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What colour means in a mic preamp?

I'm curious what our interpretation of colour really is and what this translates into a mix for you? I mean, some pres are more middy, have less top and bottom with a git to them. Is that a good thing?

  • Would I use those on a jazz vocal? not likely.
     
  • Would I choose that on a B3 Deep Purple kind of sound? indeed!

But now that I know more about emulation, (and its 2014), could I get that same (colour), grit, a more forward mid, less top and bottom using one really transparent pre and look to other tube hardware, software techniques?
Could I simply buy one console that had transformerless pre's and use outboard effects to get a close enough sound to multiple choices? Can we emulate micpre colour in other ways, close enough and not compromise the "truth" of the original single path? Which to my ears translates into HUGE sound apposed to everything having a footprint of compromised bandwidth and "additional color" whether we "need" it or not.

My asking this is to simply stir the pot and hear what we come up with?
I want to hear it from us rather than assume we all share the same understanding our colour. I want to demystify misconceptions that micpre colour is some magic button that improves the product. I mean, what really creates the thing we call colour in a preamp? And finally, I get the guitar amp concept and valves, but are coloured micpre's really the best way to get colour when micing?
If you have a large format console, why on earth would we need external preamps on top of the existing pres. And, would external pres inserted into the console actually be what the external preamp sounds like? yet, we are sure to hear a pro or con about that in some forum too. So, did the opinion tell us he was using that pre in a chain or console?
So, how are we all recommending gear when everything is being effected by our stuff?

To kick this off,
To me, "colour" is more of a dirt created by lack. Which, can be a damn nice thing! I mean, I love distortion, especially on my guitars. But now that I am a recording kind of guy, well educated with DAW emulations, I'm thinking I want mics and a pre to be pretty accurate and can now keep the straightest wire possible and use emulation and mixing techniques to do it close enough, if not bigger and better because I have full bandwidth ready all the time!

I would rather have a console or rack of boutique pre's of the highest degree and use outboard hardware and software tools to shape the source.

Every preamp I have used that had what I think of as colour, it also sounds smaller and less hifi.
When I read colour, my first thought is, okay, another name for something compromised.

there, lots of description for us to comment on. Do we use the term colour to sell lack of which often becomes a sonic branding?
What do you think?

Comments

Davedog Sun, 11/09/2014 - 17:01

Amen. And I agree, distortion makes the world go around. A lot of people will relate to this in the sort of distortion that is achieved in a guitar amp with tubes. While this is a wonderful thing to listen to and operate, its not what you'd want on an intimate whispery vocal with some kind of padded background accompaniment.

Or would you?

I find myself using Decapitator and Softube saturations on a lot of stuff. It doesn't blur the clarity as much as it makes things sound like things sound in nature.

So, good distortion is your friend

audiokid Sun, 11/09/2014 - 17:24

Davedog, post: 420940, member: 4495 wrote: Amen. And I agree, distortion makes the world go around. A lot of people will relate to this in the sort of distortion that is achieved in a guitar amp with tubes. While this is a wonderful thing to listen to and operate, its not what you'd want on an intimate whispery vocal with some kind of padded background accompaniment.

Or would you?

I find myself using Decapitator and Softube saturations on a lot of stuff. It doesn't blur the clarity as much as it makes things sound like things sound in nature.

So, good distortion is your friend

Right on.

What if we all had a plug-in or chain that would emulate 20 other pre's perfectly close enough? Is this not really already here and what I am saying? So why even waste a dime on all these "flavours that to my ears, sound colourful but compromised in size?.
If the ADC lacked or added something nasty and the pre's we all used degraded the bandwidth, the emulation would not be represented accurate or, at its best, correct? Are we missing the balls trading real colour for emulated after the fact straight wires out of the box HUGE one size fits all preamp? I know what a HPF does and that is pretty much the magic button I use all the time.

So, its looking like big rail fat transparency is once again, winning as the choice way to have more control and option in a world going full steam ahead with emulation software ( to me).

