In a world where everything in the studio is digital, it's often too tempting to use plug-ins for everything. It's easy, they're right there in the DAW, they're readily accessible and they provide valuable time-saving convenience. The problem with this is that digital is "perfect" - too perfect.
Back in the analog days if you wanted to recall settings you had to record them on a recall sheet and dial them in as close as you could the next time. Today, those settings can be saved in a project and instantly recalled anytime the project is opened. These same settings can easily become favorites and can be saved as presets. Those favorites can become "go-to" settings that can be used over and over from project to project.
That may sound like an incredible convenience, and it is, but it removes all the subtle variations and imperfections that make each use unique - it can all begin to sound the same. And it becomes even less creative when the only thing being used are out-of-the-box presets. When I say digital is perfect I really mean it - it's static, repetitive, and predictable with little variation.
Even with the growing trend of "modeling mics", the models are only as good as the process used to model them. The models are not subject to changes in character and sound like the real mics are, for example when tube mics warm up and sound sweeter. That doesn't happen with plug-ins; they don't "warm up", they just work and sound exactly the same way they did the last time they were used. Modeling mics have their place but they're no substitute for the real thing.
The beauty of analog gear is that there are always subtle variations introduced in the processing. These variations are caused by the characteristics of analog components being affected by age, heat and other environmental conditions - none of which exist in the digital world. For these reasons, I've decided that the best approach is to take the analog and digital worlds and join them together. This hybrid studio approach is one that I've worked very hard to capture.
Mics and pre-amps are the most important links in the tracking and recording chain. For this reason I'm particularly vested in expanding the already respectable number of boutique pre-amps and mics I have available. Look for this to continue growing and evolving as the studio continues to grow.
At Level Ground Studio you'll find an ever-evolving mix of both analog and digital equipment and software that complement each other in such a way that they'll provide you with those sought-after analog sounds while still keeping in step with the modern conveniences of new digital technologies.Back to the top...