Entirely free. Requires XCode.
Download and install Soundflower.
Open Audio MIDI Setup.
Create Aggregate Device (Audio -> Open aggregate device editor),
- Built-in output (or whatever output you need)
Set default output to Soundflower.
Start audio. At this point you should hear nothing.
Open AU Lab (/Developer/Applications/Audio/AU Lab.app).
Add 1 stereo input track, set Audio Device to "Aggregate device".
Now you should hear sound and see level meters move.
In either Audio 1 or Output 1 strip, click Effects drop-down and
select Apple Graphic EQ, or whatever else you want!
Preface: A few months ago I found an amazing device I should have found
years ago â€” the amazing Zoom H2. Appropriately dubbed "a studio on a
stick", it can produce amazing sounding location recordings. In the
right hands, of course.
By "mastering" such a recording I mean simply making it listenable and
enjoyable. The process is different from a conventional mix. On one
hand, the material is taken care of and, if you're lucky enough to be
listening to great musicians, already sounds very good. On the other
hand, the only things you can really control is the mic position and
your input gain level. Your task in post production, therefore, becomes
correcting the things you could not change earlier.
This is a big one. During a performance levels can fluctuate wildly
between sets, individual songs, solo sections, etc.. This works great
when you are part of the setting, but listening to such a recording
would be rather difficult, especially in less than ideal environment
such as a car. You would have to keep adjusting the volume to hear the
quiet parts over the noise and to keep the loud parts from blasting your
We can avoid that by preemptively doing it for the listener: with volume
automation curves and compressors. But take care not to destroy the
dynamics entirely â€” the level changes must be subtle enough to keep
the quiet parts perceptibly quiet and loud parts loud. Just enough to
make the whole thing intelligible at a moderate and constant level.
To throw in a video analogy, there are webcams that show a static frame
with a person moving about and then there are some webcams that
constantly follow your face and fill the screen with it. You have to
play the camera operator, zooming in and out when appropriate to produce
a smooth and transparent viewing experience that does not get in the way
of the story.
My processing chain
There is a gain plugin set to +6.8dB to bring the recording into a more
useable range. The rest is just volume automation, some of it done
riding a fader, but mostly just mouse drawing. I briefly toyed with a
compressor but could not get it to sound right to my ears.
The order of EQ and compression still puzzles me, but this placement is
logical: it is there to correct the room/mic response. Where I was
sitting it picked up hardly any bass and there was a pronounced honk
around 400Hz. Also, I was very close to the drummer and the cymbals are
just way too overpowering most of the time, so everything above 2.7kHz
comes down about 5dB to keep them under control.
Tricky to operate and very easy to make a total mess of your sound. I
started off with a "Slow Attack 4-Band" preset and played with it to add
some punch below 40Hz and to control the cymbals a bit more.
Two of them, sharing the gain increase. They seem to adapt better this
G&L L-series basses are Leo Fender's last creation. They are great. They
feature two humbucking pickups and three configuration selector
- Pickup selector: neck/both/bridge
- Series/parallel switch
- Preamp: passive/active/active with treble boost
Notice the 0.1 uF caps on the pickups in series â€” those are "bass
boost" caps present in the early L-2*00 models. Later they were
removed, which is a shame, they sounded great.
Not only they are beasts in their stock configuration, they are quite
mod-friendly. A popular mod adds a single coil option. Here is a
#7 is what I'll probably do, with added DPDT push-pull switches. But
there is one thing I don't get. Notice that the caps are present and how
the neck cap is grounded, but the bridge cap connects to the bridge
output. Why is that?
This was unexpected enough to warrant a mention: the PER hangs when it
is sent any of the upgrade sysex'es (OS, DSP, Voice). It shows the
"loading" message, but the countdown doesn't start.
- PER v2.0, upgrading to 2.1
- Edirol PCR-M1 as a MIDI interface
- 10.6 and 10.5 Macs, latest drivers for the respective OS'es
- SysEx Librarian, PolyEvolver500 editor
So it appears the PCR-M1 is doing something of which Dave Smith does not
approve. I would be curious to find out what.
For the meantime, UM-880 worked just fine.