After The Rain – A story of these times.

Click. Click click. Kaid put down the image translator and gazed towards the horizon. It had finally stopped raining. The upper atmosphere was still boiling from the shock of the ships coming in, the clouds showing a grey-black swirl that twisted this way and that like an animal in pain. In the far distance, the horizon showed several rising plumes of dust from missiles that had missed their targets. These were dwarfed by a much larger debris cloud which seemed to be nearer, probably an ammunition ship that had been hit on entry. Fortunately they were mostly drones, and command always reckoned on up to 50% losses in these drops anyway.

Copyright 2022 Bruno Goh Luse
The photograph which inspired this story.

The horizon was still lit by occasional dirty yellow flashes, the last of the post-drop bombardment. Soon it would be time to move. He looked at his display and saw their partner unit just to the West of them, along their line of advance. The readout identified it as RZ-9476 but they all knew him as “Old Gray”. The fact that the initials matched up to some obscure cultural reference from the late 20th and early 21st century was amusing to the marines in an ironic sort of way.

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Light vs. Custom Light strings on my Takamine CP7MO TT

Takamine CP7MO TT bridge

I’ve owned this lovely guitar since February 2017 – seems like only a few months ago that I bought it. I guess the past two years have been a bit of a black hole for many of us. I was really excited to get this instrument – it’s one of the relatively few Takamine models with the 45mm (1-3/4″) nut that is relatively affordable, priced at around US$2,000 at time of writing. Since the bluegrass series was discontinued, these wider-nut guitars have been largely restricted to the very top of the pro series and limited edition guitars such as the EF75M TT, EF7M-LS etc. I like to play a combination of strumming and fingerstyle, so this combination of features: OM body style, thermal spruce top with ovangkol back and sides (a variation on rosewood), and 45mm nut is ideal.

Having said that, this guitar has always felt a bit “hard to play” with the stock light (12-53) strings. I’m not sure if this is a function of the way the guitar was set up from the factory but whenever I switch to this instrument from one of my other Taks the strings feel comparatively hard to press down, especially the two unwound strings, especially when playing barre chords. So this has always prevented me from fully enjoying the instrument. It’s not a big deal, maybe the difference between 90% and 100% satisfaction.

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Adventures in one-mic recording

Sometimes new gear can inspire! I recently decided to refresh my microphone stable and realised that I have not purchased a large diaphragm condenser (LDC) mic for almost two decades. Well, that’s not strictly true, seeing that my Audio-Technica AE5100s and AE3000s are technically LDCs, but many purists do not regard these as such since, a) the 5100s are end-address and, b) neither model is externally-biased. So in that sense the last LDC that I purchased was my Rode NT1-A, which I think I got way back in 2003 or 2004, when the then-distributor of Rode in Singapore was closing shop. I also have one of the original Rode NT1s, in its ‘hospital grey’ paint. Side note – the AE3000 is actually quite a competent side-address condenser microphone – I used it for my Breedlove Atlas Retro OM/SMe review, shot in 2017, seems like a lifetime ago now.

So after perusing the Audio-Technica catalog and getting some prices I decided to purchase an AT4040, the single-diaphragm, cardioid-only cousin of the AT4050. It was either that or the AT4047/SV, which in Singapore at least is more than twice the price of the 4040! Just goes to show how much output transformers cost… and yes it does have a different diaphragm and different circuitry. Anyway, no money right now blah, blah, blah…

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“Books and Educational material” page added to Amazon links.

Recently one of my viewers asked me to recommend some books on live sound, so I thought what a great opportunity to update the Amazon links section of the website! I’ve been teaching and training live sound engineers since 2005, and in that time have relied on wide variety of books and video resources, which I am sure will benefit you my viewers as well.

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to a great sounding 2022! 😄😄😄

Shure Beta58a added to Amazon links section.

In June of 2018, I uploaded a video comparing the legendary Shure SM58 vocal microphone to its much more modern cousin, the Beta58a. When the Beta series launched in 1989, Shure knew better than to discontinue their iconic vocal microphone, and both remain in production today. With a supercardioid polar pattern, hardened steel grille and updated colour scheme, the Beta58a has several significant upgrades over the SM58, but is also some 60% more expensive, no doubt a significant factor that has prevented it from repeating the worldwide success of its stablemate.

For some reason the microphone was never included in the microphone section of my Amazon store, something has I have now rectified. You can also purchase the microphone directly on Amazon here. As always, thanks for your support!

Connectors page added to Amazon links section

The Amazon links section has been expanded to include a ‘connectors‘ page to list the various pro audio connectors that I recommend. To start off I have added the Neutrik SpeakON connector, covered in my video “How to wire Neutrik Speakon connectors”. These are, in my opinion, the only loudspeaker connectors that should be used for Pro Audio.

Communication breakdown?!

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,
Yeah that’s what it feels like…

You may have noticed that this website has been intermittent over the past few days, or that you are getting a ‘Connection Reset’ error when you try to access different pages. Please rest assured that I am aware of this problem and am working with my hosting company to sort it out.

Some good news in the meantime – I have finally got some time to work on the channel, so hopefully new content should be coming your way in the next few weeks, God willing.

Jensen vs. Eclipse transformers in Radial DIs?

Happy New Year everyone! Had an interesting question come in from a viewer recently on one of the DI box videos and thought I’d post my response here as well:

G.M.: Hello Bruno. One question that has been on my mind lately is the difference between comparable units in Radial’s DI lineup between their Pro XX and their JXX (e.g. Pro DI vs. JDI) DIs. I believe the main difference is in the transformers with the Pro series containing Eclipse transformers and the J series including the Jensen transformers. First, would you say that is accurate? Second, are there really any other meaningful differences? and third, what really is the difference in those two transformers? I am not sure if this is something you could cover in a comment response or in another video; but, I really value your experience and opinion on these topics!! Thanks for all the great content on your channel.

GLB Productions: Hello GM, thanks for getting in touch. The first thing to understand is that there is a difference between the active and passive DIs in Radial’s lineup: for example, the J48 and Pro48 have exactly the same circuit and sound identical – the differences between them are in the feature set and also more mundane things like the size of the case and the number of colours in the graphic package.
In the case of the passive DIs, you rightly point out that the difference is in the quality of the transformers used. Radial give details about the differences on their FAQ pages e.g. here and here. Basically, the Jensen transformers are the ‘ultimate’ choice for studio use, whereas the Eclipse work fine for live use. I have found this to be true – in live sound, the frequency response of your loudspeakers is the limiting factor rather than the transformers in your DIs.

For live sound, I use the J- and Pro-series DIs interchangeably, and choose more based on the feature set needed. For example the JDI has a merge to mono feature and can also accept a speaker-level input, the ProAV series are specialist DIs with 3.5mm and RCA inputs that can solve a myriad of problems. Hope that helps!

The video that inspired the question:

Hope everyone is doing well – take care and keep sounding good!

Old videos, New chapter marks!

Older videos are now easier to navigate!

Over the past month or so I’ve upgraded some of my more popular videos by adding chapter marks to the description so that they show up when you mouse over the timeline. This makes the videos much easier to navigate and also saves time when you want to jump to a particular section.

Quickly scan through the contents of a video.

A couple of the more popular ones that have been given this treatment are my Shure SM58 vs Beta58A and Taka-Mini vs. GS Mini videos. Hopefully this enhances the channel experience for everyone.

The pandemic has been keeping me very busy with video production work – I hope to be able to resume making YouTube videos towards the end of this year or early in 2021. Until then, I continue to respond to all comments on all videos, no matter how old they are. Stay safe everyone!