Tuff Sound Recording utilizes a Mac based system centered around a Dual Quad-Core Intel Xeon tower.


  • Digital Performer
  • Ableton Live
  • Max/MSP
  • UAD
  • Waves Max for Live Silent Way

Core equipment

  • Audio interface - MOTU - UltraLite 3
  • Mixer - Allen & Heath - MixWizard WZ3

Monitor pairs

  • Mackie - HR824
  • Yamaha - NS10
  • Auratone - 5C Super Sound Cube

Preamps, EQ and dynamics

  • API 500V - 500 series frame
  • API - 512c mic pre (x2)
  • Purple Audio - Biz mic pre
  • AML-UK - EZ1073-500 (Neve clone) mic pre/DI/equalizer
  • UBK/KuSh Audio - Electra equalizer
  • S&M Audio - EQSM1 equalizer
  • Purple Audio - Action compressor
  • Inward Connections - Vogad compressor
  • Chandler Limited - Little Devil compressor
  • dbx - 160 VU compressor (x2)


  • Neumann U87
  • AKG 414 (x2)
  • Coles 4038
  • AKG D112
  • Beyer M500 N

Analog and Modular synthesizers

  • ARP 2600
  • ARP Axxe
  • 3 - 6U Euro-Rack modular systems
  • Including modules from:
    Pittsburgh Modular, Make Noise, The Harvestman, Doepfer, Flight of Harmony, WMD, BubbleSound, TipTop Audio, 4MS, MFB, Trogotronic and Delptronics


  • Akai APC40
  • KMI QuNeo
  • Kork MicroKontrol

DJ and Vinyl

  • Techniques SL-1200M3D turntables (x2)
  • Rane mixer
  • Extensive record collection
  • Serato Scratch Live


Audio/visual collaborations have shown in the US and internationally in Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, New Zealand, and Spain, and have been featured in museums and festivals such as the Andy Warhol Museum and the Havana Biennial.



Sound Design for






select list coming soon


select list coming soon

Herman Pearl (Soy Sos) is an audio engineer and sound designer from Pittsburgh, PA and co-founder of PearlArts Studios, a sound and creative movement company he formed with his wife, Staycee Pearl. Through PearlArts, Herman creates mixed soundscapes to serve as a component to contemporary dance. In his full-scale sound installation, “Named/Unnamed,” was featured at 937 Gallery for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Three Rivers Arts Festival. He released Encryption Cipher: Encoded Streams from Tuff Sound Recording, an album of gritty and futuristic remixes of many of Pittsburgh’s top rappers in late 2013. Currently he is developing a live performance group with trumpeter Sean Jones and saxophonist/flautist Erik Lawrence that will reinterpret classic jazz compositions of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

As a sound designer, Herman’s repertoire includes a wide variety of projects and collaborators. His work has been featured in various independent films and documentaries, video games, and advertising. Among others, Quantum Theatre, City of Asylum, and Vanessa German have featured Herman’s work on the live stage. He has also designed soundscapes for numerous choreographers, including Rennie Harris, Darrell Moultrie, Kyle Abraham, Donald Byrd, Sarah Skaggs, Joe Goode, and Donna Uchizno. He has collaborated with many visual artists, most recently Nayda Collazo-Llorenns, to create work that has toured in the US, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, and Spain. His recording studio, Tuff Sound Recording, founded in 1993, has produced work for a wide variety of recording artists, including Mathew Rosenblum, Boaz, Dave Eggar, and Mac Miller.

Herman has performed, created, and recorded music for over 25 years. With DJ MKL, Herman created 3 Generations Walking and MKL vs. Soy Sos, a deep house music-centered collective that produced approximately 30 releases with worldwide distribution and acclaim between 1998 and 2006. In 1997, Pearl and longtime collaborator Christiane D founded the band Soma Mestizo, which produced 8 albums and performed over 500 shows. With reggae group Chill Factor International/CFI Massive, Pearl acted as co-founder, member, manager, and producer between 1986 and 1999, during which the band performed at nearly 1,000 engagements and released six records.