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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => The Acid Test => Topic started by: bushwick on October 29, 2008, 02:36:38 pm

Title: Retro 176
Post by: bushwick on October 29, 2008, 02:36:38 pm
Went out to Boulder, Colorado this past week to make a record with a local fella who's been building up his home studio for the past few years and has put together a pretty darn nice space with some choice gear. I was contacted some time ago to help out with the new record and it seemed like he had most everything needed to make it happen - and he was able to borrow everything he was missing so it seemed like something super fun. Imagine, being twenty minutes outside of Boulder in the Mountains. He flew in Lee Alexander and Diego Voglino to play rhythm and had his other guys play their usual instruments, though I wound up playing acoustic on most of the tracks to help lock the rhythm up. I was very psyched when the amazing guys at Wind Over The Earth offered to let us borrow/demo some things, one of which was the 176. This was my first experience with those guys and I could not believe how nice and accommodating they were. True, the artist has been dealing with them for a long time, but to go as far as they did to help him make this record was eye opening. Also, hats off to Craig Calistro. He was also extremely generous, charging next to nothing to rent some of his personal Furman HDS mixers.

So, regarding the 176, I had a chance to play with this box while I was there since Wind Over let us demo it, and I was very impressed with how versatile and how good this box sounded. It really is capable of shaping the sound and in every mode the sound was stellar. I was limited in how deeply I could focus on it, since I was in a foreign monitoring situation and I wasn't mixing but I tried it on bass and vocals and it is a real winner I'd say. No doubt if I had the cash kickin around I would buy a pair. (I have a line on a pair of EQP1A's that are relatively affordable that I'm saving for so these will have to wait.) All in all, very worth a demo.

As a side note: I brought along an M49, a U67 and the Elam 250 I made and was fretting the security rigamarole, flashing forward to some sort of humiliating body cavity search.  As it worked, the guys at Laguardia, of course, singled me out for the swab machine. Would you guess that my 67 set off the sensors for explosives?!?! Indeed. One of the more learned fellows there asked if it was an old type of microphone, presumably referencing tubes, and said that sometimes they can set off the machine. Anyway, all was well and I carried them on. FYI, a padded soft food cooler makes a great vessel for transporting these types of things. ...The NTSA guy operating the xray machine in Denver was a musician and knew what they were so no hassle on the way home.

Also, the vocal chain was my old M49, into a TAB-Funkenwerk V72s the artist has (very lucky fellow) into the 176. We tried an old blackface 1176 and an old LA3A. The 176 went the furthest to preserve the natural qualities that came through the mic and mic pre, with the 1176 being much more forward the and leaner sounding. The LA3A was similar in tone as was to be expected, but of course, slightly less colored and less agro. Do love an LA3A I do.

Thats about all for now.

Best,
josh
Title: Re: Retro 176
Post by: J.J. Blair on October 29, 2008, 02:53:43 pm
Thanks, Josh!  I really want t play with one of these.  I played with it at Tape Op, but the idiots that set up the demo had already heavily compressed tracks in the PT session, so I could never really tell WTF was going on, since the source was already so compressed.  Duh!
Title: Re: Retro 176
Post by: bushwick on October 29, 2008, 03:06:48 pm
No prob. Glad I could help some... Sort of... Maybe. For what its worth, I am afraid to try the Sta-Level they make since I hate trying things without being able to afford it after I figure out its really neat. I wound up getting stuck buying the EMI Brilliance pack as a result of demoing it! At some point I want to get to the bottom of plug-in mystery to me, in a way that I really understand what is going on with how they are made to work, but suffice to say, I really, really, really dig the brilliance pack. After I tried it, I immediately stopped using the mastering pack since I knew I couldn't afford to spend any more money on this stuff and I was beginning to really like it too.

Sad

Perhaps that is another thread that I should start? Anyway, its super cool and super fun. Maybe thats what I like about it.... Think I'll go buy a lotto ticket today.

josh
Title: Re: Retro 176
Post by: lord fear on October 30, 2008, 01:26:02 am
JJ-

I too can attest to the glorious sound of this box. CLA used one on the lead vocal of that Jack's Mannequin album. Aside from the fact that a good 50% of CLA's vocal sound is him distorting the vocal, the distortion and compression and general hype he was getting from the 176 was a thing to behold. I'm still a huge fan of the UA 176's haven't had a chance to AB let me know when you get around to doing it. I'd love to hear.

