Posted on

Meet iZotope Neutron 3 | Modern Mixing Redefined

Expanding the Frontiers of Modern Mixing

iZotope has built a name for themselves making innovative audio software with assistance tools that allow users of all experience levels to achieve a polished, clean, professional sound. Award winning products such as RX, Nectar, and Ozone have all taken advantage of iZotope’s cutting edge digital processing to help users achieve stunning audio results quickly and easily. Neutron 3, the latest release from iZotope, is an intelligent interconnected mixing environment that makes it quick and easy for mixing engineers to get a clean and polished mix. With exciting new features like Mix Assistant and the Sculptor Module, along with improvements to favorite features like the Masking Meter, Neutron 3 pushes the frontier forward once again into an even more modern way to mix.

Check Out Our Top Neutron 3 Features Below!

Continue reading
Posted on

proSESSIONS Recap with Vance Powell and Burl Audio

Our proSESSIONS Series Continues with Vance Powell and Burl Audio!

At Westlake Pro, our proSESSIONS series bring some of our top brands together with GRAMMY, Oscar, and Emmy award-winning producers, engineers, and sound designers. Our customers are invited to spend an evening with some of the biggest names in the industry to ask questions, learn recording techniques, and gain insight on the latest new gear. Guests such as Butch Walker (Taylor Swift, Pink, Fall Out Boy), Sylvia Massy (Prince, Johnny Cash, Tool), Brian Vibberts (Lauryn Hill, Green Day, Mariah Carey), and Al Schmitt (Frank Sinatra, Quincey Jones, Miles Davis) have captivated attendees with their stories and techniques gained from decades of recording experience. Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting Burl Audio and six-time GRAMMY Winner Vance Powell to talk about the clarity, realism, and depth of analog tape, and how he uses the Burl Audio Mothership to capture his award-winning sounds.

Vance Powell Meets Burl Audio

Vance Powell is no stranger to great sound and analog recording. He came up during the years of tape and has maintained his analog ways into the 21st century. He started the event off by describing a time in his life around 2010, when he was working with Jack White almost every day, cutting to 2-inch tape, and also working on a digital AVID rig at Blackbird Studios. When he transferred the recordings he was working on to digital, he found it lacked the realism, detail, and separation of the analog recording. He tried higher sample rates, but nothing could compare to the hi-fi sound of tape. When a Westlake Pro Sales Consultant invited Powell to a Burl Audio demo event, Vance decided to go (mostly for the bbq and beer). What he didn’t count on was the blind A/B test they had set up. He preferred the sound of the Burl every time and has never looked back since. Vance Powell now uses a Mothership unit from Burl Audio on every record he cuts.

Analog Sound in the Digital Age

We are all familiar with the idea that analog recording somehow sounds “better,” but many of us who came up in the digital age don’t understand why, or exactly what the difference is. Vance Powell explained that the chaos of mechanical analog tape machines is pleasing to our ears, helping create a sound that feels high-resolution and natural. He went on to say that the Burl Audio Mothership gives audio that same quality, enriching the sound while maintaining incredible detail and separation. Back in the analog days, Powell used to love overloading tape to get colossal kick drum sounds with pleasing saturation. He finds he can overload his Burl Audio Mothership in the same way, without getting any of the harshness or digital clipping.

Burl Audio’s Founder Rich Williams Explains the Technical Side

Vance’s “from-the-trenches” wisdom was complemented nicely by Burl Audio’s owner and chief designer Rich Williams, who gave easy to follow technical explanations of what makes Burl units sound so great. He says it comes down to the high-quality analog components they use. Every Burl Audio unit uses fully discrete class-A circuitry, which allows the signal to pass through unchanged by any crossover distortion found in other systems. Rich says he learned the importance of high quality, discrete class A circuitry during his time designing the famed 2192 converters at Universal Audio. Ever since designing the 2192, he dreamed of building a larger version with 24+ channels. When it became clear that Universal Audio wasn’t moving in that direction, Rich Williams started Burl Audio and made this dream a reality. His explanation of why tape provides much higher resolution than digital was an eye-opener to many in the audience, and he quickly put to rest the rumor that transformers add unwanted color to audio.

Using Grammy-Winning Recording Secrets With Chris Stapleton

For many, one of the most exciting moments of the event was hearing Vance Powell talk about making Grammy-winning albums with country star Chris Stapleton. Powell raved about Stapleton’s voice and musicianship in a way that makes even people who don’t like country music want to go buy his record. He talks about how he recorded Stapleton’s albums “From A Room Vol. 1 & 2” and “Traveller” using a Burl Audio Mothership and a minimal amount of channels. He also gives the specifics of how he records Stapleton’s voice and acoustic guitar at the same time (a challenge that many engineers can relate too). His solution is sure to have our audience members trying his technique immediately!

