Orban 622B Parametric EQ

Discussion in 'Graphic / Parametric EQ (analog)' started by Sean G, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    This is just my creative pallet talking. .

    After years of careful listening through really worthy gear (not trying to like something just because I bought it), the thing that stands out the most is the more analog gear in a path, the more a product looses its identity.
    So I am looking for a certain role analog has in my world now. It certainly isn't analog gear with a bunch of bells and whistles.

    I simply want gear with character. Something that will add that "glow" without crushing the bandwidth. Glow is what digital does not have.
    I want a Folcrom to add a mix through an M-2b. M-2b have a glow like no other pre I've used.

    Two DAW's and a really good monitor control section has helped me understand carful use of character. Thats why I like two DAW's.
    I like analog Pultecs because they have the ability to do broad curves with a "glow" and no honk. You dial it in as easy as a a gas heat element.

    I'm seeing very distinct roles to analog and digital. If I can do it ITB, I will always do that way. Its cheaper and easier but some things like LA2A's and Pultecs just sound better in the hardware state. They have that glow.
     
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  2. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    That Warm Audio EQP-WA has got my gear aquisition syndrome playing up again now...Damn !
     
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Lol I swear this isn't a multi quote contest. I always respect your opinions Chris, even if they differ from mine, because your one of the few engineers I know who isn't nostalgic with gear, tones or sounds.

    I didn't start sharing this sentiment until I got lucky enough to work on 'real gear, in a real room'. Analog for me has a place when getting a sound for tracking (hi and lo fi), and I'm going to experiment w a 2ch mastering/summing thing possibly in between the two daws. Noise per se doesn't bother me, but the room it takes up does. I'm moving into clear clean and open, but full. I believe this is achievable now. Clean doesn't mean sterile or or small by default anymore. I've got gritty and grungy down to a science by now.

    Even phil likes the millennia, which he feels is 2nd to some old Jensen? Brand preamp. Says it's the biggest fullest pres out. Seems like millennia can't be beat. 2 millennia, 2 neve, and a couple home made jammmies, are what's on my endless list. Tough to decide which first. Lol there's plenty of time.

    Fair enough. May I ask why you went with the meq5 as opposed to the more recognizable eqp-1?

    Dangerous st is coming. Can't be beat in price /performance from over a years worth of research. My friend went to NESCOM, an audio school that has nothing, nothing, but the most expensive stuff out there, and lots of it. He used both the dangerous and millennia. I think there were some firmware issues relating to the millennia. Sonically neither beat the other. Since I'm setting up surround in my eventual home mix suite, dangerous is the only one that's affordably scalable. And I like its Ethernet. Sorry for sweating cat6 these days.

    Your not alone brother. I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on one of those JDK audio 2ch eqs. They are the same price per channel as the warm, or similar ball park. I know the designs are different (xformer balanced out vs tube) but you might find JDK to be a bit more integral. Just my 2c
     
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    Its not about either. I can live with noise and love the space it takes up. Its all about not being worth it and especially not being as proficient or sonically as good. I am 100% convinced of this.
    In my opinion, ITB is better for all mixing and mastering. Especially for mastering. At least Samplitude ITB.
    Two DAW's though, thats why I heard the truth and how I came to the realization.

    ITB top and bottom is what the DAW does so well. But noting does the midrange like MEQ-5.
     
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  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    This is exactly why I'm not specing out much hardware yet.
     
  6. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    Interesting Kyle, where are they made?
     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    Hey Sean, I'm curious why you were looking at a parametric in the first place? I don't mean to steer you away from that. Maybe its for similar reasons as me.

    This is why I used the 622.
    The 70's bass sound is woolly and the kicks sounded like flap... Then the 80's came.

    I used the Orban to push 80 to 100 hz. It did it really well. But then I got smarter and learned how to mix like the 80's and also used the Linn kits. I also learned to use synths to augment subs and so it goes.