To my ears, nothing rivals my M-2b for sweetness and size. I just cannot wait to get into grit creating plugs and start testing this out. I've been sitting on the fence with this for a while. The last tracks I did, when I strapped on an LA2A's/ 1176, and switched over the m-2b my eyes popped! I did the same comparison with the other pre's and the results were nothing short of boring. So, I'm just saying, I'm thinking we are really heading into some cool emulation.

audiokid Sun, 11/09/2014 - 19:58

But, tape = reduced bandwidth and all sorts of other accumulative over time issues in comparison. Not even a consideration for me, ever again.
I really think a lot of us, don't see the new world as a beautiful thing. Its so easy to get caught up in music we grew up in and think that it can't be emulated. But I'll tell you my experience with a few key products in the last quarter of this year is blowing my mind now.

Paul999 Sun, 11/09/2014 - 20:33

To me a colored pre is really about what they do that an eq or compressor or other box can't do. Comine this with it adding or taking something away from the source. To me this is color.

I have loved the color of lots of pre's like focusrite ISA(I thought they were really colored even though people call them clean). I like the transformer grit you can do with an API on electric guitars. I no longer have these tools at my disposal.

The thing that makes this okay to me is that I can do sideways moves that are just as cool although different by recording sources a little different and working some tools ITB.

By driving amps a little harder I can get plenty of harmonics. By using ITB harmonizers deeply compressed on parallel tracks with extra distortion I can get very cool smooth gritty tones.

Tools like kramer tape and NLS drive have far more dramatic effect and controlable then any mic pre I've ever used.

I am really digging clean pres.

paulears Mon, 11/10/2014 - 03:15

Me, I like a pre to be a bit of string with gain. What goes in, comes out, just a bit louder!

Seriously, I do understand what you guys are searching for - but when you listen to something really nice, from one of the worlds best producers/engineers/magicians it sounds like (insert your choice of superlative here). When I listen to my recordings, and the ones people frequently post on forums like this for critique/back slapping, none of them EVER sound as good. Loads are great, just not 'special'.

We're starting to select preamps based on their tone/timre/colouration/distortion - when surely this is the territory of an effect? A pre-amp, admittedly in my old fashioned view should have a wide dynamic range, no noise, and gain - and part from a power supply maybe for the mic - nothing else that changes the sound.

Maybe we just need a new term, to keep oldies like me happy - and something factual to measure 'colour' - because it means something different to every single person. If we specified frequency response as "Geraldine" or "Eric" everyone would be hopelessly confused, but "adds colour" is somehow ok? If we used "adds distortion", that could be accurate, but maybe people would think 70s fuzz box rather than Vox AC30, or Neumann 1950s tube?

Why is it we specify everything to many decimal points now in one area, but encourage flowery language and complete subjectivity in another. I buy unheard or untried products based on reviews where comment is made on s/n, or frequency response, or dynamic range, but colour? Weird isn't it?

pcrecord Mon, 11/10/2014 - 03:55

audiokid, post: 420938, member: 1 wrote: I'm curious what our interpretation of colour really is and what this translates into a mix for you? I mean, some pres are more middy, have less top and bottom with a git to them. Is that a good thing?

I guess the 'colour' term was born because it is hard to describ sound with words. It also explain why everyone got its own understanding of it
If I say the girl next door is HOT ! It doesn't meen she has a fever, no, it's another term to comment her beauty. But same as sound, beauty is not the same for everyone.

If I get a guitar cab to mic that makes my eyes bleed because there is too much HF, I could do everything normal and put a LPF on it at mix time.
OR I can start to make it better right away with the choice of mic and placement and the choice of a darker preamp.

If we could have that perfect reference that everybody was aware of and knew it very well, we could have a common ground.
I guess colours, could be translated as defects. if we start with a statement that the perfect pre would amplify a signal evenly and accuratly.
If we agree on that, we could say that all pre that don't do that are defects. Now we could admit that we are choosing the right defects for what we want to achieve.

Another factor would be the speed of a pre. Could a faster or more dynamic pre consider colored over a slower one or vice versa ?

anonymous Mon, 11/10/2014 - 04:14

When I think of "color", it's an adjective that can suggest good or bad. "Muddy" is pretty self explanatory - in that it suggests that audio is ill-defined, lacking any kind of clarity or presence. "Bright" suggests hyped frequencies in the upper ranges, "Dark" suggests a lack of presence, "Honky" suggests a hyped mid-range. "Edgy" makes me think of a touch of harmonic distortion. "Pristine", at least to me, suggests ultra transparency.

