Category: Musings

Measurement Methods Explained (RTA? FFT? TDS? WTF?)

Measurement Methods Explained (RTA? FFT? TDS? WTF?)

This is a basic explanation of the common measurement methods. This is brand-agnostic, with specific products mentioned only for historical context – we are concerned here with what’s happening under the hood – how the data is obtained and displayed, and what that means for our work. It’s also not exhaustive – there are decades …

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Control Booth Monitor Calibration

Control Booth Monitor Calibration

I don’t like mixing from within a booth any more than the next person, and for any serious audio work, I will fight hard for a FOH mix position. However, for “talking head” events or playback-based dance shows, sometimes a booth mix position is a reality. (In the case of the dance shows, it’s actually …

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Make It A Double: Inside Approaches to Parallel Processing

Make It A Double: Inside Approaches to Parallel Processing

One of the earliest studio mixing tricks that I learned was parallel processing – running the same signal through several mixer channels and processing them independently. There are a few variants of this technique, the most common being parallel compression. For example, the first application I saw of this was when a studio engineer double-patched …

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Why Your RTA App Isn’t Showing What You Think It Is

Why Your RTA App Isn’t Showing What You Think It Is

I was recently reading a forum discussion about whether an external mic was necessary when using a mobile app for RTA / spectrum analysis.  It had occurred to me that the physical dimensions of the device might cause some significant spectral variance as the device’s orientation changed relative to the source. In other words, the …

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Filters, Phase, and the Double Patched Kick

Filters, Phase, and the Double Patched Kick

This post comes on the heels of this article by my friend Jim Yakabuski, and my recent article about double-patched channels, so if you’re not up to speed on those, check them out and then come back. I’ll be here.   Back? Okay great. So the discussion now is that we want to split a …

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How Not To Set Up A Crossover

How Not To Set Up A Crossover

This week I am working with a modern black-box theater to configure and optimize their installed system. I haven’t gotten to any of the “fun” stuff yet because we’re still untangling the mess left by the original installers. Allow me to elaborate on that statement: Usually when a subwoofer is not working, someone’s blown up …

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What System Optimization Means To Me

What System Optimization Means To Me

A colleague of mine owns a production company and had a gig yesterday for a government accounting agency. The setup is simple: a podium mic and a couple of RF handhelds that everybody needs to be able to hear and understand. The trick is that the event is inside a literal aircraft hangar, probably the most acoustically …

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Shine On, You Crazy Diamond

Shine On, You Crazy Diamond

A colleague’s upcoming gig posed an interesting set of constraints for the subwoofer subsystem design. It’s a diamond-shaped stage and due to the nature of the event, all the boxes must be located against the stage, not spaced out in a more typical broadside or L/R configuration. (Seeing as there’s a drape/video line about midstage, …

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Two Common Confusions about Console EQ

Two Common Confusions about Console EQ

I’ve seen a couple things lately related to console EQ that I wanted to shed some light on and hopefully get a good dialogue going. But we’re gonna keep it short and sweet. “Air Band” EQ A couple consoles running at at 96 kHz will allow tuning EQ bands out past 20 kHz. (Some call …

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