Looking for GREAT vox Mic pre

AudioGaff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2001
Location
Silicon Valley
I do have the 1176 in the 6176, so do you think that I'm covered in so far as compressing the vocal in that world class kind of way?
Seeing as you have the 1176 sound and the 9098 comp, then I think for world class you need a tube optical. Tube-Tech CL1B or CL2A, Pendulum Audio OCL-2, Manley El-Op, or the classic LA2A. I think that at least one LA2A per user is a must have comp. Like the need for many great mics and mic pre's, you need many great comps/limiters as well. The Manley has a nice big fat sound, but the Tube-Tech while not quite as fat as the El-Op, has more user control and flexability.
 
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Robert Sands

Guest
I completely forgot to mention other compressors that I have. Just bought a Manley Vari Mu and a pair of Distressors with the stereo and British mode options. I also own a Joe Meek SC2 and I was told by the rep that it's a British model that supposedly has more of the classic Meek sound than the US model. I also have a couple of Aphex Expressors - not the tube model but the original solid state. So that's my compressor arsenal and my rack has room for a couple more and I really want to be covered for whatever comes my way so with what I have listed what would you add if anything. Figure male/female vocals, perhaps acoustic/electric guitars and a whole bunch of synths, samplers and slammin' drum loops. You sound very knowledgable so I'm taking this opportunity to pick your brain. I do appreciate the input. Robert
 
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Robert Sands

Guest
One other question regarding the Vari-Mu. Does your unit have the T bar mod? When I ordered mine I called the company and asked them about it and they told me very few people get the mod done and so I passed on it but at the AES show last weekend I was talking with a fellow who had a Vari - Mu and he sais that you've got to get the T bar mod - it kills. So I talked with their head designer and he told me that with more than 6db of compression you really hear the effect of the mod and that if you would like to use the Vari - Mu to get a really squashed compressed sound - to use it as an effect more or less that I might want that mod. Have you heard the T bar mod and what would you characterize it sounding like? Maybe for edgy techy stuff it would be cool. If I want it now I have to pack it up, ship it to them, wait a week and it costs $250. Sure wish I just went for it a few weeks ago before they shipped me the unit. I will go for it if it gives me a fatter thicker sound for some of this slammin' music that I want to create.
 
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Robert Sands

Guest
Are you looking for something real clean and detailed or something with more color? Are you looking for a an all-in-one-box or just a mic pre?

I guess I feel as though that in a perfect world I should have another unit that gives me the other end of the sonic spectrum than the 6176 which to my ears is thick tubey sound with hair around it -a real signature colored sound. So I guess I want detailed and clean crystalin sound with top end air. So I'm thinking solid state and I'm not sure if a stand alone pre or a channel strip. That Amek does sound like a nice unit especially since you like the EQ so much. That's what I hear is so nice about the 737 like you mentioned. Maybe I shouldn't worry about the compressor on the Amek not having a ton of character because I'm kind of fat on the compressor end so I could bypass it if it isn't cutting it on a particular singer and use one of my other compressors. How is the Vari- mu for vocals? I've been using it on the 2-bus since I've gotten it which is where alot of people seem to use it .
 

AudioGaff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2001
Location
Silicon Valley
Ok, About the Manley T-bar mod. The three I own are older versions that use the 6386 tubes that all still work so I don't need or want the T-bar mod. The Vari-Mu is like a 20 year old design by David Manley that used the 6386 tubes until they become hard to get and are now near obsolete. Manley replaced them with the 5670 tubes but users noted that was their light bottom end problems when pushed with hard compression of more than 6db-10db. Manley then devised the T-Bar Mod thingy that uses two 6/12BA6 tubes (instead of a single 6386 or 5670) which sound closer to the original 6383 tube. This has rectified the low-end issues of the 2nd version Vari-Mu's. Manley used the 6383 tube in the 1995 and earlier versions of the Vari-Mu which were the exact same tube found in famous old Fairchilds. If you don't hear a low end issue or if you don't push your Vari-Mu over 6db-10db, and many don't need too, then you don't need the T-bar mod done. I'd say use it for a while and see how it sounds and how hard you need to squish it then see if you are unhappy.
 

AudioGaff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2001
Location
Silicon Valley
Originally posted by Robert Sands:
I guess I feel as though that in a perfect world I should have another unit that gives me the other end of the sonic spectrum than the 6176 which to my ears is thick tubey sound with hair around it -a real signature colored sound. So I guess I want detailed and clean crystalin sound with top end air. So I'm thinking solid state and I'm not sure if a stand alone pre or a channel strip. That Amek does sound like a nice unit especially since you like the EQ so much. That's what I hear is so nice about the 737 like you mentioned. Maybe I shouldn't worry about the compressor on the Amek not having a ton of character because I'm kind of fat on the compressor end so I could bypass it if it isn't cutting it on a particular singer and use one of my other compressors. How is the Vari- mu for vocals? I've been using it on the 2-bus since I've gotten it which is where alot of people seem to use it .
Looks like you got a decent selection of comps to choose from. I would still add at least some tube comps. One LA2A and an Manley El-Op.

I'm not a really a fan of the Avalon 737. But I really like everything else they make. If your thinking Avalon, the M5 or the dual mic pre would be a great unit to have in addition to the others I already mentioned.

The Var-Mu works well on everything. I use one of my mono versions on vocals and bass all the time durring tracking then use a Tube-Tech or LA2A for mix down if needed.
 

Kurt Foster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Location
77 Sunset Lane.
Hey AudioGaff,
Have you ever tried the Millennia STT-1? I have an EL OP and I owned an old LA2a (that belonged to MC Hammer) at one time also and I was very impressed with the electro opto limiter section in the STT-1. I can be switched form solid state or tube operation and is very smooth. This limiter adds a sustain to bass tracks like nothing I have ever heard. And I'm just talking about the comp section of this piece, which I think is nearly worth the price of the whole unit. It's kind of like getting a tube or solid state pre, a tube or solidstate di box, and a tube or solid state eq section for free!
 

AudioGaff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2001
Location
Silicon Valley
Hey AudioGaff,
Have you ever tried the Millennia STT-1?
I got to play with one for several hours a little over a year ago. It's a nice unit but I was expecting much more in tone for all the features and flexability it has. I didn't think there was a big enough difference between the tube and the solid state to bother having both in the same unit, and the tube sound was not the kind of tube sound I go after when I really want the tube sound. I liked enough that If I found one real cheap I'd likely buy it. In the short time I used it, I certainly didn't think the comp was better to me as an overall tool than a LA2A, Manley El-Op or the Tube-Tech.
 
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Robert Sands

Guest
AudioGaff,
Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions. I trust your opinions and it is a pleasure communicating with you.
Sincerely,
Robert Sands
 

AudioGaff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2001
Location
Silicon Valley
Thanks Robert! I kind of think I babble and ramble on somewhat so it's always nice to know that what I do write gets read, and is of real value. Glad I could be of help. :)
 
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