Vance Powell’s GRAMMY Winning Advice: Keep it Simple

Vance Powell also made a strong case for keeping things simple and making decisions early in the recording process. In one of the funniest moments of the night, Powell talked about a session he recently mixed for a pop singer that had hundreds of tracks, including 14 stereo kick drum tracks. He hilariously recounts going through 32 tracks of “glitches and sweeps,” along with a drony sitar, wondering what they were adding to the song. After muting dozens of tracks, he was finally able to hear the core of the song, which allowed him to get the best mix possible. Even in the rock world, Powell says he’s receiving sessions with over 35 mics on the drum kit. This style of production allows you to add as many tracks as you want without ever having to make a decision, which forces the mix engineer to make decisions for them. This ends up distracting from what’s really important – the song and the performance. At this point, Rich Williams chimed in to remind us that with every track you add, your entire mix loses resolution. By simplifying your mix, you have enough room to make each element as big as it can be without sonic compromise.

A Great Time All Around

It’s safe to say that everyone at the event had a good time, enjoyed some delicious snacks, and learned a lot about how Burl Audio is bringing analog clarity, resolution, and warmth to the digital age. Attendees were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet Vance Powell and ask him questions about his Grammy-winning recording techniques. On top of that, Burl Audio came equipped with an A/B test setup that allowed attendees to hear the Burl Audio difference for themselves!

For more recording tips and studio stories, check out the full list of videos below!

Top Products from Burl Audio

Stay tuned for our next installment of the proSESSIONS series, and check out highlights from previous guests here: https://westlakepro.com/past-events/

Posted on

Special Savings with Mojave and Daking Mic-Pre Bundles!

Pro Recordings, Promo Price

For over two decades, Mojave and Daking have been staples in pro recording studios. Now is your chance to add their classic sound to your studio for a special price. Arguably the two most important parts of your signal chain, your microphone and preamp will determine the quality of your recordings. With Mojave and Daking, you’re sure to get quality results every time! Featuring the MA-301fet and Mic Pre Onethis bundle gives you great sound in a portable package.

MA-50: Mojave Quality for Everyone!

With the MA-50, David Royer sought to bring pack Mojave quality, clarity and realism in an affordable package. The award-winning microphone designer did just that by pairing the capsule from the MA-201fet with a transformerless circuit. The result? An impressive large diaphragm condenser that sounds great on almost any source. The fast transient response and high SPL handling make it great for drum overheads or loud guitars. The natural frequency response makes it a natural choice for vocals, voiceover, and acoustic instruments. If you’re looking for a quality studio workhorse, the MA-50 will prove to be the perfect choice for any budget. Thanks to the inclusion of a travel case and shock mount, you can bring the Mojave sound to any session!

MA-50 in one take

  • Large diaphragm 1″ gold sputtered 3-micron capsule
  • Fixed cardioid polar pattern
  • Transformerless circuit design
  • Ultra low noise
  • High SPL handling
  • Fast transient response
  • Professional shock mount and hardshell case

Meet the MA-301fet

The Mojave MA-301fet builds on the success of the MA-201fet by adding two additional polar patterns. This greatly increases the capabilities of the MA-301fet without sacrificing the stellar Cardioid performance of its predecessor. Flip the switch to the Omni mode to get a versatile room mic. Switch to the Figure-8 pattern to record a duet with one mic, or experiment with Mid/Side recording. In addition to these new pickup patterns, Mojave have also included a 15dB pad. This will allow you to record incredibly loud sources without running the risk of distorting your signal. Finally, a switchable low-cut filter allows you to gently reduce low-frequency build up. This is particularly useful for close-miked sources where the proximity effect can exaggerate low frequencies.

Great Sound on Any Source

Known for their realism and clarity, Mojave microphones sound great on almost any source. The MA-301fet is no different. Get crisp vocals, big drums, and detailed acoustic recordings all from the same mic. A true studio workhorse, the MA-301 is a useful addition to any mic locker. What’s more, you can safely bring it to remote sessions thanks to the included hardshell case and professional shockmount.

Features:

  • Multi-pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Figure-eight (Bi-directional)
  • Switchable 15dB pad
  • Switchable Bass Roll-off
  • Hand-selected 3-micron 1-in capsule
  • Jensen audio transformer
  • Military-grade FET
  • Custom designed low-noise resistors
  • Ultra clean signal path

Daking Mic Pre One – Big Features, Small Size

Building on the success of their larger studio preamps and EQs, Daking is proud to introduce the Mic Pre OneFeaturing 70dB of gain, a Jensen input transformer, and discrete Class A circuitry, the Mic Pre One puts pure sound in a small package. A 20dB pad, polarity switch, DI input, and variable low-cut filter makes this a workhorse for numerous situations. Thanks to its small size and sturdy aluminum enclosure, you can bring great sound wherever you go. Whether on stage, in the studio, or on location, this preamp strikes the perfect balance between build quality and performance. Factor in the feature set and affordable price, and this portable preamp is a winner!

