Highend channel strip workhorse???
dope5050
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#1
6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
  #1
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Thread Starter
Highend channel strip workhorse???

Hi guys,

Im fairly new to recording five years teaching myself never worked on anything commercial. Just looking for a bit of advice and also clear up some confusion I have had with what people here are posting.

Im after a high end channel strip great mic pre mic/line/instrument inputs great EQ and also a compressor. It will be used mainly for
1.Kick drum compression sample based mainly out of the box & back in.
2.Bass lines from a bass guitar or virtual instrument bass sounds same scenario out of the box & back in other than the bass guitar obviously.
3.Female singing vocals.
4.Male rapping vocals.
So basically Im after an allrounder (work horse) i may want to use it on other things later as my projects get larger or more professional.
By the way I compose electronic & hip hop style music as im sure you all guessed by now.

My budget is between $1500.00-$3000.00 US brand new prefered more than likely. Ive had suggestions from a few knowledgable friends & people i trust & they tell me I would be best with an Avalon 737sp but thats where my confusion comes in everyone on here knocks it in every post & other forums stating "Oh you can get better for the money its not as good as they make it out to be" just to quote a few.

So id hate to spend $2000.00 on something for a small project studio to realise I could have got way better for my price range so I ask of your help & suggestions guys they would mean alot. What would be better than the avalon 737sp for my needs and price range listed above?

Im also open to having separate gear in the chain such as an SSl Pre/EQ & a UA Compressor or something just an example. Thanks guys for reading & look foward to any input on my confusion.
#2
6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
  #2
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eleo's Avatar
 
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API 7600.

Great all rounder.
#3
6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
  #3
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The Focusrite ISA 430 mkii is a great all rounder and has lots of options on it.
#4
6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
  #4
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If you can stretch your budget a couple hundred, the Pendulum Audio "Quartet" is a serious whammer jammer... but if you're a skilled engineer, an Avalon 737 can most certainly get you through the day [folks tend to not like them here... which is kinda silly in my world... YMMV].

Peace
#5
6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
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I have a Avalon 737 and its great. it is a hiphip legend of a pre amp most of the stuff Dr DRE does comes from a Avalon 737. or so the rumour goes. I just got a Millennia STT1 origin and this channel strip is amazing. I plug a Neumann u87 in it and holy crap instant AWSOME . You dont even have to tweek nothing to get great results going in. Its the best pre I have for overheads outa Avalon 737 Rupert Neve Portico2 and the Millennia STT1.
supppppppper clean transparent all music no mud at all I wish I could give back my others after hearing clean like this not sure if colour is for me.
dope5050
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6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
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Thanks for your thoughts guys. If anyone else has any input it would be great. Id love to get the pendulum audio quartet II its just out of my price range. Until im making an income from the industry I cant justify spending $5000.00 just yet not that i could afford it even if I wanted to (I do want to haha). Im sort of thinking in my mind the focusrite or again the avalon 737sp although they are of high end quality they are quite affordable. By the way I thought the features on the focusrite was great love to hear one.

Thanks again guys appreciate all your posts.
#7
6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
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#8
6th March 2012
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Maybe consider waiting a minute until Radial ships either their Workhorse PowerStrip 3 slot 500-series one space rack unit or the Workhorse Cube, also a 3 slot. Then you can build all kinds of happy channel strips and if you decide you don't like a single part, like the pre-amp, you can replace it. So you could do an MA5, a Little Devil EQ and a DerrEsser..... I dunno, maybe not :P
#9
6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
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U Audio 6176
#10
6th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
U Audio 6176
+1

Cant really go wrong with this channel strip.
#11
6th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
U Audio 6176
To "slow" in my opion on percussion transits. Although its a awesome pre-amp / comp combo for a lot of things. I never get a "hard" kick out of it. I prefer a 1073 style of pre-amp for that.
#12
7th March 2012
Old 7th March 2012
  #12
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Aurora Audio GTQC, in your budget, ideal solution

Sent from my MB855 using Gearslutz App
#13
7th March 2012
Old 7th March 2012
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Buzz Audio ARC. It sounds huge and is functionally extremely flexible (opto comp and FET limiter seperate, with EQ. Preamp has switchable i/o and drivable transformer and variable impedance). Engineers of many genres use them live and in the studio.

