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Kaleidoscope Sound

Who:Randy Crafton

What:Producer, Engineer, Studio Owner

Where:Union City, NJ

API Gear:48-channel API Legacy Plus, 8200, 2500, 550A, 560, 525, 500VPR Racks

From The Street:

"As I began accumulating more high-end equipment, vintage mics, boutique outboard gear, etc., I began to hear echoes of 'that sound' surfacing in my own work. When I first opened Kaleidoscope Sound, we were fortunate enough to acquire an "API-ish" console with 32 API 550As, some API mic pre cards, and a lot of 2520s in the line amps and summing amps. Passing audio through this chain instantly gave me a huge dose of the sound that I'd been missing and searching for for so long."

"When it came time to upgrade the entire Studio A control room, we had the opportunity to acquire a 48-channel API Legacy Plus with 32 mic pres. Despite having racks of vintage and boutique outboard mic pres, I have been completely thrilled with the pres in the Legacy Plus. I've enjoyed both their amazing sound and the simplicity that allows one to focus on mic placement, sound and music, rather than on patching and chasing wires. It's so easy to make things sound great when using the API—so easy, that it feels like cheating."

"After upgrading Studio A, it was time to address Studio B. I often mix there, and letting it remain a huge sonic compromise was just too depressing. We took 16 of the 550A EQs out of our old console, and put them in lunchboxes® to use as channel inserts in Pro Tools. We then set up an 8200A to stem the outputs, which normals into a 2500, and then back into the computer. Add in a few 512 mic pres, and Studio B has now become a very satisfying place to mix and overdub."

"On a very practical level, it's great to own a large console that is manufactured here in the States and is still willing to provide technical support to our team. We love to record to tape when we can, but the "API-factor" has given us a level of flexibility we didn't have before. We've had a grand total of zero downtime since the day we commissioned the API, and our tech, Sal, who is normally grumpy, has been uncharacteristically happy lately. He may even get a tan this summer."

"In addition, when I have to travel and record in other environments, I simply 'pack my lunchbox' with the tools from home that I feel I would miss the most. That way, I know I'll always have something familiar that I can rely on to get 'that API sound.'"

About Kaleidoscope Sound:

Kaleidoscope Sound is a premiere recording facility based on a simple premise: All music, no attitude. Located in Union City, NJ, Producer/Engineer/Studio Owner Randy Crafton has built a strong local following and a steady stream of clients including Richie Havens, Bill Frisell, Mingus Big Band and Regina Spektor. He opened his dual-room facility in 2001 with his wife Amy and chief engineer Sal Mormando.

Kaleidoscope's flagship room, Studio A, features a 48-channel API Legacy Plus console with Uptown automation nested in a beautiful control room designed by Francis Manzella of FM Design. Along with Pro Tools HD, 2" analog recording, a Steinway B grand piano, a Hammond B3 and Leslie combo, and an impressive collection of microphones, outboard gear, and guitar/bass amps, this 2000-square-foot facility caters to both the independent and major label artists looking for great sound without breaking the bank.

Studio B is a state-of-the-art Mix, Edit, and Overdub room with the best of both analog and digital equipment and a spacious isolation room. Equipped with a Pro Tools HD2 Accel system, Studio B boasts a custom API summing signal path allowing its user to sum up to eight channels of audio from Pro Tools through an API 8200 line mixer, which is normalled to an API 2500 stereo compressor, which is then routed back into Pro Tools, all of which is done without a single patch cable. This room also features 16 API 550A EQs normalled into Pro Tools as "inserts" with the help of a Lynx Aurora AD16 I/O. Mixing and summing back "into the box" never sounded so good.

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Contact: email:; phone: (201) 223-2868; Twitter

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