Going Digital, Gone Digital

I kind of gave away all my secret recording tips in the Grand Theft Audio issue [August 2005, EQ] and my miking techniques in the Zakk Wylde interview earlier in the year.BUT here are a few tips (products) I like to use when recording to digital:


Neve 1073 mic pre/EQ: This is my “go to” mic pre/EQ on the front end for almost any instrument and I use it to EQ whatever’s needed while mixing.


EMT plate reverb (Tube or solid state): A great “tuned” plate is a beautiful thing. Usually used during mixing.


Tape delay: I generally use a Roland 301 tape delay because it is rugged and it does so many great things (spring reverb, multiple head combination delay, chorus, and output equalizer). I also use a solid state Echoplex (blue version-very reliable) for a different type of sound (think Hendrix). I use the tape delay mostly on vocals to warm them up but I have been known to use it on drums among other things. I usually use the tape delays during the mixing phase.


Analog delay: I have started using a new Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man. This has a different sound than the tape delays and has true vibrato!


Spring reverbs: I love these acoustic abominations. Abuse and distort when possible. I particularly like the black faced Master Room spring reverbs, Fender spring tanks, Real Tube Reverb, and the springs in my Buchla 200 series synth and EMS Synthi. This will really chortle up a mix.


Aphex 207D 2-channel tube mic and instrument preamplifier with 24-bit ADC: Since Aphex lent me this (don’t tell anyone) to review, I have been using it as a DI for my tape and analog delays. The 207D pairs well with these old cranky units because it is so clean and transparent. “I capture all the ugliness in its glory with the 207D.”


Live Chambers: Get it out of the digital domain and pump it up through some speakers and mic the outcome (hopefully from a distance). Usually used during mixing.


Reamp: Reamp anything that needs to come alive during a mix, particularly direct recorded instruments. I bring a whole host of amplifiers for reamping to get different tone colors. I use several different Fender amps (’72 Deluxe, ’62 Bandmaster), Supro/Gretch amps, solid state Yamaha practice amp, Leslie cabinet, Hafler/Crown/or whatever’s available, Yamaha NS 10s, etc.


Mix To Tape: Bring it back into the real world one more time before it’s lost forever in the digital quagmire.


Pray for tape: Yeahhh . . . they are making tape again! (There is an analog god, my prayers came true.) Now I don’t have to record to the digital medium.