- JOSH is our guest this week
- Owner of Abbadad Productions
- Owner of Castle Bravo Studios
- Founder of V33R Technologies
- Owner of the Space Echo RE-201
- Audio Engineer behind the recording of the MacroFab Engineering Podcast
- V33R technologies creates virtual reality environments for viewing real estate
- Created intuitive methods for navigating a 3d virtual space
- Podcast is recorded in Castle Bravo Studios
- Located in the old post office bomb shelter
- Rig Astley – A fully functional recording studio in a portable format
- RE-201 Space Echo Unit will be done soon (We promise JOSH!)
- JOSH’s favorite mic pre is the Groove Tubes Vipre
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
About The Hosts
Parker Dillmann is MacroFab's Co-Founder, and Lead ECE with backgrounds in Embedded System Design, and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. He also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Host 1 00:10
Hello, and welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast. I am your replacement guests, Josh.
Host 1 00:16
And we're your hosts Parker Newman
Host 3 00:18
And Steven Craig,
Host 1 00:19
This is episode 60.
Host 1 00:21
We get what an episode it is up there in the numbers to explain how this came to be.
Host 1 00:27
I don't think we need to.
Host 1 00:29
Well, all we need to say is that I was not the intended guest.
Host 1 00:31
No, but you know,
Host 1 00:34
But says no names, given. We didn't we had a guest or guests. They didn't show up.
Host 3 00:43
I Josh, Josh is standing in for
Host 1 00:46
Us standing. Yeah, as though someone has something to say to some electrical engineer.
Host 3 00:50
Well, and Josh has a lot of very interesting things to share with us today. Yeah. In a pretty interesting past. So
Host 2 00:58
Yeah, so guess. Yeah, our guest this week is Josh. We're not allowed to say his last name. He's Josh. He's owner of ABA dad productions, Castle Bravo studios, founder of veer technologies, an owner of the space echo are he to a one that's in our lab, and happens to record the map as his night job. And this is actually the Thursday, Thursday night job. Yeah, Thursday night job, we actually had this chairs turned around and so we're facing the amazing towers of stereo and audio recording equipment.
Host 3 01:33
I think I think we're taking pictures of these, we need to we need to show some more pictures of these. Because the these racks are fairly unique. I would say
Host 1 01:43
This makes a good occasion to do that, I suppose. Yes, yes.
Host 2 01:47
Okay, actually, before we jump into any technical stuff, Oh, okay. So was there anything in that description? Josh, that I missed? Probably a ton.
Host 1 01:57
Yeah, I mean, you know, my life story and identity is reducible into slightly more than one sentence, but no, I have no I have nothing of interest about me to most likely to your listeners. So the piece after that I am, I like to say that I am an engineer, which like as we were talking before, the podcast is a ridiculous term to self apply, when you compare the body of knowledge I have with the body of knowledge that you guys in many of your listeners
Host 3 02:30
Have, oh, you want to unpack that a little bit?
Host 1 02:34
Well, just that, that engineering, in, in the academic sense, in the sense that you were both trained as electrical engineers, maintains that you are able to create essentially from scratch hardware that does stuff and I am a a sound engineer among the other things I do in the studio. That doesn't mean anything. It means that I use the stuff that people like you guys actually engineered and I play with it as well.
Host 2 03:05
My view of you know, this is actually not what we're going to talk about on the podcast but my view of what engineering is in my differ from what like you know, Webster Dictionary says or whatever but it's the practical application of a science is what engineering is so depending on what what discipline you are is what realm of science you're in. You could probably argue that you're applying audio science that's a cool way I you know, someone in the comment is going to argue Oh, no, you have to have an accredited
Host 1 03:40
Squad let's call up commenter, you know,
Host 3 03:44
So So, okay. In an in an engineering sense, I kind of see it as one who creates makes or modifies utilizing whatever their background is. So that might be the rigors of mathematics. Or that may be a handful of tools that some other engineer made. Because what you were just saying you know, you created you create music and sound and are using a bunch of tools that engineers make Well, so do Parker and I like I
Host 2 04:17
Like this thing had software that I use every day right? So stick with it but I don't
Host 1 04:23
You have to use someone else's tool. That's right. I like how I like a hard definitions got progressively more and more open to where yours is create mega modify, which really would allow me to say that in the mornings I engineer bowel movements.
Host 3 04:38
Host 1 04:39
Your or your variable.
Host 1 04:42
Yes. I engineered people when I had children, sorry. Anyway, moving on.
Host 2 04:52
Okay, so um, Josh, I know this is gonna be like a huge, like windy road or whatever, but I along in a concise way, how did you get started doing audio recording or making music and that kind of stuff?
Host 1 05:09
Well, making music was sort of the the gateway drug to studio Ville. My dad is a, a composer and a conductor and, and sort of a renaissance man. And I displayed an aptitude for the piano pretty early on. And so it was kind of on that track and known as the little, you know, little music nerd. And I remember the first time I think it was about eight, I had a dual cassette deck, tape recorder, and I had a little keyboard, there was a little keyboard, my dad's office, his office with about nine terrible FM synthesis out. And I put down one track on a on one tape and then put that tape in the playback deck and played it back as a recorded another layer. And that was officially my first production. And I remember thinking like, this is magic, this is just total, I cannot believe that I made I felt like a time machine like that I was able to, to do that. And so then continue with music, to drum lessons, Guitar Lessons played in bands, all that stuff. And then when I was 14, I was I won't say hi heard as much as humored by an older guy, I knew he was recording an album and he asked me to come and play piano on it. And I came into the studio, and it was a studio, just north of downtown Houston here. And I sit down at the piano, and there's this guy on the other side of this piece of glass, and he's telling me what to do. And he's clearly making all the money. And I was like, What are you doing? I'm a producer, I'm producing you, I'm telling telling you what to do. And that was the moment where I said, Okay, that's for me, I'd make that determined. Yeah, I still have not figured out how to make his mental. I, I definitely felt at that point that I was way more interested in being in the studio than I was in performing live, that the idea of playing the same songs or just you know, slightly varied versions of the same song every night hadn't held no interest for me, and, and coming into a place where you can't mess up, you can't mess up in the studio, I mean, you can you just get to start over and do it again until you until you create exactly what you hear in your head and, and that's a kind of magical thing. So early on, I realized I'm not going to be able to afford to hire engineers and studios all the time to make the music that I want to make that I needed to learn about it myself. And so I I picked up picked up things from different engineers and kind of lived for a little while to studio in New York, sleeping in our console and and, and then I married a sound engineer, an incredible one trained at the original sound engineering school in London. And so engineering was never the initial thing it was more to support my my desire to make music but it's become as much of a passion as everything else.
