Chino, CA (November 5, 2015)—Richard Chycki recently engineered Dream Theater’s thirteenth album, capturing vocalist James LeBrie with the Manley Labs Force four-channel microphone preamp.
“EveAnna Manley told me she had a new high-voltage tube preamp under development that was going to be pretty special, and it sounded like just what I was looking for,” Chycki recalls. “Dream Theater’s James LeBrie is a very dynamic vocalist, exceptionally sensitive, and with incredible power. He can break glass too!
“With all that power, he distorts 99 percent of mics and preamps, but the Force has phenomenal headroom, and it sounds spectacular on his voice. We’ve finally found a preamp that can keep up with him. I record James with a Blue Blueberry mic, and with that and the FORCE, his voice sounds forward, present, and clean. The producer liked the vocal sound so much he made a point of asking how I did it—a high compliment.”
In Chycki’s opinion, Dream Theater is an acid test for a preamp. “All of the players in Dream Theater are extremely dynamic, so if there is a weak link in the audio chain, it’s going to be exposed quickly. It’s doing its job 110 percent. The band members say that this is the best that LeBrie has ever been captured-and they’re all audio fanatics, so you can take that seriously.”