Truth is, Randy has always dreamed of having a recording studio. When he bought his first home, his wife knew that he needed a music outlet to maintain his sanity. She agreed without hesitation to give him the basement. He still owes her a nice backyard in the deal! Thus, Crystaline Studios was created...named after their daughter Crystal Alexandra whose time on earth was all too short...
Information about that first studio is found below. However, we since moved to Portland, OR and Crystaline Studios was completely revamped.
The Control Room is much smaller now (about half the size) but much more attention was paid to dialing in the sound of the room, and leveraging its beautiful wood floor as part of character of the room. I bought a new desk from Argosy that fits my work flow. The room is surround sound 5.1 compatible (why? because Randy has dreams people!). You'll notice a lack of a Recording Mixer/Console. No worries, it is all done on the computer now!
Also, Randy put new JBL Series 3 speakers in play...RANDY.LOVES.THESE.SPEAKERS
In the same room, Randy hangs all his guitars. Just walking into the room makes him feel happy.
Here is a list of the equipment used in the studio (updated January 2016):
Mac Pro 3.1 Xeon 8-Core - This is the 4th Mac Randy has had in his studio since 2008, and it has served him so well. It does all his sequencing AND audio recording using Digital Performer version 8 from Mark of the Unicorn. More and more instruments are moving to the computer which is why he has to keep upgrading the machine. Some of his favorites are the Native Instruments Kontakt, Garritan Personal Orchestra, ToonTracks Superior Drums, Modart V-Collection Synths, and VIR2 Mojo Horns.
Marc of the Unicorn - Digital Performer - Although this is a hardware list, Software has become the NEW hardware. Randy has been using Digital Performer since around 1986 (when it was called only Performer). He has have never used anything but DP, so he can't honestly tell you how it compares to other Sequencing/Audio packages. But it does EVERYTHING he has ever wanted it to do.
Virtual Instruments - Aside from the Virtual Instruments included with Digital Performer, he also owns/uses...
MOTU - MachFive, MX4
Native Instruments - Kontakt 5
Native Instruments - Scarbee MM, Jay, and Pre Bass, Alicia Keys Piano, George Duke Soul Treasures
Spectrasonics - Omnisphere 2
8Dio - Agitato Strings
Vir 2 - Mojo Horns
Garritan - Personal Orchestra
Garritan - Jazz and Big Band
Steve Slate - Platinum Drums
RealGuitar2 - Acoustic Guitar
Modart - Pianoteq
Arturia - V-Collection
Toontracks - Superior Drummer
Other Plugins - Aside from the Plugins included with Digital Performer, He also owns/uses...
Lexicon - PCM Bundle
Nomad Factory - Producer Pack II
Sonalksis - Multi Limit
Mark of the Unicorn 828 - This is main audio interface that multiple channels of audio to flow in and out of the computer.
Mark of the Unicorn 2408 - This is Randy's old audio interface for the Digital Performer Software. This is now a backup.
M-Audio Oxygen 88 and Oxygen 49 - These keyboards make no sound, rather they allow me to play all my virtual instrument sounds on the computer.
DigiTech2101 - This used to be Randy's main box for electric guitar tones. He still can't seem to leave it behind. He still loves some of the tones. He uses it for much of his clean electric guitar work. There is a stock patch called LA X-Delays (or something like that) that he just loves...probably because he wrote the patch for DigiTech (so he may be biased slightly).
JohnsonJM250 - Now THIS is Randy's baby. He can't tell you how much easier it is to play electric guitar when it automatically sounds great. That is what the JM250 is...never miss tone...and gobs of it. It sounds so good, he even feeeeeeels like a real guitar player sometimes.
TascamDA20 - Randy uses this to listen to old mixes and some archiving now...since all the new stuff is recorded and mixed directly to the computer.
TascamDA88 - Randy used to have several of these multi-track machines to record all old projects. He still has one now just for transferring old project into the computer.
Mics - Randy loves the AudioTecnica 4050 Large Diaphragm mic for just about everything. He also has a pair of AudioTecnica 4040 Condensers which are great on steel string guitars. More recently, he added a Blueberry Mic by Blue Microphones. It is a great vocal mic and really sounds great on female vocals.
Mic PreAmp - Along with the Blueberry Mic, he picked up a Universal Audio 6176 PreAmp and Compressor. The combination of the Blueberry and the 6176 simply sounds wonderful.
Guitars - Randy plays a pretty blue Signature Electric. He used to tour with a fabulous guitarist named Rich Dixon (Randy was the keyboardist/singer), but when Randy started covering guitar work too, Rich passed this guitar onto Randy (It was given to Rich by Signature). He was kind enough to let Randy hang onto it. Rich is also the closest thing Randy ever had to a guitar teacher. He would drill Randy for hours with scales while they sat bored to death in their hotel rooms. Just one more person to whom Randy owes so much! "THANKS RICH!" We believe Signature is out of business now, unfortunately. Randy also plays an Alvarez Spanish Classical (a beautiful gift he was given the last time he played in Spain), and a lovely Taylor Acoustic (yet another gift..."I don't what more to say except that I simply have amazing friends"). He also have two Bass Guitars - a Fender 4-string and an Ibanez 5-string.
Recently, Randy was reacquainted with an old friend...his Senior Year in High School, his Guitar was stolen. His band at the time donated the pay from one of their gigs to replace the guitar (bless their hearts). He bought an ES335 replica made by a company called Hondo. He let his little brother use it for years, but decided to rework the guitar for a more jazzy sound. It is featured in several songs on his CD Jabbertalky.
Oh, and we shouldn't forget his nice little Mandolin...
Whew! I think that is it!
Here are some shots of the old studio back in UT.
The studio included two rooms. The Control Room was the bigger room with all the recording gear, and keyboards.
The studio room below was where the acoustic recording happens (the quiet room, where the mics are used).