When I hear Chris describe the Millennia as being "big", it suggests to me that it encompasses the best of all worlds, a "pro" sound, if you will. Any truly professional recordings I've heard, whether classic or current, all have "that" big sound... and I'm not referring to dynamics, either. I can hear that "big" sound even in the most sparse arrangements and softest of songs.

The Beatle's Here There and Everywhere (the song, not the book) has that, at least for me. I think it's a good example showing that the song itself doesn't need to be huge sounding - al'a Phil Spector, with layer upon layer of instrumentation and dripping wet with EMT - to have a "big" sound... Spector's productions aren't the same kind of big. I'm referring to "big sounding" in the tracks as they are without much added processing.
Macca's voice is huge in that mix, full, rich, yet silky, and it's a soft ballad with not a whole lot of instrumentation going on.

This could likely be attributed to the mic (most likely a U47 or U 67) through a high-voltage mic pre (probably not a stand alone, but built into the EMI REDD-37 console they were using at that time, which had valve-based pre's )

FWIW

d.

Tony Carpenter Mon, 11/10/2014 - 08:40

I am going to throw in a curve ball here. For me, so far, it's like when I have compared keyboards too, since my days of analog, then FM, then all the romplers and now Rolands new Supernatural. As some said in another thread, I think the source makes a huge difference. When you then flow from the source you add the ear of the person recording. Say you have a guitarist sitting there, he plugs in an electric guitar, sets up how he wants it. He knows that's the sound he wants. If you record it and it maintains it's original sound and you can give it space if needed, your job is done, no?.

Where am I going with this?, those who played analog synths know they were temperamental beasts. My Jupiter 6 for one loved to chang tone and key depending on how it felt, and had to be sort of tuned in each time. If we looked back at say the Beatles era we would find that the wonderful choices we have in eliminating say electrical interference didn't exist. As you add in more wires, more valves, more diodes, capacitors etc you get what that sound was, no?.

As we make cleaner systems and more sophisticated sets of circuits etc we gain clarity but lose 'colour'. Colour as audiokid suggests is something we are missing because it was less :). Ironic, no?.

My .02

Tony

Kurt Foster Mon, 11/10/2014 - 11:03

back in the 70's or 80's there was a guy who wrote for Stereo Review named Julian Hirsh ......and there was an ongoing discussion regarding if different power amps had a different sound ...

i come down on the side of yes different amps sound different ... this coming from a guitar players background.

marketing? yep. leaving a "mark"? yes again.

60-70 years ago the holy grail was as transparent as possible. generational tape loss was a huge issue. 3 or 4 tracks was the best possible and a lot of studios were still bouncing from one mono machine to another. noise and head bump lo freq buildup was an issue. one way to deal with that was to hi / lo pass filter as much of the audio as possible. that's why a lot of those tracks had such a thin sound. those mic pres, comps and eq's could do fat / silky audio but there was a lot of rolling off of the audio to accommodate not only the record cutting procedures but also the primary outlet, AM radio.

when higher track counts and FM radio came along, a lot of those problems went away. that's when guys like Neve, Dick Swettenham and the brain trust from Trident went on to build circuits that were quiet with "robust" sound.

the way i have come to look at it is, it's all in what gets you pumped up. if you like sterile un hyped sound then i think that's great. go for it.

paulears Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:52

So why do we call them pre-amplifiers, when they are equalisation and treatment? The world's a bit mad really - we went through a phase where preamplifier manufacturers were claiming sonic excellence, stating their designs added nothing, and now in the clinical age, the 'best' designs add their own signature fingerprint to the audio.

Kurt Foster Mon, 11/10/2014 - 13:02

paulears, post: 420980, member: 47782 wrote: So why do we call them pre-amplifiers, when they are equalisation and treatment? The world's a bit mad really - we went through a phase where preamplifier manufacturers were claiming sonic excellence, stating their designs added nothing, and now in the clinical age, the 'best' designs add their own signature fingerprint to the audio.

i don't think so ..... there are plenty of manufactures making "clean" uncolored pres. i would consider Millennia, Avalon, Grace.

