Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tape and Glue

A good shower goes a long way........

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Kids Are Alright

Saffire! My friend Jeff asked me if I would be interested in recording his daughter's band a while back and I said 'Sure, I'll help you out..." etc. I had no idea I would fall in love with these girls and their music. Saffire is all about the songs. I'm talking three and a half minute pop gems with gleaming vocal harmonies and sunshine abound. Throw in some attitude, classic pop structure, innocence and simplicity, put it in the hands of two 12 year olds and two 14 year olds and there you have it.

The band consists of main songwriter Anika Scilipote (12) who doubles on lead vocals and guitar, her sister Soreya (14) on drums, Charlotte Harrow (14) on vocals, bass and guitar and sister Sonja (12) on vocals and keyboards. BTW - Charlotte is now studying voice at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. I think back to what I was doing (or not doing) at this age and I say "DAMN! Shoulda, coulda, woulda!!" No, I was probably trying to learn the guitar solo on "Detroit Rock City" and dreaming of becoming a rock star. Well people, these kids are actually out there DOING it :)

When we record the songs I always ask the girls to run through the vocals so I can figure out the logistics of the arrangement, etc..... So Ani, Sonja and Charlotte sit there in front of me and proceed to belt out these incredible, natural harmonies that literally send chills through me. You really can't "teach" people to sing like that, either you have it or you don't. Let me tell you, these girls certainly have it.

Here's "Give Me a Break" as it sits now, un-mastered and on it's way to being a finished mix. Make sure you get to the bridge and a cappella sections!!

If you want to see these guys in action go here or here

Friday, October 23, 2009

Heavy Weather

Was under the weather for about three weeks, finally feeling better. During that time I wasn't able to work on my project too much but I did some guitar tracks on my friend Chris Thomas' album. It started with one tune and I think I'm playing on at least 6 or 7 now. I also worked on Saffire stuff, mainly a mix of "Give Me A Break" that I need to finish up for them.

Jo Pelletier came in to lay down some bass last week and it was good to see the man after so many years. Jo plays in numerous bands and has a busy musical life. Here is his myspace page. He and I also go way back to high school and did a lot of jamming back in the day. He laid down some fretless bass on a tune currently called "The Way we are" and I need to suss it out and mix it in to the track.

I also did a lot of work on a tune called "What You're Giving Me" which was an acoustic demo I did last winter. Here's where it stands now...

Obviously this still needs work on the bridge and solo sections......... I've been listening to this on my ipod for a while and said to myself, "this is good and worth looking at again" so I laid into it a little putting down some bass and Wurlitzer. The problem I have is that I get a bunch of songs on the way to being finished and then I start writing again, or messing with something not on 'the list' and then I'm left with more unfinished stuff. It's the paradox of saving mixes and sessions in the computer like they are simple documents. Believe me, I'm not complaining about the luxuries that technology has afforded musicians like me but it's a lot easier to dilly dally in this digital world! Case and point: I was sifting through some old video from my Unspun days when we were in various studios working on the "Souvenir" record. We had to finish because we were on the clock in these big, expensive studios. That kind of pressure can make a project move along and put a good kind of weight on everyone involved. Here's some video from Bear Tracks where Steve Regina and I finished up a mix of 'Flash Flood'.

BTW, the gear in that place was unreal, enough to make any musician/producer/engineer piss their pants. U47, U67's, Fairchild limiters x 2!!! (worth around $60,000 today *_*) and let's not forget that beautiful mothership Focusrite 72 input board made by Rupert Neve himself!!! Good God!

Finally, here's a mix of "I got myself In trouble"....
I wrote this song around 15 years ago and swore I would do it right some day. It was meant for Last Tribe to do but we never got around to it. Dave did these groovy drum tracks about 6 years ago and I've been tweeking ever since. I always thought the vocal on this had 'something' and that it was worth keeping. Also, I really like the guitar solo on this. Great tone from my friend Jeff's Gibson SG through my Mesa Boogie amp. And those are not cheesy strings you hear on there... that would be some ebo guitar inspired by the Pumpkins 'Adore' record! For you Brez!! I'll try to keep up on the posts now that I'm feeling better and work should pick up a little.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Busy Boy

