When recording, your equipment becomes an interconnected chain. One weak link in that chain will cause the sound quality to degrade. At Solitaire, everything, from the microphones, Converters, outboard gear, and even down to the cables that connect the equipment, were chosen to give the cleanest, most natural sounding recordings possible. All the equipment and cabling is routinely maintained and checked to insure everything is in first class working condition.
Recording at the studio is done using Digital Performer 8 from MOTU. This software is immensely powerful and intuitive and is the preferred choice of Alan who has been recording with it for over 25 years.
The software is running on a Mac Pro with 64GB of Ram and 4 x SSD drives for speed and reliability.
Waves , Plugin Alliance & DUY Plugin’s
For mixing and mastering, we have an extensive selection of WAVES and DUY plugin’s along with the package included with DP8. Any additional specific plugins can be added by request.
Chris Lord-Alge – Signature Series Bundle (Drums, Bass, Guitars, Vocals, Unplugged, Effects), Chris Lord-Alge – Mixdown, De-esser, GEQ, Guitar 3 Bundle, In phase, JJP – Vocals, Musicians 1 Bundle, NS1 Noise Supressor, Renaissance Bass, Renaissance Channel, S1 Stereo Imager, Trueverb, Waves Tune.
Everpack Bundle (DaD Valve, DUY Wide, Max DUY, DUY Shape, DUY Z-Room)
We have a subscription to the Mega Bundle which gives access to all plugins from Neve, SSL, Brainworx, Maag, etc.
Lynx Aurora 16
All AD/DA conversion is done thru lynx Aurora 16 converters. These are hand made in the USA. They work from 44.1 to 192 Khz and are 24 bit. These converters give the closest thing to analogue tape warmth and quality that I have heard to date.
This unit is a Mono mic pre/opto- compressor unit with 4-Band EQ, Four tubes + Class A discrete electronics. It is a beautifully warm sounding unit and adds character to any audio put thru it.
The Neve 1073 Preamp is a legend in recording. Launched in 1970, the 1073® is the first choice of leading producers and artists, delivering the unique Neve® sound on some of the most famous recordings of the past 40 years.
TL Audio Ivory series 5001 quad valve mic preamps
At Solitaire we have 2 units of these giving 8 channels. These pre amps are extremely quiet, and the level to the valve can be adjusted giving control over the amount of saturation that you achieve.
The Classic Series TL Audio CL2 Compressor and EQ2
The Classic Series TL Audio CL2 Compressor and EQ2 are both 2 channel units. Both are equipped with valve preamps on each channel, giving an extra 4 for use, even if you don’t want to use the compressors or eq itself. The EQ2 sounds outstanding and is very flexible and especially good for mastering. The C1 Compressor is equally good on all applications.
DBX are renowned for their compressors, and this one is no different. It is a very transparent yet powerful compressor/limiter.
Focusrite Octo Pre
The Focusrite Octopre Platinum LE is a bank of 8 analogue mic/line preamps. This unit gives pristine uncoloured sound representing the source accurately.
Lexicon MPX-1 Reverb
Lexicon make some of the best reverbs in the professional recording market, and the MPX-1 is one such unit. It has a dedicated chip for reverbs and a second for other effects. Running up to 5 stereo effects in each patch, this unit is very versatile and sounds great.
TC Electronics M-2000 Multi Effects Unit
TC Electronics is also a very respected name in the professional recording industry. The M-2000 multi effects unit is a dual engine unit that is extremely powerful. The presets are very good, and they are easily adjustable to suit your specific needs.
Eventide H-3000DSX Multi Effects Unit
The Eventide H-3000DSX is to multi effects what Lexicon is to reverbs. Amazing delays, pitch shifts and an extremely versatile machine for all the weird and wonderful effects you can think up.
Dolby A 361
Dolby A was a tape recording noise reduction process introduced in the 1960s. The Dolby® A Trick was a technique used in the late 60s and early 70s to enhance the top end of recordings, especially vocal tracks, by using the encoding stage of a noise reduction unit.
In 1970 the Dolby® 361, the A-Type noise reduction was quickly misused and modded by engineers to enhance their recordings by using the encoding stage only. The most common mod consists in disabling the two lower bands so that only the high-frequency portion of the signal is processed, giving even more air to vocals and other instruments. This technique was labelled with many names like the Vocal Trick, Air Hack, Stretch Mod, Vocal Stressor, and even the “John Lennon mod”. At Solitaire we have 2 of these vintage units available and modded.
The Antares autotuner is a remarkable machine. It can take slight imperfections in tuning on single notes and correct them, giving a perfectly pitched performance.
Most tuning is done using the Waves Tune Plugin these days but this unit still gets used on some sessions.
Genelec 1029a & 7060a Sub
Control Room monitoring is done using six Genelec 1029a monitors with added Genelec 7060a 6.1 sub. Genelec monitors have a great reputation and are a popular choice in professional recording studios all over the world. At solitaire we can mix anything up to 6.1 surround.
At Solitaire recording is done with a signal chain which ensures absolutely no loss of quality from the original source to the recorder.
Audio goes from our high quality microphones through the above mentioned outboard preamps/compressors etc., directly into the Lynx converters and then into a very powerful Mac Pro. This way of working insures the highest quality recordings with no external degradation of audio quality.
The Midas M32 is an amazingly flexible console. In the studio it’s mainly used for headphone mixes but this console when used with the Midas DL251 Pro stage box (below) gives a very high quality preamps into the signal chain and increases our studio inputs to 48. Also a 32 channel interface on its own, with in built multitrack recorder, the M32 is used for our location work. We also record simultaneously direct to Digital Performer or Protools for backup.
A great feature of this console is the remote apps which can be downloaded to iPad or phone. This gives each recording artist the ability to control there own headphone mix via wifi meaning each person can manipulate their own listening environment.