April 15

Pilot MR Metropolitan/MR Animal collection/MR Retro Pop collection nib replacement

If you are interested in replacing the M stock nib on a Pilot Metropolitan (US version) or Pilot MR (EU version) fountain pen, there are no nibs sold by the company.
The good news is that Plumix, Pluminix, Metropolitan, Prera, Penmanship, and 78G fountain pens share the same pen and they are interchangeable.

For a EF nib you may spend around $10 on the Penmanship fountain pen and replace your stock M nib with the EF nib.
Good luck and Pilot them out!

March 5

Photo/audio 1/4″, 3/8″, 5/8″ threads confusion

Photo/audio 1/4 3/8 5/8 threadA lot of people keep asking what to use for flashes, Zoom recorders, professional shock mount 
microphones adapters and their DSLR

1/4″ 20 threads per inch is the thread size used on photo and video camera mounts and tripods. Your DSLR camera is having a 1/4″ thread female mount and your DSLR tripod is a 1/4″ thread male mount. Professional microphones (like those you see on stage at rock concerts 🙂 ) use 3/8″ and 5/8″ thread mounts.

The 5/8″ 27 threads per inch  mount is popular in USA, while the 3/8″ 16 threads per inch (55° flank angle) are more popular in Europe.

For example, a usual zeppelin (blimp) shockmount would usually have a 3/8″ female mount. An usual stage microphone clip would have a 5/8″ female mount but they most of the time come with a simple to 3/8″ adapter or a double 3/8″ and 1/4″ adapter.

Zoom recorders (like the popular Zoom H1) are different beasts. Since they are built for photo and video enthusiasts, they come with a 1/4″ thread. This way, they can be mounted directly on your photo tripod, without any adapter.

I hope this crazy thread thing is more clear now for you.
Oh, and I did NOT opened the 55° vs. 60° flank angle subject 😀

 

December 26

“An unexpected error occurred. Something may be wrong with WordPress.org or this server’s configuration. If you continue to have problems, please try the support forums.” wordpress problem – solved

[:en]It happened to me to get the nasty “An unexpected error occurred. Something may be wrong with WordPress.org or this server’s configuration. If you continue to have problems, please try the support forums.” message trying to install a new theme or plugin.

WordPress version: 4.7.

Solution: check the resolv.conf file. For some strange boot hiccup, my resolv.conf file was empty. 
The problem appear when wordpress has no way of resolving names.

Solution: check /etc/resolv.conf file for a “nameserver x.x.x.x” line.
If you have no idea what am I talking about, just insert there “nameserver 8.8.8.8” without quotes.

Problem solved.
Have a nice day 🙂

 [:ro]Dacă dai de “An unexpected error occurred. Something may be wrong with WordPress.org or this server’s configuration. If you continue to have problems, please try the support forums.” pe wordpress (eventual 4.7) este pentru că de exemplu serverul nu poate rezolva adresele.

Soluție:
Editeaza /etc/resolv.conf.Dacă nu înțelegi nimic, editează sau creează fisierul /etc/resolv.conf și inserează linia: “nameserver 8.8.8.8” fără ghilimele.

Problemă rezolvată 🙂

 [:]

June 18

Why some live vocal microphones sounds better than other

Secret capsule
Live microphone capsule

(and they give you zero feedback, no matter what the **** your vocalist decide to dance right in front of the speakers)

It is because clever band technicians (and we are talking about The Band Technicians, not the equipment renting company technicians) are interested in the success of the show (they must live another day with the same artist 😐 ) and in making everyday life easier.

This is why, these guys have great respect for microphones like SM58, but they never use them (well, they use them when they can’t find the hammer :P).

For example, there are some well-known microphone manufacturers every artist wants to use because “they are so good” and as a technician, you can’t disagree – losing your job not being an option these days.
However, what one clever technician can do, is … changing the capsule 🙂
Making this more or less evident (visually) for the artist is, well, at the hand of the particular technician.
Enough said.

What I actually want to present you today is what a geek microphone creator made out of his mind.
You (probably) know that Heil is producing expensive(ish) capsules 😀
Well, what is interesting is that, these capsules, not only have a very low handling noise, but also very interesting other proprieties. This Heil technician discovered sorbothane, a material used at the time by NASA. Well, nothing fancy, rubber is good enough for a microphone, right?
Nope.

See here what sorbothane is and how can you hit an egg with a large hammer and not break it (egg or hammer :P).