Been busy making music..... 1st off, I did a lot of work on "I fell in love with Regina Spektor" mixing the full blown horn version, tearing it all down again, re-singing the vocal, scrapping that, going back to the original sparse demo... My head was spinning and my wife was ready to leave me so I had to leave it for a while. I started messing with "Beautiful" and I think I have something good going on, FINALLY. I haven't heard it anywhere where it sounds bad so I think I'm on to something. You be the judge. With some mastering it should sound sweet. The line up on this is Dave Ramie on drums, Carl Brooks on BG vocals, Erik Lawrence on sax, Steve Bernstein on trumpet, Chip Larison on slide guitar and myself on bass, acoustic, and vocals. I am in fine company! BTW I went down and saw Erik play @ The Old Fashion in Nyack for his usual Tuesday night trio gig and I was blown away. He had Shawn Pelton on 'magic' drums and Rene Hart on stand up bass. Shawn is the drummer for the SNL band and has played with many great artists, including Johnny Cash, Sheryl Crow and one of my favs Regina Spektor, doing all of the drums on her "Begin to Hope" record. It was an incredible night of raw, funky, thoughtful music and if you are in Nyack on a Tuesday night you'd be a fool to miss this gig....

I also had the Saffire girls in here this week. They laid down all of the basic tracks for their new smash hit "Give me a Break" and managed to eat all of my double stuffed Halloween Oreos and a bag of marshmallows in the process. I'm telling you, you better keep an eye on these chickees......

I'm also laying down guitar tracks for my friend Chris Thomas' album. He's out on the West Coast and we send everything back and forth through the internet, a true digital collaboration. I'd rather be in Cali but this will have to do. Chris and I go way back to Marion St. and 4th Ave. in Nyack where we learned how to compose and record together. His mom Judy Thomas, long time music teacher in Upper Nyack school, bought him a 4 track reel to reel and we recorded hundreds of songs and comedy skits together. We got lost in that basement for hours and it kind of laid the ground work for my musical life.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Infusion Blues

Ah, Infusion Blues...... It brings me back to the days of pre-transplant when I was getting all kinds of chemicals pumped into my failing body by way of infusion. They had to kill off all of these antibodies that had developed as a result of this enormous pump (see XRAY above) in my gut that was doing the job of my heart at the time. I was getting chemo (cytoxin) and it made me feel like total crap. You just had to sit there and take the punishment and hope for a better day, hence the lyric "so pathetic but always hopeful, how long days are, out my window the sun keeps shining on......"

This was essentially a solo track except for Christian Celaya sharing the bass guitar duties with me. He laid down a track and after he left I re-did the 2nd verse and following chorus to make it a little more lyrical... The song is very dense musically, filled with a ton of effected textures like Mellotron Strings through a wah wah and verb, a backwards Casio keyboard playing Bach, electronic drum fills through panned echo etc. At the heart of the song though is a nice acoustic guitar part done in some strange open G tuning. Listening to the guitar tracks soloed you can actually here my heart pump chugging along, something I couldn't suppress if I wanted to! I also did a lot of harmony vocals on this and snagged a bit of "Over the Rainbow" from the Wizard of Oz, hope I don't get sued!! Influences on this? Beatles, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Oz (not the doctor) Columbia Presbyterian Hospital NYC!

Now to decide: do I have room on this record for this??

Friday, September 4, 2009


I mentioned Saffire a few posts ago... the all girl band who I recorded here at the house. Here is their last performance at Lincoln Center (no less!) I think we're gonna record this one in a few weeks. These kids are going places! Oh, did I mention that their ages are 11, 11, 14 and 14. Here's a link to their website...

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Biggest Fan

Definitely influenced by the Smiths!! I remember writing this one after a long night of drinking and seeing a show in NYC with my buddy Jeff. I had this in demo form for a while, complete with cheesy drum machine drums. Dave did a fantastic job (again) with his uncharacteristic little shuffle here. The guy should be known as 'Father Time".......... I really like the way the guitars all blend together with the Rhodes forming nice harmonies and clashes, and the bass line just walks along. I just added the bridge Piano last night and that helps break the monotony up a bit. The plucked guitar is coming through my old Roland JC120, a classic 80's alternative sound. I'm really psyched about this tune but as usual, no vox yet..... the lyrics are about 75% done. I have A LOT of singing to get done in the coming weeks. Here's the music rough of "My Biggest Fan"....... hope you like it.

