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I want an analog console (console advice)
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#151
18th February 2012
Old 18th February 2012
  #151
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A usable console is at least 10.000.- if you have the $/time and a good tech you can get any console, invest 10 grand, and you will have an outstanding piece of equipment for a long time. but for 3-4 grand you are buying a restoration project, no matter which old console.
its like a classic car. to restore it will be some time/money, but then it should be good for another 15 years.

( I own 2 MCI 416, got for $2000 each, invested $ 10.000 in each and they are still not perfect, got an Amek Angela for $8000 and invested $5000 too)

BELVINS REALLY ****ED UP, THOSE IDIOTS. I SENT THEM 6 CHANNELS TO FIX FOR 450 EACH AND 3 OF THEM WERE RETURNED TO ME ( NYC) FAULTY, 2 HAD NOT EVEN THE AUX WORKING. BASICALLY THEY CHARGED ME AND DID NOT SEEM TO BOTHER TO TEST THEIR REPAIRS. THOSE GUYS ARE DRUNK OR STONED WHILE WORKING!)
#152
21st February 2012
Old 21st February 2012
  #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
Actually, I think the poster earlier was saying $15k total investment (desk + repairs + routing/patchbays + outboard fx). Given that, (and based on my limited experiences), I'd have to agree. The initial price of the console is not the final cost of the system, even if you don't have to sink and time/money into fixing up the console.

Oh - and earlier when I was comparing my Series 70 to the ATB, I was talking about the Series 70 line inputs (no transformers there) not the mic inputs.
Someone here swapped the transformers on the mic inputs to balance the line inputs and reported good results, - improved headroom and crosstalk.
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#153
27th February 2012
Old 27th February 2012
  #153
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Well, the original poster returns with finalized news on my console hunt. As crazy as many of you might think I am crazy for wanting a) a real analog console, and b) an expensive, time consuming electronics repair project.... I bought the Harrison!!! It's the MR-4 and it's going to be one heck of a project.

It was NOT in the floods in Nashville. In fact, it wasn't even in Nashville when the floods hit. It was in Alabama. The power supply has been rebuilt. The faulty component was a 30A Center Tapped Rectifier, which took 30 days to come in. I will be building a new power supply for this guy in the future.

My repair tech, good friend, electronics expert Rick is allowing me to keep the console at his bench for 2 months and is giving me free access to his electronics repair/test equipment for me to start learning my board inside and out while he's out on the road with Lyle Lovett. This is the same guy that regularly maintains/repairs the Midas XL-4, Soundcraft 5000 series, Yamaha PM-1800 and the rest of the modular consoles that the sound production company he works for owns. He knows electronics as he's done that his entire life but he also knows consoles and he's got me on the path to building up a store of replacement components for those times when you need it.

Right now, the console is standing on one side in my garage on a flat bed dolly. I've included photos. This is going to be a very exciting learning project and when it's all said and done, I should have a really nice board at my disposal. It's got ARMS automation in it, which I've heard isn't the greatest, and I could totally do without it, but it's nice to know I've got it. It's also got, strangely, 4 stereo channels which I have yet to find anything about in my literature on this beast.

My only serious issue with this guy will be deciding on how to interface it. It's loaded with tuchel connectors, and those can be expensive. But all in all, I'm really excited and looking forward to a year of electronics learning and hopefully console happiness at the end with real knobs and faders. One per function. No mice here.
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I want an analog console (console advice)-purchase-3.jpg   I want an analog console (console advice)-purchase-4.jpg   I want an analog console (console advice)-harrison-back.jpg   I want an analog console (console advice)-harrison-patchbay.jpg  
#154
27th February 2012
Old 27th February 2012
  #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Not for nothing, but I'd get the Toft ATB before I'd get any of the vintage desks in this price range.


Gregory Scott - ubk


I was in a similar situation and almost went with the ATB...


I ended up with a pair of MCI 600's (one to use, one for spare parts) but about a 1/3rd of the price of a 16ch ATB. Even with such a deal, I was still looking at the ATB. A few things swayed me though...

The ATB smells like 2012 music industry economics. Why wouldn't it... it isn't so much an insult towards the ATB, but rather an observation of how pro audio design has changed from heavy and complex over-engineering to "lets do the job in price range $XXXX". Fair enough. The music industry has changed leaps and bounds since 1982... but it leads to me wonder about the build quality of the ATB.

