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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Nov 2019 > BLACK LION AUDIO


Black Lion Audio produces some of the best studio outboard hardware out there – classic gear reimagined with a great, modern twist. But it has also become the company to contact if you want to hotrod your audio interface. MusicTech sits down with BLA CEO Nate Bierdeman to discuss how one company can help make other companies sound a lot better…

It used to be that if you weren’t getting the best performance out of your audio interface, the only solution was to sell it and buy a new model.

That scenario might well have changed, because now, specialist companies such as Black Lion Audio can take an increasing number of interface models and modify them; that is, increase the performance by replacing existing components with better-quality ones. They are the superchargers of the audio industry.

The company claims to be able to mod interfaces by everyone from Behringer to Universal Audio, Apogee to Antelope – and has published its own listening test results to back this up, often raising audio quality by very audible and obvious degrees. But we should also touch on Black Lion Audio’s own extensive range of outboard gear, often reimaginings of classics.

Indeed, it was the company’s experience gained while modifying gear made by other companies that gave it the confidence to launch this range, and the resulting products have scored incredibly well in MusicTech tests. Most recently, John Pickford bestowed a magical 10/10 on the Black Lion Audio Seventeen, stating: “Seventeen takes the classic 1176 design and provides several additional useful features for the modern recording engineer. It’s a legend reborn for the 21st century.”

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About MusicTech

It’s pretty much certain that if you’ve bought this magazine, then you will have parted with some of your hard-earned cash on gear for your studio. And let’s be honest, it’s a safe bet you’re not done yet. Unfortunately, our wallets aren’t bottomless, but even though we might think we have to spend ever-increasing fortunes on new tech to enhance our studios, it’s actually far cheaper to branch into the world of free software. In 2019, there are near-mountains of free software available – tailored for each part of the production process. But it can be a time-consuming quest to amass (and test) the right tools for your needs. So in this issue, we’ve rounded up the very best freeware that you can download to create your own free virtual studio. You might have also noticed that this issue comes with an added extra! We’re celebrating a whopping 200 issues of MusicTech – and to mark the occasion, we’ve put together a brand-new, freshly written guide to mixing. We hope it will serve as a companion to you in the studio, should you need to refresh your knowledge of key principles, mixing approaches and more. Elsewhere, we’ve got the final part of our Synthesis Masterclass series, which details how the computer became the ultimate synth! We also speak to former Pulp bass player and now Grammy-nominated producer Steve Mackey about his diverse career and also to the astute people at Black Lion Audio, who have combined the very best of modern technology with vintage designs. In our reviews, we spend time with Behringer’s Odyssey and discover a faithful and competitively priced recreation of a classic. We’ve also got our usual in-depth tutorials, tips and guides, so I hope you enjoy our 200th issue!

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