We are living in a golden age of sound technology. The tools we have at our disposal today were only a dream just a decade ago. The industry has found the balance between the power and flexibility of digital and the character and nuance of analog. People generally focus on the end result, but for most musicians, producers and engineers, the process is the product and the tools are the enablers.
The following is an off-the-top-of-my-head gear list for this record, my favorite tools, created by the brilliant engineers who make what we do as recording artists possible.
I used a bunch of other things but these are the standouts, stuff I couldn’t do without. “Best” means “in my opinion this is the best I’ve used, personally” and “new” means “new to me, like I got it less than 18 months ago”. Feel free to ask questions about specific applications and I’ll do my best to answer. Would love to hear your favorites as well.
**DISCLAIMER: In this post I’m mentioning some high end (read: expensive) gear. But I want any of you who are just starting out to know that you should never think that expensive equipment is an answer to anything. All it does it add, incrementally, to your sound. A good engineer / producer should be able to produce quality recordings without the use of boutique or prohibitively expensive gear. I used inexpensive equipment for many, many years before saving up for and spending the time to understand higher level recording equipment. Of course, with the right tools a job can become easier, but it’s not impossible without them (but do invest in a good preamp before anything, that’s really the most important thing). That being said, after 18 years as a recording engineer and musician, these ended up being my go-to tools for this record.
Best New gear overall
Kemper Profiling Amp
Best New FX Unit overall: Strymon Blue Sky
Best New Synth: Korg Minilogue
Best New Old Synth: Moog New Minimoog Model D (can’t believe they actually did it. Just got it a week ago, somehow even better than my original 1972 Model D)
Dangerous 2-Bus+ (if you’re looking for analog summing, this is it)
Rupert Neve Designs Portico II Channel (the perfect balance of color and clarity, a modern classic)
Most used: Korg Minilogue
Late bloomer: Korg MS-20 (original)
Indispensable newcomer: Sequential Circuits Prophet 5
Staying power: Minimoog Model D (orignal 1972)
Deprecated: Access Virus C (we had a good run, but now I’m using the Kemper — same designer — so I feel we’re even)
Honorable mention: Korg Arp Odyssey
Rediscovered an old favorite: Universal Audio 6716
Sadly underutilized: Chandler LTD-1
Trident 80B 500 Series
Got a Gibson Les Paul after having an Epiphone Les Paul for years. Now I get why they’re so expensive.
New Favorites: Strymon Timeline and Blue Sky
Stalwart: Ursa Major SST-282
Best new output conversion: Dangerous Convert-8
Best new input conversion: Lynx Aurora 16
Best adapter: Lynx AES16e
Best mixer: Neve 542
Underappreciated: Empirical Labs Distressor EL8-X
Native Instruments Monark (as close as you’re ever going to get to a Mini in the digital domain)
Arturia Jupiter 8V (stunning clarity, always cuts through the mix)
XILS 3 (warmth)
Valhalla Shimmer / Vintageverb, U-He Presswerk, Plugin Alliance VSM-3, Arturia Jupiter 8V, , Waves H-EQ, Waves RS56, Waves Scheps 73, Eventide Black Hole, SoundToys Native Bundle, Acustica Amethyst, Empirical Labs Arousor, Sonnox Envolution, SSL Duende Drumstrip, Kush Omega N&A
Controller: Dangerous D-Box
Monitors: Genelec 8330A
Headphones: DT770 Pro 80ohm (great translation to/from speakers)
The Echo Society’s fifth event, V, will take place in the historic The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown LA on Wednesday, August 31, 2016. The show will feature new works by the The Echo Society collective alongside guest collaborators Clark, The Haxan Cloak, Ted Hearne, and Chelsea Wolfe.
V, or five, evokes freedom and symbolizes matter with the subtle addition of spirit. It moves beyond restrictions.
In addition, V will feature video projections by EFFIXX and lighting by visual designer Tobias Rylander of Seven Design, who has worked with such acts as Miike Snow, The XX, Phoenix, Explosions In The Sky, to name a few.
Tickets available here.
Tycho’s new track “Division” – the first new material since the release of Awake.
TYCHO 2016 TOUR DATES
JUL 02 – Chicago, IL – Mamby on the Beach
SEP 17 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre (w/ Lotus, El Ten Eleven)
SEP 22-24 – Thornville, OH – Resonance Music & Arts Festival
SEP 24-25 – St. Louis, MO – Murmuration Festival
OCT 15-16 – San Francisco, CA – Treasure Island Music Festival
A name that you can trust over the years has let loose a thoughtful mix on Pitchfork Radio.
1. Motion Graphics, “Brass Mechanics” (Future Times)
2. Sissel Wincent, “Investigation” (Peder Mannerfelt Produktion)
3. Forest Drive West, “System” (Livity Sound)
4. Darling, “Video” (Voyage Direct)
5. Mr. Fingers, “Outer Acid” (Alleviated)
6. Ploy, “Move Yourself” (Hessle Audio)
7. Powder, “Afrorgan” (Born Free)
8. Bender, “Think Green” (Kann)
9. Airaboi, “Endless Field” (Banned in Vegas)
10. Studio OST, “ITCZ” (Lustwerk Music)
11. Call Super, “Nervous Sex Track” (Dekmantel)
12. Mr. Fingers, “Qwazars” (Alleviated)
via Pitchfork Radio
by Curtiss Sprague
For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) take us a mainly beatless journey where Huerco S may shine with his brightest and most inviting work yet. The album drops on Anthony Naples’ Proibito label next week.
STRANNIK is the collaboration between Los Angeles based producer ALEK FIN (Adam Finkel) and Moscow based producer GALUN (Sergei Galunenko). Their project is a testament to the digital age; where strangers from across the world can come together and create music they both believe in without ever being in the same room.
Available now on:
John Roberts always had a sincere style in his musical work, never sounding like he was following a path or adjusting his material to fit in with the times or scene. His album Plum will be out on July 1st on his own label Brunette Editions.
Since emerging on Dial Records in 2008, US producer John Roberts has been pushing his romantic club music into different emotional places.
– via FACT Mag
by Bernard Tschumi
This could have been a Mood Hut 12″, so nice to see the 1080p label sinking in their claws into music like this. With every listen it gets friendlier and friendlier, I hope it becomes more popular.
Who better to kick off the inaugural release of SOBO [Sounds Of Beaubien Ouest] than Patrick Holland, best known as Project Pablo. Affiliated with the Canadian Riviera’s 1080p troupe, as well as Seb Wildblood’s Church and Lone’s Magicwire – Holland now adds Beaubien Dream as the fourth instalment to his 12″ series. The Beaubien connection comes from Montreal’s Rue Beaubien, of which Holland is a resident. SOBO is headed up by fellow longstanding citizens of the Beaubien Ouest hood, Arbutus Records and their extended family – of which Holland is an instrumental part.
An initial teaser of the EP’s opening “Closer” was aired publicly during Holland’s BR London set back in October, as well as his NTS appearance with Lone and Gabriola earlier this year. Now, after a patient seven-month wait, we can finally wrap our mitts around it in its entirety. Alongside its two subsequent components, the track acts as a homage to Holland’s home. With its distinctive Dx7 melodies, jingly percussion provided by bells (of the cow variety amongst others) and an insatiable groove growing lazily throughout – “Closer” is instantaneous happiness.
Catch Beaubien Dream in full on 3rd June via SOBO.
via Boiler Room