Lavry AD11 Review

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by audiokid, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I had the pleasure of using the new Lavry AD11 this week. Its their new stereo USB, AD converter/preamp combo which is an addition to their stellar Black series.
    I need something simple but top quality for recording classical and/or accoustic music that would interface with my audio laptop. Lavry is known for quality and stability so this was my obvious choice to look since this was also USB and will plug right into my laptop. Its exactly what I need.

    In the past I have been using RME Fireface 800 but their preamps are very poor and I didn't need all those extra channels. I'd rather put my money into something with less bells and whistle that gave me more in quality.

    I need something ROCK SOLID and of serious quality because I record our City Choir Festival Competitions each year. The choirs are adjudicated and if picked, will go onto the Nationals. The tracks have to be pristine accurate and one take, no mistakes. Its a do or die.

    Well... was this ever the ticket. Talk about simple. All I needed to get this going was the free universal ASIO4ALL driver and it worked flawlessly with the AD11 and my laptop. It took me no more than the time it takes to lift and point a Royer SF24 up on a center stand, run two 100 ft cables to the control room, plug the cable into the AD11, plug the USB into the Laptop, turn it all on, load Sequoia 11 and press record. Like 45 min and I was recording high end Lavry!

    I had 100% confidence and they never let me down. I recorded everything at 88.2 without a glitch.
    The sound quality and ease of this setup was superior to everything I have used in the past. The converters are open, smooth and very accurate, PLUS, the built-in preamps are just excellent! A step way up from the FF800 and comparible to high end onces I have in my studio. They had no problem handling my Royer SF24 ribbon. I had plenty of headroom.

    This is not only the best 2 track high end mobile recording product I've found, they are also ideal for music restoration and mastering.

    For those who know me, I research things to death.
    I only rave about stuff I personally use on recording.org. After using the AD11 for this project, I highly recommend this product and for that matter, all the Blacks. I own the entire series.
    Lavry banners are more than welcome to fly here! Thanks Lavry, great support and a stellar product.



    For those interested I have updated this post with 3 short audio clips for the curious.

    NOTE: This was a provincial competition with strict rules. Festival Rules: raw tracks. no mastering, no added room effects etc.
    This is one stereo mic pointed into the center of the choir. The piano was over in the corner of the hall on the floor.

    Clips

    1. Choir-Lavry-AD11-Royer-SF24-Clip by audiokid on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
    2. Choir-Lavry-AD11-Royer-SF24-clip2 by audiokid on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
    3. Choir-Lavry-AD11-Royer-SF24-clip3 by audiokid on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
     
  2. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Thanks audiokid for posting your review, looks sweet! I'll be waiting to hear your audio clips.
     
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I'd be curious to hear different recordings. The ones you posted are fine, but they don't let the mic, preamp, or AD shine at all. The a capella ladies' chorus (example #2) is the best to hear what's going on, but the room (early reflections) muddy things up in the 2K region. In examples 1 and 3, the piano sounds distant and muddy and there's one alto that's sticking out like a sore thumb.

    It doesn't sound like that's anything to do with any of the equipment or likely nothing to do with how it was setup, just a factor of the ensemble, plus the instrument plus the room.

    I wonder - are you doing any recordings in a concert hall with a similar group (or an orchestra) with this gear anytime soon? I'd be very interested in hearing that.

    J
     
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Fireface 800 vs Lavry AD11

    To clarify... As mentioned in the OP:
    This is not a mixing contest nor am I posting these to be scrutinized on how good I am, the room, the talent or what I could have done better, or to start tossing in other scenario's. It is what it is, a review about the AD11 and some pretty descent groups to show how this combo sounds in real life. :)
    This 4th post now adds short clips of a live recording of the same choir in the same hall two years in a row. Its a very un technical comparison between the RME FF800 and the Lavry AD11.

    enjoy.
    -------------------------

    I used one stereo Royer SF-24 ribbon mic (Blumlein) pointed into the center of the choirs connected to a converter/micpre combo ( that's it).
    There are strict rules I have to follow in these competition which are: no electronic alterations, reverb , autotune processing etc.. I did however eq very slightly by pulling out a lower mid standing wave and added a slight lift in the high end to help overcome the notorious middy sound of halls like this.
    I normalized the tracks to -1 dBFS and burnt the CD's. Raw, no BS recordings plain and simple. The clips were bounced to MP3 and uploaded to soundcloud.

    I used very similar EQ setting both years. The standing waves do not change.

    I though it would be interesting to toss in last year now using a Fireface 800 this time.

    This should give you an idea on what a simple set-up like this is capable of sounding like in your studio or mobile rig. I know this isn't a truly accurate shootout/comparison, but it is a comparison never the less and not hard to hear there is a clear difference between the FF800 and the AD11 converter/micpre combos from this.
    I listen to the openness, not the song. The FF800 is a very cool system but its not as sweet and open as the Lavry. If you don't hear that, IMHO, your room and/or monitors suffer. Whether this warrants the investment is up to you but if you are like me, and only need 2 tracks of pristine sound quality, man is this a nice set-up

    If you are looking for a rig like this, I hope these sort clips help you in your decisions. Plain and simple was my focus here. And simple it was :) 45 min from the time I got out of my truck to rolling.

    Fireface 800 vs AD11

    I recorded the same choir (different song) for the exact same competition in the same hall. My mic was the same ( Royer SF24 Ribbon) but placed about 3 ft further back and 1 foot higher last year. I was 44.1/24 last year and 88.2/24 this year. The piano was placed in the same spot as last year. I did compare the AD11 from 44.1 vs 88.2 and didn't really hear any difference but I still chose that because I was shooting for the highest quality. Last year was my first time with this competition so I worried about crashing and kept it at 44.1.


    Clips:

    Choir 1- 2011 - (Fireface 800, Royer SF24) 44.1 Same choir, different song FireFace800-RoyerSF24-clip1 by audiokid on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
    Choir 1- 2012 - (Lavry AD11, Royer SF24) 88.2 Same choir, different song Choir-Lavry-AD11-Royer-SF24-Clip by audiokid on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
     
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Good ear Cucco, the 2nd track won and is heading to the Provincials.

    Lavry and Royer Rock! smoke


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF-R8pGb9BU
     
  6. Didier

    Didier Active Member

    I think that this makes a so big difference that one cannot say anything about Lavry vs RME from these clips.
     

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