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Author Topic: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR  (Read 2970 times)

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Offline Jeremy Lykins

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Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« on: June 10, 2016, 09:02:49 PM »
I just got an Ugly II and I was wondering what the levels should be set at on the preamp and recorders.  I did a few searches and couldn't find a thread for the preamp or anyone asking about these recorders with it.  I have a CA-9000 and always have that set at +10 and then set my R-09's levels between 18 and 24.  I'll be taping a jazz concert on Monday and I'll most likely be near the center in the front row, and it's a trio of piano, bass, and drums so the drums are going to be the loudest part of the show (and the part that will risk clipping).  This won't be in the open so I won't be able to check my levels or fiddle with anything, so what should I set the Ugly and R-09 at?  The Ugly has six levels to choose from, so I'm guessing that I should use level 3 or 4 and then use my recorder to fine tune it, but a general range would be helpful for me to start from.  And I'm not going to use it Monday but I bought the R-09HR used on eBay to use with the Ugly, but I've never used it before and I don't want to go with all new stuff and risk screwing up the recording, so what levels should I set that at when I use it in the future?

Offline andante

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2016, 01:59:44 PM »
According to the webpage for the UGLY 2:

http://www.church-audio.com/viewitem.php?productid=34

"The gain control provides 6 gain settings: 0db, 10db, 15db, 30db, 35db and 40db"...so the 2nd setting "10db" is +10db just like on your CA-9000

I would use the same settings as your recent Branford shows (really nice btw) but if you use the collar-mounted omnis you probably already know to try and get them positioned on either side of your neck so there is some sort of baffle between them.

There doesn't seem to be a world of difference between the R-09 and the R-09hr so similar settings will probably work fine.  Compare them at home recording your stereo or be a little conservative with your levels on your first run with the R-09hr.

http://www.rolandus.com/products/r-09/specifications/

http://www.rolandus.com/products/r-09hr/specifications/



Offline Jeremy Lykins

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2016, 09:49:45 PM »
According to the webpage for the UGLY 2:

I feel so dumb--I didn't even think about checking the Church Audio website.  I was expecting to get a 9200 and did all of my research on that, but I got sent the Ugly by accident (I don't know if Chris upgraded me for free or if he switched my order with someone else, so I'm not even sure that this is mine).  It sounds like they're basically the same, but I didn't know what the different settings were on the knob so thank you for the link.

And here's the guy that I'll be taping on Monday.  I screwed up my recording the last time that I taped him at this venue (only hit record once instead of twice) so I'm already nervous about the upcoming show.
Eldar Djangirov Trio:  http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=576599

Offline andante

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2016, 07:42:51 AM »
The UGLY II preamp is a nice upgrade, especially for you as it has the right and left channel gain pots so you can easily fix any gain drift (like with your CA9000) as the unit ages.  Of course the main benefit of the pots is the ability to adjust for microphone imbalances.  The compact size is just icing on the cake.

Maybe it was easier for him to just make one big batch of UGLY 2 preamps for everyone waiting in his backlog.

Good luck on your recording and please seed it on DIME or TTS like you did last time. :)

Offline magmazing

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2016, 05:10:17 AM »
I always have my R-09HR levels set in the middle (40). On my Ugly II I'm usually at 0 or +10 mostly because I'm usually recording at loud nightclubs, arenas or festivals.
I shoot concert video and post my footage to YouTube
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Offline Jeremy Lykins

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2016, 10:07:09 AM »
Everything went great last night and the recording turned out pretty good.  I set the preamp at +10 and my R-09 at 22 and left it at that, but in the future I think that I'll use +15 and then figure out where to set the R-09 or R-09HR.  Here are links to the show:

http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=587034
http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=126483

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2016, 11:05:06 AM »
There doesn't seem to be a world of difference between the R-09 and the R-09hr so similar settings will probably work fine.

Not a lot of difference in some ways, however there is a large difference in the numeric display values corresponding to input level.  On the original R-09, the input level range went from (0 to 40) IIRC, and the never below input level to avoid brick-walling the line input was (9), but not setting it below (10) is safer.  I used to keep my R-09s set around (13-15).

