Turning knobs on his BAE Audio Preamps and EQs is ‘one of his favorite things to do’
Los Angeles, CA, April 27, 2021 — According to pro audio YouTube superstar Rick Beato, there has never been a better time to get into gear and start making music. “We are living in a renaissance — there is so much great gear out there, and at all price points, and there is nothing like the tactile feeling of knob twiddling. You’ve got to turn knobs until it sounds good!”
Less than five years ago, Beato’s channel began as a learning destination for advanced musicians, covering topics such as sophisticated harmony and improvisation, while featuring in-depth profiles on film composers and mixing engineers: “It was started it on a whim; it was fun, and different from producing,” he recalls. “And I could make any kinds of videos I wanted to, and share my ideas with other people.” Now, Beato’s channel boasts over 2.24 million subscribers, spanning a breadth of music experience and backgrounds.
“I pretty much make videos on things that I find interesting and talk about with my friends,” he says. “I like breaking down songs and trying to figure out what makes something great. I will also rank stuff.” A recent post he did ranked the ‘top 20 acoustic guitar introductions of all time’ and garnered 13 million views. Yet, it was the first acoustic guitar-focused piece he’d ever done.
Start with ‘classic’ good sound
While his channel focuses on a variety of songs and musical genres, Beato always appreciates good sound. “I am drawn to things that sound massive, and that use interesting sounds,” he explains. “Most classic albums are very well recorded, and there is nothing like a great sounding record.” His studio boasts an enviable collection of BAE Audio preamps and EQs on the front end, including 1032s, 1066s, 1073s, which he routinely uses for recording drums, guitars, bass and vocals: “All my BAE gear are the full space rack units; I just love the single space racks.”
Part of the joy Beato gets from his channel is sharing ideas and information with his viewers: “Any recording I do — be it guitars, vocals, bass, drums or whatever — I share the signal path out of respect for the viewers and the manufacturers,” he says. Typically, he will employ BAE 1032s on drums, since it features a 1073 mic pre with the EQ points of a 1081: “I find these especially useful on toms, particularly if I need to sculpt them a little bit before going into the DAW.” For bass guitar, he tends to use the DI of a BAE 1073 into an LA2A, while mic’cing up his 1968 Ampeg SVT in parallel.
While he has a choice of more than 30 preamplifiers in his arsenal, he “pretty much only uses the BAEs” in this application: “Before hitting the 1073, I will use a both a ’57 and a 421, or a ’57 and a 414 — it really depends. Or I will use a ’57 and a Royer 122.”
All in the family
Beato sees the benefit of keeping a ‘cohesive sound’ on the front end, often using preamps of the same ilk: “I could never understand people mix and match mic pres so much, particularly on something like drums,” he says. “I think you really want the character of a certain ‘family’ of mic pres.” His own journey collecting BAE gear started in the ‘90s: “I started out with a two 1073s, then I bought another one to match it. Then I bought a pair of 1066s, and a pair of the 1032s because they have the expanded midrange.”
While Beato’s YouTube channel has always been a reliable source of knowledge for musical craftsman finding their way to the next level, he offers a few words of advice to those honing their sonic craft: “Get your sound before it hits the DAW and spend your money on the front end. I use plug ins all the time when I am mixing, but at the front end I want to get the sound exactly how I want.” He also cautions against crushing the dynamics of a mix for the sake of increasing levels: “I listen to a lot of mixes people send to me, and the most common mistake is how mixes are getting hit with these brick wall limiters,” he explains. “I thought people stopped doing this, but they didn’t! It’s just dreadful.”
“I think that BAE is awesome,” Beato concludes. “It is all hand built and I have a lot of respect for the brands making this stuff. They spend a lot of time perfecting this, and I want my viewers to know everything I am using.”
To learn more about BAE Audio, please visit http://www.baeaudio.com.