are specifying. Fortunately, there are few professional users
gullible enough to swallow very much of
this. Nevertheless, the latter exist in
numbers sufficient to allow the sporadic
success of a few blatant specsmen and
their companies.
VCA Specsmanship
Voltage -controlled amplifiers were introduced to the pro -audio industry about a
decade ago, and play an essential role in
modern signal processing. They allow a
degree of signal manipulation far beyond
what was possible in the past, in areas of
console automation or programming,
limiting, comand in dynamics control
pression, expansion, filtering, etc. As
with many new technologies, VCAs
gained some early proponents and opponents. While the benefits of the VCA
structure were immediately recognized
from a standpoint of increased system
usefulness, there evolved a mistrust for
the "sound" of VCAs from a point of pure
audio transparency.
The problem here may be traced primarily to the newness of the technology.
Neither the manufacturers that employed
these devices in their equipment, nor the
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SPECSMANSHIP
AND THE NEW
GENERATION OF VCA
users who bought same, fully understood
the relationships between the numbers
presented and the actual in -use performance. Only when these circuits were
analyzed and measured under actual use
conditions was it realized that rather
alarming amounts of IMD (Intermodulation Distortion), modulation noise, and
thermally- induced distortion drift were
evident.
This author continues to be amazed at
how little industry understanding prevails
regarding VCAs and their implementation to this day, and how VCAs, in general, continue to be viewed as incomprehensible little cubes that defy conventional measurement techniques. Also,
I
am concerned that, while certain
present -day VCAs offer completely transparent performance and understandable
documentation, new products are appearing on the market that may be less than
transparent, but which are specified in
such a manner as to indicate excellence.
In short, this writer fears a return to
another ara of mistrust for all VCAs out of
specsmanship and non -comprehension.
The Requirements
If we are to understand what level of
performance is required for VCA transparency, we must first review how they
are used. We must also get some handle
on what constitutes "transparency" in
this decade of pro- audio.
The most prevalent use of VCAs also
happens to be the most critical use: the
employment of a VCA in the main signal
path of a console in place of the conventional fader. All audio signals pass this
once during
point at least two times
tracking, and once during mixdown; any
VCA anomolies are thus injected into the
signal twice. We also need to realize that
the signal level at the fader point of most
consoles is not confined to a tidy "nominal level," but is very apt to cover quite a
range, as influenced by the position of
mike pads, sound pressure levels in the
studio equalization used, and the gain or
loss of peripheral equipment inserted.
Thus, VCA inputs need to be able to
handle a very wide range of input levels,
while producing very low levels of distortion. From a noise standpoint, it
should be recognized that, in console
use, the outputs of a number of VCAs will
be summed together in the mixdown
busses, thereby placing stringent demands on the VCA to pass signals while
producing extremely low noise levels.
Unfortunately, these two requirements
(low distortion and low noise) are difficult
to achieve at once in VCAs, since the
techniques employed to reduce noise
tend generally to increase distortion, and
vice versa. Such a difficulty was primarily
responsible for the shortcomings of early
VCAs, and for their acquired reputation;
one could achieve either low noise or low
distortion, but not both at once.
-
R -e /p 140
October 1982
Now, let us get a bit more specific and
try to define, in a pro -audio usage, what
constitutes "low noise and distortion."
We must first consider that both are
they build up
cumulative anomolies
from multiple sources. It has long been
considered that, in a professional system,
the console should not add significant
amounts of noise or distortion to that
already induced by the storage medium,
the tape machine. In the past, this was an
easy task, since non -noise -reduced
analog tape machines were notorious for
the production of unwanted noise and
distortion. Even then, one could find any
number of "professional" consoles which,
in fact, did seriously add to the non transparency of analog tape mediums,
through just plain poor design. With the
advent of tape noise reduction, console
requirements increased, and the desired
criteria was unsatisfied with increasing
regularity. In this decade, we are beginning to see digital recording techniques
and, if the non- degradatory -consolecriteria is to be met, or even approached,
some fairly serious consideration must
be given to the console. It is no longer
practical to state that 0.1% distortion and
70 dB SNR will do the job, without some
real study concerning the conditions
under which these numbers are derived.
In a previous R -e /p article [Now You
Hear It! Now You Don't. Perceiving Audio
Noise & Distortion, June 1979 issue], this
author attempted to pinpoint what values
of noise and distortion might be needed
to assure effective transparency (no
audible degradation whatsoever) from a
direct signal source, considering modern
multitrack console techniques. Rather
than reiterating those considerations
here, it is recommended that the reader
refer to this article for more details
regarding how the stated numbers were
evolved.
In its final analysis, the paper indicated
that a good criteria for transparency was
a maximum distortion of 0.03% as measured by THD, SMPTE IMD, Twin -Tone
IMD and other representative means, at
any signal level that might be encountered in use. It was also shown that an
actual signal -to -noise ratio of at least 85
dB (nominal signal level to noise floor) is
needed, and that sufficient headroom
exist above the nominal signal level to
accommodate signal peaks, EQ, etc.,
without an increase in distortion above
the 0.03% figure mentioned. While these
specifications may appear stringent, they
are in fact ach'evable, even in VCAs, and
are truly realistic in view of the potential
offered by digi'aI recording.
Speaking of digital recording, let us
take a look at what sort of noise and distortion we can expect here, and how it
compares with the criteria just established. In a 16 -bit digital encoding
scheme, we can expect a total signal -tonoise ratio of 96 dB, measured from clipping to noise. However, we cannot expect
to encode signals right at the clipping
point, but must leave a certain amount of
headroom; at least 16 dB is required to
assure non -clipping of signal transients
-
-expect the nominal
preferable. Thus,
signal -to -noise
we can
to be
in the range of 76 to 80 dB. As far as
distortion is concerned, we can expect
figures around 0.01% for signals near the
20 dB is
clipping point, increasing with decreasing signal levels. Thus, when taking the
16 to 20 dB of
headroom, we might expect
distortion figures in the 0.03 to 0.06%
range. Much work has yet to be done on
the specifics of digital- induced distortion
forms, thus these numbers are presented
as rough approximations. One fact is
clear though: the criteria we set out for
the console are not excessive, as they are
just bars ly capable of handling the digital
source signal without significant degradation. To ensure a margin of safety,
however, it would be ideal for the console
system to exhibit somewhat lower levels
of noise and distortion than those stated.
Now, let us look at the input headroom
requirement of the console VCA. Not only
must it accept high crest factor transients, such as found on percussive material, but it must also give some leeway for
gain variations caused by EQ, mike trim
settings, peripheral devices, etc. Thus, it
is desireable to have 24 dB or more headroom between the "nominal signal level,
and the point where serious VCA distortion sets in. Output headroom is not
nearly as critical, since the operator will
adjust the VCA gain to a rela ively fixed
output level at the console bu .ses. Here,
a 20 dB or so headroom figure is
accepted.
'
SMPTE IMD
There is one more thing we should look
at very carefully when analyzing any
piece of pro -audio gear
SMPTE inter modulation distortion. When signals are
subjected to the SMPTE IMD distortion
form, the result is a modulation of one set
of signals by the excursions of another.
Most typically, this effect is manifest in a
modulation of the delicate high frequencies by high magnitude low- frequency
signals, and the SMPTE method is
designed to be most sensitive to this specific effect. We have all heard the effect as
a "buzziness" of high frequencies during
strong low frequencies. Most VCA
designs are particularly sensitive to this
distortion form, especially when operated at relatively high input signal levels.
Specifically, it is almost gospel that, in
any VCA design, the measured SMPTE
IMD will be from three to lour times the
measured THD distortion, under any
given set of signal /gain conditions. It is
also near gospel that for each 6 dB rise in
signal level, a doubling of SMPTE IMD
products will result. Thus, even though a
VCA might be specified as having 0.01%
THD at nominal signal level, the same
device has a good probability of exhibiting 40 times this amount (0.4 %) of SMPTE
IMD at a signal level 20 dB above nominal.
-
Parameters Unique to VCAs
We should be aware of the importance
of certain performance parameters that
are unique to the VCA structure. First, the
gain control characteristics. Since the
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SPECSMANSHIP
AND THE NEW
GENERATION OF VCA
purpose of a VCA is to vary gain in accordance with an applied control voltage or
current, we need to know how the device
responds in this respect. It has become
pretty much accepted that a VCA which
responds on an antilogarithmic or "dB vs
Volt" basis is most useful in audio systems. Essentially, all VCAs available have
this sort of response. Over what gain control range the device can operate, and at
what degree of control accuracy, is usually a function of which general family the
VCA is derived from.
Devices derived from the log /antilog
family are characterized as having a
superior range of gain control ranging
from attenuation through gain, and usually exhibit a very precise control versus
gain law over the entire control range.
In contrast, devices derived from the
transconductance multiplier family are
inherently restricted to operating primarily in the attenuation -only quadrant, and
have a tendency to develop non linearities in the control versus gain curve
near the top of the gain control range.
While this may not be serious for many
uses, it can bedisasterous in applications
requiring close tracking, such as in
grouping use.
Thus, the user needs to be aware of
both the gain control range and the
degree of tracking accuracy which might
expected be in his application.
1. Attenuation -only Devices
versus True VCAs:
It is often thought that whether or not a
device is capable of forward gain is acathat an external operational
demic
amplifier can supply forward gain to an
attenuation -only device, and cause the
total network to be capable of producing
either gain or loss. While this is true on
the surface, it causes important tradeoffs
to develop that are not present in a true
VCA design. Let us say that it is desireable to enable 40 dB of forward gain to
occur, using a VCA device which is inherently capable of a gain range of -100 dB
to unity. This would require a 40 dB post
amplifier. Now the overall network has a
gain range of -60 to +40 dB.
In order to achieve the desired forward
gain, all noise parameters have been elevated by 40 dB, and the device shutoff has
been rendered insufficient for most appli-
...
cations. In addition, other important
parameters, such as control rejection and
power supply rejection, have been worsened by 40 dB. While indeed the network
is now capable of both gain and loss, it
has been rendered rather unsuitable for
most professional applications. By contrast, a typical true VCA might exhibit a
gain control range of from -100 dB to +50
dB without any of the tradeoffs.
2.
Control Rejection:
In a perfect VCA, one could change
gain under no- signal conditions, and
October 1982
R -e /p 142
have no change in the output signal
(except a change in noise level). In the
real world, however, small internal DC
voltages are amplified by the device in
varying amounts, depending on the VCA
gain. Thus, gain changes can result in a
changing DC level at the device output. If
the gain is changed rapidly, this changing
DC output level can be heard as a "click"
or a "thump." Depending on the VCA
design and quality, such an error signal
can be as small as 3 or 5 millivolts (essentially inaudible), to as high as several
hundred millivolts (very audible). Thus,
the user needs to know what the control
rejection is, in the application for which
he will be using the device.
Modulation Noise:
In one specific category of VCA (the
Class A/B log /antilog type) it is very easy
to achieve extremely low noise levels
under quiescent conditions with no input
signal. However, when input signals are
applied to such a device, a dramatic
increase in noise levels can occur (as
much as 30 dB). Thus, the noise floor
actually rides up and down with signal
excursions in a fashion much like that
which occurs in tape noise -reduction
units. In such a device, the application of
near subsonic signals can cause a very
3.
TABLE
1:
Thermal Drift:
Essentially, all VCAs presently available employ the inherently log transfer
characteristic of the bipolar silicon transistor as a means of obtaining voltage
variable gain, or multiplication. While the
characteristic is exceedingly well suited
to the task, another characteristic of the
transistor is that it is very temperature
sensitive in its log transfer scaling. It
should be noted that this temperature
sensitivity is not based on the absolute
temperature, rather that it is a function of
temperature differences between the various transistor elements used in the
design.
Depending on the VCA structure
chosen, temperature differences between the transistor elements can be
manifest as either temperature- induced
4.
...
continued ocerlra/
-
AUTHOR'S ANALYSIS OF VALLEY PEOPLE ECG 101 VCA
Parameter
THD 1 kHz
THD kHz
THD 1 kHz
THD 1 kHz
THD 1 kHz
THD 1 kHz
THD 1 kHz
THD 1 kHz
THD 1 kHz
THD 1 kHz
SMPTE IMD
SMPTE IMD
SMPTE IMD
SMPTE IMD
SMPTE IMD
SMPTE IMD
SMPTE IMD
SMPTE IMD
SMPTE IMD
SMPTE IMD
SMPTE IMD
Static Noise
Static Noise
Static Noise
Static Noise
Dynamic Noise
Modulation Noise
Control Feedthu
Control Feedthru
Thermal Change
Crossover Dist'n
1
audible noisepumping effect. Even with
normal audibility signals, the result can
be a dramatic increase in noise, with
respect to that which might be expected
by the static noise level specs or test
results. Thus, the user needs to be fully
aware of what the noise performance will
be during signal, since this is the condition under which he will ultimately use
the device.
Units
o
%
o
%
%
Wo
Conditions
Unity Gain; 0 dBv Input
Unity Gain; +10 dBv In
Unity Gain; +20 dBv In
-20 dB Gain; +10 dBv In
-20 dB Gain; +15 dBv In
-20 dB Gain; +20 dBv In
-20 dB Gain; +26 dBv In
+20 dB Gain; -10 dBv In
+20 dB Gain; -5 dBv In
+20 dB Gain; 0 dBv In
Wo
Wo
o
Wo
dBv
dBv
dBv
dBv
dBv
dB
mV
mV
?
Unity Gain; 0 dBv Input
Unity Gain; +10 dBv In
Unity Gain; +15 dBv In
Unity Gain; +20 dBv In
-20 dB Gain; +10 dBv In
-20 dB Gain; +15 dBv In
-20 dB Gain; +20 dBv In
-20 dB Gain; +26 dBv In
+20 dB Gain; -10 dBv In
+20 dB Gain; -5 dBv In
+20 dB Gain; 0 dBv In
20-20k Hz; Unity Gain; No Input
20-20k Hz; +20 dB Gain; No Input
20-20k Hz; +30 dB Gain; No Input
20 -20k Hz; -20 dB Gain; No Input
20-20k Hz; Unity Gain; DC Input"
Noise Increase With Signal"
-30 dB to +30 dB Gain Sweep; 60 Hz
As Above With Applied Heat***
Unity Gain SMPTE IMD With Heat"'
Objectionable?
Result
0.0032
0.003
0.0045
0.011
0.004
0.006
0.002
0.0032
0.009
0.002
0.0075
0.013
0.031
0.003
0.007
0.014
-87
-78
-73
-96
-84
+3
15'
1902
None
Notes:
'Below Test Equipment Residual.
"A DC input current equivalent to a +20 dBv peak AC input signal is applied to
facilitate noise reading during signal conditions.
"'Thermal gradients are induced by applying the output of a 1,500-watt heat gun
from a distance of 18 inches for a duration of 2 minutes. Device is then allowed to
cool. Worst readings obtained during this process are recorded.
1. 6 millivolts for EGC 101A and TA101.
2. 18 millivolts for EGC 101A and TA101.
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SPECSMANSHIP
AND THE NEW
GENERATION OF VCA
A/B
distortion changes (in Class
designs), or as temperature- induced control rejection drift (in Class A designs). In
either case, a good deal of thermal management is important to successful implementation, and the user needs to be
aware of what to expect from a device in
various thermal environments.
Valley People EGC 101,
EGC 101A and TA 101
Around the turn of this decade, Valley
People introduced the EGC 101 gain cell,
described as being fully capable of meeting the criteria outlined above. From a
technical standpoint, the EGC 101 is described as a Symmetrically Balanced and
Cross Balanced Class A Log /Antilog
Multiplier.
In the form of the original EGC 101 gain
cell, the device had one parameter that
required close attention on the part of the
user namely the control rejection when
it was subjected to strong thermal gradients. Newer versions of the device are
now available in which the temperature
sensitivity of the control rejection term
has been reduced by a factor of around
10. These versions are known as the EGC
-
potential user's evaluation of VCA devices, and the potential VCA user is urged
to conduct for himself similar tests on
those VCA devices that he might contemplate employing in studio equipment.
101A (direct replacement for EGC 101),
and the TA 101 (minimum package with
all transistor connections accessible).
Fifteen pages of documentation and
specifications accompany these devices
and their employment in various forms as
VCA circuits. The most commonly recommended general professional use implementation is designated the EGC 205M.
Table 1 lists the author's tested parameters and measurement results obtained for the Valley People EGC 101 VCA,
while Figures 1 thru 4 show graphs of
various test results.
Based on the information given in the
manufacturer's literature, and verified in
the author's test results, it should be clear
what the device capabilities are in actual use situations. It should also be clear that
the device performs well below the established criteria in terms of noise and distortion, while providing 26 dB of input
headroom above a nominal O dBv input
signal level.
Unless the author has lied or submitted
false test data, the user should be able to
form an accurate and confident opinion
regarding the suitability of the product
for its intended purpose.
Test results: As further verification of the
expected in -use performance of the Valley People EGC /TA Series VCA circuits,
the following tests were performed at the
time of writing this article. The data presented is the average from four production
units tested at this time, and is typical of
the performance to be expected from
non -selected production units.
In preparing this article, the author's
preference was to conduct side by side
measurements on the two other VCA
devices mentioned later, and to publish
the results of all three devices together
for comparative analysis. In fact, the
author has performed such specific comparative testing. However, the ethics of
professional journalism preclude the publication of such comparative test results,
since the tests were conducted by a
biased party (the author).
It is the author's opinion that the
methods of testing, and the parameters
tested for, form an excellent basis for the
Other VCA Products
The remainder of this article will be
dedicated to the author's analysis of two
other VCA devices that recently have
been itroduced by other manufacturers,
and which are being promoted for sale to
OEM and other users. In reading the published literature for these products, the
1%
0.3%
0.3%
0.1%
CRITICAL LINE
-
0.10/o
CRITICAL LINE
-5
0
dBv
Figure
1:
+5
+10
+15
+20
0.03%
0.03 °/o
0.01%
0.01
0.003%
+25
-5
Level for EGC 101
SMPTE IMD versus Input
(re: 0.775 VRMS, -20 db gain).
0
dBv
+10
+5
+15
+20
+25
Figure 3: SMPTE IMD versus Input Level for EGC 101
(re: 0.775 VRMS, +20 db gain)
0.3 °/o
- 60 dB
0.1%
-70
Reference: 0.775 VRMS
CRITICAL LINE
0.03 °/o
80
0.01%
90
-100
0.003%
-5
0
dBv
Figure
R -e /p 144
2:
+5
+10
+15
+20
+25
SMPTE IMD versus Input Level for EGC 101
(re: 0.775 VRMS, 0 db gain).
October 1982
+30
+20
Figure
+10
0dB
-10
-20
-30
Output Noise (20 Hz to 20 kHz)
versus VCA Gain or Loss.
4: No- signal
Suddenly,
everyone else
has to start over.
PASSIVE COOLING
No tan noises. No internal
dust build-up
FRONT REMOVABLE
CHANNEL MODULES
All electronics for each
channel can be exchanged
while amp is in rack.
HIGH POWER/LOW
PROFILE DESIGN
CENTRAL WELDED STEEL AC
AND TRANSFORMER BAY
TRUE DUAL MONO
CONFIGURATION
For maximum strength and shielding
Two completely separate
FLOATING INTERNAL
CONNECTOR SYSTEM
Prevents contact damage
from road vibration. All gold
contacts in signal level path.
amps only sharing common
AC cord for maximum
reliability and flexibility.
All protection separate for
each channel.
HIGH DYNAMIC
HEADROOM
AND MULTIPLE
PARALLEL, LOW ESR
FILTER CAPACITORS
Provides exceptionally tight.
high-impact bass
performance.
COMPREHENSIVE
INTERFACE PANEL
'
Includes v RTS. XLR. and
barrier inputs. Provision for
active or passive accessory
input modules such as
crossovers. filters. limiters,
and transformers. Binding
and berner outputs provided.
REINFORCED
FRONT AND REAR
RACK MOUNTS.
Using high efficiency
output circuits for cool,
high reliability operation.
SEPARATE AC SWITCHES
OVER -TEMP
WARNING LIGHT
Begins flashing 10 °C
before thermal protect.
PRECISION 31 -STEP
DETENTED GAIN CONTROL
Gold plated wiper and
sealed body design assures
accuracy and freedom from
sonic degradation.
LEVEL INDICATORS
To monitor output.
CLIP INDICATOR
Flashes during all types
of distortion
Enable single channel to be
powered up or down. Useful
for emergency speaker
changes during performance
POWER/PROTECT
INDICATORS
Monitor status of Load
Grounding'° protection relays.
Relays provide delayed
turn-on, instant turnoff, DC.
sub -audio. power interrupt.
and over -temp protection.
Series Three from QSC. From this point on, every other power
amplifier takes o step backward.
We've designed what will be the standard from which everything
else is measured.
Series Three combines high -performance, reliability, and microscopic attention to detail, design and the execution thereof.
Our overall goal was to provide a series of reference -quality professional amplifiers designed specifically for major studios, touring
companies and engineered sound installations.
We met our goal. As a matter of fact, we significantly exceeded it.
Take a look at the features of our Series Three amplifiers. High efficiency circuitry, extended dynamic headroom, true dual -mono
configuration, front -removable modular design. And we've packaged it all in a low- profile chassis. More power, less rack space.
We were so impressed with our prototype Series Three amps that
RECESSED
CONTROLS
Prevent damage and
accidental movement.
FRONT MOUNTED
CIRCUIT BREAKERS
No fumbling around in the
back of the rack.
MASSIVE OUTPUT
SEMI-CONDUCTOR
SECTION
Assures long -term reliability
under aousive conditions.
we decided to take them into the field for numerous "A/B" listening
comparisons. They were compared for audio quality and performance under a wide range of power requirement conditions. As we
had expected, the response was overwhelmingly positive.The Series
Three amplifiers stood a significant step above the others.
