David Chechelashvili is a well known modular synth nut and mastering engine ear around new zealand . he’s also a tutor at the S.A.E. up in auckland. his words…
“I’ve had the Klankaswoopa for a few days during which I ran vocals (condenser mic C414) and bass guitar through it. The preamp has a very smooth top end and natural, rich mids along with grunty bottom end. It’s smooth without being dull with a dollop of that classy vintage sound. The mid-range richness is really what impressed me the most, especially on male vocals; super detailed exciting to listen to. When pushed, the preamp distorts in the most wonderful way. Sounded really good on the bass. It’s super easy to use and having all the controls and I/O on the front panel is awesome. Love the addition of phase flip and pad controls that make the preamp a great solution for people that are looking for superior, uncompromisingly analogue sound and practical convenience of a standalone box that is easy to incorporate into an existing studio setup. Greg you wonderful genius, what an awesome piece of kit!”
Thanks so very much Greg. I’m just having a holler & a croon in the studio. The klankaloopa is amazing!!! Using with different mics later today. My son Eli is blown away. We have a Korg tape delay for the fx loop to play with. I love how musical the Ekadek is. Beautiful tones from super clean to punchy dirt . I’m thrilled and inspired. Klanka has pride of place in control room – I love it. Thanks for spending time yesterday – your enthusiasm is infectious. Thanks too for the lovely eggplant. Warm Regards to the whanau. DD x (dave dobbyn is one of new zealand’s most popular musician/song writers. 40 yrs!)
Absolutely stunning man , wauw , i love the kaimatron to bits, like U said, so clear and crisp , and it’s saturation is amazing. Never heard such beautiful distortion if driven hard . This will be used on everything from now, ( ek- no o o ) I am going in quarantaine with this beauty 🙂 Sending a great big hug of gratitude. Now it’s time to save up for a fat lady 🙂 talk to U soon. All the best. Peace. Frankie.
march 2018 daniel – perth. listenator/mixer. Hi greg,
Everything is going very well over here.
Loving the listenator, the gain is superb, sound is clean as & vinyl sounding sublime/better than ever…
All these components and materials – the knobs, jacks, switches, steel, bakelite – are a cut above anything else I own – quality and a build from a day gone by – heavy and pure electronic beauty.
I’ll write you up a full review soon!
thanks again greg
Brad Nyght (composer, sound designer for NIKE, Budweiser, State Farm, AirBnB, Wikipedia, Microsoft, Dallas Cowboys)
“The Listenator is one of the very few handcrafted pieces of audio gear that have changed my studio life in the last 15 years. After trying so many monitor controllers (Dangerous, SPL, Presonus, etc) over the years I decided to finally spend some real money and take a risk on the Listenator. Blown away, floored, stunned are the quick ways of describing how I felt after opening up an old session and hearing the mix in color for the first time. I really haven’t been so stunned at the power and clarity of transients and headroom the Listenator brings to life in my room. Mixing on headphones is pleasurable for the first time EVER and listening to records or TIDAL playlists make my life so good. ”
“Greg is surely one of the best circuit designers I’ve come across. His aesthetic and workmanship are….well just look at his stuff. He does his own machining for f*ck sake. It’s beautiful, it’s unique and it sounds AMAZING. He’s also a friendly and helpful sort of fellow and he wants you to love his gear. I hope I can get my hands on some of his spectral and dynamics offerings in the near future. Take a chance on some truly unique kit. I promise you’ll be glad you did.” Ryan Farris.
1:30am Thursday here. Just back from studio where I finally got to spend hours with the kaima.
THOSE PRES SOUND GREAT!!!
I know we can work this out to make it a go. Of course with drums the gain is no issue. The kaima was great on all sources. Very similar to my wunders on close micing, but definitely better transient detail. I would say more snap and a clearer low end. On Overheads they blew my wunders away. The wunders sounded an extra 5 feet away from the kit comparatively. Also on snare, I loved overdressing the first amp stage and backing off on the second. Some beautiful non linear thickening that never sounded unnatural.
On acoustic. My Neumann km184s sounded open, full and articulate. And again the low end rings so clear. Talk soon. Sleep now.
Really nice piece of kit!!
Ruban Neilson plays an evening set on the DIY Baltic Stage this weekend.
Posted on 21st May 2015
Unknown Mortal Orchestra are a highlight on this weekend’s Sound City bill. Alongside Fucked Up, Swans and Peace, they’re amongst the big names playing DIY’s stage at the Liverpool fest.
Ahead of their appearance and the release of new album ‘Multi-Love’, Ruban Neilson spoke to DIY about the making of his new record. It was “definitely the longest I’ve spent making a record by far,” he says, describing a writing and recording process that spanned for ten months.
