The Stuff We Use to Capture Your Performances
Before talking about our equipment (below), a few important words...
What really makes the best sounding recordings?
#1: great performances -- but, that's up to you!
After that, the most important factors are:
-great sounding rooms.
-high quality microphones.
-choosing the right mic for a specific sound source.
-monitoring the playback at mixdown with speakers that tell the truth.
Our Recording Spaces
Our main tracking room was designed from the ground up to have
the most flat frequency response possible. It utilizes the "golden room" ratio
of height : width : length that acousticians use to calculate a room's
dimensions that will yield the most accurate frequency response.
This room is plenty big enough to hold a small choir, yet
has no resonant frequencies to color the sound.
How? By building it from the proper materials, perfectly symetrically,
with no parallel surfaces and using proper acoustic treatments.
This room has just the right amount of reflection to give a killer drum sound
without boominess. Getting a good drum recording is probably
the hardest thing to accomplish in studio work.
We have the room working for us here!
Many studios have a decent mixing room or a decent tracking room, but
few have both. We have invested our time and finances in creating a
fantastic main room that serves both purposes. After tracking is done, we do the
mixing in the same room. Why? -- because it is acoustically neutral. Our clients
are amazed that at mixdown, you can walk all around the room and the sound
from the speakers is still balanced no matter where you stand.
The "sweet spot" is not really a "spot" at all!
Don't be thinking that we only have one room, however. We have five rooms,
each with their own acoustic signature. The two isolation rooms are very, very dead.
Another room is quite resonant. All rooms offer fantastic isolation from the
other rooms thanks to concrete wall cores and multiple layers of sheet rock
with 1/8"rubber membranes separating the layers.
Digidesign Pro Tools HD3 Accel running Pro Tools 8.0
The industry standard recording platform. 'Nuff said.
-installed on a Mac Pro with 8-Cores of 3.0GHz Xeon processing
-with 4 Terrabytes storage
-and, 12 MB RAM
-allows up to 192 tracks
-up to 24 bit and 192KHz (6x CD quality)
-Interface is a Digidesign 192 I/O
-Digidesign Control 24 mixing console
-Dual 24" displays
JBL LSR 4328 5.1 surround sound speaker system
Five of theseand matching sub.
-These are "intelligent" speakers with built-in DSP.
-They are CAT6 networked together.
-They self-EQ to match the room! (though the room is already
so correct, that this feature hardly is needed).
We also have a pair of Event 20/20bas monitors and
Event Tria monitors with sub;
Plugins and Virtual Instruments are vital to todays recording.
We have way too many to list, but here are a few not included
in most Pro Tools setups:
Waves Platinum bundle;
Waves L3 Multimaximer bundle;
East West Quantum Leap Complete Composers Collection
(EWQL has to be heard to be appreciated--a real symphony at your fingertips!)
EWQL Piano (Steinway, Bosendorfer, Yamaha)
IK Akoustik Piano
Trillium Labs bundle
Izotope Ozone 4
Waves GTR 3.5;
Amplitube Jimi Hendrix
Line 6 Amp Farm
Dolby SurCode bundle (for surround)
Nyrinck Encoder/Decoder (for surround)
Sonic No Noise (forensic quality noise reduction)
ARC System monitor EQ;
Celemony Melodyne (much better than Autotune IMHO)
Digidesign Reel Tape Suite
Garritan Steinway Piano
SPL Twin Tube (sparkling tube sound)
And more than I can recall right now...
I mix almost exclusively "in the box". Why not? The technology has finally matured
to the point where it no longer makes sense to be using outboard gear on the mix.
We do, however, recognize the importance of using high-end pre-amps to get
the sounds into the computer.
Thus, we utilize the following preamps for tracking:
Aphex 107 tube preamps (4); these are killer for tracking drums and electric guitars;
True Systems preamps (2); these are "straight wire with gain" -- crystal clear, noise free.
Avalon U-5 preamp; the holy grail of bass guitar preamps; also great as a guitar DI;
and, of course, the Control 24 has 16 Focusrite preamps.
Our Microphone Locker
Lawson L47-MP tube mic (handmade U47 clone); everything sounds better through this mic!
Schoeps CMC6 cardioid and Fig-8 mics; M-S pair primarily
for overhead micing of drums and ensembles;
Blue Bottle mics (2); rich, velvety sound for vocals, acoustic guitar;
AKG 414 mic; versatile condenser workhorse;
AKG 451EB mics (2) (vintage, not the re-issue); great for acoustic guitar,
hi-hat, shakers, etc.
Earthworks OM1 stereo pair; these reproduce exactly what you feed them;
Cascade Fat Head ribbon mic; nothing like a ribbon on a loud guitar cabinet,
violin or a blaring trumpet!
Audio Technica ATM25 mics (4); superb on toms, double bass and horns;
AKG D112 mic; industry standard for kick drum or bass cabinets;
MXL 4000 mic; don't laugh, it sounds amazing on a baritone voice;
Bunches of Shure SM57 and SM58 mics and others by MXL and Cascade;
Yamaha CP-88 digital piano;
Hammond XK3 organ with fully restored vintage Leslie 147 (authentic B-3 vibe!);
Roland TD20S drum kit (their best);
Mixdown can be to an Alesis Masterlink, a Tascam DAT or an Otari 2 Track reel-to-reel;
Sony, AKG, Shure, A-T and Sennheiser headphones through a Furman distribution system; everyone can have individual mixes!
1930 Mason & Hamlin grand piano (fully restored);
Kurzweil K2600 keyboard;
Les Paul Standard flametop (to '59 specs!);
Strat Plus Deluxe Custom USA set up for MIDI with graph tech saddles and internal preamp/convertor; and Barden pickups!
Lowden D32 acoustic;
Suhr Badger and Marshall 1968 50 Watt Plexi clone hand-wired guitar amps with lots of boutique pedals;
1x12" Suhr cabinet with Eminence Governor
4 x 12" Marshall with Celestion "Greenbacks"
Pedal Steel guitar, Fender Tele, Ramirez classical and Paul Beard Dobro;