Tag Archives: audio gear

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

It seems intuitive…

As we delve deeper into making recordings for Octave Records some interesting observations have surfaced.

For one thing, achieving a great room sound doesn’t always involve perfectly capturing the room despite the fact that seems rather intuitive. If we place a stereo set of microphones at a distance from the performers we do indeed get a great room sound. However, this comes at the expense of intimacy. What we hoped for was an intimate recording that feels as if the musicians are in the room.

It turns out that in order to achieve both the in-room experience and a sense of intimacy with the musicians, we need a combination of close-miking and more distant stereo microphones.

In the past, I’ve heard wonderful recordings from Keith Johnson that combined room, as well as intimacy, which he achieved with a stereo microphone and careful proximity to that microphone.

As we might have guessed, there’s plenty of recording techniques available to us.

The secret to great recordings turns out to be the same as the secret to designing great audio gear.

One has to listen.

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Hearing what you want to hear

We sometimes front-load our expectations into what we believe people will say or what a stereo system should sound like. I can’t count the number of times I’ve walked into a room full of loudspeakers and prejudged their performance before the music started playing. Often, I am surprised, both pleasantly and otherwise.

The problem with preloaded expectations is we have to work past them to get to the core of what’s really there—yet, it’s often those very expectations that drove us to try something new in the first place.

When I am told what to expect from a piece of audio gear or new technology, the results can go one of two ways: I am happily rewarded or sadly disappointed. The problem with this process is we can often miss the underlying truth blurred by our preconceived notions.

It’s not always possible to audition new gear without the burden of expectations but, when we get the chance, it’s likely to give us a more honest result.