The moral of the story: Why settle for a product that's only outstanding in a few areas? QSC Series Three is a comprehensive design
approach that combines exceptional audio performance, solid reliability, state -cf- the -art features, and more power In less rack space.
So we urge you to look into our Series Three amplifiers. Because
while everybody else is looking where they've been. QSC is stepping
into the future.
QSC Audio Products. 1926 Pla-
centia Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA
92627 Phone (714) 645 -2540
For additional Information circle #100
\J SC
AUDIO
SPECSMANSHIP
AND THE NEW
GENERATION OF VCA
author's impression of what is being said
is, essentially, that these two devices
offer more or less the same performance
as does the Valley People product, and
that they can be used in similar applications with similar results.
Again, in the interest of literary ethics,
the author cannot make statements
regarding how these devices will actually
perform in use, but must limit his comments to his personal opinion of certain
poetic license he feels has been taken in
the presentation of device specifications.
It should be noted that the manufacturers' names and device model numbers
are not listed, since the purpose of this
article is not to suggest the superiority of
one device over another but, rather to
educate the potential user of the importance of comprehending the underlying
meanings of what is specified, as it pertains to actual use. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and an
endorsement of these opinions by the
magazine or its publisher or editorial staff
is neither implied nor expressed.
Excerpts From Published
Data for Device "A"
Description: Device "A" ... is a low cost,
high performance linear antilog voltage
controlled amplifier with full Class A performance. The device has a 100 dB
signal -to -noise figure at 0.01% THD. The
current inputs and outputs make possible
wide bandwidth, easy signal summing,
and minimum external component count.
Inherently low control feedthrough and
second harmonic distortion make trimming unnecessary for most applications.
In addition, [Device "Al has more than
12 dB of headroom at the rated specifications, and can be configured to give up to
TABLE 2: PUBLISHED SPECIFICATIONS FOR DEVICE "A"
Parameter
40 dB of gain
Typ
-98
Min
Signal -to -Noise (20Hz-20kHz)
THD (Untrimmed)
THD (Trimmed)
IMD (Untrimmed)
IMD (Trimmed)
Current Output Offest (Untrimmed)
0.01
-5
100 dB signal /noise (20 Hz to 20 kHz)
0.01% THD
0.025% IMD
12 dB of headroom (at rated specs)
40 dB gain capability
Specifications for Device "A" are listed
in Table 2.
A peak input
Excerpts From Text:
signal of 200 microamps will give the
rated specifications and allow for 12 dB of
headroom. The device can handle upto
±800 microamps without clipping or
other radical increases in distortion. If the
average peak input signal is 4V peak -topeak, a 10K input resistor will yield the
proper input current ..
Figures 5 and 6 show published output
noise and IMD total harmonic distortion
measurements for Device "A ", versus
current gain attenuation.
.
.
Author's Analysis of Device "A"
The author believes this device to be a
derivation of the Class A Transconductance form of multiplier. As such, performance above unity gain needs to be scrutinized, particularly from the standpoint
of control rejection and distortion. An
indication of rising distortion above unity
gain is indicated on the graphs (Figures 5
and 6). It is noted that in the manufacturer's specifications no meaningful information is given as to what the control
-60 dB
Ve Gnd, I1 =100ua
dB
0.075
0.03
...
.
Conditions
Units
0.025
Features:
.
Max
0
+5
microA
rejection is versus various operating
gains. It is only stated that the DC output
offset current is ±5 microamps at "Ve _
Gnd, I, = 100 microamp." (After careful
scrutiny of the data, the author has
determined that "Ve = Gnd, I, = 100
microamp" indicates device unity gain.)
It is noted that all distortion specifications are "typical," and are stated without
definition of the signal levels, and are
stated at 0 dB gain only. Thus, in effect,
these specifications mean literally nothing in defining the actual -use distortion.
It is easy to achieve 0.01% THD at low
signal level unity gain in any VCA design,
but it is an entirely different matter to
achieve low distortion levels at higher
signals and varying gains. The actual -use
distortion of a device could be 1% or
higher, and still meet the type of specifications offered here.
With respect to noise performance,
confusing information is presented.
Under the "Features," a 100 dB signal -tonoise ratio is indicated, with an additional
12 dB of headroom. However, on the
noise graph (Figure 5), a unity gain noise
of -98 dB is referenced to "300 microamps
RMS current." In studying the text, it is
seen that 300 microamps RMS is 5.5 dB
below the rated input clipping point, not
12 dB. If we were to assume the graph to
be correct, and configure the device for
25 dB input headroom, as done with the
EGC 101, we would find the true nominal
0.3°/o
-70
0.1%
-80
IMD
0.03%
-90
o
2
-100
THD
0.01%
-110
0.003%
-120
+40
+20
0
dB
-20
-40
-60
-80
Figure 5: Published Current Gain /Attenuation Output
Noise (bandwidth 20 Hz to 20 kHz) for Device "A" (re: 300
microamp RMS output).
R -e /p 146
October 1982
+40
+20
0 dB
-20
-40
-60
-80
Figure 6: Published Current Gain/Attenuation Distortion
(bandwidth 20 Hz to 20 kHz) for Device "A."
Not Everyone
Can Blend
Audio and Video
Like a master chef, it takes a
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For the past 30 year& successful engineering has been mastered by few better than Lake.
Cur blend of talent. technica: savvy and sophisticated engineering resources is an acknowledged industry fact.
9
Then aga n, so are the results
we produce time and aga_n for
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So before you specify any component, specify the one name you know
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Corporation, 55 Chapel Street,
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-
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TWX: 710 335.1639
Authorized dealers for, Sony Broadcast, Soundcraft, Crown, JVC. Yamaha, JBL, Neve, Convergence,
Oki it Ampex, UREI, HMI, Technics, 3M Videotek. Sony and Panasonic to name a few.
For additonal information circle #101
LAKE SYSTEMS
COR ?ORATION
BGW,
The Systems Company
SPECSMANSHIP
AND THE NEW
GENERATION OF VCA
oo
0.0
50.0
T
SNR ratio to be around 79 dB.
While the "Features" indicate a gain
capability of 40 dB forward gain, the text
admits that it is necessary to add 20 dB or
more of post gain to achieve this in a
practical circuit. As described previously,
the cost of doing this is to dramatically
degrade the network noise, shutoff, and
control rejection parameters.
With respect to high- frequency distortion, crossover distortion, and modulation noise, this author does not expect to
find serious anomolies in these parameters in this Class A sort of design. Still, no
information is given in this respect.
Athough this author has done a complete evaluation of this device, literary
ethics preclude the publication of his
findings. Suffice it to say that the preformance of this device could lie anywhere
between great and absolutely pitiful, and
still fall within the realm of meeting the
published specs. One can only find out by
buying some, and testing the device.
Excerpts From Published
Data for Device "B"
intergrated
Description: Device "B"
circuit voltage controlled aplifiers are
high performance current -in /current -out
devices with dual polarity, voltage-
...
25
C
5.0
0.5
0.5
1.0
T
0dB
-40
0dB
+40
0.1
gain -
Combining a high
bandwidth product with low noise, low
distortion, and low input bias current,
these devices offer similar performance
to discrete or modular VCAs with the
economy of ICs.
Features:
Extremely wide gain /attenuation control
Low distortion
density.
Low noise
20 Hz to 20 kHz response even at high
gains
Specifications for Device "B" are listed
in Table 3.
Figures 7, 8 and 9 show published output noise, output offset and THD mea-
One of the reasons
I
feel I can trust
Sye Mitchell Sound is they check the
equipment thoroughly before putting it
on the market, and they offer the
equipment at fair prices.»
Sound Studio, Inc.
& ALABAMA
i> -- ----
MN WO
-1111111
a
1
SYE MITCHELL SOUND CO., INC.
22301 ('acs Avenue
Woodland Hills, California 91364
(213) 348 -4977
Professional Audio Equipment Brokers
October 1982
25 C
Figure 8: Published Output Offset
Current versus Gain for Device "B."
sensitive control ports. They require little
external support circuitry, and are housed
in a plastic 8 -pin SIP package, thereby
affording unusually high PCB packing
Jeff Cook, of supergroup ALABAMA:
R-e/p 148
-40
+40
Figure 7: Published Output Noise
Current versus Gain for Device "B."
IMO
. i'
o
x
0.05
0.01
-20
Figure
9:
d
0
+20
Published THD versus Input
Level for Device "B."
surements for Device "B."
Author's Analysis of Device "B"
This VCA offers considerably better documentation than does Device "A," but still
requires the reader to be able to comprehend it if he is to discover the real performance capability.
Device "B" is known to be a Class A/B
log /antilog multiplier, packaged in monolithic form. As such, there are certain
characteristic traits that the author would
expect of the device. On the plus side, the
author would expect the VCA to yield a
wide and accurate range of gain control,
covering both attenuation and forward
gain. He would expect good thermal stability, due to the monolithic design, and
extremely low quiescent (no signal) noise
levels because of the Class A/B bias
structure. On the negative side, however,
the author would expect to find a dramatic increase in noise when signal is
applied (due both to the Class A/B structure and the small geometry monolithic
design), as well as significant amounts of
distortion (specially SMPTE IMO) at the
higher signal levels, and at gains other
than unity. (This is expected because the
Class A/B structure does not provide the
inherent distortion cancellation effects
found in Class A designs. Also, the small
geometry needed for monolithic fabrication invites higher amounts of error at the
higher input signals).
The specs tell us quite a bit, but must be
deciphered. As far as noise, even though
it is stated with "CCIR Weighting,"
instead of the usual 20 kHz flat bandwidth, and is stated in "dBV" instead of
the more usual dBv re: 0.775V RMS, the
spec is not misleading. Noise in the -90
dBV region is to be expected from this
structure, without input signal. However,
TABLE 3: PARTIAL PUBLISHED SPECIFICATIONS FOR DEVICE "B"
Parameter
Gain Linearity
Output Noise
(CCIR Weighting)
Output Offset Voltage
Intermodulation
Distortion'
Total Harmonic
Distortion
'Measured with
Min
Typ
Max
Unit
±1
+2
0/0
-95
-90
dBV
±1
±3
2
±3
±10
±15
mV
mV
mV
0.01
0.02
%
Conditions
-60 to +40 dB
0dB gain,
0dB gain,
15 dB gain,
40 dB gain,
!total-175
0.02
0.035 0.045
0.01
1
+15 dB gain
microamp /1 kHz
%
0dB gain
%
±15 dB gain
10 kHz and 12 kHz mixed 1:1 expressed as (2 kHz
and 12 kHz) x 100%.
his quiescent noise level tends to belie
the noise that will be present during signal. From experience with this class of
device, the author would expect to see a
noise increase of 25 to 30 dB when high level input signals are applied, thus yielding a dynamic noise floor in the -60 to -65
dBV region. (In order to clarify any reader
confusion, the term "dBV," using a capital
"V," refers to an RMS voltage of volt,
while the term "dBv," using a lower-case
"v," indicates a reference voltage must be
stated, as in the author's preferred usage
"dBv re: 0.775V RMS." For further clarification,the term "dBv re: 0.775V RMS" is
the correct statement for what many people mean when they state "dBm" erroneously as a statement of voltage rather
than power.)
The output offset voltage spec (control
rejection) is clear, and indicates a maximum DC level shift of 15 millivolt for gain
changes to +40 dB, but does not mention
attenuation, where it is likely to be no
problem.
Getting down to the IMD spec, it is this
writer's opinion that this one was written
by a specsman. Firstly, the IMD spec is
clearly not a SMPTE IMD spec, rather it is
a twin -tone IMD spec. While the twin tone spec does indicate potential high frequency performance, and is á valid
and useful test, it does not have the
extreme sensitivity of the SMPTE method,
and thus does not indicate this common
form of high distortion. All of this is really
academic, since the IMD spec given
shows no reference signal level. Thus, it
gives the user no information whatsoever
regarding real world IMD, and serves as a
pacifier.
As for the THD specs, the user must go
through a number of calculations to
determine what operating level is indicated by the stated "175 microamp
signal current. The author has performed
these calculations, and has determined
the input level for the unity gain spec to
be 17 dB below maximum input, while the
±15 dB gain spec appears to be taken at a
level 11 dB below maximum input. Only
those very versed in VCA design are apt
to be able to make these calculations
based on the information presented. If
this device behaves at all like other VCAs
Rout =20K
Rout =20K
Rout =20K
Rout =20K
product /sum of
10 kHz
of similar design, the author would
expect to see measured SMPTE IMD figures of three to four times the magnitude
of measured THD figures. Thus, the
SMPTE IMD could be suspected to be in
the region of 0.10 to 0.18% at the calculated specification point 11 dB below
maximum input, ±15 dB gain. It would
also be suspected to double for each 6 dB
increase in signal level, thus possibly
reaching the region of 0.3 to 0.6% near the
upper range of input signals. This is supported when one looks at the THD versus
Input Level graph (Figure 9), and converts it to a SMPTE IMD graph by multiplying all readings by between 3 and 4.
Finally, headroom must be considered!
criteria of 24 dB
were to be established using this device,
it would be necessary to reduce the operating signal levels by about 6 dB. This
would effectively reduce the nominal
SNR ratio by an equal amount, to the
range of 84 to 89 dB, under no- signal
conditions.
If the desired headroom
o
Conclusions
The information given here should not be
taken as statements of what sort of performance has been observed with respect
to the two VCAs analyzed. It is recommended that the reader make such
observations for himself, based on intelligent and educated test and evaluation
methods. The information presented here
is intended to show what sort of performance could possibly be measured from
these devices, while still falling within the
realm of what is specified by the manufacturers.
It is the author's personal opinicn that
the specs make it extremely difficult, if
not impossible, for the average user to
calculate or otherwise assess the true
performance of either device under actual use conditions. Perhaps this is intentional; perhaps it's due only to hasty spec
writing. In either case, the only way the
user can accurately assess the suitability
of the product for his application is to go
and by some, then spend several hours
(or days) at the test bench to find out for
themselves.
In the past year, records cut=,
at DAWNBREAKER accounted
3
3
Tor
=-
GRAMMY'S,
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cv
2
PLATINUM ALBUMS.
have a beautiful
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We
DAWNBREAKER RECORDING STUDIO
216 Chatsworth Drive
San Fernando, CA 91340
(213) 365 -9371
Trials at Crescendo
Prototype Model 700
The dbx Model 700
Digital Audio Processor
Design Parameters and
Systems Implementation
Operational Assessment at
Crescendo Recorders, Atlanta
W. Adams
Senior Project Engineer, dbx, Inc.
Just about everyone who has heard an original digital
recording has been impressed; most are enthusiastic.
The virtual absence of distortion, noise, and wow /flutter
makes the sound far superior to that of analog. But, because of
the tremendous cost involved, owning a digital recorder is not
exactly commonplace in the world of professional audio. For
the "semi -pro" studio and serious recording musician, owning
a professional quality digital recorder is an impossible dream.
Although the cost of these digital machines will fall somewhat
over the years, their complexity will make them more expensive than analog recorders for some time to come.
Apart from the expense of their respective recording equipment, there is a gulf separating the digital and analog engineer. The former lives in a world of numbers, bits and bytes,
while the latter is more at ease with the use of one op -amp and a
handful of resistors and capacitors in a tone -control circuit,
than with incorporating 30 digital ICs.
Since dbx has considerable experience in analog audio R &D,
it was decided to take advantage of the best of both worlds. By
combining analog techniques with available digital technology that had never before been applied to the recording process, digital sound could be made affordable to every studio.
The result is the dbx Model 700 Digital Audio Processor.
by Robert
Evolution of the Model 700
The first goal in the design process was to find a form of
analog-to- digital and D/A conversion that was both high quality, and inexpensive. Ruled out because of their high cost
were 16 -bit linear PCM converters; 14 -bit processors were
somewhat cheaper, but didn't have the dynamic range needed
.. continued ouerleaf
R -e /p 150
October 1982
-
by William Ray
Crescendo President
Ever since the invention of the audio tape recorder, deficiencies of magnetic tape as the storage medium have
been a major stumbling block in the recording industry's
never -ending quest to perfectly reproduce an audio signal. To
be a little more specific, tape hiss, print through, limited
dynamic range, high- frequency dropouts, head bumps and
other frequency response related problems in the past, have
seemed like insurmountable problems. Over the years, however, one by one these problems more or less have been dealt
with.
Given that ours is an industry staffed by creative engineering types, it's hardly a surprise that so many products and
ideas have materialized to deal with the limitations of the
magnetic tape medium. One of these "creative engineers"
whose work has enabled us to scale the insurmountable
"Mount Tape Hiss" located at the beginning of the "limited
dynamic range" of mountains is David Blackmer, president of
dbx, Inc. Blackmer's development of the voltage -controlled
amplifier forms the heart of dbx noise reduction, which provides the reduced tape hiss and enhanced dynamic range
we've been looking for (on paper anyway). But, it's still a
Band -Aid solution; most of the problems associated with the
tape and the format are still there.
The Digital Answer?
Now, this brings us to "Digital Audio." Surprised? I was.
You may ask, as I did, what does dbx have to do with digital
audio? Read on.
Crescendo Recorders (formerly the Sound Pit) is a multi -24track recording complex with a complete in -house video post... continued on page 157
-
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Our highly qualified technical staff is eager to
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For additional information circle ír104
October 1982
R -e/p 151
systems. This second prototype was
used to record a wide variety of instruments and musical materials, both in
studios and in concerts. It passed all
tests with flying colors.
11'11d
!tir
Es "i>
`3
"t
A/D Conversion: Companded
Predictive Delta Modulation
E
Delta Modulation has been used for
years as a low-cost means of A/D conversion. In this digital process, the
numbers derived in the A/D represent
differences between sampled voltages,
rather than the instantaneous voltage
produced in a "conventional" PCM
audio processor. ( "Delta" is the mathematical term for change or difference.)
Because it is based on changes in
level, rather than absolute values, the
dynamic range of Delta Modulation is
restricted at the loud -end by slew -rate
limitations the signal slope becomes
and at
too steep for the A/D to track
the soft -end by the familiar quantization noise inherent in all digital recording systems. At high frequencies the
dynamic range is especially limited, but
even at lower frequencies it is not sufficient for serious audio applications. To
extend Delta Modulation's dynamic
range, Adaptive Delta Modulation
(ADM) adjusts the step size to suit the
dynamics of the input signal.
The analog -to- digital conversion process in the Model 700 differs from that
used in normal ADM in two important
respects. First, rather than vary the step
size to follow the signal, in the dbx converter the signal is varied with a
voltage-controlled amplifier to avoid
overloading the fixed Delta Modulator.
Second, to lower the quantization noise,
the fixed Delta Modulator uses a
"linear- prediction filter," which relies
on the history of the audio signal to predict its future. These two differences
between AMD and CPDM result in substantial performance improvements. To
demonstrate, we have to go into detail.
First, let's look at the high -precision
compander (compressor- expander) used
in the Model 700:
Companding versus Adaptive. In
ADM, step size is varied according to
the average slew rate (speed of change
of the input signal). A burst of high frequency, high -level input signal
for professional use. Adaptive Delta
Modulation (ADM) was attractive
because of its cost, but after critical listening to material of very wide dynamic
range, it was felt that the overall sound
was not good enough for digital recording applications.
After months of study and deliberation, a system was conceived and
devised that offered several improvements in audio performance over ADM.
This system was dubbed "Companded
Linear -Predictive Delta Modulation,"
and will be described in detail shortly.
The results of listening tests over this
system were very encouraging, and
convinced us that we had found a low cost alternative to 16 -bit PCM for professional digital recording.
Next we had to choose the storage
medium. As is well known, the bandwidth requirements of digital recording
are much higher than can be accommodated on an analog tape recorder. The
design of a special set of tape heads to be
used on a conventional transport was
considered, but we decided that this
would be too expensive, and take too
long to implement. Finally we settled on
videocassette recorders, which have
adequate bandwidth, are readily available in several formats, and are produced in sufficient quantity to be comparatively inexpensive.
After these decisions, the first prototype was built. Initially no error correction was used because we found that our
method of A/D conversion was fairly
insensitive to bit errors. In fact, during
normal program material, errors of up
to 50 bits frequently were inaudible. But
we also found that the largest of the
dropouts on video tape would indeed
cause clicks to be heard during low -level
passages. Thus the next prototype was
built with full digital error correction.
-
Although this additional circuitry
increased the cost, the unit could still be
priced far below competing 16 -bit PCM
-
requires a large step size, so that slew rate limiting can be avoided. The problem with doing this, however, is that the
range of practical adjustment of step
size is limited to around 500:1, and at the
smallest step sizes the comparator may
not operate ideally, or even close to it.
Also, the lack of dither noise can result
in the noise floor being non -white (equal
intensity for all frequencies), and
signal- dependent.
The dbx system overcomes these
problems by using a VCA in front of a
fixed, non -adaptive Delta Modulator
(Figure 1). When a large signal with a
high slew rate is present, VCA gain is
reduced, which lowers the slew rate of
the signal passed on to the Delta Modulator. Thus, the input is adapted to the
fixed step size of the Delta Modulator,
rather than vice -versa. In playback,
signals are decoded complementarily:
the output of the fixed Delta Modulator
is applied to a VCA whose gain is the
exact inverse of the encoder's VCA gain.
The range of gain available from the
VCA is beyond 120 dB, or voltage ratios
of more than a million -to -one, which is a
great improvement on the range available from ADM. Furthermore, using the
fixed- step -size Delta Modulator lets the
comparator have enough signal to
operate properly, which also increases
the available dynamic range. Finally,
dither noise can now be added at the
input to the fixed Delta Modulator, to
eliminate any noise -floor anomalies
( "birdies" and other such tonal effects)
that are possible with ADM.
The signal that controls the gain of
the VCA comes from a sophisticated
level- sensing circuit that uses information present in the Delta Modulator's
digital output. Being quite complex, this
circuit cannot be fully explained in the
space available here. Suffice to say that
the VCA gain now can change very
quickly to follow musical transients, but
will change slowly for material that has
slower dynamics.