    Today, digital parametric is hands down superior. This is why I don't use an analog parametric. I've owned beautiful parametrics, and to my surprise, Sequoia made it possible for me to sell them with no regret.
     
  8. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    more so for bass & kick...I want something that has a little versatility, so having a second channel would be handy if I wanted to use it across a stereo bus.

    I'm not completely sold on the idea either. I'm open to the views of those that came before me, otherwise you don't really learn anything except from your own mistakes which can be an expensive and fruitless exercise that just makes you want to pull what ever hair you had left, right out of your head.
     
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    We should start a thread on the mixing business.

    In a nut shell, here is what I've learned.

    All the gear in the world won't help improve a badly tracked mix. Good mixes mix themselves. Sure we get all the tracks and think we have the ability to fix. We buy gear we read is great for this instrument and that but to my ears, none of it does what going back to the engineer and seeing if they could improve bleeds and bad overdubs that started in one day and ended a week later. Or, simply dumping the bad drums and doing a replacement.
    As we improve our listening skills, we are now learning about phase problems introduced from god knows what and realizing how cool ITB really is now. And how gear really isn't as important as learning how to get into a mix deeper which digital audio does so much better..
    But wait... what about the sound of bad converters and preamps that have that glassy upper freq to it.

    So, we first think warm tube gear and analog processing will help. Well it doesn't. You are only as "big" as the weakest track. It becomes a process of learning how to reduce to make it all sound "glued".
    To my ears, most analog tweaks OTB... instantly messes up with the imaging and introduces transient smear. Which means, shifting freq's that pull the mids and subs apart which kills the big ass sound you are going for in the first place.

    You go nuts trying to improve or you will be like so many where they think they are improving a mix up until some guy on a laptop simply dials a mix in using some smart tricks.

    You will blow more clients away by learning how to bring mixes better in phase and replacing their crappy room sound with a Bricasti over investing in analog gear as a mixer.

    Big topic but that's how I hear it.
     
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  10. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    I agree, your mix is only as good as how well it was tracked. Theres' none of this "fix it in the mix"...thats' total BS. Its just an excuse for the lazy who couldn't be bothered getting it right in the first place. Its as useful a mantra as putting a band-aid on a broken arm.

    I did a mix for a friends' band as a favour, it was tracked at a budget studio for next to nothing. Pulled my hair out for hours trying to repair poorly tracked drums played by a guy who kept time like a Taiwanese Timex. In the end I dumped the lot and replaced all the drum tracks. It was obvious what I had done as soon they heard the opening couple of bars but nobody said a word, not even the drummer. They had never sounded so tight and polished like on that track.

    For that split second when the song started you could see that soul-crushing moment when he realised it wasn't him...and the deadly silence from the collective realisation of the band to what they were hearing.
     
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  11. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    And it just keeps going that way.

    You should try mastering. That is twice as frustrating. You are endlessly pushing volume and trying to soften the sss. And by the time you get the track, you keep thinking about how to fix it in the mix lol.
     
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  12. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    I'm no M.E, but that would be the only time I would say that the saying rings true...when a revision is needed at the mastering stage to balance or improve the tracks sonics or fidelity.

    When its all said and done if this gives a better final result then so be it...but at the tracking -> mix stage its just lazy IMO.
     
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    Other than your clients, all the work you do is never realized by your peers because people from the outside do not hear your amazing improvement. They still hear the problems that are part of the mix that you can never fix. And you cannot constantly be saying, you should have heard this before. I did this and that to it.
    And so it goes.

    But... all it takes is that one mix that was tracked well. Then you are a hero and a career is launched.

    Mixing our own work is fun, mixing for other people is an eye opener. Once I started mixing for other people, I started really learning about phase and alignment. I think this is why so many engineers are now realizing, once ITB, stay ITB.

    As we learn what not to do, a great mixing room and knowing your monitors is essential.
     
  14. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    I know it sounds cliché, and its been said many times before now, but something that is tracked well literally mixes itself...you really don't have to do much to it, it already sounds good to start with. Iv'e heard many M.E's say the same thing about tracks that are mixed really well too that come to them for mastering.

    In the case where you are just mixing something tracked really well, sometimes theres' a little guilty feeling associated with the task that you haven't really done much to make this track really shine...especially if its tracked by someone else.

    I find I'm using less plug-ins when this is the case or those that I am using is only being applied minimally, also theres' less processing going on so theres' less latency smearing things.

    It becomes a pleasure to mix whereas when its the opposite it feels like the task at hand is a chore.
    IMO I think mixing for others you become more critical of what you are doing and the end result. I know I do. Sometimes I feel I second-guess what I'm doing, not because I'm not confident in what I'm doing, but human nature kicks in when you know someone else will be critiquing it, usually the artist or performer(s) whose work it is, which is silly in a way because even mixing your own work is open to critique when its heard by others. When I mix my own tracks I don't fall into that mindset like I do when mixing for others and its hard to train your brain to make that switch and think the way I do when mixing for myself.

    Maybe its because with my own stuff I have the final say and when its done, its done, and I'm satisfied. With someone elses work, there is always the chance that they may want something revised, which can evoke thoughts of " I didn't get it right in the first place..." or " It wasn't good enough..." which I know is silly because it just comes down to personal taste. ;)
     
  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Well good question, I'm guessing they're assembled overseas. They are designed and specd in America I believe, as part of API, either former team members, or s sister Corp. I'm gonna find out, because they use high quality parts, and an old but proven design.

    Yeah we should. I'm moving into it, I'm sure I can learn a lot. It also helps when talking about gear to know if your talking tracking or mixing. I think it's easy to get misunderstood.

    I know any of the gear I talk about (beside a possible summing type thing) is exclusively tracking. I don't mix with hardware once it's ITB, I never have. So eq for instance, my thought is if I can get some basic eq out of the way, it's less I have to do later. I've never had powerful mix hardware, like an ssl, or anything so, my mixing on hardware was limited to eq on a Portastudio. I mix as I track. I'm old school in that sense, where I eq with mic placement and selection, and make the person sing in tune, and make sure the guitar is intonated and tuning checked every few takes.

    Live mixing also is different because you can mix to the room without consequence. And it's fast and intuitive. Some nights your a problem solver, other nights your an enhancer. I'm just tired of the scene, so live mixing isn't something I'm interested in right now. Maybe in a few years when I start to travel

    My best sounding mixes were done quickly ITB or via digital mixer, with a bunch of well rehearsed professionals, live in studio. Little to no editing, few punches, and only a couple takes. Really, how real records of the golden age were made much of the time.

    Mixing other people's recordings makes you more of a sound designer. I've realized that while you may be able to improve a mix, it's not gonna get much better, unless you start adding things, and replacing things.

    Many many bad mixes are just bad arrangements, many average songs, lack something unique. That's an area I learned to pursue from the studios. Pre production done at post. lol


    One of the main reasons I want to be involved in realtime remote recording is so I can tell the person to move the mic. Or pick a new one. Or sing with heart.

    The other reason is because it's now possible to get DI feeds off all the guitars, bass, and trigger the drums (one way or another) leaving crappy acoustics for the vocals, which. If I'm present even remotely, I can tell the person to get out of their closet, or hang up some blankets.

    The next step is a set of motorized stands that I can manipulate remotely, but one thing at a time.

    I look at my job as much as a foley sound person, as recording engineer, and my live space will resemble that. Re triggering my own well tuned snares, and re amping from my own killer virtual amps, and tube amps. Sending things out to real space, and using a bricasti. For sure, I'm getting one, when time allows. Hopefully this next gen.

    I've learned from working with reasons samples that they sound great already, there's not your typical mud cuts Ect, it's like learning to un mix. But when you start with good sounds, the sounds your dialing in become good too, to fit in.