Tony Carpenter Mon, 11/10/2014 - 13:29

Boswell, post: 420970, member: 29034 wrote: Another curve ball, this time from a narrow marketing executive's point of view: if pre-amps had no colour they would all sound the same, so how would you choose which one to buy?

Me personally?.. price for one :D. But in all seriousness. I listen to what guys who are actually users of things to see what they use. I listen to guys who get to try something out without being paid to, and who aren't in possession of a money tree. I made a point in another post how modern tech is making things possible that simply weren't viable not long ago. As we enter this era of the impossible for less, the old guard in some ways is threatened. I have never been good enough or wealthy enough to have gotten into that level. What I do see, and have in my possession in a couple of cases, is gear that does the job really well for a LOT less. And major albums with platinum sales are made on some of it.

What would I do if I had the chance to try out more of each thing I wanted, I'd be excited.. I also wouldn't get much song writing/performing done LOL.

audiokid Mon, 11/10/2014 - 19:20

Kurt Foster, post: 420974, member: 7836 wrote: if you like sterile un hyped sound then i think that's great. go for it.

indeed, but just for the record, reading between the lines here, I think the big sound you get from sterile un hyped preamps could have clear an advantage for both clean to very aggressive sound through "straight wire to emulation and bit distortion". Bit distortion and amp simulators sound pretty insane.
I'm thinking, maybe we don't need to be colouring with crayons when we can be using deep base tint and clear coat for that bigger image, but with serious grit to taste? I'm hoping pre amp emulation is the next wow. Maybe the thin wire pre does a lot more than we ever thought possible? Yes, no?

audiokid Mon, 11/10/2014 - 20:03

Kurt Foster, post: 420974, member: 7836 wrote: 60-70 years ago the holy grail was as transparent as possible. generational tape loss was a huge issue. 3 or 4 tracks was the best possible and a lot of studios were still bouncing from one mono machine to another. noise and head bump lo freq buildup was an issue. one way to deal with that was to hi / lo pass filter as much of the audio as possible. that's why a lot of those tracks had such a thin sound. those mic pres, comps and eq's could do fat / silky audio but there was a lot of rolling off of the audio to accommodate not only the record cutting procedures but also the primary outlet, AM radio.

when higher track counts and FM radio came along, a lot of those problems went away. that's when guys like http://www.rupertne… Neve  Dick Swettenham and the brain trust from http://www.trident-… Trident went on to build circuits that were quiet with "robust" sound.

I see it now. One of these, your DAW, pre amp / channel strip emulators and we are any one of 200 console flavours tucked into a laptop. Crazy.


http://www.antelope…

The question then becomes, does that emulate as good as 32 channels of these?

or the real deal like this... And so it continues.

pcrecord Tue, 11/11/2014 - 03:08

I have no doubt the MP32 has very nice preamps.
Would it sound right to record with it and use ITB emulator ? YES, why not. Will it be like the real thing, NO. I don't think so.
There is still something in analog gear that can't be replicated with a software and this is the randomness of electronic variations and minus defects du to the accepted tolerance of the parts used.

In the end would I want the MP32 or any other set of pre to sound like others, NO !

I think the big mistake of the decade is that most musician/engineer want to sound like someone/something else.

BE UNIQUE ! Sound like yourself ! Listen to no one that says you can't innovate !
Let's make OUR time be OUR sound and not a copy of the past ! ;)

anonymous Tue, 11/11/2014 - 04:06

audiokid, post: 420994, member: 1 wrote: or the real deal like this... And so it continues.

I can't see the emulations sounding exactly like the real thing - but I don't think that this makes them bad per se'.
Even you have mentioned that there have been times where you actually prefer Samplitude's ITB GR processors 2-bus comp/limiter (Am-Muntion) over one of your real LA2's, and for certain scenarios, you actually liked Ammunition more than your real LA2.

Does this make the LA2 obsolete? Oh my no.

