Discussions about the best signal chain are a regular feature at every music conference and trade show. The 'after show' discussion continues into the wee hours at bars and clubs after the show closes. The conversation never changes.
All of the new gear is compared to the 'old stuff' and comparisons and combinations are presented and evaluated and while the language may change from country to country, the conversations don't. What's as good as ...
Every year we have many new products that are 'almost as good as' or 'finally able to duplicate' the sound of the original, but when it comes to pressing [record] for a paying client, well, we want the real thing to support the best the client has to offer and the reputation of the studio.
Neumann Microphones have been the 'gold standard' of microphones since the 1930's. Still designed and hand made in Berlin Germany, Neumann microphones have been used to track more chart topping records than any other brand ... period! Every new microphone presented to the studio community is compared to the Neumann it is built to 'sound like' but none have improved upon it.
The signal chain after the microphone that has satisfied the likes of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Ray Charles to Norah Jones, John Lennon, Neal Young, Van Halen, The Beach Boys and Adele is the Universal Audio 610 Tube Mic Pre followed by the UA Teletronix LA-2A Tube Comp/Limiter. The comparisons and 'built in the style of' products may be very good, but if you really evaluate carefully they just don't measure up to the real thing, still hand built in the Universal Audio facilities in Scotts Valley, California, USA.
While products built in Asia will work just fine and will save money, the legacy sound and the wonderful new sounds of artists such as Adele, Norah Jones, Wyclef Jean, Kings of Leon, The Shins and James Mercer (to name just a few) don't come from products produced in Asia, or even designed somewhere else and built in Asia. More Rock, Country, R&B, Hip Hop, Jazz, Alternative and Classical recordings have used Universal Audio gear than any other brand. You don't get to be the one everyone is trying to copy unless you are the best!
Final Track Studios has two Universal Audio 610's and two Universal Audio LA-2A's that support numerous Neumann Microphones as well as our AKG's, Earthworks, Shure's, Cascade's, Audio Technica's, Caneuat Audio Devices and others. Our Microphone locker includes Ribbon mics, Tube mics, Condenser Mics, Dynamic mics and a variety of specialty microphones.
In addition to the wonderful vintage sounds of the Universal Audio products we have eight channels of Audient mic preamps, presenting the well known British sound as well as sixteen channels of very contemporary sounding Avid Rev. H (Pro Tools HD) mic pres. Our Drum room signal path includes eight channels of analog VCA compressor/limiters.
Analog to Digital conversion and studio digital clocking is provided by a Black Lion Sparrow (Chicago, Il) and analog to digital conversion for the Audient British channels are provided by an A2D circuit built by Audient in England.
We are currently running the newest version of Avid's Pro Tools, Pro Tools 10 on a fully loaded new Mac. We control all studio functions from a new Avid C24 Control Surface.
Pro Tools 10 is an amazing product and with the addition of the Diamond Bundle of Waves Plugins, and Logic 9 Pro installed (for those clients who are on the Logic platform) and the Pro Tools plugins, we have over two hundred to choose from. A fully wireless backup system in place, and we are ready to handle any session - of any size in the studio. We are the largest Recording Studio in Roanoke Va. Give us a call!
Take a quick look at 'the studio tour' on the next page, check out one of our first videos (The GSM Hammond B3 Video) and call us to book your session !
Final Track Studios
402 Campbell Avenue SW
Roanoke, Va 24015