Posts Tagged ‘Gears’

Zoom H2 review & User Manual

In Accessories, Gears on June 29, 2016 at 11:10 pm

H2_standPerformance

We’re happy to see that the Zoom H2 is capable of a wide range of recording resolutions, including 48Kbps to 320Kbps MP3 and 44kHz, 48kHz, or 96kHz WAV recordings at 16 bits or 24 bits. Unfortunately, whether it’s the fault of the Zoom H2’s microphone quality or its built-in preamp, most of the recordings we made at various settings couldn’t hold up to the detail and stereo imaging we got from the competition. The automatic gain control feature, which made recording on the Edirol R-09 dead-simple, required some unintuitive finessing to achieve a clean recording on the H2.

Our biggest pet peeve with the Zoom H2, however, is the 27 seconds it takes to start up. Maybe our short attention spans have got the better of us, but when it comes to quickly capturing an interview or a performance, 27 seconds can really kill the spontaneity.

H2_slantThe Zoom H2 supports SDHC storage cards as large as 16GB, although it can make continuous recordings only in 2GB chunks. Depending on how you have the Zoom H2 set up, a continuous 2GB recording translates to 23 hours of 192Kbps MP3, or 3 hours of 16-bit/44kHz WAV. Powered by a pair of AA batteries, Zoom rates the H2 at four hours of continuous operation. Like most portable audio recorders, however, expect that the H2’s battery performance will vary depending on the recording resolution you’ve selected.

Final thoughts

Despite our disappointment with the Zoom H2’s cheap construction and microphone fidelity, at $199 the H2 is an excellent value and an ideal choice for general-purpose recording. If you’re looking for a durable mobile recorder with knock-out sound quality, however, you’ll need to spend some extra money on the competition.

User Manual (US): E_H2 manual

Others manual (Fr & US)

 

 

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Others SPL calculators

In Amps, Gears, Speakers on June 29, 2016 at 8:55 pm

1)  A simple SPL calculator, taking into account, not the volume of the room, but the distance to the last row of the audience, and the sensitivity of the speakers.

To calculate the theoretical power requirement for an amplifier you need to know 4 values:

1) The distance from the speaker. This is normally the distance from the speaker to the last row of seats in the room.  Type in feet or metres (the metres is calculated from the feet – if feet is used). From this distance the Sound Pressure Level (SPL) loss over that distance is calculated.

2) The SPL required. This is how loud you want the sound to be at the distance specified. Some general levels are:

  • 70-80dB  for speech only
  • 80-95dB for light music
  • 95-110dB for heavy music

3) The speaker sensitivity. This is not an indicator of how sensitive the main (human) speaker is, but rather a measurement of the sensitivity of the loudspeaker. It should be available in the specifications for the loudspeaker. It is normally stated as the SPL measured 1 metre in front of the speaker with 1 watt of power driving the speaker. Hence the specification will read something like:

Sensitivity (1W/1m) = 91dB

4) Amplifier headroom. This is an allowance for the amplifier to cope with peaks without distortion. Note that for every 3dB allowance, the power requirement doubles.

Use the calculator below with different values to see the effect a change in any of these parameters makes to the amplifier power required.

spl calculator

An excel file here under, for your calculation

SPL calculator

2)  A more detailed SPL calculator, taking in to account room size, frequencies, air…

Doctor ProAudio calculator

3) From Home Theater, about Maximum SPL:

SPL_Calculator Hometheater

4)  From Crown Harman

Various simulators

5)  From mh_Audio, a simulator, taking into account the speaker size.

mh_Audio simulator

 

Understanding Audio Levels

In Effects, electrics, Gears on June 29, 2016 at 5:36 pm

A basic understanding of the general audio levels mentioned in this article will help you avoid the common mistakes often made when connecting audio devices together. We are going to talk about three different general levels of audio signals.  The names of the three general audio levels are speaker level, line level and microphone level. For simplicity, the different audio levels are described in volts. For an understanding of decibel levels used in audio, see the articles on decibels starting here.

Speaker Level

A speaker needs a few volts of electrical audio signal to make enough movement in the speaker to create a sound wave that we can hear. Small speakers need only a few volts, but large speakers need 50-100 volts to make a loud sound.

Speaker-schem
Line Level

A speaker is connected to an amplifier. Think of your HiFi amplifier at home. What plugs into your amplifier? DVD player, CD player, radio/tuner, video camera. All these devices plug into the “line in” or “Aux in” of your amplifier.  “Line IN”, “Aux IN” and “Line OUT” all have an electrical audio signal at line level.RCa-cables-300x164 You are probably aware of the standard red and white leads used in HiFi equipment, these all use line level. Other plugs are also used for line level. Line level is about half a volt to one (½ – 1) volt. It is the job of the amplifier to amplify the half to one volt of line level, up to the 10 volts or more of speaker level.

amp-schem

 

Note: A common error is to connect plugs and sockets together just because they fit. Don’t assume audio level based just on the type of plug being used. The same type of  plug can be used for different purposes (and different audio levels).

