Making acoustic panels tutorial

Apartment buildings are not the ideal place to have a home studio, the main problem with them is the acoustics are terrible. My ‘studio’ has painted concrete walls, huge windows across one side, and is a L shape. This results in a very uneven frequency response, and ridiculous flutter echo.

For not a lot of money I made a big improvement to this situation. Rigid fiberglass is the most cost effective way to acoustically treat a room. Foam only really makes a difference with mid and high frequencies, the panels I made are effective down to about 125 Hz according to the specs of the material.

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DIY Subkick microphone

This is an old, but very effective trick for miking kick drums. Take a Yamaha NS10 speaker cone and use that to capture the extra low frequencies of the drum. Without going into too much theory about this, a dynamic microphone and a speaker are essentially the same thing, they are both transducers. They take acoustical energy and convert it into electrical energy or vice versa.

Yamaha Subkick microphone

So what you do is take the speaker out of the box, solder a male XLR plug on a short cable to the speaker terminals. Pin 2 goes to (+) and Pin 1 goes to (-) pin 3 is not used. The matter of mounting this speaker to a stand is a different matter, this is the main reason to go buy the Yamaha Subkick microphone, because of it’s great, easy to use mounting system, that and its also more durable likely than the home version. One way to do it is to take a standard mic clip apart and fitting the slotted part securely to the corner mounting holes of the speaker, that is if the speaker you are using has the 4 corners and not just holes drilled just around the cone [square not a circle]. Or you can attach it to a microphone boom or goose-neck permanently.

The output of the subkick is very hot, meaning you are going to have to attenuate the signal for it to be of any use to you. An inline -20dB pad, a pad at the mic pre, or one built into the mic will need to be used. This guy used a 10k Ohm in series with pin 2 and a 1k Ohm resister across pins 1 and 2 to drop the output about 20dB.

Mic placement: These work really well at the edge of the drum parallel to the skin. Try it under a floor tom too.

Why the NS10? Most time you see these in a studio it will be with an NS10 cone, but why? From what I’ve been told it is because there are usually extra NS10s lying around a studio, all studios had NS10s, you could predict how it would sound, and they have a frequency response that works well. Don’t know how much truth there is to that. You can use any speaker you want, it will obviously make a difference in the sound.

Finally, here is a picture I took of one of the two diy subkicks at Metalworks Studios. Note mounting, placement, and inline pad.

DIY Subkick with NS10 woofer and inline pad


MOG New music-focused social network site

Launched Thursday MOG, a musical nudist colony (among other self-describing terms) looks to be a great way for artists and bands to network. There is an Anti-MTV section called MOG TV, and a neat recommendation system for finding new music easily.

So if you’re sick of Myspace and the rest, check out MOG.

www.MOG.com

Free Plugin Of The Week – Izotope Vinyl VST|RTAS

Every Monday I highlight free plugins new and old that are worth checking out. See all posts in the Free Plugin Of The Week Series.

iZotope Vinyl

iZotope Vinyl

This is not a new plugin, but it is one of my favorites, mostly because I love that crackle on vinyl records. I like it on drum loops, synth basses and even guitars. The only thing with this plugin is it has only one purpose, but it does it very well, just don’t over use it.

“The ultimate lo-fi weapon, iZotope Vinyl uses 64-bit processing and advanced filtering, modeling and resampling to create authentic “vinyl” simulation, as if the audio was a record being played on a record player.”

It works on both Mac and Windows systems, in RTAS/AudioSuite/HTDM, VST, MAS, Audio Unit, DirectX formats. It supports sample rates of up to 192 kHz, and is fully automatable.

More info and download

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MIDI Foundations – A Primer to the world of MIDI

MIDI – Foundations

I Figured since MIDI is my specialty as of late I would write my first article here at Audio Geek Zine about it.

MIDI is to some, a great complicated mystery that they may never wrap their minds around completely… but that would be because their minds are feeble. When understood even in the most basic sense MIDI can be harnessed and used to make the impossible possible. I have designed this article to basically get you in touch with the basic concepts of the MIDI universe.

First and foremost, MIDI is an acronym which stands for…

Musical Instrument Digital Interface.

Continue reading MIDI Foundations – A Primer to the world of MIDI