Sunday, July 23, 2017

ORTF - Drum Overhead Centering Trick


I've been using the ORTF micing technique for drum overheads for many years.  I recently shared a trick I use to make sure your snare and kick drums end up in the center of the stereo image (if that's what you're wanting).  Take your phone, transistor radio, or any small device that can play audio at a decent level through it's speaker and place it on the center of your snare drum.  While playing some audio through the device, go into the control room and adjust the gain of your overhead mics to the same level on each of the left/right channels.  This time, by placing the device on the top of the kick drum on the beater end, do the same for the kick drum to see/hear if it is centered.  If not, you can move your ORTF pair around a bit until you get snare and kick centered.  After going through this process a couple of times, you'll get the hang of it.  It's fast and great for getting the snare and kick centered before the drummer gets there for the session.  As far as getting the overall overhead levels right.  You will also get the hang of how much acoustic level out of the playing device will get you the correct record level at the board.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

How Do You Tune Your Kick Drum?

I've been asked how I tune my kick drum, especially on the song "Starin' At The Wall" by Sonny Koozeman.  I like a pretty low "splat" sound with some decay.  A sound that kicks you in the chest if you turn the studio monitors up, yet it still has some content up a ways in frequency that plays well on a smaller speaker system.  Both batter and resonant sides are really loose, just at the point of getting rid of the wrinkles.  I use an Evans EQ4 batter head.  I have even checked the frequency after tuning and it turns out to be a low D1 or 36.71 Hz.  On the resonant head I cut an off-center 5" hole and still use my old Electro-Voice RE-20 about half way in the hole and at an angle toward the center.  If it's a slow ballad I might use a Neumann TLM-170 (cardioid) out 18' from the hole.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Music Business

The business is a tough sell right now.  Even the big tours are slower.  I hear of people in charge treating others poorly.  I'm thinking, that these days it's even more about the relationships you make.  I also believe in Karma... what goes around, comes around.  It also takes a lot of hard work.  Set priorities and stick to them.  Have a daily plan.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

AKG C-414 B-ULS TL-II Re-cap, Repair, Cleaning


A slight low frequency crackle developed with one of my AKG C-414 B-ULS TL-ll.  Time for a re-cap and cleaning.  Luckily, it was not a capsule problem.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

YouTube Being Censored And Edited

My YouTube page is being censored and edited.  Not by me.  It has NOT been hacked.  This is happening from within YouTube.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

"The Trump Train" Song

I finished "The Trump Train" song a couple of days ago.  The idea came rather fast and since we're close to November 8, I figured I'd better get it done and released.

It's posted on YouTube and available as a download on Bandcamp. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

TEAC A-4010GSL Rebuild Repair

Rebuilt this beautiful Teac A-4010GSL reel-to-reel tape machine with low hours.  The GSL is the best model of the 4010 series.
I put in a new main drive and counter belt.  Loosened up the seized capstan mechanism.  Adjusted the brakes and aligned the reel platters.  Demagnetized, cleaned the heads and checked azimuth/height.  Checked play and record levels.  Checked wow and flutter @ 3.15kHz for a measurement of .035% @ 7½ IPS, which is very low.

    

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Rudy Van Gelder - R.I.P.

Rudy Van Gelder - "The biggest distorter is the LP itself. I've made thousands of LP masters. I used to make 17 a day, with two lathes going simultaneously, and I'm glad to see the LP go. As far as I'm concerned, good riddance. It was a constant battle to try to make that music sound the way it should. It was never any good. And if people don't like what they hear in digital, they should blame the engineer who did it. Blame the mastering house. Blame the mixing engineer. That's why some digital recordings sound terrible, and I'm not denying that they do, but don't blame the medium."

I couldn't agree more.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

What's Happening

I feel fortunate to say that I've been real busy with analog tape transfers at Mountain Mastering and trying to finish some 40 new original songs for new music/CD releases.
I have moved away from Facebook do to their deleting my posts and content.  I do believe that it is their site and if I don't like the way they run it I can leave, so that's what I've done.  If you REALLY need to contact me, email me at gymusic@gmail.com.


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

"Chronological Order" - Update


"Chronological Order" is available at these locations.