It should be noted again that this
level- sensing circuit obtains its information directly from the bit stream in
both encode (record) and decode (play).
Since these bit streams are identical in
each case, mistracking (non complementary VCA gains) cannot
Oo
o
CLE3 700
DIGITAL ADDIO PROCESSOR
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0 ,,
R-e/p 152
October 1982
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R-e: p 153
ó.
nap
...
occur.
from the VCR. But the VCR introduces
wow and flutter, which makes the bit
rate sent to memory variable. The
memory absorbs these variations with
the last 4k bits of storage; this results in
a very low flutter in the decoded signal
(less than 0.01%).
Video - Format
Encoder and Decoder
The format generator, or encoder,
produces all the necessary synchronization, blanking, and equalizing pulse
signals required to make the digitized
audio signal look like the standard
NTSC video signal, and thus acceptable
to the VCR. It also controls the memory
so that data bits are recorded only in the
allowable video intervals.
The dbx video format records 128 bits
per horizontal scan line and uses 224
lines per video field (out of a possible
262.5, the NTSC standard). The remaining lines are left blank to allow for the
video-synch interval, for the special
timecodes used for editing, and for the
synchronization of several VCRs.
The decoder extracts the data from
the video waveform on playback, and
writes them into the memory. To do this,
it must separate out the synch and data
information, and decide which horizontal lines contain valid data. Unusually
extensive protection is employed so that
VCR noise and tape dropouts, which
can easily look like valid synchronization signals, don't fool the processor.
Linear Prediction. One of the problems
Error Correction
affecting both ADM and companded
The dbx A/D conversion method,
DM systems is that the noise floor can
change with signal level. This occurs unlike linear PCM, is inherently tolerbecause the step size is changing to fol- ant of errors. In linear PCM, single-bit
low the input, and step size is what error may cause the most significant bit
determines the level of quantization (MSB) to be in error. This MSB error
noise. Generally, if the changing noise might produce a disastrous full -scale
floor is far enough below the signal, its spike in the audio output.
In the dbx Model 700, there's no such
modulations are inaudible. Linear prediction is a method of increasing the thing as an MSB; all the bits have a
dynamic range of a fixed Delta Modula- value just large enough to keep up with
tor by more than 10 dB, and this the signal's sample differences. For this
increase is sufficient to eliminate any reason, errors of 30 bits or less are usupossibility of hearing noise modulation. ally inaudible during normal program
By way of illustration, let us assume a material played over the dbx system.
situation where the Delta Modulator Professional U -Matic VCRs typically
has a fixed step size of 10 millivolts. have very low bit -error rates, due to the
Therefore, if its last "guess" at the input high quality of the tape used, and the
level was too high, the next will be 10 greater head -to -tape velocity; dropouts
mV lower. Now, let us assume that of the greater than 300 bits are quite rare.
last 10 guesses about signal voltages Consumer VCR formats often have
seven were too low, and three were too longer dropouts, up to about 600 bits.
Analog Display and
While it is recommended that the dbx
high. We might reasonably infer that
Control Functions
the signal level was increasing. We 700 be used with a U -Matic -type
Extensive
metering facilities provide
being
VHS
units,
Beta
and
±10
machine,
from
the
step
sizes
then
shift
could
to, say, +15, -5 millivolt, which is in line less expensive and offering longer information about both the dynamic
with our expectation (based on the recording time, may be used in situa- range and level of the input signal. The
display is a column readout with 30
recent history of the signal's behavior) tions where economizing is called for.
The dbx error-correction circuitry LEDs for each of the two channels. A
that the signal is more likely to change
in a positive than a negative direction. works by adding one extra parity bit for peak hold with slow decay is also incorNote that doing this does not change or every three data bits. The parity bits are porated. The display can serve three
lower quantization noise: the difference mathematically derived from the data selectable functions:
a) Record -Level Indicator. This has a
is still 20 millivolts between +10 and -10, bits, so that any bit errors on playback
and +15 and -5 mV. But it does increase will produce a unique error pattern in range of 60 dB (2 dB per LED) and is
the maximum slope (steepness, or slew - the received parity bits. This error patt- pre -emphasized to follow the headroom
ing, or speed of change) that the modu- ern is decoded to find exactly which bits characteristics of the A/D converter.
lator can follow without slew -rate limit- are in error, and the offending bits then Brief transients that exceed the maxiing. Hence dynamic range is increased, corrected. This correction circuit works mum record level ( +20 dB) will not clip
in conjunction with the memory inter- because of the transient -speedup circuit
as well.
In practice, this alteration in the bal- leaving in such a way that a long burst in the level detector. Continuous operaance of "plus" and "minus" step sizes is error is presented to it as a series of short tion above the maximum indicated
... continued overleaf
achieved by a "linear- prediction filter." errors separated by good data.
This filter is substituted for the simpler
TABLE 1: A Comparison between Linear -PCM Converters
filter (integrator) normally found in a
and the dbx Companded Predictive Delta Modulation
Delta Modulator, and is designed for
maximum dynamic range. A comparidbx System
16 -bit Linear PCM
son between linear -PCM converters and
the dbx Model 700 system is provided in
Low
Very High
Cost
Table 1.
-
Memory
The dbx 700's memory has 16k bits of
random -access memory storage for
wow /flutter absorption, data interleaving and de- interleaving, and video
requirements. During recordings, the
A/D converter produces a steady stream
of bits. The video format, however, has
several areas where data can't be
recorded (described below), so the
memory is asked to store the data bits
during these times. Of the 16k memory,
8k is for data interleaving (time scrambling), and 4k for storing data during
the video -sync intervals.
During playback, the memory must
supply the D/A converter with a steady
stream of data while receiving the data
R -e /p 154
0
October 1982
Dynamic Range
90 dB
More than 110 dB
Sensitivity
To Bit Errors
High
Low
Bit Rate
Approximately 770k per
second, plus error correction overhead
Approximately 700k per
second, plus error correction overhead
Anti -Aliasing Filters
Complex, hard to build,
large phase shifts
Simple; small phase shifts
Maximum Level Flat
With Frequency?
Yes
No
Distortion
Low
Low
Frequency Response
Depends on anti -aliasing
filters; usually very good
Very good
If you want it done right,
doitE
yourself
You wouldn't think of building your own power amp,
mixing console or tape machine, would you? Then why
in the world would you take on the awesome chore of
interfacing all of these components? There's a reason why
many leading sound contractors, system design engineers
and network broadcast professionals come to Whirlwind
for help in designing their wiring systems. As professionals in the field, they're smart enough to know that
no matter how well you know your business, there are
always new and more efficient ways of designing systems.
Each system installation represents different
interface problems and we've seen them all. If it's been
done, chances are Whirlwind's already done it. Because
we're the Interface Specialists that's all we do. We've
already collaborated on some of the most sophisticated
and streamlined multi -wiring systems being used by
arenas, concert halls, remote audio- video recording,
broadcast and film companies.
Of course we use the best components (connectors,
cable) available, but that's not what makes our Medusa
multi -wiring systems better. First, the quality of our
workmanship results in the kind of precision you can
stake your reputation on. Second, our service and
custom -design means you're getting our knowledge and
unique experience to help you design the most advanced
wiring systems in the world for the widest range of
applications. So if there's one thing you've got to do, it's
call Whirlwind. Our systems make your systems better.
Whirlwind Music, Inc., P.O. Box 1075, Rochester,
New York 14603 (716) 663 -8820
-
whirlwind
The Interface Specialists
For additional information circle #28
ENCODER
CLOCK
GENERATOR
COMPARATOR
INPUT
¿
record level is not recommended,
CLK
OUT
VCA
FLOP
CONTROL
b) Signal-Level Meter. This is an
RMS- responding, non -weighted indicator with a total range of 120 dB ( +20 dBV
to -100 dBV). In record mode, this meter
that the unit can become a unity gain
The analog-input circuitry contains
all necessary control functions. A three position switch selects a front -panel
level- control pot; a trim pot adjustable
through a hole in the front extrusion; or
an internal non -adjustable reference
device from record to play, which makes
it easy to play back a recording at the
same sound -pressure level as the original, if the sensitivity of the microphone
is known.
Clipping LEDs are provided both
before and after the level- control stage.
TIME CONSTANT
RMS DETECTOR
WITH TRANSIENT -
FILTER
DECODER
LOW- PASS
FILTER
SPEED-UP
CIRCUIT
LINEAR PREDICTION
FILTER
BLOCK
DIAGRAM
level. This last position is provided so
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DUAL
reads the line input or output of the mike
pre-amp, if one is used. In play mode, it
reads the unit's line output level.
c) Loudness Meter. This incorporates
complex dynamic -filtering circuitry
that simulates the equal -loudness contours of the ear. It follows the Stevens
curves (the modern version of the old
Fletcher- Munson curves) to within 2 dB
over the entire 120 dB range of the
meter. This feature is invaluable in
making dynamic -range measurements,
where a "flat" meter often will give too
high a reading because of low- frequency
room noise. The inputs to the loudness
meter are switched in the same manner
as the signal -level meter. Sensitivity of
the microphone is used to set the reference level.
LINEAR -
FLIP
however.
TIME CONSTANT
RMS DETECTOR
WITH TRANSIENT -
LOW -PASS
FILTER
SPEED-UP
CIRCUIT
In a device with such a large dynamic
range, the gain structure is quite important; if the front-panel LED is set too
low, for example, dynamic range may be
lost.
The analog-input section also provides a signal for recording on the
VCR's audio tracks for use during editing. This is necessary because the digital audio information cannot be recovered when a VCR is put into
slow- motion to search for an edit point.
A 2:1 compressor may be switched in so
that wide -range material can be successfully captured on the VCR audio
tracks.
The analog- output section contains
two output buffers capable of driving
600 -ohm loads to +24 dBm; a stereo
headphone driver; clip LEDs; and
another three -position switch to select
among front -panel pots, screwdriver accessible trim pots, and an internal
non -adjustable reference calibration.
Low -noise circuitry is used throughout,
and all electrolytic capacitors in the
signal path are paralleled with smaller,
non-electrolytic caps for good audio
quality. Electronically balanced outputs are standard, and may be defeated
if unbalanced ones are desired.
An optional low -noise mike pre -amp
module can be plugged into the last slot
in the frame. Each channel has controls
for gain (20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 dB), 48 volt
phantom powering (on /off), and
Line /Mic source select. Our low -noise
circuitry adds less than 1 dB of noise for
microphone impedances from 100 to 1k
ohms.
Construction
15904 Strathern
St. #23
Van Nuys, CA 91406
See us at AES Booth #1325
R -e /p 156
October 1982
(213) 994 -6602
The dbx 700 is completely modular, all
circuitry being contained on 10 printed
circuit boards that plug into a backplane. The complete power supply,
including transformer and AC input, is
also modular and plugs into the back-
AN OPERATIONAL ASSESSMENT by William Ray
continued from page 150.. .
plane. High- quality XLR connectors are
used on the rear panel for all audio input
and output connections, and BNCs for
connections to and from the VCR.
-
production facility. Our clientele is
diversified, and has included such acts
as Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, Lynyrd
Skynyrd, and Kansas. As with most
studios of our size, the ability to attract
as well as keeping old
new clients
depends upon our ability to
ones
maintain a "state -of- the -art" facility.
With microprocessors raining down on
the public from every direction, "Digital
Audio" has finally entrenched itself in
our clients' vocabulary, and has become
one of the more popular buzz words. The
pressure had been mounting for us to
commit to a digital mastering machine.
Normally, I would not question the
validity of a particular piece of equip-
ss.
It was through the marriage of analog
and digital design that dbx hoped to
spread the benefits of digital sound
among those to whom they might otherwise have been delayed. For the first
time, a studio owner can purchase a digital recording system the dbx 700 Digital Audio Processor and a professional quality VCR at a price comparable to
that of a good two -track analog recorder.
This feat was accomplished by innovative circuit design, which is most apparent in our A/D converter, wherein a
unique combination of analog and digital technology provides extremely high
performance at remarkably low cost.
The main goal in designing the dbx
700 was to lower the cost of digital processing sharply in order to bring digital recording capability to every engineer
and studio that could afford a top quality analog recorder, not to mention
the associated processing equipment.
The low (under $5,000) price tag meets
this goal. We also believe that the dbx
700 sounds as good as, if not better than,
the finest digital equipment currently
available from the major manufacturers. Delivery is targeted for next
summer.
-
-
-
-
ment that so many clients had
requested. (Heaven help the studio that
interferes with its clients' creative pursuits!) However, we had definitely been
procrastinating on this purchase. My
reasons for procrastination centered
around several very fundamental
concerns.
First, was format. Mother technology
has been very generous in recent years,
by bestowing upon our industry many
technological breakthroughs. However,
man's nature being what it is, we have
managed to significantly slow the
implementation of many of these technological breakthroughs by spending
years on debating the best way to proceed. A classic example of this phenomenon is EQ and alignment for analog
audio tapes. We've had to deal with
NAB and IEC for years, and only
recently was a "standard" agreed upon.
There is still no recognized standard
tones or levels on a master tape for setup and alignment purposes. (I find it
ironic that a resolution will finally be
made at the same time that we discover
a technology to make analog tape obsolete as a format.)
As a studio owner preparing to make a
significant investment ($30,000 +), I
have to ask some very important questions concerning the establishment of a
new recording format:
What will the storage medium be?
(The options now are audio tape, and
video tape.)
If the storage medium is video tape,
Beta or
will it be '/a -inch or '/: -inch
-
VHS?
If the standard is video tape, how
will I edit? Will I be able to use a low -cost
video editor?
What will be the standard format for
analog to digital conversion? PCM,
ADM, or something entirely new?
Assuming we can standardize on an
A -to -D format, what will be the sampling rate, since this has a significant
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SERVICE OF PROFESSIONAL AUDIO EQUIPMENT
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99 East Magnolia Boulevard Suite 215 Burbank, California 91502 (213) 843 -6320
OPERATIONAL ASSESSMENT
AT CRESCENDO RECORDERS
effect on signal quality. If it is too low, it
causes significant technical problems
as it is increased (especially with PCM
A- to -D).
Will the cutting facilities I use be
able to decode my digital masters?
Until some effort is made to answer
these questions, purchasing a digital
recorder is kind of a "pig in a poke." A
$30,000 or more investment (over
$60,000 for the Sony PCM -1610 processor with its editor) could be a complete
loss in a year if a non -compatible standard were to be adopted. Despite digital's
obvious audio attributes, the lack of
economic security so far has kept us
(and many others, I'm sure) from purchasing a machine.
My second concern is price. I've seen
the price of all digital related technology
come down drastically in recent years;
studio -quality digital delay lines, for
example, have gone from $3,000 to
$499.00. I assumed (correctly) that digital audio recorders would follow suit.
Despite attempts to enlighten my
clientele to these problems, requests for
digital audio have continued relentlessly. We were losing the battle. I
agreed to appropriate funds for a digital
recorder, and began researchint.
It looked as though the storage format
would be .4-inch video for two -track
masters. A few phone calls proved that
although none of the mastering facilities we used had digital replay
machines, they did have access to a
Sony PCM -1610 and video recorders on
a rental basis of $500.00 per day one day minimum
when available. We
were told it would cost us $29,500 for the
Sony PCM -1610 processor. In addition,
we would have to spend between $4,000
and $8,000 for a 34-inch U -Matic VCR.
-
-
The dbx Alternative
Randy Fuchs, my partner and fellow
owner of Crescendo Recorders, in a conversation with his long-standing friend,
Lance Korthals, mentioned our decision
to purchase the Sony system. Korthals,
dbx pro sales director, felt that he had to
let a good friend like Randy in on a "little secret." Well, his little secret may
well be one of the most significant
advances yet in our industry. As you
must have guessed by now, dbx was
developing a digital audio processor.
If it seems odd that dbx would enter
into digital audio, think for a minute.
This company has made one of most
significant developments in reducing
tape hiss and expanding dynamic
esiti
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R -e /p 158
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Company Narm
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Phone
A & B ENTERPRISES, P. O. BOX 3592, SIMI VALLEY, CA 93063
October 1982
Systems Evaluation
Our evalutation was set up as follows:
We would eliminate the multitrack, and
cut "live" straight to the mastering
machines. This eliminated any analog
tape link. Identical two-track mixes
were fed to the Sony PCM -1610, the dbx
700, and to an analog Otani MTR -10, it
being felt that the Otani represents the
"state -of- the -art" of analog tape
machines. The MTR -10 has adjustabÍe
hase com ensa ion an a unique ead
design at
to
everything we've evaluated in other
words, the ideaT"analog reference." All
levels were calibrated for each
machine's optimum performance. No
signal processing was used, since limiters, gates, etc., would only mask
deficiencies.
With the help of Dr. Robert Manchurian, a prominent Atlanta arranger producer, and Albert Coleman, of the
Atlanta symphony, Crescendo proceeded to book the most diverse and challenging sessions we could. These
included a classical pianist, rock
drummers, jazz percussionists, acappella vocalists, string sections and soloists, horn sections and soloists, plus
jazz, fusion, and rock bands.
In light of the magnitude this evaluation was taking, it was decided to
involve as many ears as possible. At
dbx's request, we did not identify to
anyone that the company's prototype
was here. Our engineers, producers, and
performing musicians listened to each
cut, while the musicians auditioned
only what they cut. After each cut, all
three machines were played back, and
simply identified as A, B and C.
Considering the diversity in listeners,
I believe that we compiled some significant data. After all, who knows better
what a violin should sound like? An
engineer or the performing concert violinist? On the other hand, however, it's
-
INTRACLEAN
CLEANS:
range. Given that innovation, it has
probably reached the limitations of
analog audio. Where else could the company turn, but to digital?
In less than two weeks, the studio
arranged for the prototype dbx 700 Digital Audio Processor, as well as a Sony
digital machine and two 1/4-inch UMatic VCRs, to be installed in our Studio "A" for serious evaluation over a
four -day closed session. (Special thanks
to Tom Semmes and Associates for the
loan of the Sony digital system.)
Although this would be the first time
we've had a digital recorder in our facility, I am no stranger to digital recorders.
I have been to every AES and NAB
show in recent years and, as I said
before, we have been evaluating digital
audio for quite some time. I am well
aware of the attributes as well as the
deficiencies of the different formats on
the market, as well as fundamental Ato-D problems. I have to admit that
Crescendo primarily was looking for
potential problems or deficiencies in its
evaluation.
f
the well -tuned ears of an engineer that
notices abrupt cut -off of long- fading
resonance (due to error correction circuitry in some digital recorders).
When the results were in after an
exhaustive four days, they were, to say
the least, "interesting."
No one ever chose the analog recordings; the limited dynamic range was
immediately apparent. The Consensus
between the PCM -1610 versus the dbx
700 was split equally. Everyone agreed
the difference was minimal. However,
the more seasoned ears could ascertain
between the two most of the time. There
seemed to be no peer grouping as to preference. The engineers were split, but the
musicians seemed slightly to prefer the
sound of the dbx 700.
I have to admit in this "blindfold test"
I did choose the Sony PCM -1610 most of
the time. However, just when I though I
could tell the difference, I chose the dbx
700, insisting it was the Sony. But my
partner, Randy Fuchs, consistently
picked the dbx unit as his preferred choice. Our engineers, Will Eggleston and
Jim Boling, could identify which was
which after about 20 seconds. They disagreed, however, as to which they liked
better.
The slight differences in the two digital machines were most noticeable in
the high- frequency transients. The Sony
PCM -1610 seemed to be more "piercing," for lack of a better term. Depending on your perspective, our evaluators
defined the Sony as harsh (bad) or brilliant (good). The dbx 700 was described
by the same evaluators as slightly dull
(bad) or smooth (good).
The noise floor was non -existent on
both units (below the noise floor of our
mikes and boards).
The low- frequency response was
incredible on both machines. Low frequencies, I might add, are one area that
analog machines can't touch digital
with or without signal processing.
There have been claims that PCM based digital recorders have a tendency
to chop off a signal that falls below a
certain SPL, in much the way that a
gate would. It is my understanding that
error -correction circuitry is responsible
for this. dbx informed us that its unit
was not a PCM system, so we did listen
for this anticipated problem. We were
not able, however, to get either unit to
"chop" any part of even the longest and
softest fades.
Crescendo Recorders' co- owners Randy Fuchs (left) and William Ray
during evaluation of prototype Model 700 against a "conventional"
PCM digital audio processor.
strutted the unit in a lightweight, vertical rack package that is similar to their
900 Series modular signal processing
frame. The new 700 system is modular,
and gives the user the option of tailoring
a unit for his particular needs. The
available modules are input, output,
and mike pre -amps, which permits a
Cost Advantage
playback -only unit, for example. It also
gives the "live" performance "direct -todeck" user an extremely high -quality
mike pre -amp. This pre -amp will be
essential for esoteric digital recording,
since most available mike pre -amps and
consoles that have acceptable noise
1982
1922
60 YEARS
of
SERVICE
-
One thing I've refrained from mentioning until now is the cost differential
between the two digital recorders we listened to. The dbx 700 is priced between
1/6 and 1/7th the cost of the Sony PCM 1610. While the Sony is truly an excellent machine and certainly cosmetically
much more impressive to look at, we are
purchasing the dbx.
Performance -wise the two machines
are on a par. There are some packaging
features I think show excellent fore
thought on dbx's part. They've con-
mastering facility to purchase a
For 60 years
YALE ELECTRONICS
has been a major supplier of
products for the audio, video
and entertainment industry.
We take great pride in knowing of our involvement in the
construction of many fine recording, motion picture, radio and
television studios throughout the world. Thank you members
and associates of the audio engineering society for your past
patronage, and we join you in looking forward to a marvelous
future in this exciting industry.
Let us invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to be on
our mailing list by circling the reader service card number
shown on this page.
