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Charles, what's your favorite gear?
Old 18th November 2002
Lives for gear
Mike Jasper's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Charles, what's your favorite gear?

This post isn't as enlightening as all the others, but we are gearslutz after all, so I'd like to know what equipment Dye likes.

What mics for vocals, acoustic instruments, guitar amps? What kind of tracking compressors do you prefer? What kind of outboard, when you've used it?

For example, in another post you said you always tracked through a compressor, unless you were in a home studio with a low-quality compressor. What about the RNC compressor? Does that make the cut or not?

I know I'm not the only one curious here.

Old 19th November 2002
FX smörgåsbord user
Charles Dye's Avatar
🎧 15 years

I have to admit I'm possibly more of a pluginslut than a gearslut these days. I want my analog gear to do its job + do it well—but I'm not on the same quest for gear nirvana I was five or six years ago. Nonetheless I have my faves and I try new gear whenever there is something in the room I haven't heard. Regarding the RNC, I haven't tried it, but it's on my list of things to hear.

I should preface this by saying that I was fortunate when I started out to be surrounded by some pretty expensive gear. I've become a bit spoiled and my choices are not very adventurous (read: you probably won't learn a thing from them). Anyway, here are a few of my preferences:

Mics: C-12VR, and many other traditional, you hear their names everywhere, vintage large diaphragm tube/fet mics. Audio-Technica 4049/51/53a. I often prefer mics with color. Don't prefer the CS-800 too much—too bright for me.

Pres: Focusrite Red One or ISA series, Avalon is good, vintage Neve's (some applications), Millennia, to name some faves.

Compressors: LA-2A (original), Tube Tech CL1B, 1176, LA-3, Distressor

EQ's: Pultec EQP-1A, Neve 1073, GML, Neve VR Console, ISA Series

So, those are my basic faves. Again, from all the mics you've heard listed by others for drums, gtr, vocals, etc... I'd say I lean towards the more traditional choices. (You've read them in a gazillion posts on the net.) But I like trying different stuff sometimes to see if I'll fall into something cool, or to force me out of my habits. Doesn't always teach me much, but reinforce why I do things the way I do them in the first place.

For me it's not about the gear, there will usually be something in the room that will capture a great recording. For me it's about capturing a great performance.
Old 19th November 2002
Lives for gear
Mike Jasper's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
For me it's not about the gear, there will usually be something in the room that will capture a great recording. For me it's about capturing a great performance.
Ultimately, that's true. I'd rather listen to Robert Johnson or Blond on Blond than Collective Soul, even though the productions on the first two were... I don't want to be too harsh... flawed.

Here's an interesting plugin vs. hardware story. I've gotten a great sound using the Moogerfooger Delay plugin by Bomb Factory. So I decided to get the hardware version of the MF Delay and ponied up the $600. What a letdown. I couldn't get the same sound from the hardware I could from the plug.

I imagine the reverse has happened. I can easily see someone who has used the Moogerfooger Delay hardware to get a certain sound, buys the plug and it's a letdown.

In other words, we want the sound we want, and if we've gotten it from something we've used in the past, I think most of us are inclined to go back to that well.

One more question: Ever use the RNC? If so, what's your take on it?

Old 20th November 2002
Gear Maniac
Chae Ham's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Both ways...

I'm very much a hardware gear freak... but I'm also pretty big on plug-ins...
My whole front end is 24 channels of API 312 mic pres, but most of my processing is with plug-ins... of course we can't forget the occasional la2a, and 1176(hardware versions).
I will very much agree that plug-ins emulations and hardware aren't EXACTLY alike, but in many cases they do a pretty good job. And even still, they just add to the many different choices of tools you can use.

Generally speaking I usually use hardware compressors(VERY light compression like 2:1 and matching gain) while tracking just for a little flavor and subtle gain reduction, and use plug-ins for "processing" while mixing.

Call me boring but one of my favorite compressor plug-ins is still the Focusrite(protools).

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