ATB sounds great! I won't deny that... but the MCI's I purchased have lasted 30 years to the month. I can't see the ATB's lasting that long. The design, the feel and the sturdiness certainly doesn't alude to it lasting for 30 years in a professional context. If maintenance is the discerning factor in choosing an ATB desk, I certainly don't think it will last even 15 years. All desks require maintenance, and the ATB is ultimately going to be one troublesome irrit based on its design.

I ended up with a pair of MCI 600s for a 1/3rd of the cost of a new ATB 16 channel desk. One for spares, one in service. Spare parts out the ying-yang. The ability to flick a switch and drop a replacement module in, in the event of a part failure is a fantastic thing. The desk is the total "center" of the studio with build in patch bay and it has significantly more complex routing. With all the kinks ironed out, cabling costs of the install and recapping costs, it cost me $750 more than a 16 channel ATB and it is set to run another 30 years (well, the caps will last 23 years if my calculations are correct).

There are plenty of great deals out there on the vintage market. Just keep in mind that all desks require maintenance at some point. If you plan on flipping your desks on the used market every few years as they start wearing out, the ATB is certainly the smarter choice. If you are looking for something for a longer term, consider its maintainability...
#155
27th February 2012
Old 27th February 2012
  #155
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mboro console owners unite!
Let me know if you want any help when it's time to install!
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#156
27th February 2012
Old 27th February 2012
  #156
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Well, I'm not worried so much about the maintenance on this console. I've already got 3 pieces of gear that are going to have to go in to the shop for various things. My JoeMeek TwinQcs (original bright green unit) isn't outputing compressed signal from the compressor (although, strangely the meter will display gain reduction), one channel in my Focusrite ISA 428 has less gain than the others, and the second channel of my Orban 642B has nothing but distortion on any signal that passes through it. That's the price you pay for owning analog gear... it occasionally needs work! But again, I'm willing to put up with it.

I do have a crazy idea for this Harrison though. Now, I haven't done the measurements, but those empty slots on the far left of the console next to the first channel look to be about the width and length of a 500 series module. Are you pondering what I'm pondering Pinky? It might not be deep enough to house a module flush with the board but it's worth looking into. If it did fit, I could have a 500 series motherboard/power supply manufactured to fit in there and put 500 series strips in it. A hybrid Harrison/API. I mean, surely those empty slots are good for something. There's another panel on the other end just like it with random, unlabled switches. Probably for tape machine control. I don't know. Looks custom.

Anyone got any thoughts on these sections?
#157
29th February 2012
Old 29th February 2012
  #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caryhorner View Post
My JoeMeek TwinQcs (original bright green unit) isn't outputing compressed signal from the compressor (although, strangely the meter will display gain reduction)

Nerd FYI: that's not actually strange, because the GR metering is most likely being fed by the attack/release section of the detector. So you can have a defunct gain reduction cell that does nothing but pass signal at unity, but the detector is still doing its job telling the GR cell what to do and telling the GR meter what the GR cell is supposed to be doing.

Did that make sense? It made sense in my head...


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#158
1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
  #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Nerd FYI: that's not actually strange, because the GR metering is most likely being fed by the attack/release section of the detector. So you can have a defunct gain reduction cell that does nothing but pass signal at unity, but the detector is still doing its job telling the GR cell what to do and telling the GR meter what the GR cell is supposed to be doing.

Did that make sense? It made sense in my head...


Gregory Scott - ubk

It actually makes perfect sense. What you're telling me is that everything else in the compression circuit is doing it's job except for the actual element that does the reducing. So, even though the rest of the unit is working perfectly, the signal's gain is still not being reduced. This is because the detector works independent of the gain reduction element... which, by the way, would be what part of the circuit? Bueller?

And to Greg (RecordingHopkins), sorry I didn't respond to your comment in my previous post... yes! Boro console owners unite. If I need assistance getting this thing installed in my basement when the time comes, I'll look you up, for sure. What console do you have again? It's a soundcraft, right?
#159
1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
  #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caryhorner View Post
Well, the original poster returns with finalized news on my console hunt. As crazy as many of you might think I am crazy for wanting a) a real analog console, and b) an expensive, time consuming electronics repair project.... I bought the Harrison!!! It's the MR-4 and it's going to be one heck of a project.