    Particularly with eq, I'm ok with whatever phase things I'm changing because it's part of the sound hitting 'tape' and I think phase is more a problem relative to another instrument our sound, vs when working on a solo instrument. I think it's phase relationships that can be troublesome, just in general. I don't know if I said that exactly how I meant it, hopefully you catch what I mean.

    Mastering- gradually starting to work w two tracks more and more, I've discovered how unbalanced my mixes were. SSS like you said Chris. Vocals just way out of proportion in the top, relative to the rest of the track. That's not good vocal sound, it's bad mix technique. Is actually one of things I'm looking forward to w Sam, is finalizing some old mixes that had sss problems. Working on 2 trk, has shown me massive errors in my ways.

    These are the kind of thing where an ME would've told me first mix back in the day, if I came up in the 70's. I've literally never had any of my mixes mastered by a true ME.

    Most of my old finalizing in Adobe audition was simply take my mix, adjust the gain and be done. The whole mastering step was kinda a new thing to me when I started at the studio.

    But, what also was new to me was the whole, 0 everything out when you start to mix, which frankly, I think is dated if you've tracked the mix. This wasted a lot of people's money at the studio.

    Because I was self taught, and 17 years later, still am not breaking the 4 input barrier at home, I have a very. Concise rec/mix technique. And A lot of my recordings are rough sounding, with energy.

    I wanted to learn how to make real records. And I'm getting close. It's a certain level of perfection, and how you get it, it's vibe vs mistakes.

    When I hear small dull sounding drums that the engineer says is from like toontrack or whatever, I understand that they are trying too hard, or the acoustics/monitoring/conversion if off. Bad arangemeent in the form of un fitting samples.

    I recently mixed song on cubase for iPad, wireless through the Apple TV, wth my HRs plugged into the tv headphone jack.that came out better than the original, which was done at the studio. With many more brand name plug-insand really pro monitors. When I clear enough space on the pad, I'll post the two mixes. Maybe I'm wrong.

    My brain is mush by this hour so I'll stop. Lol this post sounded better in my head while I as lying awake.

    The biggest thing I've noticed about all the people who I consider masters of any field, carpentry, music, philosophy, electronics, is simplicity. It seems like eventually after you go through all the elaborations and grandour, it's simplicity that does it. Even complicated things and processes, get simplified.

    It's almost as if I (we) feel if it's easy we didn't earn it.

    Almost by default, I've basically nailed the rough mix, albeit with a couple clams, mixed the song to garbage, then observed what's good about the first, and end up with basically a refined rough. I think one of the biggest lessons I've learned is the discipline to serve the song. Let punk be punk, let fidelity happen. And frankly, learn that not everything sounds good, or should, and accept it.

    That said, I'm going to spend an enormous amount of time on some of my mix templates, particularly w electronic bass, and drums. Many people who send me mixes will be sending me triggers, whether they know it or not. I've mixed enough horrible fruity loops sounds to realize, it ain't what they're using on the 'records'.

    Lol I say this, and I'll end up setting up remote audio rigs for the next decade. I never, ever, ever, thought that buying a book to help me make a little music room for my cousin was gonna put food on my plate, and yet I'm on my second design gig of 2016. Usually it's one studio every two years, or at least that's how it's been since '06. This year it's 2 studios in 6 months!!! And my buddy just got his new house w a 2 car garage, slated to become a studio in a year or two. So I like this ride right now. It's gonna be great to get back to how it was in college before I was pro level mixing/recording, where I woke up, had some OJ and some food, fired up the system and a little something else, and just played, and vibed. I miss that freedom, I'm earning it back.

    Sorry for run on off topic rambling.
     
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  16. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    As well.

    To add
    I'm of the mindset, gear I buy for mixing should be useful for tracking.

