Yodahead by Jackcrew. Official music video.
Mid-Side (MS) stereo is one option for recording in true stereo using two microphones. To me it is the most natural sounding of all the recording techniques. Other possibilities include an XY coincident pair, or the Blumlein technique. Middle-Side uses two microphones; one in the Figure-eight polar pattern placed off axis and the other mic can be in any polar pattern but omnidirectional is my favorite because it makes use of the full dynamics of the microphone and sounds the most spacial. Also, Omni gets the bass response of any condenser pattern.
I love Mid-Side stereo. You can set up two mic in the middle of a nice room, surround them with musicians on all sides (if you’re using the mid mic in omni) and record the whole room. It’s obviously not a close mic situation, but you can put a vocalist right up there. The rest of the room will sound like a room. All the natural reverberations included. This is the original way to record. No overdubs so you have to get it right the first time!
The Dovetail: passive Mid-Side encoder and mic transformer, coming soon from GlenGlenn Audio.
I had a particular problem. I wanted to use this old reel-to-reel recorder with these modern microphones:
To further excacerbate the problem I wanted to use the Mid-Side Stereo technique. It’s the warmest and most natural stereo sound. It records the room as well as the source (More on Mid-Side stereo recording here).
Really, that’s two separate problems. Let’s get to the first one first.
Old analogue reel-to-reel recorders are great. At GlenGlenn Audio we love analogue and we love reel-to-reel recorders for a number of reasons. Why? They sound fantastic! They have that warm analogue, slightly wobbly, wide dynamic range, human sound. The wobble itself is worth the price of admission. It’s like vibrato for recording. Audio equipment from the 50s through the 70s was just built better. Those were the days people really cared about high fidelity. Also, you can still pick up these old machines for cheap. Some of them, like my Ampex 601 here, have beautiful tube microphone preamps. You have to hear them to believe them. But that’s also the problem. The Ampex mic-pres, like many similar machines from the same era, were designed for high-Z microphones. Today’s modern mics are all low impedence (low-Z). They could have included mic transformers, but good ones are very expensive. So if you hook up your modern microphone to this fine recorder you get overload and distortion. You could use the line-in jacks in the back, but then you’re not getting the benefit of the very fine tube pre-amps. That’s problem number one.
Problem number two: You want to record in true stereo and use at least one of your nice microphones in the Omnidirectional pattern. Omni uses the full capsule of your nice microphone, has the best bass response, and achieves the most most spacial affect. But most stereo applications use two microphones in cardioid patterns. Enter Mid-SIde. The MS technique uses one microphone in a figure-eight and another in either omni or cardioid. I choose omni. Now, what’s the problem? You need a Mid-SIde matrix (decoder) to decode the three signals (omin, side+, side-) into a Left/Right pair. You could use your DAW or an analogue mixer but your side microphone gets twice the attention (twice the load) and you’re left with a line-level signal and again, you can’t use your nice warm tube mic-pres in your beautiful old recorder.
The Dovetail MS encoder uses high end transformers to split the the Mid and Side microphone signals and recombine them into a Left/Right stereo pair. Mic-level in and Mic-level out. You plug in your two microphones, dial in the correct polar patterns, and output the result straight to the 1/4″ inputs on the tape deck. The Dovetail is a mic transformer (acutally two) and a Mid-Side matrix all in one. And it’s beautiful! Use it for Line-level sources too if you want.
The Dovetail also has a switch for recording in classic XY stereo coincident mode. In XY mode there is no MS matrixing but you still get the benefit of the mic transformers. Try Blumlein in this mode as well.
The Dovetail uses quality Jensen audio transformers, only the best. There are no knobs for controlling stereo width because we feel it degrades the signal. Use matched microphones for the best results. Or mix different mics for experimental results. These first models are handmade (in Sacramento California) out of repurposed redwood. There are no dovetails yet, but it’s still a “dovetail” because it joins modern technology with classic gear.
The Dovetail: passive mid-side matrix (MS encoder) and mic transformer by GlenGlenn Audio. Available now! contact me here.
