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Choosing guitars for your recording studio and your budget

Rainmaker Studio engineer Luke Basile helps you “knock it all out”

As a Breedlove fan, you may already be familiar with dedicated picker Luke Basile. Working at Pasco, Washington’s Rainmaker Studios, Basile demos many of our new models as they are developed, allowing us to hear our instruments in the wild, and allowing  you to better choose which guitar is just right for you to play better, sound better and play more.

Basile, who began woodshedding blues and soul licks at age 14, is studio manager and lead engineer at Rainmaker.

Given the pandemic, he says more folks than ever are building home studios, while established recording houses are using the time to update and upgrade facilities in anticipation of future work.

We asked Basile to guide you through some basics for building an at-hand guitar stable appropriate for your personal studio situation.

He immediately points to the Breedlove Concert body shape as the ideal instrument for a small home studio, noting it offers a supremely versatile format without using up your entire budget.

“It’s such a great fit,” he says. “You get the best of both worlds for flatpicking and fingerpicking and you’ve got a really nice balance between your lows, mids and highs. It’s a great universal guitar.”

Basile favors his longtime sidekick, a Sitka spruce-topped Premier Concert Copper CE, which he has used for countless live dates and sessions.

“Whenever somebody new comes into the studio and they’re looking for something to track with, I’ll hand them my personal Breedlove, and have them try that out. I’d say 95 percent of the time, they dig it, it’s just what they were looking for. The Concert is definitely a good fit for most people.”

For a studio servicing outside clients, or the home recordist in search of different voices, Basile recommends a broader array, which he feels can be found specifically in Breedlove’s quartet of revolutionary body shapes, graduating from the travel Companion, which can easily hide, always at the ready, in a studio corner, through the mighty-voiced dreadnought-like Concerto.

“Breedloves record super well,” Basile says. “I love how they come across on the mics. They’re just very real and raw, and they have such a rich sound. I probably have four or five myself, and the studio owns a handful, too (including a new Organic Collection Artista Concertina Natural Shadow CE). I always pick one of those up when it comes time to put an acoustic layer on a track.”

“I would recommend, to start, the three standard body shapes from Breedlove, then, if a bigger budget allows, maybe having a couple of different wood combinations in each shape. With that, in my opinion, you’re really able to knock it all out.”

“For a studio, I think having a 12-string around is a good idea; and a nylon string, too. They make nice textures for recording. And I just got a Breedlove bass, which I’ve been totally loving. I put a large diaphragm condenser on it, and it gives me a sound I’ve never had before.”

“An instrumental array like that is going to cover a lot of ground!”