1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Focusrite Liquid

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Nate Tschetter, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member


    Let's try again..

    Focusrite Liquid

    Seems like the "POD" of mic pres to me...color me skeptical but willing to listen to a unit someone else owns.

    Has anyone at AES checked it out?
  2. Sebatron NYC

    Sebatron NYC Active Member

    ... remember ...
    the sampling rate of Analog equipment is infinity.... :d:

  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    It makes me sad to see a company like Focusrite stoop to products like this and the cheeze platinum series stuff, aiming at the low end of the market (I call it bottomfeeding). I realize that there are a lot of people who simply don't know any better or who just want a rack full of blinking lights and knobs, or most likely can't hear very well who think this stuff is a good thing but I personally wouldn't mind if all the cheap sh*t gear on the planet disappeared in a puff of smoke. Now that would be cool ... hee hee hee, all at the same moment, all the prosumer gear on the planet spontaniously combusts. Ohh, one can only dream. The sound of a million PODs hitting the dumpster all at once would be a beautiful thing.
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Kurt, we think a lot a like! It is indeed a real shame that there is a much bigger market to make profit from crap then there is in real pro audio. And it's only likley to get worse. I thought Focusrite might be on to something until I read the description and saw what color the faceplate was. It then instantly reminded me of all those other boxes they make with the same color. It is possible that it ends up being not what they claim, but a different yet helpful useable tool like I have found the Mic modeler to sometimes be.
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    At the risk of turning this into a “mutual admiration society”, I have to say I am happy to see you here posting. It’s nice to see someone that is interested more in the pro side of things and is not obsessed with the “free lunch” concept. Some people just don’t understand that quality is expensive. Many tell me the music and the performances are the most important aspects and I agree with this but doesn’t the best songwriting and musicianship also deserve the best reproduction possible? Yes, I would much rather hear a good song performed brilliantly but badly recorded than a great recording of a crappy musician singing a lousy song but in the best of situations, a wonderfully recorded performance of a singer like Nat “King” Cole, as in what Bill Putnam did, is IMO the “best”. Better than Viagra..
  6. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    hey Kurt... Are you receiving lots of Viagra Spam also, bud?
  7. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Thanks!. Once again I concur and agree. Oh, And that also goes for all the other stuff you said not directly aimed at me. :c:

    I guess if I knew more about the cheap and/or budget boxes I could offer more help but I am severely limited and challaged in those areas...
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I get requests to review a lot of that stuff. I tried some of it a couple of times but I hate being in a position of having to tell a manufacturer that I don't have anythig good to say regarding a piece they have sent out to me. It's a waste of their time and money and a waste of my time. So I now only request "pro" gear. Sobbish of me? No, considerate.
  9. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member


    Divorced from its emulations, it might make an interesting box. Why oh why must it sound "just like" Vintage box X to be useful? Who cares? I just want something that makes getting good sounds easy.

    I think a lot of these emulation boxes are useful for musos who want quick variety. But the worst thing they do is call it "Marshall" or "Neve" and say its "indistinguishable" from the original. Please. The same technology without emulative names would be less unacceptable.

    I'm still keen to hear it. I hope I can hear it without having some insipid salesdude say "whoa, they nailed the V72!"

    Like, dude...
  10. Hey, This makes sense that Focusrite is now making a box that sounds like everything else... they no longer seem to be able to make stuff that sounds like Focusrite!!! :D :D ;) :p David
  11. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Maybe another company will make something that emulates Focusrite gear, and a few other companies will also hop on the bandwagon and we'll have a whole bunch of stuff that emulates Focusrite.

    Then Focusrite will come up with a box which emulates the equipment which emulates Focusrite gear.
  12. danv1983

    danv1983 Guest

    One Second, doesn't it use convolution though?
    Convolution is some pretty nifty stuff, If it is at all as good as Altiverb or SIR then I expect it to do well.

