Presonus Quantum Thunderbolt Interface Review

This past month I had the opportunity to review the Presonus Quantum 2 Thunderbolt Interface for Live Sound International / ProSoundWeb.com.

Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to demo the Quantum with good friend and excellent engineer, Brian Lloyd of TinyDoor Studio’s in Cincinnati. One of Brian’s many venue’s is Cincinnati’s beautiful looking, sounding and newly renovated Memorial Hall.

A quiet Sunday afternoon offered a nice opportunity for me to record a few of my own ideas as well as a chance for Brian to A/B some microphones. Showing up with a nylon string guitar, floor tom and my 10-string Puerto Rican Cuatro we got to work. Brian had a handful of mics including the Josephson C42, Townsend Labs L22, Sennheiser MKH40 and Royer 121.

Here is a video of the Presonus Quantum 2 in action!

Test your IEM’s for blown driver fast!

A common challenge when trying to troubleshoot your own or others in ear monitors is the inability to hear individual drivers in order to test for blown drivers.

Simply play some pink noise or music and probe the holes to verify all drivers are working properly. Easy. Quick. Affordable.

Order your IEM Listening Tube now!

Radina IEM Listening TubeRadina IEM Listening Tube

 

Learn monitor mixing and career tips with Nicholas Radina!

Big thanks to Nathan Lively of Sound Design Live for the opportunity to share my career, gear and knob turning advice. I address a few of my monitor mixing tips, learning to say no in order to do more of the work you WANT to do, wireless coordination and IEM tips as well as a little history on my career path. Plus some cowbell smacking music interludes on the podcast! Enjoy! Interested in my additional live sound tips and tricks?

5 Tips to Help Solve Your Live Sound Challenges

My recent article for CincyMusic.com covers 5 Tips to Help Solve Your Live Sound Challenges! Great for musicians, performers, band leaders and sound engineers!

I quickly cover:

  • How to reduce feedback,
  • Why the back of the microphone is just as important as the front
  • Where to put your monitor wedges
  • How to know what frequency ranges to adjust
  • How to set up your wireless mics for no interference
  • How to prepare a stage plot and input list

Start solving your sound challenges so you can have a better show tonight! Check out the article “5 Tips to Help Solve Your Live Sound Challenges” at CincyMusic.com

Looking for more live sound tips?

Live Sound Gift Guide!

Do you have a “sound nerd” in your life and need to find a few perfect nerdy gifts? I’m here to help with this live sound gift guide!

All of these recommendations I’ve personally used with great success. In fact, many of these items remain on my own Amazon wish list! I can’t tell you how often I needed a sharpie and some board tape! My post “What’s in my Live Sound Bag” also has some additional ideas, too!

I’ve linked to Amazon to make it easy! (let me know if you ordered from this list and I’ll mail you a free sticker of your choice!)

One-on-one workshop with me!

SoundNerdsUnite Live Sound Workshop--Cincinnati
SoundNerdsUnite Live Sound Workshop–Cincinnati

I started Sound Nerds Unite as resource of live sound tips and techniques I’ve gathered over my career. Teaching and mentoring via group and one-on-one workshops is one of my passions! Maybe your Sound Nerd would benefit!

Stickers!

Sound Nerds Unite Sticker

Why didn’t I think of this sooner? Just $3 each. Order 3 or more and I’ll throw in a free sticker of your choice! Order now for FREE Christmas delivery.

A proper case!

The Pelican 1510.  Small yet roomy enough for all of these goodies. Plus it has wheels and perfect for that extra step needed to get on that drum riser. Opt for the lid organizer to keep your kit tight!

It’s MINE!

I can’t tell you how many items I’ve lost along the way. Give yourself a better chance! Try the P-Touch labeler.

Ear plugs.

I always have a handful of good ole’ [amazon_textlink asin=’B008MVYL7C’ text=’3M “foamies”‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’soundapi-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6b9ac5bc-1f1c-11e7-87a5-fbff6679f512′] for myself and friends, yet this set stays with you at all times and sounds quite a bit better!

Headphones

Simply essential. Two types to consider: Over-the-Ear and In-Ears (IEM). In-Ears are great for loud environments or a step up from Apple buds. I’ve gone through many over-the-ear models and have settled on two: The Sony MDR7506 or Shure SH840. For IEMS’s, try the Shure SE-215 or less expensive MEE audio M6 PRO.

Microphones!

