Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass

production renegade


multiplatinum producer anthony j. resta working with perry ferrell
(janes addiction, porno for pyros, satellite party,)

Renegade producer/engineers like Anthony J. Resta can't help gravitating towards gear that goes against the grain. The revolutionary designs of Crowley and Tripp ribbon microphones have become an increasingly important part of Resta's sound ever since he brought them into his Boston-based sound lab, Studio Bopnique. It's only logical, then, that he'd pair them with yet another musical groundbreaker, employing them on several cuts for the upcoming album from Jane's Addiction/Porno for Pyros frontman Perry Farrell.
'When it comes to microphone selection and techniques, my heroes are producers with an adventurous spirit. That's what drives us to look for something that's anything but generic,' says Resta. 'The Crowley and Tripp Proscenium, Soundstage Image, and Studio Vocalist microphones have been an amazing addition to my sonic pallet. They're a crucial tool in helping me to achieve the warm saturation of analog that I love, even with today's fully digital recording setups.'

A prolific producer, engineer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist with multi-platinum credits that include Duran Duran, Collective Soul, Shawn Mullins, Sir Elton John, Guster and many more, Resta was introduced to Farrell by mutual collaborator and guitarist extraordinare, Nuno Bettencourt. Sensing the potential for a creative working relationship, Farrell began uploading raw tracks from Los Angeles to Bopnique in Boston, giving Resta free reign to overdub instrumental tracks that would fit in with Farrell's distinctive style. 'Perry has a fearless and innovative musical soul. He is always breaking new ground and expanding his horizons, yet somehow no matter how experimental things get he ultimately stays focused on the song,' says Anthony J. Resta, who goes by the nickname Ajax. 'The record has elements of classic rock, electronica, and so much more. It's really cinematic in scope and pushes all sorts of interesting sonic boundaries. There are also some very special guests – one being a legend from the 60's… that's all I can say for now!'

Photo caption: Producer/engineer/musician Anthony Resta's 'Bopnique Studio' in Boston attracts cutting-edge artists such as Perry Farrell, frontman for Jane's Addiction/Porno for Pyros, who recorded tracks for his upcoming album using the new Crowley and Tripp Studio Vocalist ribbon microphone.

The Crowley and Tripp Proscenium, with its vintage warmth, high output, low noise and durable construction, was Resta's go-to mic for many of his Farrell-inspired audio experiments. 'The sound of these ribbon mics was essential to creating what I call my 'sci-fi mambo madness',' he explains. 'For example, I really like to re-amp synthesizers though small, vintage 1950's guitar amps. The speakers get desirable distortion from pedals and the Crowley and Tripp Proscenium really captures what I'm hearing. It makes the synth sit very nicely in the mix without being harsh.

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'Usually,' he continues, 'I'll put the Proscenium on-axis right in front of the amp, but sometimes I'll experiment by placing it at a right angle and combining it with another mic, putting them out of phase. Another technique I like is to put the Proscenium two or three feet back from the mic, which gives you a nice dose of the room sound.'

Resta also made extensive use of the Crowley and Tripp Studio Vocalist, a large ribbon microphone with a figure-eight pattern that provides the highest output signal of any natural ribbon microphone, while recording percussion for Farrell. 'The combination of the Studio Vocalist and Proscenium works great on the bongos,' says Resta. 'I put the Proscenium in the center and used the Studio Vocalist as a rear mic. I use them all the time for drum ambiences, because these mics deliver the transients nice and sharp. I've used a lot of mics for that application, but Crowley and Tripp have been really innovative with these microphones. They provide my percussion recording sessions with a lot of output and natural brightness.'

Offering highly advanced designs that are cost-effective, Crowley and Tripp microphones have been the ideal companion for Resta as his career has evolved, a journey that now has him known as much for his devious audio experiments, as for his super-producer track record. 'When I was working with Duran Duran, Elton John, Collective Soul etc. (larger budget projects), I could rent whatever I wanted for weeks or even years,' he notes. 'Then, when I built my own studio and it came time for me to buy my own gear, a new set of criteria came along with that. I started looking for things that sounded incredible with bang for the buck. The Crowley and Tripp microphones are a steal at the price they're selling them for. They're a great value, and built like tanks to survive the kind of normal studio abuse that fries other ribbon mics.'

Whether he's recording high-concept visionaries like Perry Farrell, or his own unique music, Anthony J. Resta has come to count on Crowley and Tripp to keep his digital artistry in touch with his analog roots. 'Trying to keep things non-generic yet accessible is the focus of my career at this point,' says Resta. 'There's an element of classic rock in my productions, with a warmth that makes your ears feel good when you turn it up. Having Crowley and Tripp in my arsenal helps me get there.'

Crowley and Tripp ribbon microphones are hand-built in the company's Ashland, Massachusetts USA laboratory by people who know the art and science of acoustics, and who have years of experience with high output, low noise instruments used in medical and professional audio applications. Models include the Studio Vocalist, Soundstage Image, Proscenium and SPLx Custom.

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David Mellor