It was NOT in the floods in Nashville. In fact, it wasn't even in Nashville when the floods hit. It was in Alabama. The power supply has been rebuilt. The faulty component was a 30A Center Tapped Rectifier, which took 30 days to come in. I will be building a new power supply for this guy in the future.

My repair tech, good friend, electronics expert Rick is allowing me to keep the console at his bench for 2 months and is giving me free access to his electronics repair/test equipment for me to start learning my board inside and out while he's out on the road with Lyle Lovett. This is the same guy that regularly maintains/repairs the Midas XL-4, Soundcraft 5000 series, Yamaha PM-1800 and the rest of the modular consoles that the sound production company he works for owns. He knows electronics as he's done that his entire life but he also knows consoles and he's got me on the path to building up a store of replacement components for those times when you need it.

Right now, the console is standing on one side in my garage on a flat bed dolly. I've included photos. This is going to be a very exciting learning project and when it's all said and done, I should have a really nice board at my disposal. It's got ARMS automation in it, which I've heard isn't the greatest, and I could totally do without it, but it's nice to know I've got it. It's also got, strangely, 4 stereo channels which I have yet to find anything about in my literature on this beast.

My only serious issue with this guy will be deciding on how to interface it. It's loaded with tuchel connectors, and those can be expensive. But all in all, I'm really excited and looking forward to a year of electronics learning and hopefully console happiness at the end with real knobs and faders. One per function. No mice here.
Congratulations! You've got an amazing piece of music making gear there. I learned on a Harrison 31 years ago and it will sound wonderful. I always felt Harrisons were under-rated.

And thank you for keeping analog alive in such digitally depressed-suppressed-oppressed-repressed-compressed times.

All the best-
#160
1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
  #160
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Hey Cary congrats on the MR4, Steve Remote used to own one for years. I worked on his once and worked at another studio that had a 3624. Harrisons are nice sounding desks, enjoy!
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#161
2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
  #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caryhorner View Post
<clip>

And to Greg (RecordingHopkins), sorry I didn't respond to your comment in my previous post... yes! Boro console owners unite. If I need assistance getting this thing installed in my basement when the time comes, I'll look you up, for sure. What console do you have again? It's a soundcraft, right?
Sure thing! Yep, it's a big ol' Soundcraft Sapphyre inline console.
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this link will die in the next month or so. New website on the way!
#162
2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
  #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I think in your price range your most colorful option is Sound Workshop. They have balls and grit in stock configuration, a tad noisy, but are easily cleaned up with a recapping and some newer amps, the latter of which let you eliminate some caps in the process, which equals better clarity, transient punch, and phase accuracy.

I've done a lot of mixes on Sound Workshops, and by far they have the most character and personality of the options you're kicking around with the exception of the MCI and Trident. MCI will require a full time tech, though. Tridents are badass.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Are you saying that a full time tech would be required for the 500 or the 400? The 500 I can see where you would think that but the 400 series is super simple. Have you ever seen the circuit boards on these? You can damn near put your fist down on bare spots between components on those.

I own one (416b) and, although I'm still working on getting it %100 operational, that's been largely due to my lack of time versus what it would take someone, time wise, to put the initial outlay into it, if they had a more agressive refurbishment schedule. Once these things are brought back up to speed there's just not a whole lot that can go wrong with them. I don't think a full time tech would be required at all for a 400 series.
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#163
2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
  #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Not as tired as I am with the shitty sounding records many of you are producing. That's why I press this, you can do better. So, tried that in YOUR MCI yet?
Jim, if we all produced super clean jazz I suppose I might agree with you. But do we all do that? Absolutely not. Your comment is a bit much don't you think?
#164
3rd March 2012
Old 3rd March 2012
  #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691 View Post
Never worked on the APC 1000, so that may indeed be a great Amek. The 2500s are good too, forgot to mention that. But they also (just like Trident) made some pretty crappy stuff too !!