Apple iTunes
Google Play


You can also buy the physical CD below.
 

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Webster Wire Recorder 80-1 Rebuild Repair

Just refurbished this Webster Wire Recorder model 80-1.  I plan on doing a signal-to-noise and frequency response test on it soon.  These units sound remarkably well.





Saturday, January 16, 2016

Linn Drum LM-2 Rebuild Repair

If the Linn Drum sits unused for a few years, the Ni-Cad memory backup batteries can start to leak.  Catch the problem early enough, and damage is negligible.  I won't bore you with what to do.  Battery replacement is pretty straight forward.  I chose to use a plug-in battery holder for easier replacement in the future.






Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fender Pro Junior - Excessive Hum Modifications - Rebuild Repair

The Fender Pro Junior is a great little amp with plenty of volume, plenty of tone and usually plenty off excessive hum with the input volume down (nothing plugged in).  It helps to get rid of the stock tubes and replace them with some NOS ones.  The 12AX7s can be rolled to hear which ones sound best to you.  I happen to use NOS Sylvania 6BQ5s and Tung Sol 12AX7s.  Here are my mods.  Use at your own risk. 


Start by clipping the wire ties that hold the transformer secondary wires together. Unsolder the two green filament leads from the tube circuit board, carefully twisting them and resoldering them.  Keep them away from the other wires as pictured.


Add a 10 mfd @ 25 VDC electrolytic cathode bypass capacitor across resistor R4.
Add a 10 mfd @ 25 VDC electrolytic cathode bypass capacitor across resistor R11.


The back chassis cover is held on by six screws.  The top center one is too long and makes a connection to a potentiometer shield, causing hum.  You can either cut the screw shorter so it makes no contact with that shield or leave it out.

   

No more hum!

 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Studio Addition - 1977 Gibson Les Paul Custom

Just added a  very nice 1977 Gibson Les Paul Custom to the studio gear list.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Studio Addition - Alamo "Montclair" 2565 Amplifier

I found some time to resurrect this Alamo Montclair 2565 amp. Now, with some mods, it sounds similar (but better) to a Fender Deluxe. It's got an Altec 12" 417-8C in it.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Neumann TLM-170i Microphone - Studio Addition

Another newly acquired Neumann TLM-170i.  It is in excellent condition.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Neumann TLM-170r Microphone - Studio Addition

A newly acquired Neumann TLM-170r.  It is in excellent condition.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sony MU-R201 Reverb Repair

The Sony MU-R201 has always been one of my favorite "hidden gem" reverb units.  It has some small room and dual-reverb algorithms that sound extremely good.  I have some friends that also have this unit and they have had some problems.  Until recently, mine has operated flawlessly.  Mine developed an intermittent loss of audio with a low level digital noise and hum.  Lightly banging on the unit would bring it back to life for a few minutes.   I pulled the covers off (lots of screws) and did a visual inspection of that large circuit board.  You really have to look closely with a magnifier.  I found grounding solder joints that had given way either from vibration, heat or they were poorly soldered from the factory.  I sweat the joints pictured below.  They are part of a grounding rail system that is a strip on the top side of the board.  You can't miss them.  There are 3 of them.  That solved my problem and most of my friend's problems.  The unit is worth repairing. 
Good luck!


Monday, April 07, 2014

Teac X-1000R Rebuild Repair

Just replaced the belt, lubricated and aligned this very nice Teac X-1000R machine.  Now, it goes back into the reel-to-reel transfer tape machine corral.



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sony TC-758 Rebuild Repair

Just replaced the belts, lubricated and aligned this very nice Sony TC-758 machine.  Now, it goes back into the reel-to-reel transfer tape machine corral.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Shure Model 556 "Unidyne" Dynamic Microphone - Studio Addition

Just finished rebuilding this very nice Shure 556 "Unidyne" dynamic microphone.  Sounds great on guitar cabs.



Sunday, December 29, 2013

Neumann TLM-170i Microphone - Studio Addition

A newly acquired 1983 Neumann TLM-170i.
It is in excellent condition.


Friday, December 13, 2013

"Chronological Order"

I have been working hard on getting my solo CD "Chronological Order" ready for release.  I have finished the mastering process and it is off to the replicator.

