Show 196 – The best audio stuff of 2012 and more!

This week we talk about our favorite music, hardware, software and a few other things from this year. Joining us for discussion this week is Eric Beam.

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21 thoughts on “Show 196 – The best audio stuff of 2012 and more!

  1. So I thought I would put my two cents in on gear and albums here as well…

    Albums: Brandi Carlile released Bear Creak. Amazing folky rock and roll infused Americana, all the sounds are just great. Also discovered Eric Lichter this year thanks to TapeOp and his album Corduroy is amazingly crafted. Seth Martin and the Menders is one of my favorite bands that nobody has ever heard of, I ran sound for them over the summer and they were just amazing.
    Gear: I found a DOD R-825 that was a real bargain this year, at $30 it really is an interesting compressor for slamming things around. Fender Superchamp X2 which is a really great tube amp that I used in studio and it walked all over the producers vintage blackface Vibrochamp that had all the best mods and upgrades done to it.

    Guess that’s it for this year.

  2. Ryan, I wanted to tell you thank you for trying your best reading my comments on air. I know you struggle with a lot of them and just wanted to explain to you that a lot of driving is involved in my job now that I don’t have to work offshore any more. So as you might guess, I listen mostly while driving and the comments I leave are usually always speech to text. (I just try my best to not text and drive) if I wait to get home I never remember to leave a comment. So if ever my comments come off as if someone with a third grade writing skill wrote it… I will never blame you for skipping mine. Forever a fan Nathan “Rock n’ Roll” Rice

  3. Great show guys. I have the dbx1066 compressor also and its great. I got it for $100 at a pawn shop a couple of years ago and its my go-to outboard compressor. Its a great choice for a quality outboard stereo comp for relatively cheap. I have also used the vallhalla vintage verb and like the guys said, just buy it. My favorite album of 2012 is Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros album “Here.” They kinda sound like The Fleet Foxes meets Brian Jonestown Massacre meets Delaney and Bonnie and Friends. Cool folky, psychedelic stuff. The album was engineered very well and has a rich atmospheric quality to it with lots of dense vocal harmonies and choruses. I also really liked Bob Dylan’s Tempest album. I cant believe he’s still turning out such great songs and I think his voice has gotten better with age. I imagine he always wanted to sound like a gravelly voiced old man and now he actually does.

  4. Still listening to the show. I was planning to buy Valhalla Room this month. Now the Vintage verb is available. If you had to pick one, which would it be?

  5. Great show! I like the end of the year wrap ups. It brings out what really worked well. Valhalla Room will definitely become a part of my plugin arsenal as soon as I have some extra cash to throw around. Have you guys ever used the Ambience reverb plugin? If so, how do they compare?

    I have a quick SPDIF question. I have my old Tascam US-800 and I just got a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40. I would like to add 2 of the Tascam’s preamps to the Focusrite, but it’s not working out the way I’d like it to. I read that the clocks need to work together as a master and slave. With the Focusrite being firewire and the Tascam being USB, is this possible? Could I go out from the Focurite into the Tascam then back out from the Tascam to the Focusrite to create a loop where the Tascam is using the Focusrite’s clock?

    Just a side note, I found this pretty cool website that really helps internal timing. Essentially it’s a metronome that will gradually drop measures of clicks to test your timing. If you have a solid rhythm, you’ll end up on the click again. Very useful for all musicians!

    Thanks for a great year of shows. I’m looking forward to the next year!

  6. Great Year Guys.. My purchase for the year that I am really happy with… Komplete 8 Upgrade from 7.. Studio Drummer.. kicks the CRAP out of Superior Drummer.. Happy New Year and shall we all meet rich Asian Girls that want to buy us all studios..

  7. We’ve been talking a lot about producing, and also mixing different genres, and it has been very helpful. at m humble home studio, I have been getting more busines this year than any other year, and 95 percent of that business has been either hip hop, where they bring in beats and want me to track their vocals then mix the whole thing, or “songwriters” who simply write words and expect me to give them a finished song in a few weeks where I write, play, track, mix and master all the music. I have been doing this but needed some help on a few things. first, where can I get tips and education on mixing hip hop vocals?

    Second, any thoughts on the multiple hats I wear when making a songwriter’s dream come true? I get frustrated with this at times because many of these clients are constantly asking me “What do you think?” at every turn, and constantly second guessing themselves. I feel more like a therapist sometimes. Sometimes I’ll mix a song and give it to them, and they’ll ask for changes in levels and such, which is fine, but then I’ll change it, and they’ll ask me “What do you think?” and I want to say, “Well I gave you what I thought the first time.” And once or twice I have said that.

    Anyway, mostly just ranting. Do you have any experience with this?

  8. Hey Ryan, I’ve been looking at the Ferrite DI for a while. I’m in need of one or two high quality DIs for studio and live work. I’m handy with a soldering Iron so building these is no issue. Just wondering if you or Jon have A/B’d the Ferrite against something like a Radial, which is only a few dollars more, minus the hassle of building the thing. If the ferrite sounds better then a Radial, I’ll definitely pull the trigger. Thanks!