Didn't mean to come accross so boldly, but I stand by my position on the outboard issue. You need at least 20 channels of "mojo" type outboard (or plugin equivalents) to cover all the bases on rock/pop/metal mixes -- unless you do all that at tracking, in which case you'd better be at the top of your game !! And I don't mean 10db of GR either (unless for paralell comp), I'm talking just on the inserts and barely even seeing the GR needle move at all. I'm talking stuff like la2as, pultecs, cl1b, 436c, gates sta level, 1176 (blue stripe & black rev d/e), la3a, la4, dbx 165 -- ya know, pretty much all the "standard" mojo stuff or newer variations thereof. The real pros use these for "color" rather than any type of real compression.

In all honesty, the outboard is much more of a factor than any console IMHO. That's why you see so many of these guys going hybrid these days, though to me that's like trying to run a marathon with prosthetic legs.

I've had the good fortune to sit in on 3 MAJOR rock artist tracking sessions that were later mixed ITB. What I can tell you is that 99.9% of all the "mojo" processing was done in the tracking phase with all the standard $MONEY$ "mojo" gear. It's pretty funny when you see $150,000 worth of mics, pres, comps, verbs, delays, eqs, etc. being used as the front end into PT; even funnier to know that 99.9% of all the knob tweaking and ear candy was accomplished at that stage by peeps who were at the top of their game and knew what they were doing.

Then you're falling off your chair laughing later when you hear peeps around here sayin: "hey, they mixed that record fully ITB so that means it's all just about talent".

PT Barnum is more relevant today than ever

Isnt this the way all great recordings have been made?

If you dont get it at tracking you're simply polishing a turd......we have heard that before.

as for recall thats why we like the hybrid thing. Track with the goodies like we always have and use the computer to house and recall all the fine points of the mix.
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#165
3rd March 2012
Old 3rd March 2012
  #165
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I love my soundcraft ghost le32
#166
3rd March 2012
Old 3rd March 2012
  #166
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If you like your buddy's Trident24--go for it. They are respectable for the low price they fetch these days.
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#167
28th March 2012
Old 28th March 2012
  #167
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This thread has been a good read... OP found his console.. Congrats!

i am hunting for a 16 channel desk. was thinking about the toft. The most important thing to me is good sounding pres and eq's and sensible routing. i haven't done much otb mixing, But i do have a humble outboard setup which i use during tracking. It would be great to integrate them into my mixes. Also recently got into 1 inch 16 track. Thus the need for a good board with the right i/o possibilities.

5K for a console is a lot of money for me. But i am very curious to see what possibilities or workflow changes come with the use of a good console.
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#168
28th March 2012
Old 28th March 2012
  #168
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For what it's worth I am very glad I held went with my MCI 428B some years ago. Paid $8K and it came with a guarantee, which I took advantage of on several occasions. Consoles and such are complex critters, and stuff will happen. But maintaining them is not such a big deal if you have a good tech and some soldering ability.

And of course the sound is *better*.

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#169
28th March 2012
Old 28th March 2012
  #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
Jim, if we all produced super clean jazz I suppose I might agree with you. But do we all do that? Absolutely not. Your comment is a bit much don't you think?
Maybe blunt, yet true. The last ten years have produced the worst sounding crap I've heard yet. Sorry to rain on someone's parade. Listen to the 60's~early 90's for comparisons. Then tell me if I'm off base on this.

Music back then didn't hurt my ears. Can't say that now. This is the difference.
#170
28th March 2012
Old 28th March 2012
  #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Maybe blunt, yet true. The last ten years have produced the worst sounding crap I've heard yet. Sorry to rain on someone's parade. Listen to the 60's~early 90's for comparisons. Then tell me if I'm off base on this.

Music back then didn't hurt my ears. Can't say that now. This is the difference.
Yes, but are the problems coming from the computer (tracking and mixing) or the mastering facility.?? I think it is one the other or sometimes both.
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#171
28th March 2012
Old 28th March 2012
  #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Maybe blunt, yet true. The last ten years have produced the worst sounding crap I've heard yet. Sorry to rain on someone's parade. Listen to the 60's~early 90's for comparisons. Then tell me if I'm off base on this.

Music back then didn't hurt my ears. Can't say that now. This is the difference.
Jim - I'd say that has to do in great part to the fact that you don't like the MUSIC being made, and you don't appreciate the mastering constraints.