"Chronological Order" is a compilation of 13 songs that I have written and recorded from 1969 through 2013.  

CD liner notes:  This project begins with “See the Old Man” which I wrote and recorded in 1969 at the age of sixteen.  Music has been a constant driving force in my life.  I have been involved with an array of other musicians over the years; this album showcases the work that is dearest to my heart...my own creations.  This is me.  The project ceases, for now, with “Without the Sun” that I wrote and recorded in 2013.  All songs are in Chronological Order.


"Chronological Order" release date is set for 12/13/2013.  It will be available at all the usual locations... 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Diane Newberry

Diane Newberry - contact me.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

CBS Volumax 400 Automatic Peak Controller - Studio Addition

A newly acquired CBS Volumax 400 serial #1838.  These were popular as an AM radio station limiter.  They also earned their way into major recording studios, due to their ability to "squash" signals without "pumping".  The Audimax has an effective control window of about 20 dB.  Great on electric guitars.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Key To A Great Audio Compressor/Limiter

I've thought this ever since I was young studying electronics and acoustics.  There have been many good compressor and limiter designs over the years.  For me, the key to a great sounding compressor/limiter is it's ability to grab the early peaks and get out, without causing any undesirable distortion.  There are three units that I have used that are capable of grabbing these early peaks VERY quickly.  The Fairchild 670, Spectra Sonics 610, Universal Audio 1176LN and the Aphex 661. 

Fairchild 670 attack time.  "The attack time is very fast - 50 microseconds (1/5000 of a second) - and catches short transients that can, in other limiters, negate the limiting effect."

Spectra Sonics 610 attack time.  "100 Nanoseconds to 2.0 Microseconds."

Universal Audio 1176LN attack time. "20 - 80 microseconds".

Aphex 661 attack time.  "Attack: 0.05 to 100 mSec"  .05 = 50 microseconds.  mSec = milliseconds.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Buy Microphones

Microphones for sale?

I'm looking to buy microphones.

Neumann, Sennheiser, Telefunken, AKG, Norelco, Bock, Brauner, Sony, Microtech Gefell, RCA, Rode, Electro-Voice.

I use these for my studio recordings.  I am not a dealer/broker/reseller.  I will pay cash.  I want to test them before buying and do not buy sight-unseen.

Let me know what you have.  Put "microphones" in your email subject line.  Please include a phone number.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GATES - MO-3638 - SA-134 Microphone Preamplifier

Just recapped this wonderful sounding Gates mic preamp.  It's now in service in the studio rack.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

UREI - 1176LN - LED Meter Lamp Mod

Changed out the original meter lamps with bright LEDs and placed into the studio outboard rack.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Spectra Sonics 610 Complimiters - Studio Addition

Adding a really nice pair of Spectra Sonics 610 Complimiters (serial number 182 & 200) to the studio rack.  Even though these look new, they are not.  This pair has "special order" stepped attenuators.  Just re-capped them, replaced the old meter lamps with bright LEDs and calibrated them .

My first experience with the Spectra Sonics 610 was in 1973 - 74 working at MGM Recording Studios in Los Angeles.  MGM also had a Spectra Sonics console in the "A" studio.  I've always been a fan of that studio complex.  Lots of hits were recorded in it.  The Robb Brothers  bought the MGM Recording Studio facility in 1975 and renamed it Cherokee Studios.  It's a shame that Cherokee was sold and the studios were destroyed.    I was elated when I found these beautiful 610s. 




Monday, June 17, 2013

Singers

I've been producing and engineering some very talented singers over the past years.  They have excellent pitch, nice vocal quality and great personality.  But, there's one thing that most of them don't have going for them.  They don't write their own songs, or have access to a good songwriter.  Getting noticed by covering someone else's songs doesn't get you noticed for long.  If you are serious about surviving in this business, you have to bring something special to the party.  Artists think they are the greatest at what they do.  One thing I've learned since I was very young, there's always somebody better than you.  Accept it... live with it.  In this business, rejection is a fact of life.  I think it's a huge plus to be a singer/songwriter.  Especially one who plays an instrument.  If you need some guidance, contact me. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

RCA - 74B Microphones - Studio Addition - Re-ribbon

Adding two RCA 74B microphones after being cleaned up and re-ribboned.  I'll re-ribbon my own mics, but I do not hire out.  I own three RCA 74Bs now and they are very useful ribbon mics.  They sound excellent.