YALE ELECTRONICS INC.
Toll Free
(800) 421 -4144
6616 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
In
California
(213) 465 -3186
October 1982
Li
R-e, p 159
40111110
Who
How does the Indianapolis
Speedway Radio Network
Team...
What?
..enjoy intelligible,
ow- volume
ntercommunications...
Where?
..within the world's
greatest race course, at
locations wired with
telephone line, without AC
power, and surrounded by
33 racecars and 400,000
screaming fans?
Close -up detail of prototype Model 700 and U-Matic 3/4 -inch videocassette recorder
used to record digitally-encoded material.
floors for analog use will not cut it for
digital.
An interesting observation at this
point is that what has been until now
one of the quietest links in the audio
recording chain will now be the noisiest
you guessed it, the microphone.
dbx has been successful in overcoming some of the objections (the biggest
being cost) we've all heard about digital.
However, there are a few problems that
remain.
The dbx 700 uses a VCR and videotape. For editing, this means you either
need two units and a video editor, or
access to a video editor. However, on a
positive note, any video editor that will
interface with your VCR will suffice.
While dbx recommends that it be used
with a 3/4-inch U- Matic, the 700 processor produces excellent results with finch video tape recorders as well. The
Sony and all others must use 3/4-inch
tapes. There is at least a $3,000 difference in the cost of a 3/4-inch U -Matie and
-
MEW
How?
THEY HAVE CLEAR -COM
Why?
Our closed-circuit intercoms
are packed with features to
easily meet the most
stringent requirements. Our
tailored frequency response
curve provides crisp twoway communications, even in
the noisiest environments.
Give us a call to find out how
WE MET THE
INDY CHALLENGE.
And how Clear-Corn
Intercoms can provide YOU
-
intercom systems
oClear-Corn
1111 17th Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
415-861 -6666
EXPORT DIVISION: P.O. Box 302
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
415 -932 -8134
TWX: 91 0- 372 -1087
V
p 160
October 1982
In our opinion, what dbx has accomplished with its digital audio recorder is
certainly going to rock the industry.
Facilities competing for album projects
will certainly be forced to purchase a
digital machine, or lose their business to
the competition who has. Considering
the cost of the dbx processor and 3/4-inch
VCR is roughly in line with a good
analog recorder, price should certainly
not be an obstacle.
Other users of high -quality halftracks may be interested for other reasons. One very important issue that lies
on the positive side of videocassettes is
that as a storage medium they are very
compact and easy to handle, and you
don't have to worry about record /replay
EQ, or tape speed.
Another plus with the dbx 700 unit is
that a 60- minute 3/4-inch U -Matie
cassette costs $20.00 each in quantity. If
you add up what 60 minutes of tape
costs running at 30 IPS, you'll find
The two digital audio processors
dbx Model 700 and Sony PCM -1610, plus companion U- Matics
used for comparison evaluations at Crescendo.
with the answers too.
See us at AES, Booth #510
-
a'/cinch consumer VCR.
yourself with four, 10 -inch reels, or
approximately three to four times the
cost, with a considerable increase in
bulk. To users with extensive tape
libraries for example, radio broadcasthis
ters and radio post production
alone could be reason enough to go to
dbx's digital format.
-
4NIk.UNT
-
IT HANGS TOUGH...
But you can
Towards the Future
Before closing, and while I have the
chance to "put it in print," I'd like to
share some observations of the past and
some projections for the future. As mentioned earlier, our inudstry has had to
deal with a lack of standardization.
Perhaps one very appropriate example
to cite would be the Dolby and dbx noise
reduction systems. Dr. Ray Dolby was
first to come up with a system to significantly reduce the noise floor of a tape.
However, dbx would soon be introducing an "alternative." And, as you all
know, a triumphant victor did not
emerge; our facility has both Dolby and
dbx, and our clients swear by one or the
other (or both).
In this case, had a format been established as a "standard" for noise reduction, we would have to give up audio
integrity in some applications. Both
systems have their attributes, as well as
deficiencies.
As much as we'd all like to see standards set for a digital recording format,
realistically I don't believe it will
happen. Perhaps a by-product of "Yankee Ingenuity" is a common consensus
that there is always a better way. This,
coupled with healthy capitalist competition, will certainly lead innovative
manufacturers, such as dbx, into alternative ways of manufacturing a digital
recorder. The performance difference of
going away from a PCM format, in the
way that dbx has, is virtually beyond
this listener's ability to perceive (hear).
The cost advantage of going to dbx's
encoding format is significant. The
technology involved is simpler to execute than PCM, thereby enabling dbx to
make significant reductions in component count, as well as size and weight.
Given that most studios probably do
not have in -house personnel to repair
digital recorders, I believe that dbx has
a big advantage over its competition in
that its new processor is less complex,
and completely modular. With a few
spare "cards," a studio should "theoret-
ically" never have any downtime.
The dbx digital approach is, to our
mind, certainly the most viable and
well- thought-out yet. However, PCM type recorders have already gained a
viable foothold in our industry.
Although current technology will not
permit a PCM -based recorder to compete economically with dbx's approach,
I think we will continue to see PCM we
alas
based recorders. And so
will, once again, have multiple formats,
and no standardization. The only consolation may be that with the money
we've saved on our recent purchase from
dbx, I will be able to buy other innovative and new products.
-
-
N
TM
push it around.
We think good looks and good use go together. The
Omnimount System has a handsome technical look. Its
artfully simple design follows ine
to do.
/Mount
Series 50 Anything
WONDE
The
A S
MALL
')
Auratones
,n, monitors (like
with the m
ore
to
IT'S
usually
with wedges
how things
are
console
sometimes
You know
odds
your
01
And
a
on toe
sitting there of Your m
meter bridge.
that you put
into
ore
top
more
unoesthetically
sloping
the
for
intruding have it that way any1M
wires
compensate
to
nt
Baker
P
hove
k got the
hin91ay
don't
you
you've
Y
new
newt
your loud
s
working space.
e An holds you want
there'ss Omnimount's
theré
now
angle
because strong aanalb &áclomp
exactly
eaou
Its kers
ime
them
capability
speakers
ad
con
monitoring capa
You
And
between
there.
near-field
nearfield
right
your
rove
you
hit
to
You imp
the mix
there's
a
aim
And
can
image.
because you balanced stereo
a
ears with
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wiring and o
through-the-tube
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flange
dress-down nicer. IMount,
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things
With the Anythingwill work betas
and your console
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and everything
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We
inter
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rupt
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for
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ment
-
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clean and produce.
Small
you
idisound
this year
Small is big
Wonder.
goes w ere
it
belongs
- in splendid acoustic isolation
Ili
&
-
Omnimount looks great of itself
when you can see it. Its job is not eally
to be seen, but to make whatever you
put on it look and work its best,
suspended as if magically in
mid air.
New
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The Plumbing
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Ask us
it
how
works
54x40
s....
.
The
long
photograph
is Model
100WA.
shown
smaller than
actual
)AI/I//íl0(/0/
10850 Van Owen Street
Los Angeles, California 91605
(213) 766 -9000
SPECIFICATIONS SUBJECT
TO
CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE
size
Maximum
recommended
load is 70 bs The
Pro User net price
is
$49.95. Please
call us or write us for
more information.
PATENT PENDING
COPYRIGHT 1987
See us and the Anything /Mount at the A ES Show: Booth 1108
October 1982
R -e /p I ti
Prodcts
MASTER -ROOM XL -515
REVERBERATION SYSTEM
FROM MICMIX
The Master -Room XL -515 is said to
provide the user with virtually unlim
ited versatility, along with unprecedented performance from a spring
reverberation system. The new unit
offers three operational modes in full
stereo tosynthesize the reverberation
characteristics of a live chamber, plate,
and concert hall. Any of these three
modes can be easily selected from the
main control unit.
The Plate mode offers a bright, clean
sound with the high echo density, and
the instantaneous diffusive qualities of
a plate-type reverberator. The Room
mode incorporates the most desired
characteristics found in some of the
most popular live chambers currently in
use. Finally, the Hall mode provides the
reverberation characteristics of a concert hall that can be varied in apparent
size and sonic qualities.
Control parameters allow a large
number of variations in each mode to
specifically tailor the sound of the
reverberation environments. The
tinuously variable Decay provides variations from 1 to 6 seconds; importantly,
MICMIX claims, no change in tonality
occurs when the decay time is varied.
The Decay Time is displayed by a two digit numeric display. An equalization
section contains low and high fixed con-
trols, along with two mid -range sweep able controls, all with 12 dB of boost and
cut.
The main control unit is housed in a
5%-inch rack -mount package with all
control functions located on the front
panel. The remote chamber unit is
housed in a 7 -inch rack -mount package
that can be mounted up to 200 feet from
the main control unit.
Introducing
the Fostex
Edge
Our new sans includes 15 high power woofers to 30 inches and up to 500 watts. 18 compression drivers in one and two
inch throats with three diaphragm sizes up to 4 inches. 3 high output super tweeters, 13 cast and wooden horns. and 6
low-loss networks. All the components you need to assemble high quality sound systems
you're looking for an edge ... come and see us at the AES or contact us at 620 King Edward Street. Winnipeg. Canada
R3H OP2. ph (204) 775-8513, telex 07- 55725
If
F0stex
Professional Division
Electro Acoustic Systems
Inrerlake Audio Inc.
R -e /p 162
October 1982
For additonal information circle #135
DIGITAL DISK MASTERING
CONSOLE FROM NEVE
According to Neve, the new 9202 Digital Disk mastering Console represents
the final component in the recording
chain. Digital signal processing and
digital quality can now be secured from
the studio to the final disk master.
The 9202 DDM console accepts and
provides digital or analog inputs and
outputs, and therefore can be used with
a conventional analog disk -cutting
lathe, or as a tape-to -disk transfer console for digital disks.
Digital technology allows the new
Neve disk mastering console to be completely self-contained with integral
delay facility and total memory capability. Full dynamic range control facilities and equalization can be incorporated in each signal path, and these
processors may be switched either
before or after the delay circuit. Delay is
variable up to a maximum of 1.33
seconds at 48 kHz (1.45 seconds at 44.1
kHz), and can be extended to a maximum of 2.66 seconds at 48 kHz (2.9
seconds at 44.1 kHz) if required.
Many of the features found in the new
Neve multichannel digital DPS consoles are incorporated in the 9202 DDM,
including 4 -band equalizers with memorised control settings, and automated
motor driven faders. All signal processing circuits are housed in a single 19inch rack cabinet, and a modular system of building blocks enables the
control desk to be configured to allow
freedom of layout.
Always reaching to the outer edge of technology, FOSTEX proudly
introduces the SOUND REINFORCEMENT SERIES of components. a
family of products based upon over 30 years of transducer design and
manufacturing experience. From the latest in materials engineering to
precise production techniques, we control all aspects of the
manufactunng process, producing some of the worlds finest transducers.
LL
Suggested user price is $3,990.00.
MICMIX AUDIO PRODUCTS, INC.
2995 LADYBIRD LANE
DALLAS, TX 75220
(214) 352 -3811
RUPERT NEVE, INC.
BERKSHIRE INDUSTRIAL PARK
BETHEL, CT 06801
(203) 744 -6230
For additonal Information circle #137
LEXICON LAUNCHES PCM -42
DIGITAL PROCESSOR
The new PCM -42 has a maximum
delay of 2.4 seconds, and memory option
Desired Results
Delivered.
Cnmprll6O.
A
E.pnh<er
Ch
A
A V C A
Our thorough knowledge of how dynamics processors are really used,
and the performance demanded of them, is reflected in the flexible operating
functions of the Model 610 Dual Compressor /Expander.
For example, the desired result of compression should be a controlled
dynamic range. All too often, this is achieved at the expense of emphasizing
noise. The Model 610's interactive Expanded Compression mode offers precise
dynamic control and unobtrusive reduction of residual noise.
By definition, an expander should increase dynamic range. Unfortunately, most don't know when to stop. The Limited Expansion mode of the
Model 610 has great brakes, allowing precise control of maximum output level
after expansion, thus avoiding distortion.
Constant nominal output level under var ing combinations of threshold
and ratio settings is maintained automatically, eliminating the need for dual
metering.
The VCA employed in the Model 610 offers stable and distortion -free
performance under all operating conditions. No small claim, since the gain
control device is the heart of any dynamics processor.
The Model 610.
Results Delivered.
VALLEY PEOPLE, INC.
P.O. Box 40306/2820 Erica Place
Nashville, Tenn. 37204
615- 383-4737
TELEX 558610 VAL PEOPLE NAS
For additional information circle #138
October 1982
R -e /p 163
ew pro
acts
of 4.8 seconds. The unit's crystal-based
delay timer accurately tracks all
changes in delay times, including time
modulation sweeps. A metronome indicator and clock can be programmed to a
precise fraction of the delay period, enabling long delay loops to be used to generate tightly woven, multi -layed,
rhythmic beds, and completely new
sound -on -sound effects.
The PCM -42 has 16 kHz bandwidth,
input overload protection, and Lexicon's proprietary digital encoding system. Time modulation controls include
an envelope follower that can be used
alone, or blended with either a sine or
square wave sweep for enhanced doubling sounds, "talking flange" effects,
unusual "trills,' and pitch twisting
effects. An optional foot control enables
infinite repeat, by -pass, delay sweep,
recirculation and output mix functions.
LEXICON, INC.
60 TURNER STREET
WALTHAM, MA 02154
(617) 891 -6790
For additonal information circle #139
BATTERY /AC PORTABLE MIXER
1
41441111111,-,-,
¢,
MODEL 200B
Latest in the 200 Series, the Model 2000 is a professional quality eight input stereo mixer built in
a portable case and designed to operate either from
the included 12 volt Gel -Cell battery or from an
optional 110 volt AC power supply and is suitable
for remote recording or any application where
highest performance is required in a rugged portable mixer. Battery is external but can optionally
be had in a special lid assembly if desired for greater portability: standard battery will operate mixer
8 to 10 hours on a full charge (larger batteries
and /or spare batteries available), and charger is
included. Other options include the Intercom
Module, limiters, and output transformers. Mixer
is fully modular, and any module can plug into any
slot. Mixer comes with lid and measures 13 x 17.5
x 7" with lid, and weighs about 30 pounds.
INPUT MODULES include input pads, input
transformer, phase reverse, mike power (12 v'T"
or 48 v phantom), gain adjust pot. three equalizers
with selectable frequency on the mid equalizer,
low cutoff, two cue sends with pre/post slider
switches. panpot with in/out, solo. +15 VU danger
indicator, on /off switch, and optional Penny &
Giles or standard Duncan conductive plastic sliders.
MASTER MODULE provides a stereo slider
master and two Cue Masters. two standard VU
meters which can also be switched to read cues or
monitor or battery level. stereo monitor phones
level and phones jack, and output, power, and
echo return connectors. The monitor phones
switch automatically to an input when a solo button on a module is depressed.
INTERCOM MODULE (optional) provides for
monitoring in a headset (such as the DT109), intercom to second operator (who can also monitor),
test tones. slating takes, listening to playback.
and a one watt 8 ohm stereo power output. The
9th slot can house either the Intercom Module or a
9th input module.
PERFORMANCE is near state of the art, and
equals or exceeds comparable professional equipment. Interface equipment carries a one year limited warranty.
INTERFACE ELECTRONICS has been making
high performance low cost professional mixers
for all purposes since 1971. For more information
or a quote, contact Louis or Rich at (713) 660 -0100
HOUSTON. TEXAS 77081
Proprietary coupling of the release
circuitry in the channel compressor and
expander sections makes possible a
unique mode: interactive expanded
compression. The nominal release time
is set by the VCA release time control,
and may be modified through use of the
Auto Release function. This combination is said to provide an imperceptible
transition from compression to expansion, resulting in noise reduction without adding the adverse effects associated with "hard noise gating."
VALLEY PEOPLE, INC.
P.O. BOX 40306
NASHVILLE, TN 37204
(615) 383 -4737
For additonal information circle #141
RACK -MOUNTABLE SOUND
MIXER FROM YAMAHA
The M406 is a six -input channel, stereo output sound reinforcement mixer of
rugged construction. "Yet, overall the
M406 has the attractive appearance,
smooth control feel, and superior sound
quality," says Yamaha's Bob Sandell.
or
Dealer inquiries invited.
INTERFACE ELECTRONICS
6710 ALDER
VALLEY PEOPLE MODEL 610
DUAL COMPRESSOR EXPANDER
The 610 contains two independent
channels, consisting of a compressor
section and an expander section, both of
which control the channel VCA. The
channels may be operated independently or coupled for processing stereo
program material.
Each of the compressor sections feature continuously- variable thresholds
and compression ratios, with a threshold /ratio /output coupling scheme
which computes the amount of additional output gain required to maintain
a constant nominal output level under
varying combinations of threshold and
ratio settings. The compressor sections
use Valley People's Linear Integration
Detector to preserve program dynamic
integrity during passages of heavy gain
reduction, and Peak Reversion Correction circuitry to lessen "pumping" in the
presence of low frequency information.
Each of the two expander sections
features selectable slopes of 1:2 or 1:20,
and continuously variable thresholds.
The expanders also use the proprietary
linear Integration Detector.
(713) 660 -0100
-
e
1
t>
"Its straightforward features and
superb audio performance make it an
excellent choice as the sole mixer in a
R -e/p 164
0
October 1982
Why Beyer microphones give you more extraordinary
performance for the most ordinary applications.
Rever M 201
There are other microphone
alternatives when high
sound pressure is a factor.
When you need a rugged and
versatile microphone,
consider the alternatives.
You may not always need a
condenser microphone for
'critical "recording applications.
311111110112
As Sennheiser claims, the MD 421
undoubtedly stands up to extremely
high decibel levels and has other
features that have contributed to
its popularity. But if you're already
using the MD 421 to mike loud
instruments or voices, we suggest
that you investigate the Beyer M 88.
The Beyer Dynamic M 88's
frequency response (30 to 20,000 Hz)
enhances your ability to capture the
true personality(including exaggerated
transients) of bass drums, amplified
instruments and self-indulgent lead
vocalists.
The Beyer M 88 features a matte
black, chromium- plated brass
case for the ultimate in structural
integrity. Beyer microphones are
designed for specific recording and
sound reinforcement applications.
For over 10 years, engineers have
used mics like Shure's SM57 for the
widest variety of applications in the
studio. And we feel that one of the
main reasons more engineers don't
use the Beyer M 201 in this context
is simply because they don't know
about it. Those who have tried
it in the full gamut of recording
situations have discovered how it can
distinguish itself when miking
anything from vocals to acoustic
guitar to tom toms.
The M 201's Hyper-Cardioid
pattern means that you get focussed,
accurate reproduction. Its wide
and smooth frequency response
(40 to 18,000 Hz) provides excellent
definition for the greatest number
of possible recording and sound
reinforcement situations.
Each Beyer Dynamic microphone
has its own custom- designed element
to optimize the mic's performance for
its intended use.
Some engineers prefer condenser
microphones like the AKG C 414
to accurately capture the subtle
nuances of a violin or acoustic piano.
But should you have to deal with
the complexity of a condenser system
every time this kind of situation
comes up?
The Beyer Dynamic M 160
features a double -ribbon element
for the unique transparency of
sound image that ribbon mics are
known for. While its performance is
comparable to the finest condenser
microphones, the M 160's compact
size and ingenious design offers
significant practical advantages for
critical applications.
Beyer Dynamic microphones offer
state -of- the -design technology and
precision German craftsmanship for
the full spectrum of recording and
sound reinforcement applications.
beyerdynamicE
The Dynamic Decision
Documentatnm supporting specific comparative claims available upon request.
Beyer Dynamic, Inc. 5-05 Bums Avenue, Hicksville, New York 11801 (516) 935-8000
For additional information circle #142
ew pro
acts
small club, meeting room, church, and
similar applications," Sandell added.
The M406 may also be used as a sub mixer for larger mixing consoles in
complex sound systems.
The compact package (19 by 7 by 11.6
inches deep) features +24 dBm 600 -ohm
balanced XLR outputs, three -hand EQ,
six- position input level controls, and
phantom power for condenser microphones. Other features include: echo
and effects send bus with master send
control; two effects inputs, each with
level and pan controls; and front -panel
power switch for easy rack mounting.
One of the dual illuminated VU
meters and stereo headphone output are
switchable, enabling the user to monitor
the program or echo output. The VU
meters feature LED peak indicators.
The M406 carries a suggested retail
price of $995.00.
YAMAHA COMBO PRODUCTS
P.O. BOX 6600
BUENA PARK, CA 90622
(714) 522 -9134
rophones, according to Clay Barclay,
product development manager for
Crown International. The system consists of a master unit (PH -4) with connections for up to four microphones,
plus slave units (PH -4S), each of which
adds capability for another four microphones; slaves are daisy- chained with
cables supplied by Crown.
master PH -4 unit will supply up to
milliamps of current, enough to
power up to about 12 condenser microphones, or up to about 20 Crown PZM
models. Both master and slave units are
contained in rugged but light- weight
aluminum chassis, finished in a non chippable urethane. Optional "ears" are
available for standard 19 -inch rack
mounting.
Suggested list price for the PH -4 is
A
Also available from Simon Systems:
the CH-4 Headphone Cue box which
allows up to `our pairs of stereo head
100
$179.00.
CROWN INTERNATIONAL
1718 W. MISHAWAKA ROAD
ELKHART, IN 46517
(219) 294 -5571
For additonal information circle #145
MICROPHONE PHANTOM
POWER SUPPLY FROM CROWN
The PH -4 system supplies 48 volts of
DC phantom power for all types of mic-
SIMON SYSTEMS
MODEL I)B -1A ACTIVE DI
Stand -out features of the new Model
FOR ANYTIME
YOU WANT ANYTHING
TO SOUND BETTER
(audio envelope systems
phones to be driven from the same
amplifier.
