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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Brad Blackwood => Topic started by: ericjenson on September 21, 2006, 12:56:58 am

Title: upgrading
Post by: ericjenson on September 21, 2006, 12:56:58 am
ok, i know this has been gone over and over and over again..
but,

i have recently acquired the budget(finally) to upgrade my setup and i want to concentrate on adding an analog signal chain to my options.

i've already settled on a Vari-mu, (need i say which brand?)
the HEDD 192,

i'm still not quite sure about the monitors but getting close.(any pointers welcome, but i've been thinking mostly on this aspect as a matter of personal preferance, keeping industry standards in mind, anything would be better then what i've got now, regardless, i'm leaning towards Dynaudio's, since i've been listening to them extensively both at Mars Music and friends studios)amps the same.

my main concerns:

a good, sturdy EQ box,(now of course when i was talking to the rep from Manley about the Vari-mu he also pushed the massive passive on me), but i'd like to hear about some good alternatives before i take his word for it.  FWIW i've heard one and i like 'em, but are there any cons to this unit someone could point out that might help my decision?

and power conditioning:
how important is this and are there any recommendations as to what specs i should pay attention to, or is it even needed?

i've already heard some opinions from friends of mine that run studios, but i need to hear some input from more seasoned MEs.

so, to summarize,
a sturdy, sweet EQ Rack(between 3-6,000$) and power conditioning(if needed).

TIA for any feed back on this.

>I'm sure it's going to be just as much fun learning to use these newly acquired gadgets as it was picking them out.
I'm a little intimidated, but what the hell? Twisted Evil
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: present on September 21, 2006, 04:16:59 am
Eric,
before all hell breaks loose ('You gotta have a Sontec, B&W's, Dunlavy's, Questeds, etc)

I just want to wish you good luck.
Brave move, man

regards
Rogier
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: ammitsboel on September 21, 2006, 06:23:36 am
Eric, what are you into.
Caps, coils, sand or glass?
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: carlsaff on September 21, 2006, 06:29:53 am
Thought I'd chime in as a recent Massive Passive owner. I've had mine only a month and I can already see that it's never leaving.

That said, it could never be my only mastering EQ. You'll want another precision analog EQ to complement it or good in the box alternative (Algorithmix, Universal Audio, PSP, Voxengo, etc.). Staying in the box for precision stuff is my route for now, and perhaps it always will be. There are such great choices for that stuff in the plugin world these days. But nothing in the plugin realm can touch the Massive Passive for color and beautiful midrange, and that's one reason why I chose it as my first analog EQ. However, there are other colorful analog EQs out there -- API 550Ms or the Crane Song Ibis, for example (both possible next purchases for me).

My two cents... enjoy building that analog chain! Mine is only two devices long and a few months old, but the investment has been worth every penny. Analog still brings things to the table that software just can't (yet).
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: bblackwood on September 21, 2006, 06:58:56 am
IME, putting together an analog chain is way more than just picking out devices that you like, they need to work well together in your chain. I suggest searching through this forum (tons of posts on what kinds of gear people like) and spending time trying out diff boxes. For example, you've already got your mind set on the Manley compressor, but have you heard the Pendulum 6386 (which actually uses a 6383 tube)?

Remember, your chain (and it's tone) will be your 'sound' - don't pick stuff willy-nilly because it's what people are talking about.
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: ericjenson on September 21, 2006, 10:11:44 am
bblackwood wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 05:58

IME, putting together an analog chain is way more than just picking out devices that you like, they need to work well together in your chain. I suggest searching through this forum (tons of posts on what kinds of gear people like) and spending time trying out diff boxes. For example, you've already got your mind set on the Manley compressor, but have you heard the Pendulum 6386 (which actually uses a 6383 tube)?

Remember, your chain (and it's tone) will be your 'sound' - don't pick stuff willy-nilly because it's what people are talking about.


thx for the advice, this is going to take longer than i thought; but in the end i know it will be worth it. Smile
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: Gold on September 21, 2006, 10:17:50 am
bblackwood wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 06:58


Remember, your chain (and it's tone) will be your 'sound' -


Very important. Go slowly. Add one thing at a time. After a while you'll realize you have trouble getting a certain sound. Then add something to do that and hopefully some more. The chain has to sound good with everything you use inline.

