The LegendaryTones Recording System
It is the goal of LegendaryTones to provide accurate information about the products and technologies that will help guitarists obtain better tone. While it has been said that, "a picture can speak a thousand words", here at LegendaryTones we strive to create sound files that can speak a thousand words as well. It is important then to recognize the hardware and software used to record our sound files. We strive for quality and accuracy - the files are compiled with a flat e.q. response and are not enhanced with any processors - so you literally, "hear it like it is".
We'd like to personally thank our sponsoring company partners who have helped us to provide the tools that are used to create our sound files. All of the products represented here are truly world-class and are highly recommended for your own studio recording work.
LegendaryTones' sound files are recorded digitally using a Compaq Presario 6000 Pentium IV 2000MHz system with 256 Mbytes of memory on an Intel motherboard with an Intel 845 chipset running Windows XP Home Edition. Certainly more than adequate to record MP3 Real Audio files on single tracks!
The Hardware and Software Components
Mackie 1604 VLZ PRO mixer
Mackie’s reputation has been well known throughout the years as being one that delivers products of the highest caliber. With the VLZ PRO series, Mackie has made the transition to producing more compact mixers at an affordable price. The 1604 VLZ PRO is a 16x4x1 design that features six XDR mic preamps, and a very low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) rating of 0.0007%. Other features include 60mm long-wearing log-taper faders, separate RCA-type tape/CD inputs and tape outputs, 2 aux sends with 15dB of gain, 3-band EQ, and an 18dB/octave 75Hz Lo Cut filter that helps eliminate stage rumble, wind noise, P-pops and low frequency recording studio room references. The 1604 VLZ PRO also offers phantom power and an extra ALT 3-4 stereo bus for submixes, separate recording, monitor, and "mix minus" feeds.
So in other words, the 1604 VLZ PRO mixer offers a great deal of professional features and high quality performance, in a small, rugged and cost-effective package. See www.mackie.com for more details.
Echo Gina 24/96
The Gina 24 from Echo is the company’s latest generation 24-bit/96KHz recording device. The output signal of our Mackie 1604 VLZ is fed into one of the two ¼" inputs available on the Gina 24. Basically for our purposes, the Gina works as a very clean and noise-free sound card for digital recording. However, it should be kept in mind that the Gina 24 is not just any "sound card" and is perhaps the most critical piece of gear in our system. Using a sound card of poor quality, or one that is not designed specifically to record audio will produce a much poorer final product. I’ve witnessed this first hand while recording through a stock sound card in a PC. The audio signal ended up sounding more compressed and the high-frequencies were always over-emphasized and sounded brash. With the Gina 24, the signal remains truer and more naturally balanced. In addition, noise caused by the electronics inside the PC are virtually eliminated – we imagine this is perhaps because much of the Gina’s most sensitive and critical electronics are mounted within its external breakout box, rather than on the PCI card itself. The Gina 24 rests comfortably on top of the outside of our computer’s case.
The Gina 24 uses a PCI bus master interface and has a dynamic range of 108dB. It has a wide frequency response of 10Hz-22kHz and includes eight balanced +4dB outputs and two +4dB inputs. The Gina 24 ships with a special edition of Syntrillium’s Cool Edit Pro – a solid software suite that incorporates all the basic features needed to get into recording and editing. However, we chose to use Sonic Foundry’s Vegas Pro which we feel is a more comprehensive application.
All in all, the Gina 24 is worth serious consideration for those wanting to produce quality digital recordings. For more information, check out Echo’s website at www.echoaudio.com.
Seagate Disc Drives
Seagate is the undisputed leader in high-performance disc drives for audio and video applications. They’ve even recently brought to market the world’s first 15,000 RPM drive that has been labeled as, "the fastest in the world". With excellent engineering and a reputation for producing quality products that are a cut above the rest, the choice to use Seagate’s drives for storing and recording our audio files was clear.
LegendaryTones is currently using the Medalist Pro 9140, which was the industry’s first drive to incorporate Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) motors. While this ATA drive has since been replaced with newer and even higher-performing models such as Seagate’s U-series and Barracuda ATA product lines, our Medalist Pro drive keeps working very reliably in our system. The old adage, "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" applies here – although we’ll be happy to look into an upgrade perhaps when serial ATA products become available sometime next year.
For more information about Seagate’s products, check out their website at: www.seagate.com.
Sonic Foundry Vegas Audio
Vegas Audio was introduced last year as an easy-to-use and comprehensive audio recording and editing application. It received acclaim and several awards from the media and was our personal favorite application to use for recording when we compared it with other available applications.
We experienced tracking problems and lower fidelity recordings with some of the other software packages we tried, especially when we used them for heavier-duty functions such as simultaneously recording 8 tracks of audio at once (we’re musicians here and use our applications for more than just LegendaryTones’ sound file creation). Vegas Pro however, performed these applications without any hint of a glitch or problem. Vegas Pro runs on Windows 9x systems as well as NT 4.0, 2000 and XP.
For more information, visit Sonic Foundry’s website at: www.sonicfoundry.com.