Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, part 2

When we last saw our project, I needed to fine tune the LCR filter component values to arrive at the filters I desired. A surprisingly large amount of time was spent experimenting, trying to get all of the parameters to line up where I wanted them. I quickly found out that the DCR value was…

Careful with that axe Eugene

It’s a practice in capturing extremes. On one extreme you have the single microphone capturing an acoustic guitar. Purity of tone is paramount. If you start with a great sounding Wayne Henderson Dreadnought, you only want to capture its incredible tone. One great microphone, minimal processing and you’re good to go. On the other extreme,…

That Sound

I remember the first time I walked up to a Midas XL4. It was at the third Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, TN. An afternoon set in one of the large tent stages. I was mixing foh for a great americana/bluegrass band called Acoustic Syndicate. I strolled out to the foh riser to see this…

Imitation interrupted to repeat a rebuild

  When we last met, I was working on locating the inductors needed to finish the Low Shelf filters in my API style LCR EQ. That task was sidetracked when I was approached by an engineer/producer and asked to rebuild his Yamaha M1516 console. He wanted transformer direct outs, new capacitors, 8 channels of LCR…

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, part 1

Radically rebuilding a PM2000 input strip to more closely match the great API 312 microphone preamp and 553 equalizer. Yamaha quite obviously wanted their PM2000 to sound like the API 1604 consoles from the 1970’s. Many of the components are very similar. Last year I rebuilt a PM2000 and made a few modifications. That project…

How to Disappear Completely: My Year Without EQ

This past weekend marks the one year anniversary of removing the last few bands of corrective parametric equalization from the input channels of my FoH mix for Umphreys McGee. I spent two full years working out how to give up corrective EQ. Now I feel ready to explain how I did it. It started with…

Hotrodding a Yamaha M1516

I was approached by a studio owner in Sao Paulo, Brazil, asking to rebuild an M1516 and add a few modifications to it. The owner wanted a great sounding analog console with API style tone. Since it will be used mainly for tracking, he wanted to add transformer based direct outputs to each channel. The…

PM2000 rebuild, part 2

September 26, 2014 -Finally got the capacitors swapped out. Turned out to be about 800 of them. Yamaha decided to use a very aggressive epoxy to hold them on. Each one had to be loosened with a dental pick before I could desolder. Next step was to perform surgery with a Dremel tool on the…

PM2000 rebuild

Here are some journal entries from my current console rebuild project. 09/02/14- Making some progress on the PM2000 rebuild. Got them home and inspected them both. Serial number 3033 had the better chassis and backplane. I reflowed all the solder joints while I was there. Since I didn’t have the original psu cables, I decided…

The Balancing Act – Parallel Subgroup Compression

I remember back when I first started figuring things out in my club days. I only had 2 compressors and 4 gates on my Foh rack. There was always something that needed a compressor more than the drum channels. Whether it was vocals, keys, or bass, they always needed it more. So I fell in…

It’s a mod, mod, mod, mod world

I think it’s the curse of the engineer. Or maybe it’s because I’m so cheap. But somehow when I buy audio gear, I immediately start devising a plan to modify it. I must improve its performance, or quality, or appearance within reasonable limits of budget and time. My first rig was a JC Penny combo…

Gotta start somewhere, might as well be a Behringer

New things are the spice of life. They shake up the monotony and give our brains fresh neuron building material. This is my first attempt at writing a blog. Recently someone asked me to share my opinions on things audio related. Since I was anticipating mixing FoH for the Aiken Bluegrass Festival and had the…