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Author Topic: How much improvement ST-9100 will bring over simple bbox in loud shows?  (Read 5023 times)

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Offline danzz1234

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Re: How much improvement ST-9100 will bring over simple bbox in loud shows?
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2007, 07:00:56 PM »
My two cents....

There is a learning curve with using a preamp. Now you have *two* places where gain is controlled, vs. just one. There is more that can potentially go wrong. My first loud show using the preamp was kind of dissapointing, NOT that there is anything wrong with the preamp.

Here's a thread with a sample and more details if you're interested:

http://taperssection.com/index.php/topic,90301.0.html

Hmmm
That's interesting. Maybe that's why Fred mentioned above that "less is more, and adding the preamp in the chain is a negative".

Did you tried recording another loud show with the ST-9100 + iRiver but without adding any gain at the iRiver? Or just using the +15 that someone said in that topic and not +20 thats what you used first time?

Cheers

Offline som

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Re: How much improvement ST-9100 will bring over simple bbox in loud shows?
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2007, 09:26:37 AM »
Not yet. I don't go to a lot of shows anymore. My next one is Jethro Tull in October. Wish me luck!
AT ES943/C's > Church Audio ST-9100 > iRiver H100 (Rockboxed)

Offline landshark

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Re: How much improvement ST-9100 will bring over simple bbox in loud shows?
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2007, 12:56:13 PM »
Wow, didn't realize JT was coming for north america tour dates!  The sucky thing is they're not coming to MA (????) so I'd have to do some travelling to go to any of the shows (Providence or Wallingford, CT). 

Regarding the preamp, I wholeheartedly agree with you, Som, it takes some time to learn how to use a preamp.  I'm just now (like, last night) getting good recordings using the MixPre I bought.  It's taken me several tries to get the right balance of levels and attenuation between the preamp and my Korg MR1 - and the Korg has great level meters!  It'd be really hard without the level meters.  However, now that I think I have it "dialed-in", I hope it's a lot easier going forward. 

One thing I forgot to mention - some preamps have a floor level of gain.  This means that even with the knobs turned to zero, there is still some gain being applied to the signal.  This means that you could end up in a situation where the minimum signal coming out of the preamp is still too hot for the recorder even if the gain is turned to zero.  For example, the older MP2 from Sound Devices had a minimum of 20db of gain applied to the signal, even with the knobs turned all the way down.  I have no idea if that's the case in this situation, and I seem to remember Chris telling me his preamps don't have such a floor - they can all achieve "unity gain", a situation where the preamp is in effect passing the signal through without adding to it.  You can also have "attenuation" where the preamp is actually LOWERING the strength of the signal =, in effect "de" amplifying it.

When I started out, my whole goal was minimum footprint stealthability, with a Sony D8 and Coresounds Binurals with a battery box.  It's still pretty impressive how much you can accomplish with that setup - Sony used some pretty good preamps in those DAT recorders, to my untrained ear better than those in the MicroTrack OR the Korg.  I then moved to the MicroTrack for the ease of full digital storage, and later for the phantom and ability to use full-sized mics (AKG391s) in an open situation.  Later, I moved to the Korg in the hopes of better preamps and thus a better "single box" solution - just plug the mics into the Korg!  I tried this at a Police concert, and unfortunately when using mic in (which means using the fixed gain internal preamp in the Korg), my mics overloaded the preamp, and using line in (bypassing the fixed gain internal preamp), they didn't deliver enough ooomph to properly drive the unit.  So, enter the preamp. 

What I found is the biggest change in the quality of my recordings and ability to handle a wide range of volumes and high-sound level (high spl) situations was the use of a quality preamp.  That being said, it has been quite a learning experience since while living in a city, there's really no way to simulate a high-spl situation (without totally pissing off the neighbors, at least!!) other than at a show, so sometimes you have to just hit record and cross your fingers....

Keep asking questions, the answers are out there somewhere, and this board is an amazing resource for learning how to have fun with this hobby!  I'm constantly amazed and grateful for the time many of the very well-educated (electrical engineering, sound professionals, etc.) members are willing to spend to help the rest of us improve our game. 

Good luck!

Mike
AKG 461's / 463's OR Senn MKH 8040's > MR1000 (Busman mod) or Shure FP24 (aka MixPre) > MR1 (open)
Coresounds Binaurals > CChurch 9100 > MR1 OR AKG CK1x/2x/3x > Deneke P20 > MR1 (low profile)

Offline som

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Re: How much improvement ST-9100 will bring over simple bbox in loud shows?
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2007, 01:10:17 PM »
+T Mike....nice post.
AT ES943/C's > Church Audio ST-9100 > iRiver H100 (Rockboxed)

Offline danzz1234

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Re: How much improvement ST-9100 will bring over simple bbox in loud shows?
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2007, 05:31:08 PM »
Good luck Som! Hope you get a nice recording this time :)

Again, nice post Mike.

And here's another fact... A friend of mine from Helsinki is using Church Cards > ST9100 > R09 and he recorded Amorphis some days ago, the recording is really good and I asked him the settings he used in the R09 and ST9100. He said he used full gain at the pre (+20) and the recorder gain on 8.

After that I thought it could be something about overloading the iRiver, what do you guys think?