Microphone Level

Ok , so we have line level (about ½ – 1 volt) which goes into an amplifier to make it up to speaker level (about 10 volts or above).  What audio level do you think Mic level is? How much voltage do you think comes out of a microphone, as a result of you speaking into it? Answer: Stuff all!

The output voltage of a microphone is very low. It is measured in milli-volts, that is 1/1000th of a volt. A mic can give as little as 1 mV, or up to 100 mV, depending on how loud you speak into it. That is not very much. So what do you think is going to happen if you plug a mic directly into the line in of an amplifier? Answer: A very low level of muffled sound if anything.

Mic Pre-amps

The amplifier is wanting line level, ½ – 1 volt to produce enough signal to make the speaker work properly. But the mic is only producing milli-volts. So what is needed is a small microphone amplifier that amplifies the audio level from mic level to line level. This should go between the microphone and the amplifier. Because it is for the microphone and it is before the main amp, it is called a mic pre-amp. A mic pre-amp amplifies the milli-volts from a microphone up to line level.preamp-schematic2

 

Mic pre-amps are normally built into devices designed for connecting to a microphone. Equipment like an audio mixer, a digital recorder, a video camera or a computer – all these may have mic level inputs as well as line level input, or just a mic level input. .

The picture on the right shows for each input on this mixer there is a line level input mixer-inputs-270x300(labelled Line 3 and Line 4), as well as a microphone pre-amp (labelled MIC PRE).

Obviously a microphone plugs into the mic input, as the mic inputs are connected to the in-built mic pre-amps.

A line level device would obviously plug into the line in socket.

But what if your mixer (or camera/recorder) only has a microphone input, and you need to connect a line level source to it? This would result in the line level (½ – 1 volt) being connected to the input of the mic pre-amp. The trouble is, the mic preamp is expecting only a few milli-volts. The resulting sound will be very distorted as the mic pre-amp is completely overloaded.

Attenuators

So how can we do this? How do we connect a line level to a mic level input? We have to reduce the line level down to mic level.  The technical word for this is to attenuate the signal. As an amplifier amplifies, or boosts the signal; an attenuator attenuates, or reduces the signal.

You can buy attenuators at a music shop, they are called DI boxes. DI stands for Direct Injection, meaning you can directly inject a line level into the mic input without any problems. It is also possible to make an attenuator, possibly with variable attenuation, to cope with different levels. It is also possible to buy or build a fixed attenuator in a cable. This is a cable with resistors built-in to the plugs to attenuate the line level down to mic level – this is very useful for a video camera or portable digital recorder.

Audio Level Summary

There are three main audio signal levels: mic level (millivolts), line level (around 1 volt) and speaker level (around 10 volts or more). The rule is, only plug speakers into the speaker socket of an amplifier; only line level into the line in of any equipment; and only mic level in the mic input of your mixer, camera or laptop.  The most common cause of  audio distortion comes from not understanding the different levels, and how to connect them all together.

Practical Example 1

Scenario: A keyboard (electric piano) located on the stage needs to connect to a mixer located at the back of the hall, with a microphone multi-core cable connecting between the two.

Issue: The output of the keyboard is at line level, and the microphone input at the mixer requires mic level. (There is also the issue of different plugs and balanced/unbalanced inputs but these are the topics of other articles).

Solution: Use a basic DI box available from most music or electronic stores. A DI box acts as an attenuator which reduces the line level of the keyboard to mic level for direct connection to the mixer (via the multi-core cable). The DI box also overcomes the issues of matching plugs and going from unbalanced to balanced  – so this is a perfect solution. This solution also works for connecting electric guitars, electronic drums and DVD players.

 

Scenario: The output (line level) of an audio mixer needs to connect to a digital camera or digital recorder which only has a microphone input.

Issue: The output of the mixer is at line level, and the microphone input of the camera/recorder requires mic level.

Solution: A basic DI box could be used, but this would require an input lead, and output lead and the DI box  – a lot to carry in your camera bag. A neater solution is to have a lead with a 40dB attenuator built into it. This will reduce the line level from the mixer by a factor of 100, which will bring the line level down to a reasonable mic level to connect directly to the microphone socket of the camera/recorder.

pdf document for print: understanding-Audio-levels

All comes from Geoff the Grey Greek, thanks to him

What does “line level” mean?

