soundmanjohn

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About soundmanjohn

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  • Birthday 10/02/1951

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    http://www.johnleonard.co.uk

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  1. Kevin, I use these people: https://www.asoundeffect.com and also these people: http://www.sonniss.com/sound-effects/ to sell my libraries. They expect well-prepared files and metadata (Soundminer helps) and will take a cut of the sale price. Be warned that the market seems to be saturated at the moment, so your material needs either to be very different or very well presented; preferably both. Bigger (lots of huge files) seems to be better, almost regardless of quality of content, at the moment, but I guess that'll settle down. The major effects guys sell from their own web-sites, using custom set-ups and I tried this for a while until a ridiculous tax law aimed at big business came in and screwed everything up for small traders in Europe. As you're in the USA, this needn't worry you and I used these guys https://getdpd.com/ to set up a web distribution service. Not cheap, but very efficient. Best of luck, John
  2. Well, Len (the proprietor of Core Sound) has done some testing and comparisons. Here's the gist from the Facebook VR list. He was a bit more open with me, but I'm under an NDA. Start quote: "We've recently measured our production Ambeo and its "ambisonic correction filter.") In addition to its boosting noise level by its high frequency EQ, our recent measurements show that the Sennheiser Ambeo "ambisonic correction filter" adds modulation noise that degrades the audio S/N substantially. It also does a few other interesting things that are not optimal." And later, in answer to a comment about the TetraMic's noise performance: "The noise we discovered in the Ambeo plugin is modulation noise. "Modulation noise" means that it is imposed on the audio signal, and not something you'd hear if there was silence (no audio signal). The noise that you're hearing when you record with TetraMic is probably noise from your microphone pre-amp, as you compensate for the lower output of the TetraMic capsules. If you did your gain compensation digitally in your DAW, or used the best quality microphone pre-amps (like the Metric Halo ULN-8 or something similar in noise performance), you'd likely not hear what you're describing. Then you'd only hear the difference when recording the very quietest sound sources; then capsule self-noise dominates. For example, that would be when recording hammered dulcimers in a very quiet recording studio." TetraMic's B-format frequency response is -2 dB at 30 Hz. Our measurements show that Ambeo is -3 dB at 90 Hz." End quote. I'm sure there will be more at some point, and once I get my demo Ambeo back again, I'll do a comparison test with the Ambeo and a TetraMic and possibly an ST450 as well. Len's point about a decent pre-amp is the key here: I do use a Metric Halo ULN-8 with my TetraMic. It needs bags of noise-free gain to compensate for its rather low output level. All the best, John
  3. I don't think it's generally available yet: as a beta tester, I get my files from a different location. There may be a reason Svein hasn't released it to the wild yet, but if you drop him a line, he may well be happy to point you in the right direction. Oh, and with regard to the self-noise of the Ambeo and SPS200, I suspect it's actually more to do with the recorder than the mic in my case. I was using a Tascam 680 with the SPS200, as I hadn't quite saved up enough for my current SD788, which I used with the Ambeo. Rather a lot of difference in the pre-amps... All the best, John
  4. I had one on loan from Sennheiser for a couple of weeks and was generally impressed with how it behaved, although it doesn't measure up to a Soundfield. It's well built, which makes it quite heavy (just over 400 grams: for comparison, a Soundfield ST450 is 291 grams and the TetraMic is 89 grams), uses a screw-fit DIN connector, which feels a little cheap - definitely not a Lemo - and quite chunky. Rycote have just announced a Cyclone that works for the Ambeo and I got hands-on with it yesterday at BVE in London, so location work shouldn't be a problem. They've made a right-angle connector for the mic connection, which is very neat and helps with the fact that the mic is also pretty long at 212mm without the connector and 270mm with. I used it outside on a reasonable chilly night in a noisy scenario with no problems, and more recentlly outdoors on a still day for some close-up birdsong which gave good results, although in both cases the sound-field is a little less focused than I would like. Sennheiser claims a response of 20-20kHz, but I'd say it rolls off pretty steeply at the bottom end from about 80Hz. There's no overall calibration file for each microphone, which is the same as for the SPS200, but not for the TetraMic, which comes with a calibration file to even out the response and my TetraMic goes all the way down, which is both good and bad, obviously. The Ambeo has some form of preamp built in and is balanced out and powered via standard 48V Phantom and the output level is perfectly fine into the mic input of an SD788, for example. My ST450 outputs at line level from the control box and needs 12 via a Hirose, which makes it less portable than the Ambeo or the SPS200, but I like the extra features