Engineer/producer Chris Shepard’s Tour My Studio (Chicago) mobilerecording setup can be packed into six road cases and features 40channels of True Systems Precision 8 transformerless microphone preampsand a collection of high-quality microphones, including models fromNeumann and Sennheiser, and a Digidesign Pro Tools|HD Version 6.0workstation.
“It’s a great-sounding preamp, and the noise floor is incredible,”said Shepard, studio manager at the Chicago Recording Company and ownerof Tour My Studio. Shepard established Tour My Studio three years agoto complement CRC by providing location recording services. “The twoare linked together and work hand-in-hand real well. The combination ofreaching out from a major studio and being able to supply a live rig iskey to both ventures staying current.”
According to Shepard, Tour My Studio was born out of necessity. “Iwas doing more and more engineering and producing for people who wereasking me to set up studios in weird environments with bastard gear. Iwanted better tools. So I went and I put together what I figured wasgoing to be the ultimate studio, with the best mics and preamps I couldafford, the ultimate headphone mixing ability, the best mic stands, andput that together as a package that people can actually afford. My goalis to provide musicians a way of doing remote recording economicallywith quality gear. All projects vary in cost due to complexity andtime. But the key here is having a musician walk away from a show witha CD of the recording, a good decent mix and a hard drive with theindividual tracks. This is what musicians want. It’s empowering theartist. They walk away with the hard drive or their performance.”
Commenting on the preamp, Shepard said, “It’s just great stuff anddependable. Plus, the built-in splitting ability comes in handy for me.I put DB25 panels on the back of both my racks,” explained Shepard. “Sobasically, all I’m using is a DB25 patch cord to connect the preamprack to the Pro Tools rack. It’s so simple, clean and fast. Our rig isset up in about half-an-hour. It loads off the truck, the fronts of thecases come off, just a few wires connect it together and we’rerocking.
“The road case that holds the mic pre’s took a hit at the House ofBlues recently, doing KMFDM,” he continued. “It came off of the loadingdock with their loaders and went face down. And it went real hard. Butwe tested them and they were fine.”
Regarding his mic collection, Shepard enthused that “the Neumann KM184s are probably my most desired room mics. I carry a Neumann TLM 103and use that a lot for low end or for strings. We do a lot of gospelwork, where we go to a church and record the full strings, piano,choir, and obviously the room mics are so important in thatscenario.”