I'm stuggling right now with adding an old piece of junk. Parts of it sound fabulous but one part doesn't. I'll work on it until either I find a solution or give up. I have given up on other stuff that I just couldn't knock into shape or weren't worth keeping in the chain. Don't be swayed by others. You need context.
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: carlsaff on September 21, 2006, 10:21:19 am
Brad and Paul are right. Thankfully, there are places like Vintage King that allow you to demo units. I highly recommend them, tho there are others that do the same. I had the Massive Passive in as a demo, but was sure I wanted it after one job.

My STC-8, on the other hand, I just grabbed because the price and timing were right -- no chance for a demo. (But not surprisingly, I love it, too, and it's not leaving either.)
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: Ged Leitch on September 21, 2006, 12:18:44 pm
I know DC recommends these monitors and I've heard them too at our rec studio, they sound great>>> the Quested H 108's

or the Quested 2108's!

They arent all that expensive compared to other popular monitors.

They 2108's we used to mix on at the studio, they translated very very well!
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: dave-G on September 21, 2006, 12:40:14 pm
ericjenson wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 00:56

i have recently acquired the budget(finally) to upgrade my setup


Start by getting yourself a freaking shirt!!!   That avatar is making me want to bring you my Goodwill donation pile

index.php/fa/3502/0/

-dave
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: ericjenson on September 21, 2006, 01:09:35 pm
dave-G wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 11:40

ericjenson wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 00:56

i have recently acquired the budget(finally) to upgrade my setup


Start by getting yourself a freaking shirt!!!   That avatar is making me want to bring you my Goodwill donation pile

index.php/fa/3502/0/

-dave

LMAO! Laughing

i master records topless, dontcha know? Shocked j/k

that pic is 5 years old, just me chillin at home.

nice job with the photoshop.

i guess i should "upgrade" my avatar for starters , yes?

all hilarity aside, thx everyone for the input. i need to slow down, demo some units, and build this gradually.
can you blame me for being eager tho?
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: compasspnt on September 21, 2006, 01:55:55 pm
Eric,

Do not overlook the EAR Mastering EQ.  Not that well known, but Tim's stuff is absolutely first rate.  The few who have them would not ever let them go.

http://mercenary.com/ear825dualma.html

Also, I use the 823's often in a mastering chain, and whilst they are obviously not for everything, they are beautiful in the right place, especiallky on things tracked and mixed all digital.

Then there is the Prism/Maselec EQ, but personally I've never heard it.

I have a Mas/Pas, and it is very good for generalisation EQ.  You would not regret having that.

Good luck.
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on September 21, 2006, 03:31:47 pm

Unless you have something else, I wouldn't go for the V-Mu as my only comp.

I'd start with more of an all arounder, perhaps an SSL.

bab
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: ericjenson on September 22, 2006, 09:46:53 am
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 14:31


Unless you have something else, I wouldn't go for the V-Mu as my only comp.

I'd start with more of an all arounder, perhaps an SSL.

bab


Xlogic G Series?

looks nice, has quite a reputation.
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on September 22, 2006, 11:10:15 am
ericjenson wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 07:46

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 14:31


Unless you have something else, I wouldn't go for the V-Mu as my only comp.

I'd start with more of an all arounder, perhaps an SSL.

bab


Xlogic G Series?

looks nice, has quite a reputation.


Yes, it is quite popular. One thing though is that it cannot be run in Dual Mono (pretty sure, best check). On the other hand the V-mu doesn't have an accesible side chain, but you can get an HP mod for that.

I understand that back in the day people used 1178's. Is this still a viable mastering comp?