Switch: switches between MS and XY
TRS 1/4″ (2)
XLR direct (unprocessed, for monitoring or 48v phantom power)
XLR (Mid+Side, Mid-Side or L/R in XY mode)
TRS 1/4″ (Mid+Side, Mid-Side or L/R in XY mode)
– Hand made in Sacramento, California
– Quality Jensen Transformers (made in U.S.A.)
– Completely shielded from radio interference
– Custom made from reclaimed redwood
– 4X5X7 inches, 10.16X12.70X17.78 cm (not including switch and rubber feet)
– mic or line level input, no power required, passes 48V (through Direct outs), sounds great!
Audio Sampler. Setup: Two Nady TCM1050 tube condenser microphones plugged straight into the XLR inputs of The Dovetail MS matrix. One microphone in omni, the other in figure-eight, arranged top to top (one upside-down on top of the other). The figure-eight microphone directed with the diaphragm pointed perpendicular to the sound source. XLR outs were used and plugged straight into the mic-pres of an RME Fireface audio interface. The Dovetail is switched to MS mode. Note the natural reverb and room sound. The singer is place directly if front of the mics and gets one take. No post processing of any kind was added to this recording. Enjoy! Please excuse my off key singing.
Audio from The Dovetail into computer audio interface:
Audio from The Dovetail into a reel-to-reel tape recorder:
A/B comparison: The first half is an omni mic plugged straight into mic-pre of RME Fireface audio interface and recorded to disc. The second half is thru The Dovetail in XY mode and then output to the same RME mic pre at the exact same gain setting etc…No other changes have been made. It’s a good example of the sound coloration of the Jensen transformers in the Dovetail. You be the judge.
Dude, that was fucking awesome!!!! RIP Eagle tavern.
Horrible, almost. I hate Slim’s. I’ve seen some of my favorite bands there; X, The Melvins, and now Entrance. I love Entrance, truly, but it was a bad show. I fault the venue. I can’t figure it out. The sound is good, the space is ok, they got booze, but it’s always horrible.
Rachel Fannan and band opened. She had a great band, a great voice, cool songs, Uncle Vic was kicking in and they lead guitarist’s surfy jangley thing was making me swoon but some dumb bitches in the audience couldn’t shut their big ugly mouths. It was deafening, you know how girls get when they’re drunk. Stupid. I really don’t care about your red handbag or whatever. It’s not that funny. You’re not that pretty. You have an annoying voice you learned to use in clubs and bars while trolling for coke. I came here to listen, you douchebags. Rachel noticed, maybe glared a couple times but she kept her cool. When she was done though she bolted backstage, thanking all those that actually came to listen. She looked pissed off and rightfully so. She was really giving it her all. I felt sorry for her. Dumb San Francisco music scene. Actually, dumb people that go to Slim’s.
But whatever, Uncle Vic and that Knob Creek on the rocks was working pretty good and I was with my girl and we went across the street for a Thanksgiving style crepe and I could hear the
opening song so we raced inside and pushed our way to the front. Mel had never seen Entrance though I’ve talked them up enough. The first song was cool, just warming up. Then they played something new. I was happy to hear something new after hearing Grim Reaper Blues and MLK about a million times or whatever. And then another new song, and another. Paz was feeeling it. She took off her blouse and all she had on was a rad little black skin tight thing and the songs were a bit more of a groove and she certainly owning it. Guy, on the other hand, was going through the motions. Maybe Paz had more invested in these new ditties. They seemed off, like Guy wasn’t really on the same page, but the effect was a bit mesmerizing and psychedelic. Still, the songs weren’t nearly as ambitious as the old stuff and it got boring. I can’t believe I’m saying this. Entrance Band boring? Fuck that. Another symptom of a bad venue with a horrible crowd? At this point I didn’t know.
Then they were off the stage and the audience gave a rather meager attempt to get them back. I said to Mel, “This is where they play the old stuff and now you’re gonna see something.”
Sure enough, they hit the stage and played just one song, Grim Reaper Blues, and they put in a few twists and it was brilliant. Mel leaned back and said, “You’re right. This stuff is so much better.”
