image: soundsystem speaker (45 pixels)

Well Balanced

Keith’s mum was very tolerant of him playing. Keith was an only child and she didn’t have a lot of other distractions, whereas my parents were like Get on your homework.

Mick Jagger, Rolling Stone, 1995/11/07


A Mackie console and computer monitors displaying Steinberg Cubase software in the control room at Tribarac Recording Studio

Photograph by Rana Mullan

Catering to all musical styles and tastes, Tribarac Recording Studio is well–equipped with industry standard facilities and technology. All you really need to bring along is your talent.

What we have

Follow the links to manufacturers’ web sites if seductive specifications and intimate technical details are your bag.

Mixing Console
The control room is built around a Mackie 32–channel Analog 8–bus mixing console, with a reputation for extremely low noise characteristics and a "warm" sound.
Audio input and output is controlled by Motu soundcards with simultaneous 32–channel recording to the current version of Cubase Pro (as used by Hans Zimmer, David Kahne, Kraftwerk and Marillion among others), networked with two computers powered by twin Intel Xeon quad core processors and terrabytes of RAID storage. All plug–ins and effects run in real time.

We use Control Pro and Control XT Pro digital audio workstations from Mackie for recording, editing and playback. We also use:
Audio Monitors
Nearfield sound is on Tannoy Reveal 5A loudspeakers.
Our main monitors are self–shielded JBL LSR4326P studio monitors.
Ambient sound is handled by ever–reliable Celestion P132 speakers.
Sound room foldback is provided by Yamaha DBR15 active monitors, giving high quality reproduction of recorded tracks back to musicians (so you don't even have to move to hear your performance).
A Logitech 5.1 Surround system home cinema system allows you to listen to how the track plays on a typical home system.

Mixing is supported by a SSL Duende 32–channel DSP, courtesy of Solid State Logic, including compressor/limiters, EQ and shelving, gate/expansion, filtering, X–EQ, Drumstrip, Vocalstrip, X–Comp and Stereo Bus Compressor.
We also have an Aphex 204 Aural Exciter and Optical Big Bottom, which works wonders for sound signal clarity.
Equally fine for vocals or high–fidelity orchestral recording, the marvellous retro ‘50s look of the Neumann TLM 49 belies its 21st Century transformerless circuit technology.
A t.bone SCT 800 stereo pair, unmatched for the warmth of its vocal sound.
A Neumann TLM 49 at Tribarac Recording Studio

The Neumann TLM 49 is ideal for warm vocal definition with terrific crispness and clarity. Photograph by Aidrian Lacey-Porter

A number of Shure SM57 and SM58 microphones, which are equally suitable for singing and instrument recording.
An AKG Perception Live P2 to capture the full qualities of a well played kick drum.
From innovative newcomers, JZ Microphones, we have a Vintage 47 and a revolutionary Black Hole — balancing low–end warmth with high–end clarity.
The Electro-Voice RE2000 is a flat response vocal mic with a wide dynamic range. Warm and rich tones enhance any input, encouraging an intimate ambience between the artist and their audience.
A Microtech Gefell M930 for high–fidelity voiceover work and nailing the multi-layered timbres of acoustic instruments. This mic delivers clarity and definition to any performance.
An indispensable Shure Drum Mic kit.
A pair of Shure Condenser Pencil mics to capture the high frequency stuff..

Mic Preamps
Focusrite preamplifiers give our microphones that essential extra pep to carry your voice into the bowels of our mixing console.
We also utilise a two channel SPL Goldmike Class A Vacuum Tube microphone pre-amp giving our mics an exceptionally warm, clean and open sound for high–end vocal recording.
External Units
Reliable, high quality compression is managed via two Drawmer DL221 Compressor/Limiter units.
Invaluable sound engineering and processing is through a Drawmer DS201 Dual Noise Gate.
Sound balancing is processed through a TL Audio Ivory series EQ–5013 Dual–channel Tube Parametric equaliser.
Mixes can be further developed by passing them through our Focusrite Platinum MixMaster, often the cherry on the cake.
Foldback effects are handled with a venerable ART Multiverb III from legendary audio solution pioneers, ART ProAudio, as well as from a range of software plug-ins.

