Richard Barrow, engineer on Brad Paisley’s last five albums on Arista Nashville/Sony BMG, recently teamed up with the country star and his producer, Frank Rogers, at the Castle Studio in Franklin, Tenn. to track sessions for his upcoming project.
The production team chose a LaChapell Model 992 TLS preamp to capture different tones and feels from Paisley’s guitar collection. The 992 TLS is a transformer-less input design using twin (matched) 400-volt ASC caps along with two 6072s (made in the U.S.) per channel. The 992 was used primarily to track acoustic guitars in a way that sounds natural and also fits well with the other instruments.
“The thing that I loved most about LaChapell’s 992 was its sonic flexibility,” says Barrow. “We used it on all of Brad’s acoustic guitars, and whatever he played, whether it was an Everett or old Gibson, sounded wonderful. On ballads, I could get a nice, clean texture with an open top end, and on a song with more tempo, you could crank down on it and the guitar would really gain mass and energy without feeling choked.
“LaChapell’s 992 offers several high-end features that are rare on other preamps, such as the channel mute and being able to switch off the meters,” Barrow continues. “I also really liked the look and feel of the controls. When I grabbed one, it didn’t feel like it might wiggle off like a lot of new gear these days. It was solid, just like it sounded.”