http://www.buzzaudio.com/products/arc1.1.htm
dope5050
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#14
7th March 2012
Old 7th March 2012
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That Universal Audio 6176 looks great. Most sellers I have noticed are selling it with a free UAD2 Box which could be a great incentive to lean towards this strip. Appreciate all the replies guys thanks for sharing your experiences with these models.
#15
7th March 2012
Old 7th March 2012
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for a first high-end channel strip i would seriously look into 500 series gear. this way you can pick and choose your mic pre, comp and eq separately. yeah its a little more involved as far as researching units goes, but you will end up with a more custom input chain when all is said and done. with a single all-in-one unit, if you dont dig what the compressor is doing then youre stuck with that complete unit, etc. you can get into a lunchbox with a pro custom channel strip for around $3k or a little less, with the ability of picking and choosing your preamp, eq, and comp
#16
7th March 2012
Old 7th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natpub View Post
Aurora Audio GTQC, in your budget, ideal solution
I agree... This is a favorite of mine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by XodiaK View Post
for a first high-end channel strip i would seriously look into 500 series gear. this way you can pick and choose your mic pre, comp and eq separately. yeah its a little more involved as far as researching units goes, but you will end up with a more custom input chain when all is said and done. with a single all-in-one unit, if you dont dig what the compressor is doing then youre stuck with that complete unit, etc. you can get into a lunchbox with a pro custom channel strip for around $3k or a little less, with the ability of picking and choosing your preamp, eq, and comp
The 500 series will cost more money... To get something comparable in the 500 series to.... say a GTQC... you would have to get an MA5, a 550a, a FET compressor and an OPTO compressor. I don't see that coming in under $2700.
#17
7th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I agree... This is a favorite of mine.
The 500 series will cost more money... To get something comparable in the 500 series to.... say a GTQC... you would have to get an MA5, a 550a, a FET compressor and an OPTO compressor. I don't see that coming in under $2700.
+1!!
the GTQC is infact very nice!
As it is the MA5 with whatever you want in the 500 series..even if more expensive..the advantage is that you could build it slowly..(and could be portable..I dunno if you need this though)..

Another stellar option will be: BAE 1023 + BAE 10DC.. but it's around 5k..
The EQ on the BAE will be much more useful than the GTQC, even I have to admit that the little eq in the Aurora is very very nice, just limited in bands/frequencies, so if you could live with that you're golden.



Cheu
#18
7th March 2012
Old 7th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dope5050 View Post
My budget is between $1500.00-$3000.00 US brand new prefered more than likely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dope5050 View Post
Im also open to having separate gear in the chain such as an SSl Pre/EQ & a UA Compressor or something just an example.
API 500-6B Lunchbox - $425
Avedis MA5 or API 512c mic pre - $775
API 525, Buzz Essence, or Chandler Little Devil compressor - $1080
Great River Harrison 32eq - $775

$3055 ... and you have many more options and choices for modules. of course these are just examples. you could go for less expensive modules, or higher. if you dont like the eq, send it back and try another. same with your other pieces of the chain. no doubt, im sure the GTC2 is a nice unit, however you are stuck with the abilities of that single unit. as a first professional quality signal chain, i would opt to build it in 3 individual pieces. this way you have the ability of upgrading and expanding. i made the mistake of getting an all-in-one as my first quality chain, and ended up selling it due to versatility issues. later down the road, when you are confident in your abilities, and know when to use what gear in given situations would be a better time to invest in a single all-in-one unit. just my two cents, given i was there in your shoes not too long ago.
#19
8th March 2012
Old 8th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XodiaK View Post
API 500-6B Lunchbox - $425
Avedis MA5 or API 512c mic pre - $775
API 525, Buzz Essence, or Chandler Little Devil compressor - $1080
Great River Harrison 32eq - $775

$3055 ... and you have many more options and choices for modules. of course these are just examples. you could go for less expensive modules, or higher. if you dont like the eq, send it back and try another. same with your other pieces of the chain. no doubt, im sure the GTC2 is a nice unit, however you are stuck with the abilities of that single unit. as a first professional quality signal chain, i would opt to build it in 3 individual pieces. this way you have the ability of upgrading and expanding. i made the mistake of getting an all-in-one as my first quality chain, and ended up selling it due to versatility issues. later down the road, when you are confident in your abilities, and know when to use what gear in given situations would be a better time to invest in a single all-in-one unit. just my two cents, given i was there in your shoes not too long ago.
That's about $500 more... Also, the GTQC is two compressors in one. So, it would end up being a lot more money going 500 series for the same functionality.
#20
8th March 2012
Old 8th March 2012
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You'll never go wrong with any of these.