LA's have that certain something, that glue, that mojo, if you will. But there are certain recording and mixing scenarios where a certain plug might actually sound better, at certain times.
I don't think it's about matching these two workflows exactly. Both have their pros and cons over each other.

If you approach plugs not so much as an exact emulation of the real deals - as the manufacturers suggest - and more from the approach of them being their own thing and having their own uses, then I think it starts to alleviate the battle between both.

IMO of course. ;)

d

audiokid Tue, 11/11/2014 - 07:51

pcrecord, post: 421001, member: 46460 wrote: I have no doubt the MP32 has very nice preamps.
Would it sound right to record with it and use ITB emulator ? YES, why not. Will it be like the real thing, NO. I don't think so.
There is still something in analog gear that can't be replicated with a software and this is the randomness of electronic variations and minus defects du to the accepted tolerance of the parts used.

In the end would I want the MP32 or any other set of pre to sound like others, NO !

I think the big mistake of the decade is that most musician/engineer want to sound like someone/something else.

BE UNIQUE ! Sound like yourself ! Listen to no one that says you can't innovate !
Let's make OUR time be OUR sound and not a copy of the past ! ;)

Even though I said emulation, The bigger part to this has nothing to do with emulating a particular pre to sound exactly like something. To my ears, and I'm not alone on this, straight wire sounds huge to me in comparison to colour so if you are emulating with a bigger picture/ bigger clearer capture, I'm thinking we are once again breaking the sound barriers. Unique is a given, there is nothing quite like it, ever.
Does any of this make one or the other better, no, but it tell me that I might not need to reduce my bandwidth or do without so called colour when I have a transparent pre sitting in my rack.

Another way of looking at this might be, you can't make a coloured pre sound transparent but you can make a transparent pre sound coloured!
Once again, DAW world universe expanding our options.

audiokid Tue, 11/11/2014 - 08:39

Which is also why coloured consoles and monitoring through transformer based consoles is really not choice anymore. Both SPL and Dangerous Music have been leading in monitor controllers, summing and mastering console integration for years, for this reason.
Colour added summing boxes have always been marketing hype for the less informed to me and its starting to look like we can use simple clean pre's to get it all done. From this pov, Millennia is without a doubt sitting on the top of the pre world, especially when it comes to pure sweet path. And something like that MP32 from Antelope is looking pretty dam attractive for everyone using technology like this.

Kurt Foster Tue, 11/11/2014 - 10:21

i think we will continue to see large format consoles installed in the major studios. which consoles we see installed in a major room in the future is anybodies guess. i'm betting on anything calling itself "Neve" (of any vintage), API's, SSL's ........

where the itb DAW shines is in smaller private production rooms and home studios. a lot of the folks who work in these "majors" also have there own private means of production where the can work on projects as well. i think these folks are going to want a variety of flavors (or lack of) at their disposal. i don't see it as either or, rather i think of it as the more the merrier. i feel the same way about acoustics. dead rooms work, live rooms do too ....... i like having both so i can have a choice.

audiokid Tue, 11/11/2014 - 11:55

Kurt Foster, post: 421014, member: 7836 wrote: i think we will continue to see large format consoles installed in the major studios. which consoles we see installed in a major room in the future is anybodies guess. i'm betting on anything calling itself http://www.rupertneve.com/ Neve (of any vintage)

http://www.apiaudio… API, SSL's ........we 

Kurt Foster, post: 421014, member: 7836 wrote: where the itb DAW shines is in smaller private production rooms and home studios.

I disagree, ITB shines in Audio and Video and everything under the sun. Nothing rivals our DAW's for tracking, mixing and mastering. You haven't seen Samplitude or spent time looking at what people are doing today. I understand why, its not all my bag of music but sound wise, OMG. Any studio who thinks a large format console sounds better than ITB is reading the classified too much. There is a fade right now, people are pissed at PT and looking for the vintage but its not here to stay.

