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Warm Audio WA-14, WA-412 News

 

WA-14 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

Introducing the WA-14 Large Diaphragm Brass Capsule Condenser Microphone, which is based on the classic condenser microphone from the 70's that has been used on countless hit records. The WA-14 utilizes fully discrete classic circuit topology, including an all-brass CK12 style capsule design by “Lens Kondensator” and a custom premium CineMag USA transformer. The WA-14 can be used on an array of sources, which includes: punchy and warm intimate lead vocals, aggressive guitars and heavy percussion. The WA-14 provides a realism and thickness that is true to the vintage sonics, but now at an affordable price.

MSRP - $ 499 • Available Summer 2017

WA-412 Four Channel Microphone Preamplifier
In this video for Pro Tools Expert, Technical Editor James Ivey takes a look at the new WA-412 quad mic preamp from Warm Audio. "Warm Audio is on fire at the moment with their recreations of classic gear and the WA-412 is no exception". ~ James Ivey of Pro Tools Expert

 

Attached files

Comments

DonnyThompson Thu, 05/18/2017 - 03:47

Ive been intrigued by their Opto Compressor for a while now.

Kurt Foster, post: 450326, member: 7836 wrote: my initial impressions have been good things coming from WARM. i would love to play with both the WA-2A and the 412.

( @Kurt Foster , @audiokid)
An excerpt of a Sound on Sound review of the WA-2A, doing side by side comparisons with a vintage Teletronix LA2A:

"A pleasant surprise was just how well both units worked on an acoustic guitar track: it’s not one of the instruments on which I usually use optical compression, but these tests might have changed my mind! The highs were super smooth from both units, but for this particular guitar, played in this particular range, we preferred the WA-2A over the Teletronix; it helped the guitar slide perfectly into the mix..."

Excerpt source, and more here:
http://www.soundons…

pcrecord Thu, 05/18/2017 - 04:31

New mic, new preamp.. Yes Warm audio plans to take over the market for budget studios !
It's a logical approach; in the past, makers would do a few units and sell it to the few pro studios.. How many big studio was it ?? 2000 ? 3000?
And now the traget is musicians instead of studios.. A lot more sells are to be expected and that's why they do mass production.
The only fear I get if they win the market is that everybody will sound the same unless a lot of mod happen over the years..

Oh about the video of the beautiful signer ; I started it and thought dawm another video misguiding the new recordist. There is no way the guitar and the vocal will sound like that at the distance the mic is from her and in what seemed like a untreated/live room !!! :rolleyes:

audiokid Thu, 05/18/2017 - 06:01

pcrecord, post: 450332, member: 46460 wrote: Oh about the video of the beautiful signer ; I started it and thought dawm another video misguiding the new recordist. There is no way the guitar and the vocal will sound like that at the distance the mic is from her and in what seemed like a untreated/live room !!! :rolleyes:

Indeed, but I don't ever believe these videos (the reputable ones that is) are intended to fool us into thinking that they are the actual performance of the tracking. I do hope they are representing the products used though, which is done professionally as we would all expect from a studio.
I do share your concerns about misleading and definitely think the mass believe everything they see is true.

DonnyThompson Thu, 05/18/2017 - 06:03

I often wonder if the prices on things like LA2's and 76's -- and similar units that now occupy the hi end analog market aren't perhaps over priced, with the prices they command (and get) echoing the names that those companies made for themselves in the golden age of analog recording and production.
From the reviews I've read on pieces like the WA-2, or similar clones, on many of those pieces, the reviewers (I'm talking about respected reviewers, who really do know what they are talking about) have been hard-pressed to tell the difference between the original pieces and the quality cloned versions, and most of them have said that often the differences are so subtle that you'd never hear those minut differences in a mix.
I guess what I'm wondering, is if a piece like the WA-2 really is so incredibly close to a Teletronix LA2 - and for around 15% of the cost of an actual LA2 - why these would be considered to be "budget". When most of us use that term, it often has negative connotations...
but if Warm Audio really has cracked the code on how to get great quality on their pieces, and for less than an 1/8th of the cost of the pieces they are cloning, I'd say that the term "budget" would reflect price only, and could very well take the negative aspects out of the word.

I think you've personally experienced this yourself, mon ami' ... you built an outstanding mic yourself last year, and it didn't cost you a lung and a kidney to get, at least not in the grand scheme of mics and prices.... What do you suppose the price on your mic would be if it had "Neumann" or "Telefunken" on it? ;)
Just kinda thinking out loud I guess ...

IMO.
-d

audiokid Thu, 05/18/2017 - 06:18

You mean WA-2A yes?

