Discussion in 'Microphones' started by pcrecord, Nov 5, 2015.
Is it a gimmick ? Will it be the best we can buy ?
When they will emulate creativity ?
I'm not sure - but based on Slate's previous modeling - I do like a lot of what Fabrice Gabriel has done - I'd sure like to give it a go, and hear for myself how it performs.
Slate has some products that have impressed me, others not so much.
On one hand, I'm dubious; thinking that there's no way to truly model a classic mic like that with all its harmonic intricacies... then on the other hand, I listen to something like IK Multimedia's Alan Parson's Imperial Grand Piano samples, and I crap myself because it sounds so freakin' good. Modeling technology has come a very long way in just a few years.
Either way, I think it's too early to nay-say it, or to shout its praises, either, IMO.
It's going to take hearing recordings from studios who use it to determine its worth.
Unfortunately, because this system is hardware dependent ( with the included mic and preamp), unless you're lucky enough to be a beta tester, there won't be any trial downloads available, unless they would release something that you could use with your own mic and pre, but then that defeats the purpose, because everyone is using different mics and gain chains, and there wouldn't be any control to the test, because of those very wide variable factors.
Here's something to consider: how many of today's home studio recordists would even recognize the sonic characteristics of a Telefunken Elam 251, or a U67... or, how many of today's hobbyists even know what a U87 sounds like? Or for that matter, even a 414 either? Not all that many, when most bedroom and basement studios are using $100 Behringer's and Samson's as their main studio condenser mic.
Sure, lots of guys here would - members who have nice collections of great mics, or who have had the chances to work with some of these over the years - they could hear the differences - or be able to tell how close some of these Slate mic emulations sound, but we're the exceptions to the rule, because of our experience levels ... the question is, would some newer entry-level guy, with a Tascam I/O and a Samson Mic, be able to know what a U87 is supposed to sound like, and in turn, how accurate an emulation of that mic would be?
The result of this, is that they'll think that anything will sound better than what they currently use. And ya know what? Maybe that's okay. If it works well enough to improve their current mic and gain-chain, then it's served a useful purpose.
You and I have both talked about some of these modern plug emulations as being useful, pal - not necessarily because they are exact replicas of their hardware counterparts, but because they can still lend a sonic texture that works nicely in certain situations... and perhaps this Slate Mic System falls into that category as well. Maybe the U47 or the ELAM emulations don't sound exactly like the real things - but that doesn't necessarily mean that they would be bad-sounding, or that they still might not be useful in certain situations.
I will say that I'm not crazy about the demo; both vocal samples used in the video were pretty hard hitting; and where you're more likely to hear the difference(s) would be with more dynamic vocal performances - more soft to loud and vice versa - or, using something more poly-phonic, like an acoustic guitar or piano.
Obviously I'm playing both sides here, Pro's and Con's; but it's too early to tell either way. I don't think we can base any opinion on a short video demonstration - which has probably been reduced in audio quality.
I'm not one of those guys who is against new technology. I'm more than willing to see what it can offer. Recent history has shown us some amazing new things. There's no reason to think that it won't continue to do so.
We'll just have to wait and see.
My question would be, how can you take something that has so many input variables (different mics and different pre's) to start with and make them sound like one certain thing (say an Elam 251, U47 or 414)??????
-Thats' what has me baffled at the thought, I have seen this as like some others here who may be on the Slate email list may have also, but that is the question I ask myself...
there would be literally hundreds of variables when it comes to the input....how do you make it all come out the other end the same, ie - like a particular type of sound??
- Or does it just give you a particular type of 'characteristic' of a particular emulation???
What slate propose is a mic/preamp combo that they say is very transparent and let place to apply emulation.
I don't know if the result will be convincing.. we will have to wait and see if people make A/B tests.
I remember when Antares first came out they had a mic emulation pluggin I used to used. One side you select what you used, sm57,md421,414 Ect Ect, on the other you selected what e ukation you wanted and bam. They also had a little tube emulation pluggin with one or two sliders I used to love. I have to recollection of how accurate or true the sounds were, but they made a subjective improvement, so I rolled with it. Then, they put out auto tune...
How can your make one mic no matter how transparent act like any other mic in all setting?
Will the transparent mic have the same proximity effect as some other mic?
What about how the mic pics up reflections n different room?
I like Steven and he gets my utmost respect.
I'am sure he has thought this out, but my humble guess, is that you get a resemblance of some other mic. But?
At 1k for a mic and a pre, if it's any good, I bet many will use it as is without any emulations..
Am not a buyer Pan60, but I guess if someone on a budget wants to buy just one mic, it would be something to consider... Let's wait to hear it from realworld tests...
I'm expecting not much more, than an average stock LDC with no character, and some Dsp that's basically and eq/multi band compressor, affecting the tone and behavior mildly.
If it's like most of these jerk of all trades, modeling, they'll be a couple of really good, usuable settings/emulations, and the rest will just be extra junk.
That might be so K !
In the video they pretend to add some character via harmonics and saturations as well.. If it's true, they might be more accurate then just manipulating EQ...
Am I the only one to find this guy intimidating ?? go to 4:33.. check his eyes... Man I'm affraid of him !!
I understand the intention of the thread; although I guess - speaking only for myself of course - I look at it as more of a "glass half-full" thing than I do half-empty, in that I really don't want the technology to "stop".
I think that modeling - of all kinds - has opened up many doors to us than what were previously available, and I don't think there's anything at all wrong with having as many tools at our disposal as possible.
It's not like we're forced to use them, but, if you happen to find that some modeling plug in particular can provide you with a sonic character that you like, or that works well on a particular song or track, then why would we not want to have as many options available to us as we can?
IMHO of course.
I wonder if they will have a dynamic mic edition? One thing is for sure I am intrigued and certainly want to try this Mic emulation. I think it has a strong place with cloud-based remote recording to give some sort of consistency or "uniformity" or consistency to things. A DI of sorts but for mics.
Avid did two very good products the c-8 controller and eleven amp rack. Two of the most underrated and talked about products of there too... (Politics overshadowed them i think maybe a bit. )
But I thought the eleven not only sounded good for an emulation but good period. My cousin has been using it for a couple years since we put it in, and it's nice. Is it. Replacement for every single sound ever? No, but it does a lot damn well, with a clean DI split to boot! Add his bare bones radial r amp re amp box and it's not a bad way to go.
While I love amps, there's no way one or 5 could keep up with my imagination in the heat of the moment.
I think it's great to have both.
Smart move K...
I always DI my guitar and record a clean track along with recording a track through a modeler, or through an amp with a mic.
That way I always have a clean source that I can revert back to, to either assign to another VSTi amp sim, or, re-amp using an actual guitar amp and mic, down the road if needed.
Lol the one time I didn't and new I should cost me 4 months of editing death metal guitars and drums note by note. Oh, the tragedy... No grid. All by ear/eye.
He forgot to say "And you'll need an Ilock" haha It could be pretty good actually. The modeling of alot of vintage gear is pretty good these days.
With a control for a mic and pre to start they could actually only be adding the characteristics of each mic and pre. It'll be interesting to see when reviews/shootouts come out.
Separate names with a comma.