When Paul Reed Smith, an avid songwriter and guitar player, decided to build his own studio, Riverhouse Studio (Stevensville, Md.), he decided to bring in a Daking Mic Pre IV. “Basically, guitar pickups are very sophisticated parametric equalizers and guitars are harmonic generators,” offers Smith while illustrating the parallels of being a luthier and a pro audio gearhead. “Together, pickups and guitars build a harmonic signal so naturally. How things sound have become really important to me. We spent a long time building and equipping the studio. Mic pre-amps are an absolutely crucial parts of the recording chain. Geoff did a great job in building his Daking mic pre’s, and that’s why I ended up buying them. The Daking mic pre’s sound very musical, very pretty. We plugged them in and said, ‘Whoa!’”
The Daking Mic Pre IV is a 4-channel 1U unit featuring all discrete transistor circuitry, transformer balanced I/O and Class-A amplifiers. Each channel includes a 20-segment Vu meter, +48V phantom power, 20dB pad and an output level control before the last gain stage. The Mic Pre IV offers continuously variable gain control, switching with gold bi-furcated contacts throughout, stainless steel construction and aluminum knobs. A power supply is also included.
Smith’s equipment audition methods continued beyond mic pre-amplification, which led him to choose converters, I/O, digital audio workstation, monitors and acoustic treatments. Says Smith,”You’ve got to get in and out of the digital domain without changing the tone. If you take an A/D converter, plug it into a D/A, put it in the insert of a channel, and then listen, there should be no difference, right? Well, go listen and hear all the differences!” This auditioning method ultimately led Smith to Apogee Electronics AD-16X and DA-16X converters as well as to a Hammerfall DSP MADI card and ATC monitors. As a result, Smith’s console-free, PC-based, Magix Samplitude-running studio rig is quick. “Apogee’s 16X stuff sounds great and it has a millisecond round trip, so we have a rig with a four millisecond round trip total. That’s the equivalent to me listening to my guitar amp from four feet away. It’s wonderful.”
For more information, please go to www.transaudioelite.com.