I know of a major who has been on hundreds of hits over the last 3 decades and he is still going strong.
He no longer uses what you are thinking right now either. I'm doubtful the new crop of sound engineers will use what isn't syncing to the Grid of choice. People bring their sound with them now. And if it were me, I would rather be able to emulate a clear print over a smaller sounding colour that I cannot remove or improve.
He used to prefer Neve and SSL but now he does it all ITB. He gets tracks from all over the place.
He mixes in airports and hotel rooms, home based studios etc, while waiting to go to the next spot.
The days of those guys looking at just large format consoles are diminishing. Even if a console sounded superior, which they don't anymore, how can anyone even make it pay over time, regardless. They will be a constant repair bill from companies near closing

What you are suggesting has nothing to do with big studios sonics.
Not that I care but I do know informed recordist can track and mix as good as the very best studios ever built, ITB.
Location, tracking rooms is a whole other discussion but the large console are so far off the mark. Look at the demographics and technology available.
Digital audio is taking people to Mars. It's a no Brainer.
Doing detailed comparisons here, EQ's and comps OTB are a complete waste of money to me now. They smear and cannot react like digital audio can now. So whats left on a console? The convince of a pile of pre's but look at the MP32 for $3000!

Large Format consoles certainly don't have ideal monitor control systems either. The only way to monitor with a DAW is on the DAW's master bus, not inside a console. Even if you are capturing the mix off the console (which is ideal), the monitoring should be independent of transformers, and should ideally be relay switching, not toggles. It should ideally be located on the capture DAW's master bus. So, if you look at all the jumps and loops pluss extra wire, it won't be long before the new crop figures this out too. People are intimidated or under the presumption that Large Format consoles spell Pro. To me they are a dated part of audio that was beautiful thing in its day.

Source, pre and AD are everything. If you have the luxury to use an LA2A / 1176 going, in, its an added wow but after that, ITB is superior right to the upload.

 

Kurt Foster Wed, 11/12/2014 - 12:09

audiokid, post: 421015, member: 1 wrote: I disagree, ITB shines in Audio and Video and everything under the sun. Nothing rivals our DAW's for tracking, mixing and mastering. You haven't seen Samplitude or spent time looking at what people are doing today. I understand why, its not all my bag of music but sound wise, OMG. Any studio who thinks a large format console sounds better than ITB is reading the classified too much. There is a fade right now, people are pissed at PT and looking for the vintage but its not here to stay.

I know of a major who has been on hundreds of hits over the last 3 decades and he is still going strong.
He no longer uses what you are thinking right now either. I'm doubtful the new crop of sound engineers will use what isn't syncing to the Grid of choice. People bring their sound with them now. And if it were me, I would rather be able to emulate a clear print over a smaller sounding colour that I cannot remove or improve.
He used to prefer Neve and SSL but now he does it all ITB. He gets tracks from all over the place.
He mixes in airports and hotel rooms, home based studios etc, while waiting to go to the next spot.
The days of those guys looking at just large format consoles are diminishing. Even if a console sounded superior, which they don't anymore, how can anyone even make it pay over time, regardless. They will be a constant repair bill from companies near closing

What you are suggesting has nothing to do with big studios sonics.
Not that I care but I do know informed recordist can track and mix as good as the very best studios ever built, ITB.
Location, tracking rooms is a whole other discussion but the large console are so far off the mark. Look at the demographics and technology available.
Digital audio is taking people to Mars. It's a no Brainer.
Doing detailed comparisons here, EQ's and comps OTB are a complete waste of money to me now. They smear and cannot react like digital audio can now. So whats left on a console? The convince of a pile of pre's but look at the MP32 for $3000!

Large Format consoles certainly don't have ideal monitor control systems either. The only way to monitor with a DAW is on the DAW's master bus, not inside a console. Even if you are capturing the mix off the console (which is ideal), the monitoring should be independent of transformers, and should ideally be relay switching, not toggles. It should ideally be located on the capture DAW's master bus. So, if you look at all the jumps and loops pluss extra wire, it won't be long before the new crop figures this out too. People are intimidated or under the presumption that Large Format consoles spell Pro. To me they are a dated part of audio that was beautiful thing in its day.