If you spend any time with your sound nerd, the discussion on microphones can run deep! I’ll keep it simple here and recommend a few workhorses: Shure SM58 and for easy home recording, the Rode NT-USB.

Sharpies!

Essential. Although once loaned to another, human, the Sharpie will magically disappear. Save money and buy your Sharpies in the 12-count boxes. Using the “twin tip” is pretty helpful, too.

Tape!

Four varieties that find endless uses! Gaff tape, spike tape, console tape and electrical tape. (And no, Duct-Tape will never be on this list!)

Audio Problem Solvers!

Adapters, adapters, adapters! I won’t go into detail why turnarounds, y-cables, ground lift / pads , “ipod cable” and a cable tester are essential. Just trust me!

Tools!

Screwdriver, pliers and a soldering iron will handle many challenges!

Shirts!

Yes, I know. You may assume we only wear black YET we’re quite fashion conscious. Here’s a few fun ideas.

Magazine Subscriptions!

I grew up reading all things sound nerdy via magazines. Mix Magazine, Recording Magazine and Electronic Musician were some of my favorites (and not available on Kindle!). There are also some wonderful FREE subscriptions from Tape-Op and Live Sound International!

Need more ideas?

Just a taste into the world of “gear”! If you need some more ideas, check out this post!

Nicholas Radina’s essential live sound gear that goes to every gig.

Affordable Wireless Microphones

Taking the plunge to free yourself of wires and enjoy the freedom of wireless microphones is quite tempting. Although if you’re not careful, the wireless path can bring about challenges not seen before.

The wireless landscape for our entertainment world has some twists and turns. The “chunk” of bandwidth allotted for wireless microphones and wireless in-ear systems shrinks every year. Tip: Be sure to double check the range of the unit. Stay within the 470Mhz – 614Mhz. Avoid anything in the 700 Mhz range.

Although I’ve written more complex articles tacking the wireless beast, this short article aims to recommend some quick wireless microphone best practices and affordable recommendations for the wedding DJ, singer or simple corporate gig.

Static and Drop Outs!

The two most common complaints I hear when helping troubleshoot budget friendly wireless is “static” and “drop outs“.  Both problems are closely related to poor reception from transmitter to receiver and channel selection.

How to make it better!

  1. Line Of Sight – keep the receiver off the ground and high enough to “see” over people.
  2. Antenna Orientation – Orient the antennas in a 45 degree “V” shape.
  3. Fresh Batteries — wireless transmission needs proper power — low batteries are no help. I recommend quality alkaline batteries like [amazon_textlink asin=’B00GTYF1ZU’ text=’Duracell ProCell ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’soundapi-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’70c63ca6-d96a-11e7-b8d1-7d81815708a8′] or [amazon_textlink asin=’B00006LHDI’ text=’Energizer Industrial’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’soundapi-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’75cf2ce4-d967-11e7-8d57-b7a497af35db’].
  4. Scan – If available, use the scan function every time you set up and use your microphone.

My Recommendations

(Tip: Be Sure to check out Amazon’s used options to save some $$!)

  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B01NAS7Q9Q’ text=’Sennheiser XSW 1-825′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’soundapi-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2414ef77-d967-11e7-97b8-272eb99d518b’]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B074F3GYGN’ text=’Audio-Technica ATW-2120b ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’soundapi-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8c3ad9bd-d969-11e7-b592-abce019d03d7′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B01CIUS1IM’ text=’Shure BLX24′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’soundapi-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c1a74e27-d969-11e7-b24b-61544bb9f37f’]

[amazon_link asins=’B00BRQ5AK6,B074F3GYGN,B01NAS7Q9Q’ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’soundapi-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’183e5b30-d96a-11e7-8fb9-19f75a2d3055′]

Waves F6 review re-cap

Recently I wrote a quick review of the Waves F6 plugin for ProSoundWeb/LiveSound International Magazine.

This plugin seems to quite easily marry both fully parametric eq and frequency dependent compression in one nice, easy to use interface.

Waves F6 Nicholas Radina ProSoundWeb
Waves F6 Plugin Interface

Some key features:

  • M/S band mode for mid/side processing
  • Compression and expansion
  • Split/Wide side chain modes for processing flexibility
  • Internal and external side chain h Low CPU consumption
  • Zero latency
  • Parallel processing
  • Side chain solo

Waves F6 Screenshot Nicholas Radina

Check out the thorough user manual.

A great walkthrough of some key features of the Waves F6 by mix engineer Brad Divens.

