NASHVILLE, Tennessee – June 2009 — In addition to serving as Counting Crows’ bass player for the past four years, Millard Powers is a Grammy-nominated recording engineer, record producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist that has worked with everyone from Ben Folds and Butterfly Boucher to Amy Grant and Keith Urban. Recently, Powers has become a fan of the fire-engine-red direct inject device from A-Designs Audio known as the REDDI.
“I was vaguely aware of the REDDI from reading some reviews and posts on Gearslutz, but it was Richard Bowman at Las Vegas Pro Audio that properly introduced me to it,” says Powers. “I was immediately impressed with how natural it sounded and how well it stood up in a track with the other instruments. Until then, I had been a fairly devoted fan of another company’s D.I., which provided a very flattering voicing for my electric bass. But the REDDI was just so natural in comparison to the vibe of the other box. It was way more B-15-ish and well rounded.”
Powers’ signal chain in his Nashville home studio starts with his trusty early ’70s Jazz bass feeding into the REDDI, API 312, Empirical Labs Distressor and then either a Daking or Arsenal Audio EQ. When seeking a more aggressive sound, he puts a SansAmp pedal in between his bass and REDDI.
Although Powers purchased his REDDI back in March, Counting Crows headed out on international tour legs shortly thereafter curbing his time to experiment with the unit as much as he’d like. “I love the REDDI for bass, and I’ve already used it for a couple of synth parts, which it naturalized beautifully. But I’d like to try it on many other things. When the band goes into the studio next, I’ll be taking it with me, subversively lobbying to use it at every opportunity. Plus, I’m now planning to get another one that I can use in my road rig for our summer tour.”
The musician/engineer’s overwhelmingly positive experience with the REDDI inspired him to investigate A-Designs’ other product offerings, including the Pacifica. “When I’m back in the saddle recording at my place in the fall, I’d like to get a Pacifica into the mix. I have the ‘basic food groups’ of pres–Vintech, API, and Daking for the Trident thing–but the Pacifica has that naturalizing thing that’s all its own. It has a unique ‘moodiness’ as well as great transients and ‘solidity’ in its sound. I’m also most likely going to get an A-Designs HM2EQ Hammer. I haven’t personally used one yet, but I’m so impressed by Peter Montessi’s products that, well, it’s pretty inevitable!”
Powers adds, “Speaking of Peter, his passion for great audio is obvious and inspiring. I got the impression that he’s overflowing with love for what he does, and it comes through 150 percent in his products. It’s always affirming to connect with people who share the ‘affliction’ of lifelong love for surpassing quality in music. Plus, I accused him of being a crack dealer and he immediately admitted his guilt. So he’s an honest man as well.”