Antelope Zen Studio - thoughts and comparisons

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Chris Perra, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    Yeah roomier, but it might just be that the Highend is more defined so it gives the impression there is more room sound.

    This sounds like a gain staging prob.. check if some matching options are available +4 and -10db
    I guess you are not pluging mics directly to line level inputs instead of preamps.. are you? ;)
     
  2. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

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    Well there's 12 preamps and a dsub for 8 line ins..

    I'm using 14 mics. so 12 are regular.. and the last 2 are line level from the dsub..

    If doing a straight up comparison not using external pres
     
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    I love these things. Thanks for doing it. A an C sounded best to me on my iPhone. With b sounding a bit muffled in comparison. A sounding s bit 'hyped' which I think is the sound of RME which isn't necessarily a bad thing. And C sounding the most neutral and full all around.

    I'm used to my iPhone by now but it does have a limited range probably like 250hz-10k if I had to guess fwiw.

    Thanks again!!!
     
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    But for those 2, you are using an external preamps I presume.. it's those preamps that you are pushing to the max or the line ins volume of the Zen ?
     
  5. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

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    Line ins on the zen.. so its all Zen.. Just to see if it was possible.. Not if you need phantom, but works for dynamics on drums.. not where it should be with proper gain structure.. but it's possible..
     
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

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    It will work, but be sure to load the inputs correctly to get an approximation to the right damping for dynamic mics. They will need a 2K resistor from signal + to signal -.
     
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  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    Already pushing the boundaries are you ;)
     
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  8. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

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    I have a Dsub to xlr cable.. just plugged in the xlrs.. and turned the level for the line in channels all the way up.. them turned the gain up a bit more in the daw.. Clean.. works fine... Drums are one thing.. I imagine you'll need a preamp for something quieter..
     
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  9. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

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    Ok. So here's The built in pres of the Behringer and Zen Studio matched a s evenly as I could.. On the other ones previous there was some buss compression.. this one is just a limiter and an apogee dither set to low..

    Here's the waves at 16 bit 44.1
    https://www.mediafire.com/folder/c8t3m9gtxnmaz/Built_In_pres

    Built in A


    Built in B
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

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    These tests make me wonder about gear.. I don't think there's a perfect way to test stuff like this with a live performance..
    Even splitting the signal will make things sound slightly different.. I suppose playing back a physical piano with mechanical automation would be the best way..

    Both of these setups are to me completely useable.. different, but everything is... Neither is so bad you can't use it.. or wouldn't want to.. Which is what the Behringer stuff is supposed to be.. The Zen does do all the sample rates.. and it's feature set is impressive for 1 rack space.. I'm renting the Zen.. thinking about buying it.. But so far can't see why I'd need to..

    In the previous stand alone preamp tests...

    A was the Zen tracked at 96
    B was the Zen tracked at 44.1
    C was the Behringer at 44.1

    I'm wondering if it was my mixing that made the difference.. The Zen should be noticeably better.. I don't see it with that test or the built in preamp tests.

    I can upload the raw files to my FTP if someone wants to analyze them and check stuff out for themselves..
     
  11. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

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    So.. I the interest of doing this a thorough as possible.. I redid some takes.. The previous all had Uad Oceanway room sims on individual channels. Each drum had a different ratio of room vs source sound to simulate being in a real room.

    These are all dry.. In the interest of seeing if the plug in was coloring things... Once again hard to get exact levels.. Once again I can upload the raw tracks if wanted..

    https://www.mediafire.com/folder/wtxfnwhk5ak5d/No_Room

    A


    B


    C
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

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    So... I moved some mics around overhead wise.. I was using that Weathervane method.. I went for a wide stereo pair.. and a mono over the kick and snare on the cross section angle, splitting the kit up on a diagonal..

    Completely different story.. The Zen winds up being much better.. I was doing a test at 48 vs 44.1 I'll post some results when I get a chance..
     
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  13. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    Nice !! Can't wait to hear it !
     
  14. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

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    I didn't even try and play the same stuff to match as the difference is so huge..
    Weird how mic placement can even the odds.. with gear.. Mic placement that compromises your potential apparently..



     

    Attached Files:

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  15. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    It's definetly clearer and less muddy..
    Keep telling us how the Zen work for you.. specially when you get a band in ! ;)
     
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Mic positioning is sooo important. It's can make things go from good to great or vice versa. It's one of those things that can't be compensated for, or undone in the mix. You get only that one shot to take advantage of it.

    I've spent at least a handful of nights experimenting w room mic placement and pickup patterns over at the studio. You can really effect the decay time and smoothness of the reverb trail in room mics.

    Fwiw I think I like A best in the latest example.
     
  17. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you had some phase issue with your previous setup and it was cancelling out the good stuff the zen can grab.. just guessing ;)
     
  18. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

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    Phase wise it was fine.. Just tonal character was more midrange and the stereo field was too small. I hadn't record at 48 previously as well.

    Some people say certain sample rates are the core resonances of the crystal and the work better at certain sample rates..

    More study is still needed..
     
  19. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

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    I have a Radial JS2 http://www.radialeng.com/js2.php It has a transformer in it.. which apparently Helps isolate signal from a split..

    Has anyone used one to check preamps etc with?.. Would the transformer colour the sound of one side?. I'll try a test splitting a mic and see what happens..
     
  20. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

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    Alright.. I did a mono mic set of takes at 48k with an Akg 214. To remove the mixing level factors.. Doing the mic splitter thing would require 2 daws.. running 2 sound cards or 2 computers.. Might do that later,,

    Still not the same performance etc. It's weird.. do I want sheen to the almost point of brittleness or do I want stuff that is a little duller..

    https://www.mediafire.com/folder/q9ef3e8o1qhx8/Mono

    A

    B
     

    Attached Files:

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