Not sure what the corresponding numbers are for the HR version, but it's input level range went from (0 to 100) IIRC [edited to correct, range is actually] (0-80), so the never below input level to avoid brick-walling setting is likely to be considerably higher - probably around 20 or so, but I can't confirm that.   A R-09HR TS user may confirm that.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 03:59:10 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline andante

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2016, 11:40:30 AM »
Everything went great last night and the recording turned out pretty good.  I set the preamp at +10 and my R-09 at 22 and left it at that, but in the future I think that I'll use +15 and then figure out where to set the R-09 or R-09HR.  Here are links to the show:

http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=587034
http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=126483

Sounds really nice!

I'm a jazzhead so I love a good piano trio.

Did you recently acquire CA-14 omnis or is that a typo?

At first I thought the levels seemed a bit low but when the drummer takes a solo the peaks get pretty high.

Thanks for sharing your recordings! :)

Offline andante

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2016, 11:46:24 AM »
There doesn't seem to be a world of difference between the R-09 and the R-09hr so similar settings will probably work fine.

Not a lot of difference in some ways, however there is a large difference in the numeric display values corresponding to input level.  On the original R-09, the input level range went from (0 to 40) IIRC, and the never below input level to avoid brick-walling the line input was (9), but not setting it below (10) is safer.  I used to keep my R-09s set around (13-15).

Not sure what the corresponding numbers are for the HR version, but it's input level range went from (0 to 100) IIRC, so the never below input level to avoid brick-walling setting is likely to be considerably higher - probably around 20 or so, but I can't confirm that.   A R-09HR TS user may confirm that.

Thanks for the correction.  I didn't realize that there was a never below input level to avoid brick-walling input level to avoid.  There seem to be so many odd little hidden quirks with these digital recorders; so I very much appreciate people like yourself who take the time to share their experience.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2016, 12:15:52 PM »
Happy to help.

If set lower than that, the input stage of the recorder can be overloaded causing distortion, without the meters indicating an obvious overload condition.  The meters will sort of plateau without bouncing as much as they normally would, and never actually reach all the way to 0dbfs.

That's a relatively standard behavior for most of these small handheld recorders.  The trick is identifying that do not go below setting, which is different for each recorder.
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Offline Jeremy Lykins

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2016, 08:09:27 PM »
Sounds really nice!

I'm a jazzhead so I love a good piano trio.

Did you recently acquire CA-14 omnis or is that a typo?

At first I thought the levels seemed a bit low but when the drummer takes a solo the peaks get pretty high.

Thanks for sharing your recordings! :)

Thanks!  I bought the CA-14 omnis with the Ugly, so I guess that I need to update my signature line here.  And I'm new to listening to jazz and recording it, so I'm not sure what the best way to record it is because of all the dynamic range.  I really like getting in the front row so that there aren't any people in front of me and also because I can pick up the quieter parts, but since I'm so close to the drums they can overpower the recording.  I've pretty much only recorded jazz at big theaters on local college campuses and I haven't tried any jazz clubs yet (KC has some good ones I want to go to), but I did record a really good jazz piano trio at a cathedral here in town last year.  I thought that I already had it up on etree but I didn't, so I went ahead and uploaded it today:

Addison Frei at Grace Cathedral:  http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=587043

Offline andante

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2016, 10:32:48 PM »

Thanks!  I bought the CA-14 omnis with the Ugly, so I guess that I need to update my signature line here.  And I'm new to listening to jazz and recording it, so I'm not sure what the best way to record it is because of all the dynamic range.  I really like getting in the front row so that there aren't any people in front of me and also because I can pick up the quieter parts, but since I'm so close to the drums they can overpower the recording.  I've pretty much only recorded jazz at big theaters on local college campuses and I haven't tried any jazz clubs yet (KC has some good ones I want to go to), but I did record a really good jazz piano trio at a cathedral here in town last year.  I thought that I already had it up on etree but I didn't, so I went ahead and uploaded it today:

Addison Frei at Grace Cathedral:  http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=587043

I grabbed your Addison Frei show last year and really enjoyed listening to it.  Great player! IIRC it had a very nice balance of instruments - very ethereal in sound and concept.

