NOS tape head cleaner (buffing tape) came in today so I took a cleaning to the Marantz. Took a look at the heads first and realized one was very dirty, so I busted out the Alcohol and swabs first. Then I ran the buffing tape through and now the heads look like they're brand new. I can tell this machine has very low mileage. won a box of blank hi-bias NOS tapes this morning. Getting ready to get a bit more creative :)
Mike Here with an update... "Estate Sale Gems" (ESG)... I found some really killer NOS 12AU7 tubes at an estate sale. Super low noise and super warm fat tones. If you want to upgrade your purchase with an ESG tube, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is an additional charge of $20 per tube. The tubes normally included with Soul Drives are tested on a tube tester and tested by ear for microphonics, but they are not screened for normal tube noise unless it seems higher than average. However, our ESG tubes go through more significant testing and are compared against other 12AU7 tubes to find those that exhibit less tube noise than average. I have developed a noise rating system (A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-). Any tube heard as a "B" or worse in terms of noise will always get rejected in any Soul Drive pedal. A- and B+ tubes are average NOS tubes. The ESG tubes are hand selected when they exhibit noise low enough to be considered A+ or A rated. ESG tubes are also fatter sounding in terms of tone, IMHO.
Gallery Acoustics 100% ANALOG DEAL! Gallery Acoustics is now offering for a very limited time an interesting deal for friends on our facebook page. Get a 6hr "Live" session Recorded & Mixed entirely in the analog realm (absolutely no digital involved) for just $160. Walk away with a hi-bias 60 minute cassette Master recorded directly from GA's Midas console to a professional Marantz cassette recorder (CD version available for extra $10). Send off your cassette for Mastering or rock it as is. Cassette duplication also available.
*6hr Analog deal means no computers or digital FX are used. Analog mixing, analog FX, analog Master. This 6hr deal requires appx 2hrs of prep time... 1-1.5hrs for mic placement and levels & .5-1 hour for Mixing... then we press record and when you are done tracking you have a brand new cassette (which is actually quite great sounding).
Email email@example.com with ANALOG DEAL in the subject.
Got probably one of my best recordings of drums tonight at Gallery Acoustics. We spent about 15 minutes trying out different cymbals to find the ones that were in key with the music. Then I spent almost an hour tuning the tops and bottom heads of the toms so they would be in key with the music, but also somewhere within their natural sweet spot. After a quick tuning of the resonant and beater heads of the kick drums we set up to record. I got a super clean recording and we didn't need to use any dampening materials on any drums or even inside the kick. Everything was really well controlled and sounded like one giant instrument instead of a bunch of parts that add up to a drum set... all thanks to a very thorough tuning. It worked tremendously well for the music and is definitely the "right way to do things" from a recording standpoint. I don't need to gate the toms or do any processing really because we didn't get much bleed on the close mics and the drummer (Nick) had impeccable control over his dynamics. Ribbon overheads, beta 57 snare, N/D868 on kick, Floor tom got a Beta 52, Rack tom had a Beyerdynamics MC930, used a Pearlman TM1 set in omni as a room mic. Lots of time was spent with mic placement.
Altec 438c mic preamp & vari mu compressor. Heavily modified by the hands of Dr. Mikenstein. Added a hand made stepped output volume attenuator, line input (bypasses mic preamp), attack time control, line input volume pad, and a meter adjust control.
I'm thinking about building a clean sounding vacuum tube based eq pedal. The idea I have is something simple, but great sounding and based on soul drive sonically and aesthetically. 3 knobs... Bass Treble and Volume. BOLT BENDER. Whatcha think?
Bolt Bender will have an expansion jack on which connects via 1/4" balanced (stereo) cable to a smaller pedal box with extra caps and switchies for extra frequency choices. I shall call him Mini Me.
I have spent the last couple of days at Gallery Acoustics. having a lot of fun tracking indie folk somethingorother band, New Township. We recorded a ton of different instruments including something called a Baklama. Got to record the Hammond and I had the unique opportunity to mic up the bottom speaker of the Leslie for the first time while the bass pedal were being played. Tons of sub bass! We also recorded the internal hammond speaker for the few seconds as the organ winds down when you turn off the power. Lots of really cool and different sounds. Recorded my Rogers kick drum being played with a felt mallet by hand. Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Harmonica, and some odd percussion stuff. I'll try to post a sample when we complete the recording process. We still have one more session for vocals.
About the Author
Mike Congilosi II, Owner/Designer/Electronics Engineer at Lightning Boy Audio and Owner/Audio Engineer/Music Producer at LBA Studios.