SIMON SYSTEMS
20224 SHERMAN WAY #23
CANOGA PARK, CA 91306
(213) 716 -7905
For additional information circle #146
ARTISTS X- PONENT
ENGINEERING UNVEILS
SP -100 HEADPHONE AMP
The new SP -100 is a belt pack headphone amp, described as being invaluable for monitoring mike or line level signals, as well as general audio system
troubleshooting. The unit's high input
impedance allows for minimum circuit
loading, making it ideal for tuning wireless microphone receivers, setting up
and balancing piano pickups, quality
testing microphones, and as a "listen
only" intercommunication headset amp
with variable gain.
.
THE TC -1O1 TUBECUBE EFFECT BOX.
AN ENHANCEMENT SIGNAL PROCESSOR IN A
DIRECT BOX FORMAT.
IT WILL MAKE ANY
FOR ABOUT THE
INSTRUMENT
SAME PRICE AS A
MORE PLEASING.
REEL OF 2" TAPE.
"
audio envelope systems, inc. (602) 834 -3588
p.o. box 113, scottsdale arizona, 85252, u.s.a.
October 1982
able of driving capacitive loads; stable
circuit design to prevent RF pick -up or
oscillations; automatic battery check
circuitry; three -way power scheme (battery, AC, or rechargeable battery and
3- position gain /att switch for input
attenuation of low -Z, high -level sources,
"no loss" instrument input, and direct
into a line input.
Frequency response is a quoted 10 Hz
to 150 kHz, +0, -0.5 dB; distortion less
than 0.005%; and dynamic range 100
dB.
For additonal information circle #143
R -e /p 166
DB -1 A include high current output cap-
The unit weighs just 4 ounces, is
priced at $79.95, and features long battery life, low noise, wide frequency
response, and can accommodate almost
any high -or low- impedance, balanced or
unbalanced, signal source.
AXE
P.O. BOX 2331
MENLO PARK, CA 94025
(415) 365 -5243
For additonal Information circle #147
TIME TO SAVE
... on Technics
Quartz Synthesizer Digital
Analog Receiver. 30 watts
per channel, minimum continuous RMS into
8 ohms, both driven from 20 Hz to 20 kHz,
with no more than 0.04% total harmonic
SA -222
,
I
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--
-
distortion. Quartz synthesizer digital tuning
assures exact drift free reception, with three
ways to tune stations: pushbutton presets for
14 stations (7 AM and 7 FM), up /down
manual tuning, and auto scan tuning. Digital frequency readout of tuned -in station plus analog
display LED indicators for signal strength and quartz -lock. Pure -complementary OCL amplifier
with electronic protection circuit. Phono S/N 75 dB (IHF '78) for excellent disk reproduction. Soft
touch program selectors. Two tape monitoring switches.
Adray's `best deal'price:Manufacturer's
Subsonic filter. FM muting/mode selector.
retail
L
189 00
suggested
$350.00
dbx!Dolby B -C, Direct
3 -Motor Cassette
Deck with Microprocessor feather touch controls.
Wide -range ( -40 dB to +18 dB) 3 -color FL meters
with peak hold. Multi- function FL display: 4 -digit
real-time counter with memory repeat, and music
select counter for up to 20 programs. Intro -Search
samples each program for quick and easy program
access. AX (amorphous) head improves high range response. Auto tape selector. Bias fine -adjust
control. Auto input selector. Output level control. Auto input selector. Wow and Flutter: 0.03"
WRMS. Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz (Metal). S/N (Cr02):
Adray's `best deal'price: Manufacturer s suggested retail
92 dB (dbx in), 76 dB (Dolby C in, CCIR).
R S- M 275X
Drive,
398.00
$600.00
S- M 85 M k2
R
ffeussionaI Series
Direct Drive Cassette Deck. The system which
produces incredible specifications and which was
reported in a national magazine to have the best
tape speed characteristics ever measured in a
cassette deck. Frequency response: 30 to 17,000 Hz (metal). Wow and Flutter is reduced to a
miniscule 0.035%. Signal to Noise ratio: 69 dB (Dolby in). Speed
Adray's `best deal'price: Manufacturers suggested reta,
deviation: 0.3 %. Slim 37/s-inch high design.
$475.00
isolated Loop" Open Reel ProfessionSeries Tape Deck. This is the two -track,
2 channel version of this series, which features the Isolated Loop
system with direct drive capstan and reel motors with electronic
tape tension sensing to insure extremely stable tape transport
(0.018(X) wow and flutter WRMS at 15 ips). The direct drive capstan
motor is quartz -phase locked. Frequency response: 30 Hz to 30,000
Hz ±3 dB. Signal to Noise ratio: 68 dB. Distortion at 0 VU: 0.8 %. Full
IC -logic transport controls. Removeable head
RS-1 500 U S
GZIEISM
assembly.
$700.00
al
960.00
This is a repeat of a previously sold-out Adray's 'reel deal':
Manufacturers suggested retad
Where the pro's shop for their personal equipment!
At either location, or send check or money order for freight collect delivery.
5575 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD
LOS ANGELES, CA 90036
(213) 936-5118
6609 VAN NUYS BOULEVARD
VAN NUYS, CA 91405
(213) 908 -1500
For additional information circle #148
51600.00
ew Products
SOUNDCRAVI' SERIES
400B CONSOLES
A new series of general purpose mixing consoles, the Series 400B is available in two formats and two sizes. Both
formats are fully modular, include
phantom power supply, and feature 4band sweep- frequency EQ.
The Standard format, available with
16 or 24 inputs, features four auxiliary
sends, 8 -track monitoring, sub grouping, a set -up oscillator, and 100
mm faders.
The Monitor format, also available
with 16 or 24 inputs, features eight discrete mixes for on -stage monitor mixing; a master channel level control
can be assigned via a pan control to a
stereo mix bus for side -fills, or front-ofhouse mix.
The Soundcraft Series 400B, which
will cost $5,500 for 16-input models, and
$7,500 for 24 -input versions, can be seen
at the forthcoming AES Convention in
Anaheim, together with a fully automated Series 2400 console, and the
new Series 1600 boards.
SOUNDCRAFT USA
20610 MANHATTAN PLACE
TORRANCE, CA 90501
(213) 328 -2595
to be interconnected for more input
channels.
NEPTUNE ELECTRONICS
22 SERIES STEREO MIXERS
Available with 8, 12, and 16 input
channels, the 22 Series stereo mixers
feature mike- and line-level inputs;
input pre -amp in /out jacks; mike /line
switching; peak LED indicators; monitor, reverb (all consoles have built -in
Accutronics type 9 tank), aux (with pre or post-EQ /fader switching); 3 -way EQ;
pan; solo; and slide faders.
Master control features include extensive headphone monitoring and solo
system; channels, the 22 Series balanced mike-switchable metering; pan able aux return and line -level inputs;
input pre -amp in /out jacks; mike /line
switching; peak LED indicators; monitor, reverb (all consoles have built -in
Accutronics type 9 tank), aux (with preor post-EQ /fader switching); 3-way EQ;
pan; solo; and slide faders.
Master control features include extensive and panable reverb; slide fader
master output controls for left /right,
monitor master and mono. Rear panel
connections offer both balanced and
You are cordially invited
to the unveiling of the
new Meyer Sound
833 Studio Reference
Monitor*
'Patents applied for
R-e/p 168
return jacks; and master function
inputs that allow two 22 Series consoles
For additonal information circle #149
Meyer
Sound
Meyer
Sound
unbalanced line-level outputs on all
main output functions (L /R, monitor
and mono); high- and low -level aux
Meyer Sound Laboratories Inc.
2194 Edison Ave.
San Leandro. CA 94577
415 569-2866
Octnhcr 1982
For additional information circle #150
In addition, the 22 Series can use its
own internal power supply powered
with NEI's optional XMP remote power
supply.
NEPTUNE ELECTRONICS, INC.
934 NE 25TH AVENUE
PORTLAND, OR 97232
(503) 232 -4445
For additonal information circle #151
AUDIOARTS 8X SERIES
MIXING CONSOLE
The 8X Series is intended for eight track recording, and features threeband sweepable equalization, high -pass
filter, phase reversal switching, phantom power, two effects sends, one cue
send, and stereo monitor. Patch points,
place:
72nd Audio Engineering
Scciety Convention
Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim.
California. Booth 909
dates:
October 23 -27, 1982
833 specs:
Frequency
Response
35- 18,000
Hz - 3db
System Time
Delay
(ircluding
electronics)
- 350us,
100-20,000Hz
- 25 us,
2,000-20,000Hz
High Frequency
Dispersion
Vertical
Horizontal
40 degrees
80 degrees
Maximum SPL
Continuous
Peak
120 dB
130 dB
List Price
(two loudspeakers
and control
electronics.
Amplifier not
included)
under
$5000.
Dealer inquiries welcome.
direct outs, group outs, and bus outs on
all input channels are also provided.
Pre -fader listen, post -fader listen and
tape solo are standard.
All mike, line, bus and send outputs
are electronically balanced to assura
compatability with today's high performance multitrack tape record(
THE FINEST DIRECT BOX
Simon Systems proudly introduces the DB-1 A Active Direct Box and makes
this challenge. Test this Dl against any other, and discover why many major
artists and studios refer to it as "The Finest Direct Box." State of the art
specifications, unique features, and affordable pricing set new standards
for the industry.
Features
&
Specifications
No insertion loss
3 pos Gain /Att Switch allows line -level
output
3 -way power scheme: bait, a.c. (w /PS -1
power supply) or rechargable batt.
Popless audio switching & connections
Ground Isolation switch
Compact size
Freq. Response 10 Hz -150 kHz ( +0, -0.5 dB)
Prices range from $5,000 to $15,000, in
mainframe configurations from 16 to 32
inputs. The 8X Series will be on display
at the forthcoming AES Convention in
Anaheim.
AUDIOARTS ENGINEERING
5 COLLINS ROAD
BETHANY, CT 06525
THD less than 0.005%
Dynamic Range 106 dB w /PS -1 supply
S/N -104 dB w /PS -1 supply
Simon Systems Products are available at (Demos Available):
(203) 393 -0887
For additional information circle #152
New World Audio Inc.
4877 Mercury
San Diego, CA 92111
(714) 569 -19441
Everything Audio
10655 Ventura Suite 1001
Encino (Los Angeles), CA 91436
THREE NEW HIGH POWER
FREQUENCY DIVIDING
NETWORKS FROM JBI.
Models 311A, 3115A and 3120A are
each equipped with a three- position.
high- frequency equalization boost
switch which compensates for power
response roll -off; the switch may also he
used for tailoring of the high frequency
response contour to individual program
requirements.
(213) 995-4175
SIMON SYSTEMS
20224 Sherman Way #23
Canoga Park, CA 91306
(213) 716 -7905
Dealer Inquiries Invited
High -frequency attenuation is accom
plished with tapped autotransformers
rather than conventional resistive
losses. Ideally suited for use in high
powered sound reinforcement applications, each of the three new products
handles 300 watts of continuous program power. Model 3110A has a crossover frequency of 800 Hz; 3115A 500
Hz; and 3120A 1.2 kHz.
-
JAMES B. LANSING, INC.
8500 BALBOA BLVD.
NORTHRIDGE, CA 91329
(213)893 -8411
For additonal information circle #153
BX -25E REVERB /DELAY
FROM AKG
Replacing the BX -20E, the new Bpi
25E is based on the patented Tortional
Transmission Line principle used in all
AKG reverb units. The TTL- System has
been improved by extending the overall
length of the spring by about 25% over
the BX -20E, yet at the same time reduc-
WE'RE 214
STRANDS BETTER
288 split -hair thin copper strands are used in our audio cable.
No other major manufacturer uses more than 74 strands.
Combined with two non -braided reusen layers which give
effective RFI shielding well into the gigahertz region, these additional strands provide outstanding flexibility, resistance to cold
weather, and easier stripping.
Gotham only offers 3- conductor cable. Why? Because phantom powering will be maintained even if the shield should break.
And because no 2- conductor cable ever stays really round. Our
cable is available in 300 meter spools, or with audio connectors in
a variety of lengths. In addition, eight bright colors help you keep
tabs on musicians anywhere on stage. We also make 10 -pair
"snake" cable.
Everyone knows we distribute the finest quality equipment
it simply wouldn't do for us to sell anything less than the finest
cable, too. It's made for us in Vienna. "How can a cable made in
Austria be bad for music ?" Send for more information today.
-
Distributed
world-wide
The Gotham Organization
741
Washington St.,
Ness York, NY 10014
(2121 741 -7411
International: +I 212 741 7411 Telex: 236779 GOTHM UR
GA -24
October 1982
R -e /p 169
ew Prouct5
ing the overall size of the BX -25E dramatically by about one-third.
Independent decay -time adjustment
(via remote control), high- and low -
frequency equalization, external input /output level adjustments, and
dry /reverb signal mixing are provided
for each of the two electronically and
acoustically separate channels. Decay
time is adjusted silently through the use
of motional feedback.
module may be added to a BX -25E at
any later time, or ordered within the
unit. The delay module provides remote
mix control between reverb signal and
reverb plus individual reflections, and
individually adjustable level for each of
the discrete reflections in 2 dB steps
from original level down to 20 dB below
the original level. Initial delay for the
reverb signal is switchable to 0, 30, and
60 milliseconds; two discrete reflections
for each channel may be adjusted in 6
millisecond steps from 6 to 60 milliseconds. Bandwidth is quoted 12 kHz.
AKG ACOUSTICS, INC.
77 SELLECK STREET
STAMFORD, CT 06902
(203) 348 -2121
For additional Information circle #156
SPECK ELECTRONICS
INTRODUCES
SPECKMIX 16 CONSOLE
The new console features 16 complete
input channels equipped with low- noise,
transformerless mike inputs; eight mixing bus outputs; eight VU meters and
eight-track panable assign. EQ is proIn addition to the shelving -type frequency equalization, AKG has incorporated a high -cut filter at the input and
reverb drive amplifier. This enables the
selection of a bright, more "aggressive"
sound, or a more mellow natural reverberation sound.
Also, the new M -250 Digital Delay
tit
. ti'
'
.'ti7
: ''
.
.+'..*;
vided by six, 3 -band equalizers. Facilities are provided for control room and
studio playback, talkback and cue
prompts. There is an independent stereo
mixdown bus.
Frequency response on the Speckmix
16 is a quoted 23 Hz to 20 kHz (±1 dB);
output level is +4 dBm with the maximum output level at +22 dBv; and noise
-72 dB measured from mike input to bus
output, and -80 dB measured from line
input to program output.
Suggested price is $3,975.00.
SPECK ELECTRONICS
12455 BRANFORD STREET, #2
ARLETA, CA 91331
(213) 897 -4188
For additonal information circle #157
MEYER SOUND UNVEILS
833 STUDIO MONITOR
The new 833 Studio Reference Monitor consists of two vented enclosures
each housing a single proprietary 15inch, low -frequency driver, passive
crossover, and horn- loaded high -frequency driver
and an active stereo
electronics unit containing subsonic
filter, frequency and phase response
correction circuitry, and Meyer's Speaker Sense"' driver protection circuitry.
The new monitor requires a high quality stereo power amplifier capable
of delivering between 100 and 400 watts
per channel continuously into 8 ohms.
-
-
a SOUND way o manage
your SOUND business
PR
M
SYSTEMS IN PROFESSIONAL
co
ñ
Pro Media r
with an e
range of
°.
co
loudspea
17)
Many of
c
o
resents the finest names in professional sound equipment
e product line of amplifiers, mixing consoles, a wide
processing products, microphones, tape recorders,
*udio'visual products and accessories.
uipment needs will be permanent, some for special
projects on
To
E
NOW, Pro Media offers you the flexibility to manage your equipment
needs along with your budget!
2
c
You can BUY your equipment for permanent use, OR you can RENT
equipment for those special projects.
For your professional sound equipment requirements, BUYING or
RENTING, call Pro Media today.
c
o
ÿ
lis
I
185 Berry St., Suite 358, San Francisco, CA 94107
R -e /p 170
4111.1111110
October 1982
(415) 957 -1383
Employing frequency -selective phase
correction techniques, in combination
with continuous monitoring and control
of the amplifier output power, the Model
833 is said to offer all the advantages
normally associated with bi- amplified
systems, while utilizing a passive crossover, requiring only a single stereo
amplifier. The electronics unit features
an LED bar display of true amplifier
power, and a user -setable peak limiter
which acts on the signal at line level,
and is designed to be set just below the
power amplifier clipping point.
MEYER SOUND
LABORATORIES, INC.
2194 EDISON AVENUE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94577
(4 ) 569-
For a
tonal information circle #15
NEW VERSIONS OF
HARDY 990 OP -AMP
he 990 discrete op -amp is
avail abl 'n two new ver:'
e 990 -18V
and 99 t , or
(-polar 18 and 12 volts
.
s
respectively. Other versions include the
990-24V and 990 -15V, for bi -polar 24 and
15 volts respectively. Normally encapsulated in clear epoxy, the 990 is also
available in black without labels, for
DEM applications.
Basic specifications include: EIN
-133.7 dBv (unstd, re: 0.775V, 20 -20
kHz); slew rate 18 volts per microsecond
with 150 ohm load; and +24 dBv output
with 75 ohm load (990 -24V).
THE JOHN HARDY CO.
P.O. BOX AA631
EVANSTON, IL 60204
(312) 864 -8060
Simply ears
ahead..
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NEW
42 MK II SERIES
Peak LED
FEATURES:
Transformerless balanced XLR mic inputs
overload indicators Comprehensive pushbutton routing Long trave
faders Two routable effects returns Four sub -groups with direct outputs
8-16-24 Input versions available (on stage monitor version also
available)
c\HB
uy wow
amplifier -level inputs; fully isolated and
buffered unity gain link output; balanced microphone -level input; switchable low -pass filter; ground lift switch;
and totally recessed switches and jacks.
Suggested retail price is $75.00.
AUDIO ENVELOPE SYSTEMS
P.O. BOX 113
SCOTTSDALE, AZ 85252
(602) 834 -3588
Currently at
reduced
prices
the
Thirty -five years ago Neumann's U 47
revolutionized the audio world.
For the last twenty years, the equally
famous U 87 has been the standàrd
of the industry.
And coming on strong is the
U 89
milestone in capsule and
amplifier technology that's already
become a favorite among performers aid
sound engineers.
Everyone involved in the sound production of hit records, major motion pictures
and broadcast and television shows, recognizes Neumann as the top of the line.
Now, we're also helping your bottom
line with a sizable reduction of prices.
Write or call today for our new brochure
and a listing of the dealers near you.
CASTLE INSTRUMENTS
PHASER III EFFECTS UNIT
Features include five ultra -wide range
parametric controls; switch-selectable
4/6/8 stages; optional control -voltage
-a
inputs and remote switching. A Dual
, U
U
U
U
`-
U
OUGUUV (
,usr.
.0
ODUUO
-
.
ODUUU
Rack mount version incorporates two
complete phasers in a single package,
with four crosslinking switches that
selectably interconnect the LFOs, feedback paths, inputs, and outputs of the
two units.
A built -in noise reduction system is
said to pass all the subtleties of the most
Allen & Heath Brenell (USA) Ltd
652 Glenbrook Road
Stamford, CT 06906
Tel. (203) 9641488 Telex 996519
rom
For additonal information circle #161
°°"'"
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MC -220 MINICUBE DIRECT BOX
Ml.*= OUT
'!tll'.'"',I il
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: f'rr
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. . . .
For additional information circle #160
FROM AUDIO ENVELOPE
The MC -220 features active transformerless circuitry, which maintains
ground isolation even when phantom
powered; flexible powering from either
one, 9 -volt battery, or any console phantom power supply; instrument- and
'
-
C'OTHAM
741
AUDIO CORPORATION
Washington St., New York, NY 10014 (212) 741 -7411
West Coast Office: (213) 874 -4444
Audio Export Georg Neumann 6 Co. GmbH
P.O. Box 1180, 7100 Helbronn, West Germany
GA-t9
October 1982
R -e /p 171
ear response for the smoothest possible
sweep characteristics; companding
noise reduction gives low noise operation. Other features include positive or
negative flanging effects, clipping indicator, LFO sync input, control-voltage
inputs for delay time and LFO frequency, and balance panpot.
The Hyperflange + Chorus, with comprehensive assembly and applications
manual, is available in kit form for
cW Prodkcts
delicate sounds, while effectively subduing any noise from the phase -shift
stages. High- frequency pre -and deemphasis techniques are augmented
with full -band companding circuitry to
achieve an overall dynamic range, the
makers claim, that exceeds that of digital tape recording.
All models are available with transformerless balanced inputs and outputs.
CASTLE INSTRUMENTS
2 CARTERET COURT
MADISON, NJ 07940
(201) 377 -8185
$149.95.
PAIA ELECTRONICS
1020 W. WILSHIRE BLVD.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73116
(405) 843 -9626
For additional information circle #166
For additional information circle #164
PAIA ELECTRONICS
HYPERFLANGE + CHORUS
ANALOG DELAY
The Hyperflange + Chorus sweeps
over a 72:1 delay range, from 0.35 to 25.6
milliseconds. This wide range is said to
give extremely dramatic flanging
effects, as well as lush chorusing
sounds.
A unique "hypertriangular" sweep
generator provides exponential or lin-
JBL 2370 BI- RADIAL
CONSTANT COVERAGE HORN
Providing uniform on- and off-axis
frequency response in the horizontal
plane from 630 Hz to 16 kHz, the 2370
features a compound flare configuration for smooth response, low distortion,
and even coverage. This exclusive
computer -aided design is said to minimize the need for horn overlapping, virtually eliminating lobing and comb filter
effects. In addition, exceptionally consistent horizontal dispersion eliminates
the mid -range narrowing and high-
WE MADE IT COMPLICATED
ON THE INSIDE
®
frequency beaming problems typically
associated with conventional sound
reinforcement horns.
