When your goal is to put together the greatest studio front-end, live pro audio system or analog mixdown processor around, there's a lot to be said for flexibility. Using traditional hardware can mean adding features you don't need or simply taking up unnecessary space with a lot of bulky components, which is far from the optimal solution if you're building a portable setup or working with limited space. The good news is that there's a better way to build a rack that fits where you want it to: 500 Series gear. Based on a totally modular system, this hardware family gives you the ability to mix and match individual components inside a standardized enclosure, so you can build it out your way.
The basic building block for your 500 Series gear is the rack that serves as the backbone for your other components. One of the top sellers is the Radial Engineering Workhorse SixPack 500 Series Desktop Rack, which has space for half a dozen standard-width 500 Series components. Need room for even more modules? No problem - just size up to something like the Radial Engineering WR-8 Rack 8 Slot Power Rack or the BAE 11-Space 500 Series Rack, each of which can fit handily into a standard studio rack or road case. Think of it like a rack within a rack!
Once you've got your chassis ready to go, you can fill it up with whichever modules your heart desires. There are all kinds to choose from, including single-width units like the Valley People Dyna-Mite 500 Series Compressor/Limiter and parts that take up two or more spaces in the rack, such as the Elysia xfilter 500 Class A Discrete Stereo Parametric EQ. Some of the most popular options are preamps like the Warm Audio WA12 500 Series Microphone Preamp and the Golden Age Project Pre-573 MKII 500-Series Peamp - but naturally, the right ones for your needs are going to depend on what those needs are.
Thanks to 500 Series gear, fast food restaurants aren't the only places where you can have it your way: you can customize your recording or audio processing hardware from the ground up, too. Just pick out your chassis and fill it up with all your favorite modules - and don't forget about transportation, too, with accessories like the BAE Lunchbox Road Case or maybe even a portable compact rack. This section is all about versatility, and it certainly doesn't disappoint.
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