Chicago, IL (November 24, 2003)–Analog complements digital in engineer/producer Chris Shepard’s Tour My Studio mobile recording set-up, which offers the best of both worlds. The recording rig, which packs into six road cases, features 40 channels of True Systems Precision 8 transformerless microphone preamps and a collection of high-quality microphones, including Neumann and Sennheiser models, providing a warm, analog front-end for a Digidesign Pro Tools HD v6.0 workstation.
“It’s a great sounding preamp, and the noise floor is incredible,” says Shepard, studio manager at Chicago Recording Company, and the owner of Tour My Studio. “It’s just great stuff–and dependable. Plus, the built-in splitting ability comes in handy for me.”
Each True Precision 8 unit allows a two-way split of each input signal via eight rear panel TRS connectors and a DB25 eight-channel connector, which may be accessed simultaneously. The compact Precision 8 features a simple and elegant front panel layout that offers easy access to eight smooth continuous gain controls and easy-to-read five-segment level indicators with peak-hold feature and selectable peak reference in a 1U rack-space unit.
True Systems’ Precision 8 was designed for easy integration with today’s modular disc-based recording systems. “I put DB25 panels on the back of both my racks,” explains Shepard. “So basically, all I’m using is a DB25 patch cord to connect the preamp rack to the Pro Tools rack. It’s so simple, clean and fast. Our rig is set up in about half an hour. It loads off the truck, the fronts of the cases come off, just a few wires connect it together, and we’re rocking.”
Shepard established Tour My Studio three years ago to complement CRC by providing location recording services. “The two are linked together and work hand-in-hand real well,” he observes. “The combination of reaching out from a major studio–CRC is the big one in the Midwest–and being able to supply a live rig is key to both ventures staying current.”
The Tour My Studio recording setup also includes a good selection of microphones, including several by Sennheiser and Neumann. “The Neumann KM 184s are probably my most desired room mics,” Shepard reports. “I carry a Neumann TLM 103 and use that a lot for low end or for strings. We do a lot of gospel work, where we go to a church and record the full strings, piano, choir, and obviously the room mics are so important in that scenario.”
Tour My Studio has been hired to record everything from a church pipe organ to Sonic Youth. Shepard, whose engineering, mixing and production credits also include Buddy Guy, Incubus, Wilco, Smashing Pumpkins, and many more, is currently working toward the completion of a release celebrating 20 years of Joe Shanahan’s famed Chicago-based Metro rock club.