While reading Ken Burke‘s Gearslutz.com posts, one would think that he just praises everything that comes out of Sonic Farm without much questioning.
But in fact, nothing could be further away from truth. He will hold to the fire everything you bring him to test.
Last weekend, there was a jazz project recording going on at the Blue Wave studios. The artist was Robyn McCorquodale, with session players Kerry Galloway on bass, Robbie Steininger on guitar, Phil Robertson on drums and Vince Mai on keys. Producer was Tom Lavin and the engineer, you guessed it, Ken Burke.
We sent them a Creamer Plus and 4 Silkworms.
The first thing we heard back from Ken was that “Silkworms were unusable with a Shure SM7 on vocals because of way too much noise”.
I quickly juggled the whole circuit in my head, went over the sleepless nights I spent with the Silkworm prototype with all sorts of mics, including the SM7. “Where could I have gone wrong” was my first thought, dismissing all of my previous faith in the Silkworm in a wink. “Well, I guess that thing needs to be put back on the workbench…” was where I left the whole issue.
But, after the weekend recording was over, Boris received a few photos from Ken and an email that read:
I used the Silkworm Pre-amp on an artist’s vocal that I have recorded before. We used the same mic; a Shure SM7. Working with a set of veteran session players they were curious as to why we weren’t using the API pre-amp but after listening to the vocal for a while, the answer was clear. The Silkworm gave us a warm natural tone that was still present. This may be my new go to vocal pre-amp. Also on this session I used a Silkworm on the kick and the snare with equally good results. This is where the character switch comes into play. Great little pre-amps!
When Boris forwarded it to me, I told him, “thet’s weird, do you remember what Ken told us last week? You should call him and see what’s going on. I don’t feel good about posting this on the website. We gotta walk our talk.”
Boris did call him, and here’s what he said:
Oh, that!? Never mind, forget about everything I said then. It was the student that was helping us with cables. He messed up the patching between the Silkworm and the compressor…and shorted out Silkworm’s output…We found out the next morning.
I breathed out a sigh of relief. I don’t have to re-examine the Silkworm. It works just like we thought it would!
Creamer Plus was on Overheads.
And here’s a peek into the recording room over the API board.