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teneightor-nator stereo luxury models

the build is going well.  i got a meal of metalwork till im stuffed full of metalwork to eat until all the metal cabinets/panel fully worked and finished. and then we quickly place the boards and the controls. wire the wires and hey. fat eqs. stereo ready to wear .


i have a ton of gear making atm. those crazy electric badge dudes have hired me to make this small recording console. so my days are filled with the million details it takes to handmake a thing like this.  12  recording channels/direct outputs (8 with mic amps). two stereo mix busses. 4 aux mix busses. afl/pfl-ed up to the earballs.  thats a 9 x handmade  buss mixer! lo-fi talkback & hi-fi phones amp. big old (ex rca transmitter circa 1942)  vu meters . and a full loaded termination/patching bay connecting ronans entire studio to it .  uses all new old stock neve electronics. b538 as preamps and b535 line poweramps. awesome fatness!  these photos are all about the big picture coming quickly together ready for the deal of intense electro engineering. thanks nalco aluminium for cnc routing the panel up and to ryan @ powersurge metalworks for making the console frame. and to mathew at fabrika building design for the panel drilling co-ordinates.


sold to one of my biggest fans. leslie boinkin. he wanted this stack of gear  because ”  I love it love it love it, and  so many thanks. this is all i ever wanted and dreamed of ! no shit. it is like a dream come true”. i made the price of this ‘threesome’ low low low for leslie because i want to clear my studio out and build all new gear with all the parts i got. more limiters and eqs and a flash new mixer extension.  a new tape echo design. and a control mixer/tester for mr ampex. anyways … back to the stack. ROJER VALVE EQ is on top. boosting – cutting top and bottom end with a graduated hi cutting filter too. for taming those sometimes too scratchy high frequencies. rojer’s final amp is a PULTEC MB1 (my clone) so it has a real powerful line sound. theres a microphone stage before the eq that has adjustable negative feedback gain control. phantom 48 volts is swithable.  BRIAN IS A FATLADY VARI MU LIMITING AMPLIFIER . i use a matched pair of EF83 remote cutoff tubes and a balanced voltage amp 12ax7 12au7. the control signal is derived from a 6al5 and a regulator tube 150b2 is also in the circuit. the metering is driven from a 12au7. the attack / release controls have very useful & dramatic characteristics. at bottom FENKNER 08 is  several devices built into one. a whole studio in a box. twin channel mic / direct instrument amplifier AND outboard stereo panning mixer 8 channels AND control room monitor switcher  AND heaphone monitor switcher. all with neve B535 & B538 electronics.

KLANKSTRAAT. the big mono chain

klankstraat the big mono chain

i got email from michel in belgium. he is a professional sound designer working mostly/entirely inside a computer. he sent me four instrument stems of his music and I pumped them thru the BIG MONO CHAIN we had discussed.  its an 8 rack unit high sound machine comprising  3WAYS VALVE EQ and EKADEK PULTEC MB1  MIC/DIRECT INSTRUMENT PREAMP and ZEPHYR FAT LADY LIMITING AMPLIFIER.  he wanted gear that was really effective at a low low price so i decided to package three great prototype items from my recording rig for him. i can make the price low because ive forgotten how long they took to make..  ha ha. all i’ll do before delivering are cosmetic (actually what i love to do) .  re – panel and paint and label and switching patchbay and power supply unit. (whats the mains voltage in belgium btw . anyways … i sent the processed  stems and a ruff mixture to him and he got back the next day. these are his words. (thanks michel for permission to reprint)

