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Marc Anthony bassist Erben Perez on the REDDI: “I friggin’ love this thing!”

Erben Perez, bassist for Marc Anthony for the past 19 years just sent us a nice note from the road.

“The REDDI is a must have.  It is now a permanent staple of my recording and touring rig.  I friggin’ love this thing!”

Thanks Erben!  Keep doing what you do so well.

Hoobastank Drummer Chris Hesse Pounds Tracks with HAMMER and NAIL

A-Designs Audio processors chosen as workhorse gear
for band’s forthcoming album: Fight or Flight

Hoobastank recently put the finishing touches on its highly anticipated new record, Fight or Flight, which makes its official debut in late August. Nearly two years in the making, the album was partially tracked at Woodland Hills-based studio The Lighthouse, owned by Hoobastank drummer Chris Hesse, who found frequent opportunities to use his A-Designs HAMMER Equalizer and new NAIL Compressor.

Although a fair amount of the new record was recorded at producer Gavin Brown’s studio in Toronto and mixed by Paul Hager in Burbank, Hesse points out that the band tracked guitars, bass, keyboards and many of the album’s vocal tracks at The Lighthouse, while some of the drum tracks were laid down at his old house in Malibu.

“My friend, Peter Stengaard  producer at Diane Warren’s RealSongs Studios, owns a HAMMER and NAIL and has raved about them for a long time, and now I know why,” says Hesse. “I really like using the HAMMER for tracking overheads and especially vocals. When mixing, I’ll use it for pretty much anything because it’s a no-brainer for breathing life into tracks. It’s an impressive piece – so much so, in fact, that I sold my previous main stereo tube EQ to buy it, and I still had a load of dough left over for other gear.

“I didn’t actually get the NAIL until recently, but I instantly fell in love with it, too. It’s fantastic across the mixbus – almost as if there’s an EQ hidden in the product because simply running things through the NAIL gives mixes added air. It polishes things so nicely that I’m not at all inclined to go exploring other avenues at this point.”

Hesse also appreciates his A-Designs REDDI tube direct inject box, which he purchased with his HAMMER last year. “I bought the REDDI sight unseen and I’m so happy with it. I’ve never heard someone say that they tried one and didn’t like it. Quite the contrary, everyone that has used it swears that it’s the best DI they’ve ever heard. It fattens the hell out of a signal and sounds simply amazing, somehow simultaneously rounding out the bass and extending the highs. And although it certainly excels at bass, it’s not a one trick pony. It makes anything with a 1/4-inch cable output sound incredible. I’m convinced it’s fueled by pixie dust!”

Although the new record isn’t scheduled to drop until August 28, the group has already released its first single, This is Gonna Hurt, to radio stations around the globe. For more information on Chris Hesse and Hoobastank, visit the band online at www.hoobastank.com.

FAQ: REDDI All Tube Direct Box

Do I need to use a mic pre to amplify the signal after the REDDI?
This is up to you.  The REDDI has 16db of gain and can be patched directly into your converter’s or tape machine’s line inputs for recording.  In most cases there will be plenty of gain available to acheive a solid signal level.   When working with a DAW it is not necessary or advisable to run your level up near 0dbfs.  The risk of clipping is very high especially with bass material and you will not yield greater fidelity by taking this risk.   A good target is an average of -18dfs, but a bit lower is fine.   Don’t be afraid to crank the REDDI all the way up if necessary.

In the case that you need more gain or wish to add more transformation or amplifier color, we suggest running into a high quality transformer balanced mic pre’s microphone input.  The Pacifica pairs exceptionally well with the REDDI as do all of our 500 series mic pre modules.  You may also use an EQ, compressor or line amplifier for a bit of clean boost.

Will 48v Phantom Power damage the REDDI’s output?
No.  The REDDI has a transformer output that blocks DC voltages, including the phantom power on a mic pre that you are feeding.  While 48v phantom will not damage the REDDI, the best practice is to turn the 48v phantom off as you would if you were using a dynamic or ribbon microphone.

Why is there a combination 1/4″/XLR input jack?
There are two reasons:

First, when A-Designs founder Peter Montessi was doing bass sessions he liked to be able to move around the studio during tracking and found that he was unplugging himself from time to time!   When it came time for him to design his own DI, he thought a great solution was to have the option of using a 1/4″ to locking XLR cable.   Of course, the unit may still be used with a regular TS/TS 1/4″ guitar cable.

Secondly, the REDDI may be used with dynamic microphones as a microphone preamplifier and works great on drums.

