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Author Topic: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?  (Read 22600 times)

Glenn Bucci

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2005, 10:01:30 am »

The only thing I don't like about the Ibis is the letters on the knobs. I HATE THIS! I know they have some numbers around the knobs, but for 20 years I have been working with freq. numbers not letters, I just don't like it. Adjusting "C" plus or minus 2 db.
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masterhse

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2005, 10:58:10 am »

Ed Littman wrote on Wed, 28 December 2005 17:52

RichR wrote on Wed, 28 December 2005 16:54

Well,
The Ibis and STC-8 seem to be the winners here in terms of flexibility.

I hope I did not loose the deal yet.

Thanks for making my decision so much easier.



another thing to think about is the chandler ltd-2. i've been using it more than the stc-8 latley...i love it!
Ed


I second that!!!!!!!!!

Sounds great even just adding it to the chain without compression.

But it's probably not for "everything". If you're looking for 2 units that work for most occasions, the Ibis and STC-8 are two great contenders for analog.

But then black pants match most shirts, they just get boring after a while.
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Tom Volpicelli
The Mastering House Inc.
CD Mastering and Media Production Services

RichR

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2005, 03:47:16 pm »

Ok,
So, the STC-8M definitely has the characteristics I'm looking for. It gets points over the chandler because of the deal I can find.

Now, the Ibis is great but its high end is questionable.

The Maselec is over my budget.

Colins recommends the NSEQ-2 which is in my price range and did not receive any real negative comments (even though it did not flip Blackwood's switch  Smile ). That makes it a serious contender for the Ibis.

EQ wise, it's back to a match between the Ibis and NSEQ-2.
I think I'm gonna try my best to hear the high end of the Ibis before making a decision.
I really appreciate your help.

Steve,
Thanks for the links. I know about Dale Pro Audio but, most of the time, they don't have what I'm looking for on location. I'm gonna give'em a call about the NSEQ-2, maybe they'll have it.

Maybe manufacturers should start posting downloadable uncompressed wave files that can give an idea of what their gears can do.
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bobkatz

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2005, 04:57:15 pm »

RichR wrote on Thu, 29 December 2005 15:47



Colins recommends the NSEQ-2 which is in my price range and did not receive any real negative comments (even though it did not flip Blackwood's switch  Smile ). That makes it a serious contender for the Ibis.




What you also have to consider is if you are looking for neutrality and transparency versus color. The NSEQ-2 is one of the most transparent equalizers  (in solid state mode). Someone equated it to the Weiss and that makes a lot of sense. So in essence, you need at least two EQ's, maybe more.

BK
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RichR

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2005, 07:34:08 pm »

bobkatz wrote on Thu, 29 December 2005 16:57


What you also have to consider is if you are looking for neutrality and transparency versus color. The NSEQ-2 is one of the most transparent equalizers  (in solid state mode). Someone equated it to the Weiss and that makes a lot of sense. So in essence, you need at least two EQ's, maybe more.

BK


I do plan on getting more EQs and compressors but I needed to start with one that I can use on most materials until I can afford to buy more. I guess "neutrality and transparency" is what I should be looking for. Since the NSEQ-2 has a solid-state and a tube mode, that should make it even better for my needs.

Should I be worried about the unbalanced I/Os? I see an option for balanced inputs but I'm not sure if the outputs are included.

BTW, John (Massive Mastering),
I read on another forum that you also have the NSEQ-2. How does it compare to the Ibis in terms of high end and color option?
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David Glasser

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2005, 07:43:46 pm »

There's been a lot of posts lately soliciting opinions of equipment; brand x vs brand y; what are you all using, what should I buy, etc. Man, the only way you'll know what'll work and what you like/dislike is by trying it yourself. Dealers & manufacturers are only too happy to have you audition their stuff. Don't rely on any know-it-all opinions (including [and especially] mine); check it out for yourself.

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David Glasser
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MASSIVE Mastering

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2005, 08:10:38 pm »

RichR wrote on Thu, 29 December 2005 18:34

BTW, John (Massive Mastering), I read on another forum that you also have the NSEQ-2. How does it compare to the Ibis in terms of high end and color option?


