YES I made this graphic, so if your gona take it then make sure to credit me.

Ever wonder what Digital sounds like?

Clean, crisp, no static, high detail, and limitless possibilities of effects. Of course many dislike the sound of digital because it is too harsh or "cold". What they don't know is that their are filters to add that warmth to any sound with a click of the mouse. Besides most audio is digitally encoded onto a CD anyway when it leaves the studio. Why pay outrageous studio fees for all that high end analog equipment when digital studio can do it all for a fraction of the cost. As for purest, I agree that analog has a great sound, but digital is still new and with new formats like the Super Audio Compact Audio Disk (SACAD) and new filters/plugins, there is no telling what the future of recording may hold. Also digital is much cheaper than a all analog studio and many of us (such as myself) cannot afford all that equipment. There is one thing that you should know before you get into digital recording and that is what you use to record and edit your tracks on. I use a PC but you may want to use a Hard Disk recorder, what ever you use, make sure that you are savvy enough to know what you are doing. PS I am not an english major so please excuse my grammar here.

"This is truly the future of audio, and we want to be on the front line with this new technology."

What We Do
Digital 8 Track Recording
Mixdown Tracks
Add Effects
Mastering Audio CDs
Distribute Audio
Encode MP3s

Current and Past Projects
Project description
Internet Address
Recording, mixdown, and mastering audio CDs. Always on going
Spare Change
Provide additional live sound reinforcement
Troy's Bucket Recording, mixdown, master CD
Distraught Recording, mixdown, pre-master CD (no vocals)
Recent Abduction Recording, mixdown, master CD


Drum roll please.........

The Equipment

Mackie 1604-VLZ PRO 16x4x2 Compact Mixer

The HEART of it all, everything goes in and out of this. If you want to be serious about recording then this is where you don't skimp! You can have the best sounding mics and sound card/tape/whatever you use to record, and then have a so-so board, and you have just killed your entire studio. This is a great piece of equipment and is used to preamp all the mics and then to EQ them and set the levels. This mixer has 8 direct outs and they are all patched to my 8 track digital recorder. The preouts are unmatched here on the new VLZ design. I have never had a problem with no enough gain on a pre and have never had a problem with noise from this board. To give you a good example of how good this board is of rejecting noise, I have a cell phone that will drive any amplifier nuts with interference. If I am say 6 feet away from a clock radio, PC speakers, a TV, radio you name it, a horrible clicking sound will be guaranteed. But not with this board, I can hold the cell phone up next to it and nothing. I can go on forever about how wonderful this board is but we have lives to go on with. Oh and you will not run out of ins and outs in a 8 track studio. If you are going to setup a 16 track or higher studio, you may want to look at larger boards. And if you are recording to a PC or Hard Disk recorder look for direct outs.

Mackie Designs Inc.

Gadget Labs Wave 8/24 8 Track 24-bit digital recorder

The heart of the system is the Gadget Labs 8 track recorder. This has been a great recorder as it is externally quiet (no noise) and very easy to use. There are 8 inputs and outputs. So I can record a live show and then mix it sown in the computer with effects, send it back out to the other 8 unused channels on my mixer and back out to amps and speakers.

Gadget Labs

Sonic Foundry Vegas Pro Multitrack recording and editing software

I started with Cakewalk Pro and at first though that it was the best thing out there. Well I was wrong.. This fairly new application from Sonic Foundry, the makers of Sound Forge and Acid, have put together a world class piece of software that puts cakewalk to shame. Now it does not support MIDI so for you MIDI fans you will need to stick to Cakewalk.

One of the main advantages is that this is a nondestructive editing program. So if you want to say normalize the track, all you do is click a button and it instantly becomes normalized. In a destructive program such as cakewalk or cool edit pro, it will actually process the entire WAV file and normalize it, this can take a little while and the file itself has been changed. This nondestructive editing allows unlimited undos!!! I just had to bold that because everyone makes mistakes and most everyone changes there mind. This program is simple, there isn't a useless feature in site to slow you down. Very stable and fast, also supports dual processors unlike cakewalk or cool edit.

