Published by deft_bonz on 17th April 2012
Some users here asked me, if the Alesis 3632 has an impact on the sound, especially if it's sucking up the lows. Until now I haven't done a "sophisticated" comparison, but during all the analog mixdowns I never felt a decrease in sound quality. Nevertheless I'm curious too… so here is my review and my first comparison test
The build quality is good, but you can feel the 99$ on the knobs. Every knob feels different. Some are hard to turn, some are light, others are slopy, etc. and I miss a colored marker on them (white stripe on black knobs, and black stripe on white knobs). You can not easily change the current from 120V to 240V, without soldering. The cables are there, the transformer is 240V ready, but no switch or jumper or similar. Also some buttons are hard to push, because they're very small and go deep into the plate. Some of them I need to push with my finger nail, with the finger tip I'm not able to press them deep enough. The design and colors are nice and the blue power LED shines very nicely. The 3632 gives the rack a high endish look at the first glance
The sound quality is good for 99$, I guess nobody expects anyway a big sound at this price point. But you can surely work with it in a budget scenario. It brings a buttload of features. Expander/gate, compressor, limiter, SC filter and what I love most: a very easy to use stereo operation mode. Even the output gain is controlled by the left side You can hear yourself what's happening with a slight compression on program material, check the according WAV.
A simple EDM beat with bassline mixed ITB (some EQs and FX), send thru 2 channels Apogee DA16X into SLL X-Desk. Connected the Alesis 3632 thru the inserts. Finally recorded back thru the master out into the Cranesong HEDD. All files played and recorder with 24 bit and 44.1 kHz, 8 bars @ 125 BPM, all three files gain matched +- 0.5 dB (some peaks not counted) and no normalization.
File declaration (links see below)
No 3632 = inserts were disabled
With 3632 = inserts enabled, 3632 no compression, just passing the signal thru the unit (NOT bypassing the 3632)
Compr 3632 = activating a little compression with ratio 1:2, attack 30 ms, release 1 s, threshold set until 3-4 dB gain reduction happened. SC filter and smart threshold also activated.
There is no impact on the sound when just running thru the 3632. So I can recommend the 3632 without hesitation for sidechain pumping, that's what I use my eight 3632 mainly for The compressed signal has a slight loss in the highs, but for 99 bucks I'd say it does a good job. And man, the sidechaining does sound better with them then with ITB. Have a listen yourself on my first analog mix using the 3632 extensively on Soundcloud (see below)
And here my first analog mix with extensive use of all my 8 Alesis 3632 as sidechain effect on various tracks (not all tracks ). Because the track is already signed, I neither want to upload the full track, nor in better quality. I believe you still get the pumping idea