Recording engineer/composer Chris McLernon (pictured) was tapped to record singer London Weidberg for a song that was included in the NBC show Vegas. Rather than have Weidberg come to his studio, Two Heads Music in Charleston, S.C., McLernon packed up his API Lunchbox—which includes a 3124 discrete 4-channel mic/line preamp and a 512C discrete mic/line preamp—and went to Weidberg.
“I grabbed a mic and the API Lunchbox and headed over there,” McLernon says. “She was comfortable and I got the vocal performance that I wanted. If I didn’t have the ability to pick that up and take it with me, I would have been struggling with whatever gear they had there because I didn’t know that room at all.”
McLernon tracked the sessions directly into Digidesign Pro Tools, bypassing the studio’s console. “She knows her technique, so it wasn’t like I had to compress her a lot and I think I ran her flat,” he recalls. “She went right in and did a take. It sounded fine to me and I didn’t have to mess with it. I don’t like to mess with stuff. If it doesn’t work from the word ‘go,’ either something is wrong with the musician or the instrument, or it’s the gear you are using. That’s the great thing about the API stuff I’m using—it’s so consistent and I know how it’s going to sound.”
McLernon has also found his API gear helpful in getting ready to mix music for a spot. On a recent date, he took a track that was recorded with a Digi 002 using only its onboard mic pre’s and pumped it through his API gear to add the clarity and accuracy that was missing. “I hear people complain that digital can be a little too crisp,” he says, “but by [using the API gear], the music seems to maintain a pleasant crispness without the digital sizzle to it. Some people always want to look for that analog warmth, but I think if you don’t have clarity, then there is not going to be any warmth.”