Host 2 08:29
So one thing you mentioned is you're not allowed to mess up or you're allowed to mess up in a studio. That's slightly incorrect because this podcast is recorded in a studio and we record everything
Host 1 08:43
That's That's true. That's true but we I mean we have we do well that's just as we just that's the way you technically are producing this podcast and that's how you choose to do
Host 2 08:57
We own our mistakes on the podcast so
Host 1 09:00
Put it this way if I say something I don't like in this episode I'm gonna edit it out because
Host 3 09:07
Well but that's that's somewhat of a requirement in the in the music industry for however long that recordings are flawless they are they are effectively perfect especially nowadays. There is zero tolerance for anything that is less than perfect.
Host 1 09:24
Well and the in the concept of undo existed in the recording studio, and in movie studios, long before computers even existed it was kind of like the birthplace of undo is is an magnetic
Host 1 09:37
Host 1 09:38
Even Yeah, because even with even with painting, you can't really you know, if you have a bad brushstroke, I mean you're going to correcting it, it's going to still like there's no perfectly non destructive thing besides you know, kind of studio arts.
Host 3 09:58
But But yeah, but I mean it Nowadays, well, not even nowadays, but but it for many, many, many years, it's been so easy to just trash, something that you don't like, or to punch in and cover up. Something that you don't like. It. That's that's not much of a manual process anymore. That's a slap on the spacebar and you covered up everything right?
Host 1 10:20
I mean, I don't like if I'm playing an overdose or something. I mean, I will go through. I mean, within 10 seconds, like, four or five just like, like as soon as I come in, I don't like it just bam. Do it again. Yeah, no, bam, like, yeah, you know, to two very quick shortcut keys and I'm and I start over and it's great.
Host 2 10:46
Um, so I guess I won't go down the list of what we have for you. Avida productions. What is it? What do you do for its, you're the owner of it.
Host 1 10:58
I am. Technically it's been my, my main business since I was 16. And my ma I didn't have my driver's license yet my mom drove me down to the the registrar's office and I got my DBA is epidemic.
Host 1 11:18
That is, that's insane.
Host 1 11:22
Well, what I'm saying that's not necessarily say what's insane is that I still at 34 years old get checks made out to that. That is
Host 3 11:31
It. And every quarter you have to file taxes for it.
Host 1 11:34
Oh, yeah. And it's Well, I have to I mean, I do I do, of course you do. I do. But it's just a it's just a a nom de business. For me and it you know, it's like, like, like music companies like like songwriters, they have these publishing companies. Well, the only reason you have a silly publishing company name is because no publisher of note has signed yet. Yeah. And when I had to make mine I actually like leaned into that and the name still again, 16 or 17. The name of my publishing company to this day is one word, Josh Moore owns this space music. So I ever let a 16 year old name and
Host 1 12:25
Where did ABA dad come from? Then?
Host 1 12:27
I was a word that I made up as a kid that I like saying I was always playing with words and syllables. And it's like habitat.
Host 3 12:34
That's cool. You know? And and Josh, he was the one who filmed the video for the FX dev board. Yep. And when when it came time to exchange cash for for Josh's work our our our payment department came up to me and they're like, We have a check for a Babbitt. Is this is this something we should be doing? And I was like, yes, absolutely.
Host 1 13:02
And now of course it sounds somewhat. I'm not gonna say Islamic per se. But when you were written down on paper, it's a B, B, A D, A D. I mean, I mean, I think I think some of bin Laden was captured in a Bhagavad Pakistan. So does
Host 3 13:22
This have anything like Abba the band like
Host 1 13:25
That? Oh, no. Oh, no, no, no, no,
Host 3 13:27
No. Cuz I'm like, What is kind of strange?
Host 1 13:31
I was 19 when I got into Abba. Okay.
Host 2 13:37
Alright, I think timeline wise, Veer technologies. Yep, it's spelt V three three are correct, like leet it is leet Yeah. So
Host 3 13:48
This is this is fairly I actually have no idea what this is. This is off the reservation in terms of all the other stuff you've done, right? It
Host 1 13:54
Is, yeah, it is because I, I've been a producer and a songwriter and and a musician, a player and stuff like that, but I, I got really worn down in 2013 2012. Originally, when I first got on this bandwagon. I had a particularly bitter falling out with an artist that I had done a lot of speculative work with, and he he kind of he, he pulled a fast one on me and it was it. It it was the probably the fourth or fifth time something like that it happened and we just had our second son and I was kind of like, what am I doing? Like I like yes, I've had success. I've been able to make a living but this is like when that goes into much longer conversation about how you become a producer. And like you have to balance like doing speculative work with great artists who don't have any money versus doing total BS for people who do and it's
Host 3 14:56
Kind of like recording podcasts right?
Host 1 15:00
Friendship is another thing entirely. There's the there's the truck. There's the triangle topic gigs, you have music, you have money, and you have people. And if any gig has to have the three points and triangle, you can do the gig. Oh, there you go. Yeah. If you like to hang and the money's good. Music can be total crap.
