Deva Productions

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CONSOLE: Digidesign Control 24
DAW: Digidesign Pro Tools|HD Accel
PLUG-INS: Audio Ease Altiverb; Celemony Melodyne Studio; McDSP Emerald Pack; Waves Diamond Bundle
RECORDERS: Alesis ADAT M20, Masterlink; Otari MX- 5050B; Panasonic SV3700; TASCAM MX-2424, CDRW700, DA 78HR
MONITORING: Avantone MixCubes; Furman HDS-6; KRK V8, S12 subwoofer; PreSonus Central Station; Sennheiser HD 600
PRES/DIRECT BOXES: AEA TRP (2); Brent Averill 312A, 1272; DigiTech VTP-1; Millennia HV-3B, PreSonus M80; Studio Technologies Mic PreEminence (2); True Precision 8 (2)
MICS: AKG 414 B-ULS, 414 P48, C 451 B, C 460 B; Audio- Technica ATM 4047 (2); Audix D1, D2 (2), D3, D4, D6; Beyerdynamic M69 (3), M88 (2), M160 (2), M260, M380, M500; Earthworks QTC 1 (2), QTC 40 (2); Electro-Voice RE20; Neumann KM84 modified by Klaus Heyne (2), TLM 170 (2), TLM 103 (3), U87 modified by Klaus Heyne (3); Røde Classic II modified by Pat Morford (2); Royer R-121 (2), SF12; Sennheiser 421 (2), 441, MZH 504 (4); Shure SM57 (4), SM58 (2)
OUTBOARD: dbx 160 (2), 160XT (3); Kurzweil KSP8; Lexicon LXP-1 (2), PCM-80; Roland SDE-1000, SRV-2000; Symetrix 522; Universal Audio 1176LN, LA-4 (2)
INSTRUMENTS: E-mu Proteus/1; Kurzweil K2000; Roland JV-80, XV-3080; Slingerland Drums; Steinway B (1929); Yamaha RM50, TG77
NOTES: Seasoned jazz and classical flautist/saxophonist/ pianist Bruce Mishkit built a home studio in the suburbs of San Francisco to focus on what he calls his “better than live” work. “The sound [when recording a live act] can get very muddled,” he explains. “You can’t control it enough when you are tracking in jazz clubs and concert halls. What the front-of-house engineer creates, in terms of good sound, doesn’t always translate well to CD.”

To have a more controlled recording environment, Mishkit converted his basement, family room, and garage into a four-room studio complete with a control room, live room, and two isolation booths (one of which hosts a pristine seven-foot 1929 Steinway B piano). To hear Mishkit tell it, the build was plagued with difficulties, particularly when it came to transform his basement into the main tracking room. “There was some serious noise echo from the floors above,” Mishkit explains. “We had to drop the ceiling a few feet and install a series of insulation springs and sheet rock just to fix that.”

Deva Productions’ scattered layout also presented a unique set of challenges to the musician. While Mishkit didn’t want to record with all the players in the same room— instead favoring a separation of signals when mixing—he nonetheless required an ease of communication from performer to performer, room to room. “I couldn’t have Plexiglas windows between every room, so I set up a closed-circuit television monitoring system with talkback for each room. That way we can all see each other when recording, and we don’t have to leave our posts to tell one another something.” Though Mishkit has optimized his home studio to suit a particular approach to recording—namely, total isolation of performers—he still likes to jump into the live room with all his buddies and capture a free jam from time to time. “Close-miking is key when you are all in one area and want some separation of the elements,” he instructs. “After all, it’s much easier to add ambience with reverbs to your close sound than it is to subtract ambience from room mics.”