Archive for the ‘Microphones’ Category

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Danny Elfman (The Simpsons theme) Discusses Scoring Terminator Salvation with Omnisphere!

June 17, 2009

Spectrasonics Omnisphere is the first virtual instrument to be based on the Spectrasonics STEAM Engine, the company’s newly developed core technology.

The Omnisphere development team will be revealing the new instrument to the public through a series of video episodes from the Spectrasonics website showing features and behind the scenes details on how the instrument and its unique sounds have been created.

“This is truly an Epic project,” said Eric Persing, Founder and Creative Director of Spectrasonics. “We have been working for many, many years; sampling unique sounds, experimenting, specifying the synthesis features and building the STEAM Engine to run it all. It’s been a very exciting process involving our team of software engineers, sound designers, musicians, and graphic artists from all over the world. We’ve been very deliberate in making it easy to use, and yet extremely powerful. Omnisphere is our new flagship synthesizer, and points the way to all our future virtual instruments. We are thrilled to offer a new product that will new have a host of expansion capabilities in the future.”

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With the fourth installment of the sci-fi series Terminator, composer Danny Elfman weighs in with a gripping film score that features Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere virtual instrument on many of the music cues – Elfman often used two Omnispheres for up to sixteen possible sounds at once.

Danny Elfman told us, “I would have to say that discovering Omnisphere this last year has been one of my greatest pleasures. I’m always looking for new sounds and new plug-ins to run with my sequencer, which is Digital Performer. Using Omnisphere along with DP is fantastic for several reasons. First, there’s a great core library to choose from and Eric Persing has, along with all the Spectrasonics sound designers, done a really vast and thorough job. It’s great, finally, to have sounds organized so well with the many ‘tags’ that they provide. Secondly, it’s really easy to program your own custom sounds. My first day, I already had several dozen edits that I really liked and put them in a separate ‘Favorites’ folder. The Omnisphere browser system made it super easy to find them as I needed them.”

“When I began Terminator Salvation I knew I was going to do a lot of synth work and so I began with a bank of their sounds and a slew of my own variations that I thought I could use, and use them I did. On almost every cue,” continued Elfman.

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“More specifically, I found myself diving into the ‘Psychoacoustic‘ sounds a lot, frequently in the ‘Experimental’ and ‘Film’ genres. I also found myself often going to the ‘Distortion’ category, also in the ‘Experimental’ and ‘High-Energy’ genres.”

THE SOUNDS
“An example of what I did would be taking the ‘Buzzord’ sounds, which I had half a dozen custom variations that I came up with. Several variations on the ‘Big Boomer Trash Strike’ from the ‘Impacts and Hits’ category was used a lot. From the ‘Pads + Strings’ group I went to the ‘Sweeping Pads’ and ‘Quirky’ tags a lot. The patch ‘Secondary Strike’ from the ‘SFX and Noise’ category and ‘Sound FX’ genre was very useful and like the others, I had a number of variations on it. Finally the ‘Hybrid Organic’ category gave me sounds that I would use both as hits and pads and sometimes a cross between them,” Elfman explained.

“I can’t say enough good things about Omnisphere,” said Elfman. “I love doing my own synth editing, but I’m no programming genius and I have very little patience for new plug-ins that require steep leaning curves to start really ‘working’ the patches I like. Omnisphere was really easy and intuitive. And for each file in DP, I’d make all the edits and variations on my sounds as was required, and having them attached to that file for later use made my life easier.”

“My compliments to Eric and all the folks at Spectrasonics.  Good work.”

Daniel Robert “Danny” Elfman (born May 29, 1953) is a Grammy Award-winning American musician, best known for composing music for television and movies, and leading the rock band Oingo Boingo as singer/songwriter from 1976 until its breakup in 1995. He is a frequent collaborator with long-time friend Tim Burton, and has scored all but two of his films. He was nominated for four Academy Awards and won a Grammy Award for Tim Burton’s Batman and an Emmy Award for his Desperate Housewives theme. Elfman also wrote the theme for the video game Fable. He is also famous for creating The Simpsons main title theme, and his role as Jack Skellington’s singing voice in The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Be sure to check out Danny’s fine score for the film!

