I'm working out the details of a demo video for Trinity. It looks like AEA microphones will be sending me an R88 stereo ribbon mic for use in the video, which is super cool. It makes the most sense to me to record an entire song using only Trinity preamps. It will probably be a while before I can have enough channels to do a proper full on recording with only Trinity preamps, but I'll have 4 channels at the time of the demo. 4 Channels is pretty limiting, but I can certainly pull off a decent drum recording with just 4 microphones. I've assembled a team of session players and now I just need to secure a singer/songwriter with a tasty tune. Bryan Wray, who does all the photography and videos for LBA has some awesome new gear, so I'm sure his work will be tremendous. The goal is to try to shoot this video sometime in late September with an October release of the video and product.
I have one lofty life goal that will take an insane amount of time and an extreme amount of money to fully complete, but its achievable because all of my minor goals help to achieve the greater goal. What is that great and lofty life goal? To hand-build and hand-wire, point to point... a 32 channel vacuum tube powered recording/mixing console with passive equalizers (the Arque Equalizer that is in the development stage) on every channel. It seems pretty wild, maybe even a bit insane considering I'm estimating its final value to be in the $200,000 price bracket. However, I'm very passionate about what I do and I never give up on a reachable goal until I cross the finish line.
I'm currently a good way into the design of this monster board. Trinity is a major element, which is kind of an understatement. Trinity is the channel strip for a smaller "first" console, but I will most likely use the preamp section of Trinity in the 32 channel giant, since I feel this preamp is among the best in the world. My goals right now are to build as many Trinity channel strips as possible, but really I would like to build 8. Each one is a dual channel strip, so 8 units would give me 16 channels. I'll then design and build a master summing section for the 16 channel mixer. The goal specifically is to build a 16 channel recording/mixing console based around the Trinity channel strip within two years of today. That's a pretty insane goal from a financial standpoint, but I will reach it no matter the sacrifice.
I have a 3 step phase to get me to the point of having 8 Trinity's. The first phase is to sell any used gear or prototypes that I feel I can live without. I started by adding a few new listings on ebay. You can see what I have up there so far at http://www.ebay.com/usr/lightningboyaudio. Its not a lot, but I have a few more things still to get up there. Phase 2 is to sell my prototypes on a page that I have yet to create on this website. This will probably happen before next week. Finally, Phase 3 is to launch Trinity as a product so I can start ordering parts in bulk... eventually amassing enough to build a few extra for myself.
I have found that one of my greatest tools for achieving goals is writing them down in a place where I will see them often. A constant self reminder is what I need to get things done in a timely manner. I decided to try posting my goals on this blog for the public to see, as a self experiment. I think if the public knows my goals and my time table, the pressure is on to complete these things accordingly. I like working under pressure. That's when my best work happens. Trinity has been an example of that and soon enough the world will hear my masterpiece.
My last blog post was something about the completion of the Trinity prototype. That was the first prototype, which was the most difficult part of the development stage. The next prototype I just completed which is a full on stereo version - v1 was mono to keep the development as simplified as possible. I finished v2 a couple days ago and that was no easy task, let me tell you. You'd think it would be easy to turn 1 channel into two, but I encountered power supply issues with things overheating and not enough heater current for 6 tubes, but that has been worked out. I also encountered cross-talk issues, which have also been worked out. Both issues were not easy to fix, but we're good now. Next is implementation of phantom power into the design. After that's 100% cool I'll move onto phase 3, the first production prototype. When the production prototype is complete Bryan Wray and I will be shooting a demo video of it before I ship the unit off to its permanent home at http://bambooroomstudio.com/.
On another note, I've been thinking about adding a new page to this website in which prototypes and used LBA gear will be offered for sale from time to time. The sale of such things will directly fund the development of new products. I'll put the completed Trinity on there, as well as a mono passive tube EQ prototype, which led to the development of the Flux Bender. There's also a used 5 watt guitar amp I made, which was the precursor to the Gravitone 30 and another passive eq prototype. Not sure how much to sell the prototypes for. Some like the "Teq1" passive EQ prototype I have a personal attachment to. That particular EQ is something I use fairly often at LBA Studios and it was the second piece of functional recording equipment I ever built (first was a passive summing box). Its really unique since it has in it not only my hand made capacitors, but also a multi-tapped inductor I wound by hand. Although I do have a personal attachment to this EQ, I would consider selling it for the right price. If it sells for a good price I won't feel terrible about letting it go and the money will help LBA move forward with new designs.
About the Author
Mike Congilosi II, Owner/Designer/Electronics Engineer at Lightning Boy Audio and Owner/Audio Engineer/Music Producer at LBA Studios.