Saint Etienne

Goldblade

MiSTOA POLTSA

The Yossarians

Ten Mouth Electron

DENA

Bombay Bicycle Club

ILL

John Foxx

The Happy Soul

The Lone Taxidermist

Mountain Song

The Heartbreaks

Altar Flowers

Charlotte OC

Locean

English Heretic

Erasure

Holly Johnson

Lana Del Rey

NYPC

East India Youth

Gear List

Mobile Recording Rig

Fostex D2424LV

Built like a tank and incredibly reliable. Records pristine 24-bit audio to the removable hard drive, which can then be slotted straight into my mix studio computer for post-production.

Although nominally a 24 track recorder, there are a further 32 virtual tracks for a total of 56. This allows for multiple takes of instrumental and vocal parts for later comping during mixdown.

Built like a tank and incredibly reliable. Records pristine 24-bit audio to the removable hard drive, which can then be slotted straight into my mix studio computer for post-production. Although nominally a 24 track recorder, there are a further 32 virtual tracks for a total of 56. This allows for multiple takes of instrumental and vocal parts for later comping during mixdown.

24 Presonus XMAX preamps

3x 8-channel FP10 units, with mic / line / instrument DI / phantom power input options. Whatever it is, we can plug it in.

For the technically minded: The units are being used purely for the pre-amps, and the signals are routed from the analogue direct outputs to the recorder. So there is only a single Analogue-to-Digital conversion step when signals hit the Fostex unit. The internal A-to-D of the Presonus units is bypassed. This results in the highest possible fidelity, and avoids the degradation of multiple A-to-D passes.

3x 8-channel FP10 units, with mic / line / instrument DI / phantom power input options. Whatever it is, we can plug it in. For the technically minded: The units are being used purely for the pre-amps, and the signals are routed from the analogue direct outputs to the recorder. So there is only a single Analogue-to-Digital conversion step when signals hit the Fostex unit. The internal A-to-D of the Presonus units is bypassed. This results in the highest possible fidelity, and avoids the degradation of multiple A-to-D passes.

Roland M240R

All-analogue 24-channel rack mixer from the early 90s.

They literally don’t make them like this any more. Finally managed to track this one down in Denmark.

This isn’t what I mix on, it’s simply for monitoring purposes during recording. I’ve got it permanently hooked up to a 6-output headphone amp, so can work with large bands pretty easily.

The unit also features four effects sends and six stereo returns. This enables us to record clean signals while still monitoring any effects that are part of your normal live performance. This gives maximum flexibility for the mix stage without you having to change the way you play.

All-analogue 24-channel rack mixer from the early 90s. They literally don’t make them like this any more. Finally managed to track this one down in Denmark. This isn’t what I mix on, it’s simply for monitoring purposes during recording. I’ve got it permanently hooked up to a 6-output headphone amp, so can work with large bands pretty easily. The unit also features four effects sends and six stereo returns. This enables us to record clean signals while still monitoring any effects that are part of your normal live performance. This gives maximum flexibility for the mix stage without you having to change the way you play.

ART Headamp 6 Pro

Tucked into the back of the box is this six-channel headphone amp. 

Allows two pairs of headphones per channel to accommodate large bands. Also allows personalised mixes on four channels to aid clarity for individual performers when tracking.

Tucked into the back of the box is this six-channel headphone amp. Allows two pairs of headphones per channel to accommodate large bands. Also allows personalised mixes on four channels to aid clarity for individual performers when tracking.

SE Electronics Reflexion Filter (for vocals)

A key tool (though not the only one) for getting good vocal recordings in non-optimal rooms. The reflexion filter provides a small, acoustically dead area to record vocals in, counteracting the worst effects of overly “live” rooms.

A key tool (though not the only one) for getting good vocal recordings in non-optimal rooms. The reflexion filter provides a small, acoustically dead area to record vocals in, counteracting the worst effects of overly “live” rooms.

4 x SE Electronics Instrument Reflexion Filter

4 x SE Electronics Instrument Reflexion Filters

Extremely useful instrument-mic oriented little sisters of the vocal reflexion filter.