Host 1 15:20
If and so that's that's where ours falls. No, no, no,
Host 3 15:25
Host 1 15:28
No, the cursor triangle.
Host 3 15:29
Oh, yeah. Is everything does? It does have a look up over here.
Host 1 15:33
No, you pay your buddies. And I would, I would call the the quality of your podcast. Hi. Oh, that's cuz he records it, though. I mean, you're not talking about what Kim Kardashian wore to the Grammys last week like you can you'd like to add Sure. I mean, she wore his a sheet right. LED dress she write the name of this episode. She is she right?
Host 1 16:09
I have no idea who that is. So, okay. Yeah,
Host 1 16:12
I don't believe that. But and you got you know, and nowadays,
Host 2 16:15
You got to be careful about that kind of stuff. So
Host 3 16:19
So so via technology. Here back to VR technology.
Host 1 16:23
So So yes, I this this painful professional situation happened. That night. I saw the Kickstarter for the Kickstarter for the Oculus Rift in its second week. And I went, and I don't I mean, probably some of your listeners would have seen the Kickstarter video. It was kind of insane.
Host 3 16:45
Oh, yeah. I remember. I remember that.
Host 2 16:48
Actually. One of my friends Palmer Luckey is one of the founders of that company. You know, when you're when I was with Palmer
Host 1 16:54
Luckey? Yeah, you're kidding me? No. Through what? The
Host 3 17:02
Judges? Like, can I be friends? No, no, I know, a long
Host 2 17:04
Time ago. I'm on the Ben Heck forums. We used to hack consoles.
Host 1 17:12
You and Palmer were buddies. Yeah. Well, he like I would say, lucky me. I would, I would say he is the father of virtual reality. I would I would give him the crown of the guy who set the whole thing in motion. I mean, no. Podcast he invented. I mean, it'd be unbelievable. I would lose my mind. It sounds like we
Host 3 17:41
Need to when you do this.
Host 1 17:43
Yeah, he'd be like, Yeah, you got fly me out here. It's like,
Host 1 17:45
Ah, I mean, now the company has I would say botched the release of the consumer version. There's there's lots there's there's lots of wanting with what's going on with Oculus, but in terms of what he did in his garage at 19 is insane. It's just totally insane. And and I think once the history of this whole movement is written, it will that will be more obvious. Anyway. Point is I got I invested and I was like, Man, this is this is crazy. And I got obsessive and this is an obviously the the first DK DK one didn't ship till a good seven months after? Which I guess it's kind of quick for some. Yeah, it's actually pretty quick for you. But it was it was it was long enough for me to get really obsessive, based on just what was I was hearing about the video and then the early hands on impressions, I was like, this is going to change everything. Maybe not in the next two or three years. But over time, if you have a fully immersive virtual reality, experience you they will change everything will obviously change entertainment, change gaming that's given. It'll change education, it'll change. It'll change social networking, it'll change. Retail, it'll change real estate, it will change literally the way you do everything to be like the computer now be built on. Like any great technological paradigm shift will be built on the other ones before it and it will it will eventually be a part of everything.
Host 2 19:18
I wouldn't say step further from just the computer it would be because computer was a big deal. It it in my opinion, it was really easy. No, no, really. It's like the
Host 3 19:29
Host 2 19:30
Kardashian. It's like no, the advent of the smartphone. And I called Sears I call it the computer phone and it's because it is a computer that's in your pocket with you everywhere. It has all the world's information on that can be accessible in terms
Host 1 19:49
Of application what it changes about your life. Yes. In a sense, total
Host 2 19:54
Yes. Yeah. Yeah, that's what I would change. Yeah, I would agree with you.
Host 1 19:59
And and and And I wrote all these white papers I did serious research, I found out how am I going to be an artist in this, I want to be a part of this, I want to I want to do this, instead of make records, I want to make records on the side for fun, I don't want to do that as a job. So I, I created an idea for a platform that would allow for pretty seamless importing and manipulation of game assets. That at first would be for the purpose of, of taking existing 3d data, existing 3d assets, and using them for industrial and commercial application, industrial services, stuff like that. So we were starting with real estate, we were going to take CAD from design documents and converting game assets and allow homes to be toured virtually in the Rift. Before anyone had to build anything. We I found a full stack developer who blew my mind, he was amazing. He loved the idea like the white papers like we we got along well. And as soon as I got the DK one he started building it was great. Then right around same time I met, or while my wife's oldest friend from back when she was a kid, she reconnected with her. She and her husband were were big developers in a suburb of Houston. And they were going to be doing the the tiger, the first Tiger Woods signature golf course. And they said, Hey, this sounds like something that we could use in the sales of the cottages for Tiger Woods golf course, would you like to, to put something together for this? And I was like, absolutely. And it took them a lot longer to get it to us than we than we were expecting and took us a lot longer to do it. Because we, you know, the modelers that I that I found, were not all that experienced in game assets. And that's a different thing than, you know, all the you know, typical startup pains if pain, yeah, but empty life savings. spent the better part of I mean of a year, from the time we got the, the platform up and running working on it, we went and showed it to the developer of the of the golf course. And they freaked out, they said, This is unbelievable, this is a game changer. And we had some really cool things, man, we I came up with this whole way of, of this method of UI based around a smartphone that made it to where everyone from six year old Jimmy to Grandma could navigate a VR space. Like instantly and intuitively. And I still, like think that that's got a lot of value as using a smartphone, use the accelerometer to to track your vector. And you keep you basically, whether you're standing or sitting, you keep the sort of the bottom of your hand, the bottom of your palm against your your belly. And as you turn your chest, it would it would change the vector but not change, the look wouldn't change the vector. So the first time in my understanding that there was a divorce between lawyer head work and vector. And it allowed for this really easy way to get around. And it was just natural, organic way as a two dimensional joystick and you you know, your thumb goes, you can put it down anywhere to have been the center, anywhere you are zero point, thumb goes up, you go for the further you go up, the faster you go forward, backwards, the same LEFT, RIGHT strafe. And then if you want to rotate, you just turn your body. And so when we did demonstrations, we just put people on stools that swiveled, and it worked great. We did all sorts of cool things. We we let you point the phone at the sun in the sky and tap and grab the phone or grab the sun and move it on its axis and you could see shadows fall, you can see how the shadows would fall at different times of the day in the house that you were thinking about buying Wow on the golf course like it was killer man. Anyway, the point is the the developer said it's amazing. We love it. We can't believe what you've done. We've completely run out of our marketing and sales budget we can't afford.
