The Sound Behind UnderToneAudio's MPEQ-1 And MPDI-4
Through Midnight on October 26th, 2015, we'll be offering 10% off UnderToneAudio's MPEQ-1 and MPDI-4. Read on to discover what will make these channel strips essential elements of your recording and mixing processes.
"It started when I was faced with this issue," says UnderToneAudio co-owner and famed producer Eric Valentine. "Nobody was building a recording console that was going to work for me." Finding himself without a console to mix on, Valentine teamed with engineer Larry Jasper to create their own from scratch.
The resulting console would win acclaim from the many that heard the music that the desk produced, prompting the duo to consider turning their ambitions towards producing more. In the end, the team decided to make the product more accessible by offering up two pieces of rack mount gear, the MPEQ-1 And MPDI-4.
The MPDI-4 is a four channel mic pre perfect for any studio. The output transformer is bypass-able via a switch on the front panel (instead of having an alternate output on the back), while a “load” switch adds extra harmonic coloration to the circuit. Via the unit’s output pad, engineers can drop the level by 10dB, making it possible to hit the mic pre harder and not clip digitally on your DAW. The MPEQ-1 utilizes the same mic pre as the MPDI-4, while also incorporating the classic EQ created by Eric Valentine and Larry Jasper for their initial UnderToneAudio console.
Eric Valentine on the MPEQ-1:
"The equalizer can do anything I want it to do and because the transformers are passable, there are ways to drive the mic pre more if you want to get a more vintage, driven sound. The MPEQ-1 circuit has a volume trim on it, after the mic pre, so you can turn that down and turn the mic pre up to drive more if you want to. Our piece is done in a way that doesn’t change the sound of the mic pre and you can really get out of it want you want. If you need something pristine, you can bypass the transformers and it’s a huge open sound."
Vintage King Staff Talks MPEQ-1
Alex Oana: "Badass recording channel. Easily one of the most powerful analog EQs ever created. This EQ is so powerful you can make it sound like the drummer recorded with a different kit if you want to. And the beauty is, you can’t make it sound harsh. Complete with a killer mic preamp on the front."
Josh Gleave: "By far the coolest pre/EQs I’ve seen in awhile. Possibly ever. The build quality is excellent, the pre is both warm and clear, but this EQ? Easily the most versatile and dynamic I’ve ever used. A real engineer’s channel strip."
Chad Evans: "The most flexible preamp/EQ in the shop. Super musical Class A circuitry with custom input transformers and output transformers that can also operate transformer-less. Coupled with the most insane Equalizer known to man, it’s like a software plug-in in hardware form that you can sculpt sounds to no limit."
Eric Valentine on the MPDI-4:
"The MPDI-4 is a 1RU 4 channel mic pre-amp. It is the same mic preamp that is in the MPEQ-1 but has some cool extra features. The output transformer is bypass-able via a switch on the front panel, instead of having an alternate output on the back," Valentine states. "There is a 'Load' switch that adds extra harmonic coloration to the circuit. There is an output pad switch that drops the level by 10dB so you can hit the mic pre harder and not clip digitally on your DAW. Every channel has an amazing DI input as well."
Ryan McGuire: "Very open and detailed sound, airier and more spacious than most classic solid state designs but with the same big, warm, punchy low end that people seek out classic vintage designs for.”
Josh Gleave: "It's four Class A preamps with amazing bandwidth and clarity in a 1RU chassis. Absolutely kills."
Chad Evans: "The Undertone MPDI-4 is one of the most sonically versatile preamps available today, due to its ability to manipulate the gain structure when recording. The UTA is a 4 channel mic pre with the discrete Class A circuitry we all know and love. It has 70dB of gain in stepped 5 dB increments, a -20dB input pad, a -10dB output pad, switchable impedance and by-passable input and output transformers.
With the input and output transformers bypassed it has a pristine clean sound for the times you don’t want any color added to the signal source. But for the times you want to add harmonics and color to your recording just engage the input and output transformers and the -10dB output pad (my favorite setting) and voila! Instant THD love and vibe perfect for any recording session. Regardless of the microphone you use or the signal source you’re recording the MPDI-4 WILL make your recording sound its absolute best!"