I apologize right off the top for the use of such a cliche, but it’s exactly what I want to say. Are you handy with tools, electronics, stuff like that? If not, sorry…you may want to skip this EZ Tip. Naw, go ahead and read it anyway! Maybe you can con a friend into helping you out?

I am not a “natural” at a certain hobby of mine; electronics. It’s a bit better than my golf game actually, but that’s not saying much. I have good friends (you know who you are, Steve) that are naturals at this subject, but not me. Even after getting an Associate degree with honors late in my life, I am still not a natural at electronics. I do, however really enjoy it! I also enjoy building things; models, electric trains (nerd..NERD!), and other things like that. It gives me a feeling of self-satisfaction, knowing I put something difficult together from scratch, or in my case today-from parts.

This brings me around to my tip; you can build many devices used in recording from kits! I will plug these manufacturers here:

paia.com and seventhcircleaudio.com

I have had a blast putting these kits together for years, with only limited knowledge of how the really work. My only real skills? The desire to “wire something up myself”, the desire to save A LOT of money for top-shelf gear at a fraction of the price, and the ability to soldier and read instructions.

With paia.com I am now the proud owner and operator of a Theremax Theremin-a really good copy of a real Theremin. Very cool-looking and sounding! Lots of fun. I have used it on many records, to the “wow” of my clients. You look like a mad scientist when you play it; guaranteed cool!

Mostly I have to take my hat off to seventhcircleaudio.com on this score though, as far as cool electronics kits for recording stuff. They have a system where you buy an 8 space rack and their power supply, and slowly fill it with really cool-sounding mic pre-amps that are all duplicates of really fancy-and-famous models by other manufacturers-and with identical or better parts! AND, the best part: these things are much less in price, and all just for your trouble and time. PLUS-you get serious bragging rights! I have put together 3 Neve-type pres, a Jensen-style pre, 2 API pres, a very cool direct box, and I still have one open space to look forward to eventually filling up with something else that’s neato. (Thanks, Linda!)

So are you handy, need cool gear, want to build something for yourself, and want a bang-for-the-buck? Dandy!

PS-if you aren’t but still want these-they will assemble them for a fee. But go ahead…try one! Big fun!


Jamie Hoover