A Novation Supernova ASM 44 voice rack polysynthesizer for lush analogue sounds.
A Yamaha CP300 Stage Piano — and we have to agree with the manufacturer’s recommendation that they have all the sound and expressiveness of a superbly mic’d grand piano.
An amazing Clavia Nord Stage 2 88AH combination synthesiser, organ and piano with a fully weighted keybed for just about everything a keyboard player would wish to have at their fingertips.
Yet another Yamaha, this time, the P120 Stage Piano adds to the flexibility of our piano/keyboard array
An M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 weighted MIDI keyboard and controller.

Bass with matching stripey top

It's all about the bass, ’bout the bass, no treble. Photograph by Paul Keeling

A Peavey Delta Blues 115 that will add a whack of ‘body’ to the blues sound of your guitar.
A Studiomaster Powerhouse 600X powered mixer PA system.
A classic Carlsbro Guitar Amp Head for extra power with no loss of tone.
A Roland KC–350 120–Watt stereo mixing keyboard amp.
A Behringer Ultratone K1800FX 180–Watt 4–channel PA system and keyboard amp.

Waves industry standard audio processing plug-ins provide you with an unsurpassable set of tools that can help create classic or new tones.
Got some dodgy audio you need fixing - scratchy vocal, background noise, clicks, pops and farts? With the help of Waves Restoration Suite we can fix that.
From those innovative Swedes, "Propellerheads", comes Reason the ultimate sample, synth and beats toolkit. Reason’s many instruments, effects and included sounds will let you create any kind of music.
WaveLab Mastering Suite to polish your high points!
Superior sampling and sound modelling via Steinberg HALion software.
From evocative scores to exquisite arrangements and emotive accompaniments, Steinberg Symphonic Orchestra is an ideal, virtual symphonic orchestra for composition and production in music, TV, film scoring and game sound.
A range of software packages from virtual instrument innovators, Spectrasonics, including a Trillian Bass Module, an Atmosphere Dream Synth Module, Pad Generator, a Stylus RMX Drum Wave/Loop Generator and Drum Composer.
We also have the Komplete bundle of instruments and effects from Native Instruments, including the classic Intakt and Kontakt sampling software, Absynth, Reaktor, FM7 and Pro 53 virtual synthesisers, Battery for drums and percussion, Vokator granular synthesis and vocoder software, the B4 for emulating the classic Hammond B–3 tonewheel organ, Guitar Rig 3, the Kompakt multi–instrument sample player, Spektral Delay effects software and the classic Elektrik Piano.
"When instrument blends transparently with musician's hands, reality becomes music" with TruePianos.
From Antares (for all the voices in your head), we have Auto–Tune, the Harmony Engine – Vocal Modeling Harmony Generator and the Avox Vocal Toolkit — a suite of nine state–of–the–art voice processing modules for stunning vocal tracks and effects. A sound engineer offers a lighthearted word of advice from the studio mixing desk

Would you like to try hitting that high ‘C’ again or shall I give it a whirl in Auto–Tune? Photograph by Rana Mullan

Drums & Percussion
A Premier Olympic drumset — of course!
The latest addition to our arsenal is Steinberg's Groove Agent 4 with over 25,000 samples, loops and rhythms. totally programmable with everything from the subtleties of a brushed jazz lick, through a 'four on the floor' driving blues riff with added full percussion ensemble, to an exquisite Simon Phillips kit sampled in his own 'Phantom Recordings' studio in LA.
A classic Alesis SR16 drum machine.
We also have a variety of other percussion instruments, drum machines and percussion software for you to discover.
We have CD, MD, cassette, DAT and DVD recording and playback facilities.
We also have an extensive collection of royalty free samples and effects if you’re in a hurry — but it really is much more rewarding to take a little time and trouble making your own.

The Rocksteady Beat

The 1964 recording of My Boy Lollipop by Jamaican vocalist, Millie Small is considered to have been the first international ska hit.