Cherry Picker™ Using & Applications

The following page discusses how to use the Gold Digger. As you will soon realize, it is very easy to use.

Introduction

Thank you for purchasing a Radial Cherry Picker. You will find that it will help improve the efficiency and work flow in your studio by speeding the preamp selection process, comparing compressors and introduce innovative patching options that may well spur on creative new opportunities.

Although the Cherry Picker is 'plug & play' easy to use, we recommend you take a few minutes to read through this manual. Inside, you will find details on how the signal flows and maybe a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. If by chance you do not find everything you need, please visit the Cherry Picker web site's FAQ page. This is where we post the latest updates and answers to questions from users like you. If after viewing the page you still do not find the answers you need, feel free to send us an email at info@radialeng.com and we will do our very best to reply in short order.

Now get ready to maximise your signal path like never before!

Overview

The Cherry Picker is a device that enables you to connect your favourite microphone to several preamps and compare the sound for a given track. This is most often done when comparing mic preamps for a vocalist. You will often find that while one preamp may sound great on a male vocal, it may sound harsh on a female. The Cherry Picker lets you quickly compare without having to mute preamps, patch cables or reset levels. The immediacy of the transition between preamps keeps the sound fresh in your mind making it much easier and faster to make a decision. By having the artist involved during the process gives them a sense of comfort which ultimately results in a better, more relaxed performance.

Making Connections

As always, make sure all levels or turned down of off before making connections. This helps avoid the pops that can occur when devices are plugged in or turned on which could damage more sensitive components such as tweeters. There is no power switch on the Cherry Picker. As soon as you connect the power supply, it will automatically turn on.

The Cherry Picker is easy to set up. Connect your mic to the balanced input and then connect the four outputs to your favourite preamps. If you are using a dynamic or ribbon microphone, the 48V phantom power is normally turned off. Phantom will not harm dynamic mics and most of today's modern ribbon microphones are equipped with blocking capacitors or transformers that will protect them from the 48V DC. Phantom is however required to power most studio condenser mics. The Cherry Picker generates its own phantom power internally. Turning on phantom is done by pushing in the recessed 48V switch. This is recessed to eliminate accidental turn on which could send a loud pop to your audio system or damage vintage ribbon mics.

Testing the audio

Once you have made connections, start by testing the preamp connected to output-1 by depressing the out-1 switch. The front panel LED will illuminate when active. Always test at a low level as this reduces risk of equipment damage and feedback. Turn up the preamp and if all is well, turn on output-2 and test. Repeat for outputs 3 and 4. If you hear any form of hum or buzz, try lifting the ground by pushing in the ground lift switches. These switches lift the pin-1 ground connection on the XLR male outputs.

If all signals are flowing, you can now set the levels on each preamp so that they play at the same relative loudness. This is important as humans are easily fooled into believing that the louder channel is better. By balancing the levels, one can come to a more honest conclusion.

If after auditioning you are not 'convinced' of your mic selection, simply depress the front panel mute switch and try another microphone. The mute will turn off the signal going to the outputs, thus allowing you to switch mics without having to reset the relative volumes between your preamps or turn them off.

Getting the artist to participate

It is very beneficial to have the artist participate in the mic and preamp selection process. Doing this enables them to 'hear' what they expect and ultimately, makes them more comfortable in your studio. When the artist is relaxed, you can usually coax a better performance out of him or her which ultimately means a better recording.

Using the Cherry Picker for line level devices

The Cherry Picker manages the audio using gold contact relays. These do not impart any personality nor are they limited to the signal levels normally used when processing audio. This means that the Cherry Picker can also be used to process higher output analog signals without fear of distortion or coloration.

In this studio, you could use the Cheery Picker to compare the sound of various compressors or use it to route balanced signals to various effects. In commercial installations, it could be used to send a mic signal to an alternate console or zone. This of course opens the door to using the Cherry Picker in all types of applications.