I hate to be one of those, Their older stuff is better, kind of vibe guys, but it’s true. That shit sux in comparison. Get some balls back and go get really stoned and see what comes out, so to speak. Fuck all. Still, that last song almost, but not quite, made up for a rather mediocre evening. Thanks for nothing, Slim’s.
The following song is weird. It’s based on something variously referred to as digital drugs, idosing, idoser, i-doser, binaural beats, etc…In the background there is a Binaural Beat supposed to arouse sexuality. A more familiar song structure is superimposed (created with Arturia Storm 3). More to come…
Listen on headphones, relax, turn down the lights, have no other distractions and the blend of frequencies will transport you elsewhere…Please comment on your experience.
“Politics is bad for Religion, and Religion is bad for Politics”.mp3
Bianaural Beats and Binaural Recording are related yet different. Binaural recording is a process for recording 3-dimensional audio for playback on headphones. There is a slightly different signal reaching each ear that renders the 3-D affect in much the same way that your brain processes auditory signals.
Binaural Beats makes use of a similar technology, different signals to each ear, for a different purpose. A slightly different auditory frequency is created for each ear creating a pulse, or beat, to be perceived by the brain. Different functions for Binaural Beats are reported, mostly anecdotally.
Binaural beats or binaural tones are auditory processing artifacts, or apparent sounds, the perception of which arises in the brain for specific physical stimuli. This effect was discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, and earned greater public awareness in the late 20th century based on claims that binaural beats could help induce relaxation, meditation, creativity and other desirable mental states. The effect on the brainwaves depends on the difference in frequencies of each tone, for example, if 300 Hz was played in one ear and 310 in the other, then the Binaural beat would have a frequency of 10 Hz. (more…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binaural_beats)
Kids around the country are getting high on the internet, thanks to MP3s that induce a state of ecstasy. And it could be a gateway drug leading teens to real-world narcotics.
At least, that’s what Oklahoma News 9 is reporting about a phenomenon called “i-dosing,” which involves finding an online dealer who can hook you up with “digital drugs” that get you high through your headphones. (more…http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/07/digital-drugs/#)
In a world where illegal drugs run rampant, did getting high just become much easier? An online music site may provide a legal high that is undetectable, has no health side effects, and can be performed at your computer. I-Doser is a new
online service that sells musical tracks for prices between $1-$5 per track. Each track in their library is named after a particular drug, both legal and illegal. The tracks are supposed to give the listener a similar experience to that of the drug it is named after. These tracks range from alcohol, to marijuana, to sleep aids, to ecstacy, to crystal meth, to heroine. The site boasts itself as a legal alternative to the illicit drugs that are rampant today. This sounds very interesting, but does it work? (more…http://www.bloggernews.net/16919)
Fox and Goose, Sacramento Aug. 7th and Marcos Cafe, Columa CA, Aug. 9th.
Los Tikkilyches are a five piece from Sayulita, Mexico that describe themselves as “latin-surf-funk-rockin’soul-reggae fusion” who played recently with a Sacramento funky trio, The Scwamigos for two beautiful nights of eclectic musical maestrosity.
Los Tikkilyches play in all the restaurants and bars in and around Puerto Vallarta and they’re bringing their significant musical chops to the Western States for a couple months of rampant touring and tearing it up.
Both bands played their lights out in two venues the weekend of Aug. 7-9 and demonstrated true musical transcendence. Schwa Monley, bassist for Schwamigos, is nearly as much fun to watch as he is to hear, with the funk happening on a grand scale. Alejandro on drums and Hunter as frontman scoop up the funky vibe and groove to unheard of heights.
In the Tikkilyches, we got Alyssa Adams on keys and vocals with the beautiful grace and style. She harmonizes with Julia Blumenthal on guitar while Jonas Brewer holds down the lows and the beautiful flute solos and works his hair and his chilled out beatific personality pretty good as well. There’s a new guy on drums, Chad Sylva who’s worked out his amazing chops in Nashville for the last ten or twenty years. His fills are so clean they bring a tear to the eye. And then forget
about the guitar player, Jess Edmondson, if you’re worried about crying because his tasty guitar leads and solos fill the air with enough creamy goodness to fill the tear coffers of the most industrious tear merchant. Lightning fast and graceful is an understatement and it’s enough to turn everyone’s body into “one giant ear” according to the musician himself. Plus, the beard alone is worth the price of admission.