More accurately "had" - "on loan" for a while.  Liked it a lot, but slightly preferred the GML in most cases for whatever reason.  Never went head-to-head with the Ibis, but if it means anything, I no longer have a GML...  (YMMV, etc.)
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John Scrip
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Ben F

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2005, 12:07:31 am »

If you already have some fairly transparent digital EQs such as the brilliant Sonics and UAD-1 card, then I would suggest an analogue EQ with some 'colour' in order to add what plug-ins can't offer (yet).

So for this the Massive Passive is an excellent choice. Generally this is combined with a transparent EQ such as the Cranesong for the best of both. For subs, midband and very high frequencies the Massive is beautiful. However, I generally do the very accurate equalization with a Weiss first (or you could use plug-ins), followed an API or Massive, as they are both very broad, and will add some nice harmonics and character if the mix is a bit cold.

It's a good idea to try some high-end analogue in an existing studio first and see whether the sound appeals to you. Some people swear by gear but it may only work for particular styles of music...

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bobkatz

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2005, 12:25:40 am »

RichR wrote on Thu, 29 December 2005 19:34

bobkatz wrote on Thu, 29 December 2005 16:57


What you also have to consider is if you are looking for neutrality and transparency versus color. The NSEQ-2 is one of the most transparent equalizers  (in solid state mode). Someone equated it to the Weiss and that makes a lot of sense. So in essence, you need at least two EQ's, maybe more.

BK


I do plan on getting more EQs and compressors but I needed to start with one that I can use on most materials until I can afford to buy more. I guess "neutrality and transparency" is what I should be looking for. Since the NSEQ-2 has a solid-state and a tube mode, that should make it even better for my needs.

Should I be worried about the unbalanced I/Os? I see an option for balanced inputs but I'm not sure if the outputs are included.





The unbalanced version definitely has "less circuitry". It's the preferred version by the designer (or shall we say, the owner---John LaGrou) himself. As long as you follow the rules and have your power distribution set up right and haven't got extremely long audio runs, unbalanced mode is just fine. After all, even in unbalanced, the box clips at +37 dBu!! If going from a balanced output to the unbalanced NSEQ input you will have to make a special cable. If the source box is a Cranesong, just run it with a regular XLR cable, no worries, just do it, take my word for it.

If it's NOT a cranesong, and it's got an XLR output and it is "Active balanced out", then make a cable pin 2 on the source to pin 2 on the NSEQ input. Pin 1 on the source to pins 1 and 3 on the NSEQ input. Leave Pin 3 on the source floating.

The output of the NSEQ can run with a regular XLR cable into a balanced input just fine.

BK
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2005, 02:48:13 am »

dcollins wrote on Wed, 28 December 2005 21:17

For versatility, I'd definitely go with the NSEQ-2.


bobkatz wrote on Thu, 29 December 2005 15:57

The NSEQ-2 is one of the most transparent equalizers  (in solid state mode).


The Millenia NSEQ-2 is my first choice, the EQ I reach for all day, every day.

Be sure and get the detented "mastering" version for repeatability.
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RichR

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2005, 05:56:09 am »

bobkatz wrote on Fri, 30 December 2005 00:25


The unbalanced version definitely has "less circuitry". It's the preferred version by the designer (or shall we say, the owner---John LaGrou) himself. As long as you follow the rules and have your power distribution set up right and haven't got extremely long audio runs, unbalanced mode is just fine. After all, even in unbalanced, the box clips at +37 dBu!! If going from a balanced output to the unbalanced NSEQ input you will have to make a special cable. If the source box is a Cranesong, just run it with a regular XLR cable, no worries, just do it, take my word for it.

If it's NOT a cranesong, and it's got an XLR output and it is "Active balanced out", then make a cable pin 2 on the source to pin 2 on the NSEQ input. Pin 1 on the source to pins 1 and 3 on the NSEQ input. Leave Pin 3 on the source floating.

