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Hardware EQs that can be driven hard for color?
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asynchro_nous
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29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
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Hardware EQs that can be driven hard for color?

That would be good for synths?

(Under 2000 USD)
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29th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asynchro_nous View Post
That would be good for synths?

(Under 2000 USD)
eq for colour? surely the source is the colour?
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29th December 2012
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Loving the color from a pair of Chandler Little Devils on synths and drum machines.
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29th December 2012
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I´m in the same game as you now, searching Analog Outboard for tracking my synths... Give them a Warm Analogue Feel before the A/D Converter...

I will test the Chandler Germanium Tone Control in January, maybe the Tone Control is something for you?!

Or maybe some device from Tegeler (Germany)?
They make some decent priced tube Gear, it´s worth checking out, i think...

Cheers
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Purple LilPeqr's sound great when driven hard. Must be the transformers or some other magic fairy dust.

They sound great when not driven hard too!
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29th December 2012
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you guys have too much money..to gives syths "colour" sometimes the cheapest eq´s are the best.

Thats not directed to the OP but for others that might read that thread there are a lot of possible eq´s for that job..ol UREI graphics for example for around 100.- or something similar inductor based.
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29th December 2012
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I've got a pair of Chandler Germanium Tone Controls in my rack that sometimes get used for synth processing (among other things), though effective and interesting as EQs its not really the first thing I think of for "color"... Honestly for your budget you're probably going to get a better "color" by investing more in the source, or make sure you have a great DI/mic pre that the synths are hitting?
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30th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
...effective and interesting as EQs its not really the first thing I think of for "color"... Honestly for your budget you're probably going to get a better "color" by investing more in the source, or make sure you have a great DI/mic pre that the synths are hitting?
Without any great detail from OP I'd agree with this.

You'd probably get more out of a high quality but subtle distortion unit or tube preamp if you're looking for "drive". There are literally a gazillion options for this in your price range, and the 500 series is reaching saturation point with tone shaping preamps right now. Have a look there. With 500 series prices as they are you could add a nice eq in too if you really wanted.


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that'd be a 100 squid minimum not 100 dollars for the graphic urei. inductor based cheap eqs? which ones? PM welcome

eehmm Siemens W295, Neumann PEV, API 550a, Sphere 900 920 etc.
for new I'd go for purple audio TAV or ODD myself, or this Cartec or this Laz EQN
yep inductor, transformers
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I have a chandler tc on my modular almost 100% of the time.
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Not a fan of waves, but their API 560 is pretty nifty for adding color.

I know you said hardware, but this actually sounds more 3d than most vst eq that I have tried.
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Cheap. Vintage. Delicious.

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Preamps are overrated, especially for synths. For tone sculpting, EQs offer far more than preamps could ever hope to. If drive or saturation is what you want, there are a lot of options on the table that work great for synths, such as....

Overstayer Instrument Driver (cheap!) and SATURATOR
Niio Analog Track Thickener (also has EQ) and Iotine Core
TC Culture Vulture or Rooster (more expensive, but also has EQ)
Evol Audio Fucifier (mono and also expensive, but it has EQ)
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Nice list there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BTByrd View Post
Preamps are overrated, especially for synths. For tone sculpting, EQs offer far more than preamps could ever hope to. If drive or saturation is what you want, there are a lot of options on the table that work great for synths, such as....

Overstayer Instrument Driver (cheap!) and SATURATOR
Niio Analog Track Thickener (also has EQ) and Iotine Core
TC Culture Vulture or Rooster (more expensive, but also has EQ)
Evol Audio Fucifier (mono and also expensive, but it has EQ)
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30th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTByrd View Post
Preamps are overrated, especially for synths. For tone sculpting, EQs offer far more than preamps could ever hope to. If drive or saturation is what you want, there are a lot of options on the table that work great for synths, such as....