Daking Mic Pre One in one take

  • 70db of gain
  • 20 segment tri color meter with VU and peak indications
  • Switchable Polarity
  • 20db pad with constant reflected impedance
  • Switchable Phantom Power
  • Direct 1/4″ instrument input on the front panel
  • Balanced XLR Output
  • Balanced 1/4″ TRS output which can be used with unbalanced devices with no deterioration of signal

Save Big With These Bundles Below!

Posted on

Polished Vocals, Right From Your Desktop

Professional, Polished Vocals – Free with any Apollo Twin or Arrow!

For a limited time, get the polished vocal sounds heard on countless hit records – absolutely free! Universal Audio is bundling up to $896 of vocal plug-ins with every Apollo Twin or Arrow desktop interface. With Antares Auto-Tune Realtime Advanced and the Unison Enabled Manley VOXBOX Channel Strip, your vocals will sit perfectly in the mix as soon as you hit record. From there, add rich reverb and analog warmth with the Pure Plate Reverb and Oxide Tape Recorder. What’s more, you can bring the tools used by the pros to any vocal session with the ultra-portable Apollo Twin and Arrow desktop interfaces.

Continue reading Polished Vocals, Right From Your Desktop

Posted on

Congratulations to the 66th Annual Golden Reel Award Winners!

Silver Screen, Golden Reel

Every year, the Motion Picture Sound Editorsor MPSE, gather in Los Angeles to award praise to talented artists who bring life to the big screen through sound. When it comes to editing audio, the goal is often to go unnoticed. This invisibility allows the audience to become fully immersed in the world shown on the screen. The obvious downside to this is that the general public often leaves the theater discussing the actors, visual effects, and soundtrack without a second thought towards the people that make the sounds of each element work. From Foley Artists to Sound Designers, Dialogue Editors and beyond, the MPSE has made a point to honor these hardworking artists with a well-deserved Golden Reel.

From Bohemian Rhapsody to Roma, Spider-Man to Westworldread on to see who took home a prestigious Golden Reel award!

Continue reading Congratulations to the 66th Annual Golden Reel Award Winners!

Posted on

Congratulations to our Top 5 TEC 2019 Winners!

Technical Excellence & Creativity

Every year, the NAMM show brings tons of buzz surrounding countless new product announcements. While this gives us a glimpse of where the recording world will be going in the year to come, the TEC awards give us a chance to look back at some of the most innovative tools from the previous year. Standing for Technical Excellence & Creativity, this year’s list of winners and nominees is a testament to quality and innovation. With a huge lineup of stellar tools in every category, we’ve narrowed this list down to our Top 5 winning products. Read on to learn more about what won and why!

Continue reading Congratulations to our Top 5 TEC 2019 Winners!

Posted on

New from NAMM 2019!

NAMM 2019 is here, and with it comes new gear!

Check out some of the latest releases from top vendors. From new mics to next-gen monitors, audiophile converters, and studio essentials, read on to see the latest from the industry’s top vendors! We’ll be updating this list as new announcements are made, so be sure to keep an eye out for the latest releases from NAMM 2019! Until then, click the images to read more about each release.

Continue reading New from NAMM 2019!

Posted on

Vintage vs. Virtual Microphone Shootout

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own a vintage AKG C12? What about the recently re-issued Neumann U67? Are you curious to explore the modern forefront of microphone technology?

Here at Westlake Pro, the answer to all three questions has been an emphatic YES, so we decided to hold a side-by-side mic shootout with three of our favorite microphones, and we wanted to invite YOU to join in!

We’ve recently had Townsend Labs join us in-store to show us their revolutionary Sphere L22 Modeling Microphone System. We had such a blast testing it back-to-back with some classic mics that we wanted to extend the opportunity to our fellow gear-heads. The mics on offer are a true-vintage AKG C12 in pristine condition along with the 2018 reissue of Neumann’s U67 which we’d like to invite you to compare to the models found in the Townsend Sphere L22.

Continue reading Vintage vs. Virtual Microphone Shootout

Posted on

2018 – Thanks for Another Great Year!

2019 is here, and before we get caught up in the new year, we’d like to reflect on the numerous highlights throughout 2018. We got to meet countless new people, host numerous successful events, and even open a new location! 2018 was an incredibly busy year for us, and we want to thank everyone that helped make it special! Read on to check out some of the highlights.

Continue reading 2018 – Thanks for Another Great Year!

Posted on

Universal Audio | Classic Consoles, Accelerated

For a limited time, you can get the sound of 4 Classic Consoles from API, Neve, SSL, and Universal Audio FREE when you purchase any new UAD-2 DSP Accelerator!

UAD-2 Satellite DSP Accelerators are your key to bringing the sound and power of the recording industry’s most beloved pieces of history right to your DAW. Loaded with up to 8 SHARC DSP chips, they provide enough power to run multiple instances of UAD-2’s award-winning plug-ins across a complex mix session, without taxing your CPU.

Continue reading Universal Audio | Classic Consoles, Accelerated