Archive for the Gear Category

What I Really Wanted For Christmas

Posted by Scott

This year I had a very nice christmas, I went back to Sacramento to see my family and came home with some great stuff (5 cutting boards! Also, pants.) But, since I’m not related to or friends with any millionaires and/or billionaires, I didn’t quite get everything I wanted. The following is my dream wish-list which I am publishing here in the hopes that Jimmy Warren Buffett will read it and decide that I need all this crap next Christmas.

The Herman Miller Embody Chair

I thought I’d start out with something somewhat practical, a humble chair. Although it stops seeming so humble when it looks like a hybrid of 70’s aircraft interior design and an alien throne and costs $1,600. I have never sat in one of these or even seen one in person, but every review I’ve read is glowing and I fondly recall my brief time sitting in a Herman Miller Aeron while I worked at Adobe. As a follow up to his iconic Aeron chair, designer Bill Stumpf created the new Embody just before he passed away in 2006.

Price: $1,600

Chances I’ll ever get one: Actually quite good. I have been sitting in a $150 Office Max monstrosity for years now and considering how much time I spend at my desk, I really owe it to my backside to invest in a good seat.

Nikon D700

After a lot of thought, I finally decided my next camera, if bought today, would be a D700. The only problem is my D80 hasn’t been stolen or dropped into a lake yet. I did drop it recently, breaking the flash, but it still works and the repair would be cheap so it’s really hard to justify dropping $2,700 on a new camera. Of course, a new camera this nice would need a very, very nice lens to do it justice. Add at least $1,000.

Price: $2,700 – $3,700

Chances I’ll ever get one: Slim. By the time I upgrade there will probably be something bigger and better in this price class. Although, I will definitely be getting something on this level, one of the gear purchases I regret most was skimping on my current rig (D80 + Tamron Lens).

Solid State Logic Matrix Console

I thought I would sneak the big one in the middle. If you aren’t a total audio geek or professional engineer, you probably don’t know or care what this is, but if you’ve ever listened to popular music then you’ve no doubt heard an SSL console at work. SSL makes some of the best sounding recording equipment known to man and their consoles (basically huge mixers) have been used to record countless hit records. I use SSL plugins, which are basically software emulators of their real-world counterparts. The plugins do sound amazing, but there’s nothing like the real thing. 16 channels of SSL EQ, motorized faders, DAW control…The list goes on. Of course it’s not cheap, hint: just the legs for this thing cost $900. While it is a steal compared to it’s full sized brethren, the price puts it’s well into pros-only territory.

Price: $26,000 (yes, three zeroes)

Chances I’ll…. Let’s just stop there, it’s not happening. Ever.

cintiq.jpgWacom Cintiq

Ok, back to something a bit more reasonable. The Cintiq is the top of the line Wacom, it’s essentially one of their tablets grafted to an LCD monitor. I got a chance to try one of these at OFFF in Barcelona and it was pretty incredible, actually being able to interact directly with the screen is a very refreshing way to work. The only problem I have with the Cintiq is that you really can’t color calibrate it properly, the touch sensitive membrane interferes with colorimeters. So essentially you would need this screen and then another for color proofing, causing a problem with desk space.

Price: $2,000

Chances: Pretty slim at the moment. This is the sort of thing I’d love to have, but it would really be hard to justify considering how seldom I would probably use it. If they came out with an LED version and dropped the price to around $1,500 I’d give it some more consideration.

akg.jpgAKG K 702 Headphones

Although not ideal, headphones are sometimes a necessity when working late hours on music projects. I broke the jack on my AKG K 240’s a while back and have sort of been limping along with them (have to jiggle the cord every hour or so to get stereo sound out of them). The K 702’s are the new, top of the line set from AKG and probably blow away those entry-level 240’s I’ve been using all these years. The beauty of buying high-end headphones for music production is that they also sound great for recreational listening.

Price: $450

Chances: Marginal. Headphones aren’t a huge priority for me so I haven’t done much research. When I do replace my set, if I spend anywhere near $450 I will definitely look around for some alternatives to the AKG’s before I take the plunge.

000002233.jpgAdam Sub 8

I thought I’d end it off with something I’ll definitely be getting, though from myself. I ordered the Adam Sub 8 yesterday to complement my recently acquired Adam A7’s (pictured, the speakers closest to the monitor). I have been suffering with M-Audio BX8’s for about 6 years now. I sold my Event 20/20’s, then traded my Event Tria’s to get them for some insane reason I can’t quite recall now. They are really just terrible monitors, completely inaccurate. But I used them for so long that I got used to their inaccuracies and just sort of settled into a rut. After a very long and very frustrating ordeal mixing my latest single I decided enough was enough and got the A7’s. They’re incredibly accurate and very easy to work with, my ear fatigue is almost non-existent now. The only problem is they are small, they’ve only got 6″ drivers, so it’s hard for them to fill my studio and produce the lower ranges. So I decided to go all out and get the Sub 8 to fill in the low end. Let’s just hope it lives up to the sound of the A7’s.

Price: $800

Chances: It’s in the mail.

So that’s it, not so much to ask right? Mr. Buffett, if you’re reading, I will accept a wire transfer, at your age I don’t expect you to shlep this stuff all around town. Anyways, has anyone had any experience with any of this stuff? Any thoughts? I’d love to know about the Embody in particular, that thing is calling me in a big way.