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Gear of the Year Awards 2010

December 16th, 2010 | 39 Comments   « Previous  |  Episode 26  |  Next »

The First Annual Gear of the Year Awards. Categories this year are for: Monitoring technology, Hardware, Software, Studio Accessories, Musical Instrument and Ultimate Gear Lust. A few mini-reviews included.

To watch on your ipod or ipad, download the m4v version

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39 Comments ~ Speak your mind »
  1. Tomás

    Great episode! I used to be skeptical about the superiority of the Fairchild and the like. I was however blown away when I heard the audio samples of the AT-101 (specially on the last song of the clip). The difference is outstanding!

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  2. kenny

    Nice episode! I like fl studio! I think that more people will start noticing it in the future!

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  3. Bruno Fornazza

    hey Ronan!!! you are ritgh! the at-101 is boodly awesome! it was an honor to be there during some of the testing you´ve done with it!!

    if I could name my gear of the year , it would be slate´s digital trigger…. such a cold and easy tool for drum replacement, and even thou it comes with 2.5 gb of samples, it is almost 100 dolars cheapper then sound replacer for protools….

    cheers!

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  4. Curtis

    Great info

    I have been looking for a recommendation on headphones

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  5. Curtis

    oh yeah

    love the Christmas Story lamp

    Do you have those set up in the studio?

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  6. R4x2

    Ronan: Would you recommend the Little Phatty as a low end alternative to the Minimoog, or would you suggest saving up longer for the Voyager? I would probably just use it as a bass synth (with maybe some lead use). My other option would be a Prodigy, but I think the Little Phatty would be more reliable anymore.

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  7. Ronan


    Would you recommend the Little Phatty as a low end alternative to the Minimoog, or would you suggest saving up longer for the Voyager?

    I have some friend that are really into synths that tell me the Little Phatty does not live up to the higher end moogs, and they are probably right, but I am crazy about my Little Phatty, I almost gave it the musical instrument of the year award on this episode but I think I have had it close to 2 years now. I love it. Super cool tones, easy to tweak and the mark II version with the usb connection and arpeggio is fantastic. I would go ahead and get a little phatty and you can always sell it for close to what you paid for it to fund one of the big boys when you are ready-Ronan

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  8. Shane O'Connor

    what is the name of that HD hub?

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  9. Laperlestudio

    Hi Ronan, once again you have a really nice show! I love when I see your name popped up in my email to tell me that a new show is online!

    I’m glad to hear such good thing about the shure headphones, it ’s a cool option in the bag of headphone that everyone (almost) can buy and that are not open.

    For my winner of 2010, I’ve tried a pair of DPA 4011 matched with an Avalon preamp for recording a Choir and the result is REALLY good! But when I took them home to make some test, I was blown away when I put it in front of an acoustic guitar or even a voice. I compare them to schoeps and I like the DPA 10 times more!

    I have to say that my cable tester is another one since I’ve made a lot of reconfiguration, construction and soldering!

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  10. Robin

    Totally agree with your software awards. Izotope is fantastic! I tried Bias SoundSoap but went with Izotope ‘cuz it seemed more user-friendly. But both are definitely worth a trial run.

    cheers for another great episode! :-)

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  11. Ronan


    what is the name of that HD hub?

    Shane, This is the one I am really digging because of the firewire connections, I can edit pro tools and HD video off it with no problems-Ronan

    Voyager Q Hard Drive Docking Station (FireWire® 800/400/USB 2.0/eSATA SATA I/II)
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002C3EHXE/ref=oss_product

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  12. Ronan


    For my winner of 2010, I’ve tried a pair of DPA 4011


    Good call. I am a big fan of them and even more so the 4006s, even though I am an old enough engineer that its still tough not to call them B&K

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  13. SquashPile

    Awesome vid Ronan.

    Thank you

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  14. Thomas

    Awesome Episode!

