Our sound team moved and now the web team (me and Emily, my PM), sit about 12 feet from them. It’s awesome because I can stand up, walk, and start mining their brains for tidbits of solid gold recording engineer info. Today I acquired the knowledge of how to zero my mixer. That sounds silly but it is really hard to find good information because set ups vary so much.
I am going from memory and the remnants of a cheeseburger stained set of notes we came up with while discussing this but basically, here is what I got. I can’t say its correct so I share this with no authority.
- Set the sound card to 0db. Right now I set it to -20db because I wanted more headroom in my control room volume. Silly me! Doing this throws me off at a bad part of the signal chain.
- Set the main out volume by adjusting the fader to 0db. Alt 5/6 in my case, the inputs are Pre Fader Level (PFL) so I set the out fader to 0db and then adjust the trim on the out until a 1 Kilohertz -14db tone floats at 0db on the meter.
- Repeat this step for inputs. In my case its line one, the microphone.
- Set control room volume to 78db with a SPL meter using pink noise.
I am still a bit confused by what I understand about all this but at least I kind of know what to look for. I know the last step is particular for a mixing scenario.
Bad news bears here, a couple recording sessions ago I pushed down PFL and a loud sqwuak came through my speakers. I think I damaged the right monitor and now it buzzes. I admit, I did something stupid. Anyway, I found a place in Tacoma named Sound West Audio that does repair work on Yamaha stuff so I am going to take it in and have my speaker serviced. I’ll be happy if it costs less than $40.00; we’ll see. I feel so dumb doing that.
I’m currently listening to The Azoic and I:Scintilla who I found recently while looking at some other stuff like them. I’m getting really anxious to put out some tracks but I keep going down all these “inspiration rabbit holes” where I create a project and then dabble in some ideas that lead to something completely unrelated. Last night I started a project and decided to work on a orchestral piece that morphed into electronica that somehow melded Middle Eastern percussive instruments with jazz trombone. I have no idea. But yeah, it happens all the time.
Crystal and I laid down some phat lyrics for a worship song we’re throwin’ together. Now that she can hear herself in the headphones she really belts stuff out a lot better. It’s cool to see us both learning what works and doesn’t work in our recording. I am excited to get home and try working out the mixer stuff so I can see how things will sound leveled.
Tomorrow we’re taking kitty to Nate’s parents. I am looking forward to her getting to have a good home. I’d like to spend time with Nate tomorrow but with Helen puking and her fever hasn’t even broke yet today I think visiting them and their new few week old would be a bad idea.
UPDATE: It isn’t blown! It turns out that our home phone was interfering with my monitor. It’s shielded but I’m sure our old phones weren’t all that awesome.