Marele secret
Capsule

(si de ce nu iti flluiera, indiferent pe unde se plimba vocalistul cu ele, ca’ este el mare artist si trebuie sa faca altceva decat a facut la proba de sunet, numa’ sa te enerveze pe tine la butoane, ca’ de banii pe care ti-i plateste oricum hamalesti prea mult)

Am auzit pe undeva (dar nu la Romanica) despre niste sunetisti care schimba capsulele din microfoane, fara stirea vocalistului. Asta le confera doua avantaje:
1) Daca vocalistului i se pare ca ce bine suna SM-58 si isi cumpara si el unu’, ca “sa nu mai dea bani si la ala de la butoane  ca’ oricum nu face nimica” va avea o mare surpriza cand va descoperi ca SM-58-ul lui (chiar daca este original de la mama lui) suna altfel decat SM-58-ul tau 😀 . Nasol moment. Back to stage one, acum este momentul sa ceri o marire de salariu iar el nu va avea nimic de comentat, ca’ il arde buza 😀

2) Vocalistul se va simti el bine ca are in mana un “microfon foarte bun” marca Sure, original din Mexic, nu din China si in felul asta va canta mai bine la el (de SM-58).

Oricum o dai, numai avantaje.
Ca sa vezi cum de suna in felul ala capsulele de la Heil, uite cum e treaba cu sorbothanul asta, ca’ nu te lasa nici ouale sa (i) le spargi. Iar materialul ala are si alte efecte interesante, dar despre asta intr-un alt episod.

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August 29

Electro Harmonix 12AY7 Mic HUM problem – $33 solution for newbies

Electro Harmonix 12AY7 Mic HUM problem – $33 solution for newbies

Have you got an EH 12AY7 Mic pre with hum problems?

Well, I did and this is how you can nail that annoying noise:

1) buy a short XLR to TRS (“stereo” for us, newbies) Jack cable (it should have a XLR female and a TRS male jack) – around $3. If you find the TS (“mono”) DON NOT buy that one, is useless;

2) buy a Behringer HD 400 hum destroyer (do not pay attention to the fact that is Beh*, is just a box with two transformers and some resistors/caps in it, you will smash your head against the wall how good it sounds) – around $29.

You have saved one buck for the road 🙂

Now, connect your microphone to your valve preamp, connect the wall wart to the preamp and then stick it into the wall (if you are doing it the other way, you may see nice sparks when the power plug touches the preamp case, which is nice though 😛 ).
Connect your short cable to the XLR valve microphone preamp output and the jack to the “INPUT 1”. It is important to use the “INPUT 1” port, since this is the only one that provides grounding for the case (clever design, to avoid any ground loops, btw).

Now connect another balanced/unbalanced jack cable to your computer interface, mixer or your guitar combo.

Miracle, THE HUM IS GONE !

Pe scurt, daca ai brum (greu) in Electro-Harmonix 12AY7, e simplu.

Il duci la specialist sa il “tuneze”, sa il “regleze” si sa te scuteasca de banuti.

Dupa ce te-ai linistit cu asta, cumperi matale un cablu scurt XLR (mama) – jack TRS (tata) (am zis TRS, nu TS, adica “stereo” NU “mono”, altfel e munca in zadar, iar “las ca poate merge si asa” e valabil in alta parte, nu aici)  si un Behringer HD400 hum destroyer. Ciocu’ mic, e el Bergenbier, da’ chinezu’ mai greseste cateodata si face si lucruri bune.

Acuma legi matale microfonul la preamp, legi iesirea de XLR la cablul proaspat achizitionat (sa nu aud ca ai luat ceva mai ieftin de Cordial, ca’ iar avem treaba cu brumul si nu e bine).

Jackul il legi in “INPUT1” (am spus 1, nu 2) la HD400. Din “OUTPUT1” pleci fie cu cablu TRS catre interfata ta sau catre mixer, fie cu cablu TS catre combo-ul tau de chitara, fie catre boxa activa, fie catre cam ce vrei tu, ca’ nu mai conteaza.

Ai sa mai auzi un pic de hum, si daca ai urechi, si un pic de hiss, dar asta e ideea, desteptule, de aia ai vrut preamp pe tub, vintage !

Daca tie ti se pare ca asta e brum, sa vezi cum e cand folosesti redresare cu tub (EH 12AY7 foloseste semiconductori).

E, ai vazut ca se poate si cu bani putini?

Eeee, cu sunetul asta, nu e cum crede lumea…

April 27

Gutting Zoom H1 recorder

If you are interested in why the Zoom recorders are so clean (and cheap), check this out.

The Zoom H1 recorder is using a TLV320AIC3101 (Texas Instruments low power stereo audio codec for portable audio and telephony) and JRC 2100 (NJM2100 low voltage, low saturation output voltage dual operational amplifier).Daca vrei sa vezi de ce reportofoanele Zoom sunt asa de silentioase (si de ieftine), vezi  aici.

Zoom H1 foloseste un TLV320AIC3101 (Texas Instruments low power stereo audio codec for portable audio and telephony) si JRC 2100 (NJM2100 low voltage, low saturation output voltage dual operational amplifier).

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