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Monday, December 6, 2010

Funky and Uncommon Recording Gear: Aphex Dominator Model 700

These are fairly good limiters. They get decent write ups by the pros on RAP and other places. The praise they get is not lavish but respectful.

I used the Aphex Dominator on a project. The vocalist, JD McPherson, wanted to sound like Little Richard so I smashed his voice into the Dominator and voila we got there. Actually I think the vocalist naturally possesses one of those sort of voices anyhow but hitting the Dominator just brought it out. You could not hear the Dominator at all in terms of color or artifacts but you could hear it in terms of how it brought that snarl out of the singer's voice.

According to Bear's Gone Fission: "The thing about Aphex was that their heydey was of an analog era when people actually wanted a clean sound without artifacts. They do this job incredibly well, but it's no longer in vogue. Thus the 'tubescense' revisions."

He also said: "You gotta love trends and fads for downgrading great bits of kit to really accessible price points. If you aren't doing anything very extreme, you will never hear the sound of the Dominator, just fewer extreme transients, which makes it a great piece for tasks you wouldn't use, say, an LA-2 for. Of course, you wouldn't expect the Dominator to do what an LA-2 does, either. That's the point in my mind - I've got stuff like the SC-50 for color, and a couple Aphex pieces for transparent dynamics chores."

This is one of my all times favorite pieces of gear.

--Steven Langer

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