Having accumulated nearly two dozen 500 Series modules over the past few years I have to confess that I’ve become addicted. Selecting the seven that I truly can’t live without was quite a task, but I believe that the cream of the crop has risen to the top. Here they are (in no particular order):
1. Sonic Farm Silkworm: Built by a couple of genius mad scientists in Vancouver, BC this beast works wonders on drums, bass, guitars and vocals.
2. Rascal Audio Two-V: This work of wonder is the most flexible drum preamp I’ve ever heard.
3. Empirical Labs Doc-Derr: A killer EQ and compressor built into a single module. I love it on bass guitar and snare.
4. Alta Moda Hippo: Reminiscent of the SSL compressor, but actually better. I use it on drum overheads while tracking, piano during overdubs and on the stereo bus while mixing. It rocks.
5. Moog Analog Delay: The best sounding delay ever. It includes a plug-in that stores the settings with your DAW session and it recalls via MIDI. All of the convenience of mixing ITB but it’s the real deal, not a virtual model.
6. Ingram Engineering MPA575 Microphone Processor: It’s the only 500 Series module that incorporates a mic pre, eq and compressor into a single unit and all three sound great.
7. LaChapell 583s (pictured): An amazing tube pre that beautifully records piano, acoustic guitar and vocals.