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Author Topic: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR  (Read 46685 times)

compasspnt

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STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« on: February 12, 2005, 02:12:27 am »

I thought it might be interesting to see what oddball pieces of gear people are using, or have used at one time.  Everybody has, or knows about, all the standard Lexicons, AMS's, Drawmers, and so on, but what about the little one-off pieces that can make things a bit different?

I will start by mentioning a few I have, that can really come in handy at times:


•LOFT 450-An analogue, bucket brigade delay/modulation device that is very cool on electric guitars.  Made in probably the late 70's-early 80's.  I have two, and used one this week.

•ROLAND SDD-320 DIMENSION-D-I guess lots of people may know about this device, but if not, there is no smoother chorus/phase sound around.  Sometimes subtle, but in the right place, the best.

•ROLAND SPH-323 PHASE SHIFTER-Companion to the Dim-D.  Great phasing!

•CASTLE PHASER-One of the wildest, coolest phasers ever!  Stereo unit, or you can chain the A out into the B in for double phase.  Very rare, I think.  I just used mine tonight.  From about '82-83.

Best to all,

Terry
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RMoore

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2005, 09:28:41 am »

I worked with a guitar player who had a Trucker analog delay box - that thing was INSANE, it could self oscillate in the most over the top but musical way...it was an amazing unit.
Must have been made in the70's..
I guess bucket brigade cuz it was not tape..
he said he'd searched for 15 yrs to find one..
He found another, probably later, rack mount version but it didn't sound nearly the same.
If anyone saw the Legendary Pink Dots live in the early to mid 90;s the Trucker got lots of use for synth-like outer space voyages..
I think it was some handmade product made here in Holland in small numbers,
I;m still looking!
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JGreenslade

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2005, 09:59:21 am »

What about an Eventide Omnipressor with its "Dynamic Reversal" feature? That's a strange piece of kit if ever there was one.

Justin
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jfrigo

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2005, 02:13:43 pm »

I'm using a Gates compressor for bass a lot these days. It's kind of LA-2ish in function and appearance. The Sintefex boxes aren't too widely known, but what a range of sonic options you get from them.
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Barry Hufker

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2005, 02:37:19 pm »

Those old enough to remember the time before digital delay will recall the Cooper Time Cube -- a much cooler name than device.  Prior to bucket brigade and digital delay, running sound through a tube (in this case cardboard (there's quality for you!) would produce a delay.  The tube was folded to lengthen the delay.  It had a speaker at one end and a small microphone at the other.  And that was the 'brillinace" behind this device.  Needless to say there was a profound resonance based on the length of the tube.

Of course not the most bizarre, but one of the "golden oldies" of signal processing is the "stairway echo chamber."  Place the speaker at the top of a stairway spanning several floors.  Put a stereo pair of mikes at the bottom.  Send in the audio, grab it with the mikes and voila! -- echo chamber.
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compasspnt

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2005, 04:15:33 pm »

Barry Hufker wrote on Sat, 12 February 2005 14:37

... the Cooper Time Cube -- a much cooler name than device.  Prior to bucket brigade and digital delay, running sound through a tube (in this case cardboard (there's quality for you!) would produce a delay.  The tube was folded to lengthen the delay.  It had a speaker at one end and a small microphone at the other.  And that was the 'brilliance" behind this device.  Needless to say there was a profound resonance based on the length of the tube....


What a beast this thing was!  I think you got all of maybe 19 ms of delay on a humid day, and the worst mid-range resonance you ever heard!  Stax had one, and we'd try to use it, but it was neither nice nor easy.
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compasspnt

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2005, 04:17:03 pm »

And how about the Quantec Room Simulator?  Digital Reverb at its finest!  (not)
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Bill Mueller

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2005, 06:01:44 pm »

The Marshall Time Modulator!

One of the first analog bucket brigade devices, created by Steve Marshal (Steve StCroix if you read MIX). This machine could create THE most amazing flanging I have ever heard. Never heard anything come close since.

Steve was also involved with the Quantec Room Simulator.

Best Regards,

Bill
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McAllister

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2005, 12:58:07 am »

I used to have an Eventide Omnipressor, but it never made me, or any engineer I worked with, all that happy. And I had it checked by a tech, too.

Anyway, it went on eBay.

I have a MasterRoom spring reverb that I love and some Decca mic pres. Probably the weirdest thing I've got is a Sound Master TA-2400 reverb. Made for home stereo entheusiasts that wanted to add reverb to everything they had. Sounds killer & unlike anything I've ever heard. Definitely not for everything, but great.

