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Re: echoplex or jamman?

At 06:01 PM 10/29/98 -0500, Dennis W. Leas wrote:
>Kim Flint wrote:
>> Again, you have the input too high, and you are clipping the digital 
>> path. Set the input level correctly on the Echoplex, and you won't have 
>> problem. Use the tambourine as a reference signal, and refer to your 
>> before the Level LED. When the tambourine sounds fine in a loop, you 
>are set.
>As always, I appreciate your response, Kim.  But have you tried a real
tambourine?  I 
>don't have problems with real cymbals and drums.  I definitely have
problems with the 
>tambourine and ting-sha.  When I turn the gain down enough for the
tambourine everything 
>else is far too low.  I'm using a Shure SM-57 and a Tascam 1024 mixer.  I
have the EDP 
>plumbed into the AUX 1 and returning to a line-level channel.  I am
especially interested 
>in your response to trying a real tambourine.

ah, I think what you are encountering is that the natural dynamic range of
the tambourine is so very wide. I guess that's a problem that you have to
deal with when using percussion instruments electronically. I don't know
exactly what the tambourine response is, but I've seen snare drum 
measured over 140dB! I'd guess a tambourine would be similar or greater. A
140dB transient is more than any digital gear can manage, so the question 
always going to be how badly does it fail to handle this. The echoplex,
unfotunately, sounds crappy when it clips, so using some compression to 
the large attacks a little is probably a good idea. 

You probably don't need to compress everything though, just the tambourine
and ting-sha since those have a problem. That will probably help them sound
better in other gear too, although it's likely not as dramatic. The 
uses a VCA to do quick analog cross-fades when you start and end loop
recording, which helps prevent pops at the seam between beginning and end 
the loop. This works great and solves a problem that all the other loopers
seem to suffer from, but this same part sounds horrible when it clips. So
it's a tradeoff there, I guess. In other gear you'd probably just be
clipping opamps somewhere, which won't be so bad but not great either.

I have used tambourine sounds, but they were samples or straight off a CD.
So they were already compressed a bit in comparison to a live version. They
sounded fine in the Echoplex, I didn't have any trouble with them as long 
the input level was set correctly.

Kim Flint, MTS                 408-752-9284
Chromatic Research             kflint@chromatic.com