    Of course I have to mention the product that has simply blown me away this year:

    The UAD2 Studer A800 Tape Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug In

    http://www.uaudio.com/products/software/studer-a800/index.html

    Thomas

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  15. Jason Calderon

    Hey Ronan!
    Great Show as Always! I wanted to comment on what Brunno said. I got Slat Digitals Trigger a few months ago and it really helped make a big difference in cleaning up my drum mixes by sampling out the bad drum takes i was given. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!
    Jason. :)

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  16. drumslave

    Great awards show! two pieces of gear that i bought this year that i think are great. the AKG C214 and the FOCUSRITE TRAK MASTER PRO (used togther). have you used these? Thanks.

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  17. Loco Hombre

    I couldn’t agree more with the HD dock. No more frankenstien looking external cases with the tops removed to constantly switch drives!

    The biggest “why didn’t I get this years ago?” item for me goes to the cheap and ultra handy Behringer CT100 Cable Tester.

    It tests practically any cable you have in the studio as well as produces a test tone, detects phantom power and backwards wiring and it conveniently runs on batteries. This thing has made my life so much easier. Best $22 a studio rat can spend!

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  18. Simone

    Ciao Ronan!

    GREAT episode, as usual!

    This year I bought an UA LA-610, a big improvement for my homestudio!

    And, thanks to your advice, a beautiful Shure KSM 32.

    Thank you very much!

    Simo

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  19. Rob

    I’ll also throw in a vote for Slate Digital, but for their FG-X Virtual mastering Processor (the Trigger is in the future for me though.)

    Ronan, I’m glad you mentioned the Shure 840’s because I’ve been considering a new set of headphones. As a reference, what was your favorite (or your regularly used) phones prior to the Shures? Could you rate the Shures compared to say… some AT’s or Beyer’s, etc?

    Great show and Happy Holidays!
    Rob

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  20. Ronan


    Ronan, I’m glad you mentioned the Shure 840’s because I’ve been considering a new set of headphones. As a reference, what was your favorite (or your regularly used) phones prior to the Shures? Could you rate the Shures compared to say… some AT’s or Beyer’s, etc?

    We tested them against Sony 7506 and MDV-V700, Audio Technica ATH-M50, Sennheiser HD 650 and HD 590. Myself and an engineer buddy (with several gold and platinum albums) both chose the Shures as the best. Obviously there are lots of great headphones out there that I was not able to A-B against. -Ronan

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  21. Hakim Callier

    Hey Ronan,

    Thanks for some really great shows this year. We really appreciate it.

    The item that has made the biggest impact on my studio life is Michael Joly’s Oktavamods.com. I’ve gotten several mics modded by Mr. Joly for stellar sonic improvements on already good sounding stuff.

    Mr. Joly has modded a MXL V69; a RODE NT1A and Oktava a pair of MK319s.

    Amazing results.

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  22. Dan Terlep

    Ronan,
    I just tried your no-headphone vocal trick and got some really cool results! The guy I’m working with was able to deliver a much more solid performance, and the little bit of leftover bleed is actually helping the track sit a little bit better in the mix.

    Thanks for the tip!!

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  23. Virginia Wagner

    Really enjoyed this episode! Thank you!

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  24. Max Bouvrie

    Ronan,

    Since you’re looking at some new monitors, check out ADAM. Great brand that i have had to say the least, incredible experience with.

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  25. Timo

    I’m someone who records on a budget. What’s really blown me away is the software DAW Reaper. I paid about 50 euros for a fully licensed version.

    Again, being on a budget, I consider carefully before spending my money, but am really happy with my purchase of the software compressor The Glue, which was about 80 euros and really seems to make my drum recordings sound a lot better, as well as the overall mix.

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  26. JOMANS

    what monitors do you use? are those EVENT monitors? which ones do you prefer?

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  27. Ronan


    what monitors do you use? are those EVENT monitors? which ones do you prefer?

    They are Event 20/20bas monitors. Its not hip to say it these days, but I actually love them. Very good balance of detail and bigness. Will be adding another set this year. Looking at the new Events, Dynaudio BM15 and waiting to check out the new Trident monitors once they go to market. -Ronan

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  28. JOMANS

    cool, am guessing your lookin at the EVEN OPALs… yeah my monitors are not hip as well Yamaha HS 80s but its the only one that works for me.

    cheers!

