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Oct 4th Day 499 - Breathing Fresh Air

**** Dormant Roadie Babble ****

So sorting through some pics and since Leeds was the last show I was pretty pre occupied with wrapping up odds and ends so not a lot of photos. I did find these. The magnetic attraction fire does seem to go quite well with music. Add in some food and it somehow highlights the human-ness of it all.

Oh and found this from Glasgow I think. Wow, this is one heck of a facility! "Man and woman make baby in shower." And even the slippery floor warning, so be careful.

So I am hanging out and a critter cruises by in the night in the back yard. The combination of curiosity and hunter instinct sets in and so I decide to trap whatever it is and wake up to find this little guy.

Cute little baby possum and very stinky as well. Well, I don't mind 'em running around so I did what any considerate person would do, I let him go in my neighbors yard.

Been getting a bunch o requests to take a look round the home I occupy so here are a few. I while back I bought some old recording studio sound baffles and combined them with some excess shirts from past tours and gigs I have done. This would be in the dining room. That purple shirt with the satan on it says Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Pearl Jam." Imagine if that tour happened now how big it would be!!

My home office.

And as we head to the Rat Shop I find Ben de-prepping the Peppers FOH console as it re enters the rental inventory. All those wires were in the back of my board, yikes!

**** Sound Nerd Speak ****

Dynamic vs. Compressed.

So a while back I was pondering mixing live shows, as I strangely so often do, and I started analyze the varying aspects of dynamics in live reverberant fields. Is there something more legitimate than personal preference that would add credibility to using compression? The studio humans and mastering labs use a tom of it, but comparatively us live engineers use fairly little. I know it works well to control the variations in the band's playing and helps with smoothing the sound but there is yet another advantage of compression that is not so readily apparent.

On the surface it is quite obvious that compression can be used on bass to reduce the differential between the louder and softer notes resulting in a more consistent sound. Same with vocals and I put comps on guitars as well. I even take it further and run kick and snare into a subgroup that has a bit of compression on it to keep the two locked in a bit more volume-wise to each other.

So what got me started again on this train of thought was not long ago I was listening to a super punchy horn loaded rig. Boom, crack, boom, crack, as the drums jump out at me and they do sound cool. But I also know from experience that the reverb decay time from the loud 'on top' super punchy sounds blurs the intelligibility of everything else. If an uncompressed snare is 10 db 'on-top' of the mix, then the correspondingly loud roar of the room-reverb-decay-level from that snare would hurt overall intelligibility long after the original snare hit has been heard and ended. Conversely, that means that if the instruments are all compressed to a fairly narrow volume range, they then would stay at an even level consistently above the room reverberation rather than the loud sounds setting off room reverberations louder than the following softer sounds.

What I am getting at here is that controlling the differential between the loudest and softest sounds not only improves intelligibility by reducing volume inconsistencies, it is also helpful in dealing with reverberant room acoustics. The sacrifice? Well, you loose some of that slam- hit eye-blinking impact. But hey, the upside is your mix will sound a bit more like an album, the audience will be able to hear the various instruments and vocals better especially in reverberant rooms, and you will be able to get more overall volume from the PA with less clip lights flashing.

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**** End Sound Nerd Speak ****

Dave Rat