SOUL GARAGE


Tools

The heart of the studio is an Athlon based computer with a DIGI 001 for the audio interface. This is a native Pro-Tools DAW, and we have LE6.4 installed, but I prefer to work with Cockos's Reaper for recording and mixing.

Live room monitoring is provided by Peavey 110HC PA speakers powered by a Roland SPA-60 power amp, or headphones. A pair of classic TOA265-ME monitors have recently been added to our mixing setup, and the lows are beefed up nicely by a Yamaha YST-SW40 subwoofer. Mastering is done on a variety of speakers for maximum adapatability of sound, but primarily an old pair of Advents. These speakers are very neutral, and if a recording sounds good on them, it will usually sound good on any system.

Our primary vocalist's condenser is an MXL V57M, the first one they brought over from China, and which I think was a loss-leader - it is just too good a mic for the original price! We recently added an MXL 992 to the rack, and have been very happy with its sound on male vocals, and as a room mic for acoustic and electric guitars. Our first choice for acoustic instruments is a Sony C-535P pencil condenser, which has a wonderfully clear sound on Dreadnought-sized guitars and other stringed instruments. An Electro-Voice ND757 is available for spoken-word recording, and works superbly for vocalists singing in lower registers. In the closet we also have a Peavey PVM880, a mic I like to use for singer-songwriters to catch both singer and guitar in a very natural way. A matched set of Karma K-Micro condensers capture percussion instruments with warmth and depth, and our BeyerDynamics stereo mic is perfect for congas, bongos, and other percussion instruments requiring a good sense of space.

Our preamps include a PreSonus BlueTube (the two channel model), a modified ART MP1, a MidiMan FineLine, a Behringer Tube Ultragain MIC200, and an M-Audio AudioBuddy. We also use a Soundcraft Spirit Folio small format mixer, which has 4 wonderfully musical microphone preamps

For effects we have a good collection of plug-in effects for use inside the DAW, but do have some outboard gear. An Alesis MidiVerb provides fat reverb for live work, and our Phonic PCL 3200 comp/limiter with noise gate can really help smooth out rough edges, or pump up thin beats.