    Josh

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  29. Jason Davies

    Thanks Ronan for giving us the award for SoundSoap Pro – I’m assuming you were referring to the pro edition rather than the basic edition.
    BIAS offers SoundSoap at just $129 SRP (which is incredibly easy and very effective for common noise issues). SoundSoap Pro has an SRP of $599 (street is around $499). These standard editions are Mac and Windows compatible.

    However, your viewers might be interested to know that we have just updated our product line and, if using a Mac, it is now possible to get SoundSoap and SoundSoap Pro along with our award-winning Peak editing and mastering applications.

    Peak Studio is just $599 SRP (street is about $499) and now actually includes Peak Pro 7 and both SoundSoap PL and SoundSoap Pro PL, plus our Master Perfection Suite PL of 6 powerful audio processing, mastering, and analysis tools ($599 value itself). These plug-ins have the same great – and well proven – feature set of the standard editions except they are limited to running within Peak Pro – which is an ideal environment for stereo editing, restoration, and mastering – even including DDP Export for submitting pre-masters to major replication facilities. SoundSaver, a streamlined utility for analog LP and tape archiving is also included plus SFX Machine LT and a special edition of XILS virtual analog modular synth.

    Peak Studio XT is at $1199 SRP (street is about $999) and is identical to Peak Studio except that the plug-ins stated above will work in third-party plug-in hosts as well (AU, RTAS, VST).

    Further, we’ve just announced Peak Studio LE – this also includes SoundSoap PL, along with additional plug-ins, and offers many core editing and mastering features of Peak Pro – including full Red-Book CD mastering and delivery. It also includes SoundSaver and is just $129 SRP.

    Here’s a link for more information: http://www.bias-inc.com

    Thanks!

    Best regards,

    Jason
    Jason

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  30. Ronan

    Jason, Thanks for chiming in with all the info. Looking forward to checking out the updates.

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  31. Steve Hebert

    I use those same headphones!

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  32. John Shepherd

    Ronan,

    There are two D/A converters that are heads above the others out there. I would really like for you to do a review of these side by side. They are the Burl B2 Bomber DAC and Fred Forssell’s new DAC. They both feature discrete op-amps. Tape op mag. did a review of the Burl and it was compared to be as good as the DCS units. They range between $2500-3000.

    Everyone has an opinion on these but nobody has done a direct comparison. You have Lavry units and they would make a nice comparison.

    Thanks for all of the ongoing work and for your insight.

    Best Regards,

    John

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  33. Dean

    I’ve just started poking around here today. I was initially checking out the pre-amp shoot out. But this has to be one of the coolest sites ever. Easily my site of the year!!! Thanks so much for doing this Roland! I’ve been looking for this place forever. I just didn’t know it until I found it!

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  34. James

    Just awesome show with sooo much great info. As a drummer that is also very interested in the recording side of music, all the of the drum-related videos are brilliant!
    Thank you very much Ronan!

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  35. Mattias

    Hey Ronan!

    Awesome Episode….. Well… MY winner in the Hardware category would be the Rupert Neve Portico II….. I bought 2 of them at the end of last Year…. and Man…. They Blow my head…. such an awesome Channel Strip… the Compressor is Outstanding…. The Pre amp is so warm and sweet and the EQ is the best!!

    So that’s my Winner for the Hardware Category this Year…. hahaha

    Keep going with more episodes Ronan….. you are the best!

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  36. Jonathan

    We’ve been using SoundSoap to clean up production audio on our TV shows all season long, it’s really invaluable at this point. The only downside is that location sound recordists/boom operators are getting lazy because now they know we can fix it in post.

    Ronan, you were the one who made me a fan of Event 20/20s in the first place, and they’re still my primary monitors. Despite the low street price and the plain aesthetics, you’d be surprised how many multi-million dollar rooms they show up in.

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  37. Stephen

    Just got myself a pair of SRH840’s because of your recommendation (mostly). I am very pleased with these cans. They really are magnificent.

    Thanks for the suggestion, Ronan.

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  38. Calvin

    Late to the game on some of this stuff but I really love Soundtoys Decapitator. http://www.soundtoys.com/product/Decapitator

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  39. Peter Chambers

    The FIREFACE UFX, also (Dangerous Music D-Box, and A-Designs Pacifica)!! Ok, Avedis MA5, both the Electrodynes 501, 511 are cool too.

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