What does the “GND” switch do?
The GND label is short for Ground Lift.  This ground lift simply lifts the output xlr’s pin 1 to break certain ground loops you might encounter.  Note that the REDDI itself is dead quiet and exceptionally well grounded and shielded.  Noise is rarely an issue.

What is the Thru Jack for?
The Thru allows you to send a 1/4″ cable to your amplifier while sending the xlr output to your DAW, Tape Machine or mixer.  It works like any other conventional direct box in this way.

What kind of circuitry do you use?
The REDDI features an all discrete component, Class A dual triode amplifier feeding a huge, custom Cinemag output transformer.  This thing is overbuilt in every way you want it to be.    The comparisons to the Ampeg B-15 are somewhat on the mark sonically, but the circuit is not a copy.

Can I use the REDDI live?
Absolutely!   The REDDI is built for the road and has a very “amp-like” tone that front of house engineers love.

Is the REDDI only for bass?
No.  While the REDDI is considered amongst the world’s best sounding tube direct boxes for bass, it also excels at adding life to your synths, guitars, drum machines and samples.


Translate! Read the A-Designs website in 56 different languages

The A-Designs website may now be automatically translated into 56 different languages with a single click using the Google Language translation widget located on the navigation bar.  We recognize that translation is an art unto itself and the computer makes some odd choices from time to time, but we are committed to sharing what we are doing here at A-Designs with the entire world and think that this a big step in the right direction.  We hope you will continue to visit us and comment on our posts!

REDDI hits the road on Jennifer Lopez’s World Tour with bassist Bryant Siono


We’re proud to announce that bassist Bryant Siono has chosen to take a pair of A-Designs Reddi Tube Direct boxes on the 2012 Jennifer Lopez World Tour.   Bryant is covering bass duties as well as acting as the group’s musical director.  We know a lot is riding on his shoulders so we’re proud that he has put his trust in A-Designs and the REDDI for such a high profile gig.

Bryant recently contacted us during pre-tour rehearsals at SIR in Hollywood and said:

“Man these DI’s are absolutely amazing!  The front of house engineer is flipping over them.”    

Thanks Bryant and have a great tour!

Here’s a little background on Bryant Siono:

Bryant Siono was raised in LA and started playing piano at the age of 8. By the time he was 10 he knew how to play many different instruments and knew want he wanted to do. At the age of 18 hestarted his career as a professional musician and hit the road with various artists including arena tours with the Back Street Boys.  Bryant has also played with and produced Andy Vargas lead singer from the Carlos Santana Band, Katharine McPhee from American Idol, the Cumbia Kings, Frankie J, Frank McComb, N’Dambi, Jonathan Butler, Prince, Alejandro Fernandez, Yahir, Pilar Montenegro and Chris Brown.  Bryant is currently the bassist and musical director for the 2012 Jennifer Lopez World Tour.

Pacifica Party at Dove Creek Studios

Vancouver, B.C. based producer & engineer Paul Keim from Dove Creek Studios just turned us on to a great instrumental track Hot Spot for a Hobo he recorded with rising violin star Trent Freeman.  This track was recorded using a virtual gang of Pacificas and it beautifully showcases our flagship mic pre.    Also at work is our Nail Compressor on the drum buss and the REDDI confidently handling the bass DI duties.  Great work gents!  We’re proud to have you using our equipment so skillfully.

Signal Chain:

FIDDLE: AEA R 84/PACIFICA and SOUNDELUX E49 / PACIFICA

PIANO:  GEFELL UM 70  / PACIFICA PAIR

DRUM OVERHEADS:  SOUNDELUX U 195 / PACIFICA

FRONT OF KICK: SENNHEISER 421 / PACIFICA

UPPER BASS MIC: NEUMAN KM140 / PACIFICA

BASS DI:  REDDI / PACIFICA

DRUM BUSS COMPRESSION: HM2 NAIL

A-Designs Audio EM-EQ2 Videos. Overview and Drum kit How to

Our friends over at Soundpure make some of the best tutorial videos around on professional recording equipment and instruments. They recently completed a set featuring the A-Designs EM-EQ2.  House engineers Fletcher and  Jason Richmond give an excellent overview and then demonstrate how to use the unit on drums.   The audio quality is good so if you can play this through your studio monitors we urge you to do so.   The videos feature Devin Fuller on Drums, Jared Wofford on guitar and Mark Wells on Hammond B3 organ tearing it up on some Meters style and bepop material.

EM-EQ2 Overview Video


EM-EQ2 on Kick Drum


EM-EQ2 on Drum Overheads

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