Studio Name: The Sound Sauna
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Crew: Mitch Gallagher
Control Surface: Euphonix MC Mix
Recorders: Korg MR-1, MR-1000
Monitoring: Dangerous Music Monitor ST, Focal Solo6 Be, JBL LSR6328P, M-Audio Studio 3, PreSonus Monitor Station
Headphones: AKG, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, Ultrasone
Outboard & Effects: Dangerous Music 2-BUS LT, Lexicon PCM 90, TC Electronic System 4000
Microphones: Audio-Technica AT4050; Audix i-5; Microtech Gefell M930 (2); Mojave Audio MA-200 (2); Neumann KM 183 (2), KM 184 (2); Royer R-122 (2); Shure KSM44, SM57; Soundelux U99
Direct Boxes: Radial Engineering JDI, X-Amp
Preamps: A-Designs Pacifica, Focusrite ISA428, Groove Tubes Vipre, Millennia Media HV-3, Universal Audio LA-610
Computers: Apple Mac Pro, 22-inch monitor (2); Digidesign Pro Tools|HD 3 Accel; Glyph removable, fixed, and RAID drives (5); Universal Audio UAD-2 Quad
Audio Interfaces: Digidesign 192 I/O, MOTU 8pre
Software: Ableton Live, Apple Logic Studio, BIAS Peak Pro, Digidesign Pro Tools, iZotope RX, MOTU Digital Performer, Propellerhead Reason and Record, Sibelius, Sonic Solutions PreMaster CD
Plug-ins: Celemony, Digidesign, EMI/Chandler, Eventide, IK Multimedia, iZotope, McDSP, PSP Audioware, Sonnox, Sound Toys, Universal Audio, URS, and many others
Software Instruments: Digidesign, FXpansion, Mixosaurus, MOTU, Sonic Reality, Spectrasonics, Steven Slate, Submersible Music, Toontrack, Waldorf, Wallander, and many others
Instruments: Novation Remote 25 SL, various guitars, amps, pedals
Acoustics: Auralex GRAMMA, MoPads, ProPanels, SonoFiber, SpaceCouplers; Primacoustics Recoil Stabilizers
Power: Monster Power PowerCenter Pro 7000, Furman M-8x (2)
Portable System: Apple MacBook Pro; Digidesign Mbox 2, Mbox 2 Micro; Korg nanoKey, nanoPad; Universal Audio UAD-2 Solo/Laptop
Notes: You might recognize Mitch Gallagher as the former editor of this very magazine. Or maybe as the former senior technical editor at Keyboard. Perhaps from his hundreds of magazine articles or his books. Or from the many publications, videos, and articles he creates as Sweetwater’s Editorial Director. (He’s also a guitarist, an award-winning composer, and a recording/mastering engineer.)
All of Mitch’s many activities center around his studio. “It’s the base for everything I do. It’s a studio for music projects, and also where I develop books and articles and do product reviews and beta testing. The studio was supposed to just be for me, but it’s accidentally transitioned to where I now do recording and mastering projects for outside artists.
“The goal was to make the room as comfortable as possible—I think a good ‘vibe’ is critical. My wife, Felicia, is a designer/home stager; she handled the colors, lighting, and furniture. Artists and visitors always comment about how relaxing the space is. But getting the vibe wasn’t at the expense of the acoustics. The room sounds great, and the work I do here translates well.
“On the ergonomics side, I’ve streamlined the studio for what I do. I don’t have time to look for things, figure out routings, or re-patch. Everything is hard-wired and ready to go. An XLR panel lets me connect a mic to any preamp and be recording instantly.
“As far as gear, I’m both blessed and cursed—I’m fortunate to have access to pretty much anything I want, so I’ve been able to choose what works for me sonically and functionally. But I suffer from constant, rampant gear lust and option anxiety!
“I always have lots of different projects going, so I had to make the studio more efficient. I’ve pared it down a lot, getting rid of things I wasn’t using or that were redundant. It’s hard to do, but it’s paid off, as the studio functions much better now. Software and plug-ins have obviously been a big part of that—though I recently added the Dangerous Music summing box, and I love what it’s done for the process. So I may be headed back toward outboard processing again.
“Any gear I haven’t sold off has earned its place. A great example is the MOTU 8pre. I got it to use as an interface for recording hexaphonic guitar. But it also serves as a MIDI interface, spare mic preamps, extra converters, and a convenient FireWire interface. It’s a wonderful utility box.
“Though my life revolves around technology and gear, I’ve tried to make all that secondary in this room. The studio has to do its job and, just as important, it has to get out of the way of the creative process. For me, that has meant focusing on function above all, while not compromising sound quality. In here, it’s all about the music.”