Sifting the Vintage: A Sucker For Old Junk

I blame it on my father. In the back of my head I always hear his voice saying “Geez, but THIS is totally made of metal!”, and I desperately try not become the gatekeeper to the Land of Lost Toys. Since I live in what is also the studio, it is always difficult to keep things uncluttered but rich in the tools of creation [books, instruments, cameras, culinary items]. But this week…

The school was tossing much of its outdated and unused sound equipment from the auditorium, and I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course I would love to take home that Altec 1612B Limiter and UREI 5549A Room Equalizer even though they weigh a tonne – [note to self: MUST be made of metal].  What am I going to do with this junk? Why I will rack mount it and run ProTools 9 through them as hardware effects.

Never mind that neither of these were built for a recording studio; they were built for airports and school gyms. Never mind that I already own sweet plug-ins like the Chandler TG 12413 Limiter and the new WAVES Kramer MPX Master Tape that will give me a cleaner or rougher sound. Never mind that I have no idea if I will electrocute myself; these look cool and they are made of metal. I will say though that both the Chandler and WAVES plug-ins pictured are just stunning for their warmth and ability to pull a mix together, and both are clones of old vintage junk that is on its last legs in yesteryear’s studios.

The reality is that since I tried my hand at recording video [and failed to some degree] my passion for sound recording has re-ignited, and creativity is never wasted time. When I buy my new media desk this winter I am looking for one with some rack mount space so that I can fit these two pieces in. Just like my penchant for melding film into the digital realm, I do believe that transistors and tubes do give a unique sound that is priceless for specific uses. I love my vinyl records, but only because I am playing them on my Pro-Ject turntable through a Peachtree Audio preamplifier. Sigh, but then again the speakers were water-damaged units my old neighbour, Robert, was tossing in the bin. I am incurable! I know, I know…it is crazy to think that vintage junk can mix with modern design, but as I said I am a suck for the part that everyone else throws away. Amen.



One response to “Sifting the Vintage: A Sucker For Old Junk

  1. Haha – funniest blog yet. I too finding myself drawn to the “value” of old junk shit.

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