Great info once again

Hey martin, hope all is well. Thanks for all info
I am not looking to put pan knobs on summer, all panning will be done in computer. I’m just looking at summer for summing and maybe adding some other tone/colour Form my research with NEVE it seems there is definitely some kind of difference in lower tone, this is supposed to be due to 2nd or 3rd harmonic distortion and also a sweetening in the high frequencies Whereas the API supposedly gives a more punchy sound I know this is all subjective as to sound, but that’s what i’m hoping to find out for myself whilst replicating this stuff As per Douglas Self i am very interested in his theories and designs also. especially as they seem so cheap thanks once again Paul


  1. Hi Paul
    Glad your logon’s working now. The BBC link was only a scheduling link and has been taken down now.
    Also, make sure you use one OS per hard drive. This keeps your stuff safe. Keeping everything on one drive is a sure fire way to lose everything…
    I’ll speak to you when I see you about the software. I need something to easily twiddle CSS. I can do it manually, but the WordPress CSS is a bit too tightly integrated for when I want to swap themes etc. I don’t need any picture stuff as I can do most of what we need with the stuff I’ve got.

    “Everything I do-oo-oo; I’ll do it for you”….. We didn’t make it to Salcombe. We went to Holford woods and Kilve Beach where, I don’t know if you knew, Bryan Adams filmed his video promo for that Robin Hood record-breaking tune. It was a love-erlee-day and I got quite a few nice pix from the tops of the cliffs looking down on all the fossil fishes and stuff…

    “Swim little fishes”
    “We swim!” said the two
    So they swam all day where the river runs blue.

    Cheerio for now

  2. cool, thanks for that man
    still havent been able to watch that documentary you told me about, the link seems broken
    that was cool about all those guys on the sos mag, have read a lot about them before as they are the forefathers of audio gear
    for the dual boot im gonna be doing it on my laptop also, i have managed to get adobe photoshop cs, macromedia dreamweaver 8 and im currently trying to get adobe illustrator. if you need a copy of the before mentioned, let me know
    so october will be releasing the new ubuntu, im very interested in that
    how was the fish n chips and ice cream?
    in baited breath for next email

  3. Hi Paul

    Try these links for Joe Meek: the BBC show I saw (it was first out in 1991 I think) Sound On Sound article with stuff on other geysers a wikipedia article someone’s personal view on the guy and times

    I’ve just taken the second installation of Ubuntu off.. I’m gonna wait for the full gutsy gibbon issue (which is soon)before trying again. I had the screen do weird banding that looked like over driving graphics, just after I stopped playing a youtube video. I could probably sort it but I haven’t the time currently. I have an MSI motherboard with on-board ATI graphics. I think there are stable ATI graphics drivers available, but I’ll wait, it was a beta of the gutsy gibbon I tried, both amd64 and i386 versions, and they both did the same thing. Graphics were alright as long as I didn’t attempt a video play, which is odd. The good thing is that I can do two full separate installs of Ubuntu PLUS all the updates in a couple of hours. Try that with windows – you just kiss goodbye to three weekends!

    If you do a fresh install, get another hard drive and keep your operating systems totally separate, one per hard drive – it’s a lot safer. If you want to get rid of everything except windows xp, remember, this is how you do it…

    Boot from the windows CD…
    Hit “R” to repair the installation when prompted…
    Enter the operating system you’ve installed, usually “1” “Enter”…
    Type in the administrator password when prompted…
    Type “FIXMBR”…
    Hit “Enter”…
    Agree to proceed…

    Your windows will boot up without any boot loaders, wahay! This should take about five minutes, most of the wait is booting from the CD.

    Anyway, TTFN. I think we’re off to Salcombe tomorrow for ice-cream and to Kingsbridge for fish n chips at “The Codfather” where the guy’s car has the number plate COD 1…


  4. cool man, checked out the stuff of Meek on youtube. quite interesting didnt see the stuff about the kick, but cool anyway hows the dual boou of ubuntu going? im about ready for a fresh install just trying to buck up the courage to do it have a good one paul

  5. Hi Paul

    Have a look on YouTube for Joe Meek or Honeycombs or Telstar.

    The bass drum sound he used was like this…

    He’d tell the drummer he didn’t need the kick drum – “I’ll do that”
    Then he’d go in the bathroom with a bass mike tied to a broom handle, wrapped in a towel…
    Stand with one foot in the bath and with the other, bang his foot on the floorboards and record that sound with the muffled mike! All this with headphones and trailing wires from another room where the tapes and mixers were!

    The thing is, he moved his head around actually “listening” to the sound in different locations. I used to do similar when miking up Gary’s drums. I’d get him to bash away on the track we’d be doing and see what the sound was like underneath the drums. Where it was right, that’s where a mike would go. The placement would be different for each track as different drums were hit in different ways and loudness etc, so the sound changed for each drum, combined with spillage etc.

    Let’s know how you get on!


