Saturday, October 27, 2007

Big Sound, Small Price, Mic Pre's

If you're looking for some very high end mic preamps and are handy with a soldering iron I would recommend checking out Seventh Circle Audio. Their range of DIY mic preamp kits range from $79 up to $329. The higher end models offer circuit topology & sonic characteristics very similar to a classic Neve (shown above) or API preamp. Also available is a PSU, wiring harness and rack frame for a completed, 8 channel, professional product.

Bigger purchases get a discount, so for example, 8 Neve preamps with PSU, rack & wiring would set you back less than $3,000 or under $400 a channel. The Cheapskate studio loves that!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Got Time To Burn?

Then check out this interactive Flash based Roland 909 emulator. Faithful down to a coffee stain & the boom-boom low tom, it's a great way to spend some quality time. Or record the output to a DAW and build a song around this classic beat box.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Freeware - Dynamic Processor

From Flux comes this dynamics processor with both compression (sweet side) & expansion (bitter side). It can also selectively process either the center-mono component or the L/R-stereo component of the input signal. Available in AU, RTAS & VST for both Mac & PC.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Keeping Accounts Balanced

Like many I'm sure, I send a lot of people to Sweetwater. Their print catalog has a drool-worthy selection & the website is fast & intuitive. They also have free phone & e-mail tech support for all the products they sell which is often a lot easier to access than the manufacturer's support.

Sweetwater often offers deals such as 90 days same as cash, 12 months same as cash, a credit card & other financing. These are a great way to get stuff you want without the cash up front and
I use mine like a revolving account. A quick phone call & "put it on my bill" is all it takes (great when you're traveling).

However, like most of these deals the devil is in the details and a late payment or extension beyond the terms can land you some huge (& backdated) interest payments (<25%). Neither the website or monthly statements advertise it but you can track, schedule & make online payments through GE Finance which is a much easier way to keep track of your account. Setting up online is a fairly painless process similar to any credit card and once in, any Sweetwater charges can be viewed & paid.

I plan to cover more financing tools further in the weeks ahead. Look for an upcoming piece on the pros & cons of leasing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Routing for the Mac

Time to return to the Mac platform I guess. Soundflower is a unique, useful & free package that allows audio from one application to be routed internally to another. It has both a 2 channel interface and, as shown here connected to my Metric Halo 2882+DSP, a 16 channel too.

The uses are almost limitless, for example, you can route the output of a player such as iTunes into a DAW, add plug-ins and send to an interface outputs.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Garage Band on a PC?

Apple's bundled Garage Band is a deceptively powerful DAW, however, it is obviously Mac only. Continuing with my PC friendly posts here is a heads up on Mixcraft 3 from Acoustica which appears to be Garage Band for the PC. For $49.95 (free trial version) it's great value and the website includes some good video tutorials to get you started.