- - -

Of course, I'm not in y'all's league, so dismiss my ramblings if need be.

M
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compasspnt

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2005, 01:12:34 am »

McAllister wrote on Sun, 13 February 2005 00:58


Of course, I'm not in y'all's league, so dismiss my ramblings if need be.

M


OK, you are dismissed....no, only kidding!

Thanks for those!

I had heard that the Master Room spring was good.

That reminded me of another of my favourites, The Great British Spring reverb.  I have two of them.  They are about 4 feet long, made of gray PVC tubing, and have four long springs inside each.  Sound great on guitars, vocals, keys, lots of things, except for percussion/drums ("boing!")
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McAllister

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2005, 01:27:10 am »

Well, the MasterRoom is an odd duck. About 4 feet tall. An ugly, real-fake-wood housing conceals 2 springs of different lengths. Mono in; stereo out (one for each spring).

There is also a Tone knob, but I haven't moved it in over a year, so. . .

In a word: creamy.

M
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zmix

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Trine "The Pipe" stereo phase flanger.
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2005, 01:30:10 pm »

There was a device made in the late 1970s by a company called Trine. It was offered as a kit and advertised in the back of some electronics magazine. They called it "The Pipe stereo Phase-Flanger" and it had two potted modules, possibly containing arrays of inductors and capacitors, and was said to provide 7200 degrees of phase shift. They had a flexi-disk demonstrating the device on a marching band recording. Fantastic.


Certainly the most obscure piece I've seen.

PLEASE: if anyone has one or knows of it, please let me know!!

-CZ

cgc

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2005, 02:51:46 pm »

McAllister wrote on Sun, 13 February 2005 00:27

Well, the MasterRoom is an odd duck. About 4 feet tall. An ugly, real-fake-wood housing conceals 2 springs of different lengths. Mono in; stereo out (one for each spring).

There is also a Tone knob, but I haven't moved it in over a year, so. . .

In a word: creamy.



You can find a nice Impulse Response for that here:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~fokkie/IR.htm

My favorite processing device has to be an Emu Modular synth.  I don't think they made more than 100 of these and would be surprised if a quarter of that number are still functioning.  This thing was the typical 60s-70s modular with about 35-40 square feet of panels full of oscillators, filters and dynamics.  It also had a bunch of one off things like a full complement of digital logic modules and the legendary 'divide box'.   The latter took an incoming pulse and multiplied the interval so you got relationships from 1:2 to 1:10 on 10 outputs.  It had 3 banks which could be cascaded for very complex rhythmic patterns.  I've since made reproductions in Max and Supercollider, but there's no comparison to having one sit atop an analog beast.

I also used the modular to do voltage controlled mixing either using MIDI or analog controls.  Since there was no memory for settings beyond pen and paper, each session was mainly about building entirely new and often unpredictable patches.  Needless to say I ran everything, drums, bass, guitar, loops, tapes, even delays and reverbs, through it.  You could just keep cranking voltage into it up into to the several hundred kilohertz range without incident - the beast was damn near bulletproof.
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RMoore

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2005, 03:08:48 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Sun, 13 February 2005 07:12

 
That reminded me of another of my favourites, The Great British Spring reverb.  I have two of them.  They are about 4 feet long, made of gray PVC tubing, and have four long springs inside each.  Sound great on guitars, vocals, keys, lots of things, except for percussion/drums ("boing!")


I was gonna buy one of these, it looked crazy built in a plastic plumbing style pipe..it was giving off 40v shocks so I took it back to the 2cnd hand store, passed on it,  and not much later bought an EMT140 plate for the same amount of dough (+- $400)..

Anyway I thought $400 was too much cash for the GB spring.

I know some other engineers in the UK who love their GB springs.

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People's Republic of Ryan

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By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
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compasspnt

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Re: STRANGE, OTHER-WORLDLY GEAR
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2005, 03:15:54 pm »

Ryan Moore wrote on Sun, 13 February 2005 15:08

compasspnt wrote on Sun, 13 February 2005 07:12

...The Great British Spring reverb....


I was gonna buy one of these, it looked crazy built in a plastic plumbing style pipe..it was giving off 40v shocks so I took it back to the 2cnd hand store, passed on it,  and not much later bought an EMT140 plate for the same amount of dough (+- $400)..

Anyway I thought $400 was too much cash for the GB spring.

I know some other engineers in the UK who love their GB springs.



Sounds like that one needed help.  And your EMT is probably OK reverb...


But if you ever get your hands on a GB Spring, you probably won't let go (unless it does shock you).
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