Portable kit for working from home

If you’re looking for portable or non-rack gear to work from home during this crisis, a few suggestions below

I have a Circuit Mono Station arriving soon – that’s guaranteed to spark a few ideas and it’s a great antidote to sitting in front of a screen & clicking a mouse

The Waldorf Blofeld is a synth with lots of depth – definitely worth the time to get to know it. A product of synth pioneer Wolfgang Palm

Keyboards, Synth Modules & Groove Boxes

Novation Circuit Mono Station – excellent groovebox / sequencer with a built-in mono synth
Novation K Station keyboard synth – portable synth with 2.5-octave keyboard
Waldorf Blofeld Synth module (black) – multitimbral, polyphonic, wavetable synth module from German wizards Waldorf

Compressors

Alesis Micro Limiter (recapped & modified) – portable drum smasher / variable ratio limiter
Really Nice Compressor – the definitive Nice compressor
Really Nice Limiting Amplifier – Nice with a bit more colour to it
Alesis Nano Compressor – more smashing from Alesis, far more capable than you might think

Effects

Boss CE-1 Chorus – the definitive chorus
Boss Voice Transformer – for vocal effects & vocoding
Boss RCE-10 Chorus – later Boss Chorus, still excellent
Boss RPH-10 Phaser – cult phaser – expensive but great
Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter – stand-alone filter from Waldorf
Alesis Nanoverb – portable, easy and the gated reverb is fantastic
Alesis Microverb 2 – more Alesis portable reverbiness

On the bench: UREI LA4 Compressors

I’ve just finished refurbishing a tidy pair of LA4 compressors. They are late-model silver-face LA4s with the chrome UREI badge so the same kind of age as the 1176 Rev G & H and 1178 stereo compressor

I fitted a new set of incandescent meter bulbs so they give that classic UREI orangey glow when powered up

They’ve been recapped with bigger reservoir caps in the power supply and higher-value bipolar caps in the audio path. They’ve been aligned in standalone and stereo-linked modes and will come with a stereo link cable and a set of new XLR pigtails

 

 

 

On the bench: Altec 1519A & 1612A Preamp Limiters

Two Altec limiters have been on the bench recently for testing & refurbishment. I’ve recapped & modified both units and am hugely impressed with them – they’ve really exceeded my expectations

They seem to be typical of 70s industrial / installation gear with terminal strip i/o, balancing transformers and plugin preamps to match sources. I think a lot were installed in schools, churches & etc and were setup then left alone. They have two inputs – nominally one mic and one line input which are mixed together – and a switchable output limiter

Altec 1591A on the bench for a recap

Altec 1591A audio board before recapping