In electrics, Gears on June 29, 2016 at 4:57 pm

A device that operates at line level either has a very strong output signal, or only functions properly when you feed a very strong signal into it. Examples of line level outputs include mic preamps, mixers, the “line out” of an amp, and some effects-loop “send” jacks. Inputs needing this level include power amps, most rackmount signal processors, and some effects-loop “returns”. This is in contrast to “instrument level” which is what typically comes direct from a guitar or bass, and “mic level” which is the typical output of a microphone or DI box. Both are much lower than line level.

Generally speaking if you send an instrument-level signal into a device that needs line-level input, you will get weak sound, inadequate processing, and probably extra noise as you boost the signal to compensate. If you send a line-level signal into a device that’s meant for instrument or mic-level input, you will get distortion. The effects loop on many amps is designed to both send and receive line-level signals, so putting a typical pedal in the loop will often get noise, weakness, and distortion. You may find some exceptions though: either an amp loop that can operate at instrument level, or a pedal that can operate at line level.

The “loudness” or “strength” of an audio signal inside your rig is measured in AC voltage. However the numbers you’ll read in an amp’s manual or on a website are usually given in dB or dBu, not voltage. The term dB (decibel) by itself means the amount a signal level changes in relation to wherever it started. When you see gear specs that say “-10 dBv” or “+4 dBu”, they are telling you how much lower or higher the average output is relative to a specific fixed reference voltage. That voltage is usually either 1.0 V, referred to as “0 dBv”, or 0.78 V, referred to as “0 dBu”. The terms dBv, dBu, and dBm have different values, but they all have that third letter that signifies a specific reference point; you can use them to calculate voltage levels.

Some common levels you’ll see:

  • +4 dBu is “professional” line level, common in modern pro recording gear, and it is about 1.25 V.
  • 0 dBv is an average line level, typical output from rackmount guitar/bass preamps.
  • -10 dBv is “consumer” line level, common with older and cheaper recording gear.
  • -20 dBu is roughly in the neighborhood of a typical instrument’s output.
  • -30 dBu is again in the neighborhood of a typical microphone or DI box’s output.

However, instruments and microphones can have a very wide range of output levels in reality, so it is most practical to think of instrument-level and mic-level in/outputs as just “a lot lower than line level”, rather than calculating specific dB amounts.
It may even be necessary sometimes to boost one “line level” output by using another gain stage, for example if the first output is specified for -10 dBv and the device you’re trying to drive is designed to operate best with a +4 dBu input level. Remember that decibel numbers by themselves are just ratios in reference to a specific starting point, not a fixed value; in other words, 35 dB gain from one device can result in the same actual level as 50 db gain, or 10 dB, or even -20 dB from another device–it all depends on what values each separate engineer started with. 35 dB gain from a boost pedal is a lot, but it may not necessarily get you up to the +4 dBu level needed to drive most power amps, for example. So look for that third letter after the dB to know that you’re dealing with a fixed reference point, and therefore a firm value for the highest average voltage output. +4 dBu is the same level all around the world.

from OvniLab

FAQ on effects loop, rackmount and line levels

In Effects, Gears on June 29, 2016 at 4:45 pm

The short and simplified version is that pedals are meant to go between your instrument and the main input of your amp, while rackmount signal processors are meant to go in an effects loop, or between a preamp and a power amp. This is because they operate at different ranges of signal level (amplitude, strength), and have different impedances.

  1. The higher amplitude range is called “line level”,
  2. The lower range is called “instrument level”.
  3. At even a lower amplitude there’s the “mic level”,

The “mic level” which is the expected output of a typical microphone or a DI box, both of which are intended to plug into a mic preamp with a large amount of gain.

Ideally you want the devices you are connecting to match up in their ideal range of input and output levels, otherwise you may get distortion, noise, or a weak signal. Effects loops often (but not always) run at line level.

Impedance (“z”) describes the efficiency of signal transfer between any one device’s output connected to any other device’s input. An inefficient relationship will mean loss of signal strength and loss of tone. You want the input impedance to be much higher (at least 10x, but more is better) than the output impedance of whatever is plugging into it. Effects loops typically have low output impedance (from the send jack), but whether their return jack has low or high input impedance will depend on the specific amp–there is no standard. With pedals, too, there is no standard. It’s usually not important to know the in/out impedance of your pedals, but if you run into a situation where a pedal sounds bad in one connection and not another, very often some impedance problem is the reason.

