So, I've been a bit absent...

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smallstonefan
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2018/09/30 01:55:09 (permalink)

So, I've been a bit absent...

...and I come back for a few days and end up forking over some scratch for Mercury (thanks Larry), but that's another story... :)
 
I'm here (in this sub forum :P ) because I've been messing around more with hardware than plugins lately. I was just wondering if I'm the only one...
 
As some of you know I bought a Midas console to use as an analog summing unit feeding it with a UAD 16 Silverface. I have since added a Stam Audio SSL G bus clone, so I feed the Midas to the SLL and then back into the DAW. I also added a pair of Neve 1073 pre-amps (from Stam), and an 1176 (also form Stam, I think there is a pattern). My LA2A clone is supposed to ship from a builder (I'll let you guess who) and I should have that in a few weeks. I plan to use the 1073 > 1176 > LA2A together for my vocal chain.
 
My most recent acquisition is a pair of Dorrough 40A2 meters that I just got yesterday and I'm hooking up now with some clever routing (I think). They are bigger than I expected them to be, and while I've used the Waves version and love it, the hardware is even more mesmerizing... :)
 
So, any of you got the hardware bug lately?
 
James
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    Mosvalve
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/09/30 03:09:03 (permalink)
    I going more with hardware my self these days also. I bought some 500 series modules as well as a few new preamps. The modules are, Trident 80b eq, Kush Audio Electra eq, Tonelux EQ5P, Lindell PEX 500 eq, AEA RPQ preamp and the DBX 560A compressor. I also have the Warm Audio WA 273 dual preamp (minus the eq) which is their version of the 1073 pre, Warm Audio Tonebeast preamp which is their version of the API 312 pre and the Warm Audio WA76 which is their version of the Uri 1176 D rev so I have 4 different eq's 3 different pres and 2 different compressors to work with. I do like working with hardware but when I can't get what I want out of the hardware plugins come in handy for sure. I'm probably to get the Warm Audio EQP-WA tube eq soon.

    BobV 
     
     
     
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    #2
    smallstonefan
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/09/30 13:58:59 (permalink)
    Hi Bob,
    It sounds like we have gone done a similar path. :) I haven't gotten into a 500 series yet as I'm concerned that will be a rabbit hole for me. I took the drums out of my studio in the last six months and believe the days of recording bands are behind me, so it's mostly going to be vocals that get recorded by mics. Probably my guitar cab at times but most of the guitar recording is digital through a Fractal Axe FX II.
     
    I've heard good things about Warm and had got to hear their Pultec clone first hand and it was pretty awesome. I'd love to have a pair of Stam Pultecs on the master, but that's $2k that I can't justify. 
     
    If you had to pick one hardware EQ to use in your vocal chain, which would it be?
     
    James
    #3
    gswitz
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/09/30 15:33:44 (permalink)
    Nice mics are better.

    I have an external compressor i really like.

    Analog stuff is cool.

    I did my first soldering this year. I made a diy.re reamp box.

    Analog is heavy. ;)

    StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
    I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
    #4
    AT
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/09/30 16:07:46 (permalink)
    All digital is analog going in - and out.  So it kinda makes sense that good analog will help your sound - or at least get out of the way.
     
    And rather than getting into an in- and out-side the box arguments, let us just say that using good outboard hardware to record is play time in recording (and or mixing).  It has less to do w/ sound, than learning how to control sound before it hits the converters.  Like an audio engineer.  Any professional guitarist (and many that aren't) have a huge collection of expensive guitars, each guitar a tool for a specific sound.  Engineers can get the same way.  Just like the apocryphal 60's keyboardist that taped down the knobs on their Moog (ARP, etc.) for that one specific "preset" they needed in each song.  A big room full of black taped synths he'd have to take on tour.
    #5
    smallstonefan
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/09/30 16:15:16 (permalink)
    I loved this!
     
    let us just say that using good outboard hardware to record is play time in recording (and or mixing)
     
    I feel the same way. I enjoy looking at the gear (a bit more tangible than a plugin lol), playing with the gear, and the results I get out of the gear. 
     
