elysia on tour in the United States
This is the first part of our series “elysia on tour”
Our fine elysia 500 Series audio processors touring from Germany to conquer the United States of America.
Fasten your seatbelts and put your seats in the upright position.
Back in the late summer of 2018 we had a crazy idea. This idea led to a 1,5 years long tour all over the United States and nearly 30 visited mixing&mastering engineers, producers and musicians. But who or better to say what was exactly on tour? Let’s dive in!
If you’re reading this – you most likely are in love with analog gear, right? Just like we do!
It doesn’t matter if your studio has several racks loaded with analog jewels or you got a small home recording studio with one beloved mix bus compressor – whenever you get your fingers on analog gear it’s always a happy time. Because we at elysia love what we do, we’re always happy to see you using our gear. We want to see as many people get in touch with it and learn what special things it can do for their music. But what are the options to get this in-depth experience with the gear, maybe even in your own trusty environment? That’s why we decided – let’s send our gear on tour!
We loaded nearly all of our 500-series gear into a Neve R10 rack, to be precise – a pair of our at that time just released preamp elysia skulpter 500, our stereo equalizer xfilter 500, compressor xpressor 500, our transient designer nvelope 500 and our saturation module karacter 500. Each module on its own is a treat, but all of them at once as a channel strip – that’s something you should not forget too fast!
So how much should this hands-on experience cost you? Of course nothing!
We decided to cover all shipping costs. The only investment the participants should make was their precious time. Honestly, we knew it’s something no-one else did before and that it’s a special offer but would the people react to it the way we hoped they would? Hell, they did! We reached out to so many guys and soon realized it was a mistake. Simply everyone was super excited about it and within two weeks the list was longer than we ever expected.
How did we choose who would get it?
While we all know these big names, the engineers we all look up to and who of course we also wished-for to host our rack – there are so many extremely talented guys climbing up the Olymp but yet maybe not having the resources to get the gear worth of $7000 to try out just like that. So we wanted to make this thing different. We care about everyone – a Grammy-winning engineer and a bedroom producer. That’s when the real work started. We asked ourselves how to ship it, how to make the user experience as easy as possible. How to ease the learning curve of our gear? Because it’s far away from being a one-trick-pony. How to make sure it can be plugged in without missing a cable? How much time should be enough for an unforgettable experience? Many questions and we needed answers.
The best experience for you!
We had this idea of a perfect experience – you get the rack, you plug it in and start immediately enjoying it. So we even soldered our own custom cables, any cable that you’d need, including TT-Phone jacks. We made them durable so they last the tour for sure. How inhuman would it be to plug in the rack that you waited several months for just to realize that one of the cables is broken and you haven’t a spare one? No one wants to live through that – haha!
We made a short video starring our CEO Ruben Tilgner explaining each module and put it on a USB stick. Probably the worst video production of all times but all guys loved it as it really helped to directly dive into the rack. By the way – we should’ve known better – the stick got lost pretty fast along the way. Maybe, it’s still on the desk of one of the guys, maybe even of the one reading this blog.
We found the right case for shipping, TSA-locks to pass the customs, and even made ourselves a beautiful custom wood box for the cables and accessories. Analog gear and wood – nothing looks better together, right? That’s when we realized that we wanted to do one more really special thing!
elysia uses a state-of-the-art milling machine to build custom parts for its gear. Why shouldn’t we manufacture something really important? A custom coaster!
You can imagine how sad this day is, when the gear has to move. We wanted to give at least something which can stay forever. All the guys couldn’t believe their eyes to see their names engraved in this little but meaningful gifts and we still see many of them actually use it.
One last special we’ve added to the case was a little notebook. We kindly asked the guys to write down some words for us. Yes, it’s sentimental but the whole thing was so personal. Each participant would’ve held this notebook in his hands and as it turned out – there were many!
We were simply overwhelmed by getting the rack back to our headquarters and reading all the beautiful messages the guys wrote down for us. No other company has such a book. It’s just us. And we’re proud of it!
With all that said, you know now everything about the development of the tour so let’s dive in and see what the guys thought about it.
