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Little tech questions from your day

All your geeky questions about electronics, microphones, tape machines, etc.

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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby numberthirty on Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:32 am

This is mostly "Are my ears fried?" Does the following clip sound seriously lousy to anyone except me?

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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby Nate Dort on Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:16 am

Not just you. There's some digital clipping happening somewhere.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby llllllllllllllllllllllll on Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:20 pm

A lot of those demos sounds really bad when they solo the close mic - may be the clipping, I don’t know. There’s a video somewhere on the internet where someone demo’d a refurbished tweed Gibson combo. But they mic’d it poorly, so all these blues lawyers were complaining about them changing the caps. The thing is, you could hear a more natural sound that the camera mic would pickup whenever the guy started to talk and the amp was still going. It would roll up and down with his speech.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby numberthirty on Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:31 pm

Thanks, guys.

I just needed a second opinion on that one.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby Tommy on Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:22 am

I've got an old Boss BF-1 that I love the sound of. My signal is noticeably louder in bypass than when the effect is engaged. I wish it was more similar.

Before I go messing with anything, can anyone tell if adjusting VR3 ("mixing balance") on this service manual might correct that somewhat? The flanging effect isn't subtle, so I think losing some of the wet intensity would be okay, if this gets my volume up. But maybe this just adjusts the 100% wet volume. I can't tell. VR3 is just on the output side of pins 5 (Output A) & 6 (Output A') of IC5 (SAD-1024A) in the schematic.

I realize the bias adjustment could also get me some volume (if there is any headroom left), but I'm scared of adjusting that one due to Reticon BBD chips being kinda notorious for failure and unobtanium status.

http://hammer.ampage.org/files/BOSS_BF-1.pdf
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby Nate Dort on Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:40 pm

Tommy wrote:Before I go messing with anything, can anyone tell if adjusting VR3 ("mixing balance") on this service manual might correct that somewhat?


Yes, it's acting as a volume control of the effected path. Should do exactly what you want, assuming it's not maxed out already.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby Tommy on Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:21 pm

Nate Dort wrote:
Tommy wrote:Before I go messing with anything, can anyone tell if adjusting VR3 ("mixing balance") on this service manual might correct that somewhat?


Yes, it's acting as a volume control of the effected path. Should do exactly what you want, assuming it's not maxed out already.


Awesome, thanks! Related question: since flanging is a mix of the dry signal with the wet, it sounds like you're saying this volume trimmer only adjusts the wet? Or is the "dry" signal passing through this chip too?
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby Adam P on Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:39 pm

It looks to me like the dry signal is picked off at pin 7 of IC1 (one of the opamp outputs) and mixed in with the wet signal at IC4.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby Nate Dort on Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:01 pm

Adam P wrote:It looks to me like the dry signal is picked off at pin 7 of IC1 (one of the opamp outputs) and mixed in with the wet signal at IC4.


Yep. Switching to "bypass" turns FETs Q5 and Q6 on, which sends the dry signal to the output. VR3 should only adjust the wet signal.

You could change the wet/dry mix by changing the value of the 22k resistor at Q5. Lower = more dry signal.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby Mason on Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:37 am

Completely turfed a recording thing with the band yesterday.

All the recordings skip. Normally only once per take, but lost 3+ seconds of a song each time. Couldn't find a way around it. It's fine, we'll be at it again a few Saturdays from now, but it's very dispiriting.

Nothing new about the computer, interface, DAW. Wasn't running any plug-ins on any tracks. Wasn't torrenting HBO or mining bitcoin in the background.

Looking into it online now, maybe it's a latency issue. Didn't occur to me yesterday because there was no delay/lag on record/playback, nothing I'd picture as a traditional latency issue. And I've done more intense tracking with these exact settings, and never had a problem. I don't know.

I'm replacing the computer in the new year anyway, which will probably solve the problem without addressing it in any way. But if anyone's got ideas I'm hella hella open to them.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby endofanera on Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:45 pm

Mason wrote:Completely turfed a recording thing with the band yesterday.

All the recordings skip. Normally only once per take, but lost 3+ seconds of a song each time. Couldn't find a way around it. It's fine, we'll be at it again a few Saturdays from now, but it's very dispiriting.

Nothing new about the computer, interface, DAW. Wasn't running any plug-ins on any tracks. Wasn't torrenting HBO or mining bitcoin in the background.

Looking into it online now, maybe it's a latency issue. Didn't occur to me yesterday because there was no delay/lag on record/playback, nothing I'd picture as a traditional latency issue. And I've done more intense tracking with these exact settings, and never had a problem. I don't know.