Source: http://www.spectrasonics.net/

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Shure announce new mics! Sm and Pg range expands

May 6, 2009


The SM27 is a large-diaphragm condenser with a cardioid polar pattern that Shure say will work well on a range of sources, and is especially fast when responding to transients. The SM137, a small-diaphragm condenser, is designed for use on instruments, and has a 15dB pad that, when engaged, enables the mic to handle up to 154dB SPL — they even say it’s suitable for use on guitar amps.

Also new is the Super 55 Deluxe, a revamped version of the much-loved and instantly recognisable 55-series dynamic microphone. This latest model has the same die-cast casing, but features a capsule with a supercardioid polar response, instead of cardioid. Also different on the Super 55 Deluxe is the colour of the interior foam windshield — it’s a vibrant electric blue, not grey — and the switch panel on the bottom casing has been removed and substituted for a logo-emblazoned blanking plate. At the time of writing, the price was still to be confirmed.

Added to the Performance Gear (PG) range are the PG27 and PG42, which are both large-diaphragm, side-address condenser mics. The PG27 (£147) has what Shure describe as a flat, neutral response that they say is suitable for use on a wide variety of sources, whereas the PG42 (£195) is designed primarily for recording vocals, and is tuned accordingly, “to reproduce the subtle nuances of lead vocals”. Unusually, especially for Shure, the PG27 and PG42 are both available in ‘USB’ versions, featuring on-board preamplification, A-D/D-A conversion and USB connectivity, so they can be plugged directly into a computer without the need for an audio interface or mic preamp. They also have a headphones jack complete with level and monitor/direct mix control.

In a related product announcement (yes, there’s more!), Shure have made available a device that provides this XLR-to-USB conversion technology in stand-alone form. The cleverly named X2U has an XLR input and a USB output, permitting any mic, including those that require phantom power, to be plugged directly into your Mac or PC. As with the USB mics, the X2U has D-A conversion on-board linked to a headphones feed. It costs £104.

Finally, Shure have announced that they’ve acquired one of the most reputable names in the world of ribbon mics. As of April 2009, Shure own “all intellectual property, microphone process equipment, product designs, and other important assets related to the Crowley & Tripp line” and will move production to their factories in Illinois, USA. They will continue to use Roswellite, the material used in the ribbon elements of various Crowley & Tripp mics, and will also assume responsibility for the “ongoing service and support for existing owners of Crowley & Tripp ribbon microphone products”.

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4 Weeks Of Rode: Shop With Dolphin, Enter to win a Rode M3 Mic!

April 28, 2009

It couldn’t be easier! Buy anything from the Dolphin Music website, between 24th April and 24th May, and you’ll be entered to win a Rode M3 condenser microphone! Dolphin Music 4 mics to give away, and will be picking a winner each week! Good luck!

Rode M3Want a Rode M3? Shop with Dolphin between 24/04 and 24/05 and you may be one of the 4 lucky winners!*

Whether you want to record acoustic guitars, mic a guitar cab or record drums, you’ll find that the Rode M3 offers outstanding condenser microphone that works great in the most diverse recording situations.

The Rode M3 is an extremely versatile microphone that is at home in the studio, on location, or wherever a low-noise wide-response cardioid condenser microphone is demanded.

An end address condenser microphone, the Rode M3 features a heavy-duty metal body, category leading low self-noise, three stage PAD (O, -10db, -20db), a battery status LED and a High Pass Filter.

The M3 also comes complete with windshield and a stand mount, and can be powered via a 9V battery or 24-48V Phantom.

  • Rugged metal body
  • Internal capsule shock mount
  • Switchable High-Pass Filter @ 80Hz-12dB/Oct
  • Three step PAD – Flat, -10dB and -20dB
  • Low handling noise
  • Heat treated high strength head mesh
  • 9V battery power or 24/48V phantom power
  • Battery status indicatorWhat’s Your Need?Rode M3: Guitars, drums and acoustic guitar

    Live or in the studio? Electric guitar, acoustic guitar or dums? The Rode M3 is suitable for a wide range of applications. Recording, stage, and location work are all well within the capabilities of this microphone. Its low noise and full frequency response ensure the sound quality is at a standard that is expected by today’s musicians and engineers.

