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Sound Advice

Talking Modern Mastering With Jonathan Wyner

April 13th, 2016

Jonathan Wyner

Jonathan Wyner is the president and chief mastering engineer at M Works Mastering Studios in Cambridge, MA and an associate professor of music production and engineering at the Berklee College of Music. He has mastered recordings by Aerosmith, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, the London Symphony Orchestra, and others.

PS: Why do you think streaming could end the loudness wars? Read the rest of this entry »

Less Is More In Live Mic Selection

February 13th, 2016

Bernd Neubauer
Professional Sound caught up with Bernd Neubauer at Cherry Beach Sound in Toronto during an event hosted by beyerdynamic and Techni+Contact Canada. In addition to his role as an application engineer for beyerdynamic, Neubauer has worked as a live sound engineer, with particular emphasis on miking drums, for Phil Collins and Genesis, Nickelback, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Rhianna, Enrique Iglesias, and more.
Read the rest of this entry »

Some Tips For Writer/Producers

December 13th, 2015

By Erik Alcock

Erik Alcock

I’ve been a professional songwriter for 12 or 13 years. When I first started, you’d write a song, you’d work it all out, you’d work on an arrangement, and then and only then would you find a studio, rent out a block of time, and hire a producer to record a demo. But nowadays, since everyone can have a studio on their laptop, that model has changed. Now, you can literally be recording while writing, and as a result, writers (like me) have had to embrace and learn more about production than past generations were expected to. And it’s fantastic. Read the rest of this entry »

Lowering Ambient Noise Can Improve Your Bottom Line

October 24th, 2015

By Peter Janis

Peter JanisIn a 2015 dining trends survey by Zagat, the number two complaint by patrons, after service issues, is excessive ambient noise. We have all had to speak louder to be heard by dining companions sitting right next to us. Bottom line is this problem must be fixed or it will affect your bottom line. If acoustics are poor, it will only serve to leave a bad taste in the mouth of your patrons, no matter how great the menu.

When you combine the sound generated by a music system, patrons trying to converse, staff communicating, and even ambient kitchen noise, it builds up and reaches a point where the energy in the room is no longer able to be absorbed or dissipated; moreover, design trends have evolved towards very open spaces (high ceilings) with hard, reflective surfaces (wood, metal, stone, tile, glass). This wide variety of sound in restaurants bouncing off these reflective surfaces increases the baseline volume, causing people to talk louder. The increased noise (noise floor) causes the music to be turned up and this cycle continues, resulting in a loud, unintelligible mass of noise. Read the rest of this entry »

Design Guidelines for DIY Studio Owners

August 10th, 2015

Part 3: Room Treatment

By Fred Gilpin

FredGilpinCreating a uniform energy decay across the entire frequency spectrum and controlling reflection is the main goal in treating your mix room. The use of both absorption and diffusion will create a natural sounding room. If you don’t have the ability to measure the energy decay in your room, a simple rule of thumb is to treat 25 to 30 per cent of the walls and ceiling with absorption, 25 to 30 per cent with diffusion, and leave the rest bare. Randomizing the panel locations on each surface adds to the overall diffusion in the room.

Mid and HF absorption can be done with soft porous material like semi-rigid fibreglass or open cell foam. You want a density of at least 3 PCF (pounds per cubic foot). A 4-in. thick panel of this density will have quite uniform absorption down to 250 Hz and is usable down to 125 Hz. Higher densities (like 6 PCF) only offer a minimal increase in absorption (mostly in the 125 Hz octave), but do offer more resistance to abuse. Spacing the panels off the wall increases the low frequency absorption. For example, a 2-in. thick panel with 2 in. of air space behind it will provide virtually the same absorption as a 4-in. panel mounted to the wall. Read the rest of this entry »

Design Guidelines For DIY Studio Owners

June 9th, 2015

Part 2: Sound Isolation Techniques

By Fred Gilpin

FredGilpinIf you read the Sound Advice column in the last issue and did the Transmission Loss (T.L.) measurements, you should have an idea of how much sound isolation you require for your room.

If you want to increase the sound isolation without tearing your room apart and starting from scratch, follow these steps and you can expect around 40dB of mid- and high-frequency isolation and about 20dB of low frequency isolation. These numbers will vary based on the construction of your existing room.

If your measurements showed that you require more isolation than that (especially in the low frequency range), you will need a room-in-a-room design and I highly recommend you hire a studio designer. A good designer will save you far more money than you pay them.

The walls, ceiling, floor, doors, and windows should all have the comparable T.L. values. Otherwise, your sound isolation will be limited by the weakest link. Read the rest of this entry »

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