Show 205 – Interview with Alex Wilkinson and more

This week we talk to Alex Wilkinson about his Calgary studio Signals Audio, his Zombass virtual bass guitar and more.

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5 thoughts on “Show 205 – Interview with Alex Wilkinson and more

  1. Hey guys, GSAA.

    I’ve commented several times before, but in the interest of being non-biased, and not one to be pushy or take advantage, I’ve Purposely avoided mentioning my affiliation with Advanced Audio Mics…

    That said, maybe it’s time to “break the seal”

    Like many, I first heard about Advanced Audio via Slau’s Podcast.

    I’d used a vintage C12 before in a local studio and developed a love/hate relationship with it…. On some sources it was awesome, on others, hmmmm, not so much…. We’d try it as often as possible, and when it matched, WOW, but when it didn’t…. “Meh….” But I digress…. Such is the C12…..

    So I’m building my studio, and using a borrowed matched pair of 414’s.
    While not necessarily my favorite mic on everything, of the “Name Brand” Mic’s, I still say it’d be my first choice as a first pro-Multi-use mic…. At least in a world before clones and DIY mods…

    I’d been saving up to buy my own pair of 414’s and was almost there when I Caught Slau’s interview with Dave Thomas of Advanced Audio. Long story short, I opted NOT to buy the AKG’s, and instead bought a matched pair of Advanced Audio CM414’s and a CM12se from Dave, with change left over…

    I did my own shoot out of the 414’s, on GTR and Vox and could not tell them apart. The AA version was a little quieter and required a bit more gain on the pre, but in speaking with Dave, he said this is done on purpose as he feels you get the best tone with your gain at about the 50% mark. But again, once volume matched, we couldn’t tell them from the real deal on Vox and GTR….

    So then I bought a CM47fet and the addiction grew….bottom I was a believer!

    Over the course of a few years of buying and speaking with Dave, we became friends. And in February of 2012 I was considering buying either a real U87 or a bunch of “clones” So I asked Dave “So, how big of an order would I have to make to get a discount?”

    He politely answered that to keep it fair, he doesn’t do discounts, but then asked “why not become a distributor for me? I could use someone out east”

    I answered: ” You do realize that I’m just a home studio guy in a loft above his garage”

    His reply?: “Swap loft for basement and so am I!”

    So I thought about it…..

    Best Case scenario: I’d develop a nice sideline that would get me “out there” meeting more “Audio-Folks” much like ourself, and maybe make a few bucks in the process…

    Worst Case scenario: “I’d get to buy all the toys I wanted anyway at wholesale Prices…

    Either way, I figured I couldn’t loose.

    So I bought one of everything and by March I was up and running…

    I’m not much of a sales guy, i don’t make cold calls nor pitches, as they say, but I promoted them on Facebook, Twitter and kijiji (similar to Craigslist) and within 3 months I’d exceeded my annual sales goal. And now at my 1 year anniversary, I’ve nearly quadrupled my initial sales goal… But I digress..

    My point, and I did have one, is that when one of your commenters asked about what to spend $2,000 bucks on, I couldn’t help but chime in…

    I think your suggestion of the Apex 460 is bang on… For the money, it’s one helluva bargain… And can be modded to sound even better (which, in a way, is where the Advanced Audio CM12 initially was born)

    Having had the complete line now for over a year, and I may be a bit biased, I sincerely love them all…

    I’ve shot out the CM414’s and CM87se’s against the real deals with indistinguishable results… And the CM47fet at only 289 has been, by far, my best seller… It’s been used for Vocals, Rap, kick drum and Voice over, but I digress….

    My Love Affair with Advanced Audio aside, I think there is significant merit in your listeners investigating the “Clone-World”

    Quality Products like the Golden Age Pre73, and other manufacturers like Peluso, ADK, and the various DIY mods you’ve mentioned are not just worthy for the home enthusiast, but the Pro’s as well….

