Will the damn thing blow up?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by eonblue, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. eonblue

    eonblue Guest

    This is probably a reaaaaaalllly stupid question, but ya gotta start somewhere. I have a Sebatron Thorax and with a 0db and Ive noticed that often the VU meter dial slams hard into the red before I quickly tame it. I have read that the pad switch dictates "how hard you hit the tubes". Can someone explain what hitting the tubes hard does exactly? Im assuming you get more distortion, but is it possible to damage the Sebatron by cranking the preamp level up extremely high cause I swear that VU dial is going to hit the side of the meter and just snap right off!!!


  2. Sebatron

    Sebatron Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Yes that's right more distortion.... but there are shades of grey and there is a nice zone in the valves dynamic response that happens just before the onset of obvious or heavy distortion.
    Locate that sweet spot and start tracking.....
    What happens is that certain peaks or ' louder sections ' don't retain their 1:1 ratio as they enter this grey region.....
    They kind of bend well before they turn into squares or 'flat tops' which is what we percieve as distortion or ' clipping '.
    The accumulation of all your tracks will be easier to deal with as the nasty odd peaks , snares in an overhead mic for example , will be tamed and evened out slightly...
    Bass guitars may appear more uniform between different frquencies or notes.
    In other words some subtle compression is takng place.
    You can hit the tubes harder by all means ,, for effect or whatever.

    It is quite difficult to do any damage here ,, unless of course it's continuous material for hours on end at a level the VU is constantly on the right hand side even in it's most padded setting...
    Depending on the version of THORAX you have ,, you sould be able to switch into a different metering mode ( like GR ) after you've set up your levels and not worry about watching that meter slamming ....

  3. eonblue

    eonblue Guest

    Forgive me if this question belongs in a different forum, but since you mention the "sweet" spot......my usual method for setting the preamp level is to keep the VU meter to where it MIGHT dip into the red, but rarely does. Obviously there is no right way to get a sound, but would this approach lend itself to finding the sweet spot or is it more of a listen and decide thing?
  4. Sebatron

    Sebatron Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    ....well,, yes it's a listen and decide thing and may be purely subjective as well ....
    The ' Sweet Spot ' is the best sounding setting for a particular unit at any particular time with a particular sound under particular weather conditions permitting....usually this is the case....

    If you have a Black THORAX you should be able to Pad the meter's level response so that the meter reading is virtually irrelevant , ... and be able to use your ears discretion while keeping your eyes on the unit that follows the THORAX in the signal chain so that you don't overload it...
    You could also flick the meter switch to 'GR' and not worry about the meter readings at all... just use the unit blindly....
    Experment for different results.


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