    I have zero interest in arguing the merits of analog vs. digital (unless you want to talk vinyl), I am just having fun with these toys! :) 
    #6
    fireberd
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/09/30 17:08:34 (permalink)
    I just have a small home studio and the digital works for my application. 
    But I have a friend that started up a recording studio and its all retro Tascam.  Tascam 4 track tape recorder, Tascam board. Hardware plate reverb, etc.  It reminds me of the studio I maintained (and staff steel guitar player) in late 70's, Tascam tape deck, Tascam board, Ampex 2 track tape for masters, etc.
     
     
     
     

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    #7
    Mosvalve
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/09/30 17:23:04 (permalink)
    smallstonefan
    Hi Bob,
    It sounds like we have gone done a similar path. :) I haven't gotten into a 500 series yet as I'm concerned that will be a rabbit hole for me. I took the drums out of my studio in the last six months and believe the days of recording bands are behind me, so it's mostly going to be vocals that get recorded by mics. Probably my guitar cab at times but most of the guitar recording is digital through a Fractal Axe FX II.
     
    I've heard good things about Warm and had got to hear their Pultec clone first hand and it was pretty awesome. I'd love to have a pair of Stam Pultecs on the master, but that's $2k that I can't justify. 
     
    If you had to pick one hardware EQ to use in your vocal chain, which would it be?
     
    James


    For a main go to eq I would need one that can do fine adjustments. The eq's I have aren't meant for that. I would like to get the Harrison 32 eq. Great River makes one. I really haven't figured out a specific vocal chain or any specific instrument chain yet. I'm still experimenting. I used to have an electronic drum kit but sold it. If I want real drums I'll go to my buddy's house and record there on his set. As far as guitars go I mic my amps. I prefer mic'ing. I have a DI and a Re-amp box so I'm starting to experiment with re-amping.  I checked out the Stam website and it looks like they are a bit more expensive than Warm Audio. Nice stuff for sure. I also spent around 2k on pedal effects, pedal board with a looper so I'm pretty set as far as distortions,fuzz, delays, reverbs, comps, modulations and so on. I even have the Quilter amp pedal which is pretty good and I have the Digitec CabDryVr which is a pretty good cab sim. I'll always be a hardware guy and like to print my sound on the way in. There are occasions where I will create a sound in the box. It's great to have the option.

    BobV 
     
     
     
    ASUS Prime Z370-P - Intel Core i7+ 8700K 3.7GHZ 16GB Memory, Intel HD Graphics 630 GPU,  Windows 10 Pro 64bit,  , Sonar Platinum 64bit, Motu 828MK3 Hybrid, Warm Audio TB12 Pre, Warm Audio WA273 Pre, AEA RPQ 500 Pre, Warm Audio WA76 Compressor, Presonus D8 Pre, Tonelux EQ5P 500 Eq, Kush Electra 500 Eq, Lindell PEX 500 Eq, Yamaha 80M monitors with HS10W Sub,  and a bunch of other good stuff. I have a Roland Juno-106 that's looking for a new home. PM me.
    #8
    gswitz
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/09/30 21:40:36 (permalink)
    Whether it's in the box or not, I think there's fun to be had trying to use different tools.
     
    Last week, I delivered a polished mix to a band.
     
    Today, I've spent the day trying to re-master one of the tracks with just eq's in the RME UCX and my DBX doing multiple bounces to try to get a version I like more than the one I did in the box.
     
    I'm not there yet, but I've done a ton of listening and know more now than I did this morning.
     
    :-)
     
    Some of the differences come from not using multiband compression. With just one compressor, I can't do different bands.
     
    Also, using my hardware, it's harder to get a precise average loudness. it's also interesting to hear a loud part from a vocalist push down the rest of the band. Same can happen for a loud lead guitar. The multi-bands increase the compression just on the notes required while leaving the rest of the recording untouched.
     