DonnyThompson, post: 450337, member: 46114 wrote: I often wonder if the prices on things like LA2's and 76's -- and similar units that now occupy the hi end analog market aren't perhaps over priced, with the prices they command (and get) echoing the names that those companies made for themselves in the golden age of analog recording and production.
From the reviews I've read on pieces like the WA-2, or similar clones, on many of those pieces, the reviewers (I'm talking about respected reviewers, who really do know what they are talking about) have been hard-pressed to tell the difference between the original pieces and the quality cloned versions, and most of them have said that often the differences are so subtle that you'd never hear those minut differences in a mix.
I guess what I'm wondering, is if a piece like the WA-2 really is so incredibly close to a Teletronix LA2 - and for around 15% of the cost of an actual LA2 - why these would be considered to be "budget". When most of us use that term, it often has negative connotations...
but if Warm Audio really has cracked the code on how to get great quality on their pieces, and for less than an 1/8th of the cost of the pieces they are cloning, I'd say that the term "budget" would reflect price only, and could very well take the negative aspects out of the word.

I think you've personally experienced this yourself, mon ami' ... you built an outstanding mic yourself last year, and it didn't cost you a lung and a kidney to get, at least not in the grand scheme of mics and prices.... What do you suppose the price on your mic would be if it had "Neumann" or "Telefunken" on it? ;)
Just kinda thinking out loud I guess ...

IMO.
-d

I tried to get a WA-2A here before I sold my last LA-2A but that didn't work out. Damn shame... but, I've had many LA2A's now and know what to expect so if I ever get the WA-2A, I will surely share my opinion as well.

LA2A are essential for tracking vocals. I have never gotten a vocal to sound as good without. Not even close. They are game changers for me. But, I also use excellent preamps, mics and converters to get the full effect. I know the sound I want and have my favourite chain now.
I don't think I'd hear the same wow using an LA2A through a budget pre or conversion path but I still think no matter what your vox chain is, LA2A's or compatible leveling amp designs are something every vocalist should have in "their" kit.

Kurt Foster Thu, 05/18/2017 - 08:01

pcrecord, post: 450332, member: 46460 wrote: Oh about the video of the beautiful signer ; I started it and thought dawm another video misguiding the new recordist. There is no way the guitar and the vocal will sound like that at the distance the mic is from her and in what seemed like a untreated/live room !!! :rolleyes:

look at the video once more. there isn't one parallel wall in the rom and the cieling is quite high. imo it would be entirely possible.

audiokid Thu, 05/18/2017 - 09:16

Kurt Foster, post: 450340, member: 7836 wrote: look at the video once more. there isn't one parallel wall in the rom and the cieling is quite high. imo it would be entirely possible.

I'm with you, Kurt.

I definitely think it was possible to sound like that, there. I think this kind of sound in entirely possible in my home studio as well. There are no drums and the cabasa sounds like an MPC.
Room emulation therapy (Bricasti) can also do wonders.

I'm going to see if we can get Bryce from WA here to share some of the tracking info.

Boswell Thu, 05/18/2017 - 09:58

Kurt Foster, post: 450340, member: 7836 wrote: look at the video once more. there isn't one parallel wall in the rom and the cieling is quite high. imo it would be entirely possible.

Yes, indeed, entirely possible. But it's not the room that's the problem - it's the single mic at a distance capturing both her and her guitar, as well as her twin on the harmony choruses. She's good at syncing, though.

pcrecord Thu, 05/18/2017 - 14:11

Kurt Foster, post: 450340, member: 7836 wrote: look at the video once more. there isn't one parallel wall in the rom and the cieling is quite high. imo it would be entirely possible.

True, it might be possible Kurt.
Thing is it is still misleading to me. It's a full blown mix with bac vocals. Those are the demos I dispite because you never know what they did to the tracks and how the mic sounds raw.

BTW, to me it sounds like the guitar and voice were recorded with close mics, not 2-3 feet away like in the video..
Might be wrong tho !! ;)

audiokid Thu, 05/18/2017 - 14:19

Again, now dissecting this song, I would say this song was tracked one at a time, definitely not live and imho, this isn't at all deceiving to me. Its a mix and I'm assuming, her voice was tracked with a WA-14 Large Diaphragm Brass Capsule Condenser Microphone.

The song gives me a clear indication of what I can expect with Warm Audio gear mentioned in the credits.

audiokid Thu, 05/18/2017 - 14:24

pcrecord, post: 450358, member: 46460 wrote:

BTW, to me it sounds like the guitar and voice were recorded with close mics, not 2-3 feet away like in the video..
Might be wrong tho !! ;)

Indeed, but I am assuming the mic used would be the WA-14 on lead vocal.