    I have messed with SIR and some very nice impulses and been impressed with it's ability to sound very close to the real thing. I mean the fact that they are using impluse response technology in and of itself is pretty cool imo, too bad it is bound to have crummy conversion and a substandard pre. If i had the money and reason for something of this nature however, I would take a Sintefex or that new tascam convolution plug over the focusrite any day.
  13. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Well, I finally took a look at their web site and I'm glad I did. It does use convolution but I'm curious how that would work to sample various mic pres. Convolution only works on linear stuff as far as my understanding of it goes. I'm more curious then the other curmudgeons on this board. If I were to try to develop such a product then I would most certainly start with Convolution. Since a pre is not linear but reacts differently at different input levels and content I think it would be quite a task to capture all of it's nuances accurately. I would like to hear it and see what they've done.
  14. danv1983

    danv1983 Guest

    Actually if it is done well, it will respond just like the real thing, just in a digital realm, meaning all the characters of the sound will affect it's reaction, dynamics, timbre etc. I know that the Sintefex does this, this is how it is able to offer things which rely on amplitude such as compression.

    Peace, :p:
  15. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    How would it model things like attack/release times, etc? Those things are time dependant and the generally accepted way to create impulse response is a short burst of broadband.

    I can see it working on "preset values" on compressors to a certain extent, but I don't think it would be able to realistically pull off variable attack/release settings.

    A little off-topic, but personally, I really wish that digital signal processing/emulation would just focus on getting new good sounds, rather than trying to emulate analog gear and coming up to 90% of the way. There's just so many things analog gear gives that would take an infinite attention to detail in digital algorithms to emulate, and on the flip side there are so many things that can only be done in the digital realm, like phase-free EQ for example. Why make one try to sound like the other?

    I know I use a combination of my PODxt and a couple of pre and post EQs to get MY own guitar tone rather tearing my hair out trying to make it sound exactly like vintage amps. Gotten used to it.
  16. by

    by Guest

    Many many years ago I found this Link removed

    I'm not sure how good this is compared to what they're doing today, and at least this author says it's not %100 accurate, but I'd have to say it can be useful to some degree.. for making new sounds..
  17. Mr Funk

    Mr Funk Guest

    I don't think at $3,500 (I think that is the asking price) it is aimed at the lower end of the market!?

    I think if this unit gets close to the sound of the boxes it is copying then it could be a great invention for those who want a variety of tones and can't afford the 80 boxes it is attempting to emulate. Even if it doesn't sound like the real toys, it will surely offer a wide variety of additional colours to the engineer/producer to play with etc? If it does do what it says, to within 90% accuracy, it could be used to find which piece of classic analog kit works with a certain source and then the purist could take out or hire in the original box!!
  18. mjones4th

    mjones4th Active Member

    Lots of good points on this thread. I agree that the liquid would be much less controversial if it were advertized just as a pre/comp with a number of different (generic) flavors. But it would also lose marketing edge in this era of 'if you can't beat 'em, model 'em, or better yet, convolve 'em.'

    Convolution is for linear time invariant systems only. Unfortunately, that's a bit of a paradox. Linear time invariant systems are rare in nature, although more common in man-made systems, specifically those in the digital realm.

    Think about it: A room, hot and humid today, dry and cold tomorrow, will produce two distinct reverbs. And a pre in the room will have two different sounds. Simply because the air affects the travelling sound waves and device components. Step to the left a foot, and the reverb changes. Step to the right a foot.... Stretch the time period far enough, and basically any system varies.

    An analogy would be the study of gravity in the earth's atmosphere. Take out air friction (which they do until sophomore level undergrad physics) and it becomes a LTI system. Add it in, and there is no way to calculate any velocity, acceleration, or position of any object in the earth's atmosphere precisely, on a piece of paper, let alone a stack of college ruled binders full of paper. You can get accurate, on a supercomputer cluster, but not precise.

    Another drawback in Altiverb is that it models reverb characteristics from a point source, a speaker. In a chamber, the cello on that side will experience a different reverb than the viola on the other side. The audio does not originate at a point source.

    Having said that, Altiverb sounds superb.

    I think the technique used in the liquid pre is something akin to sampling the response of the pre at all possible input levels, with all possible knob settings. Which attempts to account for the variance in the response to input level for a given set of parameter values. And including harmonic distortion as a separate variable, which attempts to account for model variance.

