MICHELE SIGNORINI

Technical Engineer

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Always been fascinated with analogue electronics and disassembling and reassembling stuff since I can remember.
I studied Electronics engineering for 5 years at the prestigious I.T.I.S Meucci in Italy.
After archiving my degree I moved to northern Italy to study Sound engineering at the School of Highly Specialized Musical Training.
The course is limited to 14 people per year after being among the first admitted among over 180 people.
I kept working with local bands both in the studio and live working as a live sound engineer. I had my breakthrough after I got radio airplay with the Outer Space band whom I single handedly took care of.
I moved to the UK and started studying at the Tonmeister course in surrey.
I started working as a full-time Technical engineer for Metropolis Studios.
Following my lifetime passion, I keep creating my self-designed gear and devices.

Experience on Neve VR and SSL G, J and K series desks

G series center console J series channel VR channelstrip

There are so many circuits present on a single channel of a large format console that it can appear ominous and confusing to the untrained eye.
Mic inputs, line inputs, compressor, expander, equalizers, auxes and almost endless routing possibilities.
In my job as a technical engineer at Metropolis studios I've learned to fix all sorts of problems that plague these historic desks. From dusty faders to signal dropouts, stuck switches and changing capacitors. I personally took care of some PAL chips, whose spare parts are now unobtainable, to start creating spare parts from them using different reverse engineering techniques in order to recreate an alternative to these read-protected chips.


AKG C12 service

Subwoofer Subwoofer Subwoofer

AKG C12 with an excellent Telefunken ECC801S valve. After many years of use with an alternative power supply, this microphone suffered noise problems. I proceeded to analyze the situation to discover many shortcomings of this aftermarket power supply that pushed me into rebuilding it from the ground up.


Neve 1081 Restoration

G series center console J series channel VR channelstrip

I completely restored two original 1973 built 1081 modules. After restoring every switch and pot to perfect working order I took care to analyze the frequency response and harmonic distortion of the units to perfectly calibrate them to original specifications and to be stereo consistent. Truly amazing sounding units.


ATR 102 Restoration

G series center console J series channel VR channelstrip

The 102 is the swansong of tape recorders, this marvelous machine is as surprising as it is complicated in all its functionalities. I proceeded to restore all the boards present in the machine, verify the correct functioning of the motors, test that all the driver transistors are still within their tolerances and proceed to replace what is necessary.


Fairchild 670 Restoration

G series center console J series channel VR channelstrip

One of the most sought-after compressors in the world this Fairchild had various power supply problems which if not rectified in time would have undermined possible damage to most valves and transformers. After having corrected the problems and reworked all the solder joints with new tin the compressor is back in its place in the control room of studio A at Metropolis Studios.


Avalon 747

G series center console J series channel VR channelstrip

I dare not imagine how much music has passed through this beautiful avalon 747 belonging to the mastering chain of John Keith Davis.
They are beautiful devices with a particular sound but quite fragile from a constructive point of view especially as regards the faders of the graphic equalizer and for how some cards are mounted inside the device.





My own handmade audio devices

SIGNORINI

RBMS1 MK1 Ribbon microphones

Ribbon Mic Ribbon Mic Ribbon Mic Ribbon Mic Ribbon Mic Ribbon Mic

Thanks to the small physical size of the ribbon motor aided with the strongest neodymium magnets possible and paired with 2.5 micron thick Japanese aluminum ribbon made using the very precise vapor deposition technique, there is minimal interference to oncoming sound waves (look inside the grille in front of a light source to see what I mean).
This aids the hi-frequency quality of the mic making it much more linear, clean, and free from peaks and dips due to the reduced internal sound diffraction allowing for greater flexibility with major eq boosts.
All of this is paired with one of the best ribbon transformers on the market, the Lundahl LL2912 with its high mu amorphous core.

Sound Samples link

My handmade Guitar

Guitar Guitar Guitar Guitar Guitar Guitar

I remember very well when I walked into a famous Florentine musical instrument shop several years ago looking for some components to make a guitar myself. I was told very directly, almost as if I were an idiot, that many people who entered the shop with the idea of building a guitar by themselves have been through a lot, that I don't realize the difficulty of the job, it's not for everyone and to leave it alone.

After many years of work, I brough that instrument to light, born in my mind, puzzling myself in finding the best possible way to make it happen. The "lightning bolts" were made with very high (and very dangerous) voltage electrical discharges (real lightning strikes), which dug the wood into its veins as desired.

RBMS1 MK2 Ribbon microphones

Ribbon Mic Ribbon Mic Ribbon Mic

Updated version based on new experiments increasing low end uniformity and maximum SPL thanks to new added steel mesh on the ribbon motor.
Optional Cinemag trasformer that trades high output for increased high end extention


Fostex Fe103 oneway speakers

Fostex Fe103 Fostex Fe103 Fostex Fe103 Fostex Fe103 Fostex Fe103 Fostex Fe103

I decided to build these very particular speakers, focused on the definition of the medium frequencies, in a search for a listening experience that was a cross between a pair of headphones and a pair of speakers.
These speakers are single-way, single-cone Fostex FE103NV loaded in Bass reflex.
Just like headphones you start to notice reverbs much better and you'll start to hear stuff that you never heard before.
So many times a friend listening to his reference tracks on the speaker said to me: "I never noticed this gtr line" or "I never heard a flute in there".
In one of the photos is Tony Cousins and me comparing them to the in-house speakers in his personal mastering room.


The'no expense spared' pre-amplifier.

Fostex Fe103 Fostex Fe103 Fostex Fe103

I've always been fascinated by the idea of a 'no expense spared' pre-amplifier.
Each stage can provide up to 75dB of gain, but in this design I limited the gain of each stage to provide half the gain for each stage to be able to use them in series.
I made this design decision because the bandwidth of the op amp is inversely proportional to its gain, so the less the better. I just split the workload across 2 different ICs.
3 Neve-Carnill transformers for microphone input, i.d. line input and output.
To keep the distortion as low as possible I avoided using capacitors in favor of active servos powered by the OP97 IC to use negative feedback to remove DC current from the circuit.
All this is powered by a state of the art power supply using the quietest LM317 and 337 and features mutual shutdown for the power rails


Custom 22hz passive radiator subwoofer

Subwoofer Subwoofer Subwoofer

I've always been fascinated by the idea of building a speaker based on the passive radiator. On paper, this technology appears extremely performing from a sound point of view since it allows you to have a large amount of bass with and at the same time very precise. Passive radiator cabinets do not have resonance problems like Bass reflex cabinets or the huge footprint of transmission line based cabinets. This subwoofer designed around two SB acoustics cones, one passive and one active has had performances I didn't expect: having endless headroom and presenting enormous solidity and firmness regarding the frequencies it emanates


Custom VU Meter

Vumeter Vumeter Vumeter

The custom VU Meter I made for Alessandro Quadraccia's Recording Studio. He is working with artists such as Giuseppe Anastasi, Antonio Lusi and Valeria Farinacci. The VU Meter has been calibrated to the EBU R128 Standard of 1.228 VRMS with an integration time of 300ms for rise and fall.




Music and Sound Recording


Engineered / Mixed / Produced

My own music