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Neumann U87+Vintech X73i+???=Perfect for vocal

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Vitalie Andries, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

    Hi everyone, I purchased a Neumann U87 microphone (vintage "1980) and Vintech Audio X73i, now I want to counsel,
    I want to buy a compressor but do not know what better jump suit in this chain ...
    Thinking about
    WARM AUDIO WA76, but maybe you have other ideas, not expensive but perfect for this configuration
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Nice mic, nice pre-amp, but you haven't said what converters you are using or what type of vocals you record. Is your intention to track through a compressor or track dry and then add compression in the mix? It's difficult to give you other ideas on compressors without knowing the rest of your chain and your way of working.

    My preference has always been to record vocals completely dry, that is, no EQ, no dynamics and no effects. If the vocalist wants some of those in the headphones while tracking, that's fine, but the recorded track stays dry, as this gives me the greatest range of options at mix time, including compression. You do have to develop a skill in hearing a raw vocal track and thinking "yes, that's OK, an 1176 will tame those transients" or whatever is appropriate.

    No single compressor will work as the best option for every voice. It's an instance where free limited-time trial plug-ins that are emulations of the famous compressors might help to show you differences between the types before comitting to hardware, but bear in mind that plug-ins are not the same as the real thing.
    pcrecord likes this.
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    The Warm Audio WA76 is not a bad unit but I don't think it's a quality match to the U87 and Vintech. The wa76 has a sound signature and will change the character of the U87/vintech combo.
    I would go for a more transparent compressor like the Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor or
    elysia xpressor.

    But It very depends on what you want to record and what kind of sound you are looking for.
    Vitalie Andries likes this.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It's not as necessary to record with gain reduction as it used to be - because with higher bit resolutions, you get greater headroom, it's not as necessary to record as hot as what used to be required. The result to this is that you can have an RMS as low as -20 and still maintain sonic quality, so even if you do have transient peaks of 5 or 6 db, you're still well below the digital limitation of 0db. You can then compress after the fact using a digital compressor, or, you can even draw a volume envelope curve to bring those peaks back into line. As Bos mentioned, different compressors act and react differently. For example, a FET model like an 1176 acts differently than an Opto based model ( like an LA2 or Focusrite Red) does, so you kinda need to develop a familiarity with the different compressor types to determine what will work best for a given situation, along with recognizing the changes in sonics that different various models will often add to the sound beyond the reduction.

    For the most part, I usually prefer to track as dry as possible, and then use digital processing in the mix to compress.

    But, there are many people who do like to route through hardware compressors before the signal hits the converters. It's not uncommon for some to use a model like an 1176, or an LA2, (or sometimes both) not only to compress, but to also add character to the sound before it reaches the DAW.
    Vitalie Andries likes this.
  5. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

    Thank response to the above posts ... Record with Apogee Rosetta 800 + RME Digiface + PC,
    As pop music based only work 40% of all work is with children ....
    which not yet have voice control ... :)
  6. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Thank god the X73i has a nice headroom ! Just hope they don't run on the walls... ;)
    I've done some children recording too. Compress ITB or OTB, or Both, it's a choice.
    Thing is, if you compensate while recording, they might never learn to stand at a good distance from the mic and sing at a steady volume.
    When we start singing, it's sometimes better to hear it when we are getting too loud and learn to adjust. If you throw a compressor right from the start this Learning process will be disminish. Unless you just want a limiter to be sure the track will be usable..
    DonnyThompson likes this.
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    That's a good point, Marco. Mic technique is very important.

    Nice catch, pal. ;)
  8. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

    I have another opportunity,
    in the studio I have an Avalon VT-737sp he works in pair with Neumann tube 147,
    Maybe it's a good alternative to use only the compressor from him? ...
    And do not bother other variants? ...

    p.s. also proposed a friend and
  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    If only the compressor of the Avalon could be isolated, you could have tried it with the X73i ;)
    The Shadow Hills are very well regarded...

