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Sound Advice

Fixed Point vs. Floating Point Illustration

February 13th, 2018

By Donny Chow

Digital signal processing (DSP) can be separated into two categories: fixed point and floating point. There are a lot of discussions and information available on the two counterparts, yet the concepts are still confusing to many in understanding their differences and how those differences affect real-world products. The main purpose of this article is not to go too deep technically, but instead to explore the difference of the numeric representations in a simple yet intuitive way. Since it is only fair to compare an apple to another apple, we’re going to use the same 32-bit length for both notations in this article as shown in Fig. 1.

Figure 1

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Talking Recording & Mixing with Donal Hodgson

December 20th, 2017

Donal HodgsonWhile at DPA’s Microphone Masterclass event at McMaster University’s LIVELab in Hamilton, ON, which was hosted by GerrAudio Distribution, Professional Sound caught up with British sound engineer, mixer, and Pro Tools expert Donal Hodgson. Over the last 25-plus years, Hodgson has worked with a wide range of artists, from Tina Turner and Brian Wilson to Arctic Monkeys and Richard Ashcroft, as well as on film and TV productions; however, he is best known for his work with Sting, having recorded his last six albums plus other projects.

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Miking Tips From Echoplant Sound Recording Studios’ Ryan Worsley

October 26th, 2017

Ryan WorsleyBy Ryan Worsley

I really like sending miked signals into guitar amps, especially with drums. When I’m tracking drums, I usually have an amp miked up in the bathroom, with an SM7 on it, that I can send any of the close mics to. Typically, it will be a kick or snare… or both. You can do this right off the console via sends, or back out of your DAW sends, but make sure to that everything is in phase (especially when sending kick and snare together).

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The Secret of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Guitar Tone

October 26th, 2017
Clifton Broadbridge

Clifton Broadbridge

By Clifton David Broadbridge

One of the most powerful musical influences that I had growing up was Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. Stevie’s guitar tone was clean, clear, loud, and soulful, with a huge soundstage. Although I was aware that he recorded with multiple amps, there was still something happening sonically in the studio mixes that went beyond EQ, compression, delay, and reverb.

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Talking Theatre Sound Design with Peter McBoyle

August 28th, 2017

PS Aug17 SoundAdvice PeterMPeter McBoyle is one of Canada’s most successful theatre sound designers and consultants. In his 20-plus years in the industry, McBoyle has designed the sound for countless theatre productions for the Stratford Festival, Charlottetown Festival, National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Troika Entertainment, Ross Petty Productions, Dallas Theatre Centre, and Twyla Tharp’s Broadway musical Come Fly Away, among others. He is also the owner of PM Audio Design and teaches theatre sound at Humber College in Toronto.

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The Curious Case of Mastering Your Boy Tony Braxton’s ‘Adult Contempt,’ pt. 2

July 14th, 2017

Adult ContemptBy Noah Mintz

Last issue, I explained the different methods I tried out when mastering Your Boy Tony Braxton’s Adult Contempt, with the mandate of making it sound like it was released in 1990.
I sent the various test mixes to Shad (aka Your Boy), mixer Howie Beck, producer Matt Johnston, and Gurav, Shad’s manager. In the end, and to my surprise, they chose the digital master as their favourite. They were looking for something different and this was it – but not different enough. They asked for one more version with something that’s not normally done in mastering: reverb. So I added a Lexicon hall reverb with a short decay, sent this off, and the test-master was approved.
Approved “in theory,” that is, because I was told by the time the mixes were ready for mastering, the actual mixes would sound quite a bit different than the test mix. At least we had a methodology.

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