Gear Talk – AES Convention Announcements! with Sweetwater’s Robby Resnick

This week there were some really exciting announcements made at the AES Convention! We get the details from Sweetwater Sound’s Robby Resnick! Check out the video below!

There you have it! Lot’s of exciting things happening right now! For more details make sure to shoot your Sweetwater Sales Rep an email! If you don’t have a Sales Rep, contact the official MixCoach representative, Robby Resnick at robby_resnick@sweetwater.com

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[transcript]John:       Hey guys, John Wright with MixCoach here. I’m just sitting down
with Robby Resnick from Sweetwater to talk a little bit about the awesome
gear that he’s got coming out. Some of the highest sellers that he has in
popular gear as well as a pro-tip at the end here that you’re definitely
going to want to check out. How you doing Robby?

Robby:      I’m doing fantastic tonight. You?

John:       I’m doing great. So, first of all, what have you got going on
at Sweetwater that’s kind of popular right? What’s your hottest
gear?

Robby:      Well, we’ve been keeping busy. Of course with the AES show
there’s not a ton of brand new stuff that’s been coming out, but
of course there’s always trends moving around and always
interesting stuff to talk about. Things that I have been talking
about seems like a lot lately. Guys are calling me more and more
for guitar compression which I don’t know if that’s something
that somebody recently wrote an article about and now
everybody’s curious or if we’re reviving the dark art every six
months.

We have to revive guitar compression, but the [Pigtronix] philosopher’s tone has been my go to compressor probably for
about the past year now. I’m absolutely in love with it. It’s
got a little grit to it if you let it, but it can be totally
cleaned. One of the most transparent compressors, no
[artifacting], no weirdness and it’s just a killer pedal. So, I
find myself talking about that a lot.

Brand new, off the line is the Zoom H6 Multi-Recorder, the follow-up
to the H4N which everyone was in love with. As the name probably
denotes or as you can probably tell, the H6 has six inputs which
apparently is a revolution, but nonetheless people love it
actually because of the interchangeable modules at the tops. You
can change it between all different functions, different types
of inputs, different types of microphones, so that’s kind of
new.

I think finally the industry’s become pretty privy to the Eleven Rack
and how cool it is.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Probably didn’t hurt much that Avid decided that they were
going to make the Eleven Rack the same price as Pro Tools. Now,
you can either buy Pro Tools for $699 or an Eleven Rack for $699
and get Pro Tools for free. So, all of a sudden the Eleven Rack
is seeing this whole new resurgence where people are like, well,
I may as well buy and Eleven Rack and for most of them they play
guitar. It’s a great way to get a ton, ton of excellent guitar
tone.

Probably one of the best guitar [modulars], we have until you’re
ready to throw down on a Kemper. Of course, people have heard of
the [Fractile]. Both of those are absolutely excellent, but
obviously huge price point over double.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      The studio logs, there’s a lot of talk I would say about the
[Presonnna] studio logs right now.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Probably Presonna just did a really cool thing. They waited for
a long time. They really developed a V2 that’s really, really
cool, but not so significantly different that people think the
V1 is back. We have this overlap where V1 and V2 currently exist
in the same ecosystem which is pretty rare. Typically you find
somebody that announces a new product, they discontinue this
one, it’s gone, now you have this.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Presonna has said, no, we’re going to keep a few left in the
channel and move them around, so the price of the V1’s
plummeted, but guys are picking them up, looking at it as a 16
channel interface for their [doll], buying another one for
alternate lodge rigs or bigger shows and daisy chaining them
together.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      So, that’s huge. I probably talk about a Presonna in the studio
live, I would say, every one to two days there’s a conversation
on it.

John:       Right on.

Robbie:     There’s conversations I often bring up. One of those like, it’s
the best thing that you never heard of.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      It’s one of my personal favorites near and dear to my heart
because a good friend of mine was the one that kind of
discovered the company and brought it to us. On Cloud
Microphones, which I’ve never gotten to play with a Cloud mic,
but we sell the Cloud lifters which are these little 20 db
inline pre-amps. So, they give you 20 db of gain off your
phantom power and they’re excellent to put in front of things
like, large diaphragm dynamics like an SM7B, RE20 on your kick.
They’re also great for ribbon mics, low output ribbon mics where
you find yourself turning up that pre-amp.