    Because you're compressing all bands at once, to get the same average loudness, I have to compress the track harder. When the compression eases off, the other music bounces into the front. It's almost like a vocal rider in reverse. :-) It pushes up whether it in the back of the leads as soon as the leads go quiet.
     
    Super interesting. And also something I'm sure I've heard in a thousands of pro recordings without realizing what was driving it.
     
    Next, I tried mixing the two recordings together, normalizing so the peak was at -0.2 and taking an average volume on the EBU meter. Interestingly, it was a full 2 Db quieter than either recording alone.

    StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
    I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
    #9
    smallstonefan
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/10/01 12:14:21 (permalink)
    I love that sort of experimenting and just learning new things as you go...
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    Jim Roseberry
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/10/02 15:18:18 (permalink)
    World-class front-end analog gear can make a HUGE difference to your recordings.
    Getting a Neve Portico-II was one of the best musical purchases I've made.
    Literally everything I run thru it sounds better (both mics and DI instruments).
    DI electric bass is now sounds great (straight off the preamp)... whereas before (using inexpensive DI) it sounded anemic.

    Best Regards,

    Jim Roseberry
    jim@studiocat.com
    www.studiocat.com
    #11
    msmcleod
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/10/02 15:42:46 (permalink)
    I've been heading towards more analog hardware, but just for tracking. 
     
    I've just got 2 x GAP PRE-73 preamps which sound fantastic - one which now has a Carnhill output transformer, as the existing one was damaged (bought it 2nd hand).
     
    I've also brought my old Alice 828 broadcast mixer back into service. Although it's not the quietest mixer around, the mic pre's sound fantastic and the EQ is very musical. As long as the signal is loud enough, noise isn't a problem anyhow. I believe Pinewood studios used one of these on the final mix of the Bond movie "Thunderball". 
     
    For mixing I'm happy to mix in the box, although I've not dismissed the Alice as a summing mixer....

    Mark McLeod
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    #12
    smallstonefan
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/10/02 22:18:38 (permalink)
    Jim Roseberry
    DI electric bass is now sounds great (straight off the preamp)... whereas before (using inexpensive DI) it sounded anemic.



    I am rewiring my patch bay now so that I can play bass through the Stam 1073 into the UAD Apollo with a bass amp on monitor (so recording dry).
     
    Curious as to how that will sound...
     
    James
     
    #13
    smallstonefan
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/10/02 22:28:10 (permalink)
    msmcleod
    For mixing I'm happy to mix in the box, although I've not dismissed the Alice as a summing mixer....



    yeah I'm trying to keep the mixing aspect of analog to a minimum. I enjoy summing through my Midas but it takes some setup with respect to calibration before mixing a project. I don't use the EQ on the board because I take months to finish anything and I want to get as totally re callable as possible. I made the exception of the Stam SSL G bus clone on the master because the master is so darn important it makes sense (in my brain) to go through an analog compressor after analog summing and before going back into the digital realm.
     
    I want the best analog front end I can manage, but that is pretty much vocals and bass at this time. I plan to run the bass through the Stam 1073 clone into the UAD Apollo in monitor mode with an amp plugin. This will let me hear the bass through an emulator but record raw bass so I can play with the amp later on.
     
    Then there are vocals. Right now is WAY better than I deserve with my vocals using a Rode NTK tube mic with an updated tube into the Stam 1073 > Stam 1176 > Stam LA2A. I'm hoping to have the singer that sang on my last song back in here now that I've gotten some outboard. Grace is so awesome, but I am pretty sure you're all going to see her on the next season of American Idle so I might not get a chance to record her again. Then again, she is so nice that she might come back for one of my songs. If so, I may have to up my microphone - probably a Stam (go figure). :)
     
     
    #14
    olemon
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/10/03 03:02:09 (permalink)
    smallstonefan 
    So, any of you got the hardware bug lately?
     
