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From Indie To Cyndi Daking Gear Spans The GapRob Skane and William Wittman both use Daking Mic-Pre/Four-Band Equalizers (March 07, 2005)
In the spirit of classic pro audio manufacturers, Geoffrey Daking & Company has developed both a distinguished line of recording equipment and a growing group of fervent fans through the pursuit of unwavering aural excellence and unquestionable manufacturing quality. Citing consummate pro audio authorities API, Neve, and Trident as aural influences, Geoffrey Daking has effectively created modern classics such as the Mic-Pre/EQ, FET Compressor II and, most notably, the Mic-Pre IV equalizer.
While it is reasonable to assume that truly impeccable and world-class signal paths require very deep pockets, Daking products clearly debunk that theory. Because of that, engineers recording world-renowned, multimillion-selling artists, as well as those recording in the 'indie' scene, can both enjoy Daking product benefits, such as all-discrete transistor circuitry and superior Class A amplifiers. Case in point: Self-recorded, self-financed, and 'buzzed-about' indie singer/songwriter Rob Skane and prolific, successful and erudite producer/engineer William Wittman both claim that their Daking Mic-Pre/Four-Band Equalizer are invaluable parts of their respective and numerable recording sessions.
According to Skane, his recent purchase of the Daking Mic-Pre/EQ was prompted by his desire to have a superior - not simply a good - signal chain to record a follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2002 CD release entitled "Self-Noise." "Right before I started pre-production," Skane recalls, "I wanted to have a decent mic pre. I then decided that if I was going to buy something 'good' why not spend the extra money and get something truly high-end? That's when I decided on Daking." After doing a substantial amount of online research, he found that his future pre-amp purchase came well recommended by many. "I read so many awesome things about it. Everything mentioned how well built it was as well as how beautiful it sounded, which I found to be 100 percent true."
Wittman, who has known of Geoff Daking and his pro audio manufacturing pursuits for some time, almost always has a Daking Mic-Pre/EQ in use. Considering Daking and Wittman's mutual admiration for Trident A range consoles, this frequent use of Daking gear on Wittman productions makes perfect sense. "Geoff and I have been friends for years," explains Wittman, who first met Daking as both men worked in the New York recording scene. "At a certain point, Geoff and I discussed the kind of consoles we preferred. We were both fans of discrete, Class A, transistor, transformer I/O-style consoles, and later I heard that he had decided to build modules based on the Trident A range. So I didn't exactly seek out his modules - I knew about them before they existed!" From there it wasn't long before Daking components were perpetually patched in for many Wittman sessions. "One day the modules appeared and I've used them ever since."
Featuring all discrete transistor circuitry, transformer balanced I/O, and Class A amplification, the Daking Mic-Pre/Four-Band Equalizer offers five stepped frequencies per band with hard bypass, continuously variable boost and cut, and all-relay switching with gold bi-furcated contacts. High- and low-pass filters, at 25Hz and 15kHz, respectively, are included in the phantom-powered unit, which also provides remote mute and bypass, output level control on the final gain stage, and a 20dB mic input pad. In addition, sturdy construction featuring a stainless steel chassis and aluminum knobs makes the Daking Mic-Pre/EQ as rugged as it is aurally pleasing.
The worth of his Daking Mic-Pre/EQ's quality features, affirms Skane, is immeasurable in relation to how it can enhance a recording artist's own recording rig. "It's actually a very cost-effective purchase," he says. "It's so affordable to be such great, great equipment. I don't expect that I'll ever need another mic pre because I have the Daking, although my next purchase, before I begin tracking acoustic guitar and vocals, is going to be the Daking compressor."
Skane uses his Daking Mic-Pre/EQ to record almost everything in his Pro Tools LE-based home studio. "I use it on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, and vocals - pretty much everything I do here at my house," he explains. "The Daking goes straight to Pro Tools through my Digi 002. I often use the Neumann TLM 103, my favorite vocal mic, for voice and acoustic guitar. It's weird to explain, but my acoustic finally sounds like the one I hear in my head before tracking. And people like to use the term 'musical' to describe equalizers, right? Well, I never really understood that before hearing the Daking EQ. That section of the pre-amp is just fantastic. I've never used better."
For a successful recordist like Wittman, who surely has and could use anything under the sun to transfer sound to medium, regularly depending on a bevy of Mic-Pre/EQs could be considered a firm confirmation of Daking component superiority. "To me, everything works with it because it's a good mic pre," he explains. "I tend to think in terms of recording an entire album using the same mic pre. It lends a consistency to the recording and puts everything in the same starting place, which I think is only beneficial."
Wittman's philosophy, coupled with his affinity for Daking gear, has prompted the frequent use of Mic-Pre/EQs on much of the latest recordings of Cyndi Lauper, often coupled with a Microtech Gefell UM900, the artist's favorite studio vocal microphone. "Two of her last three albums were recorded almost entirely with the Dakings. Almost every note on those was recorded with those modules. I should also add that Cyndi also uses a Daking Mic-Pre/EQ and a Daking compressor in her live monitor rack. She likes the sound of her voice through the Daking so much that she chooses to hear it in her ear monitors and on stage. In addition to Cyndi, I made extensive use of the Dakings on all guitars and keyboards on Joan Osborne's best-selling recording, "Relish."
Admittedly, the pro audio market is full of component pre-amplification options for engineers to choose from. But for both Skane and Wittman, two savvy recordists with substantially differing recording circumstances, there's no doubt that the Daking Mic-Pre/Four-Band Equalizer is a wise choice for sessions ranging anywhere from indie to Cyndi. "There are an enormous number of choices out there, but there is a certain narrow subset that is the real cream of the crop," philosophizes Wittman. "And when you skim the cream from the top, there's a much smaller subset of choices. That's where the Daking lives. It's in that stratified, very high-end atmosphere. Why? It sounds as good as the best recording consoles have ever sounded, and is built so you're getting real value for your money."
Daking is distributed by the Transamerica Audio Group, Las Vegas . Transamerica, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor for high-end audio. Success hinges on Transamerica providing users with technical expertise extending far beyond the norm. Transamerica AG's product lines include A-Designs USA), AEA ribbon microphones (USA), Apex (Belgium), ATC Loudspeakers (UK), Brauner (Germany), Drawmer (UK), Geoffrey Daking & Co. (USA), George Massenburg Labs (GML) (USA), Mercury Audio (USA), Mission Audio (UK), Soundelux (USA), SoundField (UK), and Z-Systems (USA).
For more information visit www.daking.com.
LasVegasProAudio.com is the direct sales division of TransAudio Group. It was created to serve as a conduit between extremely busy pro audio professionals and boutique high-end equipment manufacturers. LasVegasProAudio.com offers a select group of imported lines, including ATC loudspeakers, Daking pro audio gear, and Brauner and SoundField microphones. LasVegasProAudio.com is dedicated to providing their customers with a long-term partnership that delivers, not only direct pricing but timely, accurate product information and unparalleled personal customer service.
For more information visit www.lasvegasproaudio.com or call (702) 307-2700.
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