    Mastering, Classical music/ pure acoustic instrumentation etc comes to mind. Whats the difference if its classical or a group of folk musicians so, analog gear, especially 2-bus products should be true for mastering or mixing too.
    Otherwise why buy anything analog that isn't useful in a hybrid system. Stay ITB. Which is why transparent summing boxes are my choice. Its easy to hear what your analog gear is really doing. And, to keep the analog summing in the path, for when you need it. Its also why its so cool to have digital patching because I can switch gear any way I want for tracking, mixing or mastering.Thus, allowing everything in your arsenal to be used through digital switching. This makes it very easy to A/B/C . Thus, demystifying what analog gear is really doing for me today.

    This is deep but how many samples have you heard that all sound the same up until you actually add reverb and process them into a mix?
    A good example: Listen to a keyboard without reverb. Or listen to sample libraries all without reverbs.
    If you follow this mindset, its pretty clear how important tracking pure is, and how important reverb is to the spacial distances of a song. There really isn't a lot of reason to be EQing the tracking imho. But, I also disagree with myself because they are exceptions and some of those are pretty damn obvious.

    My choices are pretty simple today. Other than character analog compression and Pultecs, I personally don't believe there is much we need in a path for tracking anymore. I am inclined to feel its not logical EQing going in. I guess I don't trust myself that much. I feel its better to do most processing ITB and to keep the tracking lanes pretty flat and pure.

    But, I've never heard LA2A's sound as nice ITB as they do when used for tracking vocals. I wonder why that is? Anyone have an answer?

    I personally don't believe there is anything analog I would buy for mastering again. Digital mastering is just too awesome in comparison.

    Spot on. (y)
     
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  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    This makes so much sense. Are you still using the Xpatch for this?

    The beautiful thing about art, is we can all pick our own colors. I love learning how others arrive at their sounds.!


    ....waiting.... Maybe one day when I get lucky enough to play with a real LA-2, I'll have an answer for ya. I've used the waves cla-2 on vocals, it cuts and is perhaps a bit edgy. I can only use my imagination on this one... Next time I talk to Dan Zellman, I'll ask his thoughts. He was the guy who programme the URS pluggin line, which was fairly short lived on the mainstream, for various, reasons, of which I'm not privy to the details about. I think it was a corporate head type situation.

    I am in Shock.!!!! Get this. JDK audio R24 eq, assembled/manufactured in Maryland, USA!!!! Unbelievable.

    The more I look into it the more I'm discovering its top end is seemingly its strong suit. So while SOS and the other various reviews did say it was good for Kik and bass, it might not be the first choice for @Sean G , but undoubtably worth looking into to, if for no other reason than fun.

    It did get some marks for transparency, but many people wish for matched detented pots, for mastering scenarios, and an in/out gain adjustment, which is absent.

    I'm currently arranging a demo with a company in Boston, who carries them, but doesn't have them in stock, so the salesperson has my info, and is gonna get back to me whenever.

    Lol serious GAS all ther sudden.
     
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Best investment ever. But, forewarning! It took me a good while to understand the power of digital switching and how to set up a fully switchable modular tracking, mixing and mastering system. I'd never settle for less now. Only downfall is you need a few of them if you want a lot of gear available. I suspect better digital routers will start coming. Like 16 and 32 channel routers (digital patchbays).

    I've sold a lot of gear (no longer needed) but everything in my rack can or could be switched on the fly. Everything can be compared without pulling patch cables. And there is not degradation. These are straight wires controlled by switching relays. Same idea as the Monitor ST. Digitally controlled relays.

    This is a big topic but the skinny is. We know that it is near impossible to remember a tweak after a sec passes. So digital patchbays (routers) close that gap. Its a big attribute to being able to compare more accurately.
     
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  19. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. that never ends.
     
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  20. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    Update : - Picked up a Klark Teknik DN-410 used but in good condition for $295...compared to the prices they are going for on ebay ($380 -> $800 + & mostly out of the US and in USD) it was much cheaper than what was on offer.
    The way I see it if it doesn't meet my needs or expectations I can just list it on ebay for what I picked it up for...but I'm sure I'll put it to use on something anyhoo.
    Yep...its an itch that just needs scratching sometimes ;)
     
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