Pedals generally operate best with an input signal directly from your guitar/bass or other pedals, and their output is meant to be fed into the main instrument input of an amp head, combo amp, or rack preamp. Those types of preamp stage boost the instrument’s signal strength and lower the overall output impedance, which is what is required for driving a power amp, line-level processor, or many effects loops. Without that, most pedals don’t have strong enough output to do the job. Of course there are many exceptions, such as certain preamps in pedal format, and you have to examine those on a case-by-case basis.

Rackmount signal processors are almost always designed to run at line level, so they are suited for use with effects loops. Their in/out impedance is also usually a good match. The loop is a direct connection between the preamp and power section of your amp, so you can think of the loop return jack as a power amp input; see that “preamp” article linked in the first paragraph for technical details about driving power amps. The signal from most guitars/basses is too low, and the impedance is too high, to go directly into most rack processors. Technically you can plug your instrument straight in, but it will not work nearly as well as if you put a preamp between them, and it may not work at all depending on the particular gear.

There are exceptions: Some rack units have a “Hi Z” input, which is designed for you to be able to plug your instrument straight in; and some rack processors (especially older guitar-oriented units) are designed to operate at instrument level, or at least have enough input gain available to be used that way. There are also some effects loops which are able to operate fine with pedals in the loop- you’ll need to check the manual for your specific amp, or just experiment. And finally, some pedals can handle a line-level signal. One fairly common example would be a loop that operates at -10dB, paired with an fx pedal designed to work well with high-output basses; that combination can often work out fine.

Really the best way to see what works is to experiment. You won’t hurt any of your gear, don’t worry. When experimenting, listen carefully and ask yourself these questions: Do you hear any distortion? Does the signal seem weak? Does a dynamic effect seem to react too strongly, or not enough? How bad is the hiss, and does the hiss change in level or “quality” when you switch positions? With a compressor, does it have meters to indicate signal levels or compression amount, and do those meters seem to read the same or differently in each position? If you hear distortion, noise, weak signal, or “tone suck”, those are your signs to adjust the levels or change the placement of the various pieces of gear. Again, you won’t damage either the amp or the effects in this process.

Another set of factors to consider:
-Pedals almost always have 1/4″ unbalanced (AKA regular instrument cable) inputs and outputs;
-Rack processors may have either unbalanced or balanced (AKA XLR, mic cable, 1/4″ TRS/stereo) in/outputs;
-The jacks for connecting a preamp to a power amp may be balanced or unbalanced;
-And an amp head’s effects loop is typically unbalanced.

Note that 1/4″ balanced and unbalanced jacks look the same from the outside. So you’ll need to read the manuals of your specific gear to identify which types of plugs and cables you need. Again, experimentation is fine; the only thing you cannot do is place your compressor or other fx after the output of a power amp, as that would kill your gear.

Effects loops can be “series” or “parallel”. Series means one device leads straight into the next, with no signal splitting. Generally speaking, a serial connection is best for a compressor (although there are esoteric exceptions). Parallel means the signal from your preamp is split into a “clean” channel and an “effected” channel, and then those two are blended back together. Parallel loops typically have a “blend” knob (wet/dry). If your fx loop is parallel, you may occasionally find that the wet and dry signals interfere with each other, causing spikes or dropouts of signal level at different frequencies. A loss of lows is common. If that happens, you can solve it by either setting the blend knob to 100% wet, or using a specialized device to adjust the phase of one of the signals. Bear in mind though that a few parallel fx loops cannot be set to 100% wet! There are some where the maximum setting of the blend knob is only a 50/50 blend.

Guitarists will frequently insist that certain effects (e.g. chorus, flanger, wah) belong in front of the amp, while certain others (e.g. delay or reverb) belong in the fx loop. This is because they are accustomed to using their amp as a distortion effect, and they like the distortion at a particular place in the chain. If you are not using your amp as a distortion effect, you can ignore those claims. Plus that approach does not address the question of instrument-level versus line-level.

Rackmount gear is not necessarily better quality than pedals! There are good and bad units in either format. That said, it’s true that more of the “high end, high quality” market is focused on rack units, and most pedals are designed for low cost rather than high quality. So statistically rack gear tends to be better, but just don’t get caught up in assuming it’s always that way. I can’t stand it when people post “pedals suck, they are toys compared to the Real Thing” because in the last few years the pedal market has seen some incredible technological and design developments, and at the same time the rack gear market has been aiming more and more for the budget consumer. Things change.

from OvniLab.com

Get the right cable to connect your iPhone to a mixer

In Accessories, Gears, Sonorisation on June 28, 2016 at 7:04 pm

iphone-7If you don’t connect your iPod to your mixing desk with the right cable, you’ll lose half your sound!

