Carly Rae Jepson Songwriter/Producer/Guitarist including the smash hit “call me maybe”
I recently got hold of a Phoenix DRS2 dual pre-amp & DI and it gets used every time I track now.
In this past week, I’ve used the DRS2 on 3 different female vocalists.
I have had great luck using it with a vintage AKG C-12, on this session I had the Mic gain level low and the output level knob high.
Though, my favourite vocal sound has been a run of the mill Shure SM7B straight into the DRS2 with the mic level a little past noon. And the OP just high enough to get the singer peaking a little into the yellow.
Acoustic Guitar :
The same set-up works with amazingly well with acoustic guitar’s too. For such a warm sounding pre-amp, it remains quite fast in terms of its transients which is important in a good acoustic sound. I point the SM7B at the 12th fret from about 10″ (give or take). Depending on the amount of bass in the guitar’s natural voice, I’ll fiddle between the mic and op levels to get a nice balance of warmth without taking over string definition.
Electric Guitar :
When recording electric guitars, the DRS2 is a swiss army knife.
A lot of folk, myself included, don’t always have access to a facility where you can get an amp loud enough to record well. For the times that I have been able to, the DRS2 is a fantastic preamp. Lately, I have been using the same SM7B on a 2×10 cabinet relatively close mic’d with the DRS2. A 2×10 definitely has a sound that works with the DRS. The tightness of a 10″ speaker pairs perfectly with available warmth in the pre-amp.
But, For the times when recording guitar and bass direct, the Phoenix really does some magic. Just a guitar, cable, pre-amp, interface. I have been using the DRS2 almost like a limiter. It doesn’t add any hum and takes off a lot of the harshness of DI’ed guitars. The odd transient that would otherwise produce a harsh, bright, and nasty sound without the DRS2 is no longer a problem. Can’t explain why.. but amp simulators seem to react better to DI guitar’s that went though the DRS2. – Maybe it’s the magic of the Phoenix ??
There are a lot of great software synths out there, and I am excited to try sending them out and back in through the Phoenix. I have been sending my piano roll’s out through midi into a MOOG synth and recording the audio through the Phoenix. The crazy cool warmth does miracles to the low end of things. Bass gets HUGE with the Phoenix.
The unit travels well too. We used it on the Carly Rae Jepson US tour, and it’s built really tough and the knobs all feel solid. It has bounced a couple times in a rack case with an interface… and still works great like the day I got it.
This is the perfect preamp for anyone looking to take their recordings to the next level for not a lot of cash. This pre stays quick, and gets as warm as you would want.