Welcome to my audio-blog!
Here I'll post shootouts, some personal audio-research and more. Studio-related stuff mostly.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Preamps: HJFP2 - UA610 - Onyx

A new preamp shootout:
  • Hamptone HJFP2 (main object of shootout)
  • Universal Audio 610 solo
  • Mackie Onyx 800R
All files can be found Here (mp3 and wav.zip)

Source > Hamptone HJFP2 > RME Hdsp 9632 converter
Source > UA 610 solo > RME Hdsp 9632 converter
Source > Mackie Onyx 800R > Mackie Onyx 800R converter

Mics: Matched pair of Røde NT5, unless otherwise stated

NT5 and DI are identical takes, the others are not.
All clips ar normalized with 500ms RMS-window

UA 610: G4 L9 means Gain set to 4, level set to 9 (1-10 both)
HJFP2: I've built this myself, still have a few issues to solve. But except the noise-floor, these clips I belive are fairly representative.
1 - You may hear some PC noice on the condeser mic clips. Sorry, didn't bother/remember to shield the recordings.
2 - The HJFP2 channel I'm using has 5-6db more noise than the other (needs to be fixed), but it's not a big thing.
BassDI pickup: Middle position, Morgan YB-48
El.guitar: Middle pickup, Yamaha Pacifica 112J

gearslutz.com >>

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mics: Sm58 vs. Sm7b

A new little mic-shootout.

- Shure Sm58
- Shure Sm7b

This is two dynamic mics, that's sort of industry-standards.
The SM58 is an industry-standard for live vocals. The Sm7b is an industry standard for dynamic vocal mic for studio-recordings. So, what's the difference between the two?

Well, it's some obvious differences. The Sm58 is designed for being held in the hand. While the SM7b is for mounting on a stand only, and is really to big to be used for a vocalist on stage. Not so obvious, but important: Gain. The Sm58 need quite some gain for a low-level vocalist. But the Sm7b need 10db more! That means that many prosumer preamps will not have enough clean gain for it. So, be warned. So, what's the difference in sound? Let's find out..

Vocal: Sm58 Sm7b 
B: Sm7b Sm58 (75hz highpass)
C: Sm7b Sm58 (75hz HP, sm7b presence switch engaged)
You can find all files, wav.zip 44khz/16bit and mp3 256kbs vbr: Here
Additional folder for preamp UA 610 solo (not identical takes)

Vocal > Mic > Mackie Onyx 800r (pre and AD)
C1jjMod > UA 610 > Rme Hdsp 9632

Recorded at aprox. 12 dbFS peak (+-2db).
Normalized to common RMS-value, Rms-window 0,3s
UA 610 solo:
L9: Level is set to 9, clear setting
G9: Gain is set to 9, tubiest setting

The sm58 is definitively a very good mic, good value, usable on stage and in studio. I find the sm7b to have a little more bass, being a little smoother/classier.
I seem to hear some noise on both mics though, a little unsure what's that about.

Gearslutz thread >>

Thursday, September 22, 2011

UA 610 solo vs. Mackie Onyx

A new preamp-shootout. It's a little bit oranges and apples this time.
But, as I needed the test for myself, I might as well share it with you.

- UA 610 solo 1channel, tube pre, $700
- Mackie Onyx 800r 8ch, transistor pre, with AD-convertors, $1000

UA 610 solo
Mackie 800r

Vocal, NT5:
A: Onyx  UA610-L10
B: Onyx UA610-G10

Guitar, NT5:
A: Onyx  UA610-L10

Bass DI:
A: Onyx  UA610-L10

You can find all files, 16 bit wav.zip and mp3, Here
Additional folder for C1jjMod Vocal, Cad M179 Vocal and SM58 Vocal

Technical information:
Røde NT 5 (matched pair) > Onyx > Onyx AD
Røde NT 5 (matched pair) > UA 610 solo > RME Hdsp 9632

Not matched converters, but.. that's life :)

You can find all files, 16 bit wav.zip and mp3, Here
Additional folder for C1jjmod_vocal, Cad M179_vocal, SM58_vocal and BassDI

For the NT5-files and BassDI, the takes are identical.
For the other folders, it's different takes.

