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Archive for May, 2012

Panasonic headphones bit the dust

31/05/2012 1 comment

My Panasonic RP-DJS200 headphones that I talked about in this post here have finally bit the dust. Looks like in spite of the DJ that they have in their model number, it looks like they cannot handle the DJ duty. Looks like I bought a pair of DJ-wannabe headphones. Looks like I will be going back to my Philips headphone, which ironically are cheaper but have lasted longer!

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Lenovo Thinkpad x61 battery

30/05/2012 Leave a comment

I had to order a new battery because for some reason, the battery in my Lenovo x61 decided to short-circuit on me when I was just about to start my DJ set. Yes, I do use this Lenovo x61 for my DJ duties because it works, its light and it is quite powerful, in spite of it having only a 120 Gb hard drive to hold all my songs. But in any case, what every DJ dreads nearly happened. I shut down the notebook, took out the battery and re-booted Windows. I was holding my breath the whole time, praying that my notebook would start up with no issues. I must say that the wait was rather long. Ever have those times when every second seems like an eternity? That is exactly how I felt. In any case, it booted up OK and I could work again. It was a close call alright!

Do not make the same mistake that I did. Check your batteries. make sure that they are not short-circuited. I know. These battery short-circuits will happen with no warning. What you can do is to disable your battery i.e. take it out of your laptop when you are not using it, or when it is fully charged. You battery will last a long time, believe you me. Me? I have learnt my lesson, and learnt it well.

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Focusrite Saffire 6 USB audio interface

29/05/2012 Leave a comment

I used to record my mixes to my computer using a RCA-to-stereo-minijack Y-cable back then and I still do. My Creative soundcard, which is a few years old, handled the audio recording for me pretty flawlessly. I am however now looking at getting a proper USB audio interface and this Focusrite Saffire seems to be the one that fits the bill just right.

There are two inputs on this little USB audio device (which incidentally, is USB powered) and you can use either balanced or line inputs, and there is a switcheable gain which is automatic. What this means is that when you insert a jack into the XLR combi jack, it will detect and switch it accordingly.

There are three pairs of outputs at the back and they consist of two pairs of RCA outputs and 1 pair of 1/4″ TRS balanced outputs. This will be very useful for the mobile DJ who has a controller without a built-in soundcard.The XLR inputs even have phantom power to power things like condenser microphones and active DI boxes if need be.

The USB connection at the rear of this unit will interface with your computer so that you can record your mixes. There is even a headphone output provided for further monitoring. Sample rates supported are 44.1K and 48K

I am seriously contemplating getting this. It coats about $400 dollars. I think it will be worth it if I need to do some good recordings.

Audio-Technica sonic broom record cleaner

28/05/2012 Leave a comment

Don’t you hate dirty records? I know that I hate them…intensely! When a record is dirty, it coats your stylus diamond-head and as a result, the dirt build-up will make your sound muddy and if enough dirt builds up, the stylus will skip. The dirt can always be cleaned off the record using the dish-washing liquid method where you drip the liquid on the record and clean it, after that wash off the soapy liquid with normal tap water. But what happens if you do not have dish-washing liquid handy? This is where this solution (literally speaking) from Audio-Technica comes in handy. You pours the liquid into one of the two holes on the brush (pictured above) and the brush will get wet. After that, you brush the top of the record and it will clean the record for you. It is not as intense as the dish-washing liquid method but it will work for a bit, until you get back home to wash it with the dishwashing liquid. I have used this method for a greater part of 20 years and I know that it works. It is not that expensive either so if you play records, get one for your DJ toolkit!

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Png Eng Huat of the Workers Party won the Hougang By-Election

27/05/2012 Leave a comment

It was a rather significant win for the Workers Part in the Hougang Single Member Constituency. Png Eng Huat was fielded against the PAP’s Desmond Choo and won the election with more than 60% of the vote. It looks like the Hougang constituents have made their choice and that choice is the Workers Party. Congratulations to Mr Png. I am sure that he will serve Hougang well

Bose 402 loudspeakers

26/05/2012 1 comment

I have been linked to Bose and their speaker systems for years. In all my life in this industry, there have been times when I have used systems powered by Bose speakers. Most of the time, it has been the Bose 802 series. But I am here to talk about the Bose 402, the very same one that is pictured above.

HMV used to sport these in their mega-store. They offered pretty good sound and for their size, they did the job well. These very same models are installed in the church I attend every Sunday. The sound is pretty impeccable and I must say that for speech and acoustic music, these speakers are able to not only do the job, but do it well. But like all Bose speakers, you need a controller, or processor, to run them. The processor is pictured below:

This processor sits between your mixer output and the power amplifiers. What it does is it protects the speaker and has some active equalization which “optimises” the speakers to put on their best performance. Many speaker manufacturers are doing it now. Nexo comes to mind, as does Renkus-Heinz and a whole stable of others.

The Bose speakers in my church do the job and they do it well. I am able to hear the amplified voices loudly and very clearly. For practical uses, Bose speakers and their processors can be very expensive and most people choose other speaker brands. But for permanent installations for like say, houses of worship, the product just cannot be beat

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Yamaha A12 loudspeakers

25/05/2012 Leave a comment

I am due to use a pair of these speakers at an event in about a month’s time but for the life of me, I cannot find much information about these speakers anywhere. Even the Yamaha page does not have much information about them. I do know for a fact that these speakers are very affordable and they are pretty popular but even a trip to the Yamaha showroom produce blank stares from the sales staff when I asked them about these speakers. So I went online for a more diligent search and a search pointed me to this overseas online store that sells these speakers and this is what I learnt about their specifications:

  • 2-way way passive system
  • Bass reflex, trapezoidal cab
  • Heavy grille
  • Recessed top handle
  • Black carpet covering
  • 12″ woofer
  • 1″ diaphragm high-frequency horn
  • Speakon and 1/4″ input

It seems that these loudspeakers are able to handle 300 watts program and 600 watts peak. Not too shabby for an affordable pair of loudspeakers. Now, if only Yamaha has more information on their site about these speakers…

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