Universal Audio LA-610
both) of the Great River preamps before it hits
my Digidesign 002 Pro Tools Rack.
One night I was tracking into the wee
hours of the morning when I just had to
use a guitar amp. None of my various
I immediately thought of the Sgt. Pepper’s
tone—the opening chords of “Getting
Better” were really spot on! These germanium transistor-based beauties are going
for $1430 per channel (external power supply included). They also make a wonderful
used by everyone from the likes of Nat
King Cole and Frank Sinatra to countless
of others during the late fifties to late sixties. I use my LA-610 for guitars, vocals,
and as a direct input for bass guitar. If you
like tubes in your tone, this is the de facto
brands of guitar amp emulator software
was cutting it for me. What I then discovered was cool: since there was barely any
signal coming through the amp, I cranked
up both volumes on the Great River unit to
compensate for the lack of volume coming from the amp’s speaker. When I took
the reverb off the track, it sounded about
as wide as the Nile! One other good thing
about the ME-1NV is that you can record
as many tracks as you want without fear
of bottom-end buildup that occurred with
some of the earlier seventies-era British
preamps. Awesome stuff with a classic seventies sound (albeit much improved here).
compliment to the Great River ME-1NV or
the FMR Audio RNP8380, as well.
Chandler Germanium Preamp
benchmark reference. The stereo LA-610
(retail $1599), SOLO/610 ($699) or 710
($799) are all great choices.
Once you enter this door, your job as a
recording engineer becomes much easier.
This is where you can let the gear help
you make better sounds without too much
forethought. Just a few good microphones
in hand, and you’ll be off on a wonderful trip that might never end. Think guitars are addictive? Believe me, this is an
entirely different level of obsession. See
you next time.
Summer of Love, Anyone?
The Chandler Germanium Preamps from
Chandler Limited of Shell Rock, IA, are
just the ticket if you want to recreate a
special sound associated with the Summer
of 1967. When I first heard the Chandler
Germanium preamps in action,
Around the Universal
The claim to fame of Universal Audio of
Scotts Valley, CA, is that they invented the
first modular tube recording console. This
vintage desk was called the 610 and was
responsible for taping the live performances directly from the Monterey Pop Festival
and several live Jimi Hendrix records
(courtesy of the Wally Heider Mobile
Recording Truck, which was filled with a
load of 610 microphone preamps). These
warm-sounding, all-tube mic preamps are
highly coveted for their unique tonal coloration, and are famous for producing a very
big, rich sound. Fortunately for you, the
610s have been made available once again
and are a great addition to any home or
commercial studio. These units excel at
giving the signal source a beautiful tube
saturation character, and they have been
is the chief designer of "Snake Oil Brand Strings"
( sobstrings.net) and has had a profound influence
on the trends in the strings of today.