Wind Protection for the Sony HDR-MV1

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

In my comparison of the Sony HDR-MV1 to the Zoom Q4 I noted that the Zoom comes with wind protection in the form of a rather effective hairy windsock. This feature gives the Zoom a clear win over the Sony for outdoor recordings using the built-in mics. (more…)

 


A New ABX Tool

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

At first glance evaluating audio gear seems like it should be perfectly simple, all we need to do is trust our ears. But it turns out that we don’t hear with our ears, we hear with our brain and with the nervous system circuitry between our ears and brain, all in a wildly complex network of sensing, filtering, focusing, and feeding back. And this network is both amazingly sophisticated and hilariously inept at the same time, able to discriminate between small differences but also certain to occasionally make up the answers. (more…)

 


Zoom H6 Overdub Mixer

Friday, February 21st, 2014

I don’t overdub, or at least I do it only very rarely. And I’ve never done a project using the overdub capability of the Zoom H6. But I do know that the capability exists and I’ve tested it briefly.

When an H6 user from the UK posted on the Sound on Sound Forum that he was having a problem overdubbing because phantom power was not available, I did a quick test and learned that my unit exhibits the same issue. (more…)

 


Zoom Q4 vs Lumix GH3

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Talk about an unfair fight, this seems to be just that, based on price alone. The GH3 currently costs around $850 (Ooops, today it’s $1000 – camera prices have become highly variable it seems) for the body only, the original price was about $1300 with a kit zoom lens. The Q4 at $299 is a lot easier to fit into most budgets. And we’re talking about a very specific niche here, the “music camera,” in this category the audio quality is right up there in importance with the video. (more…)

 


Lumix GH3 Audio vs Zoom H6

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

I’ve been using my Panasonic Lumix GH3 as my main video cam for the last year or so and it’s a terrific tool. The articulated display, live HDMI out, high bitrate codecs, WIFI connectivity, and luscious image quality have made it my favorite shooter. But I’ve avoided using camera audio even though the GH3 does have some intriguing audio features. (more…)

 


Rode NT1a vs ADK A6 plus Two

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

There are a number of comments I expect to hear when microphones are discussed. Someone is likely to call the Rode NT1a harsh, strident, shrill, or some similar indication of high frequency problems. And when asked to recommend a mic for recording acoustic guitar, the ADK A6 is one of the more common responses. So how obvious are the differences between these two mics in a four way blind comparison? (more…)

 


YouTube Audio and ABX

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Those of us who post “look at me play guitar” videos on YouTube are quite interested in the audio quality of the resulting clips. I have some ideas about how to optimize uploads and downloads, and also some recordings that you can use to judge the current audio quality, at least as it pertains to solo acoustic guitar. (more…)

 


Field Recorders & External Mic Input – PCM-D50, H2n, H2 all with NT4

Friday, September 9th, 2011

I was a bit surprised at the small difference I heard in recordings made with the Sony PCM-D50 alongside the Zoom H2n in my last post, and both sounded very close to the Rode NT4 reference track to my ear. A pleasant surprise, indeed considering the cost difference. But many folks who recommend the D50 do so because of its ability to handle external mics, a job poorly handled by the Zoom H2. (more…)

 





About the Blog

    Howdy, my name is Fran Guidry and this is my Homebrewed Music blog.

    I play Hawaiian slack key guitar and recorded my solo acoustic CD at home. Most of the recording information I find on the internet seems focused on bands, drums, multitracking, and so on but my main focus is recording solo acoustic guitar. Lately I’ve been enjoying video recording along with audio, so that shows up in the blog as well.

    I’m also a guitar nut. I love big ones and little ones, handmades and factory guitars, cheap ones and expensive ones. So I’ll be sharing the fun of exploring guitars as well, along with the challenges of amplifying acoustic guitars for live performance.

    Welcome!

Philosophy

    My recording philosophy is pragmatic, skeptical, not super critical. After all, the performance is by far the most important component of a track, and every aspect of any recording is a matter of taste.

    But I do like to know “about stuff.” Back in hifi days I learned about double blind testing. I learned that we humans can easily hear differences that don’t really exist. The more I’ve learned about our human auditory system, the more I’m skeptical of what people say they hear, especially if they claim that a particular microphone or preamp or cable has some magical property.

    I’ve only been recording since 2001, and when I started I found the usual places on the internet. I sought advice and accepted it, thought I would improve my recordings by using more expensive equipment. It didn’t work.

    Two things that did seem to lead to better recordings were experience and room treatment. Getting an appealing sound is the combination of many small details, and learning those details only comes from experience. Amd the sound of the recording space is obviously a big factor.

    I’ve only recorded seriously using digital technology, but I remember trying to record rehearsals and gigs back in analog days. I don’t have any nostalgia for analog recording and playback systems at all. I think even low end digital systems can capture marvelous recordings. So when I look at gear, I look for good specs: low noise, broad flat frequency response, wide dynamic range, low distortion. I’m not interested in colorful components, mics and preamps with a sound, I want the sound to be the sound of my guitar.

    But the last word is that I’m just learning and I hope you find something useful in my posts.