Part of this was prompted by a “hi-fi” change. Where songs might previously revel in their own rough edges, ‘Multi-Love’ sports a cleaner production, steeped in countless layers. “Rather than a change I’d just call it a progression,” Ruban says. “My method and philosophy was much the same, I just spent more time, money and effort on it. I’d been focussed on various records from the second half of the 70’s, Steely Dan’s ‘Aja’, Michael Jackson’s ‘Off the Wall’, Bowie’s ‘Station to Station;. Those records were made during a high point of recording technology. I started getting excited about making a kind of diy hi-fi record. I started joking about it being ‘super-fi’, because it wasn’t made in a fancy studio, and my attitude was still the same as when I was making these so-called lo-fi records. I was thinking about this extremely DIY record that doesn’t sound the way people expect it to sound.”
One of the pieces of equipment he used was a Kaimaitron, a four-channel recording mixer made by a guy from New Zealand called Ekadek. “It sounds so beautiful and was custom and all hand-built by one guy in his workshop in the kaimais which is a mountain range in New Zealand. It has two different types of distortion built into it, so it can have this very clean, fat high fidelity sound or it can get crazy and blown up and gnarly. But it always sounds good. I had this idea that I wanted this record to sound more widescreen but I didn’t want it to be clean or sterile. I still wanted it to be dirty and have impact and not soften up too much. This box helped me to start to move in that direction. It sounds beautiful.
Daron (in los angeles) to “ekadek” Greg…I love it!!! It’s such a signature sound really fat and warm…its changing my whole record…can’t thank you enough man. D. Sent from a very important music and advertising summit. On May 12, 2015, at 4:20 PM, ekadek <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: hi daron. how’s it going for u? cheers!. ek.
joe irizarry – chicago .
No antiquated wharhol trust fund fan, Ever had the tools to *open that can*
Ekadek Kaimaitron Gives CPR to the wounded!
Make sure to save up all your loose change quarters and buy one!
“When signal is passed through the Ekadek Kaimaitron randomly with moderate level”
The sonics are pristine and detailed to the point of sounding complete without any further processing
when driving the gain/volume/DI input in various combinations
Native woodland country totem knows!
When to trade the sand trap
For the 18th hole!
Neal Evans – new york
“Kaimaitron is beyond anything I imagined!!! I’m thrilled. I will be using on a recording session next week. Right now I’m using as a two bus, everything coming out of my compute hits it. Sounds AMAZING!”
darren amaya in chicago with klankaschwoopa amp
Hey Greg. Chicago is snowing after 2 months of non winter. Klanka performed beautifully in tandem with Joe Irizarry’s kaimaitron on a recent tracking session for my loud rock band. We loaded them into the local public radio station soundstage studio along with some korby Kat mics and Lawsons for some tasty airy drums and bass direct and Mic all ekadeked.single coming out on 45 vinyl and digital by end of spring. Also used on Vocal takes at home with an SM7 and a 414ULS. Plenty of oomph to drive that sm7 into hyperdrive compared to my board pres or a unnamed neve clone lying around like a wet dog. And it really blew up on that 414. Transformers combined to defeat evil and laid right in the track with minimal to no eq. I’d previously be having to add “air” and such but not with the klankaschwooper. Awesome on bass direct too. Clear fat no nonsense. Only issues so far is mic input lockdown clip gave up the ghost and remains permanently pushed in. Any secret solutions without popping the hood? Also would be cool to have rubber feet on the back as well for lying in a tabletop position face up sometimes. Love the big red light but VU could stand a bulb as well for seeing across the room. Also quit posting more gear I want on reverb! Torture. Hard enough bleeding over others collections of your various kit. Hope all is well down on the farm. Overall love the sound of the preamp and it’s ease and purity of use. Just turned down a very nice fuzz pedal because too many knobs. Ha.
meanwhile.. back on the w.a ranch… Ronan’s fat ladys arrived fed ex friday afternoon. and his first response . “Seriously – WOOWOO-F-ING-HOOHOO.They are here and blowing my head off! Been running a drum machine as a test for the fast transients and trying all the positions. So much power in these babes – huge huge. Subtle and smooth as well.They blow my drawmer out of the water for depth and range – and pure sex appeal.They seem to love attitude – do lovely things to a distorted signal. Bass is massive – nice and clear if you wanna or dirty it up. so good! Can’t wait to track real drums with them and plug in the moog.” (and the next day) “Just can’t stop playing with ’em.I’m drunk with sonic pleasure- jeez the distortion is so juicy on NO and especially NO out to GO just sounds amazing.Thanks again for such an inspiring piece of gear with so much to offer.” i cant (dont want to) shut this guy up. heres more enthuising a few days later “Those big juicy dials just help a lot in general exploration and zeroing in what sounds good. I tracked some drums over the weekend to experiment with them a bit more. Found some great bass drum sounds with the NO setting – which of course kinda compresses anyway. GO is plenty fast and made for snare. Definitely my new GO-to chain for vox as well. I really love it. what a bloody magnificent beauty. I hope I do them justice. Metering is excellent. I can really see what is going on at the different attack and release speeds. “
The pre amp sounds AMAZING!!! So happy with the sound.