I guess we will have to wait 'til october so Som can test it without any gain from the iRiver and use only the gain from the pre.

Offline Borlag

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Re: How much improvement ST-9100 will bring over simple bbox in loud shows?
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2007, 04:45:27 AM »
Good luck Som! Hope you get a nice recording this time :)

Again, nice post Mike.

And here's another fact... A friend of mine from Helsinki is using Church Cards > ST9100 > R09 and he recorded Amorphis some days ago, the recording is really good and I asked him the settings he used in the R09 and ST9100. He said he used full gain at the pre (+20) and the recorder gain on 8.

After that I thought it could be something about overloading the iRiver, what do you guys think?

I guess we will have to wait 'til october so Som can test it without any gain from the iRiver and use only the gain from the pre.

I like both of those Amorphis recordings too ;) I read from this board that the Edirol R-09 doesn't boost nor attenuate the signal at all when set to 8, so that felt like the natural starting position for me, considering I've also read that the R-09 builtin preamp is rather noisy. This way it allowed me to pretty much override that pre entirely (though I'm sure the signal still goes through it one way or another) and really see what the ST-9100 is capable of and it seemed to perform very well.

After testing the exact same rig with the exact same settings initially, I've recorded an acoustic singer/songwriter gig with just couple of feet from his small PA he was using, a hockey arena gig of Chris Cornell, a club gig with a loud as hell hard rock/metal band (think Motörhead, it's similar) and those two Amorphis gigs. The Cornell gig was that only gig where I had to turn the gain knob down a bit, think at the end I had it at about +16-18dB or so. Also noteworthy might be that the Cornell gig was my very first gig with this rig and I might've been a bit more cautious with the levels, and as such it could very well be that I could've run it at +20dB and still have enough headroom for it to not distort.

If you use iRiver, I'd highly recommend looking up the recording level setting where it's at that same neutral point of no attenuating and no boosting and then seeing if you're able to do the same. It's almost like a fire and forget setup this way.
Main Rig: Church Audio STC-11 Cardioid Mics > ST-9100 > Edirol R-09
Backup Rig: Microphone Madness MM-MCSM-4 > MM-EBM-1 > Sony MZ-NH600

Offline austaper

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Re: How much improvement ST-9100 will bring over simple bbox in loud shows?
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2007, 10:13:41 PM »
My two cents....

There is a learning curve with using a preamp. Now you have *two* places where gain is controlled, vs. just one. There is more that can potentially go wrong. My first loud show using the preamp was kind of dissapointing, NOT that there is anything wrong with the preamp.

Here's a thread with a sample and more details if you're interested:

http://taperssection.com/index.php/topic,90301.0.html

Hmmm
That's interesting. Maybe that's why Fred mentioned above that "less is more, and adding the preamp in the chain is a negative".

Did you tried recording another loud show with the ST-9100 + iRiver but without adding any gain at the iRiver? Or just using the +15 that someone said in that topic and not +20 thats what you used first time?

Cheers

I just got Chris' Cards and the 9100 pre amp a couple of weeks ago.  I taped several shows at the aCL festival ranging from pretty quiet to very loud.  at the 11:00 setting the pre amp is neutral for gain.  The combination of the mics and the pre amp made outstanding recordings with a Maudio at both 16.1/44 and 24/48.  I also used the preamp with some Nak 100's for the Subdudes last week.  I set up one foot from the pa on Saturday after getting way to much audience noise on Friday,  Steve Earle and Bob dylan from ACL are up at Traders den and The Subdudes are up at Dime and Traders den.  I used some gain at the quiet shows and set to the neutral for Dylan and the Subdudes.

Really happy with both the pre and the mics.  Chris makes excellent products.  I have a friend running $1000 dpa's and a battery box with the same deck and I think Chris' mics and pre sound better.

Offline Church-Audio

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Re: How much improvement ST-9100 will bring over simple bbox in loud shows?
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2007, 10:14:37 AM »
WoW thanks for all your kind words..  I think it would be cool to do a comparison. I can build a Y cable so that the signal can be "split" you can run one recorder the preamp signal and the other recorder can get the direct signal * I think its important * to make sure the gain levels on the meters read the same and record a concert with the same pair of mics.. I am going to talk to my partner Spark'e and see what he says about this. That way the test could be done and if there are differences we can do a double blind test. And see.. What do you guys think? I need someone with a pair of my mics and two identical recorders.

Chris
for warranty returns email me at
EMAIL Sales@church-audio.com

Offline austaper

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Re: How much improvement ST-9100 will bring over simple bbox in loud shows?
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2007, 10:10:50 PM »
If I am reading your scenario correctly the remaining difference might be a slight difference depending on whether your mics are powered by just the 9100 or both!  Not sure how the y cable would handle that.

Offline Church-Audio

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Re: How much improvement ST-9100 will bring over simple bbox in loud shows?
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2007, 12:16:11 PM »
If I am reading your scenario correctly the remaining difference might be a slight difference depending on whether your mics are powered by just the 9100 or both!  Not sure how the y cable would handle that.

I am going to look into it and see... I might be able to build something.

Chris
for warranty returns email me at
EMAIL Sales@church-audio.com

 

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