The first lucky soul was Rick King, a producer, and mixing engineer at his beautiful studio in Paducah, Kentucky. Rick wrote an intriguing introduction to the brand new notebook! Who’s up for an adventure?
“To whomever finds this, you will surely notice a page missing from this book. On it is a map that leads to the elysia gear that I have buried. Find it, and it is yours! – RK”Rick King
As you can see the first page is really missing. If you ever find this map, let us know! Rick even shared a suggestion for an amazing piece of analog gear that will make any mix better! Thanks for your useful input!
“Elysia. Thank you again for your hospitality and kindness in letting me be a part of this elysia tour. Your gear has been on my radar for a long time, but being able to test it in my own space made all the difference. I can’t wait to put some pieces in my rack permanently! Loved twisting these knobs! – Rick King King Sound”Rick King
It was a real pleasure to have you as our first host, Rick! Where did you bury our gear?!
The second guy was Jack Daniels, we guess it won’t be hard to memorize his name for most of you musicians out there. ;) By the way, Jack is Rick’s best studio friend. Unfortunately, Jack forgot to sign the notebook but he made this beautiful shot of the rack and we love it!
Welcome to Nashville
When it comes to music, there are not many places that can compete with Nashville. Though it’s not a huge city, its musical community is one of a kind. There is probably no other place where you’ll find so many music studios so close to each other. And that’s for a reason. It will be hard to find another place with so many musicians, audio engineers and producers so close to each other. So Nashville is simply the right place to continue with, right?
We visited exiting and talented engineers and producers whose names you probably already saw many times on social media:
Travis Ball, Colt Capperrune, Kyle Monroe, Michael Frasinelli, Josh Bonanno, Josh Colby, Marc Frigo.
We really hope we didn’t forget anyone! Because Everyone got the rack for two full weeks so the rack stood in Nashville for over 3,5 months. This is what the guys wrote down for us:
“Ruben + Aleg,
Thank you very much for putting this rack together! I have been keen to try some of the offerings from elysia for some time now, very impressed with how everything sounds and put together! Wish I could have spent more time with it! I guess this means I should buy something eventually, haha! Cheers Travis Ball”Travis Ball
You’re very welcome, Travis! We’ll gladly watch your carrier prosper! And thanks for the beautiful pictures!
“The week gone by far too fast, I will never forget you dear elysia. May your silky smooth goodness bless many waveforms, and tame all the peaks you meet. Until we meet again, Colt Capperrune”Colt Capperrune
This is the most musical message we could wish for, Colt! Thank you so much!
Kyle Monroe “Tiny Tape Room”
“What a wonderful treat to be a part of this elysia tour. I am very excited to pick up some of these EQ’s in the future! Cheers, Kyle TTR”Kyle Monroe
Our equalizer will fit amazingly in your newly built studio, Kyle!
Such heart-warming comments! And this is just the beginning!
“Well before these 2 weeks I thought I got to hold off on buying an additional 500 series chassis for a while… I thought wrong.
I demo a lot of gear, but it is rare that I end the demo wanting to buy every single unit that I don’t already own ASAP. Thanks… I think? As always, fantastic work elysia team. Plus, now you can see why I type and rarely handwrite.”Michael Frasinell
It is all about the message, and we love it, Michael!
“Can’t say thank you enough for including me in this tour. Incredible gear. Truly enjoyed my time with it and look forward to adding a few to my collection in the future.”Josh Bonanno
We’re very happy to be now a part of your setup, Josh! The video you made while using the rack was definitely one of the most special things from the tour!
“Thank you so much for letting me try out this wonderful gear. Really appreciate it! Love what you’re doing, keep up the great work!”Marc Frigo
It was our pleasure to have you onboard, Marc!
Last but not least – check out the gear in action and see what Travis Ball did with it while mastering a cool pop track! Very nice!
I hope you guys liked this blog post. This story will be continued, as we have some more interesting insights and footage from the United States “elysia on tour” and there will be a second part pretty soon.
Meanwhile, it would be great if you leave a comment, tell me if you like this touring idea. And if so, please share this blogpost on social media. Thank you.