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Interview with Blackbird Studios' Rolff Zweip: the 8MX2

API: We're curious, why does Blackbird own so many 8MX2s?

ROLFF ZWEIP: Blackbird currently owns 18 8MX2 units, and we have at least one unit in each of our tracking rooms and found them to be one of the best 'invisible' sets of mic preamps for the talkback mics. They're also used in the studios, in rental rigs and on the road in recording rigs. Specifically Martina McBride's live tech/engineer Allen Ditto travels with them for the front end in his rigs. We even have several in the studios for cue sends. (There's a rumor we are in the market for a few more units.)

API: How frequently are they rented out?

RZ: The best answer I can give is 'all the time'. Without naming names—sorry, we have to be discreet—we've had the 8MX2 preamps on projects featuring everyone you've heard of, as well as some folks you haven't heard of yet.

API: Why are the 8MX2s so popular?

RZ: They're compact, versatile, powerful front end tools for tracking and most of all they sound great. They're exactly what a live engineer or tech would wish for. Most times they're rented to clients that take out live recording rigs with our Protools systems. It's their size, flexibility and function that makes them popular, and over time the units remain solid and trouble free.

API: Any fun facts you want to share about the 8MX2s?

RZ: Truth be told, there have been tracks that went to the mix that were captured from one of the open talkback mics by accident. On playback, someone asked "What is that?", and it was used! Last time I heard about it, it was a snare drum, but it's happened several times.

API: As always, thanks for the conversation and we appreciate your time.

RZ: No Problem!

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