There is one other major deference that is new to many but a great idea. Cakewalk and even Pro Tools still use the old idea of sliders on the computer screen for mixing. Well that's great if you are a god with the mouse or have an expensive external mixing console that syncs with the software. Instead Vegas has no sliders to control the volume of other effects. Vegas has a timeline feature that places a line on the track allowing you to change the volume, fade, and amount of effects by adding points to the line and dragging them up or down, you can also add deferent types of fades and cross fades to tracks in real time even during playback. This software is not that expensive and you can find the latest version (Vegas Audio 2.0) for around $400.

Sonic Foundry

CAD E100 Servo Condenser Single Pattern Microphone

This is another brand that is not know by most. But overlook it and you may be overlooking one of the most versatile large condenser mic ever. One of the best things about this mic is that is has the sound and frequency response of a $2000 mic for only $300. I use is for vocals, drum kit overheads, acoustic guitar, violin, and just about anything that needs a very detailed mic. I have a matching set of 2 so that I can mic for example drums in stereo. If you are looking for a great condenser mic and don't want to spend well over a $1000 then look no further. This mic uses built in rechargeable 9 volt batteries for those high SPL moments to provide extra power. So if you don't use them a lot you will occasionally need to trickle charge them from a phantom power supply.


Conneaut Audio Devices

Shure Beta 52 Supercardioid Dynamic Kick Drum Mic

WOW! I upgraded to this a short while ago and what a deference! This is the mic to get if you want to record any drum tracks. It is designed for kick drums, it even says it in the name. If you are going to record drums or even mic a bass guitar cab, then don't bother getting a cheap mix, just save up you money and get this one. After I recorded and listened to my old recordings and then to my new ones with this mic, the deference it made in the recording, punchier, a more solid kick and just the right click with no EQ. Add the right bit a EQ (careful now just a little) and your on your way to becoming a pro engineer. Just get this, you will not regret it ever.


Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

This is the king of all microphones and if found in every ones collection of mics. It can be used for almost anything, vocals, drums, guitar, and more. If you need a great microphone at a great price, normal less then $90 bucks, then this is it. Quoted directly from Shure's page,

"Its outstanding performance, legendary reliability, and diversity of application make this "workhorse" the choice of performers, producers, and sound engineers the world over."

And I total agree with this statement. If you don't have one of these, get one.


CAD Professional Microphones - PDK5C 5 Piece Microphone Kit

I chose this kit because of price and versatility. It comes with a kick drum mic, two drum mics, and two condenser mics for cymbals and hi-hats The mics can be used as different drums and the condenser mics are also being used for vocals as well. This is a perfect start up kit for anyone who is just getting into recording.

CAD Microphones


8 1/4 inch balanced snake to go from the mixer board to the recorder. I will soon have two of these for live shows so that I can have a return from the gadget labs recorder back to the other 8 channels on the mixer. From there I can mix it into stereo and send it to amplifiers. These cords are color coded and well made. The cost is very reasonable and I have never had any problem with this snake. No noise and no tangled cords.


SONY MDRCD1700 Digital Reference Headphones

These are the BEST headphones I have ever listened to! They make everything sounds great or horrible. They truly bring out the best and worst of any recording. These are unfortunately discontinued but still sells them (I don't know how much longer). If you want a pair of headphones that even kicks the top of the line Sennheiser's off the shelf, then here ya go. Not cheap but worth it! I can't stress it enough, YOU NEED A GREAT PAIR OF HEADPHONES TO RECORD! You mix is only as good as what you monitor it through. I use headphones because I do not have the luxury of a isolated room.


SONY MDRV300 Studio Monitor Headphones

Because I record everything in one big room (my basement/room) I need to be able to isolate the deferent instruments from each other. So I record the drums and have the guitar and bass player play though the mixer into the headphones. These received great reviews on several deferent sites especial for the price. I have 3 pairs of these and they all run out of my headphone amp. They sound great and have a lot of bass for under $50.



LINE 6 POD PRO Guitar Direct Box

I am so glad I got this! It makes my life so much easier, all I have to do to record a guitar track is plug the guitar cable right into the front of this rack mount box and play with the controls until we get the sound we want. Then right into my mixer, 100% clean sound, no hum (all balanced connections) no having to setup and position mics! No need for any isolation and best of all I can record a guitar track at 3 O'clock in the morning without making any noise except for the plucking of the guitar strings.

