Composer and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Schachner, a noted video game score composer who has written and recorded soundtracks for game franchises that include “Assassin’s Creed” and “Call of Duty,” utilizes a Manley Labs FORCE microphone preamp at the heart of her home studio setup.
Schachner also performs many of the live instruments on her scores that are recorded in her studio — mostly acoustic and very close-miked — including cello, viola, violin, ethnic string instruments, and light percussion. “In the case that I’m recording with a live orchestra, or a specialty soloist, I’ll do that in a proper studio and then blend it with what I’ve produced,” Schachner explains, “but my default is to do it all myself.”
Given the need for a well-equipped studio, Schachner chose Manley Labs for her mic preamp needs. “I wanted to upgrade my preamp and get something that would complement the solo strings I record. I had recently done a session with a guitarist who had the FORCE in his studio – it sounded incredible, and I knew I needed to have it.
“Composers today are expected to produce and mix their own music at a professional level,” she continues. “I need to capture those performances sounding as good as possible going in, before I do any creative processing, and the FORCE gives me the elevated clarity and definition I’m looking for.” Schachner also reports that the “hi boost” option is useful for mics that demand extra gain. “The warmth from the tubes is fantastic, and the massive amount of headroom gives me the flexibility I need with so many dynamic instruments.”
“To me, Manley means reliably high-end gear that enhances and brings out the best in whatever you’re recording. It’s also rare and great to see a company born from a woman’s technical genius.”