This record is shaping up to be somewhat mellow...... I like mellow but could use a few more rockers. I know there are a few in my computer somewhere. Off to the beach for a week!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bass and Baritone

It's been a busy week with a wedding in the family and people arriving in town etc. but I managed to test out Drew's Precision and it's great. I put bass on "Hearts are Breaking" and it's happening I think. I did the bass in the style of baritone guitar which I've heard on records by The The as performed by Johnny Marr. Here's a rough of the tune... no vocals yet but check out those horns and Dave's great drumming! Volume is a little low so crank it up. I'm a lucky dude....

BTW, The Journal News has linked me to their music blog The Listening Room which is a great site that has local and national features, as well as schedules for all things music in the Lower Hudson Valley. Have a look..........

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Horns, McCartney, Guitars!

So, I had the session with Erik and Steve and it went well. Erik did a great job on the charts and the horns add a lot of depth and give me a bunch more choices with the music. To sit and listen to these guys get the tone and feeling they do from their instruments was a treat for me. They did 5 songs as a section and Erik soloed on a 6th. I just have to sort through all of this stuff now.... lucky me!! (note the kiddie toys around them!)

Here is a first practice run for "I fell in Love with Regina Spektor." This take was not a keeper but it is the only vid I have.... Steve was seeing the chart for the first time and needless to say they nailed it on the very next take. I used Neumann TLM 103's on both horns through my Focusrite pre amps.

If you want to see these guys in action at the Ryman Auditorium with the likes of Sheryl Crow and John Hiatt click here. Erik gets a nice solo on this!

I went to see Paul McCartney at Citi Field last week and what a show! Great seats, great music. The man is responsible for a lot of my musical study and it was bizarre to see him so close up in person. AND he can still sing, play and put on a great show. I think I got a little misty during a few songs. The woman in front of me was BAWLING at times! Oh, and I ran into Pat DiNizio from the Smithereens no less. He was very gracious and we actually chatted for about 5 minutes. I was a big fan of theirs back in the day and saw them not too long ago and they still kill live. Good stuff! I'm having a great musical week...........

Lastly, I'll be baby sitting these 2 beauties for a while:
They belong to my friend Drew Stiles who is over in Europe trying to get his career happening over there. The guitar is pretty old G&L F100 and the bass is a 76 Fender Precision. Drew used that bass during his days with Yummy (drummer Dave Ramie was a member.) We spoke of a possible recording session this winter when he is back from Europe, we'll see.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Midnight Oil

Annie and the kids are asleep upstairs and I'm down in the studio doing acoustic tracks for the song "Longing." I figured I'd better get that new Taylor worked out and on the record. It has a nice thin sheen to it, great for recording without too much boomy low end to muck things up. The Soundelux mic is a beauty and really does a great job on acoustics. Here's a vid of a take:

I'm going to see McCartney at Citi Field tomorrow and I'm sitting in the 3RD FUCKING ROW! Don't know how that happened but I'll take it. Being the Beatle freak I am, I had to see the old Limey before he croaks. He's got a great band and it will be a great show.

Monday is horn day here at the house as Erik Lawrence and Steven Bernstein are coming in to do a bunch of charts that Erik wrote for my tunes. Needless to say I am pumped. These guys are fantastic and I can't wait to bring the tunes to another level. Erik played Letterman with Levon last week (click here for Tennessee Jed performance) and they have recently been on tour with the Black Crowes. Steven is also a member of Levon's band and has numerous projects going that you can read all about here. Should be cool working with these guys! Music is filling up my life right now.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quiet but not idle

Haven't put up anything in a while....... been working slowly, as usual. Today I put some guitar tracks on the song "Tape and Glue" and I'm happy with the results. I wanted to take advantage of the API 512 B's that were sitting in my studio and try some guitar through them. Those things are magical! I don't know what it is but everything sounds great through those pre's. I put my buddy's Les Paul Supreme through my crappy little amp and out came a sound worthy of a Marshall stack. Here's a shot of the Paul, a beauty!

Here's Tape and Glue as it sounds now....

