Saturday, 10 January 2015

Contact mic testing...

Today I did the test that I have been meaning to do for a while. I am recording a comparison test between Barcus-Berry and Harley Benton contact microphones. I am lending a Barcus-Berry contact microphone, Piezo crystal sensor, with a 4000XL Piezo Preamp that comes with it. I have my own contact mic or basically a Harley Benton HB-T pick-up mic of a very cheap one. About 12 euros worth that I bought from Thomann some time ago.

For those who don't know what a contact microphone is, more info on Wikipedia.

Well, I decided to record a dish washer as a test to compare these to mics. I have only lifted the volume with 10dB from the original. I recorded using the same pre amp for them both, only by switching. I placed them in the center metal panel first.

Here are the sounds of both mics to compare:

As you probably hear there is a difference but it is not that bad actually. The Harley Benton pick-up mic sounds a little more muffled and bassier that the Barcus-Berry contact mic.

At least I now know how much there is difference with a very expensive contact mic and a very cheap one. You know it now too :)

Monday, 5 January 2015

Gramophone Fixing Part 1...

Some time ago I got two gramophones and some gramophone (shellac) records from my dad. Ever since I have been diving into the world of these mystic gramophones and shellac records. Some time ago I checked the condition of my gramophones with a professional and there are some problems with the gramophones that need to be fixed. So I have decided to fix them and clean the records so that I am able to play them.

During this weekend I have been washing the records. This is what I did:

1. The way to do this is to have hand warm water with a little bit of fairy liquid for washing. Then I scrubbed the records in the water with a microfiber cloth.

2. I rinsed the records under running water. I needed to be careful not to wash the label of the record because it might loose its colours.

3. Then I placed the record between two towels and pressed all over to dry the most of the water.

4. Then with a dry microfiber cloth I cleaned the record along the swirl of the record.

5. I have a rack for the records so after that I put them there for over night drying, before putting them into their sleeves.

6. Finally I put the records into their sleeves. And they looked so shiny and clean.

I bet the sound is much better now. I have about 50 shellac records including songs by artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Pat Boone, Doris Day, Nat King Cole and many others. I am buying more records all the time. Later I will post more about my process in the following parts...

 Here are some photos of the shellac record washing up:

   1. Washing.                                                                 2. Rinsing.

   3. Drying.                                                                     4. Cleaning.

   5. Drying over night                                                     6. Records in their sleeves.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

First sounds of the year 2015

Today I am posting my first blog post. I am thrilled to start the year with firework sounds! I recorded the changing of the year while I was walking in the park next to Kumpula botanical garden. There was a countdown to the changing of the year. I also gathered some of the best fireworks I heard in the park. These are the first sounds of the year 2015 that I heard.

Fireworks sure sound great don't they :)