    You may use either phantom power or 9V battery to operate your M3.

    Reviews

    “The M3 is hard to fault. It’s versatile, projects an open midrange tone… and comes shipped as a total package that’s competitively priced.”

    “the M3 is a hugely flexible microphone that will produce a good result almost irrespective of the application for which you intend to use it. The inclusion of a pad switch and high-pass filter on a microphone of this type and cost is almost unprecedented”

    “A well engineered microphone that is capable of handling just about anything, with a remarkable degree of competence for the price.”

    *Every customer who makes a purchase at www.dolphinmusic.co.uk between 24th April and 24th May 2009, will automatically be entered to win a brand new Rode M3 condenser microphone, worth £90 SRP.  One winner will be announced each week, starting Friday 1st May, then Friday 8th May, Friday 15th May and finally Monday 25th May. Good luck!

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    The Rode M2 builds on the success of Røde’s TEC Award-winning S1 microphone

    April 23, 2009

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    The Rode M2 builds on the success of Røde’s TEC Award-winning S1 microphone, the company’s first condenser aimed at performance applications.

    Condenser microphones are not generally used in live applications because of their perceived fragility and susceptibility to feedback. And that’s where the M2 is very different from a condenser aimed at studio use. To protect the M2 from the rough treatment it’s likely to encounter on stage, the capsule is suspended within a shockmounting system built into the mic’s heavy-duty metal body. To prevent the microphone picking up signals that might cause feedback, the M2’s capsule has been engineered to provide a super-cardioid pickup pattern. This means the microphone will reject sound sources in front of and to the sides of the capsule, capturing only the sound from directly in front of it.

    RODE M2 LIVE PERFORMANCE CONDENSER MICROPHONE SPECIFICATIONS

    Power: P24/48V phantom power.
    Acoustic Principle: Pressure gradient.
    Directional Pattern: Super-Cardioid.
    Frequency range: 35Hz – 20kHz.
    Output impedance: 50 ohms.
    Signal noise ratio: 71dB SPL (A – weighted per IEC651).
    Equivalent noise: 23dBA SPL (A – weighted per IEC651).
    Maximum SPL: 141dB (@1kHz, 1% THD into 1kohms load).
    Maximum output voltage: +5.2dBu (@1kHz, 1% THD into 1kohms load).
    Sensitivity: -44dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (6.3 mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz.
    Weight: 308gm.
    Dimensions: 187mmH x 47mmW x 47mmD.

    RODE M2 LIVE PERFORMANCE CONDENSER MICROPHONE FEATURES

    Live condenser vocal microphone.
    Feedback rejecting supercardioid pickup pattern.
    Locking on/off switch.
    Heavy-duty metal body.
    Integrated shock mounting system to minimise handling noise.
    High level of Radio Frequencies rejection.
    Low handling noise.
    Designed and manufactured in Australia.
    Zip pouch and stand mount with 3/8-inch thread adapter included.

    Reviews”The RØDE M2 offers a viable alternative to a dynamic vocal mic and produces a near studio-quality result for a surprisingly affordable price. Given its sensible price, robust build and high sound quality, it would be churlish of me not to give it the thumbs up in all departments.” – Performing Musician, November 2008

    “This mic could be the ‘Swiss Army’ mic of your collection. We struggled to find where this mic is out of its depth. The M2 seems to have the strength and durability, plus excellent sound reproduction, that helps it fit the bill as a mic equally effective for studio and live performance.” – Pickup, November 2008

    “In terms of dynamic range and capacity to deliver a robust monitor level before feedback, the M2 is an outstanding product. The quality of reproduction in the mains was comparable to that of a mic four times the price… I was able to get a big increase in level before feedback [in place of Beta58]… It featured less [bleed] than I would expect from a dynamic… Based on this test alone I’d purchase a handful of M2s for my mic kit.” – Canadian Musician

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    Shure Microphone Maintenance Tips!