Have you tried the Waves F6? Let me know what you think!

Watch my wireless coordination steps!

Do your wireless microphones, wireless guitars or IEM’s dropout unexpectedly or make strange sounds or static? Proper scanning and frequency choice (coordination) is key!

Watch my quick 2 minute video explaining my workflow using Shure’s free Wireless Workbench software, PSM1000 and UR4D’s.

A few quick tips for wireless success:

  • Antennas have line of sight and away from walls and metal
  • IEM antennas are in front of receiving (wireless mics and packs) antennas.
  • If unable to use coordination software, be sure to stay within the coordinated “GROUPS” of your respective wireless unit(s).

Cleanfeed Workflow

Streaming High-Quality Live Audio Over The Web & Remote Mixing!

In the June 2017 issue of Live Sound International/ProSoundWeb, I wrote a brief article reviewing an exciting tool to send high quality audio over the internet within the Chrome browser — CleanFeed. I promised in the article to go into a bit more detail on my own workflow and uses for Cleanfeed.

This post aims to share my workflow for using Cleanfeed to teach, troubleshoot and take control of a console and “mix” the show — remotely. I’ll be adding more content daily, so stay close.

What is Cleanfeed?

Cleanfeed is low-latency, 2-way audio streaming software that, supported by the “cloud,” runs seamlessly on the Google Chrome browser with Windows, Mac, Android and Linux platforms. (No iOS support yet.) Simply launch Google Chrome, go to Cleanfeed.net, create an account, and off you go – send, receive and record superior live audio using only a browser.

Check out the article for a nice overview of Cleanfeed.

Cleanfeed Home Page - - Nicholas Radina

Cleanfeed Screen Studio - Nicholas Radina
Cleanfeed interface

A fun test!

Here are some screen shots of a fun test using Cleanfeed, TeamViewer and X-Edit to remotely listen to and control a friends X32 console.

I was in my New Orleans hotel room, my friend and fellow sound nerd, Mike Ingram, was at his studio in Cincinnati. He initiated a Cleanfeed session and sent me an invite. I joined the session and could hear the output of his X32 Producer which was connected to his audio interface and Macbook, respectively. Mike then sent along a Teamviewer invite so I could remotely control his Macbook and in turn, control his console.

The same can be done with other consoles that have companion software. As mentioned in the article, also having a stereo mic setup can give you a gentle representation of the room/environment.

TeamViewer Nicholas Radina Cleanfeed
TeamViewer Logging In…
CleanFeed X32 Nicholas Radina
TeamViewer window of remote macbook connected to X32
Loopback / Cleanfeed Nicholas Radina
Loopback example

My Basic Tools

  • Macbook (2010 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo)
  • USB Audio Interface
  • Headphones
  • Microphone with switch (I use the affordable and reliable [amazon_textlink asin=’B0002H0RCC’ text=’Sennheiser e825s’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’soundapi-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’fa501472-47c9-11e7-b94d-073a0ea4625d’])

Quick Tips

  • Choose audio device before launching chrome.
  • Use Loopback (Mac) to route audio to and from the browser and other audio applications. Tip: Loopback is offering a special $10 discount to the Sound Nerds Unite family by using the discount code: SNURADINA.
  • “Speech Optimized” mode seems to be a great starting point in regards to sound quality and data. Yet, moving to “Music Optimized” is a great choice, too. Just see what works best for you.
Radina Filming Cleanfeed Ice Bucket
My hotel ice bucket tripod.

 

Questions? Happy to help! Just drop me a line.


New live sound classes!

By popular demand, I’m developing a series of smaller hands-on classes covering one specific topic such as:

  • Wireless/RF
  • Monitor mixing
  • FOH mixing
  • Live Sound for Musicians
  • Digital and analog console training.

If helpful to you, fill out the short form below and I’ll keep you in the loop on when registration will be open!

Radina’s live sound articles

I delve into a bunch of live sound tips as well as career based advice contributing to Live Sound International Magazine and sister website, ProSoundWeb.

Recent articles include:

Streaming High-Quality Live Audio Over The Web!

Mixing monitors from FOH

Mixing Tips

Advancing & Paperwork

Managing your career

Tips and Punts

Check out all of the live sound articles — I hope you find something valuable for use in your own situation.

If you have a topic you would like me to cover, please let me know — I’m happy to help!

Both the magazine and the website offer an incredible amount of resources from countless talented people. Consider subscribing to Live Sound International and also visiting ProSoundWeb.com