You may think that when you buy an iPod, all you need to do is load it with a bunch of backing tracks and simply plug it in to your PA system and you’re all set and ready to go…

Well, actually that’s quite correct – it really is that simple to connect an iPod to a PA system, but you would be surprised how many people write to me every week who have done this but find that they get either a very poor sound quality and/or low volume levels, and they can’t figure out what they’ve done wrong!

The wrong way…

Nine times out of ten, the mistake that I find singers make when connecting an iPod to their PA/mixing desk, is that they use the wrong type of cable and/or only use ONE channel on their mixing desk (usually they’ve tried to take a jack out of the iPod in to one spare channel of their mixer). Remember, the iPod is stereo so needs TWO inputs on your mixing desk.

I often hear of singers (wrongly) using a single jack to jack cable (usually with a 3.5mm jack at one end and a quarter inch/6.3mm at the other). This is NOT the correct cabling for connecting your iPod to your PA/Mixing desk!

Just think about it for a moment…when you buy an iPod it comes shipped with a set of earphones which consist of ONE 3.5mm jack going to TWO earbuds. So, this means that the iPod is designed so that ONE jack takes the audio signal out of the iPod, but this signal goes in to TWO places (ie your left and right ears). So, if you want to connect the iPod to your PA/mixing desk, you need to apply the same cabling configuration – ie use two input channels on your mixer. The mini-jack/earphone output of the iPod is stereo which means it sends out both Left and Right channels (which is why you have two earphones of course)! So, as you can imagine, if you connect a cable which has only one jack at the mixer end and is plugged in to one input channel of your mixing desk, you will only get a partial sound (ie only one side of the iPods output).

Even if the jack you use at the mixer end is a stereo jack, the input channel on your desk is mono, so you will still only get half the sound. It’s worth noting that even if your desk is mono and/or you run your amplifiers or PA in mono, you still need to use TWO inputs of your desk for the iPod because the issue is not one of whether you work in stereo or mono – the issue is that stereo actually simply means two channels (Left & Right), and in order for you to hear the FULL sound of any stereo device you connect, you need to feed a Left and Right signal to it, regardless of whether your PA system is set up in mono or stereo.

The correct way…
To feed the FULL sound from your iPod in to your PA/mixing desk, you need a stereo cable which has a stereo mini-jack (3.5mm) at one end, and TWO 1/4″ (6.3mm) jacks at the other end. You could also use a cable which has a stereo mini-jack (3.5mm) at one end and two XLR jacks at the other end if your mixing desk uses XLR connections. Both cables will do the same job – just pick whichever cable suits your mixing desk inputs.

By connecting your iPod in this way, the full signal (Left & Right) will come out of the 3.5mm jack in your iPod and the two jacks at the other end (XLR or 6.3mm) will feed both those Left & Right signals in to two channels of your mixing desk – resulting in a full sound with nothing missing.

Troubleshooting
If you are using the proper cable and have correctly connected your iPod to your mixing desk, you should now have a perfect sound and no more problems. However, if you are still experience sound problems (and don’t know what’s to blame), I’ve devised a fairly simple test which should help you troubleshoot your system.

Even if you don’t have any problems and you are quite happy that your cable, iPod and PA are all working just fine, I still recommend you run this simple test – it’ll only take you a couple of minutes (and you may just discover that not all is as well as you thought)!

The test uses a process of elimination to troubleshoot the problem, and goes through each possible problem area step by step, so make sure you complete the test in the proper sequence using the steps below:

Step 1: Download the mp3 audio test file  and then transfer it in to your iPod, just in the same way you would download and transfer any other mp3 backing track file to your iPod. The audio test file contains a voice speaking the words “left channel” and “right channel”. When the voice says “left channel”, you should hear it coming out of the left channel ONLY. When the voice says “right channel”, you should hear it coming out of the right channel ONLY.

Step 2: Check that your iPod is putting out the correct audio signals by connecting earphones/headphones to your iPod and “playing” the audio test file. Do you hear the “left channel” and “right channel” spoken audio coming through the left and then right sides of your earphones? If the answer is “yes”, then you have now established that your iPod is working properly and is correctly giving out proper left and right audio signals. Now move on to step 3.

Step 3: Plug your microphone in to the first channel of your mixer/PA that you intend using for your iPod and speak in to it to check that the channel is accepting sound and producing audio. Now plug your microphone in to the second channel that you intend using for your iPod and speak in to it to check that this channel is also accepting sound and producing audio. If you can hear yourself talking through your microphone when it’s connected to each channel, then congratulations, you’ve now established that your mixer/PA is accepting audio signals on the two channels you’ve earmarked for the iPod and you can move on to step 4.