    April 9, 2009

    Shure have a series of podcasts aimed at clearing up any problems microphone users may be experiencing. In this Podcast they explore the top frequently asked questions from the Shure Applications Group. Chris Lyons is joined by Tim Vear as they discuss how to clean a microphone grill and how to hook a mic up to a computer. Liftpoint from Chicago, IL provides the soundtrack on this podcast.

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    Musikmesse Frankfurt: Shure expands PG mics

    April 3, 2009

    European launch for new headphones adds to launch

    At the 2009 NAMM show, Shure previewed the new large diaphragm, side-address microphone additions to its PG series microphone line (pictured) and now the range is shown in Europe for the first time, alongside the company’s first foray into the headphone market

    The Shure PG27 and PG42 are large diaphragm microphones designed for the reproduction of different sound sources. The PG27 is a multi-purpose microphone for natural reproduction in instrument and vocal recording applications. The PG42 is specifically engineered for vocal applications. High sensitivity, a voice-tailored frequency response and a switchable high pass filter reducing unwanted background noise make it ideal to reproduce the subtle nuances of lead vocal performances.

    The PG27 comes with a stand adapter, the PG42 with a shock mount and a rugged carrying case.

    The PG27USB and PG42USB are the USB counterparts to the XLR models. They offer the same basic features and plug easily into a computer USB port for the convenience of digital recording.

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    Dolphin Music Studio Spotlight: Whitewood Studios

    March 25, 2009

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    Located in Liverpool’s Elevator buliding (also home to to Dolphin Music) is Whitewood Recordings Studios.

    Found located  in one of the cities most vibrant new areas, the Building itself  boasts The Leaf Cafe, numerous  big name artists and musicians alongside the most talked about young acts, graphic designers, software developers and dancers even grace a floor!

    All this activity seems to be leading to a valuable asset to Liverpool whilst offering facilites to the artss across a whole spectrum.

    Dolphin Music took a snoop around Whitewood Recording Studios and spoke to the two main chaps Robert Whitley and Danny Woodward. We talked pre-amps , the need for outboard equipment and what it takes to make a session smoothly. The live room is spacious and well stocked and their patter is relaxed and welcoming.

    http://www.whitewoodrecordingstudio.com

    Get in touch if your studio wishes to be inclued in this series of videos media@dolphinmusic.co.uk

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    Upgrade any Microphone! Affordable XLR to USB Converter from Blue

    March 11, 2009

    Blue Icicle

    The Icicle is Blue’s new stylish USB converter and mic preamp combo that allows you to connect any XLR microphone directly into your computer via USB! The Icicle features a studio quality microphone preamp, 48V phantom power, fully balanced low noise front end, analog gain control, and driverless operation.

    THE BLUE ICICLE MICROPHONE IS HERE AT DOLPHIN!

    Setup is a snap! The Blue Icicle works with both dynamic and condenser microphones, providing high quality and hassle-free connectivity with Mac or PC. Whether you’re using a microphone for digital recording, podcasting, voice messaging, or voice recognition applications, the Icicle is the quick and easy way to get connected.

    Hook UP Diagram

    Blue Icicle XLR to USB Mic Converter/Mic Preamp Specifications:

    • Sample/Word: 44.1K/16 bit
    • Power Consumption: 200mA (from USB bus)

    System Requirements:

    • Macintosh: Mac OSX with USB 1.0 or 2.0 and 64 MB RAM (minimum)
    • Windows: XP Home Edition, Professional or Vista with USB 1.0 or 2.0 and 64 MB RAM (minimum)

    Blue Icicle XLR to USB Mic Converter/Mic Preamp Features:

    • Works with Mac or PC computers
    • No Special Drivers Required
    • Studio Quality USB microphone preamp
    • Supplies 48V phantom power for . condenser microphones
    • Phantom power active light
    • Fully balanced low noise analog front end
    • Analog gain control
    • Blue Icicle XLR to USB Mic Converter/Mic Preamp Includes:

    Includes 6-ft USB cable

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    Shure Releases X2u XLR-to-USB Microphone Adapter

    March 4, 2009

    The Shure X2u XLR-to-USB Microphone Adapter lets you use your most trusted microphones for all your digital recordings. The X2u adapter makes it easy to record whenever you want, anywhere you take your computer, from the home studio, to the garage, to the road.