Regarding the concerns or inferring about misrepresenting. Do you guys actually feel Warm Audio is trying to mislead the viewer that this entire song was tracked with that mic and it was all done live in the position she is sitting? We're all professionals here, surely you guys are seeing past this and its simply a nicely done video that was imho, recorded well and synced well.
:)

Kurt Foster Thu, 05/18/2017 - 14:33

ok i admit it was probably not like it shows in the video. but i still think a basic track with guitar and vox could sound that good miked at that distance in a good room. the rest of the tracks could be overdubs. that's the way i would try to track it. but for me what really gives it away is i think i hear auto tuning on the lead vocal which would be impossible if the vocal and the guitar were one mic/ one track.

Joe Carrell Sat, 05/20/2017 - 18:01

Hey Chris, thanks for inviting me to your conversation. Concerning the Tasji Bachman video above, i did indeed record the guitar and vocals on separate passes. The reason is we wanted to be able control the mix/blend on the final product in detail and punch in anywhere "clunkers" or out of pitch notes occurred.
The video served two purposes..1) promotional content for the artist 2) to show how the warm products I used could sound in typical studio usage. There is no mid-leading happening. The mic on her was the upcoming wa-14 through a 412 pre and wa2a compressor. The guitar was the wa-14 on the body, akg451 (as I recall) on the neck, through 412 pres. Her guitar desperately needed new strings but I didn't have any on hand. Additional compression, eq, verb, etc was applied via plug ins during mix as you would expect to create a polished finished sound. Again, the intention was never to show how the mic sounded raw two feet in front of her playing and singing at the same time.
You find a few other video of her and another female artist on their sites that feature the wa87 and warm pres, compressors.
As far as her vocal qualities, she is a fantastic young singer with a really smooth pleasing warm tone that is a bit deeper than many female singers. But she also has a present top end with a sharp sybilant character that can be a handful.
Anyway, hopefully it helps some of you with any future gear purchasing decisions.
Lastly, I will say that I have all of the warm products in my racks right along side numerous Neve, API, Manley, Avalon, Teletronics, Universal Audio, etc gear and use them all the time. While they have fantastic price points this is far from budget gear. Not to brag on myself but make a point about the products, I have two Grammy nominations, numerous doves, a dozen or so charting number ones, some of the biggest producer clients in Nashville and Warm is part of all my sessions. It's the real deal ✌✌✌

audiokid Sat, 05/20/2017 - 18:52

right on. Exactly what I expect to hear. Thank you so much for chiming in and sharing this information, Joe.

I have a question on the WA-2A . I'm very familiar with UA LA2A's . Do the WA-2A act similar? Meaning, what I love about UA LA2A is they sound great without hardly moving the needle. How much are you adding to her voice with the WA-2A?
Does it add a vibe just plugging into it?
Did/ have you ever done an A/B between the WA-2A vs.UA LA2A ?

Joe Carrell Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:42

Good morning Chris. I do produce her stuff, but she writes or co-writes everything. She also sometimes has some type of idea for us to use as a starting point. Very talented young lady. Check out some of her Youtube covers of the Chainsmokers. That's always all her playing everything and doing her own harmony vocals.

Concerning the Wa2a, I do have one and an original silver Teletronix here too. We done side-by-side testing on the two, as well as, two vintage units at my neighbor OmniSound. Their staff and I found them to be extremely close to indiscernible. If anything we proved to ourselves just how much some of these old units can vary from one to the next. One good note for anybody trying their own side-by-side testing of these two, don't overlook where the emphasis screw is set on the original. That has a huge impact on how they behave. Actually, I very often use the Wa2a here on lead vocal over my vintage model because the noise floor is a little less on exposed tracks. Fantastic product. On This specific video i was probably doing 1-4 db compression. I don't like to compress too hard during tracking unless it's a slamming rocking thing.

The shaker sound was something inside Stylus. I do a lot of my loops at least partially inside that software.

Joe Carrell Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:55

Oh and the reverb...I checked and it's a combination of three things. There's a little 16th note Waves Hdelay, UAD EMT 250 set to 2.0 seconds, and a patch I made inside Avid's Reverb One. I don't even remember where that specific patch started from as I've saved quite a few over the years and call on them over and over. I do use the EMT250 on vocal ALOT!!

Kurt Foster Mon, 05/22/2017 - 13:12

i've always approached the choice of mic / preamp / limiter / compressor as in, ..... " i need an LA2 or 1176 or 160 (or whatever) "thing" for this. ....... and i've always found differences in all older gear. time takes a toll and no two pieces are exactly the same especially considering that over time you never know what cowboy did what to your coveted used Blue Stripe UREI.

so i like that there's these mics, pres and comps from WARM. a less expensive, consistent alternative for the standard studio pieces like an 87 or 414, or an LA 2 or 1176 "thing". what a great marketing approach. and there's also the Golden Age LA3 too.

considering how the files are going to be heard and what's recording them, i think this stuff should be plenty "good enough". with todays DAW based studios and file streaming distribution, i wouldn't feel bad at all with a studio stocked with this type of gear all things considered ......

it makes sense to me to outfit the modern DAW based home studio with these kinds of pieces. you get pretty close to "that sound" and the reliability / consistency of a newly minted piece at a cost that is more "disposable income / hobby friendly" and less of an "investment" especially with the mics. i hear a lot of gab about how a new 87 doesn't sound as good as one from the 90's and now people are even saying new 57's sound worse than the older ones. is it possible these 87 and 414 clones sound as good as a newer Neumann or AKG?

in real terms, the main difference between an original and the Golden Age or WARM clones is the long term investment value.

Davedog Mon, 05/22/2017 - 14:48

I love what they're doing. And the concept of it getting "close" with the power of the DAW these days makes these kinds of investments no-brainers.

There are certain pieces that over the years, have proven themselves to be THE THING to use for particular types of sources. I'm with Chris when it comes to vocals. An LA2A in the chain just does it......it even gets to it being an optical comp for me...but the LA2A and all quality built clones are the thing on the way in.

I found it very interesting that Joe Carrell would mention the screw......(shhhh ...it's supposed to be a secret!!!)

Joe Carrell Mon, 05/22/2017 - 18:41

Kurt Foster, post: 450445, member: 7836 wrote: i've always approached the choice of mic / preamp / limiter / compressor as in, ..... " i need an LA2 or 1176 or 160 (or whatever) "thing" for this. ....... and i've always found differences in all older gear. time takes a toll and no two pieces are exactly the same especially considering that over time you never know what cowboy did what to your coveted used Blue Stripe UREI.

so i like that there's these mics, pres and comps from WARM. a less expensive, consistent alternative for the standard studio pieces like an 87 or 414, or an LA 2 or 1176 "thing". what a great marketing approach. and there's also the Golden Age LA3 too.

considering how the files are going to be heard and what's recording them, i think this stuff should be plenty "good enough". with todays DAW based studios and file streaming distribution, i wouldn't feel bad at all with a studio stocked with this type of gear all things considered ......

it makes sense to me to outfit the modern DAW based home studio with these kinds of pieces. you get pretty close to "that sound" and the reliability / consistency of a newly minted piece at a cost that is more "disposable income / hobby friendly" and less of an "investment" especially with the mics. i hear a lot of gab about how a new 87 doesn't sound as good as one from the 90's and now people are even saying new 57's sound worse than the older ones. is it possible these 87 and 414 clones sound as good as a newer Neumann or AKG?

in real terms, the main difference between an original and the Golden Age or WARM clones is the long term investment value.

Man there is very much a difference in the newer 87 (Ai) models and the older models. The top end is smoother on the old ones and the new ones have a hard to describe 800-1k thing that the old ones don't have when compared side by side. Anyway, the Warm 87 models the old 70's era mics. I compared it side-by-side to our vintage 87 with capsules aligned and found it to be virtually identical. And better than the newer ones. And for a couple grand less!!! That really shoes me that when you are buying some of this legacy stuff that we all still love like an 87 or 1176 lets say, you are paying in large part for that history/legacy and not the actual components and build. Warm is using the same transformers (sometimes better as the manufacturers have lowered their own spec over the years for cost savings) and selling for less than half! For me the Warm products go beyond "good enough" and reach the "worthy" status of being in my racks in this competitive recording mecca.

Davedog Mon, 05/22/2017 - 20:27

I'm totally with that. I've used a few U87's old and new and own an early 80's original....the only difference being that it spent some time in German Masterworks' laboratory getting cleaned and getting the famous Gotham pads removed and restored to the original specs. Does it sound "different" than a newer model?? By a LOT. Is it better? One could say both are superb tools of the trade and leave it at that. But I would not put up a newer U87AI before mine. On anything.

So now I'm totally intrigued. Suffice to say that the WA14 is more what I would look at as I have the Neumann covered...I have a Charles Dickinson built U67, two ADK TT tubes modded with the new ADK caps, one a 251 and one a 47 with the electronics updated by JJ Audio.....these are all outstanding mics and hold their own in every situation. Now, my studio guru friend has built two U87 clones. I have heard them both. They slay everything.....He does have some cool tricks to play but these are from mid-priced kits. He does upgrade certain components and does use 'magic wire' and NO I won't get into that.........

So, it doesn't surprise me in any way that a small company who sources things carefully and dots all the i's and crosses their t's shouldn't be capable of producing something at a reasonable price with unreasonable for the price performance.

Joe Carrell Wed, 05/24/2017 - 06:23

audiokid, post: 450454, member: 1 wrote: I never touch the screw, I am scared it will ^#$% up the bias, yes/ no?

LOL good morning! It is basically a hpf in the detection circuit like is reasonably common nowadays, but I think it's accomplished a little different technically (the inside workings are not my strongest area). Super useful tool when low frequencies are causing ugly pumping. Play with it on acoustic guitars that are maybe a little boomy in the 150-200 range. You'll like it

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