i got email from michel in belgium. he is a professional sound designer working mostly/entirely inside a computer. he sent me four instrument stems of his music and I pumped them thru the BIG MONO CHAIN we had discussed. its an 8 rack unit high sound machine comprising 3WAYS VALVE EQ and EKADEK PULTEC MB1 MIC/DIRECT INSTRUMENT PREAMP and ZEPHYR FAT LADY LIMITING AMPLIFIER. he wanted gear that was really effective at a low low price so i decided to package three great prototype items from my recording rig for him. i can make the price low because ive forgotten how long they took to make.. ha ha. all i’ll do before delivering are cosmetic (actually what i love to do) . re – panel and paint and label and switching patchbay and power supply unit. (whats the mains voltage in belgium btw . anyways … i sent the processed stems and a ruff mixture to him and he got back the next day. these are his words. (thanks michel for permission to reprint)
“Hey ek, As i might have expected it sounds SUPER FAT. Glad the children enjoyed it to 🙂 the bounce i gave you was quite boring soundwise. After the big mono chain treatment IT REALLY SOUNDS VERY SPECIAL. NOT LIKE ANYTHING I’VE HEARD BEFORE. I’ve been listening to it over and over because it suddenly has this kind of energy to it. It seems to trade in some of the digital clarity for straight up sex appeal.You were indeed quite bitchy to the sound, but i do suspect that you can deo some nice subtle things with it to.I could clearly hear the use of the eq. I love the variations with the eq. Every setting sounded clearly different but surprisingly all of them sounded really good on the sound.I had put a little reverb on the percussion parts. The comp instantly created a clap sound to dream of! The whole ‘edgy thing’ of the unit is unbilievable. That is really something i’ve been looking for especially on synth parts. I’ve been trying to recreate it digitally with the SPL vintagewarmer plugin the SSL buscomp, and a n Oxford filter plugin but it just doesn’t have that bit of extra touch. I’m going to have another go with it, as an experiment, i’ll let you know how it went… “
what i think about plug ins … is that they sound great. they work and they are cheap .. hell. mostly free!. and their settings are recorded with the session therefore repeatable and adjustable .. forever. all good.
in the end though .. call me old fashioned .. its that final push and electric analog feel that makes a thing that really sounds good. and finished. walk away.
between us we decided a name for this big mono chain …. KLANKSTRAAT. a very cool Flemish word. i think it means ‘music/sound street’. the above pic is a compile. below is what i made (except that ive put the limiter meter on upside-down in an effort to create a ‘gain reducing’ visual context. what the? ive built the mic pre into some spare space inside the eq chassis and bolted the limiter and eq together after making fresh control panels. hotrodding rules. this klankin street is just waiting for a new back cover (pants) and bottom panel cover (underpants) to be made and fitted.