They got the whole glorious crowd gyrating exponentially and feverishly and nobody wanted it to stop. It was so frenetic my nice digital camera flew apart into a million pieces spontaneously and luckily nobody got hurt. Russ flew himself to the floor once, but made a graceful recovery, moved to his left and kept eveyone’s groove alive. We all felt gloriously alive and swam down the rapids of love and nostalgia until the next show.
Catch their tour right here: wooooo!
Too much shit is going on and all I want to do is rock!
After an epic weekend in Big Sur I just didn’t get enough of Entrance Band and this is their last stop in SF before the big new record drops. I ran into Paz (bass, a perfect circle, Zwan etc…) in a little gift store down on highway one and she informed me about this show with Nebula and, to my surprise, some old acquaintances Kaura. There’s a connection there, as there always is, but I’m not yet in the know.
I couldn’t get any delinquents to come along, which is a shame, but everyone in the city has got there thing and I guess there’s no time built into the schedule to witness near perfection. There’s that recording session, or that FIFA game, or that social network or whatever, but this is real. This is happening. It’ll affect you or it’ll influence you and it’ll surely leave a mark. But I get it. There’s a time for influence and a time to make it happen. One thing is certain: there’s not enough time for everything. But this is something I’m not willing to compromise on. Entrance at Elbo, are you kidding?
Kaura go first. This is a surprise. I know there’s a Paz connection in there somewhere. Is it the guitar player? He looks vaguely familial. Whatever, they fire right up and the wall of sound doesn’t let up until their penultimate song when the guitar player unleashes a magnum opus of arpeggiated LPness that would do Slash’s Sweet Child riff proud and it was the one highlight. It was rad. Totally. The rest of their set was not really my thing, to be quite honest. Typical songwriting conundrum where everyone is struggling to be heard and nothing is, and the fine vocals are the first to be washed away in a sea of sonic doom. It’s hard to make out a melody. It’s hard to get carried away by the emotion because there doesn’t seem to be one. The gear is perfect, the hair and the outfits, the concept with the “World” intstruments, the connections, the chops even, but something is sorely missing. Still, it’s pretty close. Nothing that a good producer couldn’t repair. This is exactly why live music is worthy. A bunch of kids with dreams and a lot of hard work. Maybe nothing comes out of it but fun and a lot of love, but that’s good enough. These are the times of your lives.
I went out for a smoke and came back up to an entirely different stage scene. All the overblown Marshall stacks gone. The huge drumkit gone. Paraphernalia, stripped away. In it’s place a simple kit, one Mesa Bass Cube and a Fender 2X12 of some kind. The stage looked naked but when Entrance hit the air was filled with lovely, earthshaking, coherently cacophonous, beautiful noise.
Paz’s bass tone was magic, round, powerful, magnetic and articulate. Guy’s Telecaster had that shimmery, extra delayed out glass and his vocals a tinge of slapback and those PA speakers at Elbo are pretty damn fantastic.
They started with “Crowded Train” which has a great bass riff and Paz shines right from the start. Her fingers dance, she gets into a trance, her recently washed locks hang in her face and she rocks as if she means it. You can tell when someone’s just going through the motions, when someones just trying to emulate a good practice on stage or when someone is really feeling it. Great musician’s are always feeling it because they love music. Sure, some nights are better than others. It’s a job. But there’s always a spark. If there’s not, you’re done. Put a fork in you.
Paz has it. Guy always has it. Derek looks like he’s just trying to keep up and he’s doing a fine job. His hair alone is worth the price of admission. And what about their outfits. Could they be any less rockstar? Kaura comes out with perfect rockstar attire and do a workmanlike job. Guy comes out with an old white t-shirt and white jeans and puts more rock into one hammer-on than a chorus of post Cobain posers and it’s what it is, and more because this kind of music transcends.
