We did a lot of research in choosing our recording gear - research
that is ongoing - as we periodically acquire new gear for our studio.
Neumann TLM 103 Microphone
The Neumann Microphone Company
has a reputation for making some of the world's most highly esteemed
microphones. We have their TLM 103 model, a
beautiful sounding large condenser microphone that sounds like it was
made for Gail's voice.
Rode NT2 Microphone
The Australian Rode Microphone company produces a high
quality line of microphones. We use their Rode NT2,
a large condenser model. It gives us clean, accurate
recordings with lots of presence.
Royer/Mojave MA200 DIY Tube Microphone
The MA200 is a DIY microphone that is built by removing the
original electronic guts of an ADK microphone and replacing it with
new, tube based electronic guts designed by Dave Royer (of Royer Labs ). This
retrofit, known as the Royer mod', is based on the
electronics of the highly prized Neumann U47 microphone.
Royer mod kits are available from
Mojave Audio. We've just started using this microphone and
our initial impressions are very favourable. I have a feeling
that it's going to be one of our favourites.
Studio Project C1 Microphone
The Studio Project C1 is another large diaphragm vocal
microphone that we use. We have done a number of A/B
comparisons and shoot-outs with other microphones and this
one has come out as one of Gail's favorites. As a matter of fact,
almost every female vocalist that we had try out the C1 absolutely
fell in love with it.
An EQ change we have started to use sometimes with our C1 mic's
is as follows:
- -5.1 dB & 12.4 kHz, Q=1.4
- +2.4 dB & 9.3 kHz, Q=0.98
This EQ change results in smoother sounding vocals as it attenuates the
C1's large presence peak at 12.4 kHz and creates a smaller
presence peak at 9.3 kHz, (somewhat similar to what you'd find on
the frequency response curve for a U87 microphone).
Studio Project C4 Stereo Microphones
The Studio Projects C4's are a pair of small diaphragm
microphones. They come with interchangeable cardiod and
omni capsules. We use them to record our grand
piano. They are versatile microphones that can be used for
a variety of stereo mic'ing applications.
Stedman PROSCREEN 101
Normally we wouldn't bother listing a microphone pop filter
as it is a pretty routine piece of studio paraphernalia.
But... Jay Riehl had us do an A/B test between the
Stedman PROSCREEN 101 and a conventional pop screen in his
Signature Sound Studio.
We were really impressed with how much more transparent the
Stedman pop screen was. In fact, we went out and bought
one the next day.
Manley Labs Voxbox
The Manley Labs
company is renowned for superb audio gear. We chose their
Voxbox because we wanted to have the best possible
preamp/compressor/EQ vocal chain possible. The
Voxbox integrates all 3 of these functions into one 3U
rack sized box. We've found that recording vocals through the
Voxbox results in a clarity and presence that is
PreSonus M80 8 Channel Mic Preamp and companion
ACP88 Eight Channel Compressor/Limiter/Gate
M80 8 channel preamp and the matching ACP88
compressor/limiter/gate are what we decided to go with
instead of a conventional outboard mixer. We felt that
using this rack mount combination gave us a better quality
signal input chain as well as plenty of flexibility with
compression, limiting or gating if we require it.
Event 20/20bas Near Field Studio Monitors
For mix-down work, we decided on the Event 20/20bas
biamplified near field studio monitors. We chose active
monitors because we liked the idea of a monitoring system that
has integral amplification built in and works as a tuned system.
Mackie Universal Control Surface
To improve the productivity and quality of our mixes, we decided to
purchase a control surface. We did quite a bit of research
and settled on the Mackie Universal Control Surface.
Why did we pick this unit? It was pretty straightforward -
we heard so many good reports about this unit - regarding its quality
and durability as well as its high level of integration with Sonar (and
other programs), that we felt it was a good choice. After
we've spent some time using it (we just got it), we'll add our own
Behringer Powerplay Pro HA4400 - 4 Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier
This Behringer rack-mount headphone distribution amplifier is
a pretty flexible unit. As well as sending it a main
mix, you can also send each of the 4 channels an additional
signal that can be mixed in with the main mix, allowing each
player/singer to have his/her instrument/voice at whatever
level they prefer and it won't affect the mix in the other
Fostex T20RP Headphones
We use Fostex T20RP
headphones. They are a comfortable closed-cup style headphone
that have an excellent sound.
- Digital Audio Workstation
We used to use a Tascam analog recording system. This year, after
reading Pete Leoni's "Roll Your Own Thunderbird" article, we
took the plunge and rolled our own!
For the A/D and D/A conversion, we used M-Audio's: M-Audio Delta 1010 - 10x10 PCI Based Digital Audio System
For a MIDI interface, we used Midiman's: USB MIDISPORT 8x8/S
You can find details on both the Delta 1010 and the MIDISPORT 8x8/S on the
M-Audio Web site. (Note: you'll have to have a Macromedia
Flash plug-in installed on your computer to browse the M-Audio web site).
Here's what's inside the box in case you're interested:
- IWill DD266Plus-R Motherboard
- Installed Memory: 768MB
- Video Adapter: Matrox Millennium G450
- 1.44 MB Floppy disk drive (A:)
- 20 gig Maxtor Ultra IDE (C drive - System)
- 60 gig Maxtor Ultra IDE (D drive - Audio) - Removable
- 60 gig Maxtor Ultra IDE (E drive - Audio Backup) - Removable
- Acer 16/10/40 CDRW drive (F drive)
- M-Audio Delta 1010 - 10x10 PCI Based Digital Audio Card with remote converters
- Mackie/UAD-1 DSP card (runs the UAD-1 Powered Plug-Ins)