Sounding Board: October 2008

BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY After reading the article in EQ about how one combines multiple amps to get a ballsy blues tone Signal Bleed and Ballsy Blues—08 08 , I was surprised that Mr. Romano didn’t discuss how the guitar

After reading the article in EQ about how one combines multiple amps to get a ballsy blues tone [Signal Bleed and Ballsy Blues—08/08], I was surprised that Mr. Romano didn’t discuss how the guitar signal magically fed all the amps. But look at the photo: On top of a half-stack was the magic piece of gear that allowed all of this to occur . . . the Radial JD7 Injector. Buddy Guy has been a Radial JD7 user for several years, both in the studio and live.

Peter Janis, Radial Engineering

I remember when EQ was the only serious magazine that covered Windows pro audio software, and appreciate your covering both Mac OS and Windows. But what about Vista? I’ve been running on a 64-bit system, and there’s plenty of compatible software and hardware. We’re in a chicken-and-egg situation, and the only way there will be more support for 64-bit programs and drivers is if magazines like EQ pay more attention to Vista. Like it or not we’re going to be using it, so we might as well get the most out of it.

Stephen Vorenberg

Executive Editor Craig Anderton responds:
EQ was one of the first audio magazines to have a comprehensive article on Vista [02/07], but realistically, the majority of Windows-oriented musicians continue to use XP or Vista 32- bit, which gives manufacturers less incentive to develop 64-bit apps and drivers. However, this may change for several reasons: 64-bit drivers are appearing, XP is no longer being sold at retail, Windows 7 won’t be out for a couple years, and Vista’s performance is being improved via service pack tweaks. 64-bit computing is the wave of the future; the only question is the rate of adoption. As 64-bit computing becomes more mainstream, EQ will ramp up the coverage to match.

Craig [Anderton]’s answer to the letter “Is Cheating Wrong” [07/08] was a bit misleading. The method for measurement is correct, but the statement “The mic represents a small enough load that the difference in voltage with a mic connected or disconnected is negligible.” is not accurate. If you put a Y cable on the mic connector (or open up the box) and measure the voltage on pins 2 and 3 with a mic connected, there will always be a measurable voltage drop. If the microphone draws 3mA, for example, there will be 10.4V dropped across the resistors, so the mic will only see 37.8V (or probably a little less, as most phantom supplies are a bit shy of 48V open circuit).

While very few mics require full spec phantom power, a specification exists so that we have something against which we can test and know where we stand.

Mike Rivers

As a bassist and recordist, I read EQ with interest. In “Strategies for Singers Who Suck” [08/08], I was glad to see that the whisper track was suggested. Not all singers can have the pipes of a Kelly Clarkson, and most go flat when they try to push or support their voice live to be heard over instrumentation.

As to bass, I don’t go for the wall rumbling and floor shaking; as a listener, such deafening experiences leave me wanting to not experience a live performance again. I prefer hearing the bass in sync with the bass drum as a “punch” to the heart.

Mike Ziemski

Craig [Anderton]’s Talk Box piece [“The Revenge of the Single,” 08/08] ends on a seemingly facetious note with its mention of YouTube. I’m not sure it was intended that way.

The piece is full of brilliant observations. Indeed, few people put on a vinyl LP or a CD to listen for pleasure, and doing so creates a certain segment of temporal experience. YouTube is hella fun, and there’s actually a lot of really compelling material that can be squeezed into under ten minutes, including old school clips.

We don’t choose the time we live in, only what to do with the time we have. We create for the media around us. I am hoping Craig was trying to make this point, and not deriding YouTube and the “Revenge of the Single.” There will always be a place for longer form works; as bandwidth increases, we may see that audience return.

Jack Curtis Dubowsky

I enjoyed David Kahne’s piece on producing Paul McCartney [08/08]. I have just one question and follow-up for Mr. Kahne since purchasing Memory Almost Full: Why does this record sound so bad? The poor thing is flat as the proverbial pancake, hyped EQ, abrasive, and, for this listener, unlistenable. Any intended emotion is gone amidst crinkly brittleness. Hard to believe that Sir Paul sanctioned this.

A clue here may be ‘The Kahne Method’ sidebar in which he lists the vintage and custom compressors, EQs, and plug-ins used, and the fact that “it’s all wired all the time.” Sounds more like they are “all in all the time.”

I’m sorry if I sound a bit upset, but I expected better from musical genius Macca. Maybe he and Mr. Kahne thought this “aggressive” sound would appeal to the iPod/Earbud/MP3 generation. For me, and doubtless others, it is simply audio abuse.

Charles Horton

Executive Editor Craig Anderton responds:
I definitely was not being facetious, you can take what I wrote at face value. Personally, I felt very liberated when I realized I had options compared to releasing complete albums on CDs— especially because video options are now a reality as well. As one door closes, another one opens. . . .

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