The Focusrite RED 2 is a truly legendary piece of gear. When this RED Range was produced and launched in back in 1993, it quickly became popular and won multiple awards for its powerful features and great sound. Nowdays, the RED Range are no longer in production.
Another unit from the Focusrite RED Range. The RED 7 Preamp. A very clean sounding preamp that will not color the sound too much if at all. I use it on a varity of things such as guitars, bass, and of course vocals. It does more than wonders on acoustic guitars as well. Very crisp. A great unit/channelstrip with averything you need in it; preamp, compressor, de-esser and EQ.
The Neve Master Bus Processor is an absolute beast! I use it at very end of my analog mastering chain as it has all the features in one box that you'd normally need several units for; stereo compressor, limiter, saturation features, and a really handy mid/side section.
The Portico II Channel is probably the best and most versatile vocal channelstrip I've come across so far in my career. I've used it for recording vocals the last probably 5 years, and I have no intention of stopping yet. It just blows me away everytime! With its surgical 4-band EQ, the fully featured preamp, the transparent beautifully sounding compressor, along with the texxture knob – it just delivers everytime.
The revolutionary concept of Fractal Audio's Axe FX units are really mindblowing. The idea of taking your favorite guitar/bass sound from your analog rig (for example Peavey, ENGL, Marshall) and converting it into one's and zero's – and still keeping the analog feel of it – are simply amazing! When re-amping or recording guitars, I usually add the API Channelstrip in my signal chain to make it pop even more. Love it!
Axe FX – the ULTRA version. It's the edition that was launched right before the Axe FX II generation. In fact, from reading lots of forums – a lot of people seem to agree on the ULTRA edition actually sounding better than the others. I don't necessarily agree. However, when recording 4 rhythm guitars; two guitars with the Axe FX II and subsequently two guitars with the ULTRA will give you a wonderful fat wall of brutal axes swinging.
One can go on and on writing about how this compressor is the best damn compressor ever made. I shall not, though. Because it will not benefit the html column of this page. Whatever Empirical Labs decided to put in this box, they choose the best of the best. With the Distressor you can practically apply and infinte amount of compression to your signal, without damaging it. Like, really.
The API Channelstrip is a true beauty. Even though it's only 1U they managed to squeeze in every important tool you'd typically be looking for in a channelstrip; compression, preamp, a very very satisfying surgical high-end EQ section that when tweaked – the world becomes a much warmer better place.
Universal Audio's Apollo soundcards are amazing! Optimized for their huge range of available plugins that will correspond and communicate with the actual hardware in the soundcard – quality-wise, this is jaw-dropping.
While the Apollo 16 gives me not only more power, but also allows me to integrate my hardware thanks to the D-sub connections on the back which I connect with my Switchcraft patchbay –when adding the Apollo Quad, this setup allows for even more power to be utilized. AS we know – more is always more.