We are always in upgrade mode and at the same time trying to keep older gear going strong.  I had been splitting my time at the studio with doing front of house for a 1200 seat theater with lots of big rock shows and as a result have not kept up with studio maintenance. The I got really busy at the studio and had to stop doing live sound.

So I’ve been on a steady course of fixing and upgrading and getting all systems functional.

New patch bays , more headphone mix stations, more lighting, drum station acoustical treatments etc.

Some of what we have come to rely on is digital/computer based recording as the final step. It’s a challenge to keep older computer gear [that works well and is stable] and still remain competitive. It seems that computers and the companies they’ve spawned have to keep upgrading to make money and as a result they move on from older gear.

We’ve spent thousands and some of us have spent tens of thousands on computers and software only to be left behind with zero support from the companies we’ve helped grow.

Our G5 mac with Protools HD records every day and works perfectly to instead of spending $10,000 to get the same thing that works a little faster we will upgrade memory and hard drives and streamline the system to keep it running smoothly. When computers start sounding better than hardware…I’ll start to be interested.

Our biggest investment goes to analog gear which never gets obsolete and can be repaired and sounds fantastic.

Anyway we rescued a 1975 Allen & Heath Mod 2 16 channel console that had been sitting in storage for years and we will be putting it into action in the new year.

$_57-7The original Mod1 was designed for Pink Floyd’s live touring rig and was QUADROPHONIC!!  or is it QUADRAPHONIC? [ I think the latter is correct]

Anyway this was born from that and was their foray into the wild world of recording studios. It’s all discrete transistor, transformer in and sounds fantastic.

The next step is to put pour 16 track 1″ tape machine to work or at least the 8 track 1/2″ to record drums and bass and then put that into Pro tools for overdubs etc.

Another cool pice of gear is the addition of a Shure M267 mixer [this has the legendary Shure Level-Loc compressor circuit built in and is great for crushing drum room mics.

We used it today on the Octomen recording and it brought the drums to life.

Another goody is the Symetrix 501 [with the Metal toggle switch] Although we have several compressors for bass this one has a certain magic and will probably be the go to Bass compressor for a while.

A while back I traded a blue face ashly 50 compressor for some channel strips that never got fixed so I searched for another one for years. I recently found another and it’s now being used for lead guitar dirt.

More good upgrades on the way!