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“The Studio” is a place where I can let my creative energy flow and capture ideas and sounds. It is also available to clients who want excellent recording quality in a relaxed environment. All of the gear has been selected first and foremost for sonic excellence but also with an eye to providing the best value for your recording budget. I’ve recorded in many world class studios and have learned (sometimes the hard way) that paying a lot of money doesn’t guarantee a great-sounding result. The Studio is a great place to do pre-production, work out ideas, experiment with new sounds, and create beautiful recordings.
The heart of “The Studio” is ProTools 8.0.4 software and Digidesign 003 hardware. I chose ProTools because it’s the standard of the industry, assuring that my files will be compatible pretty much anywhere in the world I go. It also has great sound and lots of flexibility. I’m currently running on a Mac Pro using the latest version of OS X and 4GB of memory. I have 3 hard drives available so there’s lots of storage.
Sometimes the sound of analog gear, especially vacuum tubes,gives a little smoother and more natural,open sound. There is a TL Audio tube mic preamp, made in England, that provides a nice analog front end. There’s also a DBX 1066 compressor and an Alesis wedge for external signal processing, although to be honest I don’t use a lot of processing on most of my recordings. Still, it’s nice to have it when you want it. There is also an Alesis ADAT and a Sony PCM D50 available for field use.
Playback counts for a lot in multitrack recordings. There’s a good selection of headphones, including the Grado RS-1 (absolutely the best, in my humble opinion) as well as Sony, AKG and others. Loudspeaker monitoring is through a vintage pair of Altec 604s (formerly living at A&R Studios in NY) with Mastering Labs crossovers and a Velodyne subwoofer, powered by Adcom amps.
There are lots of toys in The Studio. There’s a Korg Oasys, the top of the electronic keyboard world. This puppy can do just about anything you can think of, and probably a lot more stuff that I haven’t figured out yet. For the sound of an actual piano (I’ve never heard a sample that really gets it right) there is a 1930′s era Steinway baby grand. Of course there is a wide range of guitars available, both acoustic and electric in pretty much all flavors – steel strings, nylon strings, solid body,hollow body, semi hollow body, Dobro, whatever is needed. There’s also a top notch amplifier collection: 70′s Fender Twin, Top Hat Ambassador, Marshall tube amp. In addition I have a vast collection of ethnic instruments from all over the world that can provide just that special “something” you maybe didn’t know you needed.
Good mics are crucial for recording vocals and acoustic instruments. I’ve spent a lot of time, effort and cash building a selection of high quality microphones. There are a couple of Neumanns, an EV RE20 (the workhorse of the voiceover industry), and an assortment of others – Rode, Shure, Octavia, etc. Whether you need an extremely detailed, accurate mic or one that can handle high SPL and smooth off a few rough edges, one of these will fit the bill.