Overstayer Instrument Driver (cheap!) and SATURATOR
Niio Analog Track Thickener (also has EQ) and Iotine Core
TC Culture Vulture or Rooster (more expensive, but also has EQ)
Evol Audio Fucifier (mono and also expensive, but it has EQ)
How about really colored pre-amps like the Chandler TG-2?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boddhisattva007 View Post
How about really colored pre-amps like the Chandler TG-2?
I love Chandler products, and Wade always designs gear with loads of character. The Chandler Boost pedals ( germanium and Devil ) look like great options, and they are much cheaper than preamps. Search YouTube for demos with synths. Aside from the Chandler gear, the Slate Pro Audio Fox and Atlas Juggernaut Twin are fantastic choices for synth preamps. The A Designs Reddi is a great tube DI for keys.

But spending big money on preamps for synths isn't always the best way to improve one's tone (though they can be a good investment if one also needs pres for mics).
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Call me crazy, but if you want character for synths, it seems like preamps are pretty light weight. Maybe it depends on the type of character.

That boost pedal looks pretty cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BTByrd View Post
I love Chandler products, and Wade always designs gear with loads of character. The Chandler Boost pedals ( germanium and Devil ) look like great options, and they are much cheaper than preamps. Search YouTube for demos with synths. Aside from the Chandler gear, the Slate Pro Audio Fox and Atlas Juggernaut Twin are fantastic choices for synth preamps. The A Designs Reddi is a great tube DI for keys.

But spending big money on preamps for synths isn't always the best way to improve one's tone (though they can be a good investment if one also needs pres for mics).
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I had a cheap EHX PB-1 boost pedal and it has some coloration on synths and drums. Crank it and slammed it!
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30th December 2012
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Phoenix NiceDI! Hell, you could even snag a pair of RED DI's!

But for real, snag some badass boutique guitar pedals and have fun with the money you saved.
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I have an old Pioneer SG-550 that I got for $1 at a garage sale. Its far from great, but its sounds cool hit hard on certain things.
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I own this TL Audio Ivory 5052 mk2 valve EQ/channel strip. Very happy with it and it colors the sound very warm. Use it for vocals with my neumann mics, analog synths and whole mixes. It is possible to krank a lot of frequencies and it still sounds great - the opposite of my software EQ plugs. A friend/studio geak, familar with tubes etc, replaced the tubes to something I don't know (not familiar with tubes) and it sounds even greater.

It has been very popular (especial with a couple mono model of this, 5051) here in Stockholm with many Swedish producers (the reason I bought it long time ago)




If I could afford I would buy TubeTech (my drummer has that in his studio and it is miracle machines on everything, synths included - best sounding processors I ever heard, gives warmth, deep, closeness, crisp, claws and attitude), but too pricy for my wallet, even with his rebate as reseller.

Tips: If you decide buying a second hand tube EQ, be prepared to replace to tubes when they getting week after used for many hours and the EQ will not sound as good as with new tubes.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTByrd View Post
But spending big money on preamps for synths isn't always the best way to improve one's tone ...
I totally agree. Good preamps for vocals and other acoustic instruments are critical, but for synths I find simple, neutral and inexpensive preamps perfectly adequate. For me, color starts with the synth itself. The better the raw sound, the less need I feel to color it with anything else.

Regarding hardware EQs, I've also never felt the need for expensive EQs. I find the ones on my Mackie mixer perfectly adequate -- especially since most of the time I'm cutting frequencies rather than boosting them. In my experience, it's boosting frequencies that most reveal the weaknesses of cheap EQs. With high-end EQs you have much more liberty to experiment.

