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Chris Shepard, Chicago-based recording engineer, adds fourth Precision 8 preamp to his portable recording studio.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Chris Shepard recently added a fourth True Systems Precision 8 microphone preamplifier to the top of the analog rack in his amazing portable recording studio. The new unit brings the preamplifier count to 32, complementing Avalon and Summit processing and a fully loaded ProTools rig and mixing surface. Shepard boasts that he can have his studio up and running anywhere in just two hours, making it the ideal live recording or album project package. It is perhaps the only studio to have served "transcontinentally," seeing use in Vienna and Germany!
A staff engineer at the venerated Chicago Recording Company (CRC), Shepard has engineered and produced such acts as Smashing Pumpkins, Wilco, KMFDM, Buddy Guy, and many more. Helping client after client build temporary project studios inspired the creation of his ultimate mobile studio. It allows creative people to make their own recording environment while still maintaining "Big Studio" quality.
Shepard is unabashed in his lofty praise of the Precision 8s, claiming them to be the best preamplifiers on the market. "I've worked at CRC for 15 years, and I've used everything, from Neves to SSLs and everything in-between," he explained. "I was recording drums the first time I used the Precision 8 and I thought, 'I've never heard anything like this.' The noise floor is phenomenal. It's like the microphone isn't even plugged in! Going to digital demands that kind of silence. A quiet passage is so clean that when things get loud, it's like, 'Wow! Where did that come from?'"
A testament to his assessment, Shepard eschews the preamplifiers on his Avalon, preferring to use the Precision 8 as his front end (of course, he uses the Avalons for tasteful compression and equalization). He likes the "analog" character that the Precision 8 imparts on a signal - the perfect antidote to his clients' perception of "digital-equals-sterile."
Shepard heard about the True Systems Precision 8 through his Sweetwater dealer, Steve Ponte, in Chicago. Ponte let him use the unit for a recording session, knowing that Shepard needed something that would be as flexible as his client list is eclectic. He records projects that, in his own estimation, range from "crazy blues" to "insane industrial music." The Precision 8 exceeded his expectations for an affordable price-to-channel ratio.
In addition to straight preamplification, the Precision 8 also delivers M/S stereo and two channels of DI. "The M/S is great," Shepard said. "I use it for overheads, guitar, and general ambience of the space I'm recording in. It's a unique system in that it allows you to make the stereo field wider than it actually is! I use the DIs all the time, especially on keyboards and bass."
As the world of plug-ins and DSP comes of age, Shepard finds he does most of his processing in postproduction. "You're best off just getting the sound as good as you can going into the box. The True Systems Precision 8s do that wonderfully."

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"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


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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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