ie never experienced vinyl like that before. sort of caught me off guard
talofa lava. phonoekagrapha
(nz jazz musician nathan haines has the ekadek NRU two tube mic /instrument amp – special design modified for his astonishingly high output neumann M149. and the klangensplautta stage performance mic/instrument transistor amp tuned for his very fat! yet low output shure SM7)
“Greg had some 1960s NRU valve amplifier modules from Holland in his considerable collection , which he thought would make a great pairing with my Neumann M149 valve mic. As soon as I plugged this in I knew we were onto something special! Sure enough when I solo’ed the M149 it was all there – silky smooth goodness with lovely extra harmonics I hadn’t ever heard when I plugged straight into the preamps on Prism Orpheus (very high quality but very ‘clean”). I now use this unit as a pre-amp for all my studio gear – Fender Rhodes, loads of analog synths, bass and percussion and of course vocals and horns. It imparts a fantastic vintage character, and being portable I can take it into any studio and simply plug and play. I love the sound of this unit!
#2 Gig Preamp. I’d been using a Line 6 M9 guitar FX stomp box with my Shure SM7 as my main sax set-up for a while, but I needed a better preamp with an FX loop so I could get a decent complete mixed signal – to the engineer doing Front of House mixing as the SM7 is pretty low gain. Plus I was never happy with the sound of the mic going straight into the Line 6. Greg came up with a very cool design. Mic line, and instrument inputs, Phantom power, FX loop capability (with send and return levels), mic pad switch, mic gain, a balanced mic level output, or capable to go straight out of the preamp into a line input of a DJ mixer! So how does it sound? Well this thing ROCKS! It has totally opened up a new way of using FX blended with my own microphones. It allows me to get my stage mix just perfect. This preamp just sounds so damn good. It’s got character and warmth and those magic extra harmonics you only get from great gear. I am very happy customer. ”
gig was great recorded earlier with your pre sounds AWESOME. so much better than what I had ie UA 6176. You can actually hear what your pre does. Thicker, louder more present etc etc and very vintage sounding
Hi Grey I rehearsed in the studio with your studio pre running the Rhodes – MAN it sounded great. So really enjoying the ‘sound’ of your gear. Didn’t record it but I will. Really keen to hear your studio monitoring box as discussed last time. You said you had one for $1500. I REALLY want to hear it and try it out and do an A/B with that awful BigKnob thing which I have never liked btw. I know it makes everything sound harsh and brittle especially with those big Technics which are harsh anyway (but very very good). Let me know when you’re up. I’ll let you know how the gig pre goes tonight, Friday and Saturday on the next slew of gigs. Also pretty please send the faceplate drawings
alex beck in melbourne wrote back “Hi Greg!
Just a short one for the moment, but I’ve been using the Fenker a lot this past week as I’ve finally had some time to do some serious work on my record. All I can say for the minute is… Amazing! The think is a freaking work of art. Sounds crystal clear and has fit seamlessly into my workflow. Everyone who comes into the studio is blown away by it! ”
awesome. thanks alex
Ahahahaha, he’s already hoped it’s his. The cats briefly tried to claim it for all catdom, but they do not wait around to see toddlers get too close. GREG. Seriously, I know you’re a little used to hearing this, but what the hell?! This thing sounds amazing. So fat, silky, smooth, and versatile. She’s all routed in and just sounding freaking sweet. Every channel rings clear and gorgeous. So many options now. Like so many. The gain on these channels is endearing. I can already tell the mixes that I do through this in the next few weeks will thrill ( if I do my part ) my clients with something they really just couldn’t get anywhere else that doesn’t have your mixers. So I barely got 20 minutes on it but what a 20 minutes! I’ll run her through a full mix and see how she eats it up. You seriously blew right past my hopes and dreams on this one. Nice job.I’ll keep the updates coming. – Christian. ( N.Y producer)
Subject : RE: lonely fat lady
Date : Tue, 15 Dec 2015 03:15:24 +1300
This thing is very aptly named – while it’s fatter than hell, it is still elegantly transparent and full spectrum, no “rolled-off” anything here – which is fine by me, I’ll roll it off myself thanks. Actually this is one of the most striking revelations from this until – I no longer need 90% of the EQ I’ve grown so accustomed to using. I had the exact same experience with the kaimaitron channel – it’s a selective view of reality – it makes a nasally voice interesting rather than obnoxious, it reveals emotion in a lazy delivery. 3D, 4D, it reads your good intentions.