    While we have our products in the hands of a number of Pro Studios and Artists we don’t have permission to name drop, one we do have permission to Bragg about is that “Elvis Costello” is currently using our CM12se (3 of them actually, one for each studio they are going to be working in) for his upcoming album… But again, I digress….

    I’m not a shameless self promoter… And hope this is not perceived as such… I own SM57’s, 58’s, 52’s, Audio Technica mics, Cascade Fatheads, Lindell Audio’s Pultec clones and more and love them all…. But Bottom line, Clones, innovative start up companies (like Niaint) and DIY builds and/or DIY mods are way of the future… Even for those few “Big” studios we all covet…So my hats off to you for promoting the concept…

    Anyway, that’s all I had… Well that, and an invitation, that ever you ever wanted to try or do a shoot-out of any of the AA line drop me a line and I’ll hook you up!

    Your fan as always,
    Rob Crewe

    P.S. we have a new product in the works this year. I don’t have permission yet to say what it is, just that it will be 2u spaces of Analog Awesomeness!!!!

  2. Cool show! I laughed picturing Ryan’s face after he dropped out as soon as Behringer was mentioned. Just curious, why was Alex interviewed? It seemed like it was sort of rushed and there wasn’t much to say. Is he a listener or somebody you’re affiliated with? Either way, it was still a good show.

    I took your advice from a few shows back and decided to add music video production/photography to my list of stuff that will cause me to spend tons of money in the future. I was deciding between getting some more studio gear or a Canon t3i. I already have a decent amount of recording equipment, but no DSLR, so I took that route. I’ve actually been pretty interested in Cinematography and film making recently, so hopefully it will work out nicely. Part of me is very glad I didn’t buy more recording stuff because I unfortunately just got booted out of the space I was recording in. I’m good friends with the band that let me use the space, and they were renting it from a local glass company. It was most likely used as office space before we got there, but it had three decent-sized rooms and central heat that we didn’t have to pay for. It was pretty much a low-budget recording paradise! Well, for tracking anyway. The owner of the company got an offer from a business that will probably generate more revenue than a bunch of musicians, so I guess I’m back to recording in different locations based out of band members’ houses.

    Congrats on the kid, Jon!


  3. GSAA

    Next weeks post on Audio Geek Zine: “5 reasons list posts are lame and the 10 ways to get more information from them.”

    Your show is the ballz! A few weeks back you mentioned it would be funny to know if people were laughing out loud and getting caught due to your always charming commentary. That’s me. The really funny part: I’m a mailman in the northeast. Its winter and I’m walking around with headphones under a snow hat so no one even knows that I’m listening to something. Their mailman just cracks himself up!!

    I’m working through the archives and I’m only 30 shows away from earning a diploma!
    It’s bitter sweet though. Right now there’s always a show waiting for me. Sometimes I listen to 3 or 4 a day!

    You guys have seriously changed my life and the way that I use my project studio. Before it was just a bunch of gear that I’ve been collecting for years, now it’s a studio that i can actually put to use. I can never thank you guys enough!

  4. Hey guys! Long time listener but have not posted since the “guitar mods” show. The reason I am posting is to say congrats on over 200 shows. I think if you saw a picture of my Home Studio you would see some of your influence [insert sm7, Valhalla Room, monitor decoupling, etc].

    Episode 205 completed my catch up on ALL shows and let me just say it has been both educational as well as fun to listen to. I have a 30 minute drive to work each day and the HRS Podcast is always streaming. Please put me down for a diploma!

    Jon, quick thanks to you also for the quick feedback to my Twitter questions to you recently on my move from PC to MAC. Being a long time Windows user who posted YouTube clips on “How to Optimize Windows for Audio”, I was surprised when all I had to do with my new MAC was just “turn in on and done”. If you have any additional recommendations on tweaks to MAC, please send a link.

    Please keep the shows coming, I’m ready for 200 more!

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