UA 610 solo: L10 means Level 10 (clearest setting), G10 means Gain 10 (tubiest setting)

Recorded at -10bdFS (+-3db), normalized with RMS-window 0.3-2s (depending on source)


  • The UA 610 solo is just a very good preamp
    • In the clean setting, it's rather clean and neutral
    • When dialing in some more gain, it really gives you something extra.
    • Rocks on DI Bass
    • It's balanced in the low end
    • and pleasant sounding in the high end
  • The Onyx, though being a useful preamp for most sources, does not have the same pro-studio-quality. Though, this should be expected when comparing features and prices.
I'm just very happy with getting this into my studio. I can't think of any source that the UA 610 solo wouldn't handle well.

Gearslutz: Here

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gap 73 vs. Art Mpa and Mackie Onyx

This time I'm checking out the Golden Age Project  Gap73-preamp.

The Gap73 hit the market a couple of years ago. It has been praised for being a quality preamp with a very moderate price tag ($300).

I'm testing it together with my other preamps, so these are the contenders:

  • Gap 73 (main object of the test)
  • Art MPA
  • Mackie Onyx 800r
Art Mpa

Mackie Onyx 800r
Nt5-1: Mpa Gap73
Nt5-2: Onyx Gap73
C1jjMod, Gap73: Trim17 Trim12 Trim9

You'll find wav 16bit and mp3 -files Here
Additional folders: Cad M179  Sm58  Elguitar(DI)  Bassguitar(DI)

Technical details:

Nt5 (matched pair) > Mpa > Rme Hdsp 9632
Nt5 (matched pair) > Gap73 > Rme Hdsp 9632 (#1 goes with the Mpa, the other with the Onyx)
Nt5 (matched pair) > Onyx > Mackie Onyx 800r

Recorded within 1,5dbFS, normalized to same RMS-level (100ms window)
Mpa: +20db, impedance 3 o'clock, Sovtek tubes
Gap73: Trim 12 o'clock

And I've added some more tests of the Gap73:
Studio Projects C1 jj mod > Gap73 > Rme Hdsp 9632
-> 3 trim/gain-positions

Recorded within 2dbFS, normalized to same RMS-level (100ms window)

The additional folders: No identical takes
El. guitar, Yamaha Pacifica 112J, DI, pickup middle, Earnie ball 10
Bassguitar, Morgan YB-48, DI, picup 50/50 neck/bridge

I've added some new files, see additional folders.

- I didn't fancy the Gap73-sound that much, kind of new that..
- The Gap73 wasn't the best match for my C1 jj mod, as both are a little dark.
- The gap73 sounded very nice on BassDI, and SM58 dynamic mic.
- Learned: "Trust your ears Luke"

Gearslutz: Thread here

Monday, May 30, 2011

Reaper search

This is a tool for Reaper-users.
Here you can search Cockos.com with forums and the wiki.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Snare Cajun: MILLENIUM CA1

This is a short review of a Snare Cajun, the MILLENIUM CA1

In short a Cajun is simply a wood-box, with a hole in the back. Snare Cajuns in addition have something like a snare strainer (see picture) to add a sound like a snare-drum.

The CA1 is a budget Cajun (paid EUR63 + shipping), and I feel I got a lot of value for the money. It's a simple construction -plain  with one snare strainer.
It gives moderate of snare sound, other models will give more. But, it's no better than, it's just taste.
Bass-sound is nice, I can't complain.
Overall nice, and for the price -yes, very good value.

You'll find some more info and audio-clips here

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mics: C1, Mk-012 JJ mod, STC-2, M179, NT5

I've tested some new mics.

Up for test are these three LDs:
  • Sontronics STC-2
  • Studio Projects C1 JJ mod
  • CAD M179 
Files here   (Gearslutz)

and these two SDs:
  • Oktava MK-012 JJ mod
  • Røde NT5
Files here  (Gearslutz)

First impression:
C1 JJ mod seems very nice, rich bass (a little bump there maybe), balanced and nice
STC-2: A little thin, some hard hi-mid
M179: Nice and balanced
MK-012 JJ mod: Balanced, some more bass than the NT5
NT5: A little sharper than the MK-012