Greg's AES 2003 NYC Highlights

   Well, AES 2003 is history and a great show it was! Attendance was high, and a general feeling of optimism was in the air. Our aisle, which was coordinated by Brad Lundee at Transamerica (Brad - thanks for the great location!), included Mercenary Audio, Crane Song, Fearn, Daking, Great River, Soundelux, Manley, GML, Chandler, AEA, Royer, and many others. People told me it was THE cool place to hang out, and it certainly was crowded all four days. For those of you who weren't there, here's what the booth looked like:

   Our new product for the show was the Quartet II Mercenary Edition, and it certainly created a buzz. In fact, we won the 2003 PAR Excellence award for it! Here's me receiving the award from Brett Moss, editor of Pro Audio Review magazine, with Russ Long, who reviewed our Quartet and 6386 for the magazine (and is a great producer and engineer) looking on. Needless to say, I'm very pleased and honored!

Comments most frequently heard about the new Quartet II:

"The mic pre has TWO different input transformers? It sounds like two completely different mic pres!"

"Why didn't someone think of putting together the best features of the EQP-1 and MEQ before?"

"The Aggressive mode on the EQ is stunning! It's like the image takes one big step forward!"

"The new 'Faster' mode of the delta-mu compressor is awesome!" Just like the EMI-modded Fairchild 660 at Abbey Road!"

What's up with the peak limiter? I see the LEDS flashing like crazy, but I can't hear it working!

"You mean all four elements are completely separate? I can patch out the mic pre, EQ, compressor and peak limiter individually? You've got to be kidding."

"Can I get one TODAY?" (No, they won't be shipping until the first quarter of 2004.)

   Congratulations to the winner of the Quartet II Mercenary Edition as Grand Prize in Fletcher's rolling poker game at the Mercenary Audio booth. I can't thank Fletcher, Jay and Samara enough for their support and friendship this past year. They've done great things for us, and I'm honored that the Quartet II bears the Mercenary Edition logo. By the way, the Mercenary party at the Lakeside Lounge on Sunday was amazing! Here's a bunch of us enjoying dinner at Umberto's Clam House Friday night.

   If you look closely, you'll recognize Wade Goetke of Chandler Ltd., Fletcher, Dan Kennedy of Great River, Samara Krugman of Mercenary, Lynn Fuston of 3D Audio, guitarist Jay Scott, and me.

   My favorite part of the show is getting to talk with all the folks who use our gear to make records, some of whom I was unaware were Pendulum devotees. Producer/Engineer Bob Power has been using the 6386 and ES-8 on every mix for some time now, and his favorite compressor for tracking vocals is the ES-8. John Klett has been using the OCL-2 for mastering since April and raves about its pristine sound and overall versatility. So much for the notion of not being able to use an opto on a mix! Mastering engineer extroardinaire Dave Collins has been using his own 6386 Limiter for several months with great results. He says "There's nothing else that does that special thing that the Fairchild tube does so well". Joe Laney, who has been working with Lauryn Hill (who has an 6386), stopped by to say nice things about it and relay praise from Jason Goldstein and Tony Maserati. Tim Gilles and Sal Villanueva at Big Blue Meanie raved about their 6386, ES-8 and Quartet. Brad Blackwood of Euphonic Masters, after resisting for a few years, will be receiving an OCL-2 in a few weeks for his analog mastering chain. Here's Brad admiring the rack:

   Mixer Michael Brauer stopped by to say the ES-8 is now an indispensable part of his elaborate mix setup. See this month's Tape-Op article by Mike Caffrey for all the details. He has also used producer David Kahne's 6386, (which David got specifically for cutting Paul McCartney's 'Driving Rain' CD), for McCartney's live tour and DVD. My old buddy Alan Douches of West Westside Music, who has one of the first 6386 Limiters, still uses it and the OCL-2 every day in mastering. Julie Last, who recorded one of my favorite records of all time (Rikki Lee Jones' "Traffic From Paradise") has been using the Quartet and loving the results. Live sound mixer Dave Lawler, who has been using the OCL-2 as the main FOH compressor for Joni Mitchell, Tony Bennett and kd laing, had one installed as the main compressor for the Kodak Center in LA, and the new Texas Arts Center in Fort Worth.

   James Farber (James Taylor's "Never Die Young", another of my all-time favorites) brought Neil Dorfsman by to audition everything, and both raved about what they heard. Neil has used the ES-8, and is putting together a new room and had his eye on just about everything in the booth. Here we are:

   Many people using the MDP-1 and Quartet were kind enough to stop by and say very nice things about them. I can't remember all of you, but a heartfelt thank you for your kind words and support.

   Lastly, I got the chance to meet Rupert Neve for the first time. Fletcher introduced us and we had a nice chat. Although I'm not big on the fan/worship thing, I couldn't resist pestering him for a photo. He graciously agreed, and Fletcher did the honors:

   Thank you all again for your support - especially my friends Pete Becker and Richard Dobson for their help at the booth. I hope to see you again at TapeOpCon2003 in New Orleans, and/or AES 2004 in San Francisco!



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