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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Start here!
« on: January 11, 2005, 10:44:28 PM »
Welcome to to to to to
A few different sections here, though I'm not sure how to provide internal bookmarks to each one.  So, this list'll have to do:

Code of Conduct
Newbie Central
FAQ | Taping Related
FAQ | Forum Related
Become a Site Supporter

If you must, skip to the section that interests you most, but hopefully you'll read 'em all as they each provide useful information to TS newbies.


Hopefully, you're here because you share our passion for live music in all it's forms and/or the enjoyable hobby of field audio recording.  Before you dive into the vast expanse (well, to some) of TapersSection (TS), please take a bit of time to review the following - we promise it will make your TS experience smoother and more enjoyable, honest!

Code of Conduct

Let's just knock this one off, right off the bat, eh?  What exactly is the code of conduct here at TS?  As a group, we're essentially self-moderating.  That means moderators are generally unlikely to censor others' posts, but it also means the community at large, groups of members, or individuals may call people out on their behavior at times.  As a community, we simply request that you please pause before selecting an avatar, composing your sig line, or initiating a post and consider how your avatar and sig line and each and every post you make:

[1] reflects on you as an individual

[2] impacts the TS community

[3] reflects on TS to the external world

Of course, different people have different standards to which they hold themselves (and possibly others).  That's okay, we encourage people do be themselves here at TS.  Just be aware that if you rub an individual or group of people the wrong way, they just may call you out on it and you should be prepared to engage in an open, often lively, discussion.  And, if necessary, a moderator may step in to help, well...moderate!

Self-moderation also applies to reading and viewing TS:

[4] don't read threads you may find offensive - the more potentially offensive threads usually are posted in the Sewer.  There may be some old threads in the Political Zone, Open Forum, or even Team Boards that didn't get cleaned up when we created the Sewer.  These old threads were often, but not always, marked NSFW (Not Safe For Work).  If you're sensitive to offensive material, self-moderate by simply avoiding the Sewer and keep your eyes out for a few remnant threads in the other forums mentioned above.

[5] stop reading threads you do find offensive - if you come across an offensive post or thread, the best solution:  acknowledge we all have different levels of tolerance and sensitivity to offensive material and simply stop reading it and move on to something else

[6] if you encounter a serious problem with offensive material or inappropriate behavior, feel free to address the situation privately with the other involved party(ies), or if you prefer, contact a moderator for assistance:  Brian

Alright, enough of all that...pretty common sense stuff, eh?

Newbie Central

So you're a brand-spanking newbie to the world of taping, eh?  Want to make your own ambient recordings, aka concert recordings or audience recordings (or maybe like a few people here you prefer soundboard recordings).  Where to start?!?  You're in the right place - newbie central.  Give this section a quick look, take a longer study if needed, and then as you formulate queries in your own mind, take the next step...the Taping FAQ. (see next section:  FAQ | Taping related)

In order to create a digital audience recording, we require the following:

[1]  Mics
[2]  Mic Power
[3]  Gain
[4]  Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADC)
[5]  Storage Devices

There's some additional miscellanous stuff we'll need - like cables, adapters, mic stand, etc. - but we'll skip that stuff for now.  So...a bit more on each of the above 5 components required to create a digital audience recording...

[1]  Mics
We all basically know we need mics, right?  This is a huge topic in and of itself which we won't get into right now.  For now, let's just say:  we all understand we need mics to create an audience recording.

[2]  Mic Power
All condensor mics (the kind of microphones we use for our recording) require some kind of power to operate.  Most condensor mics operate using phantom power.  Phantom power is just a way of saying the mics are powered by an external power source.  Just about all the common condensor mics you see tapers using operate with phantom power.  The alternatives are internal power or battery box power.  Some mics work with either phantom or internal power, two common examples:  AKG C1000S and Nak CM100/300 series.  But mics that run on battery box power do not run on phantom, and vice versa.

[3]  Gain
So we have our mics.  And we have power to our mics.  But the signal coming from those mics is usually very weak/soft/quiet.  We typically need to apply gain.  Gain simply strengthens the signal so it's strong enough to feed into an analog-to-digital converter.  If the signal isn't strong enough, the quality of our recordings suffer.  Now that we have a strong enough signal, on to the ADC...

[4]  Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADC)
The ADC translates into the digital domain (0s and 1s) the analog signal coming from our powered microphones and through our gain stage.  Once the signal has been translated from analog to digital, then all we have to do is store those 0s and 1s somewhere.

[5]  Storage Devices
So where do we store all those 0s and 1s that are translated from analog by the ADC?  Most common these days is a DAT recorder.  Other common options include laptops, mini-disc, and hard driver recorders (a la Nomad JB3).  Pretty simple right?