John:       Right.

Robby:      Getting all that noise.

John:       Oh, yeah.

Robby:      Your noise floor comes up. It’s like [inaudible 04:17], I love
the tone of this ribbon, but I can’t hear [inaudible 04:20]

John:       Right.

Robby:      Sorry about the sound effect. I’m sure that came through
poorly.

John:       It sounded pretty accurate to what it would really sound like
too.

Robby:      Good. I’m glad. I totally planned that, but no the Cloud
lifter, absolutely one of those things if you have a ribbon mic
that you love it’s also great because it will protect that
ribbon. It doesn’t allow phantom power through. It burns it in
the pre-amp. It’s 20 db of gain. So, if you have a ribbon you
love that can’t get phantom power and you don’t want to blow it
up, that’s a really great way to stop it and get the added
benefit at 20 db ahead of things.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Finally, the thing I probably talk about not only the most is
studio engineers and singer song writer musicians and their
studios. We talk about it not only because it’s one of my
favorite products and something I’ve owned for years, but it’s
also one of the hardest to understand how to set up.  No matter
how many videos you watch on it, it always leaves you confused
and scared which it should. It’s actually really easy. That’s
the Dangerous Music D-Box.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      I’ve been mixing with the D-Box personally, I think about the
past two years now. I discovered it actually longer than that
now that I think about it. Two and half, three years it would
have to be right when we took on dangerous music at Sweetwater.
Literally, I checked it out of our lending library, brought it
home, played with it for a night and then got an email that
said, hey, you need to return this. The guys from Dangerous are
coming tomorrow. I just walked in the door and literally brought
it back and gave them a check for mine and brought mine home.

John:       Nice.

Robby:      So, that to me is a must have. It’s a centerpiece for any small
recording studio and a large one really. You get eight channels
of summing, an excellent monitor section, two channels of
really, really, really nice I mean, better in my opinion than
Apogee Mini DAC, D to A.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Two high output headphone amps which are good enough to drive
Sennheiser HD650’s.

John:       Nice.

Robbie:     Anybody who owns six HD650’s know that’s a significant
statement.

John:       Yes it is.

Robby:       It’s all on one thin RAC-U [SP]. Really easy to work with.
Again, call myself or another sales engineer if you want help
cabling it, but don’t be afraid of it. Once you do a couple of
mixes with it especially the summing side will make you so much
faster. I can burn through a mix in probably two-thirds of the
time and I feel like I get a better result. I love that box.
Anybody who calls me for a monitor section or even calls me for
a better two-channel DAC, I think it’s $1300 or $1400. I’m sorry
I’m not looking at it right now.

If you’re even thinking about one of these improvements, it makes
sense to go do all of these improvements. Not a person I’ve ever
sold one to has ever said, man, these are terrible I hate this
thing. No one says they hated D-Box. Everyone loves the D-Box.

John:       Right on. So, as far as that goes, is there anything that’s
super new and exciting that you guys have that’s brand new
that’s just come out?

Robby:      There’s a couple of things. As I mentioned before, the AES
show’s coming up next week.

John:       Right.

Robby:      [inaudible 07:35] sweetwater.com, we always have an AES release
and run down. So, Thursday night, October 17th, you’ll start to
see that info populate on our website. Things have been a little
quiet because ahead of AES and like ahead of NAMM, people don’t
announce much. It’s better to wait for the trade show to come up
and blow it up big.

Three companies kind of let the cat out of the bag  a little early
and I guess tried to beat the rush. So, probably the two
companies that most affect people near and dear to your heart
and my heart, recording [inaudible 08:12] would be Yamaha and
JBL who within the past few weeks both put out their new lines
of monitors.

John:       Nice.

Robby:      The new SR series in their lower series and then the new Yamaha
HS’s which are the five sixes and eights.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in front of all of these. We
actually did comparative shoot outs.

John:       Cool.

