Studio

All recording is currently done on a Mac Pro using Logic ProX. The signal chain consists of Apogee A/D converters, Avalon 737-SP pre amp and either a Neumann U87, Neumann TLM 103 or KM 184. Monitoring is done through Yamaha NS-10s or AKG Studio K270 and Studio K271 headphones.

Instruments

Barbera 5 String Electric ViolinMost of the acoustic violin and viola tracks are recorded using one of 2 Barbera 5 string acoustic violins. Rich Barbera does a fantastic job selecting these instruments for customization. For live applications I use the Barbera bridge but because of the density of materials it's too dark to be played acoustically so the recording instrument is fitted with a traditional bridge.

Barbera 5 String Acoustic ViolinBarbera Systems Ultralight 5 string is the warmest electric violin I've ever owned. The Barbera sounds really smooth but unfortunately Rich no longer makes them. Rich Barbera's multi-transducer design gives a really even response across all 5 strings. It's still a very "direct" sound so I only use it for live or tracking electric and synth violin parts.

Fender StratFor electric guitar tracks I usually use a 1961 Fender Strat. It's almost entirely stock with the exception of the bridge pickup, a Dimarzio vintage blues.

I either use a Vox AC30 top boost with vintage Celestion 30's, a Dave Vidal hot rodded Fender Princeton, or various amp modelers. I'll DI using the Avalon U5.

Vintage 4 string fiddleOccasionally, for fiddle tracks I use my Grandfather's 1920's German Amati knock off with a Bagg bridge and Mills mic, run through a Rane AP13 pre-amp. The coolest thing about the Mills condenser mic is that it's in a constant fixed proximity so you never step out of the sweet spot. It adds some really nice "air" that you can't get with just a bridge. The advantage of using both the Bagg bridge and Mills mic is that there's an additional fundamental response with the bridge pickup.

Tackamine AcousticFor acoustic guitar I mike up an older Japanese made Tackamine and occasionally mix in the line signal using an Avalon U5. The direct signal from these guitars always sounds a bit bright so using it with a mic and tube pre smoothes that out and is helpful in getting some body to the sound. Tackamine's split bridge is brilliant for intonation.

Godin MandolinThe Godin A8 Mandolin is a really solid live instrument. These guys really did their homework, it sounds quite acceptable when you just plug it in and run it flat. The action comes pretty high so I had to shim the neck to lower it. I also had the nut replaced with the spacing cut in half so it plays a lot easier than stock.

Roland GR Guitar SynthHad to throw in a shot of my old Roland GR synth guitar. This is the most radical production guitar ever. Definitely looks better than it plays. It rarely ever comes out of the case.

 

 

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