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Author Topic: What on earth happened here?  (Read 1761 times)

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Offline melontracks

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What on earth happened here?
« on: June 14, 2019, 10:36:43 PM »
I taped a show last night with the exact same setup that I've had success with many, many times over the last decade or so. It was a hip hop show, and after the first act, I did something i'd never done before, and set my recorder to roll off below 40hz. When i got home and listened to both the opener (no low-cut) and the headliner, the recordings were awful. Any time the bass came on strong, the sound suffers a horrible distortion, which at first i thought was phasing, but it's on each track. And the distortion is not limited to the low end. I put in a shelf at 140hz (which is unacceptably high, but i just wanted to hear it) and the distortion was still very clear.

I was taping at a venue that i tape at frequently, with the same gear and arrangement I am accustomed to. A pair of Church audio CA-11 omnis straight into a Tascam DR-05. 24 bit wav, 48k sample. I'll not elaborate on the mic placement except to say they were on me where they have functioned flawlessly countless times, standing at the apex of an equilateral triangle formed by the stacks. As always, on the opening track i set the input high enough to barely clip, then gave myself enough headroom that they never clipped again, checking at least a few times for each track.

The bass was really forward, but not what i'd call exceptional. I've definitely gotten fine tapes in similar circumstances. I've uploaded a small sample to dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/s/x4n3zzg8e1w23lq/Cut%2040hz1.mp3?dl=0, hoping someone can listen and give me some idea what went wrong. It sounds like horrific clipping, but i can say with total certainty that this track didn't clip while i was recording; i watched it pretty closely, and taken straight from the recorder, i was able to add 2db of amplification to it in Audacity with the "allow clipping" box un-ticked.

Is it possible that my 10+ year old DR-05, which has seen a lot of service, could be finally dying? About six months ago the headphone-out jack quit functioning properly (to where recordings I play from it to headphones sound like crap, but play just fine from elsewhere after the file is transferred to a laptop).

Any advice here is greatly appreciated.

Chris

Offline beatkilla

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2019, 11:16:59 PM »
No battery box?

Church specifically says all his mics need 9 volts from what i recall.


Offline melontracks

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 11:42:26 PM »
No battery box?

Church specifically says all his mics need 9 volts from what i recall.


I've made dozens of recording with and without the CA-9100. My general rule is that if the show is quiet, i take the pre-amp...if it's gonna be loud, i use the mic power from the recorder. It's always worked fine. Mic power was on for this taping.

Offline heathen

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2019, 11:44:15 PM »
Are you sure the mics are still functioning properly? 
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline melontracks

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2019, 12:10:30 AM »
Are you sure the mics are still functioning properly?

That was my first thought, and I split the tracks and listened to each individually, which confirmed that the problem wasn't phasing (i think that was a long-shot in this case anyway) and that the problem was identical in each mic. Could both mics have failed the same way at the same time? Seems almost impossible.

I'd used these mics as my spaced-omni stage mics directly into my DR-WL22 two weeks ago to make a tape of Slaid Cleaves and Chojo Jacque with great results. This is a matrix recording of that and a pair of cards in a DIN pattern (recorded on my DR-710D): https://www.dropbox.com/s/dusbf81jvule6q6/SlaidCleaves2019-05-26t03.mp3?dl=0 No battery box/no pre-amp. And it's about 50% of the matrix.

Lest people think this show overloaded the mics, here's a recording i made with the exact same setup in the exact same circumstances in the same location at the same venue of one of the loudest bands on the planet: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ifkg6aoxr4ex6ph/TheBody2018-07-21t03.mp3?dl=0 Any distortion you hear on that is because these guys like to overload everything. Even then, i had no problems. There is no way the decibels at this hip hop show came close that performance by The Body...I barely needed earplugs last night.

I'm so confused.

Offline obaaron

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2019, 01:08:29 AM »
Was the 1/8” plug in all the way? Maybe the internals were on if the plug wasn’t fully inserted and overloaded
Mics:  Gefell M20,M21/sms2000/nbob | Schoeps MK4V/cmc6/nbob | AKG c460b/c480b/a60/Naiant actives - ck61,62,63,69 ;ck1,3,8;ck1x,2x,3x/MK46 | Neumann KM140's/Nick Mod LC3/Naiant PFA| AT853, AT933 | CA-11c,o
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Offline melontracks

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2019, 02:32:01 AM »
Was the 1/8” plug in all the way? Maybe the internals were on if the plug wasn’t fully inserted and overloaded

The plug was definitely in all the way. I had the recorder in my hand through most of the show with the hold switch on. i have a little scrap of gaffer tape over the "rec" light so i can pretty much hold it in my hand to catch the clipping light come on without even looking down most of the time and still go unnoticed. I guess i'm going to have to try to reproduce it at home with different recorders and the same mics to see which it was?