    The Shure X2u XLR-to-USB Signal Adapter allows you to use your favorite microphones to digitally record wherever and whenever your computer takes you. Perfect for multi-track recording, the X2u features built-in headphone monitoring with zero latency, and easy controls to balance microphone and playback audio -just plug and play for better-than-CD quality sound.

    VIEW MORE:

    Shure X2u

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    Artists Profile: Portishead, Orange Amps and Vintage Synths

    January 28, 2009

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    The members of Portishead — Beth Gibbons, Adrian Utley and Barrow — hadn’t made a proper studio record since 1997’s Portishead (Go! Discs/London), the follow-up to their own gi-normous debut, Dummy (Go! Discs/London, 1994), but they have been listening. Barrow didn’t like what he heard.

    Portiheads Geoff barrow speaks his mind and appears to have held his tongue for the last few years…till now.

    “[America's music] is s**t, isn’t it?” he continues. “The hip-hop artists are just rubbish. Jay-Z’s records always sound good, but he got the sack from Universal. If you end up with a country Britney, it doesn’t matter ’cause they’re all twats anyway. Timbaland came to England trying to find a Coldplay to produce. Everyone told him to f**k  off.  He went to America and got his own band and they are gi-normous, the most revolting people you have ever seen in your life. They are called Timbaland. We all like it underground but no one is buying it. Even Moby is struggling.”

    Digital radar??

    Working in a Radar 24 digital system, Portishead generally avoided direct sampling, instead creating its new nightmare scenarios with a combination of live and programmed drums (played by Barrow and Clive Deamer), guitar and a massive battery of modular-synth systems effected by a collection of ’60s and ’70s compressors and EQs, further warped by a Roland Space Echo. But it began with the group’s wholesale rejection of Pro Tools.

    “When we began recording Third in 2005,” Barrow recalls, “Pro Tools sounded s**t. I would go into recording sessions where no one was listening — they would just be staring at a screen talking about a fu***g plug-in that sounded s**t. People were really excited when Pro Tools could reproduce the sound of a turntable stopping on a beat. That made me want to puke. They sorted it a year or so ago; now, Pro Tools sounds great, but it doesn’t create soul, it just creates nerds. Jay-Z’s albums always sounded good, but there was generally a lack of soul.

    “But Radar is amazing,” he adds, offering a solution. “It makes you make decisions. When you record a bad saxophone solo on 138 channels, you can to listen to it forever in the [Pro Tools] mix. With Radar, you have 24 channels, like tape. So you have to make a decision. Also, Radar sounds not dissimilar from tape.”

    “We used to have a tape machine, an Atari 1040 computer and a couple samplers,” Utley (guitars, synths, production) recalls. “We’d record live through nice equipment or terrible equipment. The difference with Radar is now we can capture audio on a hard-disk recorder and cut up things and have multitrack loops. We used to play a track and overdub or get people in to record, mix that, then cut it to vinyl, then sample that. Now we’re just playing straight to Radar, which sounds so good. Pro Tools|HD is up there now, but Radar sounds like tape. There is no sense of urgency — obviously, we took 10 years to make this record — but it really works for us.”

    Writing and recording as far back as 2000 (“Nylon Smile”), Portishead met at Barrow’s SOA studio (called State of Art because it is anything but). Moving beyond their former roles, Gibbons brought in guitar riffs; Utley created noise and ideas from his ARP, Analogue Systems, Doepfer, EMS, Plan B and Moog modular synths; and Barrow recorded guitar and bass lines, as well as drum loops (created one drum and cymbal at a time). Barrow is not impressed with the general state of the plug-in, so Portishead avoided them.

