Los Angeles, CA (March 15, 2006)–Producer/engineer Ted Perlman has a full suite of systems from A Designs Audio at his LA-based studio, Buffalo Sound, that he uses on projects ranging from Grammy-winning work with Burt Bacharach to a much more under-the-radar indie demo recordings.
Ted Perlman “My A Designs Audio gear has become my magic boxes. They sound amazing, but they’re still direct, to the point, and reliable,” said Perlman, who utilizes the A Designs’ REDDI tube direct box, MP1 tube pre, Pacifica solid-state microphone preamp, and ATTY passive level controls at Buffalo Sound. “My criteria for equipment is that it has to be well-made and uncomplicated: If it doesn’t make some sort of sound in ten minutes, get rid of it. The tools I have from A Designs just work, from the sound to the interface.”
Perlman’s distinctively bright red REDDI box was an important part of helping to record Bacharach’s latest record At This Time, which took home the 2006 Grammy for “Best Pop Instrumental Album.” “The REDDI is way more than just a direct box,” Perlman pointed out. “Like a DI box should, it keeps the electrical signal strong, clean and pure over long cable runs, but it also takes an ordinary sound and makes it special. For example, sometimes an acoustical guitar with pickups just sounds like an electric guitar, but the REDDI retains the acoustic character and makes it sound great. For bass, it wraps the signal in this protective coating that makes it sound spectacular when you’re placing it in the mix. I also use it for mono keyboards, harmonica and anything else I can think of. I basically won’t record without it.”
According to Perlman, the A Designs mic pres have become an equally integral part of the Buffalo Sound signal path. “The MP1 is my favorite vocal preamp,” stated Perlman, whose lengthy discography includes the likes of Chicago, Dr. Dre, Bob Dylan, Elton John and Carole King. “It’s clear, but with a kind of a tape sound that takes away any digital coldness and saturates without over-coloring, as if I had a great Ampex two-inch 24-track tape machine running. I also use it often for guitars. It’s very musical sounding.
“The Pacifica is a solid-state preamp that has a great tube sound. It’s a recreation of the sound from the classic Quad Eight boards, but with its own character. It’s also got the simplicity that I love: just turn the knob, find the sound, go. It reminds me a lot of the operation of the LA-2A compressor in that way, and I think the Pacifica is definitely the grandchild of the LA-2A.”
Perlman also gets maximum mileage from his A Designs Audio ATTY and ATTY 2-D passive audio line level controls. “The ATTY is a very clear, invisible attenuator which allows you to drop the level down without changing the sound of the device that’s going into it,” he explains. “If most gear can be compared to a car than runs well, the ATTY would be the bumper that makes sure you don’t get any dents or scratches. I have a Brauner mic, for instance, that puts out a great deal of output. I could use the 10dB roll-off on the mic, but that changes the sound slightly. Instead, I leave the Brauner on full and after it leaves the phantom power I take that into the ATTY, where I drop it down 5-10dB, and from there it goes into my MP1.”
A Designs Audio is distributed by TransAudio Group, whose product lines include A Designs (USA), ADT Audio (Germany), ATC (U.K), Brauner (Germany), Daking (USA), Drawmer (UK), Enhanced Audio (Ireland), George Massenburg Labs (USA), Heil Sound (USA), Pauly (Germany), Sabra Som (Brazil), Soundelux (USA), SoundField (UK), Weiss Engineering (Switzerland) and Z-Systems (USA).