You might not be that into Guy’s caterwauling or his look or his style or his ethic or whatever, but you can’t deny their utter power. He’s a singer-song writer in every sense and you got to get into his thing. It’s there for all to see. Can’t wait until Sept. 1st when the album drops.
After the set I ran into Malcolm of Kaura back at the merch table and asked him about the connection with Entrance.
“Oh, she recorded with us on our first EP. She played violin on it. So this is great. It’s like a reunion. And then came A Perfect Circle and Zwan and now Entrance so it’s really great to see her back in her element again.”
“Cool, what do these guys, Nebula, sound like?”
“Total psychedelic stoner rock. They’re good. You should stay and check ‘em out.”
Thanks, I will. Nebula hit. Another power trio and I tried to justify the term “stoner rock”. They weren’t exactly chilled out. They weren’t exactly splayed out on the couch playing video games. They weren’t inept and listless, but it was hard to tell if they had the munchies. I guess there’s a third way. You can move your fingers a little and turn the amps up and get them to do all the work, I guess that’s what stoner rock is. It’s loud enough. It’s got some requisite pomp. It’s accessible. It rocks, sort of. Maybe a really good laser show would put it over the top. I’m tired, time to hit the hot tub and fire one up and go to bed.
Audio of Entrance Band in Big Sur, 07/24/09…
The Ferocious Few are a local San Francisco rock duo that I’m assisting because they’re truly great and are undoubtedly heading to stardom, whatever that means. The frontman and songwriter, Francisco Fernandez is a true rock star in the traditional sense of the word, not the made up, puffed up, commercialized up, bogus modern sense of the term since the death of Curt Cobain. This duo is legit in every sense of the word and they have the goods to deliver. The world has been sadly missing true rock stardom in favor of soundalike one hit wonders backed by phony monied interests and video game / ringtone mentalities since the early 90’s. It’s been a barren landscape of bullshit, if you ask me, pretty maybe and danceable, but empty of true passion caught on tape for all the ages.
Francisco is assisted on drums by Daniel Aguilar – a truer, nicer, more authentic individual with exacting taste could not be found. His drumming style – using brushes primarily – is so far out of vogue that one wonders where it comes from.
Your mind stops all questions when you hear them live (if they’re given then chance for a good sound check, that is) because they rock and they’ve developed a truly unique sound over the past two or three years of busking in the streets of San Francisco to make a living. They have plenty of help lately, with everyone knocking down their door and they’re ready to explode with a first official record due to be released on Birdman Records sometime this winter.
Full discosure: I’m not making a dime on this venture nor am I getting paid at any time in the future for this article or any other. I believe in great music and great personality and this is it, folks. Jump on board – this space will continue to follow their ascending progress in pictures, audio and anecdotes. Feel free to drop me a note and I’ll pass it on to the guys.
Now, the first stop on the journey is Big Sur, to go see The Entrance Band at the Henry Miller Library and to tear it up along the way developing our road skills. We recently hooked up a system utilizing the car’s battery to power all the amps and these guys can literally play in the Redwoods – and that’s exactly what they did – but not before a fine roadtrip South along beautiful Highway One, making a stop in Santa Cruz to play on the streets for a little cash (that always seems to be the limiting factor, but they manage to make scads of it because people literally throw money at them all the time) until the got kicked out by “hospitality” and I’d gone ahead on my new KZ650 to scout out future locations and to make sure I didn’t miss the big show.
I was looking forward to this for three months when I’d bought the tickets. I’d met a girl at Tartine Bakery in the Mission that turned me onto them (Entrance) via her exceptionally cute autoharp Myspace page. The girl wasn’t feeling me ultimately, but I learned about Entrace through her so all was well in the Universe, just about (she and her little doggie were exceptionally cute and lovely in their own right).
Anyway, the Few arrived and Entrance rocked amazingly hard and the venue was sans pareil in the redwoods with a little fog in front of the Memorial Library of one of my heroes and I was pretty much beside myself though I was starting to worry about the guys enjoying themselves because they were busy trying to make a connection with the organizer hoping to play on the grounds between bands or something.