Robby:      I am positive each of those two assorted manufacturers would
really like me to tell you that their speaker is significantly
better. For certain applications that each one of course is
going to be applicable, so we won’t get into who did better, who
did worse.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Both of them were really good.

John:       Absolutely.

Robby:      What I will say is if you’ve heard a previous revision of the
LSR’s or you’ve heard a previous revision of the HS’s and you
ever wrote them off as bad monitors, now’s the time for you to
go back and take a look at that and see the new ones because it
is [inaudible 09:05] you can get for $300 now. I got to hand it
to Yamaha who I think did something really cool. They worked
really, really hard on the wave guide and the tweeter because a
lot of people were complaining on the old series, the 50’s and
the 80’s.

When you went between the two speakers, they sounded drastically
different especially in the upper mid-range where the cross over
point occurred. I would totally agree. What they did with this
new series is they worked really hard to make all of that as
consistent as they could, so really the only change in the
output is what the physical woofer is doing. The tweeter’s the
same. The wave guide’s the same. They designed the boxes so that
everything, all other variables are pretty well the same.

They also took off a lot of the features on the back that a lot of
people were misusing like, room mode correction which as a side
note, if you don’t know what those features do on the back of
your monitors, it’s best to kind of leave them alone because you
can really mess yourself up. So many people I talk to everyday,
they get a set of monitors and they’re like [ugh] they just
don’t sound as good as want. Then they come back to Sweetwater
and we look at the back and they have the room mode correction
drastic like, you would never realistically do this unless you
were mixing in a 12 by 12 room made of cinder block.

John:       That’s hilarious.

Robby:      So, that’s one of those things. It was just a side tip. If you
get a new set of monitors and you’re not confident about how to
set them up, get another set of ears involved. It’s cheap.
Typically will cost you beer and pizza and guys typically want
to hear about your monitors when they can, so go visit your
friend.

John:       Yeah.

Robby:      The other one I’m super excited about and I don’t know why it
took them so long to build them, but they’re finally here. The
new [Mogue] Mini [Foggers]. If you haven’t seen these, they are
genuine [mogger] foggers built in Asheville, North Carolina. So,
American made, American assembled which is unreal for the price
point that they’re at. All of them I believe are under $200.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      For that, you can get a real bucket brigade delay. You can
finally get a sweeping filter. [no audio 11:14] one has an
expression pedal input, whatever feature that controls, the
expression pedal can take it further than what’s written and
capable on the face.

John:       Wow.

Robby:      So, it’s as if you’re using their boost pedal. Once you turn
the boost all the way up, you press your toe down on an
expression pedal, you will get more boost out of it just by
nature of the CV or the control that they’re using.

John:       Nice.

Robby:      Most importantly, they’re Mogue. They sound awesome.

John:       Yeah.

Robby:      I talk to guys everyday. Guitarists and engineers that wish
that they could have those kind of effects cheaply and if you
took something like a batch of mini foggers, there’s hundreds of
ways. The one that comes to my mind is the Pigtronix Key Master
that you can convert these high [impedent] signals to low
[impedance] and back again and actually do it right.

Guys who are producing electronic music will love these pedals
because you can easily string them in with the [synth], get
great effects, real analog effects thrown in. Take your virtual
synths, all your native instrument stuff, all your [inaudible
12:26] stuff. Run it through these analog processors and really
fatten it up before you drop it to your converters. You’ll be
blown away at the difference it makes and again, they’re cheap.
Super, super cheap for what they are.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      So, yeah. I’m really, really excited to see those hit market. I
believe most of them are either in stock or about to be in
stock. The one that I think they said was going to take a little
time was the delay and that’s just because, you know what, in
this world no matter how you try there’s not enough bucket
brigade and chips to go around.

John:       Right on. So, as far as that goes, does that touch on kind of
the coming soon? Is there anything coming up in the next couple
of weeks. Obviously, AES is next week. Is there anything you can
talk about as far as AES goes?

