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Alesis 3630 - Warm up or drifting?



RemyRAD Wed, 04/12/2006 - 16:32
Everything has a certain warmup. Both tubes, transistors and integrated circuit chips along with their associated ancillary resistors, capacitors, in short any active components.

You wouldn't think that transistorized equipment requires a substantial warmup period? But it does. For instance, in the late 1970s in 2 different studios I worked in as chief engineer, we had a 16 track Ampex MM 1200 and in the other studio we had an 8 track MCI. Both machines required at least a 3 hour warmup before you could tweak bias, record or playback! Within that three-hour time frame, they would drift considerably.

The other problem can be electrolytic capacitors. They are very much like tiny batteries and after a while, they give out and must be replaced. When we restore/rebuild equipment, one of the first things to do is to replace all of the electrolytic capacitors. This is not necessary for tantalum, Mylar, ceramic disk or polystyrene type capacitors.

In the case of your 3630, the problem could be within the VCA or voltage controlled amplifier that accomplishes the gain reduction or even the input sensor which might be similar to an RMS style detector? VCA's have been known to go unstable which would certainly cause the problem you are describing.

Maxed to capacitor
Ms. Remy Ann David

AudioGaff Thu, 04/13/2006 - 12:56
The 3630 is towards the bottom of the barrel of compressors. So, like other cheap budget gear, it's design and cheap components are not as linear as they could be. Meaning for instance that the exact knob position you set it at one day is likely to not be the exact same and give different results. Things like room temp, inside the gear temp, humidity, component tolerences, and the like all come into play. This is even true with expensive pro analog gear as well to a smaller extent.

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 04/13/2006 - 20:46
Slowly as I save more money things like my 3630 will get replaced, preferably with a top of the line tube compressor. I know it’s not even close to high quality for a compressor but it doesn’t sound bad and Alesis doesn’t make trash. Or do they? No matter what I want to keep most of my gear analog, including the console. I don’t want to be one of these people messing around with plug-ins, I want the real deal.