available with the control box. The Ambeo, the SPS200 and the TetraMic all output in what's called A-Format, which is basically just the capsule outputs: in order to get useable audio from it, you need to do a conversion from A-Format to B-Format. Sennheiser provides a plug-in to do that conversion and it allows you to set rotation, mic position and a low-cut filter. It also lets you choose the B-Format output; either the older FuMa format, or what's becoming the new standard, AmbiX, which is nice. However, I found that it didn't play nicely with my standard workflow, which is Nuendo-based, and I had to make the conversion from A-B in TwistedWave. Luckily, Svein Berige at Harpex has a beta of his brilliant plug-in which handles both the SPS and the Ambeo A-Format inputs as well as standard Soundfield B-Format and a whole bunch of other refinements and may soon handle the TetraMic as well. Self-noise is difficult to judge: I'd say probably a bit better than the SPS, but that's based on memory, really. The TetraMic needs a superaltive pre-amp, because the output level is pretty low and you need the gain whacked up on quiet atmospheres, so the lower-cost recorders are not really compatible. They're a bit scarce at the moment, so I was only able to hold on to my test version for a short period before it had to go back to Sennheiser to be passed on to someone else, but I'm hoping to get one back later on this year for some music recording comparisons with the Soundfield and the TetraMic. I also have a comparison test with the Ambeo and the Zoom H2n in ambience mode - horizontal only, obviously, and that's quite interesting... If I didn't already own two tetrahedral arrays, I'd seriously consider buying an Ambeo for sound effects work, but not for music recording. Regards, John
  5. Found this whilst looking up music related items for Midnight Cowboy. IMDB lists the boom op as Robert Rogow. John
  6. Izoptope are having assorted sales until the end of the year and one of the items on deep sale is the Advanced version of Izotope RX 5, which is down to $749. Weirdly, if you already own RX 5 standard, the upgrade price to Advanced is $849 with no sale discount available, so it's currently $100 cheaper to buy Advanced outright than to upgrade from standard. No idea why this should be, but the same applies to the RX Post Production Suite, currently down to $999 for the full program, while the upgrade from RX 5 standard is still at $1,149. I've had this confirmed by Izotope; see below. Hi John, Thanks for reaching out. You’re right, the current promotion (through December 31) actually saves you more than the upgrade coupon, and the upgrade coupon cannot be combined with the promotion. Sorry for any confusion this causes.
  7. A while ago I bought a couple of very cheap electret mics from a company called Karma Mics - http://www.karmamics.com/shop/Condenser-Mics/ - a pair with clips for $26, plus postage to the UK. I bought them as throw-aways for a car recording project that I had planned where it was highly likely that the mics might get damaged and I didn't want to risk anything expensive. In the end, the project fell through and they languished in the mic drawer. I eventually hauled them out just to see how they sounded and ended up using them to save a vocal overload from a wireless mic (not under my control) and was quite surprised at how well they behaved. I've since used them for sound effects recordings in assorted odd locations where I wouldn't risk my Schoeps or Sennheisers and they turn in usable, if not spectacular results. Checking the website, they're now marked as out of stock, so I guess the Chinese have found a more lucrative market, but sometimes a cheap and cheerful mic can be a useful addition to the mic locker. Cheers, John
  8. His name may not be familiar to those of you in the USA, but Adrian Kerridge was a leading pop music engineer and producer in the 1960s and later a pioneer in the field of music recording for film scores here in the UK; and for those of you who have used CADAC consoles, the first 'A' is for Adrian. He ran two major studios here in London, now both sadly gone: CTS Wembley - http://www.malonedigital.com/studios-cts.htm and Landsdowne Studios - http://www.philsbook.com/lansdowne.htm It was pleasure to meet with him on various occasions, both in studios, mostly when being my wife's 'cello porter, and on a more professional level at AES meetings. There's a full obituary here: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/those-we-have-lost-memorials-rips-obituaries/1114601-rip-adrian-kerridge.html Regards, John
  9. The Daily Mail is currently being sued by Melania Trump for suggesting she was an illegal immigrant and a sex-worker. Could there possibly be a connection here? https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/01/melania-trump-daily-mail-lawsuit And as Rich says, the paper doesn't exactly have a good reputation for accuracy in their stories: they went for a friend of mine in the most spectacular way with the biggest load of snide, suggestive bullsh*t I've ever read. She got a 'clarification' in a tiny paragraph a few months later, as far as I know. The editor is a foul-mouthed misogynist git whose paper regular prints pictures of teenage daughters of celebs with captions drooling over how "all grown up" they are. Pond scum, really, who's paid ten times more than the prime minister of the UK for feeding the paranoia of its prejudiced readers.