The output of the NSEQ can run with a regular XLR cable into a balanced input just fine.

BK


But what if it goes through a patchbay?
Which brings up another question: Are patchbays used in a mastering chain? If not, then do you plug and unplug cables directly in the gears to create your chain?

Ben F,
Interesting way of seeing it, but it's still gonna be difficult to find a color that works for all the different styles of music that I'll be mastering.


Well, it seems that I lost the deal on the Ibis and maybe the STC-8M. The guy who was selling them decided to give the Ibis another try. He never understood why he could not get any results from it when everybody else was raving about it. Then, he saw the red buttons, pushed them in and BOOM! everything fell into place. He told me he never heard anything like it in his whole life. How a "+1 step" button could do that, I have no idea, but that makes me really wanna have one now. This week, he's gonna be playing with the STC-8M. I hope there are no red buttons on that one too.  Uh Oh
Mike, if you're reading this, maybe you could give more details on this experience. Smile
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bobkatz

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2005, 11:00:09 am »

RichR wrote on Fri, 30 December 2005 05:56

bobkatz wrote on Fri, 30 December 2005 00:25




various advice on how to wire bal to unbal with the NSEQ and

BK


But what if it goes through a patchbay?
Which brings up another question: Are patchbays used in a mastering chain? If not, then do you plug and unplug cables directly in the gears to create your chain?




I hate the performance of typical TRS patchbays. If I get any more analog gear I'm going to have to get Crispin's analog patchbay.

Anyway, if it goes into a patchbay, I'd rewire all the active balanced sources that cannot take shorting pin 3 to unbalanced, pin 3 float, with ground tied to both ring and sleeve of the patchbay. Essentially, an unbalanced patchbay. TS plugs would work as well. The only other alternative is to use the balanced option of the NSEQ.

A patchbay certainly makes it more complicated, and no one has yet shown me any advantages of using balanced gear in a small masteirng situation with small, controlled loop area. In many cases, it's noisier, you go through more electronics, and the transparency goes down, often very subtly. I've done the matched level A/B comparisons.

BK
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Ed Littman

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2005, 11:54:10 am »

RichR wrote on Fri, 30 December 2005 05:56


Then, he saw the red buttons, pushed them in and BOOM! everything fell into place. He told me he never heard anything like it in his whole life. How a "+1 step" button could do that,


I always thought those buttons would be put to better use if there were bypass switches. i'll play with them more, maybe i'm missing something too.
Ed
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jfrigo

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2005, 01:16:46 pm »

On the subject of NSEQ-2 vs. Ibis, the NSEQ-2 was my first choice among many I tried. I use it on nearly every session and have never been disappointed. You can put a different set of tubes in the NSEQ-2 if you want some more flexibility in sound. The Ibis was OK, but not as exciting as I had hoped, and a little odd ergonomically. That's just my take on the subject.
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RichR

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Re: The most versatile analog EQ & Compressor?
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2005, 02:59:18 pm »

Wow! the patchbay DID complicate things a bit for me. I don't think I wanna go there. I will have to decide to chain them together and bypass the ones I'm not using, or pick the balanced NSEQ-2.


Guys,
Thanks for helping a disciple. Thumbs Up

I sincerely think that offering your knowledge and experiences to the up and coming engineers (especially the home studio ones) will make them better and subsequently bring new hope in the recording industry.
From saying “this gear is better because of such and such reason” to “don’t listen to us, go and listen for yourself”, you’re giving useful advice either way because it gives us a glimpse in the mind of a professional and experienced engineer.
A perfect example is the debate of “analogue versus digital”. Both sides have valid points but, in the beginning, I would never have known that the harshness I was hearing in my recordings came from the digital processing or bad plugins. From that point, I knew what to look for and what to do in order to achieve my goal or get closer to it.

Sorry for the long-winded post. It’s just that I’m not sure that most people understand the value of these forums. I think they can replace (in part) the studios where an apprentice could learn from a professional. You could not fit the sheer number of us in the few studios there are now. Smile
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