Robby:      There’s a whole lot of stuff I’d love to talk about, but there
are some things that have already been announced that we know
are coming down the pike that pre-orders have even begun with.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      That, are right around the corner that I think a lot of people
are excited about. For your production clients and guys who like
to write electronic music, anything that involves a drum machine
really, Native Instruments just dropped their highly anticipated
sequel two machine which was Maschine Studio. So, they’ve filled
out the family. Now, you got the micro, you got the normal and
you’ve got the studio.

The studio is absolutely incredible, feels great. The LCDs that they
put on it are super friendly for editing and really digging into
your samples. I really think it was what they needed especially
after they changed over the whole color code method on machine
revision two. So, now you can tell just on the face of it, this
is what I’m looking at. It’s a sample. It’s a one shot. It’s a
loop. It’s really cool and really friendly to production.

John:       That’s awesome.

Robby:      Along that line and kind of probably cheating off of them a
little bit would be the new NS7 from [Newmark], a D.J.
controller that again, a lot of guys [no audio 14:29] weird
ways. Electronic music is finding itself more into the
mainstream these days. So, a lot of guys are buying these
controllers, laying down a track bed and then producing over it
to give it that club feel. Even if it’s a pop song, I think that
that one’s going to be a hit and I think people are really going
to bring that into the studio like we’ve never seen before.

Then probably the one that everybody has been watching for months and
months and months and a first of its kind, the X32 Rack from
Behringer. Their long awaited no control surface, all rack mount
mixer. Not as effective in the studio, but for your guys that
like to do studio and then they go out and they do live work,
this is going to blow away the live market.

A band going out on tour or even going out for the every once in a
while show that doesn’t have their own sound guy, to have a
mixer that’s just whacked that’s awesome with no physical
control surface and then you just add a second snake to it, a
digital snake. You can put that on the other side of the stage.
Wire all your stuff up and control it from an iPad or a laptop.

John:       Nice.

Robby:      Whatever you choose. That is totally going to blow things away.
It’s something I believe we should have had in the market six,
seven years ago.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Guys have been doing this with Logic and Main Stage with
digital performer and the chunks feature. Guys have been taking
it out and doing this 100 ways before, but we’ve never seen the
hardware that was dedicated for it.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Finally, Behringer who notoriously I’m not a huge fan of, but
they came across something that they really could do uniquely
and they did and be excited.

John:       That’s awesome.

Robby:      I promise, next week we will have more studio oriented stuff,
so keep watching and come back next week after the AES show.

John:       Absolutely.

Robby:      I know that there’s something that everybody’s going to be
really psyched about.

John:       Super cool. So, as far as any sales and specials going on with
Sweetwater right now, is there any sort of specials or sales
going on?

Robby:      Right now, we do have one really cool thing until [inaudible
16:37] capital is using us to beta test a new program that
they’re kind of playing with. So, until October 15th anything
that you previously saw on our website that was 24 months, no
interest is now 36 months, no interest. The way that they’re
doing is a different program than what they’ve done in the past
is that it’s 36 months. They take the total, they divide it up
over those 36 months, so we’re no longer dealing with a minimum
payment where somebody could fall behind and end up owing
interest at the end.

John:       Mm-hmm.

Robby:      When you do it, you understand that you’re breaking your
payments up into 36 equal chunks. Basically, GE Capital’s just
loaning you the money and saying as long as you follow this
payment program you will be paid off in time, you will not pay
any interest and everyone’s going to be happy.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      How they plan to make money with this, I’m not entirely sure,
but I do know that it’s going to benefit the consumer in the
end. That’s not my problem. I’m a customer advocate. I don’t
care what GE does.

John:       Right on, man. All right, so the last thing I wanted to wrap up
with was a pro-tip. You were telling me earlier that you were
talking to somebody about an awesome tip that everybody needs to
hear and everybody needs to take in mind.

Robby:      Yeah. This has come up  a lot in conversation with me lately.
It seems like music is going all different places and it’s
ending up in 101 different destinations. It’s really hard to
always anticipate what those destinations are going to be, but
if you’re doing a mix and you know it’s going to end up at a
certain destination let’s say, radio, television, you plan on
offering it maybe just on your website as a download to MP3
which obviously ends up on every iPod that you will ever come in
contact with. You should be mixing for these destinations.