When it comes to "color" even the nastiest, cheapest EQs you can find can be just the ticket depending on the situation. For example, the EQ section in the Alesis Quadraverb can sound pretty dreadful, but when "properly abused" you can create the perfect color for a given track. I also tend to seek coloration more from compression rather than EQ. For example, my old dbx 166 "Blackface" compressor gives everything which passes through it a distinct "coat of paint" which I happen to really like! For me, EQ is more a sculpting tool than a paint brush.
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Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
I totally agree. Good preamps for vocals and other acoustic instruments are critical, but for synths I find simple, neutral and inexpensive preamps perfectly adequate.
depends what you are after.. any good analog synth does well without.. but for real sonical bliss i recomend a V 72 for a minimoog.. they love each other..its just pure sex.. just need to be carefull to dont overload the V72 and probably need a pad after it to dont overload the AD... but elsewise..

I would say that people that claim preamps useless for synths just dont know enough about that matter..

Also compare a oberheim 4 voice with the single SEM module..? why does the 4 voice sounds so much creamier? its the little 4 channel mixer it has on board.. and this can be seen as a preamp...

They add character.. sometimes it takes from the original source..sometimes it adds nicely.. not any preamp does the same good job for any synth..

the ones on my nord modulars are gorgeous.. but cant name them because they are still cheap i only have 7 sofar..still one missing.. and they allready have doubled the price within the last year :-/..
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Tips: If you decide buying a second hand tube EQ, be prepared to replace to tubes when they getting week after used for many hours and the EQ will not sound as good as with new tubes.
tip

when this happens you have one of theese modern valve stuff that burns the valves.. get it modded by an expert and equip with vintage NOS tubes and you will have a better soudn that lasts at least 20 years...

just.. seeing the pricetag after such an operation you might find it a better value too hunt one of the vintage discrete build versions.. the old ones sound more valve than most modern valve equipment.. and on an eq you mainly deal with passive eq circuits or op amp based ones that only get amped by valves anyway..

so a discrete class a is closer to the real thing than an valve pushed op amp design.. especially when it burns the valves regulary..
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Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
depends what you are after.. any good analog synth does well without.. but for real sonical bliss i recomend a V 72 for a minimoog.. they love each other..its just pure sex.. just need to be carefull to dont overload the V72 and probably need a pad after it to dont overload the AD... but elsewise..

I would say that people that claim preamps useless for synths just dont know enough about that matter..
I agree. And just to be clear "useless" is not what I said. I said "perfectly adequate". Big difference.

And if a V72 were to fall from heaven and land in my studio, you can be sure I'd use it. But like you said, not every preamp is appropriate for every synth -- not even a V72.

In any case, balance is key: preamps should be neither over-estimated nor under-estimated. I would put those who claim high-end preamps are unimportant in the same camp as those who claim they are essential. Both camps demonstrate unnecessary extremes to justify an end.
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Cheap? Run synths through Roland SDE-1000 delay (delay off). Oozes warmth and saturation (and mud), rounds the edges, perfect for cold sounding synths - it made my hard and sterile Dark Energy sound vintage.

Expensive? Siemens W295b, magic from top to bottom.

There's also a Chandler Tone Control on my rack, it's loads of character, but more grungy, smoky. I prefer that on drum sounds, weird sounds, sometimes bass - but not so much on synths.
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I would put those who claim high-end preamps are unimportant in the same camp as those who claim they are essential. Both camps demonstrate unnecessary extremes to justify an end.
true.

but its great to get highend preamps for low low prices.. i am in this game for decades now.. just.. as the not compromizing artist type i had to sell most of them in bad times again.. but allways with profit.. still can byte my ass that i haven kept the v76 i got for 150.- the unit.. i sold them for 500.- each-.. but now they would be closer to 5000.- each..

Anyway.. even with all the hypes good pres are still underrated..

but for synth music they really dont need to be expensive.. some smaller mixers do a phantasic job there when beeing driven hard..as you can hear on many early techno records.. They are too weak on the mixbus.. but overdrive in the chanel plus characterfull eq an ol studiomaster easily beats a studer..
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I would put those who claim high-end preamps are unimportant in the same camp as those who claim they are essential. Both camps demonstrate unnecessary extremes to justify an end.
Diplomatic
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