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Grammy Award-Winning Engineer, Rob Griffin, Finds True Recording Precision

OLD LYME, CONNECTICUT: Recording engineer Rob Griffin's background as a professional acoustic musician prepared him to specialize in acoustic instrumentation recording where purity of sound and recording quality are high on the list of desired production values. One of Griffin's favorite personal memories and recordings was with guitarist Michael Hedges and the 1997 Grammy-winner "Oracle" on Windham Hill Records. "Since then I work almost exclusively in Jazz and I'm very fortunate to work with some of the greatest guys on the planet with Wayne Shorter at the top of my list of clients. I do all of Wayne's tour sound and studio recordings as well as mix live and in the studio. As for some of my other clients, this year I was fortunate to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz Recording this year for "Directions In Music" by Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, and Roy Hargrove," says Griffin.
"The majority of my record work at the moment is live recording. All of Wayne Shorter's Quartet performances are now recorded. I feel as though I am recording history. And that was my main reason for looking into the True Systems Precision 8 mic pre-amps. I wanted world-class, multiple channel pre-amps that sounded great and were rugged enough to hold up on the road. The compact P8 is an extremely well made and stable piece of gear. I've never had any chassis bending, knob problems or any other things go wrong - and we keep crazy schedules with flying everyday all over the world," says Griffin. The P8's one rack space size, with all controls and metering on the front panel, factored into Griffin's decision. "I severely needed to trim and slim my gear load since it gets ridiculous to travel with excessive amounts of equipment. But most importantly I needed to still maintain the highest possible sound quality. I like the P8s because, unlike a lot of transistor mic pre-amps, they don't accentuate or have any 'bumps' in response. They really don't have a 'sound' of their own. They're just extremely smooth. I also no longer feel the need to use or match different pre-amps with certain microphones. I'm happy with this pre-amp for all my mics," explains Griffin.
For recording Wayne's quartet, Griffin has two Precision 8 units in two rack spaces for a total of 16 channels. He records to a Tascam MX-2424 at 24-bit directly connected to the P8s. Griffin elaborates: "I use them as the front end - like a mic splitter - for the concert's whole sound system. The MX-2424 connects with DB25 connectors and the other XLR outputs go directly to the monitor and FOH mixer at line level. It's incredible the difference in quality of the whole sound system by putting this level of mic preamps on the front end."
The True Systems Precision 8 has eight channels of transformerless mic preamps each with five-segment level indicators and a selectable peak-hold feature. Two channels are fitted with direct instrument inputs while channels one and two also function as a dedicated M/S (mid/side) stereo pair with the touch of single button. Designed for use with today's modular digital multi-track units and hard disc recording systems, the Precision 8 easily connects to TASCAM or Mackie digital products via a DB25 connector.
The Precision 8's low noise floor allows Griffin to use certain microphones on his live recordings that he normally reserves for studio work only. "These pres are so quiet that I can use ribbon mics on the piano," he continues. "This application requires a lot of gain and most other pre-amps are too noisy. I always use the P8's M/S feature for piano recording and I split the side mic to another channel for convenience in live mixing. The P8's peak hold function metering comes in handy in live recording as it's virtually impossible to monitor the meters constantly."
Griffin is very excited about the performances he is capturing from Wayne Shorter's group with the Precision 8 pre-amps. He goes on to say: "We're working on a new Wayne Shorter live record. The last record, "Footprints Live," was extremely successful - it won numerous awards including the New York Times Record of the Year.
This new recording strives to be even better. We've recorded in the some of the finest concert halls in the world including Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and Vienna's Konzerthaus. Yet, musically and sonically, the differences between "Footprints" and this one are incredible. I credit it all to the P8."
The Precision 8 is designed and built by Sunrise Engineering, a design and build manufacturer located in Tucson, Arizona. Neumann distributes True Systems in the USA.
Neumann's award-winning line of microphones has set the standard in the industry since 1928. In 1999, Neumann received the prestigious Technical Grammy(r) for their 70 years of innovation in microphone design and contribution to the music industry. A continuing commitment to provide innovative, technically refined products and engineering solutions of proven quality ensures that Neumann's stature will remain unassailable. Neumann USA is owned and distributed in the U.S. and Latin America by Sennheiser Electronic Corporation based in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

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TRUE Systems Testimonials

"The P-SOLO Ribbon, which comes in at well under $700.00, is performing at a level that's comparable to mic pres that cost five times as much."
Lee Groitzsch

"It's all about standing on the front line of where music is today and capturing the band's true sound with TRUE mic pres."
Chris Shepard

"The Neumann and the P2 Analog is the perfect combination to make the piano sound like it should."
Trinidad Sanchez III,
The Rippingtons

"The Precision 8 is very transparent sounding and very accurate. It's an excellent piece of equipment."
Marc Fuller, Grammy-nominated for Kanye West’s "College Dropout"

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