Lady: It sounds down to earth and organic – I would not say that there’s a lot of glamorous, glossy shine here – it sparkles in its own way. Pure and transparent but you can get tons of grit and edge. That’s what happens when you rinse with grain alcohol instead of water. The squeeze itself is magic – the presence is a self-contained world, living in its own space, super thick, and nothing to do with hype, brightness, or tizzy excitedness.
Fat: it is a weighty, weighty signal that comes out. It adds like a full lower octave to bass – again, EQ is out of that chain now, which blows my mind. I’ve been running electric guitar through it with no limiting just to get the saturation – which, speaking of saturation, I’ve been trying to find a deal on a good tube reel to reel for some time but now I’m thinking the drive knob on this compressor may have rendered that whole search moot. The saturation I get with the drive has the same grit and bounciness as tape; even the subtle noise floor from cranked drive settings is tape-like to my ears. So that could save me like 4 thousand bucks and all the pain in the ass of dealing with a reel to reel – and that’s always nice! Pretty soon I’m going to record a baritone sax – I cannot wait for the meeting of this box and that sax.
Can’t thank you enough for your creation. I do have a question though: under the meter there’s a Zero knob and at the bottom left there’s a V1 knob – what are they?
Oh another question, at some point in the unforeseeable future my bank account will recharge – I’ve been looking at these 60s EMI desks that were completely discrete germanium op-amps and sound goddamn incredible – not all that pristine sounding. Normally I create a bunch of sub-mixes in the DAW and route them to some mastering plugins but god willing I will avoid this someday. My dream would be to route these sub-mixes to a small console of 8 or so channels to sum and master them, each channel with a send/return to plug in some outboard. It’s not all totally clear in my head, but what do you think about this project? Are you familiar with these EMI desks?
Hi! I just picked up the little guy from customs, it arrived perfectly and it’s really unbelievably cool!!! The pictures could never do it justice, it looks like it came simultaneously out of the golden age of audio and a utopian future society. I couldn’t be more thrilled about the result (better than I even imagined). I feel very lucky to be the only person in the world to have a unit like this, everybody needs a mystery weapon! I can’t thank you enough for taking me through the process and turning out such an awesome piece of gear. Can’t wait to try it and report back! Daniel
i want to write you more as I get to try more sound sources but I’ll write what I’ve gotten from the first week of use, haven’t tried female vocals or bass yet – so far I’ve done male vocals, Strat through 76 Deluxe Reverb and a little oboe…my first experience was just talking through it to see if the meter moved (“hello…”) and then hearing my voice going holy fuck! Then upon hearing the sonic beauty of ‘holy fuck’ going HOLY FUCK and my wife runs downstairs to see what’s wrong. It’s God’s vocal pre – that’s what I know so far – the one he uses for talking out of clouds on occasion, this how he gets the tone. And it made me realize how much vintage style shit is masking detail – your circuit has ALL the clarity but ALL the vibe.
The thing I noticed with all three sources was that it places stuff very forward and very much in its own space – I’m talking about without compression or exciter bullshit or anything else, just zero processing and you get a faaaat picture with no help, which is gonna save lots of RAM and hours of tweaking as well! It’s all about setting the fader, which is a great feeling. The fatness even embraces Oboe, which is quite a trick from my experience – the germanium stage brings out interesting things in a woodwind that can so often be paradoxically flat and piercing at the same time – this pre makes an oboe like a human voice like it should be, so to me while the tone is natural it’s also the world through very optimistic eyes, just selecting the best (somehow it knows) and splatting it onto the canvas.
So the germanium stage is a massively useful feature – which is not what I expected – I expected it to be like a blowtorch used for special occasions – I also expected way more noise floor from that type of gain because I have a little experience with germanium stuff (noise is simply not an issue here). So far I’ve got it on, at least a little, about 90% of the time. All the way up you can fuzz the shit out of stuff in the BEST possible way – but before that point there’s a lot of tone bending that can be done, as well as the effect of bringing the signal closer and more intimately to the fore withvibe. It’s something that warrants countless hours of experimentation on every source and I love it.
Electric guitar is clearly a world of possibilities I haven’t scratched the surface of. A big clear setting seems mixable as is – is it just me or is the germanium even compressing it slightly? It seems there’s about a thousand colors to add to a guitar signal and it has me rethinking my favorite amp settings to use it more as a collaborative partner in tone rather than simply to capture an already shaped signal. There’s SHITLOADS left to discover here. Like I say I haven’t even tried female vocals or bass or anything else – one weekend from now I’m recording this screamer vocalist guy and I’m super excited to see what happens there. When I leave the house I miss the pre – that’s a fucking good pre.
I’ll be back!
dan warren . estonia.