4 x SE Electronics Instrument Reflexion Filters Extremely useful instrument-mic oriented little sisters of the vocal reflexion filter.

3x Palmer Y-box splitter

Active signal splitters for guitar and bass. Enables simultaneous recording of an amp signal and a DI from the instrument without altering your tone.

Active signal splitters for guitar and bass. Enables simultaneous recording of an amp signal and a DI from the instrument without altering your tone.

Plus:

  • Radial Big Shot ABY passive signal splitter
  • 5 x Sennheiser HD 201 headphones

Microphones

2x SE Electronics R1 ribbon mics

These are a matched pair and are great for stereo recordings of massed sounds such as choirs, brass sections and strings.

They can also be great used singly (or in conjunction with a dynamic mic) for certain electric guitar tones. And they make excellent drum overheads for some drumming styles.

These are a matched pair and are great for stereo recordings of massed sounds such as choirs, brass sections and strings. They can also be great used singly (or in conjunction with a dynamic mic) for certain electric guitar tones. And they make excellent drum overheads for some drumming styles.

2x SE Electronics X1 mics

Highly versatile condenser mic, great on vocals and acoustic instruments. Sometimes appropriate for drum overheads. Never wrong on anything.

Highly versatile condenser mic, great on vocals and acoustic instruments. Sometimes appropriate for drum overheads. Never wrong on anything.

Shure SM58

The world’s most popular dynamic vocal microphone.

The world’s most popular dynamic vocal microphone.

Shure Beta 57a

Super-cardiod (ie: highly directional) take on the classic sm57. Great on snare drums.

Super-cardiod (ie: highly directional) take on the classic sm57. Great on snare drums.

2x Shure SM57

The classic Swiss army knife of instrument mics. Great on guitar cabs and snare drums.

The classic Swiss army knife of instrument mics. Great on guitar cabs and snare drums.

4x AKG D40 (with clip on mounts for toms and snares)

Especially useful for toms (whether in a stereo pair configuration or as one-mic-per-tom), but generally versatile dynamic instrument mics. Withstand being accidentally whacked with a drumstick better than any other mic I've ever sent into battle.

Especially useful for toms (whether in a stereo pair configuration or as one-mic-per-tom), but generally versatile dynamic instrument mics. Withstand being accidentally whacked with a drumstick better than any other mic I’ve ever sent into battle.

2x AKG c430 (overhead condenser mics)

Principally drum overhead mics, but also useful as a stereo pair for recording any large mass source.

Principally drum overhead mics, but also useful as a stereo pair for recording any large mass source.

AKG D112 (kick drum mic)

The most widely-used kick drum mic in the world. Also great on acoustic bass and electric bass cabs.

The most widely-used kick drum mic in the world. Also great on acoustic bass and electric bass cabs.

Composition & Mixing

The mix studio is based around a self-build high end PC running Windows 7:

  • 16GB RAM
  • Quad core Intel i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz
  • Nofan silent cooling
  • Intel x-25m SSD System Drive
  • Seagate RAID Array Audio Drive

KRK Rokit 6 monitors

Sonar V-Studio 700 Console

Mixing control surface

Mixing control surface

Sonar V-Studio 700 I/O

19-in, 24-out interface. Records 24 bit / 44khz-192khz

19-in, 24-out interface. Records 24 bit / 44khz-192khz

Line 6 DT25 valve amplifier

Hybrid digital and valve amplifier with switchable analogue components. 

Emulates the tone and response of Marshall, Fender, VoxAC30 and Mesa Boogie high gain amps.

Hybrid digital and valve amplifier with switchable analogue components. Emulates the tone and response of Marshall, Fender, VoxAC30 and Mesa Boogie high gain amps.

Line 6 Pod X3 Pro

Simultaneous dual input guitar and bass amp emulation, with FBV pedalboard controller. Also acts as a multi-effects unit for the DT25 amp.

Simultaneous dual input guitar and bass amp emulation, with FBV pedalboard controller. Also acts as a multi-effects unit for the DT25 amp.

