Dave Way with some of his new A-Designs and Pete’s Place gear at Waystation
LOS ANGELES — Over the years, three-time Grammy Award-winning mixer/producer/engineer Dave Way has manned the SSL 6048 console in his private Hollywood Hills studio for a tremendous amount of artists, including Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, Pink, Christina Aguilera, Macy Gray, Ringo Starr and John Doe, among many others. Recently, Way has welcomed a new group of “performers” to Waystation: no less than seven products from A-Designs Audio and its sibling company, Pete’s Place Audio.
The addition of this gear comes as part of a change in operational philosophies, Way points out. “I’m in the process of renovating my studio to maximize the way I now work, which is a hybrid approach with an all analog signal path, tape, and super quick recalls,” he says. “It really facilitates bouncing back and forth between projects — often two or three in a single day with multiple revisions. I’m really excited because this new setup is gonna fly! Part of the renovation includes expanding my live room to accommodate more producing and recording full bands with better isolation and having things hard-wired for that.
“My friend, drummer Curt Bisquera, had been telling me about [A-Designs Audio President] Peter Montessi’s products for a while and kept saying I had to check his stuff out,” Way continues. “So I finally called him up, drove over to his place, and ended up loading up my car with a bunch of his gear to try out back at Waystation. After getting everything hooked up in my studio, I honestly fell in love with all of it. The number one thing about every single piece of gear was the sound, which, across the board, was absolutely stellar. So I called Peter up and told him that I wasn’t giving any of it back!”
That list of gear that he purchased included two A-Designs 500 Series modules — an EM-PEQ Pultec-style equalizer and EM-Blue mic pre — as well as a 500HR powered rack and REDDI tube direct box. Way also simultaneously picked up two more 500 Series modules from Pete’s Place Audio — an Electrodyne 501 mic pre and BAC-500 compressor — in addition to a Blast Pad microphone filter.
Although Way predominantly hangs his hat as a mixing engineer, most of the new gear has gone into his recording chain. “For tracking, I’ve been using the EM-Blue mic pre on snare and the extra air on top sounds just fantastic. I really like the BAC-500 compressor, too. I’ve been using it on acoustic guitar and on an amp for electric bass, which Peter suggested. It has a really sweet yet aggressive grab to it. Plus, the distortion button on the module is really cool as an extra color option for some things.
“Speaking of bass, I love the REDDI. I plugged that into my [Telefunken] V72, which is what I usually use on DI, and made the bass sound smooth and huge. Using it direct, I overdrove it a little bit and totally loved what I got when I cranked up the gain. When I think about bass DIs, I think about Jack Casady. I’m dying for him to hear this thing because he knows tone and I think he would approve.”
Way also adds that he likes the A-Designs EM-PEQ for its “open top end” on acoustic guitar, as well as the Electrodyne 501 for its separate output gain control and “pleasing harmonic distortion ‘mojo’.” He additionally describes the Blast Pad as “the only pop filter anybody ever needs. You can get right up on the mic if you want something with a lot of bass without having to worry about any unwanted plosives. Normally, a pop filter is a pretty unsexy piece of gear, but this is by far the sexiest pop filter I’ve ever heard,” he laughs.
For more info on Dave Way and Waystation, visit www.daveway.com.
Pete’s Place Audio was founded to bring a wide variety of handcrafted, innovative, boutique recording and live audio products to market. Under the leadership of President Lisa Montessi and backed by the manufacturing expertise of A-Designs Audio, Pete’s Place collaborates with some of today’s most talented recording artists and engineers to help determine what products, regardless of how esoteric, they feel are missing in the studio and live performance environments. For more details, visit www.petesplaceaudio.com.
A-Designs Audio is a boutique manufacturer of high-quality professional audio products, including the MP-A Series (all-tube microphone preamplifiers), Pacifica, REDDI (all-tube direct box), ATTY and ATTY2’D (passive line attenuators), EM Series (500 Series-compatible microphone preamplifier and EQ modules), HM2EQ HAMMER (dual mono, three-band tube equalizer) and HM2 NAIL (hybrid compressor). For more info, please contact A-Designs Audio at 818-716-4153 or visit www.adesignsaudio.com.
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