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    “When you listen to people who make interesting production records,” he says as he ascends the soapbox again, “they all sound like they’ve been made in a box. They’ve taken a plug-in, and when they get really crazy they stick it through an amp. For f**k’s sake, look at the people you really respect, and that just sounds boring. Music is so easy to distort or alter now. That is why the drums on this album are quite normal. I just want them to sound real and interesting rather than ‘plug-in interesting.’”

    “Even from the early days, we wanted to achieve the same sound as now; it’s only 15 years on,” Utley adds. “It’s usually slightly disruptive and experimental and pushing a few boundaries. We use a mixture of extremely broken equipment and extremely rare equipment, like my valve [Neumann] U 47 and RCA ribbon mic; they have this warmth but also a fidelity that we would then completely deconstruct. It’s not all that stuff that you can hear on modern recordings. That’s not interesting to us.”

    Orange Amps and Portishead

    Orange Guitar Amp News: Portishead’s Adrian Utley (Orange Ade) talks Orange Guitar Amps:

    “I’ve always been a huge fan of vintage amps,” Adrian explains, “but I haven’t been so happy with an amp as I have with my AD30 which I’ve used for everything ever since I first got it about four years ago. There’s something about that amp… I can mess with it and really change the sound and the gain structure of it – but I can do so really simply. In my extensive collection of about fifteen amps I’ve got a 1950s and a 1960s Fender Twin; an Ampeg Reverb; a 1950s Fender Tweed and some old AC30s. But the AD30 can produce all of those vintage sounds partly because I can drive it without going incredibly loud.”

    Orange Guitar Amps have been used on Portishead’s recent album, Third. The track ‘The Rip’ neatly illustrates Adrian’s open-minded approach and attitude to recording the guitar:

    “I have lots of acoustics and electrics. One of my main stage electrics is a 1964 Fender Jazzmaster and for acoustic I use a Brook homemade guitar (see photo) by a company from Dartmoor in England. But when we recorded ‘The Rip’  I used a beautiful little kid’s guitar that I bought in a junk shop for four quid. It had just the kind of different tone I’d been after for a quite a while. It cost another thirty pounds to have the frets sorted out and then I used it in the studio…recorded with a three-and-a-half grand mic!”

    “My first perception of acoustic guitars was from records – and on records they never sound like they do when you’re in the room… they sound more spacious and have much more frequency. So for me to play a kid’s guitar means it’s got limited frequency range already when recording; so it gives space for loads of other stuff.”

    At a recent festival, Adrian hired an Orange rig and for the first time ever used a 4×12 speaker cab:

    “I’ve never used a 4×12 before in my life and what I found was that I could make it feed back in a more controlled way which was really good.” How did you first hear about Orange Guitar amps?

    “I remember Orange from the 1970s when I was beginning – quite a few friends had them. But those old 120-watt ones were way too loud for me. Then a few years ago I was doing a session for Marianne Faithfull which Polly Harvey was producing and she had an AD30 with a 2×12 cab and I used hers in the studio. It was so totally brilliant – and not just for guitar… we played bass through it for certain things and that also sounded great.”
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    Another thing that’s quite extreme and unmissable about Portishead’s backline is Adrian’s customised Orange 2×12 Cab:

    “I wanted to have a loud speaker cab – that’s two separate words [laughs] – and so I asked Jim Barr who plays bass with us, to spray-paint a design on the speaker grille. I really like what he came up with and in a weird kind of way it fits in with the pictures you get on old Orange amps – the mountains for the echo and stuff.”. Jim Barr explains more about his artwork: “I did it with masking tape and a can of spray paint and I used my imagination a little bit and wanted something to look like a picture of loudness. I could waffle on about all kinds of arty stuff like German expressionism – bit I won’t [laughs] ! We sprayed the whole grille black, then put on the masking tape and sprayed over with matt white car primer. It took about twenty minutes all in all.”
    Watch this amazing live set from 2008 or Portishead in Portishead

    Source :Orange Amps
    remixmag.com

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