Flip Flops in the Windy City: Cyber Monday!

[flickr id=”6428944517″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

I hope everyone had a Happy Cyber Monday last week!  For those that don’t know, Cyber Monday is the online equivalent of Black Friday, and it’s a big day for people that shop with vendors who have no retail outlets.  Want to know what I got?  Venture on, dear reader…this is going to get a bit technical.

DBX 1066

The DBX 1066 is an outboard compressor.  And it is hot shit.  I suggest reading the compressor link to better understand what this does.  Put simply, a compressor makes things louder.  But it does so by turning down the loudest parts of your audio signal, allowing you to turn the whole signal up without distorting.

[flickr id=”6428960005″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

This can be accomplished digitally with audio plug-ins.  But as with most things audio, it is better to do so through analog methods (actual hardware).  This is why people say records sound better than CDs.  Nick Cage even says so in The Rock, when he justifies spending upwards of $500 (in 1996 money!) on “The White Album” LP.

Why it’s awesome

There are several reasons why the DBX 1066 is awesome, and SoundOnSound says it best.  I have a few quick and dirty reasons of my own.  It is in fact an expander/gate, compressor, and limiter all built into one.  And it does these things on two channels, meaning you can run a stereo signal through it.  LED metering allows your to see levels on gain reduction and output gain.  Sidechain compression is also available.  As suggested by the MFA program’s composition professor, and resident tech guru Gary Chang, one can also simply run the master output from your session through the outboard compressor and back into your computer in order to get a cleaner sound.  Since it’s an analog compressor, the DBX 1066 will convert the digital signal into analog, and then send that signal digitally back to you computer.  Using this essentially turns it into a magic box to make your sound better.

[flickr id=”6429000307″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

The difference between the DBX 1066 and models like the 266 or 166 is power.  The 1066 simply runs on more juice, making it a more powerful machine.  I am very excited to get this, since I will use likely use it EVERYTHING I work on.  And best of all, the two directors I am currently working for are footing the bill for this, since they are so impressed with its capability.

TC Konnekt 48

The TC Konnekt 48 is an audio interface, but it is so much more!  Simply put, an audio interface allows your computer to communicate with other audio hardware.  Input example: a microphone receives an analog signal (sound), and sends that through a cable, through the interface, which converts it into a digital signal, which the computer can understand and manipulate.  Output example: the computer sends a digital signal through the interface, which converts it to an analog signal and sends it to speakers (sound).  You can have the nicest outboard gear and speakers in the world, but if you have a crappy audio signal from a lame interface, they won’t count for anything.

[flickr id=”6429036833″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

Why it’s awesome

Again, SoundOnSound says it best.  Here’s what sticks out for me: this is the same interface that our composition professor/tech guru Gary Chang uses.   I could go on trying to paraphrase SoundOnSound, but this is really the most important fact about the TC Konnekt 48.  If you listen to Gary’s music, you’ll know why.

[flickr id=”6429055801″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

For those that are keeping score, the TC Konnekt 48 is a pretty big money saver.  It has built-in bass management, meaning you won’t have to spend $800 on an outboard bass management system when mixing in 5.1.  It also comes with 4-channel EQ, mulit-band reverb, and their proprietary Fabrik reverb.  One could spend lots and LOTS of money on plug-ins or outboard gear to replace any one of those things.  And it comes with a controller/talk-back mic:

[flickr id=”6429067163″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original.” group=”” align=”none”]

Get excited.  I am.