I just returned from Texas and spent some time interviewing Daren from Fire Eye Development. Darren Appelt and Justin Jacobs have in my opinion created some quite amazing preamps that work brilliantly with acoustic instruments. I interviewed Darren at length about the three current products created by Fire Eye and today I used all three in a rehearsal/ video shoot for the small change diaries. My producer immediately commented just how great these units are in sending instrument signal from two ukuleles and a double bass into a Tascam porta studio.
The three units are the Red Eye, Red Eye Twin and Dee Eye. The red eye is described by Fire Eye as
“An all analog, handmade, high input impedance DI and clean boost. Designed and improved over the course of several years to meet the needs of performing musicians, the Red-Eye is crafted from the highest quality components available. Engineered by an electronics engineer with over 50 years of professional experience, the Red-Eye design focuses on high fidelity, low noise and simple plug and play performance. “
The twin is described as
“An all analog, handmade, high input impedance DI and clean boost solution for musicians that play two instruments at the same gig. Designed and improved over the course of several years to meet the needs of performing musicians, the Red-Eye Twin is crafted from the highest quality components available.”
Finally The Dee Eye is described as a
“Simple solution for connecting instruments with high-impedance piezoelectric pickups to a venue’s sound system. Any passive or active instrument pickup is supported”
Fire Eye have indeed created a number of simple solutions, but crucially ones that are highly effective. We noticed today that each unit boosted the signal of the instrument wonderfully far more that any other DI box we have tried to date. During the interview with Daren he continually commented on the importance of the highest quality components.
These units developed after Daren created a prototype for a professional violinist which was so great sonically that it created local demand as word spread about these units. The whole business appears to be driven by interest from working musicians and this is reflected in the fact that these units are built like tanks. Rarely have I see such great construction. While I was in Texas Daren also commented that they were working on a new product as a boost for electric instruments and I for one will be ordering one as soon as they appear!
Fire Eye Development is a perfect example of superb smart product development and is the kind of pre amps. There is a massive amount of care that goes into the construction of these units and Daren is clearly a great music fan who hosts gigs inside his own house from artists all over the world. He’s a popular guy as these are booked up until 2017!
The interview with Daren will appear in a future issue of UKE Magazine, see www.worldofukes.com