Neumann U87+Vintech X73i+? =Perfect for vocal

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by Vitalie Andries, Apr 6, 2015.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Boutique EQ and Comps can all be replaced ITB. The most expensive gear is the stuff that has the best imaging and S/N. However, once you "get it"and do accurate comparisons, using excellent conversion, and comparisons to tell you the truth, the expensive stuff suddenly becomes a thing of the past.

    The low end gear is what will still keep going because it is my opinion, the naive or less experienced in today's methods who are still following the days of yesteryear.
    The high end stuff is competing with the best plug-ins. How are they going to keep us spending $4500 for an EQ. Come on...

    I expect the last of the surviving hardware with be added with some sort of DSP in it, which is only a distraction as I see it/hear it. As we see in the (sorry to offend) Dangerous Compressor, a gimmick. That is a classic example of something that can be had ITB for $300 combined with a wave rider. I'm not fooled for once minute with high end gear anymore.I do agree however, if you are going to being doing the round trip, you need the best gear so its a Pandora box really. You start that path, you better invest in the big bucks because a guy and a laptop will produce a mix just as good, if you let him try that is.

    If you don;t use high end gear, you notice the SN and (size) loss in a hybrid system. If you use a lower end hybrid system, you don't hear the loss as much, because it is also low end. So, to keep the Size of ITB... you invest in big rail transparency. And as you increase transparency, it becomes a conflict of interest. Manufacturers can't hide this forever. So, they sell hardware as character until we figue it out or the big boys tell the rest of the sheep, whats really going on. . :rolleyes:
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    i think it's going to be exactly the opposite. anyone who gravitates to the low end will not buy anything once latency is addressed. all they want is something they can use for nothing. as soon as we can track through plugs without latency cheap hardware is DEAD! these same people are currently tracking sans dynamics to track and verbs for the phones just because they won't pony up 60 bucks for a midiverb on CL let alone $400 for a Lexicon. i have some really good reverbs and dynamics here i can't give them away.

    the only remaining market for hardware will be the major pro rooms with large consoles and patch bays to accommodate their use and they will be snatching up all the great verbs and dynamics on the market. i am afraid there's not much of a future for the builders of new gear other than summing solutions and DAW friendly mixers like the SSL stuff.
     
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Kurt, I can track and have been able to track without noticeable (distracting) latency for years now. Its all about the interfacing and your DAW and how you cook it. The problem people have is they have and are still being brain washed by UAD and Protools that they need to have 2o versions of EQ's and comps. What a (marketplace concept) . Who needs 20 EQ's of different flavours? In the old days, we used a console.

    The newbies who can't mix keep buying the new and improved. Guys like me buy one DAW, great converters and hear that is all about the song, monitoring and how you use filters which are , to my ears... better ITB than any hardware product.

    But, its an ongoing topic. Time will tell. The point when guys are mixing monster song ITB all the time (which is actually now) is really when it will kill it all.

    I still love tracking with my hardware. I just love LA2A's. Love em...
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    is this with compression from a plug? how do you do that?

    i have a 96k FW interface. if i record one track of say acoustic guitar, i have to monitor the input to the interface because i will have a slight delay in the phones or monitors if i monitor the DAW. it gets worse when i insert a plug even while tracking. this is why i still have an opto comp and a VCA comp and reverbs in my rack. i don't use them to mix, only for tracking and believe me as soon as it's possible i'm going to eliminate them. i would love to get rid of that huge rack. unfortunatly by the time i can do that they will be worthless ... i can't sell them even now.
     
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Well, RME PCIe interfaces are fast and stable which allow me to drop the buffer to 128. I never put reverb or delays on the individual channels , only one each assigned to a master group. I and don't add extra processing at all during the tracking or creation of a song. I think like its the old days (don't have excess to mess me up) and do not start mixing as I build. I used to but no more.

    There is a real art to being able to go back to tracking once you are into the mixing to redo something. But matching the sonics is one thing, getting the latency down at that stage (bigger sessions at least) is not for the average interface then. That's when a PCIe interface makes all the difference. I tried to work with FW or USB interfacing, But I was never happy. My first interfaces after Avid was a couple of FF800. They are okay but nothing like PCIe on a good desktop.

    I know people are having great success with FW and USB on laptops, but not me. I use FW or USB interfaces but only as capture devices,.

    And last but not least, I optimize my DAW for tracking and mixing so I get its fullest potential. Here is where I feel is the big reason to use Samplitude. It has all that you need for tools stock. The moment I start adding other code, like all DAW's, it starts showing problems. So, can you imagine what Avid is about. No wonder people are investing in so much DSP. They have to have it to feed the addiction and redundancy. Meaning, I'm only guessing but I bet there is added conflict of cpu drain just because some code has their own something in it that isn't the best for the "whole" . PCIe cards are the way to better stability though, at least in my setup.
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    at 128 i hear the difference. it's not much but enough to mess with a groove. add a plug compressor and it starts getting worse.

