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The heart of the Project Studio Equipment is the Apollo Audio Interface.  Not only does this hardware act as the audio interface to the DAW but it also has an additional 2 DSP Sharc units that are used for both tracking and mixing.
My main DAW software is SONAR X2 (as of Jan 2013) and I have been a Cakewalk user now since the early 90s. The audio interface is used in two fashions:
  1. 1)To record the instrument parts LIVE... I do this in order to get the right sounds... If I can’t play them and sound authentic then there is no need to sample the sounds for the project.

  2. 2)It is used during mixdown taking the audio tracks from the DAW and mixing them using the UAD plugs and other native plugs.


The plugs that are mainly used have been reviewed on the previous page.  In addition to these vintage plug ins, I use some other masterin
g plugins from UAD2 as well.  During mixdown, I record the audio onto a high speed  REVOX B77 MKII tape deck. This tape deck has a 30ips speed and is only 2 tracks but the two tracks take up the entire 1/4 inch tape width and as such, if you turn the tape over, everything will be backward and you can only record on  one direction of the tape.  It is very hard to find blank, virgin tape for this machine since they all but stopped mass producing blank tape in the 90s as digital audio began to take over but the tape is out there if you search it down and want to pay premium prices. The tape deck adds that natural compression and analog magic to the audio tracks.  The audio result of using real tape is better than using a TAPE emulation plug in.
 

Project Studio Equipment

For recording the instrument samples, I also use a pair of SERIES 500 Type 69 Helios mic pre’s and EQ units mfg by Tony Arnold from the UK who has the rights from Dick Swettenham to the HELIOS name and original specs of the HELIOS desks. These units are almost exact duplication of the channel strips used in the Basing Street and Island Studio mobile Helios desks and create the same EQ magic as the original desk.

The h
igh eq is set at 10K and has db boosts to control the high end.  Phil’s snare has a lot of 10K boost on it and as such, it cuts through the entire album.


The mid eq has a set of freq and a POT to either boost or cut (via a TROUGH switch)  the mids at the set freq. The low end also has a switch that that lets you either boost or cut the low end depending on its setting and a POT to increase the gain if in boost FREQ range.... the cut (below zero) acts somewhat as a HPF to reduce the low end.  By its nature, these EQ units add a lot of bass freq even when cutting (one of the flaws of the design) and as such, the unit also has a HPF that is either off or set at 40hz or 80hz.  To round things out, there is a phase switch on the unit as well. There is also the ability to turn off the low end freq in the pot but turning it all the way off until it clicks.  The HPF and the ability to turn off the low end are not part of the original HELIOS desk but Tony Arnold saw the wisdom in adding these features to his very well built units.


To round things of
f, the microphone closet for the project is quite simple.  The obligatory Shure SM-57s for guitars and a pair of Neumann 102’s for Hammond Leslie (the hammond is also recorded DI’ed via a custom mod to the Leslie).