Shop Talk

Musician Spoken Here

We discuss gear, the road, recording and smelly vans with the people who make all this happen.


Bob at homeI admit it. I am a gear slut deluxe. If it’s got knobs, faders, lights and buttons I go into a glazed eyed coma of which only the purchase of a piece of electronic heroin can snap me out of. The latest addition to the studio is an Art Pro VLA II tube compressor. Dual channel with 12ax7 pre amp tubes that make my voice sound like the balls swing by the knees. Well maybe that went to far. But it does allow the Shure SM7 to flex it’s muscle. In the very near future, I am thinking about exchanging those tubes for some high end stuff and getting a rack pre amp because the pre’s on the board might be a little weak. If anybody wants to donate an Avalon, I might swallow my pride and accept the offering 🙂 Haven’t even tried using a condenser with this unit, it’s kind of like sex. The anticipation makes the experience even more better.


It’s A Stretch

At first it didn’t seem like a big deal. When I set up the production desk for broadcasting, I just grabbed a boom mic stand, placed it next to the desk and weighted the legs down (everybody has a weight bench being used for a coat rack) and called it good. As time went on, it was becoming a distraction because when you put a heavy piece of hardware like an SM7 on the business end things start to slip. The compression clutch on the boom arm and height collar wear out causing the mic to be everywhere except where I needed it to be. You can see a little of that brain damage in the pic from the previous post.Heil Boom Now I would rather spend my budget on shiny things with lights and meters but my patience was at at an end. Luckily, Kris at 8th Note Music had these Heil PL2T boom arms in stock and by some weird coincidence, he had sent me a pic before I told him I was looking at a solution. When looking at trade mags for boom arms I was kind of balking at the prices they were getting. *Warning – Sarcasm Alert* After all, broadcasting gear is specialized and therefore worth 10x the price of stoopid old studio/stage gear. Long story short, I got the Heil and mounted it on the desk and was immediately impressed with the rock solid feel. The tension spring in the arm is as fluid as you want it to be and routing the mic cable is a breeze without having to take the end off and re soldering after getting it snaked thru the boom. The most surprising thing is the difference it has made when working on the air or with the DAW. A little push, it’s out of the way. Any adjustment stays that way until you adjust it again. You wouldn’t think a piece of thin metal with a mic mount would be a big deal. But I couldn’t imagine working without it now.




  1. I must admit I’m perplexed by your post. It would seem that all you are strictly involved in the broadcast end of the business. If this is the case, I agree that you have a gear monkey on your back. Even if your record music as well, I agree you are a gear junkie. The worst part, is there is no rehab for this affliction. Cold turkey is the only way. However, there is some middle ground. Start working on you working environment. If, in fact you have all this equipment, (which you must admit to yourself and others,( which seem’s you have now done). Then show it off properly, and visit , you will be able to show off your equipment with some class.

    1. Author

      Code Zero Radio is broadcast from Tailwind Audio Production, my studio based in N Iowa. The station was added to offer airplay and a web presence for local artists who record here and elsewhere in our area. The station has grown into an outlet for unsigned bands who don’t receive airplay on terrestrial radio. Tailwind Audio offers recording services for musicians, local businesses and production content for other streaming radio stations.

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