Line 6

DBX 166XL Dual Compressor and Gate

This dual compressor gate also features a limiter called PeakStop®. I use the DBX 166XL for vocals to prevent clipping on my digital recordings. This is by far the best compressor I found for the features and the money. DBX has long been a leader in compressor technology and I highly recommend this compressor for anyone.

DBX Professional Equipment

ART VLA 256 Dual Tube Compressor/Limiter

Most people have never heard of ART (Applied Research and Technology) before. I never heard of them until I asked a friend of mine if he knew of any decent sounding TUBE compressors that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg. He told me that he has a couple of ART compressors and says that they sound awesome and are really cheap. Less then $200. I was sold. No regrets on this buy. Each channel gives a nice compression while adding a bit of warmth. Great for vocals, I pair up my CAD mics to this and it's like having a thousands of dollars of equipment for a fraction of that. The only thing is don't drive this compressor to hard, it has a lot less dB reduction to offer than say the DBX.

Applied Research and Technology

Rolls RA62 Headphone Amplifier

The price was right on this one, it may not be the highest quality product in the world but it gets the job done. 6 individually amplified channels for headphones at a very low impedance level. This was a must because all the Sony headphones are designed with VERY low impedance levels. All the other headphone amps that I looked at were to high. This amp besides being able to amplified a main mix also allows separate mixes to be inserted into each channel.

Rolls Corporation

Mackie SRM450 Precision 2-way, bi-amplified active PA speaker

This is one of my favorite new toys. Bi-Amped, 300x100 watt, super flat frequency response, self powered, active PA monitor! I use it for sound reinforcement, monitoring mixes, watching movies, and generally making a lot of noise. I really shouldn't say noise though because the sound that comes out of these "monitors" is better than high end home stereo systems.

They are called monitors for just that reason, they "monitor" the sound. Or in other words they reproduce the sound sent to them with no coloration of any kind. They have a frequency response that you normally don't see except in studio monitors that are designed to provide sound to a control room, not hundreds of people. The design of these speakers is truly amazing. They have 2 amplifiers, or what is called "bi-amped". This means that there is an individual amplifier for each driver. The low frequency (woofer) and high frequency (horn). By doing this it allows each driver to work at peak power without draining the other driver. For example lets say you are playing music with lots of bass, if there was one amp even with the same total watts as two amps, the low frequency driver would steal more power from the amp than the high frequency making the sound dull for the bassy parts of the song.

So if you want to be heard and want to be heard loud and clear then this is the way to go. Also if you have ever listened to PA speakers at a show and they sound muffled or have a ringing sound to them, or overall just sound horrible, it's because they are cheap transducers (speakers) put in a box and then stamped with a brand name so they can charge a bunch of money for them. And then you have to power them with a separate amplifier. All you have to do with these is plug them into a wall, plug a XLR cable(and yes you can plug a mic into the back and it will preamp the mic) and your set. They make great floor monitors too...

SRS 1500 Active Subwoofer

On order..... Will tell you more when they get here.

Now from what I have heard these things rock! One 15 inch custom made transducer (the speaker) with a built in 600 watt power amp tuned just for this sub. These are hard to get a hold of right now as they are being bought faster than Mackie can make them. They are designed to be grouped with the SRM450's. The crossover is built right into the sub, so you send left and right channels into the sub, it mixes them into a mono channel for the sub and sends out the left and right through a high pass filter into the SRM450's or whatever you want.

I can't wait for this one, 127 SPL of heart pounding bass, my neighbors are gona love me...

APC Smart-UPS 700

A totally necessary piece of hardware! I have had some sever brownouts while working on my computer and recently during some remodeling at my house, the power was turned off on my circuit with no warning. The APC UPS kicked in flawlessly. I feel much more secure when working on important data such as mixing audio down or even recording. Even if the guitar amp goes dead, my computer won't lose any work. Also doubles as a surge protector. A must for anyone who can't afford a power outage.


Copyright Armageddon Media 2000
Updated 11-26-2000