Thanks to the awesome computer music evolution the live DJs scene shows an increasing use of "small but efficient" new tools that modify not only the musicians live sets but also the studio creative gear .
Among those i ll mention all the live performance controllers and the amazing available iPad musical instruments apps.
Working with the iPad2 : For an easy and pro use of them with no latency i got the Alesis iO Dock , designed to house the iPad2 , equiped with all the necessary audio , USB and MIDI connectors.
List of the iPad2 apps i use : JamUp Pro, (fantastic for amps and pedals simulation) Korg Electribes and iKaossilator, Sunrizer, DM21, FunkBox, iMaschine, Moog Filatron and AniMoog ...of course :-)
Ableton Live and APC 40 Controller : As for the performance controllers i first choose the Akai APC 40 Ableton controller, specially designed to work with Ableton Live. This is not only for DJs. For Ableton Live studio users like me, when it comes to mangle and tweak sounds with real knobs and pads and make a mix interesting with a better use of all the power of Live it s really a "must have" .
Plus when used at a compositional stage it s of a big help for my sounds palette that i can import later in my ProTools session.
On the guitar side i think that i forgot to mention that a Danelectro Baritone has joined my guitar collection.
I recently added some important items to improve the performances at Studio 124.
1 .New guitars (Martin EC Model, Gibson J 185),
2. New microphones (Royer R-121 ribbon, Soundtronics Halo dynamic),
3. Series 500new outboard gear to fill the 10 spaces Series 500 Purple 10 rack : Neve 1073 peamp, API 527 comp, Al-So comp,
4. A new hardware TC reverb 4000.
5. Thanks to Russian and Polish friends I also had the chance to get 2 rare vintage Russian analog synths :
The famous Polyvoks and the "Queen of Russian synrhs : the Aelita !!!
Pictures will be featured in my Gallery and in the "New Gear" section of this site.
Among the new plug ins i needed Studio 124 acquired and licensed a few interesting cinematic Virtual Instruments :
Audiobro : LA Scoring Strings bundle (Full + LS)
Musicrow : Golden Ensemble for Reaktor
8Dio : Aura and Hybrid Tools
Zero-G : Spiritoso, Animato and Perception
Puremagnetik : various kits and instruments for Ableton Live
XLN Audio : more kits for Addictive Drums (Indie, Metal….)
- I finally found a Neumann Geffell CMV 563 vintage tube microphone from the 50's with its original power supply in perfect condition : it s often called the U47 from East Germany because it comes with the same M7 large cardioid diaphragm capsule. But it also can be used with another capsule, the M55k, which is omni. I use the M7 mostly for vocals or whenever a real fat tube warm sound is needed, when i have a doubt with the U67 s use. As for the M55k capsule it s fantastic for mellow or boomy acoustic string instruments, it gives a naturel clean sparkling sound without EQ, a good alternative option when i don t use the KM 54 Neumann tube mic.
- My old WEM tube COPICAT tape echo has been repaired, after a long rest in my basement. New tapes found on the Internet, all the mechanical parts works again and now i can enjoy the real tape echo from the 60's, great fat sound. Perfect for Rockabilly guitar stuff, but not only : it s tube pre-amp stage (that Custom Copicat is the last Copicat model with tubes), fattens any incoming sound and it s really nice with synths sounds as well. Nice natural filtered decay and looping. Reasonable hiss and noise is included of course :-)
- More API 500 modules : we added 1 512 preamp and 1 527 Compressor in the Sweet 10 Purple rack to now have a pair of API pre's and comp's, for stereo takes and inserts on the SSL Matrix. 2 more empty spaces will be filled soon, with a Al So compressor and a second Neve 1073, then the 500 series rack will be filled :-)
- Plug-ins : Great new products from World leaders Native Instruments (Retro Machines MK2) and from Hollow Sun Shangri La and Techtron (Steve is a vintage sounds recreations specialist from UK : http://www.hollowsun.com/index.htm). I m a great fan of their products. He particulary did a great job with engineer Dan Wilson to sample the Novachord mythic synth.
- A great new guitar : a FENDER STRAT "BONNIE RAITT Signature" from 1995 in mint condition, with the original case, tags and even the unused Fender cable. It has a nice narrow rosewood neck, Texas Special pick ups. It will be a good complement to my original vintage 58 maple neck Strat and my James Trussart custom hybrid Tele neck with Gibson scale/Strat body made of Warmoth parts and Bareknukles "Irish Rour" Rory Gallhager pick ups. This Bonnie Raitt has the exact Fender Strat sound that you can expect, from Stevie Ray to Hendrix or surf. It comes with 0.10 strings and i ll leave it like this. It sounds fantastic
- A KORG Micro Preset M500 vintage synth from the late 70's. It s pre-MIDI of course, and is in the ARP Pro Soloist vein. Very user friendly, sounds a lot like the Korg MS 10, with great bass sounds. Orchestral Manoeuvre in the Dark used this synth a lot
- A fantastic new TIMMY Overdrive pedal : made in the USA by Paul Cochrane. Very hard to get, you have to pre-order and it takes 6 months to get.
