BAE Audio announces that it has partnered with Los Angeles club The Viper Room to enhance the club’s signal chain with analog outboard gear.
BAE Audio’s Colin Liebich assembled a package of gear to provide a recording-studio-quality input section for The Viper Room’s mixing board. BAE has an established relationship with The Viper Room and owner Darin Feinstein, which has been extended throughout the year with the popularity of its Monday Night Sunset Jams.
“BAE Audio gear is well known in the recording studio circuit, but having a quality signal path at input is equally important for live environments,” Liebich says.
BAE Audio outfitted the venue with six 500 series racks, fitted with three 1073 MPL and three 312A preamp modules. “The 1073 MPL is loved by many for its ability to imbue vocals with a very desirable sonic color, making them sound both present and warm,” he says. “Meantime, the 312A excels at adding punch to snares and other drums, helping them cut through a busy live mix.”
“I’ve used BAE Audio microphone preamps and EQs extensively in the studio and on stage, so I knew they would be the perfect partner to elevate the Viper Room’s outboard rack,” says guitarist Erik Himel, architect of the Sunset Jams.
The sonic enhancements resulting from the BAE Audio gear were immediately evident to The Viper Room’s production manager Tyler Kunze.
“Instantly, the sound of The Viper Room was improved,” he says. “The drums were punchier, the guitars were more present, and the vocals were warmer.”
Kunze found himself having to apply far less equalization to individual tracks because of how good they sounded right off of the input stage. “On drums I used to need to apply drastic EQ to get a usable sound. Once we started using the 312A preamps, my drum tones were almost perfect right off the bat without any processing. The difference was just night and day.”
Meantime, BAE Audio and Himel have worked together to ensure that The Sunset Jam, hosted at The Viper Room, continues well into the future. Taking place every Monday night, The Sunset Jam allows local musicians the chance to sit in with top touring and recording musicians, including Dave “Chili” Moreno (Puddle of Mudd), Basil Fung (Alanis Morisette), Chas West (Foreigner), and Stephen McGrath (Billy Idol) while playing through The Viper Room’s sound system.
When Himel first came up with the idea for The Sunset Jam last year, his goal was not only to give musicians a place to network and connect with each other while honing their chops, but also to provide non-musicians with a lively, entertaining show featuring premium talent. “There are so many top session and touring players living here in LA, and I liked the idea of giving up-and-comers a chance to see what it’s like to play with people who are at the top of their game while giving the pros a chance to stay sharp and have fun in a relaxed environment.”
He knew he would need a high-quality space with top-shelf gear to attract the kind of talent he desired, so he approached the vaunted Viper Room, long known for being one of the best-sounding small rooms in LA.
“The Sunset Jam has made Mondays the highlight of my week,” says vocalist and regular Sunset Jam attendee Jayme Palmer. “The jams have given me an opportunity to expand my repertoire, gain experience in genres outside of my normal wheelhouse, and network with other serious musicians, not to mention the unbelievable sound. It’s invaluable.”
Electric violinist Koi Anunta agrees. “I’m so grateful to Erik, The Viper Room, and BAE Audio for making The Sunset Jam possible. To play through this sound system with these players has been incredible. I try to keep my Monday nights free every week so I can sit in.”
For Kunze, the gains of this partnership filter out into all of the shows he works on at The Viper Room. “The BAE Audio gear has been an absolute game changer for our live environment,” he says. “I couldn’t be happier.”