    PCIe and desktops! talk about on the road to perdition! it's going to be laptops / pads and pods .... and laptops will be considered "kludgy".
     
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Uad is spec ing their latency like this
    • Simultaneous A/D conversion 8 channels
    • Simultaneous D/A conversion 14 channels
    • Analog Round-Trip Latency 1.1 milliseconds @ 96 kHz sample rate
    • Analog Round-Trip Latency with four serial UAD-2 plug-ins via Console application 1.1 milliseconds @ 96 kHz sample rate

    Not too shabby. I think it's 6ms with FireWire. I'm not awRe of any limits on pluggin type so Ypu can print pre amp emulations and comps eqs ect on the way in via dsp.

    this reminds me of a digital console type setup just without the faders. I've never expericned latency problems on d8bs SLs or any of them from the common era.

    With digital the analog design becomes arguably more important due to the high precsion digital, and digital relies on clean stable power.

    I think power is a very interesting aspect lately. It something I lve taken for granted as long as it was quiet. But I think there is more to it than that.
     
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    indeed.
     
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Agreed. I don't think that it will disappear outright, but it's sure been shrinking - to the point where it's not nearly as common as it once was, and eventually, I think that the real stuff will eventually become just a whisper of the past for most, and used by only a select few who can afford them.

    Even major engineers, guys like the Alge Brothers, Pensado, Scheps, and Puig, are pretty much all using DAW's w/plugs now for mixing. They may still track through a real SSL, Neve, etc. - if they have them - but when it comes time to mix, these guys are relying a lot more on ITB processing than they are on OB gear anymore.

    You've got cats like Andrew Scheps, who still owns and uses a LF vintage 8068 Neve desk to record with, coming right out and saying that he's hard pressed to hear the sonic differences between a real 1073 EQ and the plug version.


    I can tell you that the stock EQ in Samplitude - the 116 EQ - is absolutely just as good - no, wait, strike that - it's better than the most expensive OB EQ's I ever worked with. If I'm looking for a transparent EQ, the 116 is a great choice, and it's not even an add-on, it came as a stock EQ in Samplitude. Other manufacturers also make great EQ plugs as well... Fabfilter, T-Racks 432 and Linear Phase EQ, Ozone and Voxengo - are all great detail-oriented and transparent EQ's, perfect for ITB mixing, and available for a fraction of the cost of real hardware.

    Because the bulk of the real classic gear is so cost prohibitive, the majority of the smaller commercial studios are constrained by limited budgets to go with ITB processing. Even Chris is selling his 1176 and LA2A. He may not want to, and they do have a certain "mojo" to them, but he knows that they aren't necessary to get a great mix.

    That's not to say that the big boys still won't have a few classic items - I doubt highly that you'll ever get Parsons to give up his beloved Fairchild 670, and with other bigger rooms, there will probably always be those classic real pieces available - 1176's, LA2A's, Pultec's, Focusrite Red's, etc., because there are many who already own them, and who still like to track through some of those models for the character they can provide. But I think you'll find that even bigger studios are headed for ITB processing.

    So, I'm not saying that OB racks will completely disappear, but those racks are certainly shrinking - as more and more studios are headed for production being done completely ITB.

    IMHO of course.
     
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  10. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I might be stabbed for this but for small and home studio, I think Cheap EQ, reverb and Comp can be use to make headphone mixes while you record clean and mix ITB. Thing is, more and more audio interfaces comes with DSP that do just that ; helping do headphone mixes while letting you mix later. So again some money saved.
    Of course If I already had a 32 Channels classic neve console, I would do everything with it even if it would meen having one sound. But, I don't and not planning to buy one.

    One thing that I think will never change is need for 1 or 2 channel strip with which you can record with a different character than your main recording preamps.
    Also, if you are doing broadcast, you'd want Highend hardware units. Pre/EQ/Comp to do that in realtime without the risk of crashing down with a computer.

    But going back to home studio, let's say I have a 12 channel pre interface like the Zen studio, recording everything with the same pre isn't ideal, so I might add some ISA430 or LA610 for lead vocal or other tracks that I want to set appart.

    MAn I want this Zen Studio so much. I'd be fully set with 12 good pre, my 2 LA610, 4xISA and 4xUA710... Other than a few more mics, I wouldn't want anything else !!

    As for latency, the mistake people do is to try applying effects in real time for monitoring purpose.. This isn't working very well with todays computer performances.
    I often do a guitar track with emulators, this is a pain to do, I just remove all other processing and get something like 5-15ms. Barely workable...
     
  11. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

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    guys .. many have discussed in the post ... however if we gave a survey question mark instead ... ... compressor is needed or not? ... and please tell me it's ok for warmaudio wa76 configuration so?
     
