Overlooking the Atlantic shoreline in picturesque Marblehead, Massachusetts, Mason Daring's project studio couldn't be more visually stimulating on the outside. The guts deliver an eyeful as well. A Neotek Elan 24-track desk is the rig's centerpiece, with an MCI 24-track two-inch tape machine, 24 tracks of Tascam DA-88 and four tracks of Sonic Solutions handling recording and editing. "For features and album projects, I generally go analog; I prefer the warmth," says Daring. "But for TV I generally record digital on the DA-88s, which are also my primary mixdown machines for movies."
Daring's studio also has a Sony VO 5850 U-matic videocassette recorder, Hitachi CM-182 film monitor, Lynx Time Code Module, Sonic Solutions Optical Converter and a Mark of the Unicorn MIDI Time Piece. His outboard gear includes a Lexicon PCM-42, -60, -70, -80, and -90, Urei tube compressor, dbx 160X compressor, BBE Sonic Maximizer 822-A, Roland SDE-1000 digital delay, Symetrix 522 compressor/limiter and an Ashley CL-100 compressor. His main MIDI controllers are a Roland D-50 and a Kurzweil PC-88 driving E-mu Proteus II and Alesis D4 sound modules and a Roland SP-700 16-bit sampler. His monitors are Yamaha NS-10s and KRK-6000s. Daring writes to Mark of the Unicorn Performer software. His house amps include a Peavey Classic 30 and a blackface Fender Princeton Reverb, and he owns a Martin nylon-string, a Martin D-18, a Dobro and a Japanese Strat.
Video decks and monitors, SMPTE timecode generators and readers, and synchronizer boxes spell the difference between project and film-composing studios.