Host 1 24:36
That's how all those projects end. Yeah.
Host 1 24:39
And that was good. If you want to give it to us. Yeah. Oh, yeah, of course. They're like, well, we'd be happy to show them we're building the model out there already. It's like that was the whole point is you don't have to build a model is they had three different model types. Three different levels of finish was what we were doing they were going to be able to show a potential buyer any model at any level of finish on the on the golf course, they'd be able to see what their view would be from each room and how the sun would hit the Windows. And like it was, it was absurd, that's big. But when when we didn't have the fish by then, and we had two or three other things that we, we took some meetings and we got you know, I think in Silicon Valley, there's episode called Brain rape. That was, that was kind of what it what it was basically, they were asking me all these questions, I'm just giving away the farm, and, and then find out later that they've just, you know, integrated a lot of my ideas to your ideas. And, you know, like, like, I didn't know, this is all in 2014, early 15. I mean, it was way way too early. I mean, if I was doing that stuff now, and I still am, there's still some some really great potential contracts for us. But I just want I wanted to do these industrial services things as a means to becoming an artist in VR space. And that's what VR is. So our very long answer to a short
Host 1 26:13
Question, I was super cool. Super, really interesting. Just
Host 1 26:18
Sort of like if I asked you Hey, tell me about macro fab. Yeah, exactly.
Host 3 26:23
But it's cool like you got your you can cut your hands in a lot of different different venues.
Host 2 26:30
Media easily bored. Yeah. Yeah. So Castle brava Studios, which is actually where we're sitting. Yes.
Host 1 26:37
You'll talk to you'll touch my shoulder. Yeah.
Host 2 26:42
The first time we introduced it, it was just the bomb shelter. That's right. And then a couple episodes later, it got its official name and we bounced, then they see it's the old post office and it's the actual bomb shelter at the post office. It's not a really good bomb shelter. There's a window right there. Well,
Host 1 26:59
There wasn't there wasn't originally it was it was cut post Civil Defense Commission.
Host 2 27:05
Yeah. Not post 1965 or something like that.
Host 1 27:09
I would imagine post follow those over us most Yeah. What 8980s Who knows? This building has lots of secrets. But But you you have informed in the studio is in what was a official Civil Defense bomb shelter canisters, right?
Host 3 27:26
Yeah. But now it's underneath a parking ramp. Right. Right. So
Host 2 27:35
Um, so Castle Park Studios. What do y'all do here? Like a lot of recording that kind of stuff.
Host 1 27:41
A lot of coding. We do video stuff too. We did a lot of the the FX dev board shot shot.
Host 2 27:48
And then the equipment that's actually behind you and us for change rig
Host 1 27:53
Astley Yes. Name. Really? Yes.
Host 3 27:57
Oh, no, I did I I've known Josh for a while. I did not know. Is it really?
Host 1 28:03
Yes. I mean, that incredible.
Host 3 28:06
Amazing. I did not know this is
Host 1 28:08
Technically Rick Astley. 2.0 but
Host 1 28:10
Okay, is one Reagan the other one?
Host 1 28:13
No, no, they're like, like its name is
Host 3 28:18
What can you describe it for the listeners? Like what's going on here?
Host 1 28:21
Yes, this this studio is basically a collection of gear, it's not a building. So we're set up in this bomb shelter. And we have done a lot of work to, to remodel it and everything. But the the vision of this studio is to be a collection of gear that is as portable as a large scale Recording Studio can be. And this went back to literally the very first date my wife and I had, she had just finished her her schooling in sound engineering school, she'd done a project on recording setups for, for going sort of into, you know, into the wild and getting you know native peoples and, and, and sort of folk music recorded like in villages and things like that. And, and then it started I said, Well, you know, I love that I did too. I just I don't like the idea of being limited to really crummy gear and that and so that, that started to that start a conversation about well, how great of a studio Could you put into a portable scenario and and we started thinking about the way that they build touring rigs. And what an ATA style flight cases and what's required the shock mounting and the casters and all that stuff and how much gear Could you put, you know, you can't you couldn't really feasibly have a large format, recording console, but nobody's really using those anymore. They just want the eye candy.
Host 3 30:01
Wait, I'm sorry. I have to stop. You know, you talked about all this on your first day with your wife first day. That's that's that is love at first sight. Absolutely talking about nerdy flight cases and recording gear on your first day.
Host 1 30:15
Oh, do we talk? Okay, the first three conversations I promise you this is true for three conversations I remember having on our first date. And it was actually the first time we hung out. We're in this order, I believe, Tesla ribbon mics, and Led Zeppelin. And when I when I arrived to the place where we were going to meet, she has a leggy, stunning blonde. cowboy boot wearing Camel cigarette smoking sitting on the trunk of a 66 Mustang. I like like toast. That's
Host 3 30:55
The kind of thing where you look around and you find some way that you can craft a ring at that moment
Host 1 31:05
With this bottle cap, found a Shelby Mama's Cafe parking lot. So we we talked about it for a long time. And then we were doing some a lot of recording out at our studio in the hill country. And a friend of ours had a ranch out there. And she had this amazing barn was brought down from upstate New York taken apart and put back together down here. And it was this killer thing. And she's we asked her if I could do some pre production on a record there. And she said, Sure. And she said, Hey, this is great. Why don't we do this all the time. So she had kind of, you know, she and I together and kind of put together this rig that that was based on those early conversations that could have rode case lids put on it in 20 minutes, and the whole thing disappear into the corner and restored shed like that for another type of, you know, for family event or something that she was going to be doing in the barn. So we, we put a lot together, it's been refined over the years, but I mean, it's it's it's got each case is hooked up to the others via big multicores that, like you can go from truck to recording in probably about two hours. And it's and I've done master you know, master recordings for Atlantic and Columbia, I mean, every major label that I've worked for has been fine with the product that we've come up with.