Step 4: Connect your iPod, via the cable, to the two channels of the mixer you just tested in step 3. Remember, you may need to adjust (ie reduce) the gain/trim control before connecting the iPod because the input level of the iPod will probably be much stronger than the input level of the microphone you used to test these channels – you don’t want to end up with a distorted sound! Now play the audio test file from the iPod. You should clearly hear the spoken words “left channel” and “right channel” coming out of your PA speakers. If you are running your PA in mono, the “left channel” and “right channel” spoken words will obviously come out both your PA speakers and if you are running your PA in stereo, you will hear the “left channel” and “right channel” spoken words come out of their respective, separate speakers.

If the above test fails at step 1, you haven’t downloaded the audio test file properly or transferred it to your iPod properly.

If the test fails at step 2, your iPod or earphones are faulty.

If the test fails at step 3, your microphone or one or both channels of your mixing desk are faulty.

If the test fails at step 4, then your cable is faulty.

Setting the iPod volume level
The other thing that singers often write to me about is “low signals” or “low volume” problem. There is a simple solution to this…turn up the volume! OK, OK, I know…if it was that easy, everyone would just do it and wouldn’t be writing to me and asking about it! And the reason many people don’t know how to set the iPod’s volume control is because it is kinda “hidden” (by that I mean that it is does not have a master volume control in its settings menu as you would expect). It does have a “volume limit” control in the “settings” menu (which I recommend you set to just a little below maximum) but to set the main volume, you need to have an actual song playing before you can do this (a bad bit of designing Apple – shame on you)!

So, to adjust the main volume, when a song is playing, turn the click wheel clockwise and this will increase the volume. I like to keep this volume level just a little below maximum too. The reason I suggest this is that this volume setting will give a fairly high output signal so you don’t need so much gain at your mixing desk (and it also maximizes the signal to noise ratio keeping background noise down and giving a much cleaner signal).

And, while I’m on the subject of setting the correct gain on your mixing desk, I must stress very strongly that you MUST make sure that you set the controls on your mixing desk correctly before you connect the iPod to it, especially the gain control (sometimes known as the “trim” control). If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then it is essential that you read my article on setting volume levels BEFORE you go plugging your iPod in to your PA system!

 

Eventide’s Mixing Link™

In Effects, Gears, Sonorisation on June 28, 2016 at 6:47 pm

 

1600-MixingLink_detail04Published April 2014, by Paul White

Eventide’s Mixing Link is one of those products that seems so obvious that you wonder why nobody has done it before. At its simplest, it is a microphone preamp, complete with switchable phantom power, built into a stompbox along with a footswitch‑controlled effects loop for the connection of effects pedals or processors. This format makes it ideal for live performance, as vocalists can now create their own pedalboard of vocal effects in much the same way as guitarists do.

The Mixing Link accepts microphone, instrument or line‑level inputs, and includes some additional I/O and routing options that extend its flexibility. For example, it can also be used to switch a guitar between two different amplifiers, using the effects send as the second output; or, conversely, by using the effects return jack as a second input, it could switch between two sound sources connected to one amplifier. It also works well as a stand‑alone mic preamp, offering up to 65dB of gain for feeding into the line‑level input of a recording system. The headphone output may be used for vocal monitoring, silent rehearsal or simply as a studio headphone amp.

Chain Links
SeitenansichtBuilt into a die‑cast box with an attractive top panel and powered either from a 9V battery or from the included universal‑voltage external adaptor — which is required if you need the phantom power — the Mixing Link uses a ‘combi’ XLR/jack for the mic/line input, with a separate jack for the instrument input. A three‑way toggle switch on the rear panel selects phantom power on or off, or battery operation. A small push switch selects between high and low input‑gain modes for the mic input: high would be the normal setting for dynamic microphone use, though loud vocalists working close to the mic might get by on the low gain setting. The two level‑setting LEDs will let you know which to use. There’s also a ground‑lift switch, though this will probably only be needed if an input source that is already grounded (such as the preamp output of a guitar amp) is connected to the unit. Inside the case is another switch for setting whether the footswitch kills the connected effects dead or whether it allows any reverb/delay tails to continue to their natural conclusion. In other words, it kills either the effects return or the effects send.