This song is a little different for me as it was composed on piano. I am not a piano player at all and don't know what notes are on what keys but I can make something listen-able come out of the thing. It's nice to go down a different path sometimes when writing songs. Most of mine start on an acoustic guitar (out of convenience) and that pretty much dictates the mood of the group of songs I'm working on. So, needless to say this record will be kind of mellow. Speaking of acoustic guitars.... an old friend of mine stopped by this past weekend and dropped a bomb on me. He was working down in Texas for Taylor guitars and got a brand new 414ce acoustic/electric from "Lord Taylor" himself and decided that I should have it.... so we walked over to his trunk and there she was.............. I'm sure many new songs will come out of this guitar. I am blessed to have such amazing friends.

BTW, I had those API's and the Focusrite Red 1 on hand to record the new teen sensation "Saffire!" They are a group of 2 sets of sisters ages 11 and 14 each, who write and perform their own two and a half minute pop gems. We had a blast recording 3 songs over the last few days. They are adorable and super talented!! I'll post some photos and music when we have something happening. Bye, I'm off to play that new Taylor!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Have been extremely busy outside of music (making $) and haven't been working on the tracks a whole lot...... hence the posts regarding past endeavors. I am meeting with Pete Jameson tomorrow about some bass parts and I have been conversing with Steven "Muddy" Roues about some contributions to the record. He is a fantastic harp and bass player and hopefully he will be doing both some time soon. Muddy is a member of Finn and the Sharks as well as The Roues Brothers.... I put up a mixpod player with some of my favorite tunes from the Unspun days as well as some other "limbo" tracks that have no home yet and a few from my favorite artists as of late. Have a listen. I will post something new soon. BTW I'm also working on some tracks for my friend Christopher James Thomas who is doing a pop record. Chris is a composer who has some serious chops and credits. You can see some stuff here or one of his film credits here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Last Tribe Wetlands Tapes

Back in the day, my old band Last Tribe used to do pretty well at a noteworthy club in NYC called Wetlands. During Last Tribe's run at Wetlands, a typical weekend headlining schedule would be something like this: the band 311 on Thursday, a band like Dave Matthews on a Friday and Last Tribe on Sat. There were so many good groups going through that place and many went on to huge success. We decided to record one of those hot, steamy nights and release a live record. We ended up putting out an EP of 4 songs through our record label Energy Records and discarded the rest of the set. The night was captured on a couple of ADAT machines by our friend Dave Schwartz who was stationed in our ratty band van outside the backstage area in the sweltering heat! I can still picture him sweating, with the dimmest of lights and a little fan in the cramped, dirty van trying desperately to get a good sound out of the minimal recording set up we had. Despite the circumstances, Dave did a great job and really managed to capture the evening's raw energy. Here is a vid from that night:

Recently when talking to a musician friend of mine he mentioned that Wetland's owner Larry Bloch had invited him up to Vermont to see the premiere of "Wetlands Preserved." I hadn't heard of this but apparently it is a great documentary of the club and the new era of improvisation that was born there in the early 90's. A clip of the movie can be seen here.

A few years after Last Tribe broke up I went over to SUNY Purchase to visit my friend and SUNY professor Eric Helmuth to "borrow" one of their recording studios so I could dump all of the tracks from ADAT to my computer for further investigation. The tracks sat idle until this past winter when I opened up the session and started messing about with the tunes. After a while I started to get a decent sound and thought "Hey, these aren't too bad." So, I'm about half way through the set and have about 6 tunes roughed out. The performance from that night was pretty on from a music stand point but vocally it was all over the map, especially when examined under a microscope. The energy was really what mattered at those shows and as I stated before there was plenty of that!! I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with these mixes, probably just give them away to a few LT diehards or maybe I'll get the whole thing done up and put it out on

Here is a rough mix of one of the unreleased tunes Final Offering:

On the recording an album front, things have been a little slow because of time issues as of late but I hope to finish up bass tracks some time next week. My friend Pete wants his Fodera back!! RD

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Carl Brooks Show!

