Many clients have asked how we get such amazing audio quality and we're proud to say that it's a combination of mics, cables, and converters. At the heart of our drum and instrument recording is our modified Digi002rack. For many years, we were tracking with a Blue Face Digidesign 96 i/o on an ACCEL PCIe Core card. The recordings were good and we were very happy with the audio quality.
One day, a client came by the studio with a road case with a Digi002rack that had the Black Lion Audio Signature Mod. To be honest, I was slightly offended that a client wanted to track with the LE interface instead of our HD interface. We had a brief discussion about how each of us was impressed with the audio quality of our respectable interfaces and converters. At the end of the discussion, we decided to have a shootout with the interfaces and compare them side-by-side to hear if there was any obvious difference.
The band's drummer played a simple rock groove for about 60 seconds with a nice array of tom fills and cymbal compliments. We tracked the performance with both interfaces one after another using the same mics & cables, the only variable was the interface. We bounced the tracks down to a stereo wav file and then burned a CD with both tracks. We popped the CD into the CD player and put it on random. Then we listened to the two tracks. Instantly after listening to the first track, the second track kicked in and so did the detail. It was stunning how clear and accurate the tone and shape of the drum sounds were in track 2 over track 1. The kick had sharp punch and deep boom. The snare had crisp pop and resonating decay. The cymbals were vibrant, but not too brittle.
I was sure that track 2 was the 96 i/o. Oh the wave of shock that rippled through my mind when I saw that track 2 was the BLA mod. A system that cost 1/3 of the expensive HD system had just out shined what I thought was the holy grail of audio interfaces. Needless to say, I was able to purchase a new 002r from the local Pro Audio retailer for $300 on closeout cause they were starting to stock the new 003r units. So for less than $2,000, I was able to purchase a new 002r unit and ship it off to Black Lion Audio in Chicago for their premium Signature Mod.
Now the studio has been tracking with the BLA 002r for the past 5 years and clients have been impressed with the audio quality. It is one of those things you have to hear to believe and we're happy to invite clients to come by the studio and hear some of the recent projects we've produced.
As amazing as the BLA 002r is for instruments, it does fall just short of the new AVID HD interfaces. We picked up a OMNI interface with the HD Native Core card and the vocal tracks from this interface are impressive. With the combination of our BLA 002r and the HD OMNI, it's a perfect combination of music and vocals for any project.