Touring SF Soundworks’ Outboard Gear - Mixonline

Touring SF Soundworks’ Outboard Gear

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By Tony Espinoza

I've been collecting gear as long as I've been playing in bands, which is about half my life (since age 16). Over the past four-and-a-half years I've been working hard to figure out the best gear for today's first class recording studio, which believe me has been no easy task. There are so many great products out there now that the options are overwhelming. So there's obviously been a lot of thought and time put into hand selecting all these pieces.

A lot of the focus on a new studio seems to rest on things like the console that's installed or even the version of Pro Tools they're running. And while a lot of our clients initially come here because we have the only SSL 9000 J in the city, I believe the reason they keep coming back is because we have outboard gear and rooms that have a unique vibe. There are a ton of 9K's in LA, so to make the experience in San Fran unique, I've tried to assemble an awesome set of outboard tools to give engineers and mixers an extra edge.

Classic Gear

The first category that every studio has to have is the standard set of classic tools. These are new and old pieces that everyone expects to find in a world-class studio. Here are some examples from our gear list:

2 - Black Face 1176LN

1 - Teletronix LA2A

2 - DBX 160 VU

2 - DBX 902 De-esser

1 - Tube Tech CL1B

1 - GML 8200 EQ

6 - API 550A EQ, 560 EQ, 312 Mic Pre's

2 - Empirical Labs Distressors

1 - Drawmer DS201 Dual Gates

1 - Lexicon 960L w/ Larc2

1 - Lexicon PCM 70

2 - Lexicon PCM 42 Delays

1 - Eventide DSP7500 Ultra Harmonizer

1 - AMS DMX 1580s Delay

1 - AMS RMX 16 Reverb

1 - Yamaha SPX 90 II

Rare Vintage Gear

Here are some of the more rare pieces that are harder to find, and that very few studios include as standard equipment. This is the kind of gear you generally rent for sessions, but we include free of charge.

1 - Universal Audio 175B Tube Limiter (precursor to 1176)

17 - Neve Modules (1073, 1081, 1084, 1064, 1095)

3 - Neve 32264a from an old Neve 8078 console

5 - Pultec EQP1A3 EQ's (you can never have enough)

2 - Teletronix LA3A (modified for lower noise)

1 - Moog 3 band Parametric EQ (folks like Michael Brauer swear by these)

2 - Telefunken V72 tube pre's - "Beatles" pre's

1 - Gates SA39 Tube Limiter restored by Jack Crymes

2 - ADR Compex Limiters from an old Helios console

Unique Boutique Gear

We're big fans of some of the smaller shops that are creating incredible new gear that deliver both new sounds and new versions of classic sounds. This is the kind of gear most engineers have to buy for themselves and carry around from session to session as their secret weapons. Again, all of these pieces have been hand-picked and come standard with our SSL 9000 mix room.

1 - Chandler/EMI TG1 Stereo Limiter, Abbey Road Edition

1 - Chandler/EMI TG2 Dual Mic Pre

1 - Pendulum 6386 Vari-Mu Tube Limiter

1 - Pendulum MDP1 Dual Tube Mic Pre

1 - Thermionic Culture - Phoenix Vari-Mu Tube Limiter

1 - Thermionic Culture - Culture Vulture Tube Distortion

1 - SPL Transient Designer

1 - SPL Tube Vitalizer

1 - SPL Dual De-esser

1 - Crane Song STC8 Mastering Compressor

1 - Crane Song HEDD 192 A/D/A Converter

1 - Empirical Labs Fatso, Jr.

1 - Manley Massive Passive Stereo EQ

1 - GML 8900 Stereo Limiter

1 - Tube Tech SMC2B Multi-Band Tube Limiter

1 - EMT 250 Reverb rack by Dynatron

1 - TC Electronic Fireworx

1 - Sintefex Replicator CS2000 (same software found in Focusrite Liquid Channel)

1 - Avalon 2022 Dual Mic Pre

1 - Avalon 2055 Stereo EQ

1 - Avalon 2044 Stereo Compressor Limiter

1 - Little Labs PCP Distro & Red Eye Re-Amp boxes

Collection of Classic Vintage and Modern Microphones

Okay, this isn't exactly outboard gear. But it is a big reason why people work here and why people go into pro studios these days. I think the list pretty much speaks for itself. We've got a lot of classic mics from AKG and Neumann, plus some of the newer designs from Schoeps, Royer and Soundelux

1 - AKG C12 TUBE - ORIGINAL

1 - AKG C24 STEREO TUBE - ORIGINAL

2 - AKG C414 B/ULS

2 - AKG C451 B

1 - AKG D112

1 - NEUMANN U47 TUBE, M7 CAPSULE

1 - NEUMANN U47 FET

1 - NEUMANN U67 TUBE

1 - NEUMANN U87 Ai

2 - NEUMANN M150 TUBE

2 - NEUMANN M269c TUBE

2 - NEUMANN KM56c TUBE

2 - NEUMANN KM84

2 - NEUMANN KM184

1 - NEUMANN TLM170

1 - NEUMANN TLM103

1 - BEYER M88

2 - CROWN PZM-30 PRESSURE

1 - ELECTRO-VOICE RE-20

2 - ROYER R121 RIBBON

1 - ROYER SF12 STEREO RIBBON

2 - SCHOEPS MK41, SUPER-CARDIOID
1 - SCHOEPS MK4S, CARDIOID
1 - SCHOEPS MK2, OMNI
3 - SENNHEISER E609
5 - SENNHEISER MD421 MKII
1 - SHURE SM7
7 - SHURE SM57
1 - SHURE SM58
1 - SHURE SM BETA58
1 - SOUNDELUX U195
1 - SOUNDELUX U95S TUBE

Tony Espinoza /SAN FRANCISCO SOUNDWORKS /www.sfsoundworks.com