I don't know whether to thank Dave Copeland for sending me such an obvious Hard Core Gear Porn link, or chastise him for looking at such a travesty in the first place. This studio, which belongs to contemporary Christian musician Tom Gross is as middle-of-the-road boring as a studio can be. It's really quite sad, and an excellent example of how bad things can get when a musician doesn't do drugs, drink, or smoke.
I mean, hey, whatever gets you through the day, and an ASCAP check for play on CCM stations spends the same as one for play on MTV's The Real World, I guess. But I've never seen a studio with so much stuff in it I didn't want. It's really quite amazing. This is like the keyboard section of a store that specializes in band instruments. (You know the ones I mean, when you're playing in LaCross, Wisconsin, and your drummer is on his last pair of sticks, and you find a store that has Vic Firth 2B, but they're like $7.00 a pair, but the place is right across the street from the club, so what are you gonna do? Yeah, that place. You know the one I'm talking about.)
So, seriously, if you know this guy, go over to his house and put out a cigarette on his carpet. Or something. This is just out of hand. He's managed to assemble a complete studio of _bad_ Roland gear. It's weird, because Roland has put out so much good stuff, it's hard to avoid. But this guy figured out a way. And TWO MACKIE BOARDS!!! Fuck. It's like pissing in the wind. It really is.
I've always been a big fan of Parker guitars, and have played them since the company started. I've owned a total of 7 different Parkers of all stripes, and currently have two. One thing I've always wanted was one of the original acoustics that Ken Parker made before he started doing electrics. (They're so fucking fly that one is in the Smithsonian, which is the only time I ever saw one in real life.)
Parker Guitars just announced they'll be selling an acoustic again. Pictured above, it is a thing of beauty, and has the normal Fishman bridge pickup (like all Parkers) plus a specially-designed Fishman humbucking neck pickup, which you can plainly see in the picture. The full-sized model will be $1999, and you'll also be able to get a thinline at $1499. Sign me right the fuck up.
I've never paid too much attention to the Cyndustries stuff, because it's all Modcan format, and most of it is just other people's designs, reformatted for the Modcan system. But today Cynthia announced something really crazy, the Zeroscillator. I'm not entirely sure what to make of this; as far as I can tell, it is a whole FM block, which would by necessity consist of two oscillators. The sound samples are illuminating, especially the bell one, which sounds very much like traditional DX-based FM. It looks really nice, and will be available in (get this!) MOTM, Blacet, Modcan, Euro-Rack, _and_ DotCom formats.
It is $650, which is pretty fucking hefty when you can buy two Blacet oscillators for the same price, and have enough left over for another module. But it can do some pretty strange shit, judging from the samples. Plus that big knob in the middle is pretty fly, and certainly worth a couple bucks.
I never really noticed it before, but something came up today that made me realize that I'm really stingy with track counts. Of course, if you worked in a studio with only one deck, you were by necessity limited to 23 tracks, or 22 if it was a not-too-well-maintained machine and you didn't want to hear the SMPTE whirring away. Or 21 if you didn't want the foot spread across three channels. (And for extra credit, how many people reading this have spent more than a thousand dollars discovering that you can't print a 909 foot next to SMPTE and expect it to still be, like, useful?)
I was just thinking that there are major parts of my production/engineering style that are informed heavily by the fact that I learned how to do everything on analog desks and decks, even though the last time I mixed anything off 2" was almost a decade ago, and the last time I mixed anything with any deck at all was five years ago. (The size of the tape on those Mitsubishi digital machines for some reason made the music seem less present, even though I know it wasn't the case.)
Anyways, I don't mean to get all maudlin; I'm seriously curious. Did you learn in an analog room, and do you find that you still work within those constraints, even though you don't have them any more?