ShopTalk: Burl Audio at Jackpot! Recording Studios

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I recently had the pleasure of spending an evening at Jackpot! Studios. NARAS was kind enough to host an event with Larry Crane of TapeOp.

Next door, Scott of Hamptone was showing off his amazing collection. Ribbon mics, custom consoles, various products in various stages of development…

In addition, the Burl Audio Mothership was demoed to a receptive audience. Not that it was a scientific listening test, but we A/B against an Apogee box, and the Burl was somewhat preferred for it’s punchier sound.

I met some absolutely great people, including a half dozen (including the aforementioned Scott), who design and make their own gear.

Wherein I Wax Poetic:

This brings me to something that constantly surprises me (and really shouldn’t): Portland, stereotypically home of the hipster, their ex-hippy parents, microbrewerys, and innumerable ‘scenes’, is a manufacturing city.

Creativity drives industry, and vice versa. Hamptone and Jackpot share a building. What better way to develop prototype audio equipment than to throw it in the studio next door?

I see that all over Portland, from makers of fine artistic goods like Bullseye Glass and Gamblin inks to stalwarts like Oregon Iron Works and Precision Castparts. The industry and art drive each-other. More on this later.

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