tooting my own horn


Today is the first day that I've had to learn some of the new features of Steinberg Wave Lab 6. The first, without a doubt, is Spectrum editing. After perhaps an hour of exploration, I've found a 'technique' that I hope when polished a bit, will be of great value to performers; The people who put in countless hours in rehearsal for a performance, only to be disappointed when extraneous noises intrude upon a recording of the event. I present a link to a short clip. It is a sample of my new-found skills in surgical noise reduction, thanks to Steinberg. It is not perfect, but I'm quite excited that I can accomplish this much with so little experience with the product.

(You may want to set your player to loop this)

noise-removal-example.ogg, Stereo,  500kbits,  0.51MB,

Have you heard the saying, "Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans"? I think that's what's happened to me in the last year since I last posted here. I used to work for Adelphia (news), which, poor choices made by management aside, was the best job I've ever had. I was a senior network engineer covering Ohio and parts of four surrounding states. I was both challenged and productive. My superiors were bright, honest and fair, and my peers always supportive. This was a very happy combination, professionally. We built and managed a remarkable network serving millions of people. For a few years in my life, I was happy. However, the people whom all we employees relied on did some very bad things, and were ultimately convicted of fraud and conspiracy and sentenced to prison in 2005. It seems they will finally go to prison, as they continue to fight the sentence, even today believing that they did no wrong. Myself, I think that taking over two billion dollars and then trying to hide that fact (how do you hide that much? how do you even spend that much?) and even after being convicted and sentenced to prison, still think you didn't do anything wrong, can only be a result of greed and ego on an unimaginable scale. It's not at all a pleasant thing to think about, for me.

The resulting bankruptcy resulted in tens of thousands of families living in real uncertainty as we all waited for the courts to decide what the fate of Adelphia would be. Adelphia was mostly sold to Time-Warner and Comcast. Some people were let go, but many were kept. I ended up at a desk job in Columbus, in optical transport. This is where I am now, and it consumes all my time.

Yes, I miss working for Adelphia, but now I have new challenges. Some of those challenges are: how to keep my pipe organ in good shape (impossible), finish the restoration of the Estey Style-T reed organ I have been working on for a year, and most importantly, how to keep up what I love most, music and recording.

Unfortunately for my dear reader, keeping this blog up-to-date (upgrades included!) has been pretty much dead last on my list. So that's why there's been nothing here for nearly the last year.

However, I do have a new toy. I have a Fostex FR-2. I bought it a few weeks ago. I was recording a hymn sing with over 300 strong singers. I was recording using the Marantz PMD-660. The AT4050/cm5 microphones did so well (bless them) that they completely overloaded the mic pre-amps in the PMD660. What a shame! That was pretty much an unforgivable sin for the PMD660. As much as it pains me to part with hard-earned savings, I plunked down a few bucks on an FR-2. Don't get me wrong, the PMD660 is extremely worthwhile for certain applications, and I will continue using it. It is small, light and very useful.

Aside from having far superior mic pre-amps, the FR-2 has the ability to record at up to 192kHz and at 24 bit quantization. The benefits of recording at 24 bits were never so clear to me as they were after I made my first field recording with it. So, yes, I have a sound sample for you. It was recorded at 44.1kHz, at 24 bits. I normalized the whole file and then dithered it to 16 bits. There was nothing else done to the wave file. I wish it was longer, but I want only to demonstrate the FR-2, not give away the lovely anthem performed by my client.

FR2-sample.ogg, vorbis encoded, 664kB, 0:34

I don't believe I've ever mentioned this here before: I'd like to offer my recording services to you. No matter who you are, I believe I am prepared to produce for you you the finest recordings possible. I record choirs, accompanied and unaccompanied, and pipe organs exclusively. I rarely do anything else. I believe that, as a musician, I bring a unique sensitivity to the demands that music of that type present to the recording engineer. If you want to hear more of my work, or have a discussion, I encourage you to please email me at andrew "at" noisefloor.org. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to record for you. If you send me mail, be patient. I do want to hear from you, but may not be able to reply immediately.

Thanks for listening!