  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    A compressor is not 'needed' when tracking and the WA76 wouldn't be my choice to fit the U87 and Vintech (quality Wise)
    That being said, do you like how your combo sounds ? Do you think it needs warming or saturation ? Audiokid has a La2a to sell I'm sure it could do wonders with the vintech. but as he says him self, it mostly could be done ITB...

    You've done an excellent choice with the U87 and X73i, I'd be carefull not to degrade the signal with other units..
     
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  13. Vitalie Andries

    Vitalie Andries Active Member

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  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    LOL... Uh.....yeah. :rolleyes:
     
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  15. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    That's nearly impossible to say - Personally, I don't think you need one - at least not to function as an actual compressor - as mentioned, you don't have to record that hot anymore, leaving you plenty of room for transient peaks to occur without clipping, that you could then attenuate in the DAW using either volume envelope editing or a good compressor plug in. But, that doesn't mean you might not want one - if you are looking for the "sound" of a particular compressor - like an LA2, 1176, etc., for its character/sonic texture possibilities.

    I will say this... if you do decide that you want a compressor in your gain chain, the Warm model you are considering is using a Cinemag transformer - and you might not end up liking the result as much as you will by using just the 1073.

    Recently, we did a mic pre transformer shoot out here, and the Cinemag was chosen last by nearly everyone who voted.

    I'm sure it would - but being that the WA76 is an 1176 knockoff - which is a FET compressor - you may want to consider looking at a real 1176 instead of an LA2, if that's the compressor style you are after.
    FET and Opto are two totally different beasts. I'm pretty sure that Chris ( @audiokid ) still has an 1176 for sale, (along with an LA2 - which when together sound marvelous - but, they aren't as cheap as the WA76 is ) although he is selling them for a price that is more than fair, and, I would feel 100% confident in anything that Chris would sell being in great condition. ;) )

    Short answer - you don't need one. But if you decide that you want one, consider other alternatives to the WA76, and one of those alternatives is to look at a real 1176.

    IMHO of course.

    d.
     
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  16. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Donny I would use any of the LA2A or 1176 on vocals without any fear of having bad results. But one thing I like about the LA2A is that with only 2 knobs and the fact that it is very forgiving, I feel it would be a better choice to use it while tracking. You just place it so it gives a gentle kiss to the signal and if the performer starts to scream in the middle of the song, it would be there to save you. Same thing could be done with the 1176 but, you need to be carefull how you set it up and when it starts pumping, you're screwed with it and need to re-track.

    I might be imaginating all this, mayby Chris has a better understanding of the differences sinces he has both... ;)
     
  17. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    The only reason I suggested the 1176 over the LA2, is because Vitalie mentioned the Warm Audio WA76, so I assumed he was looking at a FET.

    I don't disagree with you at all about the LA2. I've used it many times over the years on vox. I love it.

    But I assumed he was interested in an 1176 "style" because he mentioned the WA76 - and that's a FET knockoff. I figured he might be more satisfied with the real thing - especially since Warm seems to be using primarily Cinemag transformers in their gear - or at least that's how it appears, and there's been recent discussion here about Cinemag XFO's having a bit of a "harshness" to them, or at least that's what the general consensus was when we did the ADK Mic Pre shootout a few weeks ago and I did a take with a Cinemag on the in and the out. ;)
     
  18. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I know you did ! I hope he won't be mad at me be I think he was more seduced by the price than what it is ;)
     
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  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    I've never tried the WA76. For all I know, it might sound just like an 1176. Of course, if that really was the case, people wouldn't still be paying $1800 -$2000 for 176's - they'd pay the $500 for the WA76, right? LOL

    The only experience I have with Warm Audio gear as one of their mic pre's (I don't recall the model, it was a single channel) that I heard at a client's studio about a year ago, and I thought it sounded "okay"....not terrible, but not great. It was very reminiscent of what we just recently discovered with the ADK pre when I did a vocal take where I used the Cinemag's - bright on the top end, a little brittle... which isn't a surprise being that Warm Audio uses Cinemag's in their gear...

    Although I do find it a bit funny because of the name of the company, and from what I've heard and experienced with their pre, it wasn't really all that "warm" at all... although I get that this is subjective, and opinions on that will vary depending on whom you ask.

    I've used other transformer-based preamps that sounded much "warmer" than the Warm Audio stuff I heard. ;)
     
  20. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I'm just saying that if I had just bought a U87 and a Vintech 73i, I wouldn' risk degrading that quality by putting the WA76 in the chain. Of course, if I had it around, I'd certainly make the test and see if it sounds good.

    Thing is, I must admit that if I analyse the LA-610 which I like a lot, it includes a simplified version of the LA2A which doesn't sound like a LA2A but does a very valid job anyway. So I realise that I should be carefull about choosing gear influenced by names and reputations.
    One thing the OP failed to say is what's wrong with the actual signal that would justify adding something on signal path. (other than the obvious dynamic control that could be done ITB)
     
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  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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