Aurora Audio GTQC
Requisite Audio Pal Plus MK II or III
Pendulum Audio Quartet or Quartet II
#21
8th March 2012
Old 8th March 2012
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A vote for the 6176 here. It's great... And the shelving EQ is a hidden gem here, love the high band for vocal air.

Also, the modern version of this allows a split channel strip so the 1176 can be used separately from the pre.
#22
8th March 2012
Old 8th March 2012
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When talking about something like the GTQC it is not something you'll ever need to sell or upgrade... you might desire a different color/flavor but this isn't like saying "geez, I wish the compressor in my Presonus Studio Channel was a little better" all three of the sections on the GTQC (or API Channel strip for that matter) are world-class and can't be upgraded from, only side-graded to something else of equal quality but different character.
#23
8th March 2012
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Just to confuse you even more ....

Check out the Rupert Neve Designs Portico II Channel. For $3K, there isn't a channel stip on the planet I'd choose over it (take that FWIW). The main selling feature of that box is the super high rail voltage, which turns in to real world headroom. This enables you to really dip into the EQ and compression without overloading the signal upon output.

Beautiful sounding preamp, surgical EQ, two different compression modes, de-esser, and silk & texture modes give you control over harmonic distortion. I found it incredibly easy to dial in settings and get exactly what I wanted from it in no time at all.

Can't reccomend it enough.

Anyways, ymmv.
#24
8th March 2012
Old 8th March 2012
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for the Rupert Neve Designs Portico II channel. I don't have it, but I have other Portico units with many of the functions of the Portico II, and these are definitely workhorses. The preamp is flawless. The eq on the Portico II is way more flexible than my 5032, which is itself capable of either surgical or broad sculpting. The compressor can switch between feed-forward and feed-back modes, which sound VERY different and give you a huge pallet of options.

You can also side chain the high pass to the comp to eliminate low-frequencies triggering the comp. The comp has a blend control. You can tweak the amount of silk (shifting tone from clean and punchy to more of the vintage neve-richness). And it has a de-esser, which is useful for far more than de-essing vocals (works great for taming bass guitar pops, for example).

The Portico II is a swiss-army knife using cream of the crop elements.
#25
8th March 2012
Old 8th March 2012
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+10 on the GTQC. By far my favorite front-of-chain unit with or without the great compressor. Just used it tonight on fretless bass and it was awesome, as always.
#26
8th March 2012
Old 8th March 2012
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The ua la610 is an incredible value, and I see them used all over. The only downside is there isn't much in the way of eq for the mids...
#27
11th March 2012
Old 11th March 2012
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I recommend Millennia STT-1 for versatility. You have over 100 combinations of setting to choose. Each combinations sound top notch.
Solid state pre sound transparent and clean, tube pre sound nice and round. EQ on it is really a mastering quality.
Using SS pre and turning on SS on EQ section without using EQ can give you solid low mids body.
And you have transformer switch to give more lows around 100Hz.
It's a amazing Swiss army knife.
#28
11th March 2012
Old 11th March 2012
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I say find a used Chandler TG Channel the Pre and the Eq are set to "Stun" $1200 to $1500
no messing around from classic smooth to classic grit,
a true joy to record with.
then add a comp with the rest of the budget,
and for a comp
grab a stereo compressor
use one channel or stack the compressor and use one side to limit one to compress when recording
and then it can be used for 2 bus or mixing.

KBB
#29
11th March 2012
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  #29
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#30
11th March 2012
Old 11th March 2012
  #30
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My Recordings/Credits

Used Symetrix 528. It has mic, line in, de-ess, comp, 3 band parametric EQ.
Look to spend about $200~300. It 'll "git er done".

Then learn your craft. Use the money saved for other things, until you get real paid gigs that will cover the cost of that 'Highend channel strip workhorse'.
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