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1. What’s your current set up? Ribbon/dynamic mics to discrete mixer or Ampex 351, then over to a tube EQ, a bit of compression, reverb and to an Apollo interface into Logic. Basic analog recording — keeping an emphasis on processing the sound as much as possible before converting it into a digital signal is key for my sound.
2. What was the first piece of equipment you owned? My first piece of real gear was an Ampex 351 pre/transport. Gear gateway drug! It’s unbelievable how many classics relied on the color of this monster. From Elvis to Jimi to Umiliani and everything in between. One of the most recognizable pieces of gear in every major studio, past and present.
3. Do you still have it? Yes. The beast is still hard at work and since I have upgraded to some Telefunken NOS tubes, they have really added some nice character to her.
4. What’s the next piece you have your eye on? Probably unnecessary, but I am ready to upgrade my reverb from a AKG BX-5 to a BX 20. Really wish I was paid in full so I could track down an EMT 140 plate reverb (legendary reverb used on Dark Side of the Moon). I’ve heard of people making them successfully, so I may need to do some more research on that soon.
5. What projects are you currently working on? Just finished up a 5-track EP with my brother from another multi-instrumentalist, MSK, which will be released this year on vinyl. Next up is producing the NCP (Drumetrics vocalist) LP. Our aim for this one is for it to be a reflection of the empowered, and conscious, side of things from a woman’s perspective. Heavy drums, nasty fuzz and tape echoes are sure to be recurring themes.
Many thanks to J. Smith (of NBC SoundDiego and Parker & The Numberman) for this interview.