Max
Title: Re: Retro 176
Post by: mullard on November 20, 2008, 09:24:46 pm
Good box, but too expensive for what it does.
It exceels on some tasks and pales on another.
Would be great at around 2k $ price.
I wouldn't put it higher than Tube Tech CL1B, LA2A or 1176.
Just different flavor.
Title: Re: Retro 176
Post by: Ross Hogarth on November 20, 2008, 11:29:07 pm
mullard wrote on Thu, 20 November 2008 18:24

Good box, but too expensive for what it does.
It exceels on some tasks and pales on another.
Would be great at around 2k $ price.
I wouldn't put it higher than Tube Tech CL1B, LA2A or 1176.
Just different flavor.


have you had it in the studio and put it through it's paces ?
Title: Re: Retro 176
Post by: Ross Hogarth on November 25, 2008, 09:00:08 pm
mullard wrote on Thu, 20 November 2008 18:24

Good box, but too expensive for what it does.
It exceels on some tasks and pales on another.
Would be great at around 2k $ price.
I wouldn't put it higher than Tube Tech CL1B, LA2A or 1176.
Just different flavor.


again
how do you back up your assertion here ?
Title: Re: Retro 176
Post by: J.J. Blair on November 26, 2008, 02:53:43 am
I have to say, it WOULD be great for $2,000, but knowing what goes into making one of those, I don't see that price being an option.  
Title: Re: Retro 176
Post by: Ross Hogarth on November 29, 2008, 12:59:35 pm
ok
so i had a couple of pieces of gear i was not using
often when people i trust tell me that something is great
i believe them
so
i traded vintage king a couple things that were in racks sleeping
and
got a couple of things i needed plus
ONE that I wanted to try
let me tell you
i have been mixing a song this week and battling the vocal for days
so
when the 176 showed up
it was very timely
in a matter of 15 minutes
i had solved 2 days of scratching my head

this box is the vocal compressor of your dreams
I have been in love with the Inward Connections
and
it still is awesome but
the 176 is a much more controllable device with much more ability
to design your compression

it is so versatile and you are able to tailor the attack/release
the wave form with the asymmetry switch
whether you want it fatter or thinner depending on the interstage gain
i mean this box rules

sorry guys
but
not all things are price related
cheap is cheap sometimes
and great is great
matter what the price
and
the 176 is great

Fucking great !!!
Title: Re: Retro 176
Post by: Roundbadge on December 02, 2008, 12:48:56 am
I'm using using 2 retro 176's on the mix buss.
all's I can say is WOW.
ditched an original LA2a to pay for these.don't miss it.

..
Title: Re: Retro 176
Post by: Roundbadge on December 02, 2008, 12:53:49 am
mullard wrote on Thu, 20 November 2008 18:24

Good box, but too expensive for what it does.
It exceels on some tasks and pales on another.
Would be great at around 2k $ price.
I wouldn't put it higher than Tube Tech CL1B, LA2A or 1176.
Just different flavor.


Worth every cent to me.sounds great on pretty much everything i throw at it.including drums..kick,snare,room mics
I also find since getting them, the TT doesn't get much action anymore..in fact i'm real close to selling off a CL1B too.

..
Title: Re: Retro 176
Post by: bradb on June 08, 2009, 12:26:20 am
Can someone explain the asymmetry function?

I've read the manual and I think I understand what it is doing technically, but need to understand it in practice.

also, is it a 3 position switch?

Title: Re: Retro 176
Post by: bushwick on June 10, 2009, 08:52:45 pm
I finally have one of these at the studio. I indeed love it. Would like another one or two. . .

As for the asymmetry switch that you asked about Brad, in the middle position it compresses the waveform like a normal compressor (that is, both sides of a sine wave are compressed alike. The asymmetry switch allows for compression of either half of the waveform. If you picture a a sine wave you can squash just the top or bottom of the signal leaving the other half unaffected. It has a profound affect on the tone and you will appreciate the flexibility. And thumbs up for the HPF sidechain.

josh