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Home | Library | Articles | Deliver Awesome Sounds

Deliver Awesome Sounds

by Shawn Micheal - MSS-10 product manager
Shawn is one of our top product design specialists. In addition to supervising the MSS team he contributed to the development of Flying Faders and MultiMAX.

Article summary: Industry giants are using MSS-10s on their sessions. The natural sounding mic preamp is also an AES TEC Award nominee.

Featured in Fall 1998 Audio Horizons 680k | Newsletter List
MSS-10 product information

By now many of you are aware of the MSS-10 mic preamp. Perhaps you've read an exceptional review of the unit, or paused for a moment to admire its sleek good looks in one of our ads. Maybe you noticed that the readers of Studio Sound magazine singled out the MSS-10 for a commendation in the Outboard Preamp category of the Audio Industry Recognition Awards earlier this year. More recently it was nominated for a TEC Award, in the category of Outstanding Technical Achievement in Microphone Preamplifier Technology.

But while you're reading the trade magazines your competitors, some of the top people in the industry, have taken the time to audition and evaluate the MSS-10. Some well-known names are now using the MSS-10 to help them deliver some truly awesome sounds, perhaps even to your former clients...

Of course it's a great honor to be recognized by our industry with award nominations, but it's the comments of our clients that really matter. No stranger to award ceremonies himself, Al Schmitt has accumulated seven Grammy Awards for his engineering work over the years, and was inducted into the TEC Awards Hall of Fame in 1997. Al was recently introduced to the MSS-10 when he used four of the mic preamps on the scoring sessions for the 20th Century Fox motion picture Hope Floats at Capitol Records in Hollywood. "I had a great experience with them," says Al.

Al also used MSS-10s on Vince Gill's new Christmas album. "I used them on his voice and a couple on the room," he says. "They were fabulous!" As we went to press Al was in session at Capitol with Diana Krall, using 5 MSS-10s to record Johnny Mandel's orchestra. He also reported that he used MSS-10s on a recent Monica Mancini album session, featuring guest vocalist Johnny Mathis.
Grammy Award-winning engineer, producer and mixer Bruce Botnick put his rack of 8 MSS-10s to good use on several Jerry Goldsmith scoring sessions, including Walt Disney's animated feature Mulan at Todd-AO Studios, and DreamWorks' Small Soldiers at 20th Century Fox. Most recently he took his rack of MSS-10s to England, to record the Goldsmith score for The 13th Warrior (Touchstone Pictures) at AIR Studios.

Sony Music Studios in New York City recently purchased a pair of MSS-10s. Assistant Director of Audio Engineering, John Williams, reports that the mic preamps are in constant use throughout the multi-room complex. "All the engineers are very happy with them," he notes. "We'll be picking up a third unit soon. We're looking forward to using them with our Neumann microphones on the Decca tree." Initially used on sessions with Branford Marsalis and Wyclef Jean, the MSS-10s have seen action with Hanson for Hard Rock Live, and on sessions with Fastball, Lucinda Williams, Harry Connick Jr. and Joe Pesci.

Let's take a look at the design of the MSS-10 and see how it can help you capture your mics' true excitement. The MSS-10 mic pre incorporates two stages of non-inverting amplification, providing 20dB to 65dB of gain, switchable in precise 5dB steps. A 20dB pad, phase reverse and +48V switching are included.

The line driver offers additional level adjustment from ( to +10dB of gain. A CAL switch bypasses the level control, providing unity gain output. A mute switch is provided. The source may be selected from either the mic pre or a separate balanced line input. The line input can be used for the insertion of a signal processor (e.g. EQ), maintaining the shortest, fully controllable audio path to the recorder. A professional, full-size VU meter indicates level at the line output.

The MSS-10 offers a pristine path to tape, bypassing the console, for the best possible reproduction of your source. At Retrophonics Studio in Florida, Jim DeVito prefers to use MSS-10s rather than the mic preamps in his main recording console. "The MSS-10 is a fantastic piece of gear," he says. "I use it on vocals all the time, but it can be used on everything."

Bobby Croft, former member of The Greg Allman Band and owner of The Grey Area Studio in Orlando, Florida, recently purchased an MSS-10 to use with his Augan 24-track digital recorder for record production work with up-and-coming talent. The MSS-10 has become the preamp of choice. Enthuses Croft, "With the MSS-10 I can really use my tube mics."

Natural Sound means that for the very first time you can hear every glorious detail from your microphones, giving you awesome sounds from mics you already use. This revolutionary technology is no substitute for talent and passion, but if you have what it takes to stand out, the MSS-10 delivers the sounds you have always dreamed of.


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