Book Review – Self on Audio (3rd Edition)

Happy New Year, folks. I’ve had this interesting book festering on the coffee table for a few months now, picking it up and reading a chapter now and then, and saying to myself, “Self (me, not the book’s author) make sure you get a review of this book out before the end of the year. Well, I wanted to make sure I got it out before the end of this year.

Self on Audio is a collection of articles on the design of small signal and power amplifiers written by designer Douglas Self. The articles are well written, well illustrated where appropriate, and give the reader both technical information about how things work, but equally important, how a designer approaches making a circuit that does what he wants it to do. The bonus material in this book is an extensive preface to each article that provides background on why the author designed it the way he did, and how he improved a common device like a phono preamp or power amplifier.

You can read my full review here.

It’s a little late for a stocking stuffer, but if you’re interested in solid state audio design, and maybe want a couple of DIY projects, you might want to put that Amazon gift card you got for Christmas to work.

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Attending The 2016 Winter NAMM Show – Anaheim, California – January 21-24

The NAMM show is coming up, so it’s the season when people start asking if anyone knows how to get a  NAMM Show “ticket.” It’s always been pretty much of a closed thing – industry only – though members, which probably include your friendly local music store, usually have a few extra badge slots available. You can ask. The deadline for free member registration is January 6, so check out your possibilities soon.

Last  year they had an “Industry Professional” category for non-members which included studio owners, free lance engineers, those working with school or church music groups and such. That seems to have gone away, but they have a Generation Next program targeted to students and college faculty. I have received some some slightly confusing information on registering for this (and maybe a related) program, but here’s what I know:

Here’s a link to the Generation Next NAMM web page   Note the promo code NS16GN. If you qualify as a “Generation Next” the promo code gets you a badge for $25. Otherwise, general non-member registration is $50.

Here’s the link to get started with the non-member registration:

The registration is a little clumsy to navigate. If you click on the wrong button, it will tell you to sign in to register, and you probably haven’t done that yet. If the general non-member link or the Generation Next link doesn’t take you directly to the registration form, start at Step 1 below. If you’re at the registration form, then jump ahead to Step 5.

(Step 1:  Go to NAMM.Org)

(Step 2: Under the NAMM Show tab at the top of the page (Don’t click the REGISTER NOW button), you will see ATTEND, click on ATTEND)

(Step 3: Below the words the Musical Tribes, you will see 5 circles for

(Step 4: SCROLL DOWN. You will see a rectangular box in which it says APPLY TO ATTEND
THE NAMM SHOW, Click on this box)

Step 5: You now see the Registration Application page, Click the BLUE
box which says Begin Application on the left side where it says Need to

Step 6: This page will ask you if you are a NAMM member?  Click NO

Step 7: A drop down box will appear asking you if you would like to
become a member, Click NO, begin application.  You are applying for our
NEXT GENERATION Program. Don’t forget the Promo Code above.

Step 8: Finally, the last step…you will see your application page.
Don’t forget to create and remember your PASSWORD

I didn’t go through the full application myself but I did notice that it asks for a web site and a business card. Be prepared.

I’ll be there and will almost certainly be publishing my show report here a few days after the show.



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Mackie Hard Disk Recorder Section Updated

Today I went on what I figured was a wild goose chase for the Mackie Hard Disk Recorder FAQ and actually found a capture of it in the Internet Archive I’ve updated the Mackie HDR page here with a link to that useful document as well as to what’s left of Mackie’s web support for the HDR and MDR recorders. Everything for the SDR seems to have evaporated. Anyway, if you’ve looked here and found non-working links for Mackie info, you’ll probably find something useful there now.

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Compact Mixer Reference Guide

Since Mackie reworked their support web page, one of the things that disappeared was the Compact Mixer Reference Guide that I wrote for them in 2001. I’ve taken the liberty (I’ll eventually ask for permission) to post it here since I’ve been getting “Where is it?” requests. You’ll find a link to it on the Technical Articles page.

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More Plug-In Bargains

Black Friday must have been good to the plug-in vendors. Seems like about every other day I’m getting an e-mail announcing a hefty short term discount on a Waves plug-in. Click on the link for this week’s specials.

Throughout December, Sound Toys is offering one of their “Little” series plug-ins each week at a pay-what-you-want price, with 100% of your payment going to a charity that they support. This week’s special is the Little Radiator a “warming” processor modeled after a vintage Altec tube preamp.

If you’re a plug-in collector, keep these links handy and check back weekly for whatever’s on special. Something will be, for sure.

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Black Friday Deals

They’re everwhere. Here are a few that fell into my e-mail inbox that might be of interest. In general they’re available through Cyber Monday or later, and being Cyber Weekend, most of the Black Friday deals are for plug-ins.

IK Multimedia – iRig hardware (adapters, mobile I/O interfaces) and iRig Amplitube plug-ins


Slate Digital Audio – Deep discounts on several DAW plug-ins


Waves Audio – More plug-in specials. Here are a couple more from Waves that might work for you (or maybe they only work for me)

TrueVerb – Free serial number by e-mail

Reel ADT – Regular – $249, Black Friday price – $79, Special deal if this link still works – $49


And no sooner did I post those when another one came in from Boz Digital Labs. Their Manic compressor has been getting a lot of interest lately, $79   (regularly $149) this weekend.

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2015 AES Show Report Posted

Come and get it here. Other shows and other years are on the Trade Show Reports page.

Posted in Trade Show Reports