Palmer DACCAPO reamping box

For re-amping of already-recorded guitar and bass signals.

For re-amping of already-recorded guitar and bass signals.

Plus:

  • GIK acoustic treatment (four “Tri-Trap” bass traps)
  • KRK kns6400 headphones

Instruments

M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 keyboard controller

Full size piano-weighted keyboard with sustain and damping pedals

Full size piano-weighted keyboard with sustain and damping pedals

Fender Lite Ash Stratocaster (modified)

Modified fairly extensively. Copper shielding to reduce hum. Graph-teq nut for tuning stability. Bridge pickup wired into mid tone control for greater versatility. More tremolo arm springs added for better tuning stability. Jack replaced because the factory one was a cheapskate rotter. 

My favourite guitar to play, of all guitars I've ever owned. And the experimental platform for all the ideas that went into The Turq (see below). You can look, but you can't touch.

Modified fairly extensively. Copper shielding to reduce hum. Graph-teq nut for tuning stability. Bridge pickup wired into mid tone control for greater versatility. More tremolo arm springs added for better tuning stability. Jack replaced because the factory one was a cheapskate rotter. My favourite guitar to play, of all guitars I’ve ever owned. And the experimental platform for all the ideas that went into The Turq (see below). You can look, but you can’t touch.

Variax 700

Digitally models a range of acoustic and electric instruments, including Coral Sitar, banjo, 12 & 6 string acoustic guitar and more

Modelling aside, this is, for my money, still the best guitar Line 6 have ever made. Plays beautifully.

Digitally models a range of acoustic and electric instruments, including Coral Sitar, banjo, 12 & 6 string acoustic guitar and more Modelling aside, this is, for my money, still the best guitar Line 6 have ever made. Plays beautifully.

Variax Bass

Digitally models a range of electric and acoustic basses. Incredible piece of kit, now discontinued and rare as hens' teeth.

Digitally models a range of electric and acoustic basses. Incredible piece of kit, now discontinued and rare as hens’ teeth.

The Turq

Self-built guitar based around 3 Seymour Duncan P-Rails pickups. 3 way switches for each pickup allow any combination of single-coil, humbucker and P-90 style. Kind of like a non-digital Variax.

Self-built guitar based around 3 Seymour Duncan P-Rails pickups. 3 way switches for each pickup allow any combination of single-coil, humbucker and P-90 style. Kind of like a non-digital Variax.

Plus:

  • Squire Affinity Telecaster (modded with Lace Sensor pickups)
  • Vox Standard 25 guitar
  • E-Bow
  • A shaker made from a Grolsch can and a bag of rice.

Software

  • Windows 7 64 bit
  • Sonar Platinum
    (Plus all ProChannel expansions)
  • Sony Sound Forge 10
  • Sony Vegas Pro

Virtual Instruments

  • Native Instruments Massive (synth)
  • BFD 2 (acoustic drum workstation)
  • z3ta+ 2 (synth)
  • TruePianos
  • Lounge Lizard (Rhodes electric piano emulation)
  • Dimenson Pro
  • Rapture Pro
  • Other assorted virtual instruments

Plug Ins

  • Sonar ProChannel:

    • Console Emulation (Emulates SSL, Neve and Trident console characteristics)
    • Tape Emulation
    • Concrete Limiter
    • PC-2A compressor (emulates Teltronix LA-2A)
    • SSL 4000 emulation modules:
      • PC4k Expander / Gate
      • PC4k Channel Compressor
      • PC4k Bus Compressor
    • PC76 Compressor (emulates Universal Audio 1176)
    • Softube Saturation Knob
    • BREVERB (Bricasti-style reverb module)
  • Melodyne Editor (polyphonic pitch correction)
  • PerfectSpace convolution reverb
  • Line 6 Pod Farm (guitar and bass amp emulation)
  • Overloud TH2 (guitar amp emulation)
  • Nomad Blue Tubes Suite
  • Sonar Transient Shaper
  • Other assorted plug ins

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