  6. thanks for that
    the only problem is we don’t have television
    seems like a lot of crap really
    wish i could just order DVDs of stuff like that joe meek doc thanks though

  7. Hi Paul

    Yes. The op-amp gain is set by the ratio of two resistors. It’s probably a good idea instead of using a pad or hoping that the (I guess they exist) input level controls will work okay. The other benefit is that the (3) channels don’t affect each other because of the virtual earth.

    I guess you didn’t see it tonight from the time stamp to your message but they’ve just repeated a show on the telly about Joe Meek which first went out in 1991. Several of the people are dead now who were interviewed and knew him. See if you can catch it as everything is repeated several times on digital nowadays. The bass drum sound he got is the bit that got me, as well as his bizarre studio set-up which was forced on him by circumstances a bit like us (but we weren’t as gay…). You really should check the TV schedules and see if you can watch it – it’s all about experimenting with sound(s).

    The mono/stereo bit? That’s what I was on about earlier. You get stereo on a mixer by panning the left return on a channel hard left and vice-versa for the right return but on a different channel! My point is that you are mixing 3 channels into one – one is mono by definition. You could mix your 6 into 2 stereo, but their position in the stereo image is then fixed so that when it’s put back into your pc, any further sound processing you do will hit all the instruments etc. equally (apart from perceptual loudness changes at different volume levels). This is what I meant when I said in an earlier post:

    “My gut feeling is to keep your “stems” totally separate for your sound processing (which is what you are trying to do), and then do a final stereo mixdown using your normal method in the pc. You may have to mix in a weird, non-intuitive way to do this, but you know, horses for courses. And you might come across a new “sound” or hook signature with the experimenting.”

    This means that you have to “think well ahead” for what you want the final thing to sound like, and then work backwards to the point where you are with a few mixed down mono tracks. You could “pre-spill” across two mono tracks to give you the stereo spread. Like if you put a tuba @30% level on mono_left and @70% level on mono_right, then it would appear about halfway to the right when put back into the pc with mono_left panned hard left and mono_right panned hard right. You’d have to do this for every sound component in the piece!

    …and that’s a lot of fiddling but you may come up with something good. It depends how much “colouration” you want. Check out the Joe Meek show – quite wacky cheap sounds really, but fun.

    It looks like Jillian is returning tomorrow from France. She’s been forced to abort her trip as they are taking too long and she will probably be off to Nigeria sharpish.


  8. thanks for that
    as i understand though i can use an op amp as a attenuator though, right? if the output is mono that is not going to help it needs to be stereo! how do you make 2 mono into stereo? interested paul

  9. Thanks Paul

    I think Mr Self may not think that his stuff is cheap – I think it’s all relative really.
    Your project should be quite reasonable to make and in cost if you follow general rules and stuff. If you do it as you say, you’ll be setting the levels before the signals hit the mixer resistors, so that’ll be the balance, and as you will be close to line levels on each resistor, it’s likely that instead of amplification as I first thought, you’ll need to drop the levels a bit before they hit the input of your AD converter or else you’ll get clipping (it’s a summing mixer after all).

    Here’s how:
    If each input is 1V p-p, then with 3 inputs you’ll be hitting 3Vp-p. However line is 0.775V rms which gives a p-p of 0.775 x 1.414 if my memory serves me right, which is a bit more than 1V. If you factor in dynamics of say 12Db, this is a four-fold potential increase in p-p voltage. So for three channels, this is (1.1 x 4 x 3)~ 13Vp-p. This is getting close to the power rails for op-amps, but I think your AD-DA thing runs off 9V. You are not going to get more voltage out of a thing than exists on the power rails, so yes, you’ll need quite a bit of attenuation before the mix hits the AD inputs. It’s easy enough to do though.

    Make sure you screen everything or all you’ll get is some nice hum colouration! And watch out for earth loops!

    Don’t forget, the little mix you end up with is mono. You won’t be able to adjust the individual levels after the mix. Pretty obvious really!

    Have a read about panning and the stereo image when you can. I did a while ago, so from memory, there’s something that you could experiment with. It goes like this:

    When you listen to stereo, your ears are fooled by the two speakers. There is a spread of sound. But there are two sorts of spread.

    In a standard way, the sound is distributed in a straight line between the speakers (or is it an arc with your head at the centre, I can’t remember). This means that a centred instrument will actually be “closer” to you than an instrument at full pan left or right. You adjust the “distance” of the centre instrument by adjusting it’s level.(there’s a lot behind all this panning lark you know!)

    The other way is done with mikes. If you recorded a bunch of instruments with two close-ish mikes set on the mixer, say, then the perceived “distance” of a centred instrument isn’t due to the volume that’s coming through the speakers, but a combination of volume and the PHASE of the sound waves (as well as little reflections and echoes). Our ears can pick this up very readily due to evolution whittling out the people that can’t! I think it’s done artificially in some of the effects that come with sound cards etc. – this spacialness. Mixing is a bit tricky cos you’d have to move people around to get levels right, and then you get the phase and echo to twiddle again.

    Have you tried anything like this before? It may give you an elusive something. Early orchestra recordings were done a bit like this because they didn’t have mixers. I haven’t any examples to hand though. For control and ease it didn’t take them too long to fill the orchestra pit with mikes…


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