Lavry AD11

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by audiokid, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I just published this article on the LavryBlack AD11. Great for the mobile guys!

    Looks like this would be a pretty sweet solution for Pro Tools 9.

    Two fine mic pre's, two converters of mastering quality> MAP price at the time this was published: $1,680.00

    Here are the latency spec for the AD10 and DA10 that have got to be similar:

    For LavryBlack (AD10 and DA10)

    44.1KHz: LavryBlack AD is 1.553msec, LavryBlack DA is 1.915msec
    48.0KHz: LavryBlack AD is 1.427msec, LavryBlack DA is 1.824msec
    88.2KHz: LavryBlack AD is 0.788msec, LavryBlack DA is 0. 800msec
    96.0KHz: LavryBlack AD is 0.724msec, LavryBlack DA is 0.755msec

    Since this post, they have the AD11 now and its an essential for me.

  2. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I don't like using ANY effects when cutting tracks; once it's imparted, it can't be undone. Might be nice if it's being used just for mastering, but for live remote work, it's better done in post in the DAW.

    The A/D conversion is probably very nice, no doubt.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Same, I never use anything. What effects do you mean?
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Probably this. Should not be used when laying down tracks, in my opinion, and particularly a two-track master. Come to think of it, I can't picture any situation where I would call on an A-D converter to have this or any type of effect built-in. I want converters to be just themselves, and be good at being that, as well.

    I suppose that this Lavry AD11 counts as an all-in-one unit, as it has a pair of mic pre-amps built-in, but really, at this level of quality and for the type of recording gigs where it would be used, raw un-effected tracks are what count.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Good point. I'm assuming this would be for ? we should find out more...
    I've never used this with my AD10. That function completely bi passes me or my interest until now. I can't imagine Dan incorporating this into the build without a logical reason or use, its not forced on. hmm.. Lets ask.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Found this but I've also invited Brad from Lavry to chime in here.
    Lavry Engineering - View topic - Lavry Black AD10


  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm on a new converter quest so its why I am into all this right now. I emailed Brad and here is his response.

  8. Lavrytech

    Lavrytech Member

    Thank you for your input.

    The Soft Saturation of the LavryBlack AD11 is similar to the Soft Saturation feature of our top of the line Gold AD122-96 MkIII when the "3dB" setting is used. However, the Gold converter has a lot more DSP power available; so it is better suited to use with complex mixed program material that is already somewhat compressed or limited.

    The advantages of the Soft Saturation (digital emulation of analog tape saturation) are:
    1.) There are no attack and release times that can cause the problems common in Mastering when a customer tries to "pre-master" their mix by applying some form of stereo bus limiting or compression while recording their mix. When the Mastering engineer then attempts to apply additional compression or limiting, differences between the time constants of the two processes can result in undesirable side-effects commonly referred to by terms such as "pumping" or "breathing." In other words, you will hear parts of the mix "come and go" out-of-time with the music, or the attack of certain instruments will change depending on what other instruments are playing at the same time. It can also happen on single tracks during recording and mixing. This is part of the reason it is always "safer" to use a minimum amount of processing during basic recording- so that processes can be modified once they are heard in context of the complete mix.
    2.) The recording is COMPLETELY un-touched at levels below the "saturation threshold.”
    This means that as long as the signal only spends a relatively short time above this threshold (short "peaks"), the over-all character of the recording remains the same as if the Soft Saturation was not enabled.

    There is no doubt that the Soft Saturation in “non-linear” by definition; much in the same way analog tape saturation is non-linear. In layman’s term, this means that the signal above the threshold is “distorted.” The same can be said of “soft-limiting” that is available in the analog input section of some AD converters. In some cases, the analog input section of the AD converter was scaled so it starts to run into the limits of its dynamic range before the AD converter clips. The results are similar in that the original peak level is reduced in a non-linear manner before reaching the AD conversion. They all “distort” the signal waveform at peak levels. Even limiting with (excessively) fast attack and release can have this effect; although in that case there is a direct relationship between the frequency of the signal and the attack/release times (what may “work” for high frequencies can cause distortion on bass peaks).

    There are many other forms of processing that introduce distortion, and many do so to create a specific “sound.” If someone is really looking to give a recording the “sound” of an analog tape recording, there are many excellent plug-ins available to do so. They will “color” all of the sound from the lowest level to the higher peak level in the process.

    So the Soft Saturation is not aimed at giving the recording a “sound;” it is provided as a form of dynamic range control that, when used properly, will minimize the sonic side-effects. We do not recommend using it with material that is already heavily compressed or limited with the resulting high average level because this will inevitably result in a large portion of the signal being distorted. I recently had a chance to test the AD11 using a mix that was not compressed or limited; and I found that I got the results I expected- when a “loudness maximizing” stereo bus limiter was inserted, the limiter “over-reacted” less to the peaks in the signal and the over-all result was closer sonically to the “flat” mix with a higher average level (it sounded “louder”).

    As with most other things in life- “you don’t get something for nothing” so I will not say that there is no difference in the sound. However, the Soft Saturation does give you 3 dB’s more average level in a completely linear manner for the most audible part of the recording when it is used with wide dynamic range audio typical of “live” sources. By “live” I mean anything that is recorded with a microphone without compression or limiting. As with other powerful processes, the important thing is to understand how it works and to use it in a manner that optimizes the results.

    We provide the Soft Saturation feature as a tool in a collection of tools that can be used to accomplish the desired end result. It is not intended to be used for every recording, regardless of the audio content. That is why it is a selectable setting on all of Lavry AD converters that have the feature. It is selectable on a channel basis in the AD11, so for example, if a vocal track is being recorded with a microphone on one channel and a synthesizer is being recorded on the other at the same time, the engineer can use the Soft Saturation to get a higher average level on the vocal track while leaving the synth “un-touched.”

    For more detailed information on the function of the Soft Saturation feature of the AD11, you can always check out the explanation of the feature in Appendix III of the Gold AD122-96 MkIII manual, which is available under the SUPPORT tab of our website. Again, the Gold has a more sophisticated version; but the over-all theory of operation is very similar.

    Brad Johnson
    Lavry Engineering Technical Support
  9. mdemeyer

    mdemeyer Active Member

    So nice to have a manufacturer respond with meaningful information instead of hype.

  10. studiosound

    studiosound Guest

    Anyone have experience on how the preamps sound? What they would compare to?
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'd expect them to sound the same as the pre's in the AD10 or better, which are excellent. Very transparent but in a good way. I love them with acoustic guitar and choirs. I'd like to know if anyone has compared them to the HV3.

    All the Blacks are great and gear I would never sell.
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Update. I have an AD11 arriving tomorrow. I'll be using this for our cities Conservatory Festival Choirs at the end of the month. I'll post some clips.
  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

  15. Phat Mastering

    Phat Mastering Active Member

    What effects are you referring to? We never really like to use fx in that case.

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