An Overview of Our Setup
Four Legs Records records, edits, mixes, and masters using SONAR X1 C on a PC-based studio setup. We use Mackie and Focusrite interfaces to record. We are a proud, authorized user of high-quality Slate Digital, Waves, and Native Instruments processors. Although we are are nearly a completely digital studio, we have invested time and money into a setup that allows us to sound just as good as almost any pure-outboard studio there is. We have a variety of microphones and effects units, we build our own triggers, and we build our own acoustic treatment materials. Our home base is located in Washingtonville, NY.
We can record up to 15 tracks of audio simultaneously, with 4 or 5 performers. This means a band could track all of their instruments at the same time, or go for a more precise recording by performing one at a time (takes longer, but easier to accomplish when tracking on the road). If for some reason you can't come to us to record your band, we can come to you to track, and make just about any room into a studio-on-the-road, with high-quality results. Major-label sound in any room at a low price.
If you cannot work with us in-person to complete a project, (everybody has some form of a busy schedule) we are well-experienced in remote mixing. Usually, we will put out a first mix on our own, and we will communicate with you on what needs changing. With our flat rates, you are given a number of included mixes, which is usually more than enough to adress any issues and put out a great master product. We are also experimenting with live distance-mixing, by maintaining voice communication over the internet while streaming the mixing of a project.
Our Software Processors
In order to achieve a high-quality near-analog sound in a digital format, we have invested in processors from Slate Digital, Waves and Native Instruments.
Our Slate Digital collection gives us the ability to exactly model the sound that four popular, high-priced consoles (SSL 4000, Neve, Trident, API etc.) impart upon their individual channels and mixbusses. We record on our already great-sounding gear, and make it sound like it was tracked on a monster console. With Slate Digital, we are also able to greatly refine or trigger-in new drum tones; and we are able to use a brand new mastering algorithm that completely removes that "squashed" feeling from completed tracks, while still being able to compete with high industry volume levels.
Our Waves collection is a series of bundles that gives us the ability to accomplish a wide range of things. We have access to the great-sounding EQ/channel strips from several classic SSL, Neve, and API consoles. We have access to the legendary sound of the LA-2A, LA-3A and Urei 1176 compressors; widely considered the best vocal compressors ever made, as well as the sounds of a number of mainstream reverbs. We have access to a huge variety of industry-standard Diamond processors that handle anything from de-essing, to harmonic enhancement, to extreme audio restoration and beyond.
Our Waves and Native Instruments processors give us access to a huge variety of convincing classic and modern guitar and bass tones, to supplement what we can do with just live-miking. For synth pads and lively enhancements, our Native Instruments processors also give us access to a virtual string section, a vocally-controlled synthesizer, and a deep frequency mutator.
Our Microphones and Hardware
NOTE: We will be upgrading our front-end gear through the new year. This list will be updated mid-January 2013 following the completion of these upgrades.
Four Legs Records has a variety of quality microphones for various tracking purposes.
Our workhorse vocal and all-purpose microphone is the Blue Stage One condenser. It is unique in that the capsules are interchangeable; in the middle of a session, we can switch between completely different voicings. We proudly use the hand-crafted B7 capsule, which turns this mic into a dead ringer for the venerable Neumann U47. Warm vintage vibe, huge tone. We also use the B0 capsule, which is designed to reproduce the silky high-end of the incredibly rare Telefunken ELA M 251 vocal microphone. With multiple capsules, we can properly capture the entire spectrum of voices.
Our other go-to microphone (featured on the lead vocals of many of our older tracks) is the Rode NT2A multipattern condenser. Full-range, standard sound that is more flattering to a voice than many condenser mics.
We also frequently use a pair of Audio Technica AT4050's - great, very honest-sounding multipattern condenser mics. You'll see these on our drum overheads and guitar amps quite often, and just maybe on a lead vocal.
We use the industry standard AKG C451 to capture both intimate acoustic guitar performances and percussion with powerful transients; e.g. hi-hats and snare drums.
Our remaining condenser microphones are two matched pairs of Rode NT5's. They are great on acoustic instruments, cymbals, snare undersides, etc. Their response is honest, and slightly brightened - not too intentionally enhanced like AT C1000's or other cheap small-diaphragm condensers.
Our selection of dynamic microphones is well-suited to tracking live drums and amplifiers. We carry several Shure SM57's, the iconic guitar amp and snare drum mic. We have a pair of Shure Beta 57a's, similar to the SM57 but with a tightened polar pattern, higher output, and enhanced high-end response. We use a Shure Beta 52a, a fantastic kick drum (and occaisionally bass amp) microphone. We also use a pair of vintage Sennheiser MD421 U5 microphones - the classic 421 sound before the modern treble boost. These vintage models are the absolute best tom microphones around, and are a great alternative to a condenser mic when recording an instrument or amp that is strong in lower frequency bands.
Our microphone preamps, A/D converters, and master clocks are currently being upgraded to boutique quality and specs by Black Lion Audio. In January 2013, the upgrade will be complete, and this equipment list will be refreshed.
Finally, we have a number of extra pieces of equipment that expand our sonic capabilities. We have a powerful Sony DPS-V77 outboard reverb unit, which is a go to for some amazing tones that you won't find anywhere else. We have a Symetrix 528e vocal processor unit that shines on leads, especially spoken word. We have a super-secret Alesis reverb that grammy-winning engineers use as their go-to drum reverb. We have two guitar processors, a Line6 POD 2.0 and a VOX Tonelab SE, for ultimate guitar tone possibilities. We also have a tube PA head and a '98 VHT 4x12 cab with Eminence P50s for crafting great guitar tones. We use a SansAmp Bass Driver DI to record great bass tracks. We condition our power with a Monster Power AVS 2000 and a Monster Power Pro 2500. We have built a large amount of wood-framed acoustic treatment walls and panels, and operate in a hand-built, acoustically-treated master control booth.