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Monday, December 8, 2008

Funky and uncommon recording gear, Part 4

The original series as written by the mysterious Jetphase

So you've recorded a great sound. Now it's time to mix. Mixing is kind of like baking a cake, in that you still need icing to make it great. Effects are the icing. They're the little details that set the mix off, and engage the listeners' ears. Effects are to a mix what a great tie is to a suit. The final touch. Here are a few ties for you.

Roland SRV-3000: If you're looking for a killer sounding, inexpensive reverb unit for drums, this is the ticket. The fact that it has a grainy sound, and a limited frequency response (high-end cutoff around 12kHz), are good things for drums. As a bonus, it has a programmable EQ onboard.

Lexicon Vortex Audio Morphing Processor: This unit can twist sounds in ways you never thought possible. You can take a chorus, add some delay and reverb, then cycle it back through the delay again. If you want unique, this is it.

Eventide FL201 Instant Flanger: Nice thick flanging that doesn't step on the original tone of the track. Great on guitars and drums, for some classic Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix sounds.

Eventide PS101 Instant Phaser: The match to the aforementioned Instant Flanger.

AKG BX-20 Reverb: It's a spring reverb that actually sounds good. It's fairly popular to use the BX-20 on things like electric guitar and saxophone tracks. When you put drums through it, it goes boing. The BX-20 has great character, and is a definitely worthwhile piece to add to your mixing arsenal.

Electrix Filter Factory: This is basically an analog filter that you can run a track through in order to mutilate it. Try running a kick drum through it and randomly turning knobs and pressing buttons until you find something you like. If you like the recordings of bands like The Flaming Lips, you're gonna love the Filter Factory.

Assorted stomboxes: Just about any old guitar stompbox you have lying around has the potential to sound great in a mix. You'll either need to use a Reamp or a D.I. box (in reverse) to get the most out of it though. A few of my favorites are the Electro-Harmonix Memory Man, the EH Octave Multiplexer, the EH Microsynthesizer, the MXR Phase 90, the Proco Rat, and the Boss PN-2 Tremolo/Pan pedal.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. I hope you've discovered some interesting gear here, and maybe gotten some new ideas on how to make your mixes special. There are certainly more cool pieces out there, but you're gonna have to discover those on your own. Good luck.


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