[LAD] Half-OT: Fader mapping - was - Ardour MIDI tracer

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Sat Aug 23 21:48:55 UTC 2014

On Sat, 23 Aug 2014, Grekim Jennings wrote:

>> Partly also for historical reasons, I think. In many ways digital
>> recording started as the "poor man's tape". Direct to disk recording with
>> no effects was at first all that could be handled and most peole using it
>> were replacing 8 track tape with it. They already had a mixer. As the DAW
>> developed, mix down on the computer has been next. But for many people the
>> recording part of the strip has been outside of the DAW, on an analog
>> mixer. This is changing as a new batch of people are going mic->
>> interface. Their input strip is whatever the interface provides... often
>> only trim (either as a pot on the pre or in ALSA).
> Is this for convenience or not having the ability to afford something else?
> I think a lot of times money is spent on the wrong thing such as buying a
> fancy multicore computer when something from 8 years ago is totally adequate
> for digital audio.

true and not. I just upgraded to the i5 because my older P4, while able to 
record audio, was on the edge of being able to deal with the number of 
tracks (9 or 10) I was using. Also, it was not enough to test some setups 
that I was helping others with, like idjc, streaming from two compressed 
files and a skype call. Something I can do no problem with the new box. 
The recording I was doing was all audio in, no soft synth, no effects 
while recording. Effects were added at high latency during mixdown. There 
are audio tasks that can not be done on an older computer. I could 
probably make do with a two core i3, but I am not sure. Some of the people 
I know who are doing audio with video would find my new computer is not 
powerful enough. I would have gotten an i7, but I found the only 
difference I could find was that they had hyperthreading which is not 
lowlatency friendly (I had to turn HT off on the P4 to get solid low 
latency). In another thread there is talk about adding effects 
to the tallent's monitor... which means lowlatency effects. I don't do 
this at this time as I do all monitor mixing analog before the signal gets 
to the audio interface. The recorded audio from the direct out on the 
mixer and monitor from the mixed signal.

>> analog items are forgotten. This is a real problem with a two input IF,
>> The trim needs to be set every time and the variety of signals through one
>> channel is huge. Everything from a ribbon to line level. Having a set of
>> good pre amps could be worth while, this is probably the biggest hole in
>> the hobby studio. I have two, tube and solid state. (plus line)
> It is very simple to keep a few notes on what is a good preamp setting for
> a given mic and preamp combination.  One inconvenience with some budget
> preamps is that you don't know what sort of gain it is providing, so while you
> may write down the setting by using a notation like 2:00 for dial position,
> you haven't learned anything about gain, so if you swap out a preamp you need
> to guess at where to start.

Yes it is simple to keep notes. I would expect it is not a problem for 
anyone in this list (it is pretty hard to develop sw without some sort of 
organization skills). I have worked with artists who like to record their 
work who would find all they could do to make Ardour work, let alone worry 
about external gear too. So long as they can get audio recorded they are 
happy, if a backing track sounds bad... lower it in the mix.... and blame 
it on the cheap equipment that is the best they can afford.

> The best situation is if you have converters with analog trims, which is I think
> what you were saying, and set them accordingly for each preamp.  I leave my preamps
> plugged into a specific A/D channels that have been calibrated for that preamp.

That would be the best thing so long as you have the channels and 
equipment to do so. A lot of people have two channels with a builtin 
pre.... a pre that the litterature says is modeled on some super Britsh 
Console pre that all the hits used, but is in fact just another two pre on 
a chip deal with a tweak in the freq response to colour it. In general the 
best thing seems to be a line in (+4 with lots of head room) and a pre 
matched to the mic. Possibly with some eq. I think a good preamp can make 
a difference to what needs to be done to fix the sound at mixdown. That is 
why I said money is often better spent on mics and preamps.

> One other note, some budget preamps are not qualified for certain levels of input.
> I have a Presonus Audiobox which can sound fine for an acoustic guitar, but throw a
> drum at it and it is automatically over full scale and unusable.

Someone has suggested the mic should have a pad, but if the impedance of 
the mic and pre are known, it is not hard to design and build a pad with a 
bypass switch... in fact two tens in a row would give twenty on need and 
cost pennys more after you already have the case and connectors. Or, it 
would be possible to have two pads of different impedance to use with more 
than one mic.

Len Ovens

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