I wonder if the club classical guys might have some good advice for recording music with a wide dynamic range.  Although they seem to mostly discuss recording their own ensembles with multiple microphones on stands, someone might have some tips for recording with a small portable rig.

On a related note, jazzgtrl4 recently posted a very nice jazz organ trio on Kickdown Central with Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings & Bill Stewart.   His recording method for this show doesn't help you much though because he just plopped his Marantz PMD661 recorder right down on the stage!   I don't know why it turned out so great but it did, even the balance is terrific.  The internal mics on the Marantz are apparently really good.  It's worth a listen:

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=177498.0

Offline magmazing

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2016, 10:46:35 PM »
R-09HR input levels go from 0 to 80 just so y'all know.
I shoot concert video and post my footage to YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/magmazing
http://www.youtube.com/victoriabcmusicscene

My Current Equipment:
Canon HF S100 Camcorder
Canon 70D dSLR
Panasonic ZS100 digital camera
Sony HX10V Digital Camera
Edirol R-09HR Digital Audio Recorder
Church Audio CA-11 microphones

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2016, 09:28:29 AM »
[snip]
I wonder if the club classical guys might have some good advice for recording music with a wide dynamic range.  Although they seem to mostly discuss recording their own ensembles with multiple microphones on stands, someone might have some tips for recording with a small portable rig.

On a related note, jazzgtrl4 recently posted a very nice jazz organ trio on Kickdown Central with Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings & Bill Stewart.   His recording method for this show doesn't help you much though because he just plopped his Marantz PMD661 recorder right down on the stage!   I don't know why it turned out so great but it did, even the balance is terrific.
[snip]

Choosing an optimal recording position is the number one influence we have on making a good sounding recording. Recording a small instrumental jazz combo from on-stage or stage-lip usually places the microphones close to the ideal distance from the sources to balance the direct sound from the instruments against the reverberant sound from the room.   That direct/reverberant balance is one of the most fundamental aspects of any recording.  There is no substitute for good location.

One important aspect for jazz and classical recording is to set your recording levels so as to leave sufficient of headroom.  Besides the music itself typically having far more dynamic range within it than other styles of music, the sound from on-stage or stage-lip is the pure acoustic radiated directly from the instruments, without passing through a PA system.  It's highly dynamic, and will exhibit extreme transients far greater in amplitude than what is experienced from a recording position out in the audience.  Set your recording levels low enough so that the most extreme drum hits won't clip (or nearby applause if that's louder), then if necessary readjust the level of the recording later.  The drums (and applause) will sound harsher and louder on a recording where the sharp peaking transients are clipping slightly (and those transients are so fast they may not be obviously apparent on the recorders meters while recording), than on a recording where they have sufficient room to peak without being clipped.
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Offline Jeremy Lykins

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Re: Settings for CA-Ugly II and Edirol R-09 + R-09HR
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2016, 07:14:52 PM »
Recording a small instrumental jazz combo from on-stage or stage-lip usually places the microphones close to the ideal distance from the sources to balance the direct sound from the instruments against the reverberant sound from the room. 

One important aspect for jazz and classical recording is to set your recording levels so as to leave sufficient of headroom.  [...] Set your recording levels low enough so that the most extreme drum hits won't clip (or nearby applause if that's louder), then if necessary readjust the level of the recording later.  The drums (and applause) will sound harsher and louder on a recording where the sharp peaking transients are clipping slightly (and those transients are so fast they may not be obviously apparent on the recorders meters while recording), than on a recording where they have sufficient room to peak without being clipped.

That was a very helpful post.  I taped Branford Marsalis a couple of months ago in two different venues from the front row and the first night I accidentally set my recording level too high (+28, which is the highest I've ever had it (I think)) and the drums did clip momentarily at times but it didn't show up on the R-09 during the show and I think that recording sounds better than the next night where I had them lower (between +18 and +22, I don't remember) and amplified it a few decibels with Audacity.  I'm biased toward that night for several other reasons, so I'm probably not a good judge, but I do like it better.  I just wish that there was a way to set your levels high and not get hurt by drums or loud claps, because some of my favorite recordings that I've made are the ones back when I was taping at 16/44.1 and pushing my levels as high as I could when recording...but again, that could just be my biases talking since they're old favorites.

 

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