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**** Special News Bulletin ****

As you may have or not noticed, I have all but vanished from the bloggery world and a few other's as well. Though fret not as because I am lost no more than I ever usually am, which is most of the time. Anyway, I have just returned from a full week of audio nerdery bliss, hanging out with the talented humans at EAW. Oooooh, speaker heaven! The days are numbered and soon comes the all new EAW MicroWedge and more as well. New designs, new prototypes being considered. This was the most comprehensive interaction with them so far. I am being welcomed into the inner workings of a machine of mind boggling complexity. Each department has an amazing talent, each also is cared for and run by unique and interesting humans with a true passion for what they create. Maybe I can even do a "Meet the MicroWedge Design Team" bloggery post.

So, on my way to EAW I made a 5 day stop in hang out with Bart, Niki and Robin and build the super secret prototypes of a potential new MicroWedge product. Cross your fingers!

**** Wood Working Super Tip ****

If you want the best of the very best wood working tools money can buy, check out

The concept of precision fences where you move the saw rather than try and move the whole sheet of wood. Dust collection that allows you to router edges with nearly no dust. Plunge circular saws that follow the precision fence and cut the same line at any angle, oh, and check out the Domino Joiner! Thank you Bart for the cool prototypes and lessons in using those cool tools.

**** End Bulletin and Tip ****


The state of balance. Beautiful flowers attract insects to devour them. Hard working wealth attained is magnetic to those that seeking an easy grab to the top. A plethora of bunnies becomes a feeding ground for coyote's. Extended pure pleasure breeds weakness while prolonged unrelenting stress creates blind viciousness. To stop and look at the other side. 10 bricks of building and 5 bricks to to prevent the flooding. Seatbelts and insurance policies not for the "just in case" but more accurately for the inevitable. Only in question is the magnitude of the counter-growth event. It will rain, the car will be dented, someone or thing will consider us to feed upon. There is no "if," only a what and when and whether it is significant, irrelevant or somewhere in between. Equilibrium is a given, it will occur. I am only faced with the choice of whether to accept or deny it and the option of whether to dedicate reasonable resource toward preparedness. Yet to over-prepare is to invite stagnation and to under-prepare is to live in a gamble. If only I could keep remembering to step back and see things clearly. If only that was not one of the eternal challenges.

This natural preemptive attempt at equilibrium is what creates the desire for societies to create things like fire departments and police forces. Speaking of police, I have learned long ago that it is much better to join them than try and beat them as they tend to be very vigilant in their endeavors. Unfortunately for me, though I try very hard to never do anything wrong, my experience has been that I tend to be a police magnet. So working toward the "just in case" meet my new best friend:

Regrettably, he was on duty and could not join me for my next adventure into confetti land:

Aargh! Another life fact, eternal constant of the ages that is undeniable is that cell phones have a very short and unpredictable life span. My cell phone came down with a life threatening illness, yet again and off to the emergency room we headed. Prognosis: "I am sorry to inform me but you must operate immediately." "The bad news is that my cell phone needed USB Jack transplant, the good news is that suitable donor has recently passed away."


Talk about soldering some tiny things, this was a rough one! I had to take pictures and then zoom in just to see if I did it right.

*** Simple Sound Nerd Speak ****

In pro live audio, gain structure refers to the alignment of the the various electronic audio levels as they pass through the equipment on their way from microphone to loudspeaker.

If you run any gain stage too high, you will get into distortion. Too low and excessive noise becomes an issue. So there is an optimum range where you operate at fairly high levels with out overloading the circuits. Finding an optimum gain level for the gear combination you are operating requires a bit of knowledge of the gear, the dynamics of the signals your dealing with as well as some hands on experience to master.

When a good gain structure is set up, all the knobs tend to be in "comfortable positions," Faders are neither crunched to the top nor wallowing near the bottom of their travel limits, the signal meters would read clear signal without pegging and there should not be a need for "make up gain" as the signal levels are well balanced throughout the system.

Finally, a well structured gain exhibits minimal hiss, buzz and noise and no undesirable overload distortion.

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

Dave Rat


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sama on :

Hi Dave. Great to hear news from you. It's always a challenge to step back and see things clearly. We tend to go on and on and forgetting to see the whole picture. I wish you don't forget that on your new MicroWedge prototypes. Have a happy new year. Greetings from Brazil. sama. ps: when are you coming back on tour?

Andrew Curtin on :

Great to see that you are blogging once again! It was a pretty big gap between this entry and your last. It's also great to hear the news on your MicroWedge. When I was 14 I thought EAW was amazing because the company that I worked for owned a pair of LA 325's and they sounded amazing. I was in Edmonton Alberta Canada for the weekend and stopped by HMV for a few minutes to browse. I quickly saw the R.H.C.P: Slane Castle DVD and finally decided to buy it since I'm a huge fan of the Chilli Peppers and thought maybe you mixed for the crowd. It was such a great DVD and sure enough I saw your name in the credits. Must of been an amazing experience for you. Well I look forward to whatever you have to post next, good luck with everything that is happing in your life and hopefully I will get to try out your MicroWedge when it hits the market! Andrew.

Andy Peters on :

Hey, a Rat-branded Metcal soldering station. That's pro! None of that Hakko crap!

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