Well, that wasn’t gonna happen so we just set them out in the parking lot, just outside the gate and they collected a nice little crew of new followers who were streaming out of the exit. Stephen Malkmus himself stopped by for a good long while, until they quit and wanted to play a song himself through the gear, until I pointed out the fact that Francisco is left handed and that would certainly pose a huge problem.
It was quitting time, the kids had a nice little dance session in the dirt, and it was time to find a camping spot. Some random blond girls were in a similar predicament without reservations and I led the way through the fog to a scary place with crazy weasels at Andrew Molera State park. The girls were fun and we drank their gin and made hand puppets and funny faces and woke up refreshed and went for a walk to the ocean in the morning.
We were off, though, to breakfast and we chilled our heels in the river and tried to calm down and made it to Nepenthe’s for some more relaxation while we made the next move. I was staying, wouldn’t miss this scenery and environment for anything and the guys peaced out for more feduciary gains and plus, they had an interview at KALX in Berkeley later in the evening.
I stayed, made friends with the waitress, who told me about the Pink Floyd cover band etc…but first I ran into Paz and chatted her up in a little gift shop, very nice and then after I ate a sandwich in the Spirit Circle I went down the cliff and witnessed the most epic surf day of the year and all the super stoked locals, totally beside themselves. It was pure magic.
House of Floyd was pretty epic although some of their tones were questionable especially that fake acoustic thing on “Wish you were Here”. What the hell was that? But, it was a nice foggy tripping evening and the Beats would have been proud and so would their spiritual leader, RIP, and it was off to the same scary campground.
But first I made a stop at Fernwood where a very good funk band was tearing it up, Naomi Wilder, who was so damn sexy I could barely control myself, but alas she was aloof. To bed.
Next day up at Seven and on the road with nary a stop. The guys were playing a poolside show at the Phoenix Hotel for some fashion show and there was no time to lose. They depended on me for sound, and although it was total crap with more feedback than a dying elephant, good times were had and we met some fascinating people and nobody got hurt.
Francisco stayed behind to make some connections and I rode straight home, after saying Hi to one of the models/talent and went directly into the hot tub. Paradise.
In this review:
The “Whoever shows up on Sunday” Jazz Band
Track listing: 1&2 – Jazz Band; 3&4 Classical Revolution (Sundays from 8:30).
Revolution Cafe (22nd btwn Valencia and Mission) is a funky little hipster cafe with a few outside tables for smoking and more smoking and they have quiet live music just about every nite, things that run from gypsy jazz to fusion and thousand year old classical or Balinese gamelan. It’s a nice little spot that serves coffee, beer, wine and a small selection of eats including sandwiches and they serve a pretty mean little sangria for $5.00.
The music is surprisingly good, though a little tough to hear sometimes over the cafe din of espresso machine and local wiseguys discussing Nietzsche or their latest art project for burning man or the movie they envision. Outside is particularly smokey and purple hazy and it doesn’t seem like the cleanest place on the planet but the vibe is strong and the music fantastic and free. Tips are encouraged.
I had a pretty rough Sunday of mixing the album and so I rode on down the hill with a mean hunger to Vallarta’s tacos on 24th and planned to hit Tartine, but I rode past Revolution on 22nd and heard a pretty nice jazz band and so had my tea out on the patio with the stoners. The pretty barrista was there and I went against my plan of not drinking today and it was nice.
After the jazz guys I took a bunch of notes to myself about what the next year might have in store for me and Fran came by for a bit and we made some tentative plans, and vowed to talk about it further. We never got the chance because I got home and we started watching the final amazing set of the men’s finals of Wimbledon until the Tivo ran out of space and we switched over to the Tour De France and he peppered me with questions until I got disgusted and went to bed.
One final thought traipsing up the stairs; put the big JBL speakers together and get a few more things to round out a mobile Club and take it with us on the road and create our own shows in barns and such with the local acts. It’s brilliant. That’s what show promoters do, duh.