Interview with Eric Fingeret, Speech Processing Solutions
Philippe: Today we are talking to Eric Fingeret who is the North American Sales Manager for Philips Audio Recorders and musician who just went to the Rock on the Range music festival.
Eric: Yes, fantastic 3-day event – the super bowl of metal and rock show. It’s the granddaddy of music festivals and having Metallica this year just put a stamp on it that this is the premier rock show to be at. It was an Outdoor festival with three separate stages, held at a soccer stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Philippe: I saw the pictures that you sent and I saw that there were people who were hooking up electric guitars into digital music recorders, the Philips Digital Voice Tracer DVT 7500. What was going on there, what was that all about?
Eric: We participated at Rock on the Range with an organization called “The Music Experience,” imagine a guitar center sort of 6,000 square feet.
It allows anybody, musician or not, to come through this tent. Surrounding us we had multiple guitar manufacturers, bass manufacturers, drums and keyboards. We were the only recording manufacture there, so we were in the center of it all.
So, if there’s a guitar you wanted to try out, you could try it out. What we were promoting was the fact that, “Hey, If you’re going to buy a guitar how are you recording it? Are you recording your band? Are you recording yourself? What are you doing when you practice?
We had multiple stations set up where you could play a guitar or play a bass guitar and record it. You would put on a pair of headphones and then try it out for a few minutes. When you’re done, we’d play it back, “Here’s how it sounds, how do you like it?” We would make sure the adjustments were in place, so it would sound like a true professional level-type recording.
Another big reason that we were there is that the competition did not see a value in this segment. “The Music Experience” has been trying for a number of years to get the competition out there. They want to show people there are ways to record that are not overly expensive. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to buy computers and hardware and input devices. You can have a digital stereo recording device for around $300.
Philippe: Basically what I saw is you take your guitar cord which is the larger RCA plug and that fits into an adapter that goes down to 3.5mm mini-DIN connection is that correct?
Eric: So the way we had it set up is we had a Vox effects processor and had the guitar plugged into the Vox. The Vox would then go directly into our quarter inch input on the Philips DVT 7500 and then from there we had a pair of headphones plugged into our recorder. It’s extremely easy and once you start doing in real life, it is almost a no brainer.
A whole lot of parents where there with their kids. The kids were playing guitars and the parents were like, “Yeah, they have been trying to figure that out. They’ve been using their cell phones to try and record and it just doesn’t work”. We would show them our solution and the light bulb would go off and they would go “really! We, we never realized that” and then they finally realized, “Oh my gosh! When my kids play and practice, they can put headphones on and I don’t have to hear them! (Laughs) so it’s a win-win for everybody.
Philippe: Is this an example of something that Philips is doing to contribute to the music industry?
Eric: Yes, we have found a niche where the metal/ rock community has not been paid attention to by our competition, so some of our focus is definitely looking at this niche. Where can we find the next Eddie Van Halen, or the next Angus Young, or the next Alex Lifeson. We’re introducing an inexpensive way to create digital recordings to get new musicians out there. It is all about media today. How can I get myself known? You can make yourself a digital record. I wish in my first band, 25 years ago, I had something like this.
Philippe: So, it’s not limited to guitars it is basically anything with a digital output?
Eric: It doesn’t matter if you play keyboard, bass, drums or guitar. You could play the accordion for all we care. It has a quarter inch input, which most guitars or mixing boards have, an output out or input out and also has an XLR.
An XLR input is what is used today. For example, singers today are using a cabled microphone, not a wireless but a cable microphone with an XLR plug. It’s a specific plug primarily used in the music industry.
What is beautiful about ours is that not only does it have XLR but we have what is called “phantom power.” Certain microphones require electricity to power them and to get their impedance level. Ours not only has phantom power but depending on what voltage requirements the microphone has, we are able to provide either 24 or 48 volts. So it is really nice in that aspect.
The other cool part is if you don’t need XLR, let’s say you’re a singer or have an acoustic guitar or you just want to just record yourself or your band practicing, they are removable. We are the only one in the industry at the moment that has this niche type of product where it just gives you a simple music recorder with three microphones or two microphones when you want to practice and put it in the corner of a room. You could do that, but if you need those XLRs for that electric experience then you can re-attach it turn the power on and you’re good to go.
Philippe: This is one product right? You’re not talking about putting this and that together? You’re talking about one thing in box, one purchase right?
Eric: Yes, everything you need comes in the box. When we had everybody come through, we had three machines that we we’re running throughout the event. Every day we did about 12-hours of constant recording with all the people coming through. Not once did we have to change the device out and plug a new one in because the battery died. Nor did we have to change the device or delete anything that was recorded because there was more than enough memory capacity.
Philippe: Wow! How many people do you think you got through in three days?
Eric: We probably had close to 30,000 people go through the tent and if I had a guess probably a couple of thousand actually tried our solution with guitars. You know someone will record for 30 seconds and someone will record for 10 minutes.
We talked to some professionals that were there and told them we have 16GB and you can also add 64GB of micro SD as well. They are blown away. Just the existing internal 16 micro SD is fantastic.
Nobody else here is really doing anything to really push the envelope in this space in the past couple of years. By us adding more memory and with expandable XLR capability in one box, it is truly is a game changer in the industry and we’re at the forefront of it right now.
Philippe: Do you have any tips or best practices to share for recording music on a music recorder?
Eric: With our product that you can adjust the gain and that we have a limiter so don’t really have to worry about clipping or getting over modulation. So you’re able to not only put a limiter on but also lock in the gain and then find tune it with a knob that on the side before you go into your recording. You can get everything set up in a standby mode and make sure it sounds good. You can check your playback with your headphones to know you’re going to get that quality stereo, clear, crisp, recording that you want when you spend this type of money on a professional product.
Philippe: Earlier you talked about how people were trying to make a recording with their smart phones. What would you say makes the key differences between recording with a smartphone and a recording with the Digital Voice Tracer DVT7500?
Eric: So here a real great example. When the lead guitarist from the band Korn “Munky”, was presented one of these recorders, he said, “This is perfect. I get ideas all the time for our albums. I’m always recording on my cell phone but every time I want to take a picture of one of my children I don’t enough memory because between taking pictures and recording stuff all the time, I run out of space fast. I need a dedicated device.”
Your cell phone can only get you so far and it’s going to get you average recording quality. Let’s be honest, the cell phone is designed to be used next to your mouth not to be used in a larger environment. The Philips music recorder has more memory and uses it more efficiently. It has a longer lasting battery and it has better sound. Three key things right off the bat that are important to musicians.
Philippe: We really appreciate you time today. Is there anything else in the music industry that is coming up that Philips is doing that we should talk about?
Eric: We find a lot of value working with “The Music Experience”. We are going to Chicago in July 2017 for another three day festival called “Chicago Open Air”. We’ll be spreading the gospel again about digitally recording music as well as future events.
People can come out and check us out and try out the DVT7500 and see how the experience is. It’s a great opportunity for us to get in front of a lot of people quickly to try our product and see how they like it.
Special Shout Outs:
This interview was recorded using a Philips Digital Voice Tracer DVT6010, Philips telephone pickup microphone LFH9162 and Philips Meeting Microphone LFH9172. It was then uploaded to the Philips SpeechLive cloud to have it quickly transcribed with the professional Philips transcription service.
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