Source, pre and AD are everything. If you have the luxury to use an LA2A / 1176 going, in, its an added wow but after that, ITB is superior right to the upload.

that's a lot to address ...

the thought of someone making final mix decisions in an airport kinda scares me. how are they monitoring?

trends i am observing, suggest something else. i'm not active in business anymore but from what i observe on the web and in major media is if they can afford it most artists are still going with a large format console and outboard using pro tools or some other program as a tape machine with editing. online publications like SOS and TapeOP (my favorite) suggest many producers are using the model i previously mentioned, using home rigs to supplement the big rooms.

big rooms afford amenities to artists who have the luxury of support from management and record labels. they are usually under pressure and a deadline to produce and they tend to prefer the comforts larger rooms provide. also some people just prefer how large rooms sound... personally for me, the larger the better.

i also hear and read of productions done all ITB as well as albums being recorded solely on a BOSS 8 track ..... i guess that's the Joe Meek coming out of us .....

what i think is we are going to continue to see people doing it different ways. you can't keep people from being creative and someone who is really creative is going to apply that ability to figure out a way of do their art. that's where do wop, dance and rap/hip hop trance/ rave dj thing comes from ..... but i also think large consoles and rooms are here to stay. do you think Neve / API and the other are really teetering on the edge?

audiokid Wed, 11/12/2014 - 13:04

Do I think they are tedering on the edge,?
I do without a doubt think large format consoles are dated but striving to improve the impossible !

Those who's don't agree are keeping it going and their target

I get the whole console appeal but from a technological step, they will never catch up.

Control systems will, but never for where we are going.

The chap I am referring to who mixes in airports does the rough mixes, obviously not a finish.

audiokid Wed, 11/12/2014 - 17:36

Kurt Foster, post: 421046, member: 7836 wrote: it was a joke ..

If you were serious, you'd be in the 98% group that actually thinks a traditional patchbay is ideal in a DAW world/ with a console. Mass who use analog gear generally don't quite understand how to actually implement a digital patchbay, let alone use midi to program more than just loops.

The only reason I know about them is because I own a very sophisticated hybrid system and have actually used digital patchbays with it. Nothing compares.

SSL stopped making them because they didn't sell. Which is obvious. I'm in the 2% category already. Why would anyone even think about those who use a console lol.

audiokid Wed, 11/12/2014 - 18:03

DonnyThompson, post: 421047, member: 46114 wrote: I think we're leaving out a very crucial part of the "color/transparency" equation.

Anyone care to take a guess at what I'm getting at?

To me first and foremost,

Its marketing
towards artist choice which trumps the bottom line.

But, if we are looking to find new ways beyond our comfort zones, ways to do it for a lot less money, yielding pro results, I guess thats what this thread might be about.
Lets hope we all get better and save money and unnecessary mistakes along the way.

The cross platforms meets DAWworld will never end. Hybrid meets the world. I'm after the big sound that doesn't cost my kids education. I am 100% sold that we do not need racks and racks of gear, patchbays or tape to make great sounding music that sounded like the past present or future.. In fact, I don't even think we need to buy coloured pre's anymore. I think they are part of the dated history of the console and tape generation. They sound like that because how could a mile of copper and caps not. This thread is really questioning emulation and the ability to use what you have for more than you thought it was good for. Or, choosing a better product that will do more for you in the long run.

Now that I am quite certain what colour is to me and how it actually sounds smaller, I'm looking at emulation and saving a pile of money with the expectation I will actually have superior results.

I think you can't make a coloured pre sound transparent but you can make a transparent pre sound coloured!

Boswell Thu, 11/13/2014 - 03:58

I'm not a great fan of using the word colour to describe how much a pre-amp differs from being a piece of wire with gain. Instead, I prefer to think of it as two components: character and quality. It's not that either of these two is any more physically measurable than colour is, but assigning more than one dimension to this very subjective property does at least mean we could start to place actual products on to a map rather than just somewhere along a line.

If you think about it in terms of known examples, you might automatically position an API or a Neve in the bracket of a quality sound with a recognisable character of its own, and Millennia more in the quality/transparent corner, whereas some of the cheap pre-amp/interface devices certainly have character, but are sorely lacking in the quality department.

If you wanted to take it further, this categorisation could be applied to more than pre-amps, and may help to assign things like analog mixers to some sort of position on a playing field. For example, transformer-input and high-voltage products could have their own groupings up towards the quality end.

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