Host 3 32:30
It's funny because you go to you go to a fully established studio, and you'd be lucky if you start recording within two hours. You know,
Host 1 32:40
Totally. Yeah, I mean, you know, just patching and setting up the mic. Oh, yeah. We tried to make it really quick. And, and, you know, we we have, as y'all know, but listeners don't we have three young sons. One is very young, he's just turned two. But still, the the kind of fantasy goal is to when he's, you know, when they're a little bit older, put everything in a box truck and go wherever an artist wants to go. Oh,
Host 3 33:08
I thought you were gonna say do like some kind of like family band like that?
Host 1 33:11
Well, it well, it is. It's a family band of, of, you know, Recordist recorders that basically an artist says, Well, you know, I'm most inspired to, you know, mountain cabin or beach house, or, you know, the Taj Mahal. If you have power, we can record there. And it can sound really good. And, and we, you know, want to also have all of the stuff needed to just kind of very quickly throw up on the walls and do baffling and, you know, control sound and, if need be, but the coolest thing is, with this with this concept, you just have to roll with what's there, the sound of the space is character. Sure, studios go through great expense to take all the character out of a room. And I promise you, the listener does not get any value out of that at all. Well,
Host 3 34:05
But But that goes back to what I was mentioning earlier about perfection in in, in sound. And one way to get that is to clean the slate to basically start with distilled water away and then build everything from there. If you start from zero, you can make anything that you put you lose a lot of character.
Host 2 34:25
Well, that's the thing is at that point is because Steve and I both this is completely off topic. Steve and I both homebrew right, and he's started seeming started doing water treatments. He'll start with distilled water and then add the right minerals for the right thing. And I'm like Springwater from Kroger as well Sam I just Brewer's Houston water and I have I didn't notice though the actually buying spring water from Kroger is actually as tastier I'm gonna have the nice He was beer since he's done. Like,
Host 3 35:02
I'm interested in. I have I have some beer fermenting right now. In two weeks. I'm bringing some growlers to the podcast so we will be able to taste some some homebrew and and in fact a funny enough complete it like I'm gonna tangent your tangent here in a way but
Host 1 35:20
I am at this is Marvel
Host 3 35:23
Because no no we have to we have to say this because I still think it's amazing. Parker night we started brewing gosh like three weeks after I started a macro we started brewing beer if I get into the first time like I officially hung out with Parker bro we went to Kroger to buy water and this is actually near a time that Houston was having severe weather. Yeah, and
Host 1 35:51
Don't drink the water. No,
Host 3 35:52
No no they had they had they brought in water to our local grocery store. And it was in these cardboard boxes and it was called Dr Hurricane Water Hurricane Water. And you know what? It made some damn good big, big pretty good. It makes really good beer and they and it's funny because it comes in three packets a cardboard box with three gallons of water and basically there's like $1 or something like like $1 for three gallons for some damn good doctor hurricane. So let's reel the tangents back here. Okay.
Host 2 36:21
That's great. Um, so back to the gear. Yes, behind behind you in front of us. Yeah, um, so our listeners what time are we at? 605 okay, it's okay. We just keep going. As our listeners will know that we have your space echo. Yes. Sorry. 201. Where why? Where did you get that piece of equipments? And why was it in such a sorry state when we got it? Well, my excuses the reason why you don't have
Host 3 36:52
Still in such a saris work
Host 1 36:57
Now every piece of mechanical gear from studios from the 70s If it's not been maintained, excuse me regularly, it's not going to be in good shape. Same with tape machines is a tape machine. Yeah, it is technically a tape machine. I mean, tape machine has been service that all in 40 years is not usable at all. I actually used it for a while when I got it. And then only when I gave to you had it stopped working completely. But
Host 1 37:27
That's our fault. It
Host 1 37:31
Stopped working completely. But it didn't work for a little while. Which was was amazing considering say it was in but what what's great and I don't know, you've covered this, but you know, they're already 201 is a tabletop machine. It was never intended to be rack mounted. If somebody just screwed pieces of sheet metal sheet metal onto each side and drew holes, drilled holes in that and called it rack years. And it's it's a real abomination, but I gave it some character too. And everyone's like, Dude, you could have rack mounted space. I go like not really like
Host 2 38:09
We kind of took some of that character away.
Host 1 38:11
No, no, you gave it all the character like from what I've heard like this, this is going to be the greatest space echo
Host 3 38:18
Ever. It does work and it has fine gold caps in it.
Host 1 38:21
Fine gold, Nick, Nick econ caps.
Host 1 38:24
That's right. I mean, I'm just gonna keep believing y'all that it works. And it's still around.
Host 2 38:30
Now, is we turn on the modes like doesn't work.
Host 3 38:39
Let's choose our words properly here because the owner of the space echoes is listening to us right now. It's not that it doesn't work. It's just not properly calibrated. Pre functioning free. There we go. Yeah,
Host 2 38:53
I see. I think wires crossed up on it right now these are
Host 3 38:56
These are what Parker is saying is alternative facts to the operation of the RV to
Host 1 39:03
Hey, you know what I like? Like, the thing is that, that I I'm such a sucker for hype that at this point, no matter what it sounds like, it's going to sound like the greatest thing ever. I'm saying like I don't I don't hate hype. I don't hate over markets and things. So in the sense that we're all a year ish.