The Mixing Link uses jacks for the effects send and return points, which may be used either balanced or unbalanced. The main output is on a balanced XLR, and there’s a recessed switch in the base of the pedal to select line or DI level. A further jack output is present, for sending the signal to an amplifier via the amp/phones level control (which also controls the level of the mini‑jack headphone out). Finally, there’s a bi‑directional Aux I/O connection. This is a four‑conductor TRRS mini‑jack socket that can operate as either a consumer‑style stereo input or a mono output.

eventide_link_tylBy connecting the Aux jack to a device such as an iPhone or iPad running effects apps, it is possible to use your choice of apps rather than conventional pedals. The same jack could alternatively be used as a recording feed to a suitable device, and it is also possible to play stereo backing tracks into the aux input (which remain in stereo in the headphone output), where they will be mixed with the main input. Any signal present at the aux input is also fed, in mono, to the amp, effects‑send and main outputs, though there’s no gain control for the aux input so levels must be controlled at source. All the circuitry has plenty of headroom, with the 500kΩ‑impedance instrument input able to accept signals up to +10dBu, and the line input up to +24dBu. The outputs can also manage up to +10dBu.

A pair of semi‑recessed miniature toggle switches on the top panel allow the footswitch that controls the effects loop to be set to either latching or momentary action, and for the central control knob to adjust the level of only the effects, effects plus dry signal, or the wet/dry mix. The headphone monitor output and amp signals are controlled by the knob on the left, while the knob on the right sets the input gain. Status LEDs show that the pedal is powered up and that the phantom power is switched on.

In The Mix
Clearly, a lot of thought has gone into making the Mixing Link as versatile as possible — the over‑used term ‘Swiss Army Knife’ is thoroughly deserved in this instance! It can be a DI box with ground lift, a signal source selector, an output switcher, a mic preamp, an interface for a smart‑phone recording system or the heart of a vocalist’s live effects setup. It could also be used as a headphone amp, to allow a guitar player to switch an entire chain of effects pedals on and off from one switch, or to switch a signal between two different destinations. It can even be used to mix backing tracks with a vocal or instrument input.

As a mic preamp, the Mixing Link has plenty of clean gain on tap for use with typical capacitor and dynamic mics. Even ribbon mics shouldn’t be a problem, as in DI mode you can apply more gain at the input of the mixer or other device into which the Mixing Link is plugged, if the existing 65dB isn’t enough. I couldn’t really hear any significant subjective difference between the preamps in my audio interface (which is a good one) and the Mixing Link, so I’d have no qualms about using it for recording. However, the most valuable aspect of the Mixing Link, at least for my own applications, is the one first mentioned, namely its ability to connect to and control live vocal effects via its send/return loop. The mode I tried first was with the switch set to give 100 percent dry signal pass‑through, and the middle knob adjusting the level of added effect — which, for vocals, often comprises a combination of delay and/or reverb. The other modes are equally useful, letting you pass the whole signal through an effect such as compression or even distortion (in which case external pedals need to be set to 100 percent wet, of course).

I experienced no noticeable added noise when connecting third‑party pedal‑style effects via the loop, and everything worked predictably and cleanly. Even using an iPhone to generate the effects worked fine, though you have to pick apps that can use the phone’s existing I/O and not the ones that rely on specialist audio adaptors if you want to use the direct mini‑jack connection. Some apps also add a bit of latency, though if you’re using them simply to add delay or reverb to your dry signal that shouldn’t be a problem. The dry signal always remains pristine in this mode, as it never passes through the connected effects.

Ultimately, the Mixing Link achieves everything it sets out to do with minimal fuss and with more than its share of style. Being picky, I’d say that some of the legending, especially that on the sides of the case, is difficult to read, but in all other respects the Mixing Link is a professionally designed piece of kit with a number of ‘save the day’ applications in addition to what I see as its primary function as a mic preamp with switchable effects loop.

Alternatives
The only practical alternative I can think of that might offer similar functionality is to buy a small mixer. There are several affordable small‑mixer options, but nothing so compact as the Mixing Link, and of course mixers don’t usually have built‑in footswitches to control the effects loop.

more review here: Review – Eventide MixingLink

User manual here also:  MixingLinkUG

Suprema Jazz series (Single Channel) 1×12, 1×15, 1×10

In Amps, Gears on June 12, 2016 at 4:35 pm

The Single channel Jazz Suprema was completely dialed in for Archtops from the ground up! Powered by real tubes tone to liven up your tone!!

We voiced this amp to be able to stay clean and keep all it’s headroom even at loud volumes. Normal electric guitar amps are meant to break-up when pushed for the slight overdrive tone. Well not this amp! The Jazz Suprema has the most amount of headroom possible in a 55watt configuration. Tone controls like Middle “pull for Notch, Treble “Bright” and Focus “Pull Fat” allow you to tailor your jazz tone matching any Archtop guitar and pickup configuration.

