Gregory Scott of Kush Audio on the AttackWall
While doing a Google Hangout with Pensado's Students (April 3, 2014), Gregory Scott fielded a question about the AttackWall, and had some remarkable things to say.
The AttackWall discussion starts at an hour and 12 minutes in (transcribed below).
[1:12:20] DAVE HEDIN:
I just wanted to ask you really quick about your thoughts on the AttackWall. I have one of my good friends, Justin, just got one and he's raving about it and I'm sort of trying to wrap my brain around what's going on...or if you just have any thoughts about that, that you could pass on that would be great.
[1:12:37] GREGORY SCOTT:
I missed a part of your question there, you said "Justin..."
[1:12:40] DAVE HEDIN:
Oh, sorry about that. One of my friends, Justin, just got an AttackWall and he's raving about it, so I was just curious what your thoughts were on it, and how that sort of changed how you do things, or just pass on whatever you think about it to us. That'd be great.
[1:12:57] GREGORY SCOTT:
Yeh, it's gonna be painful for a lot of you to hear, because the AttackWall is the most expensive piece of gear in my studio. A starter setup is like...ten thousand dollars, or something like that. I had Kush Audio buy me one, and I actually have a little bit less than the starter set, because I was like, "whoa, ten thousand dollars!"
For those who don't know, the AttackWall is a cluster of what are called TubeTraps. They're basically tubes that are 9 inches wide, and they have wider ones that are under and over the top of your monitors.
As a matter of fact, let me pan around the room a bit and you can see. There's... I got 4 tubes in-between the speakers. I got fat tubes that are on top of and below the speakers, and there's a tube to either side. And that's the front of the AttackWall. Now the rest of the AttackWall is over here right now, around my drum kit, because I use it when I'm recording. But when I'm done recording, I would put those other traps around the sides of this space here, so what you get is a sort of horseshoe shape that you sit inside of these tubes. And what that does is that has the effect of basically creating what I call a subspace. It acoustically decouples you from the rest of the room around you to a very large degree. So if your room is muddy and tubby and boomy and harsh and echoic or whatever, the AttackWall sort of wraps around you and insulates you from that to an extraordinary degree.
In my experience, in a small, funky little bedroom like I'm in right now, which is 9 1/2 x 10 feet, it will clean up about 75% of all the issues in the room. And then from there...but that last 25%, it takes a lot to get that down. It's just like mixing, it's a game of inches beyond that.
What I can say about the AttackWall, and the reason this is going to be painful to hear is that, if I could go back in time to twenty years ago when I first started engineering, I would not buy a single piece of gear until I had an AttackWall. If I had to choose between all the equipment in my studio right now, all this lovely hardware, and my plugins and all that stuff, or the AttackWall, I would choose the AttackWall. I would rather mix in the box with stock plugins and the AttackWall than have all the analog gear in the world and be sitting in an untreated or partially treated room without this AttackWall. Because it's the closest thing I've ever gotten to a million dollar acoustic space inside a bedroom.
[1:15:41] DAVE HEDIN:
That's what I've heard and I just had to hear again and shake my head about how I don't have ten grand.
[1:15:49] GREGORY SCOTT:
When I first got the AttackWall, the first thing I thought was, 'I can manufacture these cheaper. I know I can.' They make these by hand up in Eugene, Oregon. God bless them, they're a lovely company and lovely people, but they make them by hand. They don't have any particularly advanced manufacturing techniques, and they're using American labor, so the price is what it is, because you're getting a handcrafted thing built by Americans, and the quality and craftmanship is there 100%.
It's a patented design, so nobody else can manufacture these things for cheaper and bring them to you, but the flipside of that, what is extraordinarily cool about this company is they have posted online in multiple places how to do DIY versions of them, so if you're at all handy or if you know somebody who is, for about 50 bucks a trap in raw materials rather than 4 to 6 hundred dollars a trap, you can make your own. And man, if you can do that, I highly recommend that you spend the time and money to do that because it will change your life.
You will mix faster and easier. Your mixes will be so much clearer...you will be like...you will suddenly become twenty times the engineer you ever thought you were because all the things you thought you sucked at you realize, 'oh wait a minute, it wasn't me, it was my acoustic space. It was what I was hearing, there is no way I could mix a tighter low end,' but then you have these traps in place and you realize, 'oh.'
You listen to all your old tracks and you wince. You're like, 'oh, my God,' because now you know, not only that something is wrong, but you recognize exactly what is wrong, and you know exactly what you should do about it. So it can be a painful experience the first time you sit at an AttackWall and listen to your music, but from that point forward, life gets a lot easier, and more enjoyable.
[1:17:34] DAVE HEDIN:
Thanks, man, appreciate it.