Los Angeles, CA (December 21, 2004)–Session bassist, songwriter, and member of Virgin Records rock act Ima Robot, Justin Meldal-Johnsen has graced recordings by artists such as Tori Amos, Courtney Love, Macy Gray, Garbage, and Pete Yorn while simultaneously working with Beck as both his bassist and music director. From session to session and show to show, Meldal-Johnsen has plugged into an infinite number of DIs, and recently discovered the REDDI high-end tube direct box from A Designs.
“Since the bass guitar is my exclusive instrument, I’m always plugged into a DI,” Meldal-Johnsen explained. “I’ve used so many. Generally the thing that I hate about DIs is that when you plug a bass into them, the sound seems to be useful to engineers but it’s often distasteful to my own ears. Most DIs have a glassy, transparent, sort of weightless sound with a lot of top end–unnatural and clinical. If you’re lucky, one might have sub-harmonic content, but even then it will probably have a glassy-sounding fundamental tone. Too many engineers seem to be resigned to the fact that using these are good ways to get bass sounds–just blend it with an amp, and you’re golden. I just don’t think that’s enough. The DI alone should sound amazing.”
An amazing sound is what Meldal-Johnsen found upon discovering the REDDI. “The REDDI just did it for me,” he stated plainly. “It just sounded like a fat bass. It didn’t sound sterile–it was natural, pleasing, and not at all brittle on the top end. It’s the kind of thing that I could just plug into and play all day through, and maybe even blow off using an amp! It was a revelation to find it, and I’ve rarely ever encountered DIs that have allowed me to do that.”
Solely using the REDDI is exactly what Meldal-Johnsen did during recent sessions for the soundtrack of an upcoming feature thriller scored by Tyler Bates, composer for Dawn of the Dead. “I didn’t use an amp at all,” said Meldal-Johnsen. “I used only the REDDI and it sounded really, really nice.”
The REDDI tube DI–appropriately painted a highly identifiable fire engine red hue–is designed for use with basses, guitars, synthesizers, and any other electronic instruments requiring the best direct signal path possible. The Reddi features a 6N1P tube, Neutrik combination XLR/quarter-inch input, balanced XLR output, on/off toggle switch, LED power indicator, level control knob, ground lift, EIN power connector, a metal vented casing, custom output transformer, and an enclosed power supply with Toroid power transformer. The REDDI can also be rack-mounted for use with two or more units.
Regarding his work with Ima Robot, who are preparing to record their second release, Meldal-Johnsen describes his bass guitar contributions to be “chameleon-like,” changing depending on the song at hand. “My sounds change a lot, but I always want things to sound punchy with lot of fundamental,” he offered. “With Ima Robot, it generally needs a little grind to it, so I’m going to use the REDDI with an Ampeg B15 for a clean amp sound, a Marshall JTM-45 head and Fender ToneMaster 2X12 cabinet for a dirty amp sound, and the REDDI. That’s the signal chain. On the last record, my DI was an Avalon DI just because it was there. This time, the REDDI will blow the Avalon away.”
For more information regarding the REDDI by A Designs Audio in the U.S. please contact TransAudio Group, 702-365-5155 or www.transaudiogroup.com.
A Designs Audio