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The Pull-Notch on the Middle control can cut out feedback on your Archtop.  The Pull “Fat” gives a big bottom boost.  The Treble “Bright” adds a nice shimmer to the top end for those complex chords to cut through the mix.  The Focus control allows you to tighten or loosen your speaker.  This Focus is great if you’re in a situation where a room might be to boomy and you need to tighten up the bass.  Also, included is a Foot switchable spring reverb.

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The 1×15 combo version is slightly taller but skinnier to keep as portable as possible for a 15″

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The 15″ version is loaded with a Jensen C15N.

 

 

 

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left:  Jazz Suprema 25 watt 1×10 version.  For those Archtop players that don’t need the loud volumes capable of the 55watt models and need something even lighter and more compact, the new Jazz Suprema 25watt 1×10 is for you!  An all tube amp dedicated for the needs of the Archtop player.

 

 

 

Specs:

    • 50 Watts EL-34 powered (1×15 & 1×12 version ) or 25 watts (1×10 version) 6V6 powered available.
    • Celestion T-75 12″ speaker or Jensen C15N 15″ speaker or Custom Rivera Eminence 10″.
    • Foot switchable spring Reverb
    • Venus styled Split grill with Black Tolex and Gold Grill cloth.
    • Hand Built in the USA
    • Voiced for maximum headroom
 

Jazz Suprema 55 1×15 Dimensions and weight:

  • Height: 21″ with rubber feet – 53,34 cm
  • Width: 23 3/4″  – 60,32 cm
  • Depth: 10″ – 25,40 cm
  • Weight: 49 lbs. (estimate) – 22,22 kg

Jazz Suprema 55 1×112 Dimensions and weight:

  • Height: 18″ with rubber feet – 45,72 cm
  • Width: 23 3/4″ – 60,32 cm
  • Depth: 12″ – 30,48 cm
  • Weight: 49 lbs. (estimate) – 22,22 kg

 

 

Jazz Suprema 25 1×10 Dimensions and weight:

  • Height: 17 1/4″ with rubber feet – 43,81 cm
  • Width: 18 3/4″  – 47,62 cm
  • Depth: 10.5″ – 26,67 cm
  • Weight: 38 lbs. (estimate) – 17, 23 kg

Covering: vinyl

Cleaning of vinyl covering: Moist cloth, dishwashing liquid

User Manual:  Jazz suprema owners manual sngl chnll

Additional Videos


Ibanez LGB 300 VYS

In Archtop, Gears on June 5, 2016 at 11:34 pm

Finally, there are not so many Archtop with a 45″ inch Nut width, I was pleased to find this one. Seems that I going to felt in love. (priced 3519€ at Thomann/Woodbrass). I’ll have to wait a bit more to buy one. 🙂
 

  • LGB Neck Joint: 3pc Maple LGB300 set-in neck features slim, fast & maximum playing comfort.
  • LGB Body: Spruce top and Maple sides and back, with beautiful high gloss sunburst finish.
  •  Sure Grip Knobs: The Sure Grip III knobs are designed for precise control with nonslip functionality, along with smooth and classic looks
  •  Super 58 Pickups (LGB300): The Super 58 pickups can deliver the smooth, nuanced tones of jazz and the biting growl of blues.
  •  Gotoh® Machineheads: Gotoh SG510 machineheads provide super precision, an ultra smooth feel, andminimal back lush.

SPECS

neck type LGB 3pc Maple set-in neck
body Spruce top/Maple back & sides
fretboard Bound Ebony fretboard w/Acrylic & Abalone block inlay
fret Medium frets w/Prestige fret edge treatment
number of frets 22 frets
bridge Ebony bridge
tailpiece LGB300 tailpiece
neck pickup Super 58 (H) neck pickup (Passive/Alnico)
bridge pickup Super 58 (H) bridge pickup (Passive/Alnico)
factory tuning 1E, 2B, 3G, 4D, 5A, 6E
string Flatwound strings
string gauge .011/.015/.022w/.030/.040/.050
nut Bone nut
hardware color Gold
case/bag Hardshell case included

NECK DIMENSIONS

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Scale 628mm/24.7″
a : Width at Nut 45mm
b : Width at Last Fret 58mm
c : Thickness at 1st 20mm
d : Thickness at 12th 22mm (at 9F)
Radius 305mmR

BODY DIMENSIONS

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a : Length 20″
b : Width 16 1/2″
c : Max Depth 4 1/4″

SWITCHING SYSTEM

 

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CONTROLS

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Who says you can’t play jazz on a Strat?

In Gears, Sonorisation on May 27, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Who says you can’t play jazz on a Strat?! This partscaster is not “set up for jazz” in any special way, and yet it sounds great. No humbuckers, flatwounds, or severely rolled off tone here. See full specs at the end of the video.