“Hey ek, As i might have expected it sounds SUPER FAT. Glad the children enjoyed it to 🙂 the bounce i gave you was quite boring soundwise. After the big mono chain treatment IT REALLY SOUNDS VERY SPECIAL. NOT LIKE ANYTHING I’VE HEARD BEFORE. I’ve been listening to it over and over because it suddenly has this kind of energy to it. It seems to trade in some of the digital clarity for straight up sex appeal.You were indeed quite bitchy to the sound, but i do suspect that you can deo some nice subtle things with it to.I could clearly hear the use of the eq. I love the variations with the eq. Every setting sounded clearly different but surprisingly all of them sounded really good on the sound.I had put a little reverb on the percussion parts. The comp instantly created a clap sound to dream of! The whole ‘edgy thing’ of the unit is unbilievable. That is really something i’ve been looking for especially on synth parts. I’ve been trying to recreate it digitally with the SPL vintagewarmer plugin the SSL buscomp, and a n Oxford filter plugin but it just doesn’t have that bit of extra touch. I’m going to have another go with it, as an experiment, i’ll let you know how it went… “

what i think about plug ins …  is that they sound great. they work and they are cheap .. hell. mostly free!. and their settings are recorded with the session therefore repeatable and adjustable .. forever. all good.

in the end though .. call me old fashioned .. its that final push and electric analog feel that makes a thing that really sounds good. and finished. walk away.

between us we  decided a name for this big mono chain …. KLANKSTRAAT.  a very cool Flemish word. i think it means  ‘music/sound  street’. the above pic is a compile. below is what i made  (except that ive put the limiter meter on upside-down in an effort to create a ‘gain reducing’ visual context. what the?   ive built the mic pre into some spare space inside the eq chassis and bolted the limiter and eq together after making fresh control panels. hotrodding rules. this klankin street is just waiting for a new back cover (pants) and bottom panel cover (underpants) to be made and fitted.

fatlady twins have left the building

a west australian client Ronan Charles is awaiting delivery of this fine pair of FAT LADY varimu limiting amplifiers. i built these two (and three others) in melbourne 1998. they’ve been in my recording mixing rig since about 2004 and have just received plenty TLC ready for their new situation. of course i got a new set underway, a dual chassis this time (because i have several emptied ones) . heres the design and a panel layout. i have most/all the electronic parts here too. the studio is quite busy coming up to christmas so i got next to no time to make my new twin fatlady.

meanwhile.. back on the w.a ranch… Ronan’s fat ladys arrived fed ex friday afternoon. and his first response . “Seriously – WOOWOO-F-ING-HOOHOO.They are here and blowing my head off! Been running a drum machine as a test for the fast transients and trying all the positions. So much power in these babes – huge huge. Subtle and smooth as well.They blow my drawmer out of the water for depth and range – and pure sex appeal.They seem to love attitude – do lovely things to a distorted signal. Bass is massive – nice and clear if you wanna or dirty it up. so good! Can’t wait to track real drums with them and plug in the moog.” (and the next day) “Just can’t stop playing with ’em.I’m drunk with sonic pleasure- jeez the distortion is so juicy on NO and especially NO out to GO just sounds amazing.Thanks again for such an inspiring piece of gear with so much to offer.” i cant (dont want to) shut this guy up. heres more enthuising a few days later “Those big juicy dials just help a lot in general exploration and zeroing in what sounds good. I tracked some drums over the weekend to experiment with them a bit more. Found some great bass drum sounds with the NO setting – which of course kinda compresses anyway.  GO is plenty fast and made for snare.  Definitely my new GO-to chain for vox as well. I really love it. what a bloody magnificent beauty. I hope I do them justice. Metering is excellent. I can really see what is going on at the different attack and release speeds. “

october recordings

heres a jam of a new track. called PHILLRAY GABRIEL. the bass drum, ‘hand hats’ and drum machine beat is by Phill Lambert. guitar by Gabriel Everett. korg and RAY DELAY effects by me. my little daughter (nearly 4) jammed this great little tune with her toy organ and vocal cuteness BOOB. i mastered a new sugarlicks album too.”the ghost tones”. ultra cool urban voodoo groove post funk ? i’m doing a remix for december release of a ghost tones track. “hoolahoop champion”. voodoo sufi soup. in the workshop.  designed and tested a new discrete headphone amplifier for the anritsu-neve-mixer and have made the neve preamp boards. ive got all the parts and im just a few clear days away from finishing it. and. ive met a website ninja electric badge who is  organising some awesome new things for legacy.ekadek.com. big developments. very excited bout that.