At the higher frequencies, the 2370's
vertical mouth dimension is said to
create a gradual narrowing of the vertical coverage pattern; as a result, there is
acoustic equalization of response in the
horizontal plane, and compensation for
the falling power response characteristic of all compression drivers. Should
constant vertical pattern control be
required, two or more 2370s may be
stacked to restore full Bi- Radial performance.
JBL's 2370 horn features an integral
throat that will accept any one -inch
diameter compression driver. Its flat
front design allows for flush mounting
on baffles; to facilitate installation,
mounting tabs are provided for either
SO THAT IT WOULD BE
SIMPLE ON THE OUTSIDE
MAHNALL
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at the Anaheim
AES
1
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THE NEW MINIMODULATOR FROM MARSHALL
FAST,
ECONOMICAL STUDIO QUALITY MULTI -TAPPED DELAY
FULL STEREO OUT, UP TO
EFFECTS
FROM $995.
800mS. OF DELAY, 95dß S /N, ENVELOPE FOLLOWING, AND MORE
MARSHALL ELECTRONIC, 1205 YORK RD., SUITE 14, LUTHERVILLE, MD.
p 172
October 1982
For additonal information circle #165
21093. (301) 484 -2220
enclosures or clusters.
JAMES B. LANSING, INC.
8500 BALBOA BLVD.
NORTHRIDGE, CA 91329
(213) 893 -8411
For additonal information circle #167
MODEL 174 PITCH SHIFTER
ANI) MODEL 175 DDL
UNVEILED BY MXR
The new Model 174 Pitch Shift
Doubler provides a number of effects,
including "barber pole" flanging; realistic double tracking and unison effects
in stereo; stereo chorus effects; 1.1 -0.99
type effects; feedback suppression; and
12- string sounds. One -rack space high,
the Pitch Shift Doubler has stereo outputs and a red /green LED signal present/overload indicator. It shifts pitch
(up to 'A step) up or down, and operates
with minimal noise.
indicator. Other features include delay
setting of0.63 to 320 milliseconds, and a
4:1 sweep range.
MXR INNOVATIONS, INC.
740 DRIVING PARK AVE.
ROCHESTER, NY 14613
(716) 254-2910
For additonal information circle #169
NEW SKOTEL
DIGITAL METRONOME
FROM AUDIOTECHNIQUES
The Skotel DM -100 features crystal controlled accuracy, and resolution to
1 /100th of a frame. Both film and video
(switchable internally NTSC or PAL/
SECAM) frame rates are available, and
are switchable on the front panel. This
is helpful for productions done exclusively on videotape, or for scoring from
a video cassette work print which has
only timecode burned in and no film
YOU DON'T
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The MXR Model 175 Digital Time
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chorusing, simple reverb, echo and slap back echo in an easy to use format. One
rack space high, the Digital Time Delay
has stereo output capability, and a red/
green LED signal present/overload
frame numbers.
In addition, the click rate may be
changed on the thumb wheels while the
metronome is running, without affecting the output.
A rear -panel interface connector
includes remote start and stop func-
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INOVONICS
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MAGNETIC
REFERENCE
LABORATORY
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VALLEY PEOPLE
.lust call the Gotham Export
representative in your country.
For your convenience they inventory a line of audio equipment
manufactured by some of the
world's leading companies.
Don't wait weeks or months for
equipment -Gotham Export and
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For additional information circle #168
For additional information circle #170
Adak
EXPORT CORPORATION
741 Washington Street
New York, NY 10014
Telex 236779 GOTHM UR
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GA23
R -e /p 173
The Model 4400 is the company's new
third -octave Monitor Equalizer, and
features 28 filters from 31.5 Hz through
ew
16
Lions, as well as gating control signals
and an output to drive a remote LED
display. The tone of the output can be
adjusted over a wide range via a rear mounted screw- driver pot. The line output is balanced and transformer isolated, with enough signal level to
overdrive console inputs.
kHz;
10
dB adjustment range;
12
dB
per octave high- and low -pass filters; tri -
amp capability with three level trimmers; transformerless operation, or
optional plug -in input and output transformers.
WHITE INSTRUMENTS, INC.
P.O. BOX 698
AUSTIN, TX 78767
(512) 892 -0752
PHASE LINEAR
4136 NORTH UNITED PARKWAY
SCHILLER PARK,-IL 60176
(312) 671 5680
PHASE LINEAR 27 -BANI)
GRAPHIC EQUALIZER
"The E27 is unique in that it utilizes
The Skotel 1)M -100 Digital Metro
output.
Suggested retail price of the E27 Graphic Equalizer is $549.
For additional information circle #175
For additional information circle #174
nome, which measures 8 by 6 by
inches, is priced at $775.
signal -to -noise ratio of 111 dB below
max output with sliders centered; passive bypass; and balanced input and
state variable filters to achieve amplitude change independent of bandwidth," says Peter Horsman, national
sales manager for Phase Linear. "This
design ensures one-third octave equali-
HALF -INCH HEAD ASSEMBLIES
NOW AVAILABLE FROM JRF
The new retrofit half -inch, two -track
head assemblies for MCI JH -110A tape
machines are said to provide substantial improvement over standard'/.I -inch,
two -track performance specification. In
addition to MCI, half-inch heads are
also available for Ampex and Scully
tape machines. JRF Company, known
for its precision head relapping and
1%
AUDIOTECHNIQUES
1619 BROADWAY
NEW YORK, NY 10019
(212) 586 -5989
For additional information circle #172
TWO NEW ACTIVE EQUALIZERS
FROM WHITE INSTRUMENTS
The Model 4100A two-channel, octave band, L -C Active Equalizer is described
as being perhaps the quietest 10 -band
graphic in the industry. White offers
that recording engineers will find it to
be a highly desirable program equalizer
for use with the demanding 30 IPS, halfinch and digital formats.
zation throughout the adjustment
range. It eliminates the tendency to
broaden bandwidth at small adjustment settings, a characteristic that is
typical of other equalizers."
Other features include: +12 dB, -15 dB
control range; switchable 40 Hz high
pass filter; 12 dB available gain; quoted
assembly alignment services, offers
direct replacement heads for most stu-
ng, and tape duplicating
dio, mast
equipm
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JRF CO., INC.
17 BYRAM BAY ROAD
HOPATCONG, NJ 0784
(201) 398 -7426
dditional information
jgned °y jjced b'9
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R -e. p 174
O
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Seattle, Washington 98125
October 1982
For additional information circle #173
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RONNIE MON'l'ROSE
- continued from page 26 ..
.
The snare was miked with a Shure
SM56 or an AKG C452, depending on
the song and the way the snare was
tuned on a given day. The kick was
miked with a Beyer M88 or E -V RE -20.
"The Beyer is mainly a vocal mike, but it
sounds great on a bass drum," says
Ronnie
and on the days when the
PZMs weren't in the toms, Sennheiser
MD 421s were used in the conventional
positions. The high -hat was covered by
an AKG C414 sometimes, and at other
times a 452.
Carmassi's drum kit was set up facing
the control room glass, about 10 feet
away. "There was a U -87 directly in
front of the kit, maybe a couple of feet
from the glass," says Montrose. "Once
in a while I put two PZMs right on the
glass, right and left. I rolled all the bottom off, and used them strictly for 'sizzling' ambience. I also put U -47s
a
really fat -sounding tube mike way in
back behind the drums but not in the
corners, about 15 feet off the ground."
The bass
Fender Precision with
stock pickups
was recorded with a
Countryman direct box. "We didn't use
any amplification at all," says Montrose. "I've found that the best thing to
do with the bass is to take it direct and
add a little bit of soft compression with
[UREIJ LA -3A or an LA -4 at about 8:1,
with the threshold set high. It just
shaves the peaks, which allows you to
bring the relative level of the bass up a
little bit. After that you can do anything
you want with it."
After the basics and some of the overdubs were completed, the band took a
three -week break during which Montrose listened to "anything but the
Gamma rough cuts." He felt it necessary to remove himself emotionally
from the project for a while so he could
regain his objectivity. When he went
back to finish the record, he says he
dumped several of the guitar parts.
"The song 'Stranger' had about 20 different versions before we finished it," he
recalls. "Every day I'd come in to the
studio and Mitchell would say, 'Oh, no
he's going to change it again!' We
finally got it to where it felt right, but it
took a long time."
For the guitar overdubs and the final
mixing, Montrose worked closely with
Jim Gaines, who engineered most of
Steve Miller's hits. "We used two different setups. When I wanted room
ambience, I used the big setup
a
couple- hundred -watt head and eight 12inch speakers
and I'd experiment
with the miking of it," he explains. "But
Jim recommended that we use a small
Gallien- Krueger amp with one 12 -inch
speaker right there in the control room. I
thought we'd have to have a gate on it,
but that there were some null spots
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Dealer Inquiries Welcome
%ISAR PULSAR LABS, INC.
3200 GILCHRIST RD.
M OG A DO R E, OHIO 44260
(216)
784 -8022
What's 40 feet long, has a Neve
console, and makes hit records?
the
ENACTRON
TRUCK
48 -Track Mobile Recording-Neve Console
SEE US AT THE AES
5102 Vineland Avenue, N. Hollywood, CA 91601
(2131 761 -0511
Contact: Tom Crostlnvaite
October 1982
R-e/p 175
ve
technical
Services
RONNIE MONTROSE
beneath the monitor speakers that
didn't pick up much leakage.
"Ken Scott and I had learned that we
could record at extremely loud levels,
getting feedback through the control room speakers, if we rolled off the treble
in the monitors. We got all the feedback
we wanted without high -end screaming
and that's the way nearly all the guitar
solos on Gamma 3 were recorded."
Montrose got involved on all levels
while doing the keyboard overdubs with
Froom. "That was rewarding," he
enthuses. "It's hard to say to a musician, 'That was great, but would you try
something else ?' when you don't have a
better idea of your own, but Mitchell
never runs out of ideas!
"The great thing about working with
synthesizers was that we could bring
them right into the control room and get
response immediately," he continues.
"Everything was right there
the
instrument, the EQ on the board, and
the effects. If we knew there were going
to be specific delays, we'd put them on,
and where we were going to layer frequencies, we'd EQ as we recorded. The
more we did on the way in, the less we
had to reconstruct on the way out."
Davey Pattison's vocals were reccorded with an AKG C452. Montrose
r
Excel let
Cf'
AUDIO SYSTEMS
POWER SYSTEMS
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RICK
DAV S
AUDIO ENGINEER
493 -3696
PALO ALTO. CAL
-
-a
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I
(415)
-
monitored but didn't record through
a Lexicon 224 Digital Reverberator.
"When you're going through take after
take with a dry vocal, it really starts to
sound dead," he explains. He also
worked very closely with Pattison on
melody, phrasing and inflection: "Davey
is basically a blues singer, and he
enjoyed doing it this way because it
gave him a chance to adhere to a melody
rather than relying on blues phrasing,"
Montrose notes. "On a lot of things, the
melody was written out.
"There's a texture, a timbre
basic
believability that's recognizable in a
r
Since 1969
i ION
THE
C
FOR USED AUDI
IA
IDEO EDU PMENT
i
blues -rock singer, as opposed to a pop rock singer. It's just a question of depth
as far as I'm concerned," he says.
Engineer /Producer Relationship
On Gamma 3, Ken Kessie was the
engineer for the basics, working on most
tracks with assistant engineer Wayne
Lewis, while Jim Gaines handled most
of the overdubs and the mixing. Most of
the recording was done in Automatt
Studio "A," with some overdubs in "B."
"I was involved on all levels with Mitchell, working with the synthesizer and
the board, but when it came to guitars I
needed a different kind of objectivity. I
got completely into my guitar playing,
and if I started getting edgy Jim knew
how to play it by feel, keeping with the
mood; especially when I was trying to
get something really 'fiery' down on the
guitar. He gave me that objective ear,
but he wasn't giving unnecessary opinions as much as he was just giving me
support."
In monitoring and mixing, says
Montrose, "I've learned that it's very
important to use different speakers
but to know your speakers. Gary Lyons
recommended ACD /John Meyer speakers, and I was completely blown away,
and have insisted on using them ever
since. I also have some very small Philips self -powered speakers. They hype
me out
I know that
but I know
exactly what I'm hearing from those
speakers at all times. We mixed on the
Meyers, the Philips and, once in a while,
on Auratones."
"I'm proud of Gamma 3, says Montrose. "I removed myself and looked at
the band myself included as players and participants in this ensemble.
My job was to take what these five people had to offer, and direct as best I could
the making of a successful album without compromising the essence of what
-
CONSOLES TAPE MACHINES
OUTBOARD EQUIPMENT
BOUGHT & SOLD
CATALOG ON REQUEST
Summit Audio
P.O. BOX 1678 LOS GATOS,
R -e /p 176
October 1982
CA 95031 408/395 -2448
-
-
-
-
they have. That to me is the job of a
producer."
Montrose's managers are sufficiently
impressed with his performance behind
the board on Gamma 3 that they are
actively seeking outside production assignments for him. "A lot of unsigned bands
from around San Francisco and from
elsewhere have asked me to produce
them, but I'm involved in so many types
of projects that I have to pick and choose
as time will allow.
"It's very satisfying to me to go into a
studio with a group, start with the raw
materials and finish with a great record.
It's like having your own playground to
work in, especially when there's a lot of
-
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- continued from page 15 ..
.
HARRISON CHANGING
INTERNATIONAL MARKETING
STRUCTURE
As of August, direct factory representation is being provided through Harrison dealers in all export markets outside
the United States and Canada.
"This change of marketing structure,
which replaces our former method of
export marketing through an exclusive
export distributor, is consistent with our
overall direct -marketing strategy,
which has already been implemented in
North America during the past year,"
said Claude Hill, vice -president of marketing at Harrison.
"Changes in the world market and
economic situation have made it desire able to change and expand our export
marketing organization. We are maintaining and strengthening our dealership arrangements with our existing
export dealers. In addition, we are
actively seeking out new representatives in areas where we are not now
represented for our full range of broadcast, film- sound, and music recording
consoles."
AUDIO KINETICS
OPENS DEMO STUDIO
According to Steve Waldman, president of Audio Kinetics, "This new demonstration facility will enable us to provide editors, mixers, engineers and
prospective owners with hands -on experience with the Q -Lock in a realistic
environment. Even though the Q-Lock
is currently being used at more than 150
major facilities worldwide, the whole
concept of electronic sound editing and
sweetening is still relatively new. By
providing members of our industry with
an opportunity to sit down and work the
equipment, we'll allow them to discover
that the Q -Lock doesn't change the
essence of what they do, but will allow
them to do it easier, faster and more
accurately in film and video then
they've ever been able to do it before."
-
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PIANO BAG
DRLM BAG: $175.
9
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7
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ALPHA ACOUSTIC CONTROL, LTD.,
P.O. Box 7520, Burbank, CA 91505
213/760 -1139
r0
lirlittià1
Cor snit
Loudspeaker Compression
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speaker
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the midrange
budspecifically
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lcud
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2000
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and
human
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high sound
and
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-
... continued on page 185 October 1982
0
R -rip 177
Digital Update
SONY DIGITAL MULTITRACK
DEBUTS AT RECORD PLANT
To determine sound quality and ease
of operation, the PCM- 3324 24- channel
machine was used to record various
types of music, ranging from acoustic
instruments to jazz sessions and hard
rock and roll. According to Michael
Stone, Record Plant's chief engineer,
"We've gone through all the functions,
given it a thorough testing, and it
sounds very good. I like the idea of getting away from the noise and distortions of analog recording, and the Sony
PCM -3324 is the best multitrack on the
market. The low -end is such better than
analog it's solid and clean.
"The editing is great as well. I edited
with a razor blade as I would in analog,
and every edit came out perfectly. There
were no special digital problems at all
-it's a huge step in the right direction."
"Electric rock 'n' roll is the hardest
test for digital, and the clarity and
punch were excellent," Stone continued.
Grammy Award-winning engineer/
producer Bones Howe was on hand for
the demonstration, and commented,
"This is a machine that really fits into
the standard recording environment.
As soon as the digital Compact Disk is
here, and the public can really hear
-
what this technology means, the major
industry moves to digital will begin to
accelerate."
strating the unit's editing capabilities,
variable cross- fades, plus instant access
to any location within the computer's
storage.
ROAD 80 RE- EQUIPPING WITH
MITSUBISHI DIGITAL MACHINE
Tom Jung, New York -based engineer/
producer and owner of Road 80, Inc.,
recently acquired a Mitsubishi X -80 two channel digital audio recorder. Jung is
said to have made the decision to pur-
chase the unit after renting an
X -80
from Mitsubishi for numerous recording
projects over the past year.
The Mitsubishi X -80 (portable) and X80A (console) machines are claimed to
be the only digital recorders to offer the
choice of either razor- blade, or automatic electronic editing. Jung's recorder
is reported to be the first one in the US
that is compatible with the standard
sampling frequency of48 kHz, proposed
by the AES last year, and agreed to by
Mitsubishi Electric early in 1982.
SOUNDSTREAM TO DEMO
DIGITAL EDITING SYSTEM AT
AES CONVENTION
Using a remote link with the Instant
Access Editing System in Hollywood,
Soundstream editors Jim Wolvington
and Tom MacCluskey will be demon-
Also being demonstrated at the Anaheim convention will be the company's
new SMPTE synchronization capabilities, as well as the playing of selections
from among their over 200 digital master recordings. Many AES participants
will have the opportunity to observe
firsthand Soundstream's digital editing
system which, the company claims, is
faster and more powerful than any
other commercially available digital
audio editing system in the world.
GEORGE DUKE PURCHASES
MITSUBISHI X -80
DIGITAL RECORDER
Duke has used the Mitsubishi system
for a number of recording projects over
the past two years
most notably on
his collaboration with bassist Stanley
Clarke on The Clarke -Duke Project. The
X -80 two- channel digital recorder was
obtained from Mitsubishi Electric Sales
America for over a year on a rental
basis, and Duke recently decided to purchase one for his private studio. The
system includes the firm's DDL-1 Digital Delay Unit.
-
OMEGA
INTRODUCES: Tomorrow's technology at yesterday's prices. A mixing console that is
ready to move you from the 20th Century into the 21st Century of audio technology.
Featuring totally transformerless electronic design.
OA 3224
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input /24 track assign
3 band equalizer
4
effects sends
$23,500
input /24 track assign
4 band parametric equalizer
8 effects sends w /metering
32
4
stereo sub masters
$38,000
OMEGA AUDIO ELECTRONICS
P.O. Box 1003
R -e /p 178
D
October 1982
Madison, TN 37115
For additional information circle #184
615/833 -8221
ves
THE AUDIO /VIDEO MARRIAGE
Combining State -of-the -Art Audio
With In -House Video Facilities
-A Case Example of Bullet
Recording, Nashville
The story of Nashville's ill -fated Four
Star Studio has circulated up and down
the city's Music Row for years. The
modern office tower was completed in
1979, but the grand studio that inspired
it ran aground. First, there were financial problems. Then somebody was
killed by a fall from the high atrium
balcony. Murder charges were filed, and
although the accused was eventually
aquitted, the building's proposed sale
got tied up in the legalities. The dream of
Four Star's owner, Joe Johnson, to have
a full -fledged audio /video studio
a
bold idea for the early Seventies
began to fade.
The idea didn't fade completely, however. Seven years later, Randy Holland
heard about the studio and decided to
take the dream out of mothballs. This
article relates how the supposed white
elephant was transformed into what is
rapidly earning a reputation as one of
the country's most advanced audio /video studio complexes.
As Randy Holland recalls, "The
Bullet idea goes back so far that it is
hard to say when it really began. I came
to Nashville in 1978 to attend the Music
Business School at Belmont College,
and a friend of mine helped me to get
started as a freelance engineer. Things
were going well, but I really wanted a
place to work on my own projects. About
that time I met Scott Hendricks, now
Bullet's chief mixing engineer, and
together we built the 'Lower Level'
which literally was the entire lower level
(and then some) of my split -level house.
"As business picked up, I found it
harder and harder to get in [to the studio] and work on my own projects. I was
having to go to other studios, which I
didn't like. When it began, I had a
recording studio at my house; before it
ended, I lived in a recording studio
very frustrating paradox!
"Also, I was already aware that video
was beginning to play an increasingly
important part in the record business
and, while discussing this with Scott, he
mentioned that he knew of a partially
finished audio /video facility, and
although what is now our Studio B had
been in business for some time as
Richey House, and later as Island
Recording, the big r000m had never
been furnished."
Holland and Hendricks subsequently
visited the studio, looked it over, and
decided it was suited to what they had in
mind for a state-of -the-art audio /video
facility. With the pieces rapidly falling
into place, it became time to "put up or
shut up." Holland first contacted his
father, an otolaryngologist (ear, nose
and throat specialist) with a keen interest in psychoacoustics, and who had put
the money up for the "Lower Level" project. He was emphatically interested.
Within six weeks the paperwork was
handled, and it was a case of all systems
out, however, for several reasons.
Foremost, Holland considered, there
would be an increasing demand for
music video and related audio/ video
sessions. What was needed, therefore,
was a facility that offered not only high quality audio recording capabilities, but
one that also could provide sufficient
space and facilities for a full -blown
video shoot. Nashville, he began to realize, was steadily becoming more of a
universal recording center and, as such,
the city would serve as an ideal location
for the new studio.
go.
As they proceeded, however, the team
found that much of what had been built
was of inferior construction. Holland
knew early on that they would have to
tear it down to the bare walls.
