Welcome to No Limit Sound Productions

Company Founded
2005
Overview

Our services include Sound Engineering, Audio Post-Production, System Upgrades and Equipment Consulting.
Mission
Our mission is to provide excellent quality and service to our customers. We do customized service.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Choosing the Right Keyboard -- Workstations vs. Arrangers

Q. What are the advantages of passive radiator design?

Sound Advice : Theory




I don't hear a lot said about passive radiator speaker technology. What are pros and cons of that design? Technically, it's still a sealed-box design and should have some benefits over a ported design, right?Via SOS web site

The Mackie HR 824 MkII is one of the the few compact studio monitors that currently uses a passive radiator, located on the rear panel behind the amplifier chassis.

SOS Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns replies: A passive radiator speaker is a sealed box insofar as you couldn't easily pour a pint of beer into the thing (should the madness take you), but as far as the air movement is concerned it isn't really sealed at all, because the internal air-pressure changes are still relieved by the passive radiator moving in and out.The Mackie HR 824 MkII is one of the the few compact studio monitors that currently uses a passive radiator, located on the rear panel behind the amplifier chassis.The Mackie HR 824 MkII is one of the the few compact studio monitors that currently uses a passive radiator, located on the rear panel behind the amplifier chassis.



What the passive radiator does, basically, is create a larger port area, without the airflow noises that might otherwise occur, and help control the frequency range over which the port is effective. More swings and roundabouts, really, but it definitely falls into the vented box camp, and doesn't have any of the positive time-domain benefits of the sealed-box team.  

Under the Hood with microKORG at Knitting Factory Brooklyn

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Q. Should I buy a stand-alone master clock?

I'd like to know what the advantages and disadvantages are of using stand-alone word clock units, like Apogee, Lynx, Antelope, Mytek and so on, versus the old built-in word clock in a TC Konnekt Studio 48. I don't need many sockets (up to six, maybe) and I'm OK with daisy-chaining my gear as I do now, but would a separate word clock have many advantages over what I have now? I can put around £400 to £500 aside to buy something, if it's worth it. Via SOS web site


A master clock may well become necessary if working with external video machines because of the need to synchronise video and word clock. In this case, a good-value option would be the Mutec Iclock, shown here.

SOS Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns replies: If it ain't broke, why fix it? As a general point, running separately buffered clock feeds from a clock distribution unit is technically better (in terms of jitter and overall timing precision) than the daisy-chain technique. However, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with daisy-chaining either. And if it's working reliably now, there's no obvious need to change anything.



In general, converters (A-D and D-A) work better and deliver better technical performance if they run from their own internal clocks. Almost without exception, the measurable performance of most converters driven from external clocks is degraded, and the best you can hope for is that the degradation is negligible or minimal. Devices that process and pass only digital signals are not particularly critical of the clocking arrangements and quality is totally unaffected by moderate clock jitter.



So my usual recommendation is to use the internal clock of your 'master' A-D converter as the system's master clock, and distribute that via a dedicated clock distribution unit. The Drawmer D-Clock provides good value for money, for example. A master clock may well become necessary if working with external video machines because of the need to synchronise video and word clock. In this case, a good-value option would be the Mutec Iclock, shown here.A master clock may well become necessary if working with external video machines because of the need to synchronise video and word clock. In this case, a good-value option would be the Mutec Iclock, shown here.



If you're working with external video machines, then a master clock usually becomes a necessity because of the need to synchronise video and word clock, and in that situation I think the best value for money comes from something like the Mutec Iclock or Audio Design SynchroGenius. For the very few audio-only installations where a master clock is beneficial for practical reasons then, again, the Drawmer M-Clock boxes provide excellent value for money.



As I demonstrated in the article 'Does Your Studio Need A Digital Master Clock?' [go to /sos/jun10/articles/masterclocks.htm for the full article], the more expensive options like the Big Ben and the Antelope offered no detectable advantages in terms of audio quality, and few, if any, facilities that aren't available elsewhere for less.



If I were you, I'd invest that money in something else that would make a real, practical and tangible difference to your music-making activities.    

Jordan Rudess and the Korg TinyPIANO

Q. Can you help me with my viola recording setup?

Sound Advice : Recording




This month I'm planning a week's worth of recording for a commercial release of my own viola-led instrumental music, and I'd appreciate your thoughts on getting the most of my proposed viola-recording setup. The room is the inside of a 7x4-metre wooden shed, with lots of rafters to hang quilts from, and the proposed mic is a Coles 4038 ribbon design, with an SE Electronics Reflexion Filter behind the mic and two or three quilts suspended behind the performer.Simon Lyn, via SOS web site



SOS contributor Mike Senior replies: Experimentation is likely to be a big part of finding the sound you're after, and the space feels like it's big enough that you shouldn't have to put up with any boxiness. I checked out the files on your site (www.simonlyn.com); I think you want to try to capture quite a dry and up-front sound for putting together such intricate and detailed arrangements, so that you have complete freedom in terms of the ability to synthesize involving imaginary environments for them at mixdown. However, I'm sure you're already well aware that the viola (like any string instrument) often doesn't sound that great if you mic it too close; the string buzz and mechanical noises tend to dominate over the fuller and more resonant tone of the wood. This makes me think that your instinct of using a directional mic of some sort in combination with acoustic padding is eminently sound. That way you can get far enough back from the instrument to get a balanced impression of all its frequencies, but without getting too much room sound. This frequency dispersion diagram for violin and cello from SOS May 2006 also provides some useful guidelines for recording viola, given the structural similarity of the instruments.This frequency dispersion diagram for violin and cello from SOS May 2006 also provides some useful guidelines for recording viola, given the structural similarity of the instruments.



In that regard, using the Coles (naturally a figure-of-eight polar pattern by nature of its design) might not be a bad idea, as you'll get the same kind of direct/reverb balance out of that as you would out of a cardioid, but any off-axis pickup will probably be better behaved tonally. The idea of a Reflexion Filter behind the mic is also eminently sensible, in that case, to cut down on rear-arrival sound levels. The Coles will also probably give you a smoother high end to the sound than a condenser would.

This frequency dispersion diagram for violin and cello from SOS May 2006 also provides some useful guidelines for recording viola, given the structural similarity of the instruments.

Are there any possible down sides, though? Well, you might actually want a bit more forwardness at the high end in your case, to emphasise the tiny high-frequency nuances and to keep the sounds up front. Also, you'll need a good deal of gain to pick up all the internal details of your softer playing with a ribbon mic even a few feet away, and a lesser preamp design might not give you that degree of level hike without unacceptable noise levels. If you've got a good preamp, though, then the ribbon should be plenty quiet! And, speaking of noise, the one disadvantage of pulling the mic away from the performer is that you may then be in more danger of obtrusive background noise if the hut you're working in isn't soundproofed or in a reasonably isolated location.



The rest of the job will just be a question of trying out different miking positions, and there are some pointers in Hugh Robjohns' excellent 'Recording A String Section' feature back in SOS May 2006, which might be useful here, especially the dispersion diagram. One other idea to throw in is that I might actually be tempted to record in stereo, especially for the lead lines, simply because stereo recordings often seem more natural and present to me for single string instruments, and you've got more than enough room to accommodate a wider instrument image given the comparatively sparse textures you create with your arrangements. Again, though, I'd probably go for directional mics when specifying a stereo mic rig, rather than using anything involving omnis, again so that you can keep things nice a dry without having to mic too close.