May 30, 2015

9.30 am. Two tracks from my R R B V E Ǝ T N Ƨ O CD received an airing on The Sound Projector Music & Magazine Show last night. I’ll need to digest the responses, when time permits. It’s very difficult to develop an audience for this type of work, let alone find commentators who have the specific cultural knowldege and articulacy to review it. But these are not reasons for discouragement. Nurturing an appreciation of, and enthusiasm for, the work is as much the artist’s responsibility as making it. 10.20 pm. After a Facebook exchange with one of our hospitalized comrades (who’s slowly on the mend), I got into the sound studio and explored alternative ways to digitally record the sound output from my DJ mixer:

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The use of a USB (Type B) output from the mixer to the USB (Type A) input on the MacBook connection is a qualitative and efficient means to this end. There’s no perceivable degradation of sound quality on playback. However, my principle of practice is always to seek a second solution to a problem, even though the first may be entirely adequate. One never knows whether the adequate can be transcended and, thereby, proven to have been inadequate. So, this time, I made an balanced analogue connection between the mixer outputs and the analogue/digital converter’s mic preamp inputs:

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As expected, the quality of the analogue recording is more organic and mellow than the digital rendering — but a little boxy and lacking in detail, perhaps. The weakest link in this chain is the mixer outputs. Again, they’re entirely adequate to power a PA system (which is what they’re designed to do) but insufficient to record from. (The RME mic preamps, for their part, are par excellence.) I’ll need to do a blind (deaf?) A/B (digital/analogue) comparative test. What will my ears tell me? The weakest link in the digital connection is the USB cable. It’s el cheapo. A more accurate digital transfer would be possible using a cable costing ten times as much. There’s also one that costs 100 times more. But it would exceed my needs and pocket. However, I’ve learned never to compromise on cable. Get the best you can afford.

1.30 pm. After lunch, I made two recordings — one by the digital, the other by the analogue, pathway — for comparative purposes, and ordered a higher-spec USB cable. The digital recording may have the edge, and will the more decidedly with a better cable:

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4.15 pm. I began a rumination on on my sound practice, to the end of prioritising my activities, discerning underlying preoccupations and emphases, and deciding which types of work and methods of working should now be abandoned because they have either served their purpose or else demand too much attention, time, and money that would otherwise be spent on the priorities.

5.20 pm. Ddigonol! 6.30 pm. An evening with the family.

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