There's TONS of records from the 70's and 80's that SOUND like crap. But somehow, the creative muse was alive and well back then, so we embrace the "whole" package. Upon recent digitizing of my vinyl collection, I was kind of appalled at the grunginess of those recordings. Certainly not what I'd call "clean" by any stretch of the immagination....
#172
30th March 2012
Old 30th March 2012
  #172
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Recordings back in the 60's - 70's and 80's were all over the map quality wise to me as well (and today). But back then, I do not fault the equipment for that as much as the people themselves. A lot of drugs were involved in many of those recordings. As they say, their is no questioning taste and for some reason, many people without taste get involved in the music business imho. Albums are recorded in different spaces, with different equipment often with engineers going with the flavor of the week techniques which may or may not be appropriate or pleasant. Often albums are under financial stress, contractual stress, relationship stress, and with drugs added to the mix and so we - the listener - get to "enjoy" the results.

Today it is way too easy to over-do digital plugs, digital distortion, and way over the top brick wall limiting. Because of the additive way plugs are increased during a mix, we often do not hear clearly the downside it creates to the sound as it creeps in imho. Its simply like the frog in the hot water analogy. Add this to all the other problems as listed above we have a new and fantastic way to make our mixes sound like ###@@. This is why for me, many mixes are worse now because digital over-do is more doo-doo than analog over-do.

More power like we have today means more responsibility, but we are dealing in a business were shock-appeal can sell (I call it bad taste) so why not rip the listeners face off? Or - audio is a drug and the loudness war won a long time ago so yes - I want the loudest final master as possible (yes i do a lot of these for clients).

For me and my record label, I like analog because it is down to earth quality and a console is the center of that work flow for me. Yes, I use digital and plugs but tubes, outboard gear and the way it makes me craft a mix makes for the best results in most instances. If you have the money and space, and are into recording music to create music what sounds musical and is tasteful, in my book analog and a console is a great way to go.
#173
30th March 2012
Old 30th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyman View Post
Yes, but are the problems coming from the computer (tracking and mixing) or the mastering facility.?? I think it is one the other or sometimes both.
The gear is better than it ever was. There are some great new products and all that old stuff is still around.

I don't believe it's the gear per say. Many of these same pieces have been used on good sounding releases.

I suspect it's the indian, not the arrow.
#174
24th April 2012
Old 24th April 2012
  #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I suspect it's the indian, not the arrow.
I have to agree with this one. I just recently did a mix that was record at a very high end recording studio. I ended replacing the kick drum which I hate to do. The toms sounded like shit and should have been tuned and dampened properly. The vocals were distorted and had zero dynamic left in the track. Plus most of the tracks were recorded too hot and I needed to apply the trim plug-in.

A few years ago I did another mix session that was also done at a pro facility. The bass player asked me if his vocal track was distorted. I listed to it and said yes it most definitely is. He replied telling me that the engineer told him that it sounded like that because he was singing so loud that he was distorting the room. They were a 2 piece folk band.
#175
25th April 2012
Old 25th April 2012
  #175
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Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Upon recent digitizing of my vinyl collection

........................................... I just threw up in my mouth.
#176
25th April 2012
Old 25th April 2012
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Originally Posted by Alex Breaux View Post
........................................... I just threw up in my mouth.
Why? You have some sort of record player for your car that you'd like to tell us about?
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#177
25th April 2012
Old 25th April 2012
  #177
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Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Why? You have some sort of record player for your car that you'd like to tell us about?
Nope. But I had a joke.
#178
25th April 2012
Old 25th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
There's TONS of records from the 70's and 80's that SOUND like crap. I was kind of appalled at the grunginess of those recordings. Certainly not what I'd call "clean" by any stretch of the immagination....
The sonic grunge of the old stuff is sometimes additional magic for me, especially if the song itself is killer.

The sterile, clean, razor blade highs approach to sonics is one of the most boring things about the current sonic landscape for me.

Anyway, the op has a nice analog console that will add it's vibe (certainly not a sterile itb vibe), so that's cool.
#179
25th April 2012
Old 25th April 2012
  #179
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Originally Posted by Alex Breaux View Post
........................................... I just threw up in my mouth.

Good. Now swallow.
#180
25th April 2012
Old 25th April 2012
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Flying_Dutchman is offline
seldom there are studios around here (europe) that have the console in a good condition, well, most desks are done, even in the bigger rooms
maybe it´s a vintage vibe, lol
recapped the old stuff sound suprisingly fresh sometimes
peace
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