When it comes down to it, there's no secret. Well-recorded sound should be left as-is. Pure is simple, and simple is good. Simple is pure, and pure is good.
However, sometimes there are iconic performances which weren't recorded in optimal environments, with best-practices in mind, nor with great equipment. This is where studio magic comes in and where thoughtful engineering can save and restore otherwise unlistenable material.
Even when location, recording technique and equipment are working together, the recording still may need to be polished and remastered for optimal fidelity.
Consequently, we utilize (what we believe are) the best possible tools available to optimize the sound of our recordings. Analog whenever possible and appropriate, but digital when the pros outweigh the cons (especially for sonic cleansing/reconstruction of vintage recordings).
If you were to look inside our magic toolbox, you might find:
- Studer reel-to-reel players. Get one if you can find one.
- Otari reel-to-reel players. They are legitimate workhorses and won't let you down.
- Drawmer tube processors. So warm you can wear shorts.
- Harrison consoles. Immaculate - but hard to find.
- Izotope software. These guys are honestly the best. Their RX and Ozone tools have allowed us to fix, tweak, sonically cleanse, restore, floss and master recordings to the point they now sparkle, shine and breathe.
- MOTU interfaces. Flexible, powerful and you can't hear them. Perfect.
- Wharfedale monitors. So true.
- Sennheiser headphones and microphones. Icons for a reason.
- Mogami cables. They're not there.
- Neumann mics. No-brainer.