Tag Archives: sound workshop

The Sound Workshop 1280 12 input/8 buss mixer c. 1980

1280_B_textDownload the original 6-page catalog/brochure for the Sound Workshop 1280 12×8 mixer:

DOWNLOAD: SoundWRkShp_1280

1280_b_soundworkshopI own+regularly use the Sound Workshop 242 reverb system, but I’ve never used this mixer nor any of the other Sound Workshop offerings.  The 242 is OK for certain applications, and it certainly rates high on ergonomics; the 1280 also seems notable in terms of its extreme specificity for 8-track recording.  The buss, 2-mix, and and monitor matrices are actually located above the input channel strips, unlike most mixing boards, which tend to feature these controls to the right of the inputs and left of a master section.  Also unusual: the master 2-mix is a duplicate of the 7/8 buss, with a few extra controls added.  Unusual, but seems like it would work out just fine 95% of the time.

1280B_2_soundworkshopThe 1280b ranks fairly high on my list of ‘useless shit that I have always wanted’; maybe someday it will join the legion of other small mixers that people my basement.  These things were (supposedly?) designed by former API employees; the mic input transformers are those lil’ Beyers that are found in so much 70s gear.

The most (perhaps) crucial things to glean from this original document: the 1280 came in two different EQ configurations: 3-band fixed frequency, or three-band quasi-parametric (5 frequencies per band).  The latter is designated 1280-BEQ.  Also: there was a meter bridge option.  Also: the 1280A seems to be transformerless, while the 1280B has the input transformers, thereby providing 2db more gain per channel; the document is a little vague on this point, tho, so PLEASE correct me if you know better.

Sound Workshop Reverbs of the 1980s

Download the four-page catalog for the Sound Workshop 242C and 262 stereo reverberation devices:

DOWNLOAD: SoundworkshopReverbs

I’ve been using a 242C in the studio for years; it’s ok for signals that don’t need much high or low end.  It’s pretty boing-y and a little bit noisy.  It does have a cool dense, gritty texture that give backing vocals a nice old-school character.  At this point, i have learned to always use it in the following way:  usually I pre-delay the input 10 or 20 ms; then run the input signal through a gentle compressor (usually DBX 160); and cut the highs and lows on the return to remove hiss and hum that the spring pickups introduce.  Oh yeah and the 242C is not really intended for +4 studio use; so i also use a Peavey stereo +4/-10 converter in order to best gain-stage it.   So yeah… a lot of support equipment around this humble box.   It does get a lot of use tho.  Hey at least it has overload LEDs and and a very-useful ‘input mix’ switch with combines both inputs – great for creating pseudo-stereo from a mono source.