    Another thing you could do is record clean and send a paralelle signal to the headphones with a cheap compressor. so the Performer has it but the recording doesn't.
    That's what I do with reverbs...
    Vitalie Andries likes this.
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    For vocals and kids, anything that is close to an LA2A is what I would be looking. For vocals, combined with an 1176, even better. If you can't afford that, I would without doubt avoid all this fuss and track clean. Don't waste your money. What everyone above has said , is spot on. Tracking clean and processing ITB works better imho over budget outboard solutions.
    Vitalie Andries likes this.
  11. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

    I know avalon 737 has (balanced line input) on the back, I thought it would be a variant of connection ... to use only the compressor ... do not know if it's possible ... but I read somewhere that someone tried. .. :)
  12. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

    Another question... if it is worth ... :)
  13. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

    Thank you all for advice ...
    I concluded, forget the compressor ... and be careful recording process ...
    is sometimes complicated when, standing in a row a group of 30 children and all waiting their turn to sing the score ... :) not really have time draw attention to nuances ... :)
  14. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    The line in will make the signal travel to a part of the preamp stage and eq etc..
    It's worth a try but it's not like an independant routing (compressor in/out)
    Vitalie Andries likes this.
  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Your never gonna find a cheap, good transparent compressor in hardware form, these days. DBX is the closest you'll get to a nice affordable compressor, but its got a rock type sound.

    The only cheap compressor tha works transparently no matter how hard you hit it comes on the presonus eureka channel.

    Other than that is UA which is expensive. Perhaps an empirical labs distressor would be good. It's mid priced, has 'Brit' mode, and well it's on ALOT of records. Just my 2cents.

    By tracking clean, which. Agree is better than thru a bunch of budget stuff, you limit some things, like optimal gain staging. The presonus eureka will allow better, more consistent tracks, with no degradation in quality.

    This is not cuz it's the only channel strip I use, it's because, it smokes things 3x it's price. It's excellent. We've got the 1176 and dbx and joemeek stuff as well. The eureka is transformer based pre amp, like your vintech, but the compressor it's very transparent. You might just find you like a couple db of eq too.
    Vitalie Andries likes this.
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    the "best buy" hardware comp still available would be imo a used DynaMite. they can be had for $400 for a stereo unit ...(note: i have always been interested in the ART stuff ... any opinions? )

    the only reason to have hardware (other than it's sound) would be for use while tracking. that problem will soon disappear ... i see no latency audio in laptops in the next few years. so unless you really want hardware, i wouldn't invest at this time. very short shelf life. soon, you won't be able to give this stuff away. i am seriously thinking of disposing of all my hardware other than a few pres and /or maybe a channel strip.
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I use the ART pre at my house. It's a basic step up from a budget interface. Clean an non descript is it's sound. Its a reasonable extra set, but nothing I would run out to buy again. Althou tube swaps and mods were big discussions with these things a few years ago.

    We have one of those dynamites, never plugged it in, gonna have to try it.

    +1 realtime digital Input processing. It's the future. I'm limiting my hardware purchases to a couple eqs and conversion/monitoring for the next few years.

    Hands on control, and dsp, I think is going to go leaps an bounds in the next decade of time. And i don't think your going to see Huge equipment racks, heating up the CR again. It's all about connectivity, networking, and communication, as far as cutting edge technology. They figured out tube pres and eq'd well over 5 decades ago. Besides recreations, and boutique stuff, all the RnD money, is going towards the dirstribution of content, and ideas, among peers, and clients.

    Take one look at the professional sound reforment sector, and it's no surpise where things are going. Smaller, clearer, wireless, recall able.

    I'm gonna build a faraday cage for myself, between wireless Power outlets, my phone, and the sheer amount of cell/wifi in my area im certainly concerned about the health effects, but I can't stop it, so it is what it is.
  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    try it. very cool. good gate and downward expander and all the dbx-ish "squish" you could ask for.

    we all gonna die .... don't live with fear!
    kmetal likes this.
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Last year I sold around $80,000 grand of my stellar hardware off, and this year, I can hardly sell the last of it.
    I just sold my Dangerous Master. Its awesome and an essential if you are hybrid with racks of Mastering hardware. BUT! those days are long gone for me now.
    Sequoia is hands down better. Especially with the 2 DAW method.
    Boutique gear (comps and EQ) is near over inho. The resurgence we are seeing is, imho, a group of people following the hype started 5 years ago.
    I am so glad I sold off what I had last year at the perfect time.
    kmetal likes this.
  20. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i don't think so. there will always be a place for it. the large rooms that have big LF consoles will always need high end outboard but i do think the overall market will shrink. more than anything it will affect the budget end. we will see a lot less of the economy hardware processors like Alesis / Behringer / ART / PreSonus. this does not hurt my feelings at all. mic pres and maybe summing mixers will still be in demand but compressors and reverbs will all be in software. the only thing keeping this from going down yesterday is in / out monitoring latency. as we see solid state memory getting cheaper, this issue will be solved. the studio of tomorrow will be two laptops, monitors and interface - preamps. we don't need no steenkin' hardware!

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