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Author Topic: Sonic Farm Creamliner  (Read 4222 times)

Michael Hynes

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Sonic Farm Creamliner
« on: July 09, 2014, 07:59:43 am »

(I've Posted this on the other forums but I like this box so much I wanted to share)
I wanted to share my experience with the Sonic Farm CreamLiner as a Mastering Processor. I just purchased this box after doing about 10 projects on it and I found that my masters came together in less time and much closer to my sonic ideal. This preamp has both triode and pentode modes and Cinemag transformers that are hundred percent iron content.
The Tube compliment is EF86 based and in addition there is a very interesting inductor based simple EQ circuit. In triode mode (which is what I feel is most appropriate to the MASTERING craft) subtle even order harmonics are produced and create a type of coloration that enhances the program without adverse effects on the stereo field. The subjective effect is of more space between elements in the mix while creating more excitement and lushness. The unit has a Fat and Air switch for each channel that brings the EQ into play. These controls are limited but produce the function of a very high quality loudness button.
I find the Eq on the Creamliner achieving some of what I purchased the Dangerous Bax for but with a sonic signature that is more pleasing to my ears.
The Air switch has 1 and 2 setting that brings a shelf of I believe 7k into circuit with 2 boost levels. The Fat Switch is the same but is a low shelf that starts in the low midrange. (Both shelves feel quite gentle in slope.)The boost levels can be changed with a small hex wrench but the default settings have proved useful in the lowest position on the majority of material lately.
I did an experiment and added the Creamliner to my chain in Triode mode with some gain boost + Iron, Fat 1 and Air 1 during a attended session and my client almost spit out his Latte. The project which was cut on midrange home studio gear became much more expensive sounding immediately. I now have the Creamliner in my chain 95% of all projects as it has become an indispensable part of my workflow. The bottom line is that this preamp
is a very useful tool for making better sounding masters and is a relatively inexpensive upgrade considering the sonic benefits.
I will post more when I have more time but suffice to say this is one of those
pieces of gear that make our job as Mastering Engineers more enjoyable.
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djwaudio

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Re: Sonic Farm Creamliner
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2014, 11:55:18 am »

Thanks for the review, Michael!
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Respectfully submitted,

Dana J White
Specialized Mastering
www.specializedmastering.com

Michael Hynes

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Re: Sonic Farm Creamliner
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 11:21:47 pm »

My pleasure Dana...
This is a special box!
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Twerk

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Re: Sonic Farm Creamliner
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2014, 09:45:37 pm »

Would love to hear some A/B's if you get a chance.
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Twerk

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Re: Sonic Farm Creamliner
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2014, 04:51:22 am »

*tumbleweeds*
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Randyman...

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Re: Sonic Farm Creamliner
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2014, 07:55:10 pm »

Does anyone have experience how this compares to the Mic Pre version (Creamer Plus) that has the 1:1 Line input mode?  How much more drastic is the tube coloration of the Creamer Plus version for subtle mix bus sweetening?  Any other points to consider between the two? (I obviously want access to preamps for tracking, and mix bus would be a nice fringe benefit)

Thanks!
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Randy Visentine
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Hermetech Mastering

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Re: Sonic Farm Creamliner
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2014, 12:24:54 pm »

From this page:

http://sonicfarm.com/sonic-farm-pro-audio-news/introducing-the-creamliner/

"After first tests at live shows, we have changed the tube bias in pentode mode to have fewer harmonics than the Creamer. (Creamer will not have this change as people like how it sounds) The result is a warmer and somewhat “glued” stereo image, with a noticeable improvement on the smoothness of high end, something that is typically an issue with digital boards. We have already tested prototypes at live shows as well as with some professional mastering facilities, and the response has been more than encouraging."

So it appears that the Creamliner is more subtle than the Creamer in pentode mode? Looks like a cool box for sure!

Randyman...

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Re: Sonic Farm Creamliner
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2014, 07:06:31 pm »

Their website is very informative indeed!

So the Creamer Plus might be better suited for drum bus than mix bus?  Or on other subgroups that need some hair?

I guess I'm wondering how drastic the difference is between the two (Creamliner vs. Creamer Plus w/Preamps + 1:1 mode) for mix bus duties?  I tend to like a bit of color and character on my mixes - so the Creamer Plus might fit the bill as a nice preamp and mix Bus sweetener.  Or is it just too colorful and jivy for such a task?

I already have a nice assortment of pre's, but if it can pull off top-shelf performance as both Preamp and Mix Bus Sweetener, it might have a spot in my rack.  I'm not interested in the Creamliner w/o preamps as cost to performance in my workflow is a bit out of my budget (can't justify the cost).

Thanks for any further reports from the field :)
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Randy Visentine
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Michael Hynes

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Re: Sonic Farm Creamliner
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2014, 10:36:48 am »

Sorry for the Radio silence! I have been pinned with work all summer..
I will do samples maybe in a week or so. The Creamliner is used on about 80% of Gigs so far
and I am quite enjoying her in my chain. I find that the triode position with conservative gain in transformerless
mode is the most useful on  program thus far. Overall a great purchase!
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