z Gear Stories episode 3

Gear Stories #3, The Sound Prescription and the Best Headphones EVER!


Once again, it’s time for Gear Stories!  As always, if you don’t like getting these, just let me know and I will take you off the list!


My M.O. is to tell you about two pieces of Gear, one really high end, and one, pretty affordable so guys like you and me can afford them, and then if I can, I offer a discount for the month on those particular items, so here goes!


Izotope, RX, the sound prescription!


In many years of studio work I have often been asked to separate sounds out of a stream of audio.  I blame C.S.I. for this.  They show a computer screen of some audio and then Archie says, “I separated out the noise from the blah blah blah…” and then the noise floor magically jumps off to another track and he deconstructs it down track by track until each element of that mixed up wall of sound is on it’s own track and you hear the killer confessing quietly to himself.


Fiction!  They just started with a mutli-track session in which they recorded all that stuff separately anyway, so OF COURSE they can separate it into different tracks.  But in real life, it simply can’t be done!


Until now.


Izotope released a new product a little while ago called RX, and in a demonstration here in our theatre, they played a conversation between two people at a road side cafe, during which a truck drove by and squealed it’s breaks, obscuring the conversation.


You could see the element of the sound where the break squeal was, (Including a REALLY  nasty high end harmonic) and the guy operating the computer selected the brake squeal with his mouse and then hit play… What we heard was the squeal, the whole squeal, and NOTHING but the squeal!  Impressive… but THEN… he hit delete, and Boom!  It was gone.  He played the track and there were the two ladies talking and there was the truck driving up but there was no squeal… nothing… it was gone.  A collective gasp came up from the entire sales staff… we had never seen anything like it before… we had never thought it possible!  Never!  But there it was.


I went straight back to my desk and called my Dad!  He’s buying a copy… I got a copy!  Mac, or PC, If you EVER do audio restoration, you cannot do without this software!  (My college composition recital tape is next on MY list!)  And the best thing… this software, without any special discounts, goes for $279.97… but if you buy it from me sometime in April, you can get it for only $249.97!





Ultrasone, the best headphones EVER!


I had been struggling with a mix for weeks… trying to get it just right.  I’d listened to it in the studio and the home stereo, and the boom box in five different rooms, over and over… My car,… I’d even driven my wife’s car to work one day just so I could listen to that mix in a new environment.


I felt I had it right, but there was a shadow of doubt nagging me.  Then came the people from Ultrasone, and they set up in our showroom and told the Sales Engineers to bring in their favorite CD’s and listen to the difference.  I figured that this was my chance, so I brought in THAT mix, and listened.  Suddenly, I knew…  I knew I had done the mix right.  I could hear everything I’d been working on for the last several weeks, all there, perfectly in front of me, like I could reach out and touch it!


No other environment (including my studio) had given me such a detailed, perfect and unadulterated listen to my mix.


The cool thing is the construction of the headphones and placement of the speakers inside.  When you’re working in a studio, you don’t have two speakers on either side of you, blasting straight into your ears from opposite sides, yet that is how EVERY OTHER set of headphones is constructed.  These place the speakers in such a way as to let them direct the sound to you from a natural angle in front of you, just like listening to perfectly placed studio monitors.


I don’t know how they do it, but they did, and it was the best headphone experience I’d ever had.  Of course, they are worth a premium!  The posted price for the Ultrasone Edition 9 headphones is $1499.00 for one pair.


Considering what a pair of high end studio monitors cost, however, this is a STEAL!  The good news is that Ultrasone actually makes lower end models that go down to the HFI-580’s for only $199 per pair.  You do notice a difference between them and the Edition 9, to be sure, and in all the models in between, there are gradual differences, all leading up to the ultimate headphone perfection experience.


Here’s a link to a page with the entire lineup…




Check them out!  And through the month of April, if you buy the Edition 9’s, I’ll give you a $250 dollar discount!  they will only be $1249.00…(A little less than I bought my Mackie HR828’s for!) the even better news is that I will be offering the same percentage point discount on ANY model of Ultrasone headphones, so call me for the special price.


That’s Gear stories for the month!  I look forward to your many responses!  And I LOVE to hear your gear stories, too!  Maybe some time, I’ll use some of yours in the column!  (I HAVE been known at times to get lazy!)


See you next time!


Jon  GIllespie