Do we really need 5 different components to perform these 5 different functions?  Sounds expensive!  Well, not really.  There are plenty of options for relatively inexpensive gear that perform one or more functions [1-5] above.  For example:

AKG C1000S > Sony D8

In this example, our microphones (AKG C1000S) [1] are powered by an internal battery [2].  Likewise, the Sony D8 provides multiple functions:  gain [3], ADC [4], and storage [5].  Two pieces of gear (remember, we're skipping the cabling and such for now)...that's it!

Then Why do so many people schlep around so much gear if it's possible to create an audience recording using just a pair of internally powered mics and a portable DAT recorder?

Usually, when manufacturers create devices that perform more than one or two functions [1-5] they have to skimp on quality to keep costs down.  Take the Sony D8 portable DAT recorder:  in order to keep the costs down on the D8, Sony skimped on the quality of the preamp [3] and ADC [4].  As a result, many people use an external gain stage [3] and ADC [4].  How many pieces of gear you use to provide the necessary functions [1-5] is up to your preferences and budget.

What kind of equipment do people usually mix and match when putting together their taping gear?  Lots of options!  Two posts to help out:

Getting Started: How do I make my own recordings?
I have a budget of $NNN: what gear should I buy?.

FAQ | Taping related

Easy As 1-2-3
The taping FAQ here at TS isn't exactly a FAQ in the traditional sense - that is, the FAQ isn't a well structured walk-through of the most commonly asked questions.  But that's okay!  Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, finding the answer to your question is as easy as 1-2-3:

[1] First, start by searching the TS Knowledge Base | Archive forum - we've archived a good number of frequently broached topics there to make it easier for everyone to find them.

[2] Second, try searching in the appropriate forum.  How do you know which forum to search?  Simply review the forum descriptions. 

[3] Third, if you still have difficulty finding whatever it is for which you're looking, simply post in the appropriate forum and odds are someone (usually many) will respond to your query.

While initially a bit more work on your part, please take some time to do your own research (i.e. search) on your question / topic before posting a query.  You'll benefit in a number of ways by first searching yourself instead of posting your query right off the bat:

[1] You won't incur the wrath of those who've answered the same question 48 times. (Not that there's much wrath spewed forth around here.)

[2] You'll generally find your answers more swiftly than waiting for someone to respond to your query.

[3] You'll likely find a broad range of opinions, answers, and associated information by reading historical posts on the subject matter - much of which you may not receive in direct replies to a new post on the topic.

FAQ | Forum related

Straight away, you may have some questions about TS itself, how it operates, etc.  So let's start there...

[010] How do I navigate the site?

[020] How do I use the search functionality?

  • It's pretty straightforward, really, but here's a short primer if you're unfamiliar with messageboard search engines.

[030] In which forum should I post my question or comment?

  • Before doing so, you have already searched for the answer to your query, haven't you?  (See above, FAQ | Taping Related, Easy As 1-2-3)  Each forum has a description associated with it, so simply review the forum descriptions and select the most appropriate forum.  We frown upon technical questions posed in the General forums, and the Archival Info forum is generally only for stashing away important threads - not for discourse.  If your question is about microphones, post in the Microphones forum.  About powering your gear in the field?  Try the Remote Power forum.  You get the idea...

[040] Who do I contact if I'm encountering problems?

  • We're down to one Global Moderators, who assists as necessary:  Brian.  Feel free to drop a line via PM if you encounter technical difficulties, problems with other members, etc.

[050] What are tickets?

  • No more tickets!  Historically, tickets are like the rating system on EBay, kind of a karmic rating system.  They don't have any actual meaning, other than a number on the internet.  After posting 50 times or more, you were able to give (+T, click the GDTSTOO link) or take away (-T, click the PTBM link) tickets.  FWIW, GDTSTOO, or +T, stands for Grateful Dead Ticket Sales The Other Ones, while PTBM, or -T, stands for Phish Tickets By Mail.  People sometimes still reply with +T (good) or -T (bad) in response to others' posts.

[060] How do I attach pics or files?

  • When you Reply to a post, simply click the Additional Options link to expand, well...additional options.  Simply browse to the file you'd like to attach, and...voila!  As long as it's within the specified attachment guidelines (file type / size, number of files attached per post, you're all set.

[070] How do I resize pics so they don't dwarf my screen when I post?

[080] How do I embed pics / include URLs / add smilies / change font color / etc. in my posts?

  • When you Reply, simply mouse-over the control buttons above the Reply field to identify each of the formatting options available.  Easy, eh?

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Should you have any questions regarding Site Supporter status, please contact me directly VIA PM!

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Thanks again for the help!  :-*
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 04:12:00 PM by Brian Skalinder »
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