Host 1 39:28
That's getting there yes, my fingers.
Host 1 39:31
I believe this will be the most stunning space I go vaulted, but
Host 2 39:35
The best thing is it's actually at the fab now. Right? And so we have all the equipment I want seems
Host 1 39:41
Like a little bit of a step backwards. So like like it's gone from like outpatient to like ICU.
Host 3 39:47
Well, no, it goes a long way. But you can think about this ICU patients get taken care of more quickly.
Host 1 39:55
And then they have to go back
Host 2 40:01
It turns on it didn't release the smoke. It actually the reverb works pretty well.
Host 3 40:08
Every function actually works. It's just not calibrated. And that's not me being politically correct with your gear here. It's literally there's some, there's some trim pots inside that in fact, we even had a podcast about, like, two months ago that we have to turn we have to plug in some function generators, turn some pots and then give it to Josh.
Host 2 40:31
I think the best thing is we did have an old he's probably listening to this podcast. Oh, yeah. An old gray beard actually, like, this is how you do it.
Host 1 40:42
Out there? Sure. Can you call? Macro fab? corporated.
Host 3 40:46
The number is 5555519. Just anything else? Yeah.
Host 1 40:53
Well, then it became Oh, 199. Do you notice this? At some point, it went from being five, five or whatever, to 55501990? Really? I saw that in like, at least 10 movies. Know why? Maybe your listeners will know why.
Host 2 41:07
Yeah, right in if you knew, Okay, get slightly back on topic. For at peace, peace of gear, besides the space echo. That's in this what you're using right now?
Host 1 41:19
Well, that's sort of like what's your favorite thing in life? Like, like, have categories? So my favorite microphone and I am not kidding. Is the microphone you hear me on now. And it was made by my dear friends. Parker Dohmen. And Steven Craig. Oh, Chris is present. I've used it non stop. It's unbelievable. To Mike that has more game than I've ever seen. And microphone. You don't even need a preamp. I'll repeat that. You don't need a preamp for this microphone. I've never heard of that. You told me that. That's like not a big deal. That's a big deal. Like if you if I said my car doesn't have wheels, it drives like, that's not a big deal. Like every microphone needs a mic preamp like in anyway
Host 3 42:08
On this thing, and you're just gonna get buzz, you just got overnight and
Host 1 42:11
Like no added gain, and it's still probably clipping.
Host 3 42:15
So I have I have this same mic myself, I built myself a copy. Years and years ago, this is the first mic I've ever used, that I had to reduce the input level to be acceptable.
Host 1 42:28
And and you know, as our as your listeners will probably know, if you if you take out the mic pre you've taken all those gain stages you have what is effectively a noiseless microphone. It is crazy. Quiet. And it it's incredibly dynamic. The colors great. I love it. And it's gold. Well, and
Host 3 42:49
Host 1 42:50
Thing, the color, if you made of gold
Host 3 42:54
Color in audio that in general, the the kind of concept that works the best is where do you put the game you have in your rigs? I'm looking at the rigs right now. There's there's probably literally hundreds of different ways that you can add gain to the signal throughout all of these paths, including analog and digital before before it even reaches your recording interface. There's ways
Host 1 43:20
To use sequence variations. There are I would say in the quadrillions. Yes, right? Yeah, but the very
Host 3 43:25
Best place especially for a microphone, the best place to put the game is as close to the actual source as possible. So if you put as much gain inside the microphone, you don't have to gain it later on. You get the best signal source and the lowest noise when you do that.
Host 1 43:42
And what's great about that is I've played a lot with compressing very loud gains in the past compressing it hard so you play she you speak or sing or play an instrument incredibly softly compress the crap out of it and you get you know, I'm talking about compressing the death out of some multiple compressors, you
Host 3 44:03
End up obliterating your, your your, your range when you do that.
Host 1 44:07
But that's the point. Yeah, the point the point being that that you do I mean, like I've literally recorded myself rubbing my fingers together and compressing it really hard because that creates a sound that nothing else can Yeah, and and you get this kind of otherworldly sound when you do stuff like that. So anyway, the point being i i have always run into the noise problem when you do that. And I haven't gotten to play around that with that technique that much with your mic yet but I'm excited to do so. pandering done. Moving on my favorite Mic Pre is definitely going to be the groove tubes via pre which we were talking about a little bit but I don't know if I told you why I love so
Host 3 44:49
Much. Yeah, no, enlighten us.
Host 1 44:51
So the groove tubes was a company of really, really, let's say passionate guys that medical pletely impractical product for the market. It has a preposterous amount of an wiring for one mic preamp, one channel of mic preamp, it has four rack spaces, it doesn't three, three rack spaces, it does nothing other than pre amplify your microphone. It's it has no EQ, it has no compression, no dynamics has nothing. It is enormous. It's 45 pounds 4535 pound
Host 1 45:30
Mic preamp for a single
Host 1 45:31
Mic preamps. I have two of them.
Host 1 45:33
How much power does that take? I don't know that.
Host 1 45:37
That would be a great thing at some other point to look. But the VI and the VI pre stands for variable impedance. Oh, and you have four impedance selections. So you match the impedance of the microphone to the preamp. And you get you basically have four mic priests and one colored by their voltage. Yeah, impedance or voltage. That's a huge thing. And, and, you know, they say well, you know, say Bondo uses sm 57 for his vocals. Well, that sounds great. Why does it sound like do do and I do it, because they're my priests that they use for his vocals are, you know, whatever, that's going to be 600 ohms. You know, right? It's actually matched to SM 57 So you can get way more out of all mics you have by having this anyway. It's crazy expensive that when they broke, they were amazed they didn't break the all that often. But when they did major pain, groove tubes. I think they discontinued it before they sold out to fit when they sold the fender and fender discontinued it immediately.
