Tchad Blake: Recording Master and Innovator

The six-times Grammy Award winning Tchad Blake is no small force in the recording industry. Tchad is known for his very particular style of recording, utilizing "binaural recording," where he utilizes two microphones to create 3-D stereophonic sound, as well as building mic filters from everyday unconventional everyday objects, including cardboard, tin cans, screwdrivers and coat hangers. His penchance for the pop/rock and singer-songwriter genres has led him to working with The Arctic Monkeys, Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, Pearl Jam, Tom Waits, Sheryl Crow, Marike Jager, Fishbone, The Pretenders, The Bad Plus, Ani DiFranco, Bonnie Raitt, Phish, Al Greene, The Dandy Warhols, The Black Keys, Kula Shaker, U2, Nico Vega, Soul Coughing, Delta Spirit, and more. Spectra 1964 compressor limiter (Complimiter) technology has been a part of every album Tchad Blake has recorded since 1993.


"I found my first 610 on a rubbish heap of old cables and mic stands at Ocean Way Studios in LA around 1993. Grabbed it, plugged it in, sent a drum loop through it and whoa! Barely a tweak and that was the sound. I bought that 610 on that day for $75.00 cash. Yeah, I know, it was on a heap to be chucked out but the owner is a great engineer and business man. I had to have it and another which I found two days later at The Guitar Center in Sherman Oaks for $100.00. They've been on every record I've engineered since and most that I've mixed."



Note the 610's beneath Tchad's right hand.



The technology (and the durability) of the Spectra Sonics 610 Complimiters hasn't changed since its implementation. All of the Spectra 1964 Complimiter models utilize the same Spectra Sonics 601 compressor/limiter technology introduced in 1969, first implemented in the Spectra Model 610 Complimiter.



An Original Spectra Sonics 610.


The Spectra Sonics 601 Complimiter Module was introduced in 1969. It was first implemented within the Spectra Sonics Model 610 Complimiter. All of the Spectra 1964 Complimiters act as separate compressors and peak limiters, or they can perform both functions simultaneously. Today, the 610 is still the fastest, quietest, and most versatile analog compressor/limiter available. The 601 module is the heart and soul of each of our Complimiter models.


At Spectra 1964, we sell two versions of the classic Spectra Sonics 610, the Spectra 1964 C610 and V610 Complimiters. The Model C610 is the original Complimiter introduced in 1969. It utilizes the 601 compressor/limiter module, with a 101 preamplifier for make-up gain. Two 610 Complimiters can be interconnected for stereo use via the 610 SI Accessory. The Model V610 is a major improvement on the 610 Complimiter, even now, 45 years after it's original release. The V610 has high resolution detented controls, as well as lower distortion, noise, and a +24dBu output. It's best used for tracking, mix buss, and mastering applications.


Have a listen to this collection of Tchad Blake's work. Any song on this list from about 1993 onward has been produced with Spectra 1964 technology. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!


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