Before Holland committed to basing
his operation in Nashville, some
thought was given to either the East or
West Coast, since he knew this would
give the studio more exposure at least
in the short run. The move was ruled
Design Considerations
"From the beginning," he recalls, "we
were determined to build a no- holdsbarred showcase facility not because
we were trying to prove anything, but
-
-
Mr. Randy
Goodrum
-
Composer, Artist, Musician, Producer,
Arranger, Writer of such hits as: You
Needed Me ", "Bluer Than
Blue ", "A Broken Hearted Me"
--
-
-a
"When I needed recording equipment for my home
studio, I turned to Valley Audio. They installed an Otani
MX- 5050-MKIII -8 %2" 8 Track with a Sound Workshop
Logex 8 Console. The entire system has worked flawlessly
and makes great recordings. The people at Valley Audio
were informative and very helpful. I now turn to Valley
Audio for all my recording needs. ou should
to
VALLEY
2821 Erica Place
P.O. Box
40743
Nashville, TN 37204 -3111
615 - 383 -4732
vew5
In genera spring reveres on't ave
best reputation in the world. Their bassy
twang" is only a rough approximation of
natural room acoustics. That's a pity because
it means that many people will dismiss this
.
exceptional product as "just another spring
reverb ". And it's not In this extraordinary
design Craig Anderton uses double springs,
but much more importantly hot rod's the
transducers so that the muddy sound typical
of most springs is replaced with the bright
clarity associated with expensive studio
plate systems.
Kit consists of circuit board. instructions.
all electronic parts and two reverb spring
units User must provide power ±9 to 15v)
and mounting
(reverb units are typically
mounted away from the console)
1
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AUDIO /VIDEO MARRIAGE
because we personally wanted a 'Rolls
Royce' to work in, and knew that others
would want to as well."
Holland was quick to realize that it
would be much harder to compete in the
marketplace if he built a run -of-the -mill
studio with average equipment. For that
reason, 48 -track audio with intelligent
automation, and one -inch video with online computer editing, were the nonnegotiable guidelines from which to
land specified was not without its challenges. "It was very difficult," he concedes, "because we were working with
some unusual ideas." For example,
although the audio facility and the
video facility were both functionally
sound, and independently complete on
their own, they had to work collectively
as one unit too. The interfacing
requirements were extensive. "We had
to run wire between the two rooms that
had to be acoustically isolated from
each other."
About 15 feet had to be added to the
floor between the audio and video control rooms, extending it toward the stu-
proceed.
While some of the original 1974 con-
struction had its faults, Joe Johnson's
basic concept for the facility was
deemed to be fundamentally sound. The
original architect, Jack Edwards, was
contacted in Los Angeles. While on a
visit to LA, Holland met with another
person in Edward's firm, Sven Len, and
a room
told him what was needed
completely different from all the others
in Nashville.
"First of all, I wanted a room that
could accurately reproduce 40 Hz
none in town can without active equalization, to my knowledge," Holland
stresses. "It had to be a large, live room
with a high ceiling and low monitors
with (Altecj 604 -8G drivers."
However, the design brief that Hol-
-
-
Joe English video shoot in Studio "A"
dio. "The earlier plan had not included
isolating that floor," Holland continues,
"so we kinetically isolated it using halfinch -thick machine rubber in 16 -inch
square centers, sandwiched between
concrete slabs, and decoupled from the
walls. Adding the extra feet gave us the
depth we needed in the pair of control
rooms and, by turning the audio control
room sideways to the main studio area,
we created a side studio where overdubs
can take place.
Acoustic Separation
You probably never realized it existed! Designed with the professional environment in
mind, the Phaser Ill family performs far beyond the limitations of any previously available
phaser (light years beyond the little rock 'n roll toy boxes!).
Large selection of
Features:
Complete, ultra -wide -range parametric controls.
Dynamic range greater than digital
Control Voltage, Signal Path, and I/O options,
recording!
Check out these special applications:
FM ring modulator, bell tone.
gong effects
Pitch shift vibrato.
Fattening up any sound with a
touch of extra resonance (adds
a lot even to synthesizer
sounds!)
Write or phone
for fast delivery
or free brochure!
R -e /p 180
D
October 1982
WITH DUAL RACK MOUNT:
Stereo image generation (adds
lots of fatness and motion to
any sound) (Effect preserved in
mono)
16 stage phasing (thick, rich,
better than flanging!!)
asile
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Dual rate phasing (particularly
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"Due to the need for video and audio to
be able to work separately on simultaneous projects, we had to achieve a
great deal of acoustic isolation between
the audio control room with its adjoining overdub room, and the video control
room above, with the main room now
functioning as a shooting studio."
Anticipating this problem, Holland
investigated whether the floor to the
studio was of structural importance to
the building. Luckily, the building had
been built only on its vertical pillars
and, in fact, the studio floor wasn't even
poured until after the building was up.
tall, 180 -linear -feet cycloramas, which
he line of where the control room and
isolation room would be built, straight
down to the dirt. By doing that, the control room /isolation room area was cornpletely decoupled from the rest of the
complex. To further improve isolation,
all the glass between the control rooms
is 3A- inches on the control room side, and
1/2 -inch on the studio side.
"The sound level drop between the
control room /isolation room area and
the rest of the world is such that if a
producer is monitoring an overdub or
mix at 106 dB, we could still carry on
with a video shoot with absolutely no
knowledge of his existence," Holland
points out.
The floor extension also provided a
balcony that has several uses. It not
only serves as an excellent camera platform that allows an operator to pan all
the way across the back of the studio,
but also functions as a balcony for live
audience seating, as well as a conductor's platform.
"I wanted the main studio to be very
live," Holland continues. "The ceiling is
at 26 feet and the decay time at kHz is
almost a full second. The rock and roll
sessions we've done here have sounded
absolutely sensational, as have large
orchestral dates."
A video cyclorama, which provides
different backgrounds during video
shoots, also forms an integral part of
Bullet's acoustic tuning capability. On
one side of the studio there is a floor -toceiling pocket that stores three 18 -foot
tall, 180-linear -feet cycloramas, which
pull out and circle 180 degrees around
the studio. Three cyclorama curtains
are available: a black velour used to
produce a "cosmic" effect, and which
completely blacks out everything
behind the subject; a blue chromakey;
and a light-weight, white shark's tooth
weave scrim which, Holland says,
"works great when trying to splash a lot
of light on [video] tape. The problem
with the white cyc [cyclorama] is that it
takes very little light to get up to the 100
units threshold of maximum level for
broadcast on tape. With use of the
shark's tooth, we can pull the black
velour out, and then the white scrim in
front of it. When lit from the front, it
comes out a very `cool' white actually
a pale gray which will take a lot more
light before reaching maximum threshold. The blue chroma allows the
added dimension of superimposition
the old trick where the subject is standing on a cloud, or out in space.
"The curtains can be drawn separately or together. If the room needs to be
not quite so live or completely dead, it
can be accomplished with the use of the
PUERTO RICO
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curtains."
"When we got down to construction,"
Holland continues, "I was glad I had
Scott [Hendricks] on my crew; he has a
degree in architectural acoustics, and
was able to keep a sharp eye on every
detail, making sure everything was put
together correctly. By this stage, I also
had Bullet's present studio manager
and my right (and left) hand man
Piers Plaskitt on the team."
--
Wiring and Power
All of the wiring and interfacing at
Bullet was carried out by in -house personnel. "One of the reasons the interfacing between audio and video areas was
so taxing," Holland recalls, "was
because there were no examples to follow. Sure, there are video studios with
simple audio in them, and recording
studios with video playback and /or
interlock, but none that I'm aware of
could come close to the sophistication in
Name:
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DEALERS
You've heard the name ..
Now see the product.
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72nd AES booth 612-3
re- stating the Art
HILL AUDIO LTD Anaheim,CA9 802(714)7504631
October 1982
R -ei p 181
v
e
5
AUDIO/VIDEO MARRIAGE.
hardware and design we were after.
"There's nothing worse than having
to tear down a wall to put in one more
shielded pair, so Bullet staff made sure
everything was taken into account, and
that gaining access for adding wires
could be done easily. The troughs are
basically divided into three sections to
minimize crosstalk: one is audio line /mike level; the second is audio cue/speaker; and the third, video. All three
groups were kept six inches apart, and
one can access them virtually anywhere
along their path via specially designed
hatches, which are hidden when not
needed."
With all the heavy demands for power
in such a complex facility especially
video lighting
great deal of attention had to be paid to the electricity
supply. So much power was required, in
fact, that Nashville Electric Service had
to tap into another main line several
blocks away. Although the existing six story building already had 2,600 amps
of service, another 2,400 amps needed to
be added for Bullet's new studio.
Two separate AC power systems are
provided: one for "house" power (lights,
office machines, etc.); and another for
"technical" power (consoles, tape
machines, etc.) The technical power is
filtered, regulated and transformer isolated, and grounded through three,
-a
-
The Systems Approach to
Tape Deck Technology!
Reflections from Control Room Window
one -inch copper rods buried in rock salt.
(The latter ensures that no "pops" or
"hums" are induced into the system,
and also lowers the studio's noise floor.)
Audio Equipment
ire+i 11111
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A Group Four Company
R -e /p 182
0
October 1982
&
Sound
When the time came to select the
audio equipment for Bullet, Holland
recalls, "some decisions were very easy
and some took a lot of research.
"First, the easy ones. There was no
problem with the tape machines: Stud ers are simply the best. We have two
A -800 24 -track units, and they've proved
a joy to work with. The AR00_'_s ability to
read SMPTE timecode in rewind and
fast- forward was essential; we also liked
the accessibility for maintenance.
"We also purchased A -80 half-inch
machines, which have simply amazing
performance characteristics. Recently,
out of curiosity, we took a 24 -track master recorded at 30 IPS with no noisereduction, and mixed it to three different
machines: quarter -inch Studer two track running at30IPS; the half-inch at
30 IPS without Dolby; and a digital
recording unit that shall remain anonymous. We played back all four tapes
in sync. Although you could hear some
noise on the quarter-inch machine, it
was very hard to tell the difference
between the 24 -track and the other two
mixdown machines. And no one in the
including the digital rep
room
could reliably pinpoint a difference
between the Studer half -inch and the
-
-
digital.
"So, when people ask me about digital, I simply say, 'Digital isn't ready for
us yet.' It's a promising new technology,
but we can't justify it yet in terms of
what it can offer our clients. There are
little things that `Digits' [Holland's
term for digital design engineers] don't
understand, like turning a two -inch tape
over, and recording echo backwards.
The fact is, my clients do things like
that; they use the tape machine to
manipulate sounds as only an analog
machine can do and so do I.
"Ordering the console was a big thrill
for me, because we weren't sure we were
going to work it into our budget. Once
we did, we knew we really had it."
Holland decided on a Solid State
Logic board, because he considered it to
be the "most advanced console in the
world. Think of everything you always
wanted on a console, and SSI, has
already put it there along with some
other things you didn't think of, but
which makes a lot of sense. I'm also a
short-signal -path freak, and yes, the
SSL has a very short signal path,
-
-
believe it or not.
"The 'Total Recall System' [automation] function is essential on a console
this sophisticated; its ability to store all
the settings of EQ, echo, cue, noise
gates, limiters and routing saves hours
over the course of a long complex project."
SSL/Musicworks has been very supportive, "and has gone out of its way to
help," Holland says, "even with matters
not related to the console. Their engineer, Grey Ingram, was of invaluable
assistance in the video area. His experience with audio /video shoots gave us
important input, and resulted in some
design modifications, such as an RGBto-NTSC video switcher built into the
console to show us program and preview
from the video control during a shoot."
Since Bullet has two Studer multi tracks and numerous VTRs, an Audio
Kinetics Q -lock 310 synchronizer was
chosen because of the flexibility it offers
when handling three audio and /or
video transports. When it came to outboard gear, Holland considers Bullet to
be "fully- stocked." The studio boasts
EMT and Lexicon digital reverb, DDLs,
EMT plates, and even four live
chambers. "Choosing video equipment
took some hard -nosed compromises," he
says, "since there is a great deal of good
equipment on the market. The cameras
are three Sony BVP 330As, all with
diode guns. Of the seven one-inch Sony
VTRs, five have time -base correctors
and dynamic tracking, and two are portables. Switching is by a 12 -input
Crosspoint Latch 6124, reference color
video monitors being Ikegami, and current editing capability a CMX 'Edge'
computer system and a 3M switcher."
Bullet has total flexibility, Holland
considers. "Everything needed to turn
an idea into a finished product, from
storyboard concepts and piano -vocal
demos, to off- and on- line[CMX] computer editing, and 48 -track automated
mixdown. Having the video production
room right above the audio control room
enables the client to have all the creative people involved right on the spot. It
brings back the possibility for real -time
spontaneity; something that is too often
lost when a product is assembled over a
long period of time."
SSL console in audio control -room "A"
Mixing Business
...with Pleasure
Whatever your mixing
business recording,
broadcast or live sound,
Leo's has the right equipment and the right advice
at prices that won't put
you out of business
and that's our pleasure.
Hill Audio Neumann Ramsa
Tascam Professional
Linn Electronics Yamaha JBL
-
M,O -
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*0.
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Soundcraft Electronics
and everything else you
need for stage and
studio --
V,
. ..JG.,
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'
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SSA
.
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.t1..1..r
1
5447 TELEORAPH AVE., OAKLAND, CA 94609
/A
(41 5) 8512-1653
Towards the Future
Because Bullet has only been open for
October 1982
R -e p
!r:i
active company emphasizing diversified product and ideas, and relying on
the talents of its in -house staff. Bullet's
record division is currently setting up
projects for both audio and video, and
AUDIO /VIDEO MARRIAGE
its advertising division, Holland offers,
business since January 1982, long - will be producing videos for training,
range predictions about its success teaching, and marketing purposes.
would be a touch premature. But there Plant expansion plans currently call for
are two good omens, Holland says. the addition of a second video editing
First, in its record operations, around suite in the Fall.
Operationally, Bullet plans to handle
40% of Bullet's clientele comes from New
York and Los Angeles
about double some live FM broadcasts, and later in
the predicted business. And second, he the year expects tine video dimension to
says, .:lients have been "overwhelmed be added via either cable or network telwith the accuracy of what they are hear- evision linkups.
"Some people say Bullet was a $3 miling in our room. To date, about 90'71 of
product out of here has been mastered lion shot in the dark," Randy Holland
concludes, "but we're fully committed to
flat."
Later this year some significant new the success of the audio /video marriage.
developments are expected at Bullet. With the consumer digital audio disk
The facility will be switching from a and stereo TV on the horizon, we expect
"hardware rental company," to an to prosper along with that marriage.
ve,,5
@onsole
lectronics
UPDATING REFURBISHING SUPPLY
Console Electronics specialise exclusively
in modification, refurbishing and rebuilding of Neve audio consoles. Using the
experience of Neve engineering, practise
and design we are able to update any
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This is brought about by the excellent
modular design, both electrically and
mechanically of Neve consoles and insures
that modifications are unobtrusive and in
keeping with the original style. Updates
can be brought about by the following
methods:
-
"
Retrofit Modules.
OFF -
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EDIT
A range of modules giving greater flexib
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on a plug -in basis. Included are multiple
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ONLINE
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Expansion within frame.
Utilising existing frame size an additional
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Extension of frame.
By the addition of additional metalwork
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We can supply various spares and modules
for earlier Neve consoles and are happy to
discuss any requirements regarding up-
dating or modification.
Automation.
We have now been appointed as
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and installer of Melkuist Automation
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R -e /p 184
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BAY DESIGNATIONInc COMPANY
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of
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ICS
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(213) 241 -5585
11
October 1982
For additional information circle #191
111
0
u
&
Glendale. California 9.1204
i
1
- continued from page
177
.
.
.
LAKESIDE ASSOCIATES
SELECTED TO
DESIGN AND BUILT)
NEW PRODUC'T'ION CENTER
Timilon Entertainment Group of
California has selected Lakeside to
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tainment production center that
encompasses some 20,000 acres. The
property is comprised of mountain
ranges, canyons, meadows, and is forested with redwoods, pine and oak
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BOOKS
SOUND RECORDING
by John Eargie
JME Associates
"The best book on the technical side of recording
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Hollywood, CA 90028
PARTIAL LIST
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A Special Report from the Editors of
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including indepth articles on:
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Production Studio Design
TV Audio
Who Cares?
Improving Cart Performance
-
SMPTE Time Code Primer
Digital Recording Sessions
Monitor Selection for Broadcast
Production Hints and Tips
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For your copy of this essential
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Hollywood, CA 90028
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THE MASTER HANDBOOK
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A thorough guide to all aspects of
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Comprises a 108 page instruction
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those wishing to obtain Listening
Expertise. Ten lessons - text and tape
-cover a wide range of subject material, ranging from estimation of
sound frequency and level changes,
and frequency- response anomolies, to
judgements of sound quality, detecting distortion, reverberation, and listening with discernment.
Complete Price: $129.95
Including Postage
RE /P BOOKS
-
-
Hollywood
California 90028
P.O.Box 2449
THE MUSICIAN'S GUIDE
TO INDEPENDENT
RECORD PRODUCTION
by Will Connelly
All aspects of the business side of
the role of the
budget preparation and
producer
reducing the financial
economics
risks of independent record production.
making records
...
...
.
.
$8.50 Postpaid
R-e/p Books
Hollywood, CA
P.O. Box 2449
90028
R -e /p RETAIL SALES DISTRIBUTORS
Copies of the latest issue of R -e /p may be
purchased from the following dealers
World Book & News
Hollywood. CA
Op-Amp Books
Sherman Oaks News
Sherman Oaks. CA
Suntronics Multitrack
Van Nuys, CA
Suntronics
Upland. CA
Suntronics
Westminister, CA
Gardena Valley Music Ctr
Gardena. CA
Bananas At Large
San Rafael, CA
Sound Genesis
San Francisco. CA
Skip'. Music, Inc.
Sacramento. CA
Pro Audio /Seattle
Seattle. WA
Lasco Audio, Inc.
Auburn, WA
Martin Audio
New York. NY
Institute of Audio Research
Magazine Store
Antech Labs
St. Louis. MO
Metro Music Center
Atlanta, GA
Audio Perfection
Minneapolis, MN
London. England Future Film Develpmts
Turnkey
Siten 8 Selten
Hamburg, West Germany
Tokyo, Japan
Trlchord Corporation
Farrell Music Co.
Sydney, Australia
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Melbourne, Australia
-
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-
-
--
-
-
-
-
--
ottrtylen
easrneel
Replacement Audio Heads
for
AMPEX
Professional Series Tape Recorders
Kearns, Inc.
(415) 680 -1349
4411 Red Maple Ct., Concord, CA 94521
R. H
R -e /p 186
October 1982
.
ExR
Come see our new products
at booth number 802
For additional information circle #197
HANDBOOK OF
MULTICHANNEL RECORDING
by F. Alton Everest
320 pages
201 illustrations
The book that covers It all ..
a comprehensive guide to all lacets of
multitrack recording ... acoustics ..
construction ... studio design ..
equipment ... techniques ... and
much, much morel
Paperback $9 95
R-e/p Books
P.O. Soi 2449 Hollywood, CA 9002$
-
.
.
.
-
-
theory and working
information and emphasis on
practical uses
"MICROPHONES
HOW
THEY WORK AND HOW
TO USE THEM"
by Martin Clifford
224 Pages
97 Illustrations
$10.95 Hardbound; $7.95 Paperback
Postpaid
R -e /p Books
P.O. Box 2449
Hollywood CA 90028
-
-
HOW TO BUILD A SMALL BUDGET
RECORDING STUDIO
FROM SCRATCH
... with 12 Tested Designs
by
Alton Everest
F
Sort Corer
32E
-
Pap..
1$.116 Poalpald
R -e /p Books
Hollywood. CA 9002$
P.O. sott 2449
monmi
Mogami is a world leader in the research
and manufacturing of advanced high
definition audio cables, now available in
the U.S.
MICROPHONESNAKEINTERCONNECT
GUITAR SPEAKERTONEARMMINIATURE COAX
MOGAMI PRODUCTS DIVISION
P.O. BOX 2027
CULVER CITY,CA 90230
(213) 836 -4288
SENNHEISER
1.
p
ME88
Ss.04 ins
3
00
729.139.162.-
S,.i
s0=
MD421U
MD441U
5208.289.50.-
H0414
Other Models ..C.l
o
m
l
MICROPHONICS P
Bo. 3' Brooklyn Ny 11204
..ww
....,...
12121438-6400
.
r
additional information circle #198
32pg Catalog
& 50 Audio
own sun. EO.
rt.
FREE
.1110,
s,,.a
ono
o.,
ON,
.
Video s Audio
0.? AmpI
OPAMP LABS INC
1033
N
for professionals
-
-
HEY KIDS! BUILD YOUR OWN
CUSTOM CONSOLE WITH THESE
UNUSED COMPONENTS!
Electrodyne console shell wt. remote
section, 11 31/2" API VU meters wt. output Xmers and illumination already
mounted (4 -1 -2 -4 configuration);
mounted or separately, 40 Spectra
Sonics 101 amps wt cardholders (2),
power supply and 40 SS 501 equalizers;
23 Automated Processes SL attenuators, illuminated (1 is 4 gang); misc.
pots, switches; lacking top plates;
7,500 new; best offer; Phil Roberts, Jr.
(616) 243-5571
REEL TO REEL TAPE
Ampex, 3M. All grades.
On reels or hubs
CASSETTES, C- 10 -C -90
With Agfa, TDK tape.
LEADER & SPLICING TAPE
EMPTY REELS & BOXES
All widths, sizes.
Competitive!
Shipped from Stock!
Ask for our recording supplies catalog
Poly
ter,.
233 Rand Rd.
312/298 -5300
Des Plaines, IL 60016
15
Unused custom mic console, 16 in 8
out wt. Spectra Sonics electronics; 501
equalizers on inputs, 601 complimiters
on all outputs; built in sig gen; semi
portable for multi -channel remotes;
('omponents worth $6,500; Orig.
Intended as companion to above
console (see ad); Best offer; Also
available, 4 ring tp sl patch hays
(unused); 4 Spectra Sonics 700 power
amps wt card holder and supply;
Switchcraft interlocking matrix
switches; Phil Roberts, Jr.