And I do believe the Requisite (LM2?) is also first rate box, mono/link, unusual HP in the side chain.

bab
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: ericjenson on September 22, 2006, 05:27:16 pm
http://www.solid-state-logic.com/music/xlogic_gseries.html

it says stereo compressor, and i'm interested.(i'll have to call them even tho i'm a bit turned off when it comes to dealing with these reps)

i've also got Waves offering a discount to go with their
DX plug modeled after this device, which i wasn't even aware of.

but like i said, i am attempting to add the best of analog options to my arsenal.(chain)

i really would like to keep it simple, and leave the colourful, esoteric stuff for later, i'm looking for sturdy functionality in an unapologizingly capitalistic sense, i suppose..

like i said , my main concerns are these power cleaning devices everyone seems to be selling, but more importantly, a sturdy Rack EQ with good sound, and compressor.

the compressor part really has me thinking:
do i need to go with this "liquid butter" sound everyone's saying i can get from a Vari-Mu, or more utilitarian at first, with this intriguing Xlogic Series?

i guess utilization comes first, i'll have to refamiliarize myself with these devices since i haven't played with them since my mixing days..

it's gonna be fun, either way, i suppose.. Smile


Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: compasspnt on September 22, 2006, 07:03:59 pm
ericjenson wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 17:27


...it's gonna be fun, either way, i suppose...



Or painful...
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: present on September 23, 2006, 08:49:38 am
compasspnt wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 01:03

ericjenson wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 17:27


...it's gonna be fun, either way, i suppose...



Or painful...



..or both, in a Clive Barker kind of way.
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: Andy Krehm on September 23, 2006, 10:07:40 am
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 11:10

ericjenson wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 07:46

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 14:31


Unless you have something else, I wouldn't go for the V-Mu as my only comp.

I'd start with more of an all arounder, perhaps an SSL.

bab


Xlogic G Series?

looks nice, has quite a reputation.


Yes, it is quite popular. One thing though is that it cannot be run in Dual Mono (pretty sure, best check). On the other hand the V-mu doesn't have an accesible side chain, but you can get an HP mod for that.

I understand that back in the day people used 1178's. Is this still a viable mastering comp?

And I do believe the Requisite (LM2?) is also first rate box, mono/link, unusual HP in the side chain.

bab


I have both the Requisite (L2M MK2) & the Manley Vari-Mu and honestly don't know which I would chose if I had to ditch one. They really compliment each other.

The L2M has a mono/link switch but I'm not sure what's unusual about the HP in the side chain. Can you elaborate? To be honest, I rarely engage it as a full-bandwidth compressor but mostly use it for gain and sometimes light compression with the HP fully engaged.

As for the Vari-Mu, I finally got some mods. The HP SC is really useful and is subtly effective in allowing more bottom end through whereas the L2M is a lot heavier when engaging the full bandwidth compression. However the latter is fully variable which gives it an advantage over the Manley.

The Manley Vari-Mu T-Bar mod was a relatively huge change in performance. Suddenly the unit sounded smoother  and less harsh than before but harsh is a word that  never  ever would have come to mind in the four plus years I've had it! I had to do a recall on a master done before the mod and was quite surprised at the difference.

Also the gain staging is totally different. You have to feed it  a hotter signal to get the compression going. All in all, I'm glad had it done but when the sonics  change this much b/c of a mod, it could have easily been a bummer!

Reminds me of the time (years ago) when the Drawmer 1960 and 1961 were my only outboard tube mastering pieces. I heard about a tech guy doing mods on the 1961 and thought if it's available, the mod must make it better. I had it done for $700., got the unit back and hated it. He had turned a "warm", musical sounding unit into something sounding clean and clinical. I A/B-ed it with an original unit at a local music store and it was also very obvious to everyone there. I took it back and he put it back. The lesson learned was that one shouldn't jump into mods without careful research!

Before going ahead with the Manley mods, I quizzed Paul the Whiz at Manley for a description of each and the reason for them plus noted a lot of positive webboard posts and not one negative which is why I jumped in.

Also another thought about the SSL unit recommended. I do see the odd one as well as the Alan Smart unit (apparently a sound-alike) on mastering gear lists but they are totally outnumbered by Vari-Mu's and other compressors so if just chosing one, I wouldn't be considering one at this point in time.

For several years, the Vari-Mu was my only analog compressor and I still think it was a good choice.

Andy,

Silverbirch Productions,

www.silverbirchprod.com
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 23, 2006, 10:45:46 am
Andy Krehm wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 09:07

For several years, the Vari-Mu was my only analog compressor and I still think it was a good choice.


Same here Andy.  

I've been very "vocal" about my amorous feelings for our stock Manley Vari-Mu comps, still the only analog compressors in our facility. I'll spare the forum from repeating myself for the 100th time.