Well, my old friend Carl Brooks came and did some stellar vocals on Beautiful. I was lucky enough to become part of the choir for the bridge section but other than that it's all Carl. He's supposed to come in for a few more sessions in the upcoming weeks. Carl brings a lot of natural musicality and is filled with great ideas. I told him I want to produce his record!! Here is a rough of the backing vox on Beautiful:

Also, I'm meeting with Erik Lawrence this week to go over some horn arrangements and sax solos for some of the tunes. Erik is a killer sax player and is currently playing with Levon Helm's band (yes, The Band's own) and his own band Hipmotism. I'm very lucky to have him on my record and I'm excited to take my music into totally uncharted waters. Erik's a super nice guy and I'm sure he will have a positive influence on this project in many ways. 

I've also revisited my song " I Got Myself in trouble"  which is an old one from the Last Tribe days. Dave and I had recorded it a few years back and I had a listen the other day and started working on it. I did a new mix and added some bass and now it's in the running for being on the record. So much more to do but at the moment I'm satisfied with the way the songs are lining up. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009


On monday April 20th my friend Chip Larison came in to lay down a lead on "Beautiful." I grew up listening to Chip tear up the old music clubs in Nyack like The Office and Eastwicks. He was always a killer blues player and I thought he would be a good match for this tune, and I was right. We started out just laying down a fingered guitar solo but during a break he started playing around with a slide. From upstairs I was like, "I Like That!!!" So we scratched the other solos he had done and focused on the slide.After a while we had a killer solo which was unique and also fit the tune. Chip's slide playing is a cross between George Harrison's style and David Gilmore's style IMHO. Chip played his custom built strat through a Line 6 modeling amp. Great combination. I close miced him with a Beyer m160 and the Soundeluxe.

Here's a version of Beautiful with Chip's solo, Dave on drums and yours truly on bass.

I just contacted Carl Brooks and he will be coming in to lay down some gospel style background vox on this soon. The Brooks family was a well known singing group in Nyack for a long time. They used to sing at a lot of public functions and holiday galas but Mom Brooks passed away and some of the siblings moved away after that, putting a halt to their shows. Carl, Stacey and Vicky were all school friends of mine so I sent Carl a facebook message and we're gonna talk this week. I look forward to singing with him!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mixing malaise

I have the studio glaze on me right now. I've been working all day on and off mixing "Come away" trying to improve the mix. I sent Dave a few copies of the tunes and he got back to me with some constructive criticism saying that especially Come Away sounded a little compressed and/or boxy. Upon further scrutiny I agree. I'm having a hard time with this one as it was recorded (not so well) 6 years ago. It's a good song and worth the effort with some standout elements to it, I think anyway. 
"Beautiful" has set the new bottom end standard for all of my tunes as it has a rich Kick/bass combination. I'm having a second or 52nd look at all of the tunes I thought were close, trying to up the ante on the bottom end. Maddening. Here is the latest mix of Come Away.....

BTW, our rooster friend stopped by for a listen. He's quite a friendly guy! My family and I have adopted him and vice versa. He just appeared out of the woods one day and made his home under a big pricker bush on our property. Aside from the 5 am wake up calls it's kind of nice having him around. 

Friday, April 3, 2009


Here is a vid of the original live vocal and guitar recording for the song "Beautiful." It was intended as a demo and I was experimenting with imovie at the time so I just set up the camera and did a few takes, this being the best one. I liked the take so much that it went from demo status to "keeper" and it will be used on the CD. Dave came in and laid a great drum track to this but it was difficult as there was no set tempo or metronome. My timing is pretty good but not perfect and Dave did a fantastic job. I think the only thing I'm going to add to this is some electric bass guitar and possibly some Hammond b3 organ. I'm trying to keep this thing simple but my musical Libido starts to take over. I'm gonna keep this simple, I'm gonna keep this simple, I'm gonna keep this simple!!!!! BTW that's a Neumann TLM 103 through a Focusrite pre on my Taylor acoustic.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Pleased at the moment... "Regina" sounds good. I'm working on the finishing touches of the mix and i'm pleased with my work. The coup was Anthony's old Epiphone 335 through that little, crappy Crate amp mic'd front and back. What a Giant sound!! Who needs 4x12 cabinets??? By chance I came across some EQing techniques on and while reading "Recording the Beatles" which I ordered online for $100. Worth every penny for a nut like me.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Recording/mixing is going well. I've got something going on with "Regina Spektor," a nice balance of bass, guitar and drums with vox and keys. I need to lay in an electric guitar and that will do it for that tune. I was beginning to doubt my mixing, playing, recording skills. I'm seeing the light!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Tough day yesterday. I had no patience for the kids and was stressed and uptight all day. I just have to step back, take a breath and let it all go.........
Mixing is driving me insane too. I'm making the mistake of comparing my stuff to other stuff when again, I just have to step back, get it sounding good to the best of my ability 
and let it be. I'm doing pretty well and everything sounds great but I'm striving to make it sound sonically perfect as possible and i just don't have the time or equipment to make it a reality. I wish I could take the music to a BearTracks-like room so I could hear a true sound representation of what is on tape. But, I'll make do and it will pass the audition. People are anticipating what Dave and I are doing in the studio. Facebook is an excellent networking site for music and it's getting more artist friendly.

