Login / Register
 
From Sterile to truly Warm
New Reply
Subscribe
geartragic
Thread Starter
#1
28th February 2012
Old 28th February 2012
  #1
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 174

Thread Starter
geartragic is offline
From Sterile to truly Warm

Hi all, my first post so be gentle with me.....

I am in the middle of upgrading my rack, I output my MOTU 24I/O to a Speck X.Sum rack mixer and onto my DAT for mastering. I would like to warm up the rather pristine (sterile) Speck mixer by adding a pre (or ??).

Is this the right path to take, if so what would you recommend that is truly warm? Just about every bit of analogue gear claims to be warm, but not all of it is in my view, any advice welcomed....
#2
28th February 2012
Old 28th February 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
frans's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Posts: 2,682

frans is offline
In danger of sounding condescending: If we knew what "warm" means for you or the others out there the question was easier to answer. These words (punchy, fat, whatever) don't have a generally binding meaning. Would you please use the search engine and see if you find something where your idea of warm is described?
For some people a certain harmonics/overtone structure is the ticket. More often than not, that's got to do with transformer balanced circuits and high voltage, quality tube topologies that are run on the edge of their linear (=transparent) transmission curves, producing k2 and some k3. (k2=one octave up)
__________________
GS fun: people who can't drive ask other people who can't drive if they should buy a 12 ton truck or a BMW. Then ask somebody from Berlin (with a map of Moscow) for the way to the train station in Hongkong. Somebody stresses the importance of grabbing the steering wheel with one hand only, as Bruce Swedien was reported to have done that 1986, while reversing into his driveway.
If want to check some tasteful piece of art I was involved, here: https://soundcloud.com/frans_13/organtransplant
#3
28th February 2012
Old 28th February 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
rhythminmind's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,105

rhythminmind is offline
Wait on the pre & replace that Dat. You will get more benefit from a 24 bit master recorder then anything else at this point. Just loop back into the computer via the 24 i/o.. For color place something like a drawmer 1968 me on the mixer output

Sent from my T-Mobile G2 using Gearslutz App
__________________
"Any experiment of interest in life will be carried out at your own expense."
geartragic
Thread Starter
#4
28th February 2012
Old 28th February 2012
  #4
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 174

Thread Starter
geartragic is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
In danger of sounding condescending: If we knew what "warm" means for you or the others out there the question was easier to answer.
I would have hoped that my dislike for the 'sterility' of the Speck would give an indication, but let me expand....I would like FAT, WARM, SMOOTH 'honey' like sonic signature. Colour if you will.....does that help?
geartragic
Thread Starter
#5
28th February 2012
Old 28th February 2012
  #5
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 174

Thread Starter
geartragic is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythminmind View Post
Wait on the pre & replace that Dat. You will get more benefit from a 24 bit master recorder then anything else at this point. Just loop back into the computer via the 24 i/o.. For color place something like a drawmer 1968 me on the mixer output
I was looking into the possibility of doing that actually, I also have a 2408 so I could conceivably go back into that as well correct?

Any issues of running Digital Performer out to the 24I/O at the same time as running say BIAS Peak Pro to record the incoming signal from the 2408?

I have a Mac Pro with 8 cores by the way.....
geartragic
Thread Starter
#6
28th February 2012
Old 28th February 2012
  #6
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 174

Thread Starter
geartragic is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythminmind View Post
For color place something like a drawmer 1968 me on the mixer output
How about something like the Kush Audio UBK Fatso or even the original Empirical Labs FATSO itself? Do they sound WARM and FAT and ANALOGUE like?
#7
28th February 2012
Old 28th February 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
frans's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Posts: 2,682

frans is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by geartragic View Post
I would have hoped that my dislike for the 'sterility' of the Speck would give an indication
The Speck things just put out what you put in, don't blame them
This could help:
Preamp color chart
#8
28th February 2012
Old 28th February 2012
  #8
Gear nut
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: munich, sometimes cali
Posts: 126

jontoddaudio is offline
my 1st thot: your weak link is the MOTU. fireface 400 or better 800 (RME) is better and not expensive (i know 'expensive' is relative).

also, which DAT is it? some crappy consumer DATs have pretty undesirable converters, but thgs like panasonic - was it 7100? - were used in top studios 10-15 years ago. 'only' 16bit but that's the last step anyway. killer converters.

last, get sthg. like ART proVLA (research which version and which tubes to put in) or someone said drawmer 1968. some tubes just before the DAT - and while tracking! ...... ok 1 more - for great bangFORbuck eqs, the old german 295, 395, 695 etc. this stuff is GREAT - very pro - and not so expensive.

