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Producer Rob King Puts the SLAM! On the Mix

Sherman Oaks, CA – January 2015…  While he may not be a household name, you’ll find Rob King’s work pretty much everywhere you turn. The veteran producer/composer has been the force behind the sound of more than 100 hit games, including James Bond: Quantum of Solace, Scareface, Age of Conan, Call of Duty 3, and MMORPG RIFT: Planes of Telara. He’s also had a hand in numerous films, including promo trailers for I Am Legend and Watchmen. 

With a busy, fast-paced production schedule, King’s Sherman Oaks, CA-based Green Street Studios is constantly abuzz with projects. The facility boasts racks full of impressive high-end outboard gear, but King points to the Manley SLAM! as his go-to stereo limiter and mic preamp.

“Out of all the gear in my studio, the SLAM! gets used more often than almost anything else,” he reports. “I’ve often said it’s a shame more people don’t have the opportunity to hear what it can do. I do a lot of dialog production in games, and I find that the SLAM! is really the ultimate signal path for a voice over.”

As King observes, creating dialog voiceover for games is a meticulous and demanding process. “Particularly in doing dialog within a game, it’s always tricky to get things to sit right in the mix,” he explains. “Running the dialog through the SLAM!, I usually just set the input and output gains to 12 o’clock, with the heel of the limiter anywhere between 18 and 22dB, and I literally never have to touch it. Whether it’s whispering, shouting, screaming, talking — it all sits there perfectly, with no distortion, no audible compression – it’s just incredible.”

King points to the SLAM!’s optical compressor as one of the features that sets it apart. “The SLAM! gets a real tube preamp kind of sound,” he says. “It’s got a ton of clarity, it’s super smooth, and so rich in frequency. You get all the lows, all the highs, and zero sibilance – I’ve never had to even think about a de-esser.”

Whether for spoken word dialog or for music production, King says the Manley SLAM! delivers more than enough compression with a minimum of coloration. “I have a lot of compressors in the studio, and I like them all for their different sound,” he states. “But the SLAM! is really nothing like anything else. It is so clean and natural sounding. It’s like a compressor that doesn’t sound like a compressor. Nothing will get something to its place and keep it there naturally as the SLAM! does.”


About Manley Laboratories, Inc. – Since the late 1980s Manley products have evolved from purist audiophile vacuum tube designs expanding into professional audio and digital converter systems. Manley’s legacy of design philosophies has been proven over years of real-world experience, using high quality modern components, many of which are fabricated in-house. Manley’s 11,000 sq. ft. building houses a machine shop, printed circuit board manufacture, audio transformer winding, engraving, and wire harness prepping facilities. All custom design, R&D, assembly, testing, and quality control processes are performed with precision and pride at the Manley factory, located just 35 miles east of Los Angeles, California. All Manley products are built in Chino, not China. 

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