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Federal AM864/U Test Sound Samples.
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lakeshorephatty
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#1
15th March 2013
Old 15th March 2013
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Federal AM864/U Test Sound Samples.

Hey folks,

When I was looking for samples of one of these I found very little out there so I thought this might be useful.

I did a 2h test where I recorded a few things through a U87 TG channel on its cleanest possible gain. One mic drums, bass, guitar (played badly), piano, voice.

I processed everything through the federal as best I could as if it was a tracking situation. I tweaked for at most 2-3 min and then processed. I was tweaking everything.. daw level, input gain, threshold, ratio (rear controls) and gain for reentry to the daw.

No other equip in line in this test. Just rosetta 800 - federal - rosetta 800

After processing I eq'd the raw tracks and the federal tracks to make them sound good to my ears. I made a mix of each trying to keep the volume very similar.

This is not our song so is for demonstration purposes only.

I don't think I'm going to buy the federal at this stage. I have some great tools that can provide this kind of color and close to the same compression. I have to limit my purchases to about 1 major item per year so I have to choose something that's going to add a really different sound to my workflow.

I do think its very cool though. I believe it has an attack mod from stock.

If I was doing exclusively 50's type stuff or black keys-ish distorted stuff this would be a magic bullet. I do like cleaner tones as well though from time to time so I don't think this is versatile enough for me.

Russell
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 AnimalFederal.mp3 (1.85 MB, 163 views)
File Type: mp3 AnimalNOFederal.mp3 (1.85 MB, 154 views)
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lakeshorephatty
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15th March 2013
Old 15th March 2013
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Pics or it didn't happen right....

Russell
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Federal AM864/U Test Sound Samples.-2013-03-15-14.42.19.jpg   Federal AM864/U Test Sound Samples.-2013-03-15-14.42.46.jpg  
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15th March 2013
Old 15th March 2013
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nice song! i like your 1 mic approach too.
the federal sounds as if it's been mastered, and the no federal sounds further away.
also the federal really tightened up the snare. I like it.
I know what you mean about 'the black keys' - the vocal has distortion but it's cool and not overbearing. That is a sweet lookin box to boot.
If you don't mind sharing, what other compressor do you have that behaves similarly?
lakeshorephatty
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15th March 2013
Old 15th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danly View Post
nice song! i like your 1 mic approach too.
the federal sounds as if it's been mastered, and the no federal sounds further away.
also the federal really tightened up the snare. I like it.
I know what you mean about 'the black keys' - the vocal has distortion but it's cool and not overbearing. That is a sweet lookin box to boot.
If you don't mind sharing, what other compressor do you have that behaves similarly?
Hey.

The federal tracks sound more finished for sure. Hard really to compare raw non effected tracks with ones travelling through any good compressor. I definitely wouldn't want the music to be finished raw like that. It feels a little all over the place, but I did it for the sake of having something raw to see what the federal does.

If I was smarter I would have split the signal and recorded the sources my traditional way as well, and then seen which one worked out better. As it stands I'm so used to my normal methods that I know I like the results more.

Right now I'm typically only recording a couple mics at a time. I typically go to a UBK fatso after the preamp, or perhaps an eq then the UBK fatso. Sometimes no compression on just the tapey thing. I don't hit it too hard either way. Then I go to the peavey VCL-2 and again I just kiss it for a little bit of opto magic.. Typically after that I have a fairly balanced sound and I may go through the thermionic culture vulture if I want some grit.

With that system I have so much tweakability. Different types of harmonics can be created and different amounts of presence, tone changes etc.

I think what I really need at this point is something like a really amazing sounding 1176 for instance. The really great ones add presence and most of my tools rob it just a little. I need something to add some snap back in and perhaps control it.

The federal is a good tool though. Its a bit touchy on the ratio. If you have really peaky material it tends to "nose dive" fairly easily on peaks if you don't have it set just right.

Russell
lakeshorephatty
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15th March 2013
Old 15th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danly View Post
nice song!
Its a cover for the test and its actually a cover of a cover. I have no interest in the original song but the reggae version is amazing..



Russell
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15th March 2013
Old 15th March 2013
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Nice sounding track russell !

Federals are great compressors, the pots on the back of the unit should really be moved to the front. While the compressor circuit in there is pretty interesting, Ive always felt that the main vibe of those things came from the output amp and associated transformer.
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15th March 2013
Old 15th March 2013
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My Federal is one of my favorite pieces I own. It is probably THE most underrated piece of equipment in history. My friends that have a huge track record and huge obsession with gear have a Federal right under their 670's. I like the thing on bass the most. It does the job of a la2a but makes each note stand out and add some really awesome color to the tracks.

Hopefully we can keep this thread going so more people will give them a shot and get a awesome piece of gear in their studio at a fraction of what something like this should cost.
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16th March 2013
Old 16th March 2013
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Alex who posted above is keeping "mine" warm at his place....... I miss it, it kicks ass on lots of stuff...... I may need to find another.

One of my favorites, and truly useful on many sources.
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16th March 2013
Old 16th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagelove View Post
Alex who posted above is keeping "mine" warm at his place....... I miss it, it kicks ass on lots of stuff...... I may need to find another.

One of my favorites, and truly useful on many sources.

MINE!!! haha
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17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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I love the sound of that vocal with the Federal. How much compression were you using?
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17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mix House LA View Post
I love the sound of that vocal with the Federal. How much compression were you using?
I don't know where else to ask, can you check your PM?
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17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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on the vocal i had the threshold (the actual threshold knob, not the one labeled threshold.) all the way down so it was clamping down the earliest. I'm guessing the ratio was around 3:1, in the first 1/4 of the ratio knob. I had the gain around 8 out of I believe 24. I had the input level set so it was doing about 3-5 db of compression often, but even more on those super loud notes.

Russell
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