"The subject of today's lesson will be personal hygiene" said the teacher... Seriously though, this is a very interesting topic and one guaranteed to raise a few tempers. Personal hygiene, or the lack of it, can have detrimental effects on your recordings.
For example, ears blocked by wax are incapable of providing a recording engineer with 100% true aural information on which to base his or her artistic judgements on instrument balance in a mix, say. It also results in an increased monitoring level, to the annoyance of all those with clean, wax-free lobes.
Likewise, a thick, long growth of cranial follicles (hair!) covering your ears will undoubtedly cut out a certain amount of high frequencies, which will be compensated for by a judicious boost in HF from the mixer's EQ. Now don't get me wrong, I am not advising all home recordists to join the Telly Savalas Fan Club, but simply trying to make you aware of the importance of such characteristics.
Everyone has probably heard about the importance of room acoustics and how different environments can change the way a sound is perceived, but how many of you sit before your monitor speakers wearing thick wool jumpers one day, then listen to your tapes another day wearing just a T-shirt?
This change of attire will have a similar, though less pronounced effect as your room's acoustics, on what you hear over your speakers, so please bear this in mind when you next say "...but it didn't sound like that yesterday".
Just when you thought we had all forgotten about the Fostex X15 competition we ran in the September issue the staff at HSR eventually found enough time to choose the winners, from the two thousand or so entries.
First prize of a Fostex X15 went to Dave Christie of Milverton, Somerset.
Judging from Dave's photograph he certainly was surprised to hear that he had won! (Many thanks to Symon Powell for taking the photograph for Dave.) Second prize of a Sound Burger went to Jonathan Scordia of Glasgow.
Many congratulations to both winners, let's hope the long wait has been worthwhile.
After a hectic judging session the eventual winner of the '1984' tape contest we ran in HSR November 83 is David Beckley of Wollaston, West Midlands.
Dave wins a day's free recording at Chipping Norton 24-track studio.
Editorial by Ian Gilby
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