    They may get close, They may get astonishingly close. But never will they produce a 100% clone of any piece of gear. No one will ever do that. The staggering amount of variables are entirely too much to overcome, especially at this stage in technological evolution. As technology progresses, its kind of like the logarithmic curve. It will forever approach 0, but never reach it.

    However, close is good for me, mr. no budget. Hell I'm still using and AT-3050 going into OMNI Studio Pres. (liquid's gotta be better than that) And its good for a lot of people. And its good for Audioease's, Focusrite's, Bomb Factory's, and Universal Audio's marketing staffs.

    Times are a changin, for better or worse. I, for one, applaud the efforts of the emulator manufacturers in allowing me to approach a higher quality of sound on a demo budget. There are those who abuse the technology (so did the manhattan project), but as a beginner, I have learned that technique is supreme to tool. I have approximations of the tools, and I am learning the technique. If and/or when the technique I've learned allows me to do this for a living, then I'll buy the proper tools. Until then, I am happy to know that I can have $50,000 in compressors and EQs for $599, and $100,000 in pres for $3500.

  19. by

    by Guest

    I think about the same way as I think of movie effects: If you can't create something realistically, don't even bother showing it, cause it just pisses me off.

    Actually, I could care less about it. But no one asked me so I'll just go jump in a lake. Hey if it's really liquid it won't mind joining me. Put it in it's place. RWAHAHAHA
  20. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    Well, therein kinda lies the rub don't it. But there's something else. What, exactly, defines "cheap $*^t gear" in the first place? I've never been a big fan of modelers or emulators personally, but lemme do the devil's advocate thing here for a minute.

    Let's assume that the Liquid thingy lists at 3500 clams. Alrightee then, that puts it in the same ballpark (price-wise) as:

    - a DW Fearn VT-2 dual tube mic pre (~$3600.00)
    - an Avalon AD2055 (~$3450.00)
    - a Chandler TG1 limiter (~$3600.00)
    - almost anything from EAR, Manley or GML

    Don't hear too many of the pro audio high priesthood pronouncing that lot to be "cheap $*^t gear," so it must not be the price of the box that defines it as "cheap" (and with a price tag of 3500 bucks, I don't see how anyone could possibly consider it "cheap"). Perhaps it's the "all-in-one" aspect. Well, that puts the Liquid in the same boat as stuff like a Manley SLAM and VoxBox, ISA 430 and the like. Again, not exactly the kind of gear one expects to find in the hands of bottom feeders. So perhaps it's not really the combo plate aspect either.

    So what is it? Kurt says quality is expensive and I generally agree with that. But what does a piece of gear have to cost before it's considered "quality?" Why are some multifunction units "quality" and others "cheap $*^t gear?" Again, where's the dividing line between cool and crap? And if all the cheap gear did indeed disappear in a puff of smoke - never to be sold again - how long do you think the venerable gear companies who've added it to their product lists would last selling only to the "pros?"

    It could very well be that many, perhaps even most, of the bottom feeders either can't tell the difference in quality or are just after the blinking light factor. But there's one other crucial aspect to that for some of us on the lower rungs of the audio ladder. It's not necessarily that we can't hear very well or just want a bunch of knobs and blinking lights - it's that we simply can't afford the high dollar items. So what are we to do? Give it up altogether because we can't afford the stuff that gets the high priesthood's stamp of approval? Hell, even many of today's pro's didn't start out buying their own LA's and SLAM's. They had the privelege of interning in someone else's room and gradually working their way up the ladder. Well, from what I've been reading here and elsewhere, that path to audio enlightment is rapidly disappearing. So that doesn't leave us "bottom feeders" who want to improve our chops much choice but to be tarred as the audio equivalent of AOL'ers because we can usually only afford to buy the cheap stuff.

    I'm not saying the proliferation of cheap stuff is good or bad, it just is. It's a response to to market forces that are driving everyone to scramble to make the bottom line. Does it suck? Sure. Reality bites. So does a limited gear budget.

Share This Page