B&H Tips & Tricks October 2007
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B&H Tips & Tricks November 2007

By Sam Mallery

Audio knowledge brush-up lesson: Pre-Fader and Post-Fader

On mixing consoles and in audio software we are often given the choice between Pre-Fader and Post-Fader. If youíve never played with them before, perhaps itís time you started experimenting. You can create interesting and useful effects for mixing, like completely removing the dry sound and only hearing the wash of an effect. Or you can smoothly blend the balance of wet and dry signals, fading in and out the sound of a dry signal, while the volume and presence of the effect stays unchanged.

Pre-Fader = The incoming audio signal remains constant, no matter what position the fader is in.

Post-Fader = The level of the incoming audio signal will change with the position of the fader.

Say you have the drum beat playing on Track 1, and you have a reverb patched into Aux 1. Turn up the Aux 1 send on track 1 so you can hear the drum beat hit the reverb. If you have the Aux 1 return track set to Post-Fader, and you pull down the fader on the drum track, the dry drum sound and the effect should both go silent. If you set the Aux 1 return track to Pre-Fader with the fader on Track 1 pulled down, you should hear only the sound of the wet reverb tails the drum track is producing.

Get a right angle for your boompoleís bottom

Audio cables donít last forever. When a cable endures a lot of stress on the area near its connector jack, the cableís life will be shortened dramatically. This is often a destructive factor when operating a cabled boompole that has an XLR output jack at the very bottom end of the pole. By using a right angle microphone cable on this bottom connector, your cable wonít sustain unnecessary abuse. This cable from Audio Technica has a 90 degree right angle female XLR connector. This item will get the end of the cable out of harmís way when you rest the pole upright on its end between takes. A nice plus is that this also makes it easier to manage when you are taking a short break, as it will rest flat against the ground.

DJís: Preserve your vinyl collection with a time code disc system

Vinyl enthusiasts often own records that they don’t worry too much about getting their hands on to mix and scratch, while other records in their collections get treated with more delicacy and care. Sometimes you just don’t want to put your oily fingers on a rare or precious album that you cherish. Time code disc systems aren’t just for people who want to scratch their iTunes library. Once you digitize a piece of vinyl, you can then use a time code disc system to scratch and mix it to your heart’s content, while your copy of the album sits safely in its sleeve. You can make a healthy habit of capturing your favorite records to a hard drive. This way you can go wild scratching them, and you will have created an archived copy. When digitizing, try experimenting with higher sampling and bit rates. To learn more about digitizing, check out this Pro Audio Update article. Check out these time code disc systems:

Rane Serato Scratch Live

Traktor Scratch

M-Audio Torq

Numark Virtual Vinyl

PCDJ Reflex DJ

Kick off your shoes and mix for a while

Itís a common practice in live theater sound mixing to take off your shoes while you work. Live theater is an area of audio that requires extra sensitive attention paid to noise. You want the audience to pay full attention to the play, so any mutable sound, even a footstep in a sectioned off sound booth should be as silent as possible. The same practice can be applied to a recording studio or a home studio. A sensitive condenser microphone can pick up even the slightest sounds and rumbles. For those of us who donít like exposing our socks to the floor, Garfield makes a set of foam pads called Hush Heels that stick to the bottom of your footwear to soften and silence your steps. Hush Heels are also used by production crews on set in film and video for the same purpose.

Feel free to speak to one of our Pro Audio experts at 1-800-416-5090 or visit www.bhproaudio.com today!

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