(616) 243 -5571
With nearly 1000
studios in Southern
California ... how
do you choose
the right one for
your project?
WE CAN HELP
FOR SALE: OTARI MTR -90 24 trk
fully updated. Excellent condition
OTARI MTR-10 -2 excellent $3,800.
SCAMP expander gates; dual gates;
power supply.
Records
Demos
3M -64 -2
3M -23-4
Videos
$1,800.
$2,750.
EMT -140 tube -converted from mono
with remote.
ELECTRODYNE 24 input hoard; 16
trk monitor $4,000. or best offer.
(415)441 -8934
Jingles
I
Detailed Info.
Prices
Assistance in
Bookings
Video Appiic.
0
ninn:
e
'audio Tape
# # FOR SALE # #
3M 79 16 -track w /XT -24 Locator,
$17,000. Auditronics 50126X 16 Deluxe
Mods
Penny & Giles
Hi Slew,
$28,000. Lexicon 224 4.4 9 Prog.,
$7,500. Mikes, EOs, more.
(213) 455-3635
-
SUPERFLEXIBLE CABLES
MKH816TUiP48U
HMD224
&
TAKE A LOAD OFF
THAT MAIN (' ONSOLE!
EQUIPMENT for SALE
MKH416TUiP48U_..$553.-
SS FOR SALE SS
Heath Syncon B series 20 u 20,
VCA Auto, 390 gold pt. patchbay &
prod. desk. Also, Soundcraft SCM38216 2 -in. 16 -trk prewired 24 with auto
locate.
$40.000.00 firm, incl wire harp. Does not
incl delivery.
Call Roy Moore 1- 800 -433 -1816.
Other equipment available.
Allen
v1OFO
OSC
e ,n 2 -oul. t 2,n 4-oul. to -,n .
TV Audio 8 Recd Prod Consoles
(213) 934 -3566
Sycamore Av LOS ANGELES CA, 90038
FOR SALE
MCI .JH -114 24 TRACK TAPE
RECORDER with AL /II. Well maintained, good condition. $19,500.
Also for sale; 16 -tr heads, 8 -tr heads,
spare parts.
BEE JAY
THIS IS A FREE SERVICE
(305)293-1781
(213) 508 -8828
RECORDING STUDIOS
For additional information circle #199
October 1982 O
R
e/p 187
ACCURATE
TAPE TENSION
MAKES BETTER
RECORDINGS
The Tentel Tape
Tension
Gage
is designed to
diagnose problems in your
magnetic tape
equipment. Virtually all recorder manu-
facturers use and recommend the TEN TELOMETER® for use with their equipment.
measures tape
The TENTELOMETER®
tension while your transport is in operation,
so you can "see" how your transport is
handling your tape; high tension causing
premature head and tape wear, low tension
causing loss of high frequencies, or
oscillations causing wow and flutter. Send
for the Tentel "Tape Tips Guide". The
T2- H20-ML sells for $279 - complete.
TENTEL
(408) 379 -1881
1506 Dell Avenue
800 -538 -6894
Campbell. CA
Toll Free
95008
(ex
FOR SALE
# # FOR SALE # #
50 patchcords TT 3 Cond, New, 36"
Repairable, Blk cloth kind. $10 ea or
$400 /Lot TT -746.
Scully 280 12- track, Sync-Master 12T,
KT, 4T, Head Stacks. Scully 280 4track. Ampex 350 2-track. Opamp custom console 12- 12 -4 -2, 192 point patch
bay. All equipment in like new condition. Many accessories.
Call (404) 944 -7583
Rick Davis
(415)493 -3696
1
EQUIP FOR SALE
Studer A-80 Mastering Machine,
FOR SALE
Quantum QM -168 Studio Mixer 16x16
with producers desk and patchbay.
All options included $5,900.00. Programmable Minimoog w /Sequential
Circuits programmer and Anvil case
$4,500.
1 AKG C -24 Stereo Mike, $2,250.
2 EMT-140 Stereo Echo Plates, $4,5011
ea.
2 3M M -79 2- tracks, $2,850 ea.
2 Neumann M -49s, $1,600 ea.
(213) 467 -9375
$1,600.00.
Call Denton Productions
(415) 521 -0321
FOR SALE
Tangent 32x16 console w /full patch hay and producers desk. 36 meters.
l'arametric EQ, 2 cue sends, two echo
FOR SALE
CALREC SOUND FIELD MIC
$5,500., NEUMANN U -67s $2K, U -47
TUBE MICS $2,500., AKG C -24 STE-
$14,500.
sends.
REO MICS $3K
Call Randy: (314) 682 -2005
"
(213) 653 -0270
FOR SALE "4'
BRUEL AND KJAER Model 2131
Digital Audio 1/3 Octave Spectrum
Analyzer with B &K 1405 Noise Generator, B &K Microphone with B&K
4134 1/2 inch free field capsule, man
uals, cables, and rack mounts.
Sell $17,500.
List $23,000.
STEREO DISC
MASTERING SYSTEM
Scully lathe with Westrix 3DIIAH
cutter, auto depth & pitch, BGW cutting amp, Scully 1/4" preview machine
with 30 IPS /14" mod, mastering console, EQs, limiters, Dolby A, patch
bay, JBL 4311s, and Crown Amp.
Total operational package, currently
-
Call (615)331 -4743 (Nashville)
6PM to 11PM Central Time.
in use. Best offer.
(901) 794 -7586 Steve or
CA)
The Affordable
Digital Real Time
Third - Octave
Spectrum Analyzer
Quartz
Full 30 Bands Six Memories
Controlled "Switched Capacitive Filtering"
Ruggedized for Road
to eliminate drift
Microprocessor Controlled Built -in
Use
Pink Noise Source "Flat "A :' or "User Defined" Weighted Curves may be employed
ROM User Curves Available.
Sound Workshop Series 30 16 inputs,
28 mainframe with 26 - TT124 patch
cords, crimp tool, talkback mic. Used
less than 50 hours. $9,300. or best
MODEL 30
$1500.00
GOLD LINE
P.O. Box 115
West Redding,
CT
06896
(203) 938 -2588
SEND FOR COMPLETE LITERATURE:
Larry
EQUIPMENT FOR SALE
MCI 24 -track w /auto loca. 2 MCI JH110 2-tracks. Dolby 24, 361 s. Limiters,
Delay Lines, Arcade Games, Misc.
offer.
Tascam 80 -8, DX -8, VS -88, test tape,
accessories. Rack mounted in cabinet.
$3,300. or best offer.
Tascam 25 -2 two track rec /play, 4 Tr
playback, dbx. $1,000. or best offer.
2)dbx 160 in rack mount. $500.
All equipment in excellent condition.
Bill Watkins (502)499 -6143
Equipment.
Contact Al (213) 980 -5605.
Professional recording equipment
and spare parts, $500,000.00 inventory clearance, new and used, most
items 50% off, Ampex, JBL, Fostex,
AKG, EV, Neumann, etc. Send for
free list or call.
:'
Affordable at just
... OBO.
LIVINGSTON AUDIO
USED RECORDING EQUIPMENT
AMPEX, SCULLY, INOVONICS
ALTEC ETC.
A &R RECORDING INC., NYC
(212) 397 -0330 Mr. Green
Accurate Sound Corp.
3515 Edison Way
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(415)365-2843 Telex #34 -8327
Audio
Technician
Audio
Engineer
illilllllillof2 years' eSj)lricncc in bench anti field
B.S. or equivalent. Experienced in system design,
construction and maintenance.
M
\vurk.
NAME
'lease send resume including-salary history and requirements to the attt'ntilm of ßlh Henx'nway.
COMPANY
I
STREET
CITY
STATE
R -e /p 188
ZIP
October 1982
l'.U. lil)x fi:)
Newton, MA 02160
VI
I
.lu.d,ggrctunu%
I
nqd.Arr
FOR SALE
Soundworkshop Series 40 w/automation. Mint condition, never been used.
Extra patch points. Call for price.
(714) 632-9452
MISCELLANEOUS
Noise Suppression
RECORDS PRESSED
JACKETS PRINTED
Our stock or your custom.
Attn: Studio Manager
No minimum quantity.
RMR, 8305 Christensen Rd.,
Cheyenne. Wyoming 82001
307 -638 -8733
FOR SALE
Ampex MM -1000 16 Track Recorder,
2 ", 15/30 ips. Includes Autolocator,
VSO, 8 Trk headstack. $15,000 or best
offer.
Protection
Power
LOWEST PRICES ANYWHERE!
Don't buy anything until you have
checked our prices. Guaranteed to be
the lowest anywhere! Send for our free
listing.
Call Dave at (216)238 -0644
FOR SALE: TANGENT 3216
16x16 mixing console; OTARI MTR90 16 Trk Recorder w/ Auto Locator;
Low Hours /Mint Condition.
Audio Systems Corporation
P.O. Box 17562, Dept. REP
San Antonio, TX 78217
(512) 824-6402
(312)525.6565
Model PS -1
STUDIOS FOR SALE
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
System design, Installation, Mainten-
FOR SALE BY OWNER
NORTH FLORIDA STUDIO
Beautiful MCI equipped 16 track studio with good cash flow and 6,000
sq.ft. building with rental income.
Principals only please.
ance. Studio, Film, Video Sweetening.
Custom work specialists.
TECHNICAL SERVICES CO.
Box 35053
Dallas, TX 75235
(214) 827-3286
(904)576-3843/576-8431
EDUCATION
'l'he I'S- I is a power line candil inning unit
designed to prutecl audio equipment from
high voltage transients and Kl- interference.
Three neon lamps indicate relative phasing
of he line. neutral and ground connections.
A latching relay helps to avoid amp speaker
damage due to power up transients generated
after a lemporarp. loss of power. Ask your
local music dealer for more details.
1
Linear & Digital
Systems, Inc.
pieuse mention
YOU SAW IT IN R-F /P
BE A RECORDING ENGINEER!
New Classes Quarterly
V
y
40
Marco Lane. Century
45459
111e,
OH
(513)439 1758
INSTITUTE OF
AUDIO /VIDEO ENGINEERING
(213) 666 -3003
1831 Hyperion Ave
Loud and Clear
Hollywood, CA 90027
EMPLOYMENT
THE Q -2 CUE MIXER
Well known World Class Studio is
looking for a business manager. The
person we are looking for must be well
known in the industry and must be
able to relocate. Send your resume to:
W.C.S.
Suite 212
8306 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
All correspondence will be treated
-
The Q -2 is an
active system
with the utmost confidentiality.
specially
designed
for driving
stereo
headphones.
Major manufacturer of professional
audio gear is seeking several qualified
individuals for placement with established sales organizations as traveling field representatives in various
US locations. Experience as a rep not
necessary, but prefer extensive
MI /Pro Audio background in sales
and/or technical positions.
Forward resume/employment history
Dept.AA
RE /P
P.O.Box 2449
Hollywood, CA 90028
All replies in strictest confidence.
to:
HIGH POTENTIAL
OPPORTUNITY
One Q -2 Power
Supply will
handle up to 15
Cue Stations.
$200.00
The mu sans
are free t
et
the level of ea
cue signal, and part'*,,
each signal in their
headsets to meet their
Individual cue
requirements.
$150.00
$28.00.
For $378.00 (one
power supply, station
& cable) you can step
into this high performance cue system
and expand later with additional cue
stations. No additional power amplifiers
are required. Each Q -2 Cue box has a
separate stereo amp With 60 watt rms
equivalent voltage swing. Every
Jcomponent is designed for rugged
studio use.
j
0-2 Cue Mixer 8 O -2 Power Supply
Manufactured in the U
S A
by
OCTAVE AUDIO
A
FORD
AUDI
Dwision of
ACOUSTICS, INC.
4800 W. -40
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73128
405 -946-9966
800-654 -6744
&
I
\
i
October 1982
R -e/p 189
- continued from page
185
...
Timilon's chairman of the board and
chief executive officer, Glenn Epple,
states that long -term leases are currently being negotiated with several
major film and television producers,
with a substantial percentage of the
facility already committed. At present,
20 film and video soundstages along
with six audio 'dubbing studios are
being engineered for the first phase of
construction, which begins this Fall.
Also included in the initial construction, scheduled for completion within 18
months, are an office and support complex, satellite transmission and reception facility, special effects department,
film processing lab, screening rooms,
post- production rooms and editing
suites, and complete living accommodations and recreation facilities.
A portion of the property has been set
aside for a research and development
park. Facilities will he available to
evaluate the latest developments in digital audio and video recording, high
definition television, and advanced film
technologies. And, the production cen-
ter is expected to be the catalyst for
many innovations in the near future.
'l'he entire complex will be directed
towards a very special clientele of producers, directors, artists, technicians,
record labels and especially major film
studios, offering them an environment
in which they can work, live, and relax,
without interruption. The facility will
offer them the privacy, seclusion, security and atmosphere considered essential
to a professional and creative process.
-
MCI /SONY SELECTED FOR
SOVIET ON- LOCATION TAPING
Melodiya, the Soviet state recording
company, has acquired an MCI
-
THIS ISSUE OF R -e /p IS SPONSORED BY THE FOLLOWING LIST OF ADVERTISERS
A &B Enterprises
A&R Record Manufacturing Co.
Abadon /Sun Inc
Adray's
Advanced Music Systems
Agfa Gevaert
AKG Acoustics
Allen & Heath /Brenell
Alpha Acoustic Control Ltd.
Alpha Audio
Altec Lansing International
AMEK
Ampex Corporation
Aphex Systems Ltd
Audioarts Engineering
Audio Design Recording
Audio Engineering Associates
Audio Envelope Systems, Inc
Audio Kinetics
Audio Technica
Auditronics
AVC Systems, Inc
Beyer Dynamic
Brystonvermont
Castle Instruments
Cetec Gauss
Clear -Com
COMCO
Community Light & Sound
Console Electronics
Countryman Associates
Crescendo Audio Productions
Datatronix, Inc
Rick Davis
Dawnbreaker Studio
dbx Inc.
DeltaLab Research
Digital Services
Dolby
Eastlake /Sierra
Enactron Truck
Eventide Clockworks
Everything Audio
EXR Corporation
Flanner's Pro Audio
Ford Audio /Video
Fostex Electro Acoustic Systems
Full Sail
Furman Sound
Jim Gamble Associates
Goldline
Gotham Audio Corporation
Gotham Export Corporation
Hardy Company
Harrison
H H Electronics
Hill Audio
Hy James
Interface Electronics
Interlake Audio, Inc
International Magnetics
Inovonics
Institute of Audio Research
Jensen Transformers
JVC Cutting Center
Lake Systems
Leo's Pro Audio
Lexicon Inc.
Linear & Digital Systems Inc.
Livingstone Audio
R-e p 190
October 1982
158
186
125
167
26
35
107
171
177
56
139
3 -4
13,39
97
21
48
133
58.166
103
51
33,60
119
165
78
180
16
160
138
177
184
98
181
41
176
149
123
5
59
117
12
175
10 -11
63
186
17
189
162
69
22
105
188
169,171
173
102
88
67
181
141
164
162
186
81
25
151
82
147
183
24
189
173
Magnetic Reference Labs
Marshall Electronics
MCI /Sony
Melkuist
Meyer Sound Labs
MICMIX Audio
Midas Audio Systems
MILAB
Milam Audio
Sye Mitchell Sound Company
Mitsubishi Digital Audio Systems
Modular Perfection
MXR Pro Audio
Neotek West
Neptune Electronics
Rupert Neve, Inc.
Neumann
New England Digital
Ocean Audio Exchange
Omega Audio Electronics
Omnicraft, Inc.
Omnimount Systems
Orban Associates
Otari Corporation
PAIA Electronics
Patchbay Designation Company
Peavey Electronics
Polyline Corporation
Professional Audio Services
Pro Audio Systems
Pro Media
Professional Recording
Pulsar Labs
&
Sound
OSC
Renkus- Heinz, Inc
Restoration
Roland Corp US
Saki Magnetics
Sequential Circuits
SESCOM Inc.
Shure Brothers
Sierra Audio
Simon Systems
Solid State Logic
Soundcraft
Sound Technology
Sound Workshop
Standard Tape Labs
Strategic Systems
Studer Revox /America
Studio Referral Service
Studio Technologies
Summit Audio
Suntronics
Tascam Div. /TEAC Corp
TDK Electronics /Pro Audio
Tentel
3M Companies
TOA Electronics. Inc
Triad Recorders
UREI
URSA MAJOR
Valley Audio
Valley People
Westbrook Audio
Westlake Audio
White Instruments
Wright Microphones
Yale Radio
Yamaha
100
172
9
85
168
20
93
61
111
148
45
185
72
115
71
19
171
30
185
178
99
161
75
23
180
184
6 -7
187
157
174
170
182
175
145
135
156
36
137
42
173
194
12
169
55
47
129
27.79
18
143
53.83,193
187
101
176
113,153
109
91
188
29
14 -15
131
64
77
179
163
121
87
104
127
159
95
equipped 32 -foot remote van for the
broadcast and recording of popular,
classical and ethnic music.
"We came to Moscow for an exhibit
and demonstration,'' said Lutz H.
Meyer, MCI /Sony's vice president of
marketing, "and the Soviet engineers
did not even let the unit go home. They
negotiated the sale on the spot."
'l'he acoustically- treated van was
designed and built in Great Britain by
Clyde Electronics, Ltd. in conjunction
with MCI 'Sony. It is equipped with an
MCI 24 -track and multitrack console, in
addition to two MCI stereo mixdown
machines.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE ..
Hans Batschelet has been appointed vice
president for marketing at Studer Revox America, with primary responsibility for the marketing of Studer professional recording and broadcast audio products in the US.
Tom Behrens, previously head of technical
services at Valley People, Inc., is now in charge
of national sales, according to Norman Baker,
president. In the newly created position,
Behrens will be responsible for sales of all Valley
People products through their dealer network,
and directly to OEM users in both the United
States and Canada.
Michael Hurt has been appointed as the Harrison Systems' factory export marketing representative, and will handle all matters related to
export dealer relations and special engineering
requirements. Also, Dave Purple, former sales
manager at Harrison, has rejoined the company
as sales and marketing managet for broadcast
sales.
At MXR, Debra Alley has been appointed
marketing manager, Peter Beverage, director
of sales, will be relocating to MXR's new Mid
Atlantic sales office in Berling, New Jersey; and
Michael Klickstein has been appointed musical and professional products representative in
California.
Charles W. Gushwa has been appointed
marketing manager for Crown International,
with responsibility for professional and industrial divisions of the company.
At Sound Technology, Sonny Funke has
been appointed Pro-Audio and Broadcast
Representative for the states of California and
Arizona. Also, Robert H. Millice has been
added to the company's marketing staff, with
responsibility for sales management of the
Western one -third of the US, as well as coordinating general sales and marketing activities on
a National level.
-
E
Studer's Secret of Success
ear ed widespread acceptance by the world's premier recording
studios. And this success story is fin- from over: top
studios continue to choose tI1 ABOVU NIKI:1 wer other
"all new" machines. The secret of this stress lies in
three basic rules:
1. If it can't lx made better. don't chang.' it.
2. It improvements can be made, make :112111- even
Willey don't show on the outside.
3. Use longer production runs to hold d nvn final
In +ears past, the Studer Ptd)\1t has
cost.
Now in its third generation. the Studer A.WVU series
once again offers state-of-the-art erlormance at a
surprisingly modest price. The new A80\11 :.IKIII system incorporates several si4nific.u:t imp-( .vements.
including:
Traustormerless Line Amps: I. w output
p
impedance assures optimum perfhrranc even with
long cable runs.
Nei% Headblock: Tight spacing of
erase and record heads permits exceptioni ply accurae l arch -in and punch-min
Remote Unit: Fe:L channel remote with _I)addr-'ss n:emon au:olucator.
Instead Of repackaging these changes in in "all
new" ma_hine, Studer cept the basic transport -a design +with an unprece:l.Tnted reputation for rei ability.
Also. bec. ius_' basic to( ling costs have long sine men
amortized, the A6OV MKIII's price has been held
down, this offering a better price performance ratio.
How much better' Call your nearest Studer representative ihr deta_ls. Hell help make our scree- the
key to your success.
STUDER
Studer Revox America. Inc 1425 Elm Hill Fike, Nashville. TN 37210 (315; 254-5651
Offices: Los Angeles (213) 7E0-4234 New York (212) 255 -4462 Dallas (214) 7 50 -e647 Canar a Studer Revox Canada. Ltd.
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"Share's Headset Mic keeps us great drunMme
from annoying us great singers:'
Keith Knudsen- Doobie Brothers
The SM1OA/SM12A
If you're like Keith Knudsen, your vocal sound is just as
important as your drum and percussion sound. That's
why Shure has created a special microphone just for
you.
The Shure Headset Mic. Now, no matter where you
twist or turn, the adjustable head -worn unidirectional
dynamic microphone remains in perfect position. At
precisely the distance and angle you set.
And even though the microphone is tiny in size, it's
packed with everything that makes Shure vocal microphones legendary. The microphone is ideal for
close-up vocal applications due to its ability to discriminate against distant sounds and reject both overload and distortion. There's even a highly effective
windscreen to further reduce pop and wind noise.
Plus, the Headset Mic gives you
high output for punch in live vocal
situations; a crisp, clean and bal-
anced midrange to separate your
voice from the instruments; and scintillating highs that
add sparkle to your performance.
The Headset Mic is available in two versions. The
standard SM10A (microphone only) and the SM12A
which features a receiver for use as a monitor.
But whichever you choose, be sure of one thing.
Now you're free to play your instruments any way you
want ...without stretching for the vocals.
For more information on the
complete line of Shure microphones, call or write Shure
Brothers Inc., 222 Hartrey
Ave., Evanston, IL 60204,
(312) 866 -2553.
5HUE®
THE SOUND OF THE PROFESSIONALS:`.. WORLDWIDE
For additonal information circle #127
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