Since founding his production company, 27 Sounds, in 2003, Dave Carlock (pictured)—a producer, engineer, musician and songwriter whose previous credits include Rancid, The Transplants, Blink 182 and Pink—has developed a roster of pop/rock artists, writing and recording several EPs out of his Woodland Hills, Calif. studio, 27 Space.
“What I’m doing with 27 Sounds is applying the DIY approach I found in the punk rock world—that incredible energy and dedication to making music just to make it—to these new artists,” says Carlock. “And I’m striving to improve on that formula by having really good go-to gear set up and ready to record, rather than relying on a looser, more punk-rock ‘just throw up a mic and go for it’ approach. Still, I am keeping it rather minimalist as far as equipment goes —just a few familiar and really high quality pieces of equipment. I want to keep my mic chain pristine and just go for the energy of the performance. This approach has allowed me to deliver production values to indie artists and unsigned artists that was once restricted to artists with major-label budgets, and that’s exciting.”
Carlock reports that he has been using an A-Designs Audio Pacifica dual-channel solid-state mic preamp consistently in the past year. “I was used to my tube pre's but wanted something different that could complement the other main mic pre I use,” he says. “The Pacifica fits really well into my setup, giving me the tighter bottom end I was looking for as well as, image-wise, a more solid signal quality. Where the other tube pre might give me more ‘funkiness,' the Pacifica works really well on vocals and—what I like using it most on—piano.
“The Pacifica is set up under the piano in my studio all the time so I’m always ready to record piano, and then I also do vocal sessions in the same room, so I can go right into it for vocals as well. I’ve been using it for vocals on this summer’s Desiree Cuchiara release, Deeelish, and I also used it on a 13-piece string session for Jackie Ray’s Dragonfli Baby. I’m using it on all my 27 Sounds recordings!”