Friday, October 28th, 2011
REAPER 4 has brought quite a lot of improvement to REAPER video handling. With a little creativity it’s possible to add titles, cut between multiple clips, and insert stills, all with reasonable stability, excellent performance, and great audio processing. I’ve done a blog post and a video about using REAPER to sync audio and video, but I thought I’d do another one that looks at making a complete simple music video, with titling and overlays. (more…)
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…)
Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
I’ve probably recorded more hours on my Zoom H2 than any other recording device I’ve ever owned. It’s handy and functional, but still some distance from perfect, I’m afraid. When I heard about the new Zoom H2n and read the feature list I knew I’d get one as soon as they were available. Happily they were released a bit ahead of schedule, and mine is here. (more…)
Saturday, March 12th, 2011
The mics and preamp on the Q3HD deliver a new level of audio quality to lower cost video cams, simply by being as good as today’s average pocket recorder. But I read posts by folks who have the Q but are still frustrated in their efforts to get the sound they hope for in their videos. (more…)
Thursday, July 15th, 2010
I’ve been moving my audio processing to REAPER over the last year or so. It’s a powerful and reliable program in a fast moving package, with a very active and helpful user community. All these factors make it a real pleasure to use.
Now for the icing on the cake – the development team has linked in the FFmpeg video libraries and given REAPER the ability to do simple video editing. I’m totally happy with my video editing system since I moved to Edius Neo 2.5, but when I played around with video in REAPER I realized that this is a tool many musicians want and need. (more…)
Friday, June 26th, 2009
I posted a link to yesterday’s blog post at a couple of recording forums and one guitar site. I started threads at the Reaper Forum, on Gearslutz, and at the Acoustic Guitar Forum. It’s been interesting reading people’s reactions.
As I expected, some folks reject the validity of these controlled tests, stating that different mics respond to different positioning in different ways, and their performance in their optimal position is the important issue. I can only suggest that they try some controlled testing in those different positions. After all, if the difference really exists, it should be apparent when levels and positions are matched, right?
And as I expected, some people pointed out that mics with different patterns and mics with very different transducer technology, like ribbon mics, sound different from the cardioid condensers I used. I absolutely agree.
Also as I expected, some people suggested that my use of a single source, the acoustic guitar, is preventing me from hearing the differences, which show themselves on cymbals and vocals. As Dirty Harry was wont to say, “A man’s gotta know his limitations.” I don’t record those sources so I don’t use them for testing .
One comment that has come up a couple of times is that the mics I chose were too similar, all large diaphragm mics from the low end of the spectrum. So I pulled out my highest priced mic, a Schoeps CMC64 small diaphragm condenser, and stuck it in the array. (more…)
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
Mics are fun. They are a great gear fetish item, because they’re collectible, a bit esoteric but still familiar, come in a wide range of types and sizes, and most of them have a bit of a phallic quality (grin). Even better, when I read about microphones on the internet or in recording magazines it seems that each mic has a dramatically distinct personality, and a big part of the job of a recordist is choosing the optimal mic for any given source and style.
Sometimes when I’ve listened to mic samples I thought I heard these dramatic differences, but after a bit I realized that I was listening to different performances, not different mics. Sure the mics had been changed, but the player was hitting the strings differently and playing different riffs at a different volume – so how could I tell what part of the difference was the mic, and what part the player?
Since then I’ve tried to do some mic tests of my own, and I’ve tried to educate myself on audio testing. At this point I’m beginning to think that the differences in microphones are a lot more subtle than I had been led to believe, which makes a careful test even more important. As I’ve mentioned before, very small differences in volume are registered by our ear/brain combination as differences in quality rather than loudness. I’d like to demonstrate the steps I now take to try to make my mic comparisons, and preamp and a/d comparisons, meaningful. (more…)