Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Recently installed this beautiful new desk complete with a 24 input SSL summing mixer and XRack system.  Ergonomically I love this new setup having the outboard preamps right in front of me and the summing desk below.    The SSL XDesk sound absolutely beautiful, transparent yet not sterile.  The SSL Preamps are punchy and accurate you can very much hear the difference in microphone choice with these pres.  I can not say anything other than "WOW" to the G Bus compressor.  How have I been recording for all these years without this thing?  Words to describe: glue, smack, punch? It does incredible things on the 2 bus and drum bus. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Toft ATB Console Mods

We have been using a 16 channel Toft ATB console for a few years and to be honest I was never that impressed with it.  The mic pres didn't sound that great, the master bus has a muddiness to it and the headphone amp was not very accurate, the only thing I really liked was the EQ.  Enter Jim Williams...
I had heard another ATB console that he had worked on and was blown away with the sound, I contacted him and had him rework the master bus.  This immediately opened up the sound, the low-end muddiness was gone and the headphone amp was accurate.  The preamps still were not doing it for me so I contacted him again to get new preamp chips. After going through the board and installing all the chips I was floored by the difference in the sound.  The pres are now super fast and articulate.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

SK1 Bend Part 2

I finished my SK1 bends.  I added a pitch dial and a poly dial, each with a bypass switch.  I added these to the top portion of the new panel i made out of ABS.  I will post some sound samples of what this little beast sounds like.  Just for fun I also added a video output with contrast control it works pretty good although it doesn't work on all TVs...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Casio SK1 Bend Part 1

I have finally gotten around to bending my SK1. My plan is to do the typical stuff: 16 point patch bay, poly dial, pitch dial and pitch body contact.  I am also going to try the video output mod, it looks pretty interesting and fun, it could definitely be cool for live use.  So far I removed the speaker (adding a jack to reconnect it externally), created a new faceplate to attach the dials and patch points to, attached all 16 jacks to the faceplate and wired them up.  With just the patch bay going I have created some pretty insane sounds more too come as I further develop this beast...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DBX 117

The DBX 117 has been a secret weapon of mine for some time.  This device is capable of working magic with the cassette tape medium (along with dare I say the BBE Sonic Maximizer). In Bob Katz book Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science there is a brief section that describes the process of upward expansion and describes the DBX 117 as the very first commercially available unit.  Katz describes the process basically as "uncompression".  I almost all ways run a cassette tape mixdown through this and it sounds better.  If you can find one for cheap they are quite interesting and useful.  They do run at -10db so make sure you are properly matching your input/output signals. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Classic Compressors

Analog compression rules and while I love using UAD2 plugins nothing beats the real thing.  At Electric Orange we use the Purple Audio MC77 (arguably the best 1176 clone made), Universal Audio LA2A, UREI LA4, and DBX 160VU on almost every record.  The MC77 gets used on everything from kick drum to the entire drum mix, bass and vocals.  This compressor is known for being aggressive giving audio an edge.  It can go from subtle to crazy destructo pumping madness.  The LA2A also works on just about everything my favorites are vocals and mix bus.  It adds warmth and fatness to everything passing through it.  The LA4 kills on bass and snare it works very well on vocals too. The DBX 160VU rules on Snare and Bass.  The last secret weapon compressor I use is the Summit Audio TLA-50 this is a pretty good all around unit but shines on guitars and male vocals.  It looks and feels like a mini LA2A.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Drone Lab Synthesizer

I finally put my Drone Lab Synthesizer together.  The Drone Lab is a four oscillator analog drone synth with a pretty cool tremolo and filter made by Casper Electronics (  It took me about 6 hours between yesterday and today and it worked perfect on first test! I took some photos documenting the build:

1) Install the Resistors.

2) Install the Capacitors

3) Install the Diodes and Transistors

4) Install the Switches

5) Install the Pots and ICs and Jacks

Here is the Casper Electronics Demo Video: