LOS ANGELES - October 2009 -- Over the past two decades, Rob Schnapf has consistently proved to be one of the most astute producers of emerging indie talent. Having worked with the likes of Elliott Smith, Beck, Foo Fighters, Guided By Voices, The Vines and Saves The Day, Schnapf more often than not has his finger on the pulse for what will soon be on the playlists of the hipster elite.
It shouldn't be any surprise that this same knack for picking winners carries over to his savvy equipment choices for his Silverlake studio, known simply as Mant, the centerpiece of which is a vintage Electrodyne console previously owned by Frank Sinatra, Jr. Two of Schnapf's most recent prized purchases include a Brad Avenson-designed BAC-500 compressor from Pete's Place Audio and an EM-PEQ from sibling company A-Designs Audio, both being 500
"I had read some good things about the modules on Gearslutz and then got the opportunity to demo them in my studio," recalls Schnapf. "We had a Canadian band called Sweet Thing in at the time and Doug (Boehm) and I thought we'd try them on drums. So we put a U-47 just above the kick as a general perspective mic, which fed into the BAC-500, and then we used the EM-PEQ actually on the kick, itself. They both sounded really, really good. They definitely gave us the right color, so we left them there."
During the mixing process, the two modules were repurposed on guitar tracks. "In addition to bringing a nice bottom end thump to drums, the EM-PEQ also very smoothly opens up the top end on guitars. It's a natural, fat sound -- not at all messy -- much like my Pultecs and Lang, but with its own unique hi-fi flavor. And the BAC-500 is really great, too, especially for solos when you kind of want to smash it in there."
Schnapf's only complaint with his two new 500 Series modules is that he doesn't have enough of them. "I only have one BAC-500 and EM-PEQ so far, but seeing how well they worked out, I could definitely see myself getting more -- not to mention an A-Designs REDDI, which sounds really cool on Mellotron."
Rob Schnapf recently mixed Ricki Lee Jones' upcoming record, Balm In Gilead, as well as Bettye LaVette's latest EP, Change Is Gonna Come Sessions. In the past several months, he has also worked with Doctor Dog, Sweet Thing, Kisschasy and Islands, among others.
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.
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