May add some other compressors at some point, for a different flava.

JT
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: ericjenson on September 23, 2006, 11:49:53 am
most of these manufacturers or dealers, from what i understand, will let you demo their products for a specified amount of time with some kind of deposit right?

cause it looks like that's the only way i'm gonna be satisfied when i'm finally done building my chain; knowing that i've tried out several units.

does anyone know of good dealers, who have this policy, that also carry a wide selection, or is this mainly done thru the manufacturers?(i suppose that's a question i can ask them myself, but i would appreciate some pointers in the right direction)

i feel like a n00b all over again. Smile
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: carlsaff on September 23, 2006, 12:46:09 pm
ericjenson wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 10:49

most of these manufacturers or dealers, from what i understand, will let you demo their products for a specified amount of time with some kind of deposit right?

carlsaff wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 09:21

Thankfully, there are places like Vintage King that allow you to demo units.

Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: Bob Olhsson on September 23, 2006, 01:33:41 pm
compasspnt wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 12:55

Do not overlook the EAR Mastering EQ.  Not that well known...
In other words not sold at banjo centre...
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: ericjenson on September 23, 2006, 02:21:04 pm
carlsaff wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 11:46

ericjenson wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 10:49

most of these manufacturers or dealers, from what i understand, will let you demo their products for a specified amount of time with some kind of deposit right?

carlsaff wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 09:21

Thankfully, there are places like Vintage King that allow you to demo units.




yes, i've been checkin them out, i didn't miss your original post. Smile
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: compasspnt on September 23, 2006, 03:10:27 pm
Bob Olhsson wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 13:33

compasspnt wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 12:55

Do not overlook the EAR Mastering EQ.  Not that well known...

In other words not sold at banjo centre...



Boy, you got that right!  Never seen any of Tim's gear at G...Banjo Centre!

By the way, two of the EAR 660 compressor/limiters linked are a GREAT mastering tool.  But If you got his stereo 825 EQ and two of the 660's, you're already at $20k and you'd still probably need another type of compressor, at least.  Then add two 822Q's and that's $7500 more.

But I'd seriously recommend doing it.

With one possible exception, this is the best audio gear being manufactured today.
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: ammitsboel on September 23, 2006, 04:11:53 pm
You can also call Tim and have him to do a solid state version of those two. In his opinion it should sound exactly the same as with valves. He only do valve designs because it sells better(according to him).

He sounds like a very funny guy.

H
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: mcsnare on September 23, 2006, 09:32:39 pm
Fascinating. I read an interview with him years ago and he sounds like a real character. Those 660's are THE BOMB.
Dave
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: Sarusan on September 25, 2006, 11:49:10 pm
If you get Dynaudios, go for the unpowered ones.  They sound FAR more natural.

Steven
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: Noah Mintz on September 25, 2006, 11:53:34 pm
we still have a Maslec/Prism Mastering Compressor for sale. Under $3K
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: Bob Boyd on September 26, 2006, 12:33:05 am
There are a lot of great compressors to try out but if you're serious about trying the SSL compressor, give the Alan Smart C2 a spin too.  It's got the SSL stamp with more ratios and less color (or at least a color I thought I could get by with more often.)  On the right material, 1.5:1 can sound great on this box.

They also come detented standard which makes it far more mastering friendly.
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on September 26, 2006, 11:26:52 am
Andy Krehm wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 08:07



...
The L2M has a mono/link switch but I'm not sure what's unusual about the HP in the side chain. Can you elaborate? ...

Andy,

Silverbirch Productions,

www.silverbirchprod.com



There's really nothing to elaborate on here Andy. All I meant about the HP/SC in the L2M was that it is adjustable, which makes it unusual compared to the V-Mu, which is either In or Out. Sorry, no big deal. Danny at Requisite explained it to me one time but as I don't own the box, forgot.

bab

Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: compasspnt on October 16, 2008, 06:14:44 pm
Good Lord!

The EAR 825 Mastering EQ is now selling for $13.5k.

I guess the $ >
Title: Re: upgrading
Post by: Al├ęcio Costa - Brazil on October 16, 2008, 07:15:49 pm
Compressors?
I am almost picking a second OCL2, which is to be used for mastering (60%) and tracking (40%).