Email This BlogThis! This mic was given to me from a friend who runs a studio. No fun at all So they gave it to me!
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Hugh was approached last year by Rob Ashard, who has been involved with Radio Caroline as an occasional presenter and studio engineer for about 12 years. You can read all about the history of Radio Caroline in the side box and on their web site, www. Anchors Away! The station plays quality music as opposed to disposable, highly rotated pop , almost exclusively from albums. They also broadcast the Ross Revenge show on most Bank Holidays, live from the ship of the same name, which is currently being restored at Tilbury Docks.
The Challenge With some Auralex and Universal Acoustics foam in place, Rob Ashard recorded some hand-claps to see what effect the treatment had had on the sound of the room. When we arrived, the studio desk and associated equipment was placed in one corner of the rear half of the room, with administrative and maintenance areas plus an area filled with surplus gear and spare parts in the other half.
This was very noticeable in the presenter headphones, and the problem was made worse by the very modest broadcast dynamic processing applied to the transmission stream. Clearly, some acoustic treatment was required, but what and how? Transmission processing is carried out by an Optimod TV , configured to provide some automatic gain control and very gentle multi-band compression, but no hard limiting.
Happy Clappy These two waveforms show the sound of handclaps recorded both before the acoustic treatment was in place left , and after right. As you can see, the contribution of early reflections to the sound was significantly reduced after the room was treated. The studio is usually occupied with live broadcasting, of course, but to facilitate our visit, both the morning and afternoon shows had been pre-recorded, so we had unrestricted access to the studio.
It was immediately obvious how live-sounding it was as we walked in, and the angled wall behind and to the side of the console tended to focus reflected sounds straight back towards the main mic.
Cardioid microphones are very sensitive to sounds in front of them, and only slightly less sensitive to sounds from the sides. Placing good sound absorbers behind the presenter would significantly reduce any sound rattling around the room that might otherwise bounce off the rear wall and reach the mic. Unfortunately, although they were nearly the same size, the differences between metric and imperial measurements soon became apparent The Auralex panels measured two feet square and two inches deep, while the Universal Acoustics tiles were xmm and 50mm deep.
The plain Auralex tiles were placed above the Universal Acoustics ones, to maximise the absorptive area. The latter inevitably extended slightly beyond the bottom row because of the size variance, but no one seemed to mind!
This could be removed very easily in an interview situation, to maintain eye contact with the guest. Fitting the tiles was very straightforward, after we had removed the large number of classic band-related posters adorning the studio walls! Rob and Cliff professed themselves very pleasantly surprised and pleased with the improvement, both in terms of acoustics and visual aesthetics — as well as the speed with which we had been able to transform the room.
Two different models arrived, as the main mic, our Neumann U87, is much larger than the guest mic, which is an AKG D Installation took just minutes. These are great bits of kit. Sadly, history was repeated in when this ship ended up on the Goodwin Sands. Thankfully, it got off intact and is now in Tilbury docks being restored. Its studios are fully functional and broadcast live from the ship on some Bank Holiday weekends.
It was the first of many offshore pirate radio stations dotted around the UK coastline, coming on the air over Easter in , and really taking the country by storm. The pop pirates broadcast using studios and transmitters on ships and maritime sea-forts that were outside British territorial waters. No-one gets paid, and the money comes from some advertising and contributions from its many dedicated supporters. Expect to hear the Foo Fighters following the Stones!
Internet radio is growing at an amazing rate and Caroline has been there for many years now. Technical Details The equipment rack at Radio Caroline, which houses meters, network routers and, in the middle, an Orban Optimod automatic leveller and multi-band compressor. While many FM radio stations set their processors to achieve the loudest most compressed sound on the dial, this can lead to listener fatigue.
AKG D224E (circa 1968) The Best Dynamic Microphone Ever Made?
In all, I was surprised at how well the AKG did. AKG microphones are among the most respected and widely used in the field of professional audio, and there can be few, if any, studios that do not use some models from their extensive and varied range. Like the D, some LF handling noise is evident, although stand mounted use is envisaged for most recording applications. It really helps — c you! However, the D, despite a styling and finish that give it the appearance of a scaled-downis not able to offer the same level of performance. The D is an odd little duck. Yeah that sounds about right.
AKG D202E ‘Sound Rocket’ (1967-1980s) An icon of 60s design by Ernst Graf.
Studio SOS: Radio Caroline