    James

     
    Yep.  I bought and sold and bought a few pieces of gear - it's fun to experiment.  Btw, after reviewing your summing experience, I'd all but given up on a summing box, but then Revive Audio listed a modified Whirlwind Mix-8S so I thought I'd try it going into a compressor and an eq, both of which I've yet to acquire.  Considering a Revive Audio modded ART Pro VLA II and possibly a Vintage Audio (Revive Audio) Skyline M3D Mastering EQ (seems to be similar in design to a Maag Audio EQ4M.)  We'll see.

    https://www.reverbnation.com/scottholson
     
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    "If you wait till the last minute, it only takes a minute."
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    gswitz
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/10/03 03:15:35 (permalink)
    You mentioned using a single master bus compressor, and since I played with that over the weekend, I made this video to try to show some of the results comparing the multiband mix I did first with the mix with two passes through a single compressor second. Both have the same average loudness (-12 on EBU).
     
    http://youtu.be/_JQyB6cQoBE
     


    StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
    I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
    #16
    Jim Roseberry
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/10/03 15:31:50 (permalink)
    smallstonefan
    Jim Roseberry
    DI electric bass is now sounds great (straight off the preamp)... whereas before (using inexpensive DI) it sounded anemic.



    I am rewiring my patch bay now so that I can play bass through the Stam 1073 into the UAD Apollo with a bass amp on monitor (so recording dry).
     
    Curious as to how that will sound...
     
    James
     




    I have the UAD Ampeg plugin.
    I think it sounds pretty good.
    (If you've got an Axe-FX or Helix, there are some great bass amp models in those devices.)
    You might want to try running straight into the Apollo vs. hitting the 1073 first.
    The UAD amp-sim plugins simulate impedance of the front end of the amp.
     
    Running Helix Native with a Presonus Quantum (1ms total round-trip latency), I haven't decided which I prefer;
    • Going straight into the Quantum
    • Hitting the Portico-II first
    For straight DI electric bass (no amp-sim), it's absolutely the Portico-II.

    Best Regards,

    Jim Roseberry
    jim@studiocat.com
    www.studiocat.com
    #17
    gswitz
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/10/03 16:55:09 (permalink)
    A lot of bass players talk about going direct and provide me feeds, but they never sound great to me. It is usually a feed from the back of the amp. I have never liked the sound. Slaps spike like crazy. I've often wondered if i just don't know how to do it right as i set up a Mic in front of the amp.

    Bass players have the most frustration with my mixes. At least they express it most. Presenting a mix with bass that sounds like their amp gets me closer to what they like.

    StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
    I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
    #18
    smallstonefan
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/10/03 23:28:09 (permalink)
    Hi Jim,
     
    I've been recording bass direct through the Apollo using Unison - I'd just like to see if the 1073 adds anything to the equation for fun. :) I haven't tried the Fractal bass models since I have all the UAD amps and I really like that. I like that I can monitor through an amp sim but record dry so I can play with the sim later. Amazing toys we have!
    #19
    smallstonefan
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/10/03 23:35:37 (permalink)
    gswitz
    You mentioned using a single master bus compressor, and since I played with that over the weekend, I made this video to try to show some of the results comparing the multiband mix I did first with the mix with two passes through a single compressor second...



    I watched about half the video but you are using compression on the bus a bit differently than the context I'm using. I'm got the SSL clone on the master to mix into, as opposed to squeezing more out of the mix when done. I even paid the upgrade to add a transformer option to the SSL just to impart a different character.
     
    My thought is if I'm going to do anything outboard, it should add character because if I am going for some clean effect digital does that really well! :)
    #20
    gswitz
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    Re: So, I've been a bit absent... 2018/10/04 03:07:36 (permalink)
    Thanks for watching. I was really just experimenting. I was definitely not trying to make the compressor transparent. Just the opposite.

    I've mostly used the compressor when doing live stuff. For small acoustic groups, I use it to compress inputs. I have enough inputs that I can often record compressed and uncompressed. Maybe half the time I don't use the compressed tracks later.

    I agree that it helps to perform into the compressor. It can change how you sing a little. Like mixing into it rather than applying after the fact.

    StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
    I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
    #21
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