Focusrite mixing desk at Beartracks studios

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Coming out of the fog of winter, seeing greener pastures ahead. I've been working on a few mixes, mostly "Euthanasia" which is sounding nice and warm to me right now. I go through this every time, up and down, in and out. I just have to get the songs sounding good and move on. I love doing this though, adjusting EQ and level like an anal retentive idiot. All of the madness is in my head! Time and digital recording has changed the whole ball game for me. The method used to be that my band and I would decide on the songs and/or write them and get arrangements together, rehearse and then spend a few weeks just putting ideas down on tape. We would sort everything out later when we would mix for an intense week or so. Now I spend a lot of confusing days mixing, tracking or both. All the while I'm working, surfing the web, going to the bank, picking up the kids etc. It's no wonder these projects take years!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I've been messing with the drum mix on "A worried night"a little bit. I put a really dirty compressor across the stereo drum bus and decided to use only the kick, snare, Soundeluxe and overhead mics. Wow, a nice tight drum kit sound modeled after John Bonham. We'll see how I feel about it tomorrow.... BTW... this ain't the drum mix you're hearing!!! Just the shitty camera compressed sound!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


 Just done doing a drum session with Dave. Phew! The session went really well as Dave banged out 10 songs in 3 days. The songs are (working titles) Euthanasia, Hearts are breaking, Another quiet moment, Too late to lie, A worried night, The way we are, Tape and Glue, I fell in love with Regina Spektor, My biggest fan, and Beautiful. He did a great job and can do pretty much what I ask of him on drums. He also brings a lot of positive energy to the project. Eric has been a big help on this project as well, lending me mics and snakes etc., as well as advice in those moments of confusion.
Mics used were: EV on snare top, Shure SM7 on the kick beater head, Soundeluxe about 3 feet in font of the kick, Sennheiser 421 on left floor tom, Shure SM57 on left rack, 421 on right rack, D112 on right floor tom, and a couple of Rode condenser mics as overheads. I used my Neumann TLM 103's as room mics. Too bad "my room" sounds like pooh pooh. We'll see how it works out!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A drive up the Hudson

I had to drive up to see my good friend and engineer Eric H in Beacon, NY to grab some cables and mics, On the way back I decided to stop and take in some of the scenery along the Hudson River....
Downtown Beacon. Beacon reminds me of many upstate NY towns that have lost their vitality. Most of the buildings in this picture are for sale.

Looking west from Cold Spring towards Cornwall, NY

Waterfront in Cold Spring, NY

Boatyard in Garrison, NY. The US Military academy is across the river on the right..

Some houses along the Hudson in Garrison, NY.

West Point military academy as seen from Garrison.

Old train station (now a theater) in Garrison.

More houses along the Hudson...

Looking south on the Hudson River

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Home on a Sunday morning. I just took Ian for a haircut, Casey tagged along as well. I'm afraid the music bug has sucked me in again, look out!! Dave is coming in to do a session this week and I have some gear coming from Dreamhire tomorrow. I'm renting the Focusrite Red 1 four channel mic pre as well as four channels of API 512c's in a lunch box. Both pre-amps are renown for their signal warming abilities. We'll see. I'm dying to buy some new gear like a DAV four channel mic pre but I don't have the bread. I'm trying to be smart about purchasing anything, letting common sense take over. I'm gonna make it a goal to get some primo gear this year like a DAV, Neve Portico, API or a Chandler TG. I wonder how much of a true sound difference this stuff will make in my hands? It's not like I'm going to become Geoff Emerick or George Martin because of the gear I have....