Shrine

experimental ambient sound drift

"Today's music production is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio."

Today's music production may be IT-based (and it should be), but anyone who has ever dealt with it knows that software doesn't sound as full and deep as hardware and this is not about to change.

I've spent a lot of time over the years trying to get the sound from my DAW to sound like hardware, but it was a waste of time, I never could get that sound. I checked many books about mixing and mastering, but the answer wasn't there... I read all the crazy stuff, I knew about Nyquist and limits of sampling frequencies, I knew about oversampling, volterra kernels, harmonic distortion of several orders, I was familiar with Fletcher–Munson curves or equal-loudness contours, and I learned a lot of technical stuff, but it didn't help. There was something missing.

I was aware of how many professionals use software synths and effects and I started to realize that the difference between me and them is that they mix their tracks on huge SSL consoles and then send them for processing to mastering engineers with tens of thousands of dollars worth of outboard equipment, so eventually I decided that someday I'll build up my own analog rig and will process my mixes with hardware.
But it took me years to realize what kind of hardware I really need and what I don't.

DAW:

ASRock 970 Extreme 4 + AMD FX X6 6300 @ 3.5GHz + Kingston HyperX 8GB Dual DDR3 + Crucial BX100 SSD

M-Audio Axiom 25 MIDI:

M-AUDIO Axiom 25 (MIDI controller keyboard)
ALESIS Q25 (portable MIDI keyboard)

RME Fireface 400 Interfaces:

RME MADIface USB (portable MADI interface)
RME Fireface 400 (firewire type 'A' audio interface)

SPL Madison DA/AD conversion:

SPL Madison 1260 (16in/16out MADI to ANALOG converter)

I started to build my little home studio piece by piece in 2007, buying stuff I didn't really need, then selling it, then buying other stuff again. At first I thought that any piece of hardware is needed because it will make my sound better. Sometimes I bought gear just out of curiosity, or willingness to try it. Eventually I realized that I just don't need things like synths, samplers, or hardware effects (except for guitar pedals). That was all useless since I was able to achieve the same (and so much more) with software. As of now my audio rig is strictly built for analog summing and harmonic content enhancement.

SPL MixDream XP Mixing:

SPL MixDream XP 2591 (cascadable 16x2 analog summing mixer)

SPL SX2 Vitalizer Processing:

SPL SX2 Vitalizer (psychoacoustic equalizer and harmonic enhancer)

ADAM A3X Monitoring:

Kenwood KA-5050R (MOS-FET power amplifier)
Amfiton 100AC-022 (3-way loudspeakers)
ADAM A3X active nearfield monitors
Tannoy Reveal 601A active nearfield monitors
Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro headphones

Guitar & Live:

Two guitars plus several pedals and a laptop, will complete this list later.