I'm replacing the computer in the new year anyway, which will probably solve the problem without addressing it in any way. But if anyone's got ideas I'm hella hella open to them.

I've had issues like this when there were clock/bit depth differences between the interface and the computer/DAW software. Just something you may want to double check.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby numberthirty on Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:08 pm

A couple of questions...

- Standard hard drive in the recording computer?
- Any particularly loud jams(bass, in particular) in the same room(or vicinity) of the recording computer?
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby Adam P on Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:27 pm

Laptop or desktop?
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby Tommy on Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:54 am

Mason wrote:Looking into it online now, maybe it's a latency issue. Didn't occur to me yesterday because there was no delay/lag on record/playback, nothing I'd picture as a traditional latency issue. And I've done more intense tracking with these exact settings, and never had a problem. I don't know.


We've had issues like that before and it's usually latency. Usually just shitty sounding clicks, but sometimes whole skips. Not sure which software you are using, but in Protools we've fixed this two ways. One has something to do with buffering maybe (have to ask bandmate)? The other is in the monitoring. You can turn off the low latency monitoring when tracking a whole band and fix it(since you don't need to really simultaneously monitor it while tracking the full band, hopefully).
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby Mason on Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:07 pm

- No sample rate/word length discrepancy.
- Laptop computer.
- Recorded to the traditional spinning drive inside the laptop.
- Computer was near the amps, at the bottom left here. I don't feel like these amps were moving that much air. (Drums were equally near, but on the other side of a wall. One room split into two half spaces, adjoined by a doorway, like a big chunky "H".)

Image

That did occur to me—the idea that the Sudden Motion Sensor hates my mobile session. We looked into that a little bit, but I wasn't able to find anything on my computer (a sub-Thinkpad Lenovo) that would govern that sort of thing (doesn't seem to be a feature of Windows itself). We threw something soft under the laptop to decouple it from its little stand (???) and moved on, panicked. It seemed to have solved the problem for a few takes, but it popped up again and it was like 10pm so we bailed.

One thing that's hitting me this morning is that, while the skips were somewhat random, they definitely occurred more often near the ends of songs. I mean, I noticed that at the time, but I'm only now making the connection that the loudest parts of our songs tend to come right at the end.

I will download Lenovo's awfully named ThinkVantage software, which is what seems to control that protection mechanism on their computers. I wouldn't have been able to do that in the tracking room that day, though. I don't know if that makes me feel worse or better.

I can check latency stuff, too, but those settings haven't changed and latency has never been a problem before, even with more tracks and more (any) plug-ins. But my computer has typically been farther from amps etc. when I've recorded before. So that idea's more of interest to me at the moment.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby eliya on Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:20 pm

My money is on the amps causing the spinning disk to skip. They might not move much air, but they transmit a lot of vibrations to the floor. Put your computer on something heavy and get it away from the amps, and I bet it'll go away.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby Mason on Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:46 pm

Another dot I'm connecting now is that the computer was on a flimsy stand. Just this beat-ass folding table that was in the other half-space. It held the computer fine, but it kind of wobbled and absolutely would not have isolated the computer from any vibrations transmitted through the floor.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby japmn on Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:14 pm

eliya wrote:My money is on the amps causing the spinning disk to skip. They might not move much air, but they transmit a lot of vibrations to the floor. Put your computer on something heavy and get it away from the amps, and I bet it'll go away.


Is this a joke or a real thing? I've been recording on spinning disc drives since the late 90's and I've never heard of any recording flaws happening because of mechanical vibrations caused by guitar amps, or even drums. My guess is buffer needs to be increased. Are you using 2 cards? Are they synced up with Word clock or even SPDIF? Do you have any Plugins active while recording? Other applications open in the background? When was the computer last restarted? Maybe try recording to an external drive with a better read/write speed and higher RPM, or maybe even de-fragging your current drive. If you aren't dealing with overdubbing, just max out the buffer and see what happens.

Not saying it can't happen, but I really doubt your guitar amps are rattling your hard drives like a Nu-Metal video.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby japmn on Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:19 pm

Also, go in to the services and maybe the REG Edit to optimize your PC for recording. Lists of how to do that are all over the internet. I haven't had to do it for a while for Audio recording but it used to help in the older days. It still does help if you are using a Media Streaming Video Playback system like WatchOut. A huge difference. I am still a proponent of building Tower PC for recording. You can get better hardware for cheaper and just pile RAM and drives in there. Mega cheap to do and in my experience a lot more reliable.
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Re: Little tech questions from your day

Postby Nate Dort on Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:35 pm

Laptop drives are designed to be robust against vibrations. I also highly doubt that the vibrations are the culprit here. 2x on the buffer size settings.
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