Focusrite ISA vs Warm Audio WA273-EQ ??

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by pcrecord, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
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    Thanks guys !
    I should say that after spending the evening fiddling with the internal potentiometers, I finally seem to set them very close to each other.
    They now give the same output level and the compression threshold is also very near (below half a db)
    I think I'm going to make a video about this too.

    There is 3 potentiometer inside, one close to the attack and release and 2 near the xlr inputs.
    The one close to the Attack and release, seems to set how hot the signal enters the compressor and even when bypassed it affects the level going to the master output level.
    The 2 others sets where the needle rest and how big of the displacement when compressing.
    I was able to put both needles at zero db and have accurate movement on 4:1 ratio. But when you turn to other settings up to 20:1, the needle shows gain reduction even if there ain't any.
    I don't get it, I think the thought about it as percentages instead of gain reduction in db.. but why is db reading are displayed ? Beats me.
    Anyway, I'm going to use 4:1 for 90% of the time and even if it starts at a different point the metering is accurate on other settings (for example going from -5db to -10db instead of 0db to -5db... )

    So all the work seems to have paid off and I'm a bit more positive about my 2 x 1173.
    I can't say I'm confident to use them as Masterbuss processing units. . but at least, I'm won't be in the shadow that much when setting them to record.
    Not having the option to display the preamp, the gain reduction and the master level separately is a big downside to the design.. but I'll adapt.. ;)

    Let it be known that I wrote to UK sound 3 times and the only answer was the first message saying I need to send the units to them.
    Asking if I can calibrate them myself and asking what each potentiometer do are unanswered questions.

    I think that having 2 units side by side didn't help giving a good first impression since they were set differently... ;)
     
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  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Jul 21, 2009
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    Nice work man.

    I feel like Warren Huart should be notified about this. I think he is part of the ownership at UK Sound and has a pretty big youtube following and career as an engineer (the fray, aerosmith, chilli peppers).

    I dunno, between the poor comminucation, and questionable QC i can't see where he'd be happy or confident with his companies performance. Like my car is worth less than what you paid for those. (Its an old car now, but still...)
     
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  3. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Interesting. Perhaps you should review what the controls on a real 1176 do if you don't have a bunch of experience with them. They are not like other compressors in how the signal is processed and this could be what you are seeing with some signal still being present when the unit is in neutral. For years the trick was to run a signal through the electronics of the 1176 with the buttons all off. The unit still passes audio but doesn't compress. The benefit is the stamp of the audio circuit itself. Although I haven't yet found any info verifying this, it would seem that UK has perhaps seen this as a plus and you are actually running signal through the comp even while it is disengaged thus creating that same benefit as the hardware versions of the 1176. Just a theory.....The 20:1 is 'limiting' of course . On the 1173 the exclamation point on the switch is "All Buttons Down" on a hardware 1176 which is a thing all to itself!
     
    kmetal likes this.
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    I "discovered" this a while back, didn't know it was well known, usually the mention was all buttons in. All out has a wonderful dynamically sensitive distortion, ie push harder more distortion. Its way more evocative to me than the decapitator sound, simply cuz its level dependent distortion, it can emphasize things.
     
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2013
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    I'm not ready to start a social media war yet. I still need to asses the unit through and through.. Thanks for the suggestion tho.

    The all button ins on the 1173 does it's thing relatively well, I think.. what I find weird is that the compression changes when you change the ratio. All button should give one kinda variable ratio and on the 1173 it's a bit different.
    Maybe it's a good thing because it gives more option.. What I don't like about the all in is the needles tapping at the very end of the meters.. (and one of mine getting stuck..) lol
    I'm doing more tests this weekend.. I'll get back with more precisions on my situation ;)
     
    kmetal likes this.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    This is what my suggestion is about Marco. An 1176's controls do exactly that. The input sets the threshold level while simultaneously turning up the amount of signal going into the unit. The know goes up the threshold goes down .
     
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  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

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    Apr 19, 2006
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    UK
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    In the 1176 (and its clones), I find it easier to think of the threshold being internally set at an absolute level, and is unchangeable. All the input control does is to change the level of the input signal relative to this threshold.

    To maintain constant level through the box for sub-threshold inputs, any change of input gain (equivalent of a threshold change) has to be compensated by an adjustment of the output gain.
     
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