Host 1 46:43
They didn't look under the hood before the bottom.
Host 1 46:46
They did they went Wow. That's great, guys. We're not selling Yeah,
Host 3 46:49
This is a wink fest. Yeah,
Host 1 46:51
I'm real, real, real proud of real proud of your nerd your nerd. But we need we got a business here. And it's real sad. So I I can't recommend those.
Host 3 47:01
You have two of them.
Host 1 47:02
I have two of them. I do they are gorgeous. And above them are the thermionic culture. The rooster are two channel channel strips made by tube nerds in London that I should you should take a look at that at some
Host 3 47:16
Point. I've spent I've spent quite a bit of time looking at those. I've never heard them. But I've been here enough to
Host 1 47:23
Have to finish wiring a new version. That's something else we have to talk about.
Host 3 47:27
Yeah, no, these racks the back of them is kind of a
Host 1 47:31
Multicores are wired for a three Ks configuration or in a two Ks configuration right now. Well,
Host 3 47:38
These things could be an absolute nightmare when it comes to wiring and you've wrangled them fairly well.
Host 1 47:45
Yeah, before we were here they were it was great. I mean, it's a guy in Nashville named Jeff Nolte. He has a great company called OCD labs. And I believe what a
Host 3 47:54
Great what a great place to wire things.
Host 1 47:57
That's why he's so good at Yeah, I think he suffers from like type one OCD. Yeah, loves a Lumina soldering gun. And he's great, really great at it and made all these looms,
Host 3 48:08
I got a buddy of mine who when he wires circuits, he's not an engineer. He I think he has a degree in finance. And but when he gets down to wiring circuits, because he just does it for fun. This is the guy that will bend 90s in all of his wires and make everything flawless. And if that wire even looks slightly off of 90, he will scrap the entire thing and restart. Whoa, he's one of those guys. That's just ridiculously OCD. And he'll do this on a wire that goes off to an LED, you know, so it doesn't doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. It's not going to affect anything else in the circuit. But you know, it really does make a drastic, perfect. Yeah. Has to be perfect. Got to be pro gotta be pro bro.
Host 2 48:54
That's a callback from the previous episode there. We're starting to in jokes on our podcast now. Okay, I guess moving on. Let's see. To do um, so that's enough about I guess Castle Bravo. Right. Is there anything else you? Oh, random tidbits you want to add? No,
Host 1 49:18
Not necessarily. I'd like to thank you and Steven for helping me with the electrical.
Host 2 49:24
That's actually I was about to say is how how did we start recording the map with you?
Host 1 49:30
Well, Stephen, do you Yeah. Stephen and I had known each other for a little bit before that. And
Host 2 49:35
Did he just come to you? And was just like,
Host 1 49:38
Yeah, well, yeah. He said, You know, we're doing this podcast and and we're just kind of doing our LM but maybe you sound better if we're in a studio and I'm like, you know,
Host 2 49:48
I remember the first episode we ever did with you. And that was the, in my opinion, the worst episode.
Host 1 49:55
I'm glad you came back.
Host 2 49:56
It was like episode five or six. It's like it's funny. 15 minutes long. And Stephen did not laugh at any of my jokes. It was and we didn't have we didn't have anything to drink there either. Yeah, I don't know what happened.
Host 1 50:15
I think I think well, it's been a it's been a it's been a really interesting year of me, either sleeping or hearing things that I truly do not know what you're doing. I there's all these terms and buzzwords at this point that that I know you're going to say, but I have still have no idea what they mean.
Host 3 50:39
That's all part of the fun. I
Host 1 50:40
Know I asked great.
Host 2 50:42
I projects you like the moat like you've done that you'd like the most? And if it's separate, proud of the most
Host 3 50:53
Host 1 50:55
Yeah. People making. Again, it's hard to sort of single out but the types of projects I like the most or the where there are a large number of very talented people in their respective fields play lots of great players great with great songs being sung by great singer or good rapper or whatever it is, I just I like talent a lot. And and, you know, I, I do spend a fair amount of time by myself either mixing or, you know, adding tracks or whatever. And that's, that's fine. That's fun. To some degree, but the the experience of being with a bunch of creative people is hard to beat. I don't have that that's a real open ended. answer your question, but no, that's perfectly fine. without dropping names.
Host 3 51:52
Yeah, yeah, sure. Well, and and I mean, just between myself and Josh, and even the three of us here, we've we've drummed up many projects that are here for the potential in the future. Yep. Even even stuff that just affects the room that we're in right now. Yes, indeed. And potentially even some cool stuff with the building that we're in right
Host 1 52:13
Now, that would be a great thing to bring to the podcast at some point to discuss, like the installation, stuff like that, and get, you know, sort of crowd sourced ideas on I mean, because some of the stuff we talked about, I think is really pretty groundbreaking and could be fun. But it to me, a group of talented people is so much more impressive than some you know, Lone Ranger. Especially when it comes to art now with with engineering, that's another thing. I'm far less impressed with a group of engineers than I am with like a single dude who like cobbled together this thing,
Host 3 52:53
Well, you know, NASA puts thing out in space, or one guy puts the thing out in space. There's a difference there.
Host 1 53:01
True, true. But like going back to like Palmer Luckey, like he did as a kid in a garage. What the whole of technologists pursuing virtual reality could not have not done in 30 years of trying. That's impressive. Yeah.