[Sonox] put out a really cool plugin that allows you to audition
different Codec and looks like you’ve probably seen this thing
before.

John:       Yeah.

Robby:      It’s killer and it really does help especially when you’re
mixing for MP3 or Apple [Lossless] if you going to throw it up
on iTunes. You’d be surprised at how many little tweaks you’ll
end up doing to each mix just to accommodate your MP3 version.
Make it sound as good as your Apple Lossless as good as your [no
audio 18:46]

With that in mind, a simple tip that anybody could do in mixing with
that destination in mind. If you’re mixing it for the radio go
out and buy yourself an FM transmitter. Plug it in to your
laptop and broadcast it to your radio and listen to it. It’ll
give you some idea what’s about to happen.

John:       Right.

Robby:      Even of course the compression on those isn’t nearly as bad as
your local radio station. Apple earbuds, everybody should have a
set of Apple earbuds hanging off the side of their console
waiting for them. I’m sure you check your mix on them all the
time and you’d be amazed like, how bad your mix can sound when
you thought it sounded great on those.

Likewise, Beats headphones. I’m not a huge fan personally, but let’s
face it. I think the statistic right now seems to be at least
one in ten. I’d argue it’s one in six or one in seven below the
age of 25, but that is what it is. If you can get a set of Beats
even if they’re not the expensive Beats, put them by your
console. Eventually, someone is going to [inaudible 19:51] with
as popular as they are. You need to be ready for it because you
don’t want your mix to fall apart there.

Look for things that people spend a lot of time listening to your
material on and try to accommodate those. If you’re an audio
file guy, you’re releasing this at 96K, 24 bit  on a Blu-ray or
whatever as an accompaniment, obviously you want to listen to it
on a Hi-Fi system. Nobody’s going to take that to Beats.

[side conversation 20:19]

Another top tip: if you’re doing an interview, put your cell phone on
silent.

John:       Yeah, no worries, man. Cool. That’s an awesome tip. That’s one
of the things I always check them on headphones. I always check
them everywhere I possibly can and I’ve got a different number
of iTunes droplets I always export. I convert it to crappy MP3
and tear it up and take a listen. If I’m listening on the radio
or if I’m mixing for radio, a lot of times what I will do is I
will compress it and EQ it like a radio station does and just
slam it with some compression and give it a nice boost on the
blow end and cut it off a little bit at the blow end.

For sure, everybody definitely needs to mixing for their destination.

Robby:      Absolutely and when you’re compressing especially for radio,
compress the piss out of it then put a limiter on top of that
right after where your peak seems to be riding.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      That’s exactly what you’re going to see in a radio station and
especially a pop vocal.

John:       Yeah.

Robby:      That will butt up against that every time and your kick drum.
If you don’t take that into account all you’re going to do is
pump.

John:       Exactly. Well, man, thank you for sitting down and chatting
with us. Basically, we’ll be doing this a little bit more
frequently now. We’ll touch base next week after AES.

Robby:      Yeah. We’ll hook up  right after AES. Hopefully, I’ll have
[Needra Hare] by that time.

John:       Absolutely.

Robby:      I’ll try to be a little bit nicer dressed and I will have a
whole lot more to talk about from the AES show.

John:       Killer.

Robby:      Lots of cool stuff coming up, so keep your eyes peeled. Check
out sweetwater.com for the report and for the sales that we have
going on and of course if you guys have any questions, reach out
to me or your sales engineer if you already have one. We’ll be
happy to help you.

John:       Awesome. How can everybody get in contact with you if they
don’t already have a sales engineer?

Robby:      Me, personally? I am either Robby, R-O-B-B-Y,
_resnick@sweetwater.com or you can call [in] at 800-222-4700 at
extension 1368. They keep me pretty busy during the day, so if
you don’t get me at first please do leave me a voicemail so I
have a way to contact you back and make sure to repeat your
phone number twice and don’t say it too fast.

John:       Awesome, man. Well, thank you and I will be talking to you
soon, man.

Robby:      You got it, John. Have a good night.

John:       You too.[/transcript]

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