Well, after riding a horse down the caverns to the Temple of Doom, I have finally found the holy grail of didge recording. (Actually, I really have been to the temple, it\'s in Petra, Jordan. See pic I took at http://www.cdsol.com/family/images/Israel/petra4.jpg)

Since there have been some topics here lately on recording samples, I thought I would contribute this information.

The didgeridoo is a very difficult instrument to record well. It has very high sound pressures with yells and \"gut slaps\", and very fine nuances with overtones. Similar in many ways to vocals, but perhaps even more challenging. I\'ve been trying to get the perfect sound for years.

I bought a Studio Projects VTB-1 tube preamp and received it today . That combined with the Studio Projects C1 microphone is the most awesome didge recording setup I\'ve heard. In fact, it sounded so good, I thought someone else was playing my didge when I first heard it in the headphones [grin].

Previously, I have used a Mackie 1402 VLZ Pro mixer, a dBx Mini Pre tube preamp, and an Aphex 107 \"Tubessence\" preamp. I recently did a comparison of the Aphex and dBx, and liked qualities of each, but neither was exactly what I was looking for. With the Mackie, I always had to EQ the sound after I had recorded it to get rid of the boomy low end on a low didge. The VTB-1 captured the sound of my low \"D\" didge perfectly. Every nuance of the sound and all the harmonics were perfectly apparent. I also tried the combination on Native American Flute and vocals, and it was great for those as well. I\'m really excited to hear it on guitar and other instruments. The dBx Mini Pre had a sound that was almost as good, but it was not nearly as tranparent. It was doing some kind of compression on the signal that squashed the dynamics. The Aphex was good on the dynamics, but did not have the rich sound. The VTB1 either with no tube, or with the tube dialed in at 25% and 50% sounded great. Different at each setting, but still great. Oddly enough, the flute sounded better with a little extra tube (about 1:00). I compared it to the recordings I had done in a recent song that I did using the dBx and Aphex, and the tracks sounded noticeably better both soloed and in the mix when re-recorded through the VTB-1.

I also tried the Studio Projects B1 microphone and it sounded really good also. Not quite as good as the C1, but very close. I am probably going to use it for performing from now on, instead of the Shure SM57 I\'ve been using.

I have no connection whatsoever to Studio Projects, other than being a VERY satisfied customer.

I\'m sure you could get comparable (or perhaps better) results with preamps and microphones costing a LOT more money (VTB-1 is $179 and C1 is $200 online), but you might be surprised at how close this combination would be.

-- Martin