  10. I have an MK8, along with assorted other Schoeps capsules and 4 CMC6 bodies, but I also have four KC5 extension cables, so I can make a reasonably low profile M/S pair if I need to. A CCM8 just means that you have a CCM8, whereas a CMC & MK8 means that you have many other possibilities. Regards, John
  11. Pretty sure that the power connector is a 5 pin locking Preh DIN connector with 240 degree pin spacing. We used to use these all the time in theatre, before Sennheiser became the norm. You could also take the ECM50 apart and replace the electret capsule for rather less than the cost of buying a new microphone. Bettersound are still going and are just down the road from me here in London. Let me know if you have communication problems and I'll see what I can do. All the best, John
  12. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of laws and regulations that will have to change or be abandoned, from food labelling to the cleanliness of our beaches. Employment laws will change: current employment rights and protections will most likely go, depending on who we get as a new government. Vast swathes of EU funding for the arts in general and the film industry in particular will go. And a whole load of other stuff that neither side bothered to address in the run-up to the referendum and the Leave contingent are only just beginning to come to terms with. A prime example of this is the county of Cornwall in the south west of the UK, which voted overwhelmingly to leave, and whose chief executive is now demanding that the £60 million that they will no longer receive from the EU in subsidies be replaced by the UK government. The only person who seems genuinely happy is Trump, who sees the drop in the exchange rate between the US and the UK as an incitement for more people to come to his golf course in Scotland. And I've got a terribe pain in all the diodes down my left-hand side... John Just seen this Guardian article: https://goo.gl/bxIkER
  13. And of course, mixed on one of Dick Swettenham's lovely Helios desks. John
  14. QLab's pretty much the de facto sound, video and (in some cases) show-control software for theatre these days. It pretty much stomped all over the competition when it arrived some years ago and has been regularly updated, with much input from its users. It does rely quite heavily on the audio and video capabilities built into the Mac's OS which can occasionally lead to bugs when Apple changes something that been standard for ages. I've been using it for many years, since a beta version came my way, and if you watched the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, much of the sound element, put together by a colleague, was controlled by QLab. A typical theatre installation will run a pair of Mac Minis for redundancy with a changeover switch, although it's rarely needed. Video-heavy shows will use Mac Pro machines for their extra processing headroom. Early on, I had a job persuading one of the major rental companies here in the UK to build a system for me (the first QLab system in London's West End for a show starring Orlando Bloom) but they did it as a special favour. Most playback systems were Windows-based back then, whereas most designers were using Macs for content creation. These days it's rare to find a theatre show that doesn't run QLab. Part of the success of the system is that it's scaleable from the basic, free version, to the all singing and dancing professional version, plus the fact that you can rent a licence for a few bucks a day, if you don't want to lay out the cash for a full licence. Chris Ashworth, who runs Figure 53, is a very nice chap, as are the folks who work with him. Regards, John
  15. Director to composer: "Nick, there's something wrong with that cue." Composer: "What, exactly?" Director: "I can still hear it."