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2019, 06:55:32 AM »
No battery box?

Church specifically says all his mics need 9 volts from what i recall.


I've made dozens of recording with and without the CA-9100. My general rule is that if the show is quiet, i take the pre-amp...if it's gonna be loud, i use the mic power from the recorder. It's always worked fine. Mic power was on for this taping.

That’s backwards in terms of mic power. My understanding (from discussions with Chris) is that those mics need 9v in order to fully perform max spl wise. I haven’t listened but my guess is that the actual microphones were overloading. I’ve been in a similar situation, where the low end content at a show like that pushed my mics farther than something I perceived to be louder. Omnis are particularly susceptible to low end, and the 40hz roll off will have no effect on the actual microphone response.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 06:58:29 AM by opsopcopolis »
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
Recorders: Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-05, Sony Hi-MD

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2019, 09:22:23 AM »

That’s backwards in terms of mic power. My understanding (from discussions with Chris) is that those mics need 9v in order to fully perform max spl wise. I haven’t listened but my guess is that the actual microphones were overloading. I’ve been in a similar situation, where the low end content at a show like that pushed my mics farther than something I perceived to be louder. Omnis are particularly susceptible to low end, and the 40hz roll off will have no effect on the actual microphone response.

What Opsopcopolis said. When I first switched from cards to omnis many moons ago, I had some horrible mic distortion experiences at loud shows before I realized I need to add a battery box to the chain.

Online ilduclo

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2019, 09:37:22 AM »
And, you need to unplug the mics from the bb when not in use to save the battery. I replace my 9v about every 20 shows, just in case.

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2019, 09:47:07 AM »
And, you need to unplug the mics from the bb when not in use to save the battery. I replace my 9v about every 20 shows, just in case.

I replace mine basically every show because I’m super paranoid. 100% unnecessary
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
Recorders: Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-05, Sony Hi-MD

Offline melontracks

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2019, 10:07:36 AM »
That’s backwards in terms of mic power. My understanding (from discussions with Chris) is that those mics need 9v in order to fully perform max spl wise. I haven’t listened but my guess is that the actual microphones were overloading. I’ve been in a similar situation, where the low end content at a show like that pushed my mics farther than something I perceived to be louder. Omnis are particularly susceptible to low end, and the 40hz roll off will have no effect on the actual microphone response.

Well, this certainly wouldn't be the first time my intuition proved incorrect. Ha! So the consensus is that the recorder provided inadequate power to the microphones, and that I should have used the CA-9100 or some sort of battery box?

I'm on board with this, though I have a hard time getting my head around how this is the first time this has happened in the dozens of times I've done exactly this same thing. My empirical observations over the years don't support this conclusion, despite what common wisdom appears to be on the subject. I think just for fun, I'll see if i can reproduce this at home, recording similar sound with the same setup, with a battery box, and with the CA-9100. I'll share my results here.

Thanks for all the feedback!
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 10:13:30 AM by melontracks »

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2019, 11:53:02 AM »
I hope your neighbors don’t mind you blasting 110db at home  :lol:

From the horse’s mouth:
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
Recorders: Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-05, Sony Hi-MD

Offline Lostbrook

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2019, 02:34:06 PM »
And, you need to unplug the mics from the bb when not in use to save the battery. I replace my 9v about every 20 shows, just in case.

I replace mine basically every show because I’m super paranoid. 100% unnecessary

Same here! I have a drawer full of gently used 9Vs
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 02:36:09 PM by Lostbrook »

Online ilduclo

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2019, 02:53:28 PM »
And, you need to unplug the mics from the bb when not in use to save the battery. I replace my 9v about every 20 shows, just in case.

I replace mine basically every show because I’m super paranoid. 100% unnecessary

probably someplace in between the 2 of us is the the right time. I did, fairly recently tape a show with a used up 9v, UNLISTENABLE,  and it wasn't even a super loud show.

 

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