  9. Hey duders, GSAA! I really liked Jon’s top 3 albums of the year, those short clips piqued my interest and I’m probably going to be picking those albums up. I reckon I’ll weigh in as well:
    I would definitely say my favorite album to come out in 2012 was “Clara” from Stomacher. It was mostly done at Tiny Telephone in San Fran. Just a really badass album with a beautiful recording. There is so much depth and all the tones are amazing.
    “Infinity Overhead” from Minus the Bear was also really good, I really dig the drum sound on that record, it’s really natural sounding and sounds good against all the synth stuff and crazy guitar effects.
    Last I would say was “VII” from Maserati. They are by far my favorite post-rock band but they really have a lot of electronic stuff going on in this album and it all sounds amazing.

    The only new software I got this year was Valhalla Room which is obviously my go to reverb now. I love it.

    The only new hardware I got was the LINE2AMP Rev C, which was really fun to build and really opens up a lot of super fun options. I actually was able to get a great kick drum sound by re-amping a kick through my bass amp, going from the direct out to a Universal Audio 710 set all the way on the tube setting, then through my Presonus Smart Compressor back into the DAW. It was exactly what I was looking for, so I’m pretty happy with that little box.
    Happy New Year, thanks for all the shows! If you noticed, my software and hardware picks were both recommended by ya’ll, really looking forward to the new year of the Home Recording Show!
    Ride the (Roll) Tide

  10. GSAA.

    Check out the last Porcupine Tree album, some very good prog rock stuff on there.

    What would you have bought with USD100 in 2012, i.e. best of 2012 with a hundred bucks? All categories allowed. OK, Ryan, not *all* categories; you know what I mean 🙂

  11. GSAA,

    My 2012s

    New equipment: A truck. Its way better than hauling my equipment around in a compact sedan.

    New plugins: VST to RTAS wrapper

    Ive also donated some moola in 2012 to the best home recording show!

    Looking forward to riding the chicken in 2013

  12. Two points I’d like to mention:

    #1) If you guys didn’t find any more/better great music from 2012 than what you talked about on your show, I think you might be looking in the wrong places.

    I didn’t say “your taste sucks,” (because it doesn’t, I’m sure) – I said “I think there’s more out there than what you’re finding.”

    In just the punk and indie “genres” (it’s where my heart lives, this doesn’t even include the great stuff from other “genres” – Volbeat anyone?) I’ve purchased a lot of great records this year with many great songs on them. It’s important (and inspirational, to me at least) to remember that all we’re trying to do is take great songs and represent them in the best way possible. Without further rambling…here are great songs (of which you may or may not like the style or production):

    The Sidekicks “DMT” –

    The Menzingers “Obituaries” – (lots of swearing in the chorus, for you people with small kids)

    Hot Water Music “State of Grace” (produced at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins CO)-

    The Jealous Sound “Change You” (recorded at the Foo Fighters’ studio with Foo bassist Nate Mendel playing bass) – in a media player on this page:

    I probably sound like a dick in text (I always sound like a dick in the rest of my life) but I’m not trying to say “what you listen to sucks.” What I’m saying is “you just need to dig a bit” if you want to find the great stuff in whatever style(s) of music you listen to.

    There is more music available than ever so there’s more good (and bad) stuff than ever. The same ratio of great music-to-bad music still exists, you just have to look for the good stuff more than you’ve ever had to (thanks, people who buy/steal whatever marketing says is good).

    #2) HRS and the HRS community is the best audio “product/resource” available in the year 2012 (and 2013 so far). Thanks for all the great info, entertainment, and opinions you guys throw out every week. Long may it continue.

    Riding the faders,

    Wutz (TheSchmalz on twitter)

  13. Glad to hear Ryan back in the innuendo saddle again.

    Just finished listening to the show.

    Love Valhalla Room – besides Logic’s Space Designer (their convolution reverb), it was my go-to reverb on my last sound-design project. Like Eric said, it’s simple, intuitive and powerful … and sounds great too.

    I posted my 2012 “Discoveries” earlier this week ( and Jon reply-tweeted that I’d picked two of Ryan’s choices – Foxy Shazam and Shinedown. Way too funny. I’ll have to check out Jon’s stuff later – Where do you find/look for music Jon?

    Love Foxy Shazam – it’s on heavy rotation for me these days. They popped up on a Songza playlist back in December and it was one of those “what the *&^#$ is that?” moments. I just HAD to find out more about them. I described them as being an obnoxious mix of cheesy rock musicals (like Rocky Horror Picture Show and Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and glam rock bands. The mix on the album is supremely loud and overdriven, but it works!

    Good show guys!

  14. Solid show fellas. Here are my 2012 favorites:

    ART MPA Pro II Tube preamp. I’ve never bought a piece of ART gear my entire life, but at $250 I figured it was worth a try. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with this 2-channel pre. Nice flexibility and the impedance dial gives a nice range of tones. I’ve never had a pre with adjustable input impedance before and it’s a fun tone-shaper. For the price, it’s laughably good out of the box and separate input/output gain lets you get overdriven tones too.

    Cascade Fathead II ribbon mics. Came as a matched pair in a nice case, with shockmounts, covers, and a bar for Blumlein or M/S setup. I love these on everything except vocals.

    Bad Cat Black Cat 30R. I sold my AC30 when I got an endorsement from Bad Cat. Wow, nicest amp I’ve ever touched in my life. 12AX7 and EF86 channels. Every show I’ve ever played I’ve had guitarists from the opening bands freaking out over my tones. Once you go Black you never go back.

    Reaper. Bad ass. Jon is 100% responsible for me switching. I’ve used Pro Tools, Logic, and Tracktion…Reaper is vastly superior.

    “Sweet Sour” by Band of Skulls
    “Bloom” by Beach House

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