Host 1 53:18
I mean, with that, it was just the right combo tech finally hit catching up
Host 1 53:23
The sensors, yes. But I mean, what like, like, what he did is I understand it was not the reason the reason that he was the optics was the the lenses but his ability to design algorithms for the threading of the GPU that would allow for him to, to get the most real estate out of or to maximize a low number of pixels. That was how he got his price point down. You can use a 720 p display and read for his face, you use the the lenses to squeeze as many pixels into the focal, the focal point to increase resolution where I'm at, right where you're looking, and then it sort of slowly pixelated out from Phil view. That's genius. I mean, that's like, and that replicates what your Lindsey balls do. Yeah, yeah. It basically basically it was an analog of, of your eyes and no, and, and yes, there. I mean, the lens, the lens technology, as I understand it was not the thing that necessarily had come to for the latter to do I mean, part of was the processing GPUs were able to render 70 P, you know, of the stereoscopic li without it being like, you know, a super GPU or whatever. I digress.
Host 3 54:48
Sure. No, no, no, there's close.
Host 1 54:52
So we're at free free time now.
Host 3 54:56
Yeah, so something actually a hopping back one, one One thing that I think it's kind of important to know we, you know, you were talking about, you see a team of engineers doing something. And you're, you're somewhat less impressed than one engineer accomplishing the same goal.
Host 1 55:13
That's not fair, I
Host 3 55:14
Suppose. Well, but no, but But what I'm what I want to say is the the the analog of that kind of backwards, when you see a team of creatives actually create something that is so impressive. Yeah. Exactly. It is so hard to get creatives into a room and get them to agree on something.
Host 1 55:35
You know what that's interesting why it is in the, in, in the case of technology, engineering, it's the opposite with music. That's the whole point. Like, if you're, if you're a musician, not agreeing with the music being made, you will be asked to leave immediately, like, because that's the, like, the fundamental function is cooperation. But that's not necessarily the case with engineering, I see what you're saying that that's a feat. Well get the lay aside their own.
Host 2 56:04
Yeah, cuz with engineer, I do have a quantum you have a, you have a, you have a quantitative thing that you can say, this is why this way is correct, right? Whereas with music and art and stuff like that, it's, it's, it's correct, because everybody feels it feels that way. Right? So it's slightly different. When you spend less time
Host 1 56:27
Debating the quantitative, or quality or quality quality aspects of a particular view on how you should put in
Host 3 56:37
Some cases, the qualitative and quantitative goes entirely out the window, right? Even even to what we were talking about earlier with the groove tubes, preamps, you like them, but there's millions of other millions. But there's, there's plenty of other preamps out there that do the same thing. Qualitatively, right, in terms of if you just,
Host 1 56:57
I don't know of anything else that has made a single Mic Pre that you can change the impedance I'm not aware of anything else that does that. Well,
Host 3 57:06
Okay. But I guess I guess, more more simply, on a piece of paper, you have something that takes in a signal makes it larger by some amount. Okay, that's, that's, that's that mean, there's nothing special there about what it's doing. Right? What somehow, but but it has some characteristics that you like, that's the name, you know, again, group. That's it. That's the worst
Host 1 57:29
Thing about it. And I Okay, so
Host 3 57:31
Funny story about that they the guy, one of the guys who worked at groove tubes, he wrote a book on tube amps, and, guys, super cool. But in terms of people who qualitative and quantitative goes out the window, this guy's got to be the king of it. I've never met a more opinionated, or sorry, I've never read more opinionated articles on audio gear than this individual. Every page of his book is like, you know, he will give you the history of a company. And it's literally just the history, but somehow he weaves into that history. Here's why I don't like them. You know, and here's why they suck. And then and then that wave
Host 1 58:15
Engineer them. Well, yeah. Full Circle. Yeah, exactly. That's, that's, that's what makes an engineer is you have an opinion.
Host 3 58:25
And that opinion is rock solid
Host 1 58:27
Rock solid and may not be challenged. Right? Hey, that's, that's who that's who I am when it comes to things not non musical. Yeah, I mean, I was about to I was about to throw down with you all over some of our Star Wars. Conversation points. I got a little while.
Host 3 58:51
I'm offended here.
Host 2 58:56
Just started listening to us. Go check out that YouTube video.
Host 3 58:59
The Yeah, the YouTube video or the four separate?
Host 1 59:04
Three digits on viewcount. Please. Yeah,
Host 3 59:06
Right. instead of two. Yeah. Instead of just barely breaking.
Host 1 59:10
Audio did pretty good audio.
Host 3 59:13
Yeah, audio did really great. We had we had many, many times our normal listens due to that. So it's just
Host 1 59:21
Because there were four parts to it.
Host 3 59:23
I think it was four parts. Oh, yeah.
Host 1 59:24
We're four times as many listeners
Host 3 59:26
Yeah, right. Four podcasts in one day that same people will listen
Host 1 59:35
This has been great. I'm glad I could replace your guests.
Host 3 59:37
Well, thank you for volunteering. Fantastic time and I'm sure there's plenty more in the future that we could do.
Host 1 59:47
I can I can I really am dying at some point to start just heckling conversations that you're having. I'm not really invited into doing that my mind all the time. Do you
Host 3 59:59
Use do that more often in the background while you sleep more often now
Host 1 1:00:07
Just dreaming of heckling. Oh yeah, there we go.
Host 1 1:00:09
Yeah understatement one liners.
Host 3 1:00:11
Well How about how about the in the momentous podcast where we deliver the space fully calibrated to you? We can we can have you back on and talk about it happy
Host 1 1:00:23
To be another year.
Host 1 1:00:26
Coming 2019 That's two years space echo. Yeah,
Host 1 1:00:33
Space echo 2018
Host 1 1:00:35
You have to get it done. This by the two year anniversary, let's come to you by episode 5400 and for how many weeks anyway? Yeah, yeah. Much more format for Oh boy.
Host 3 1:00:50
What would you like to sign us out?
Host 1 1:00:52
Sure. This has been the macro fab engineering podcast. I was your replacement guest Josh.
Host 1 1:00:59
And we're your hosts Parker
Host 3 1:01:00
Dolman and Steven Craig later everyone take it easy.
Host 1 1:01:05
You guys anything Josh?
Host 1 1:01:07
Prepared a piece. There? Yeah.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai