The Sony DMX-Rl00 has become an industry standard in recent years and can be found in pro facilities around the world. I was not one of the first to jump on the digital bandwagon so I waited for a board that a) sounded great and b) was intuitive and logical to use and I must say the Sony has been perfect. The luxury of being able to recall hundreds of settings at the touch of a button has made my life much easier not to mention the time saved in not having to “set up the board” every time you go to a different piece of music. Mixing CDs takes less time because you are mixing as you go. In the old days, if the client wanted to be present for the mix, they would need to be there for 2 to 5 days, but now I can work away at mixes when I feel like it, on my own and have all the mixes saved in the board before the client comes in to proof them.
Radar 24 is our main multi-track and it is considered the best sounding and most reliable hard disc recorder/editor on the planet. I am proud to say that Radar is a Canadian product which is also used in top facilities around the world. For a complete list of current users, log on to recordingtheworld.com.
We also have an Alesis HD24 which is used by students and on remotes. I chose the HD24 because I had ADATS so I already owned the BRC and it is compatible with RADAR. for transferring files back and forth, the HD24 also makes us compatible with other studios using it. It, plug in your hare drive and Go!
I kept 2 of the 20 Bit “Gold” ADATS mainly for the purpose of import projects.
I still have the Foster G16S and G24S 16 and 24 track analog recorders and they still work and sound great but it is admittedly a much slower way to work..
It would be easy to get carried away with tech talk at this point but most people would bore of it quickly, suffice to say we have a wide assortment of some of the best Class A solid state and tube mic preamps, compressors and EQ’s available, 2 units designed by the Guru of the micpre/EQ, Mr. Rupert Neve, an all tube Avalon 737 (the one with purple knobs!) and Summit MPE200 used in combination with the Distresser Compressor is possible the best signal chain I’ve ever heard and extremely versatile. Here at Reel North we have the sonic tools to capture the sound purely intact or any combination of coloring desired and keep in mind this is happening with real equipment NOT a computer plug in. If you need more detail, see Equipment Sheet or call me.
Of course we have the standard Shure & Sennhieser Dynamics but we also have 2 tube mics (great vocal sounds) a Coles Ribbon Mic (Amazing for capturing room sound and tone) many options in the large diaphram condenser category including (newman, AT Sony and AKG) A matched pair of earth works the sound amazingly natural and the Rode nt4, which gives you a perfect stereo image wherever you put it. (See Gear List)
This part always makes guitar players drool. When I first started recording rock bands in the late 80’s, those dreadful multi effect processors were all the rage and I realized if I was going to record amazing guitar sounds I’d have to have a serious hand in crafting them, so I started collecting vintage guitar amps and have amassed a nice collection.
1. 68 Marshall “Plexi” 100 watt, that’s right, the British amp Holy Grail.
2. 74 Hi watt Custom 50 Head, probably the most versatile amp I’ve every owned, every things sounds good through it.
3. 76 Marshall 100 watt Master Volume. Reputed to be “the most recorded rock amp in history” enough said.
4. Late 80’s Marshall JCM800 50 watt head, no master, you just crank it and you would instantly recognise the sound.
5. Early 70’s Fender twin Reverb that has been converted to match “68 Blackface” Specs.
Note: Good thing I also have the Marshall Se 100 power soak to attenuate the output of these old amps to a liveable volume.
2 Cabinets, a tri watt 4 x 12 loaded with celestion and E.V. Speakers and an open back Legend 2-12.
I also have the Pod-Pro amp simulator, which is a great tool although I use it more an effect unit than a guitar amp. Don’t get me wrong, it sounds great, but it doesn’t seem to excite performances out of guitar players like those old tube amps do.
I am first a bass player, so you fellow bass players have not been forgotten about. I have an early Demeter tube bass pre amp that I love. I is the same one Bass Player Mag. Uses in their “Reference rig”.
The best sounding passive DI in the world the Radial JDI (Canadian) and the Avalon U5 Active DI with some great sounding preset EQ’s for bass. The Distressers provide some great bass options toe lust but not least on all tube Trace Elliot bass head, imagine a British SV.T.
’76 Gibson Les Paul Custom
86 American Fender Strat w/Lacesensor Pickups
These 2 guitars have been on dozens of CD’s because they sound great and are kept in top condition.
I worked as a guitar tech at the local music store for years before starting the studio and carrying that knowledge into running a studio has saved more than a few sessions. You know its amazing how many players don’t string their guitars properly. I’ve showed Juno Award winners how to string and stretch properly and then their guitar stayed in tune.
As stated before, we can offer you up to four completely independent head phone mixes, and if you’ve ever had to live through a whole band recording with a single shared mix, you know how awkward that can be. I’ve seen many arguments in bands because of this, so I am happy to offer everyone more of themselves without driving the other guys in the band nuts over “I need a lot more me!”
A note on “Equipment”
I feel very fortunate to have assembled this collection of state of the art recording equipment and utilizing it properly makes it easy to capture great sounds, however, I feel that many people shopping for studio time give too much attention to “gear”. I am as proud of most of the albums I produced ten years ago, before I bought all this great gear, as I am of recent ones, they sound different, but still very good. Just realize that a studio is a few rooms and a bunch of gear, the people make all the difference because the people make, hear, and produce the music. If you needed surgery, you would not ask to tour the O. R. and see all the fancy equipment, you’d want to meet the doctor and check the success record of previous operations.