Design FX Remote Recording came into being in 1991 when DesignFX Audio, one of the professional audio industry’s leadingequipment rental companies, purchased one of the original RecordPlant remote recording trucks and proceeded to completely remodeland upgrade it. Jack Crymes, the original designer of both theRecord Plant trucks and the early Wally Heider trucks, came onboardto oversee and direct all of the technical engineering, along withDesign FX tech Allen Baca and master carpenter Dave Mailand. Theresult is a superb combination of technology, creativity andmobility.
The remodeled truck, equipped with a vintage 44-input APIconsole, made its debut at the 1991 MTV Music Awards, which werebroadcast live from L.A.’s Universal Amphitheater. The mobilestudio was later moved onto a more powerful International cab, andsince then, the Design FX Remote unit has been from Vancouver toMexico City and many points in between.
In 1994, Design FX decided to further upgrade the truck’sclassic API console. Jack Crymes, a pioneer in remote recording forthe past 25 years, joined forces with API specialists John Dressel,Jeff Bork and Design FX Audio president Gary Ladinsky to design anew custom API input module, one adapted especially to live musicrecording. Retaining the classic API components, such as the 2520op amps and the legendary 550A EQs, the design team added anentirely new level of flexibility for live recording applicationswith modifications such as additional aux sends, dual-mix buses,direct outs, P&G faders, fader flips and a versatile solosystem.
Design FX Remote Recording has an unusual advantage: As adivision of a leading equipment rental company, the remote truckoperation can call upon an extensive menu of both stock and exoticaudio devices, from mixers to microphones, outboard gear to harddisk recording systems. And, as Ladinsky points out, access to sucha wide array of equipment has given the staff of Design FX RemoteRecording a tremendous depth of knowledge and operationalexperience. “We’re in the unique position of being able tonot only supply any hardware you could want, but also the expertiseto operate it to its maximum potential,” says Ladinsky.“Our clients get a crew that has probably done it all onanything you can think of under any circumstances and at every typeof venue. We’ve done live recordings directly to Pro Tools, and wecan do that with the same level of confidence that you would getwith an open-reel multitrack machine. The range of hands-onexperience we can bring to a project is very, veryintense.”
That kind of performance is what’s behind a long and acclaimedlist of Design FX Remote Recording clients. In addition to an EmmyAward for Best Sound for a Special Presentation (Natalie Cole’s“Unforgettable-With Love”), the truck and its crew wereresponsible for this year’s Grammy for Best Jazz Album (DianneReeves’ In the Moment), plus five Emmy nominations,various TEC Award nominations and Golden Reel awards.
“It’s a great remote truck,” says Ladinsky.“But behind the door, there’s more than a control room— there’s a huge wealth of human and technological resourcesat your service.”
Company Name: Design FX Remote Recording.Contact: Scott Peets, Remote Recording Manager.Services Offered: Remote audio recording, remotebroadcast, mixing, transfers, field packages available. MainTechnology Platforms: 44-input API analog console with 55A EQand expanded input modules; every type of recording media, fromtape (analog and digital) to MDM to hard disk is available throughDesign FX Audio Rental Divisions. Vehicle Information:International cab, 37-foot box. Layout: Control room area:14×6’6″ (from console edge). Partial Client List:Elton John, Vanessa Williams, Babyface, Faith Hill, Seal, DavidFoster, Clint Black, Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over tour, Sheryl Crow,Tony Bennett, Aerosmith, Neil Young, Barbra Streisand, Guns N’Roses, American Music Awards, Tom Petty, Santana, Sting.