What:Chief Engineer, Owner
Where:Oak Park, Illinois
API Gear:6-slot lunchbox®, 512c
"I remember the first time I fired up my API 512c. I had purchased the API lunchbox a few months earlier and saved hard to get my studio's first high end mic pre. I fired it up for a backing vocals session, I had the singer do a quick test and within seconds I realized this was a special piece of gear. I mean come on, even 'testing one two three' sounded incredible. Since then the 512c has been our go to pre here at Sonic Palace. We use it on drums, bass, vocals, podcasts, and especially guitars."
"The 512c is synonymous with a great guitar tone just as much as Gibson, Fender and Marshall are. Recently I had a producer with platinum credits tell me he was blown away with the guitar tones we're getting over here. He asked what the secret was and I told him it's pretty simple, I use an SM57 through a 512c and tweak the guitar amp a bit, that's it!"
"This preamp is a must have for any studio. It's super clean and punchy, and you can push it hard without it folding. It has excellent metering and in today's quick sessions it's great to see where your levels are hitting at a quick glance. You'd be surprised how handy the XLR input on the front panel is for anything from a scratch vocal to a podcast."
"My next purchase for the studio will be the API 500V because I'm out of slots and I need an API 560 graphic EQ; I'm dying to get my hands on one of them! We've had API gear running every day for seven years at the studio with zero problems. It's the real deal."
For over 12 years now, Matt Mercado has been producing up-and-coming rap and rock artists with his full-service recording facilities, just across the street from the Chicago city limits. As a musician and former major label recording artist, Mercado has seen the industry from all sides. His mission with Sonic Palace: to do more than just record artists and send them on their way. Mercado aims to nurture and promote outside the studio walls, as well.
Sonic Palace was founded in 2003. It is a small, full service recording facility with the capabilities to record a solo artist or an entire band. Mercado describes it as a "chill yet pro atmosphere where the client's music takes the spotlight." The studio recently released its first all-exclusive mixtape, "Sonic Six" hosted by DJ Hustlenomics. The mixtape features beats by studio owner Matt Mercado and some of the Chicago area's top rappers. The project was recorded, mixed and mastered using the API 512c and Neumann U87ai on most of the vocal tracks.
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