UREI - LA-4 - Studio Addition

Replacing a cracked meter bezel and updating incandescent meter lamps with bright LEDs.  Upgrading the RC-4136 quad opamps.


Saturday, June 08, 2013

Wasted Aliens





Saturday, May 18, 2013

Studio Gear Addition

New outboard gear being added to the racks.  More coming in soon!

Orban 418A stereo limiter, UREI 546 stereo parametric EQ, 2 / Spectra Sonics 610 Complimiters (serial # 182 and 200), UREI 1176LN (rev F) compressor/limiter.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Jonathan Winters - R.I.P.

I provided live audio for several events of which Jonathan was a part of.  He was always lots of fun and respectful of crew people.  I'd chit-chat with him when I would see him at the Ventura swap meets.  He was quite the collector.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

NOS Vacuum Tubes, Transistors, Capacitors, Resistors - Electronic Parts For Sale

I was an electronics repair technician in the late 1960's - early 70's.  During that time, I purchased lots of electronic replacement parts such as tubes, transistors, capacitors, resistors, etc and placed them into storage.   Throughout my life, I have also collected lots of pieces of electronic (mostly audio) gear.  I liked buying things of quality.  What didn't fit in my garage went into storage.  The parts are now coming out of storage...contact me if you are looking for a specific tube type or tube brand such as Telefunken, Amperex, Tung-Sol, Mullard or pieces of audio gear.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

1966 Fender Tremolux Amplifier - Studio Addition

This extremely clean 1966 Fender Tremolux has been added to the studio amp list.  I just did a re-cap on it.  Didn't really need it.


Friday, March 29, 2013

1965 Fender Showman - Studio Addition

Added a 1965 Fender Showman to the amp arsenal.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Eddie Cochran/Chuck Foreman Master Tapes

I'm in possession of some Eddie Cochran and Chuck Foreman original tapes.  If anyone is interested in releasing the project, please contact me. 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Stephen David Heitkotter - Tape Transfer

Ross and I meet up after 40 years.  Ross brought the newly found Heitkotter - Dwelle - Youngman tape into the studio for transferring.  Hearing the music and all of our voices was very emotional.  The tape transfer was 100% successful.  I ended up using Ross's Akai deck to do the transfer; the same deck the tape was originally recorded on.  More later!


Anyone interested in negotiating an original issue of this material, please contact me through email.


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Stephen David Heitkotter - UPDATE!

Thanks for all your questions and interest.  There is a turn of events regarding the Steve Heitkotter saga.  I will be transferring and mastering a newly found batch of recordings from 1969 - 1970.  This is huge news!  We had given up hope that any more material existed.  At this time, all I can say is... this tape sounds better than what was released on vinyl years ago and it contains conversation between Steve, Greg and Ross.  Very cool stuff and it's in stereo!  Stay tuned for more info!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

1955 Fender Deluxe 5E3 - Studio Addition

Just added to the studio, a 1955 Fender Deluxe 5E3.  This is NOT a reissue.  The cabinet has been recovered.


Thursday, July 05, 2012

Universal Audio LA-610 Mk ll - Studio Addition

Added a third Universal Audio LA-610.  This one being a MK ll version.


Saturday, June 02, 2012

AKG C-414 B-ULS Pair - Studio Addition

Just added a nice AKG C-414 B-ULS stereo pair.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Ludwig Snare - Studio Addition

Added a Ludwig 1955-1959 WFL Keystone Badge snare to the studio gear list.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Another Ampex AG-440C ½" 4-track

I recently picked up another Ampex AG-440C ½" 4-track servo.  It is in exceptional condition.  After a little clean-up and calibration, it'll be placed into service.   This machine will have two head stacks, one for ½" 4-track and one for ½" 2-track.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Altec 438A Compressor Amplifier - Studio Addition

This is a 10 out of 10 example of an Altec 438A compressor amplifier after being in storage for a few years.  No modifications were ever done to this unit.  It's being placed into service after a checkup.