- South Africa , Paris based Adam Wolfaardt is a talented guitarist and also an amp and pedal tech wizzard : he worked on my original Black Pannel vintage 64 FENDER DELUXE REVERB . He set it up back to original, it had been modified a couple of times and with such an amp , often considered as the best guitar tube amp in the world ever, it s best to keep in intact , just replacing the bad parts with recent ones or NOS with the same original specs.
- A vintage CALREC CM 1050 C microphone, built in the UK in the 80's. Abbey Road studios still has one, so it shows that even if it s not as famous as Neumann's or AKG's it s in the same pro studio league. It s a condenser mic , not a bright mic so i ll use it for bright sounding instruments with some Neve pre-amps, or with the AL.SO or SSL if i need extra highs without having to EQ at the take.
- My JUNO 106 had suffered on tour with JM Jarre. It s been repaired by world renowned Jean Lou Dierstein, the analog synth repairman and builder d based in Paris who just sold one of his home built Ondes Martenod to Radiohead.
- On the computer side i got SNAPPER 2, by AudioEase, a great audio application tool that allows to read, edit and export samples on the fly. Very useful. I heard about it from L.A composer Deane Ogden.
3 new items in my studio racks :
- A new SWEET 10 PURPLE space rack to house API 500 style modules made by Purple in replacement of the 6 spaces of Brent Averill that started to be a little limited in terms of space.
- A new Neve 1073 preamp to fit in
- A double AL.SO preamp made by studio wizzard Olivier Bolling also in the API 500 format.
Monitors : Dynaudio BM15, Avantone MixCube, Roland micro monitors MA-20
Computers : Mac 8 core + Mac 2 core linked via ViennaPro Server, MacBook Pro Intel lap top, PowerBook G4, Mac G3, Mac 9500
Displays : 24" displays x 3
Interfaces : Digidesign 192 I/O interfaces, Sync and Midi, MBox, Digi002, Mini MBox2
DAW : ProTools 9 HD3, Digital Performer 7, Live 8, Cubase 5, Nuendo 5
Virtual Instruments : Native Instruments, East West, Garritan, Motu, Spectrasonics, UVI, Vienna, reFx, YellowTools, Cinesamples….
TDM + VST, RTAS, AU Plugins: Waves platinum + Signature series, Autotune Evo, Melodyne DNA, Sugarbytes, SoundToys…
Outboard gear : XLogic Rack SSL, Purple Series 500 Sweet 10 rack.
Preamps : Chandler "Abbey Road" TG2 stereo, Neve 8108 AocAudio stereo, API 512 x 2, Joe Meek VC1, AEA stereo, SSL X-Rack VHD stereo, Dual Al.So preamp MP2, Neve 1073 x2.
EQ : SSL X-Rack E Series EQ modules, Chandler Little Devil (X2), Neve 8108 stereo, SSL stereo EQ module,
Compressors : SSL Stereo Bus compressor serie G, DBX 160 stereo, Joe Meek VC1, API527 x 2, Distressor stereo, SPL DynaMaxx stereo, DBX 118, Orban Parasound stereo limiter, Al.So Komp5, SSL comp/gare XLogic.
Reverb, Filters & Delays : TC Reverb 4000, Roland, Lexicon, Korg, Line 6, Alesis, Sherman Filter2, Roland tape Space Echo, WEM Custom Copicat tape echo, Drawmer dual gate, Korg Kaoss pads...
Mics : Neumann U67 tube, Neumann KM 54 tube, Neumann-Gefell CMV 563 tube with M7 and M55k capsules, Neumann U87 "ORTF" (pair), Schoeps "ORTF" (pair), AKG C414 EB, AKG 451E, Gefell M300 x 2,Elecrtrovoice RE20, Sennheiser MD 409 U3, Shure SM57, Shure SM58, Beyer ribbon MD 160, AEA ribbon R84, Calrec MC 1050 C, Royer 121 ribbon, Halo Sontronics.
Piano : Yamaha U3
Controllers : Maschine Studio, Komplete Kontrol, APC40, Novation Launchpad
Synths : MiniMoog, Prophet 600, Juno 106, Korg M500 Micro Preset, Electribes, Virus, Korg R3, Micro Korg, RaveOlution 309, Korg Prophecy, DX7, various Roland, iPad apps…., Russian synths : Polyvoks and Elita, Korg King Korg, Nordlead.
Samplers : Akai S1000, EMU E4XT,
Guitar Amps : Vox AC30, Fender Princeton 1962, Fender Deluxe reverb 1964, Mesa Boogie 1975, Mesa Studio22, Hughes & Keltner, Magnatone, Polytone.
Guitars and various string instruments : All sorts of guitars from 5 continents : Fenders, Gibsons, Martin, Lag, Takamine, Dobros, National Lap Steel, Pedal Steel, Banjos, Ukulele, Oud, instruments from Asia , Mandolin, 12 string, Classical, Fender bass,imbri……
PedalBoards : POD X3 Live, 2 custom pedal boards with an assortment of Fulltone, Xotic, Keeley, Timmy, Subdecay, Pigtronix, VoodooLab, ZVex, Boss, Digitech, TC, Dunlop, Ibanez, SanSamp, Lehle, Hughes & Keltner, Vox, Line6, Matchless, Roger Linn, ElectroHamonix, Roland, Foxx, D.W.Fearn DI box…..