One of the best things about using a dedicated recording chain is that it frees up inputs and busses on your mixing console. It's also impossible to accidentally "buss" some other audio into your recording when you forgot a pushed buss button somewhere on your board. I have discovered this snag coming into a session and I have said as cheerful as possible: "I hope you like your bass part because it got recorded along with your vocal on the same track!" The Applied Research and Technology Pro Channel is a three-in-one box that contains the ART MPA mic pre-amp, the Pro VLA optical compressor and the Tube EQ parametric equalizer. You can plug in your best mic or take any instrument direct by way of the front panel 1/4" jack and then output directly to your recording deck... completely bypassing your mixer. The mic pre has plenty of gain and the equalizer is a 4 band type with sweep-able mid-range control. The compressor operates in smooth optical mode or you can switch to the more aggressive Variable-Mu mode. 

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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