At Equip, Inc. we love working on unique projects with interesting people. We recently had the opportunity to work with Michael Thomas, co-owner of ChupaWest Records, on a cover for his studio equipment. We’ve worked with Michael before, so this time we wanted to dig deeper to find out more about the equipment he is covering and why.
Michael collects vintage equipment, so we got to learn about some really interesting pieces, as well as some really cool music production history!
These are the three pieces of vintage equipment that we have covered so far:
(1) Drawmer 1961 tube parametric EQ
(2) Dan Alexander Neve 1073 microphone preamp
(3) TC Electronics M3000 multi-FX unit
Read on for the rest of our conversation!
How did you acquire the vintage pieces?
The Drawmer EQ was purchased in 1998, but it is from the 1970’s. The story goes (from the sales person at the SF Guitar Center when I bought it) that this unit was previously owned by the East Bay rapper E-40 (but this has not been confirmed…)
The Dan Alexander preamp was also purchased from the SF Guitar Center back in the late 1990’s. These units are hand-built from cannibalized Neve console parts. Think 1960’s Beatles-era recordings and the mixing boards that were used to create those recordings.
The M3000 was purchased from Sweetwater in 1999. It was cutting edge at the time and not vintage, but now is considered a classic digital reverb unit that still sounds great today.
What made you interested in vintage equipment?
When digital audio came into vogue in the 1990’s, direct-to-disk recording was seen as the best of both worlds: vintage analog equipment married with digital technology. So instead of recording using my mixing board (which was at the time a respectable Mackie 32-8), I went directly to the computer”s audio inputs using my vintage analog equipment as the front end of the signal chain.
What got you into music?
I started seriously playing guitar when I was 12 back in 1982. I took some electronic music courses at the University of South Florida in the early ’90’s (before I got my law degree in 2000), and fell in love with audio engineering and production. Currently, in addition to my law practice, I’m the co-owner of ChupaWest Records.
How were you protecting your equipment before you got the covers?
I wasn’t!!!! For years in the 1990’s when I had a commercial recording space, I didn’t have covers for my equipment. When I decided to get back into recording and mixing music in the early 2010’s, my equipment was (and still is) located in a space I share with my wife, who is a jeweler. As you can imagine, jewelry unfortunately involves a lot of dust from the grinding of various types of metals. Needless to say, dust is the absolute ENEMY of audio equipment because it obstructs and degrades the audio signal path. Equip Inc.’s covers not only protect the investment I made years ago, but also ensure that my equipment will be viable for years to come, which means lots of quality-sounding music!
Equip Inc.’s staff-at all levels-has always been flexible enough to understand what’s needed from the descriptions I provide, and has always precisely implemented my vision. I can’t thank them enough!!
You can check out Michael’s work with ChupaWest at their website, ChupaWest.com, and you can check out their first release from a group called Duwang Gang on Spotify.
If you are interested in a custom cover to protect your music equipment, contact us for a free quote.