peace - jon todd
__________________
tom robbins for president.
geartragic
Thread Starter
#9
28th February 2012
Old 28th February 2012
  #9
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 174

Thread Starter
geartragic is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by jontoddaudio View Post
also, which DAT is it? some crappy consumer DATs have pretty undesirable converters, but thgs like panasonic - was it 7100? - were used in top studios 10-15 years ago. 'only' 16bit but that's the last step anyway. killer converters.
I have a Tascam DA30MkII...but I think I will be running the track back into the computer now based on above.....
#10
28th February 2012
Old 28th February 2012
  #10
Gear nut
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: munich, sometimes cali
Posts: 126

jontoddaudio is offline
hey thats a good DAT machine, so i still think the MOTU is the issue
(cuz if i recall, speck mixers are pretty good).

2 other ideas: maybe you were implying that while tracking,
if you had a standalone micpre you could avoid the speck altogether.
that would be a real improvemt., and again old german stuff - the nontube
but high-level stuff - is usually a good deal. 295, 695 etc., doesnt matter
if its telefunken, TAB, siemens, neumann or what. or maybe GAP pre73?
ok i guess. line audio has damn good pres for cheap, or DAV BG1 etc.
(research best bang for buck pres).

nowadays for $100 you can get the older UAD1 card. the LA2A is good,
pultec and pultec pro are better, get the fairchild plugin and SMILE.

yea. jon todd.
#11
28th February 2012
Old 28th February 2012
  #11
Banned
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,618

Happy Musicfan is offline
The closest definition to warm I can come up with is : a subtle boost of the 150hz-400hz region combined with a little (digitally simulated or console-based) analog saturation of the signal or track.
#12
29th February 2012
Old 29th February 2012
  #12
Pragmatic Snob
 
u b k's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: The Land of Sunshine
Posts: 12,297

u b k is offline
In my experience there is no effective way to 'warm things up', although you can certainly mitigate or attenuate specific qualities to make things sound less harsh/brittle/cold.

Warmth comes from so many things, and while it does have a tonal aspect that we know when we hear, it is imho primarily an emotional quality that lives within the music itself and that expresses itself through the frequencies and transients.

So now you look at the color of the individual elements and their harmonics, and even more so in the relationship of the elements to one another. The way the sounds layer up, the relationships you create between them with the faders, pan knobs, eq and fx... all of this, combined with the sounds themselves, the voicing of the chords, the relationship of the melody to the tonic, the timing and the energy of the performances, these things are huge.

Space is also a gigantic factor in the equation. How much there is, what that space feels like, what shape the ambience(s) has/have. Finally, in addition to all the above I'd say a great deal of how warm a track presents itself to be comes down to the bass tone and the relationship of the bass to the rest of the mix. The mids need to be in reasonable proportion, and the texture of the high freqs is paramount; get that last part wrong and you blow the whole affair.

Your Speck is not remotely 'sterile', sterile implies a lack of something to the degree that this lack is detrimental or oppositional to the cause, and in no way is the neutrality of the Speck a detriment to achieving warmth.

I would say that you should be able to get something in the ballpark of 'warm' by pushing all of your faders up with no processing on the tracks and achieve a rough but meaningful balance of sounds. If you can't do that, then you're already embarking on a fool's errand by trying to throw gear at the problem when the problem is more fundamental and lays with either a) your ears, or b) the music, c) the recorded tracks, or d) all of the above.

I also think warmth is overrated; more accurately, I think it is pointless to chase warmth, or any sound or ideal, because at the end of the day you will hear the way you hear and that will determine the results you create. So my advice, fwiw, is to take what your ears give you and go deeper into it, whatever it may be, and seek out the aspects that make it unique, compelling, engaging, magnetic, and memorable. If warmth happens to show up the party then that's great, but it is not in any way necessary or even helpful if your goal is to make art that resonates.

Or, to sum up all of that rambling into one concise sentence: Do not waste time trying to manufacture "what should be"; instead, give everything you have into magnifying and intensifying "what is there."


Gregory Scott - ubk
__________________


Kush Audio: Where High End Keeps Getting Higher

.........

Kush Audio: Where High End Keeps Getting Higher
____________________
#13
29th February 2012
Old 29th February 2012
  #13
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 246

jroode is offline
Well said, my friend. Concentrate on what you have and make it better... don't focus on what you think you don't have and spend endless amounts of time searching for it... cause it might not be there.
#14
29th February 2012
Old 29th February 2012
  #14
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Dec 2002
Location: canada
Posts: 191

skip bitmin is offline
#15
29th February 2012
Old 29th February 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
uncle duncan's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,996

uncle duncan is offline
Motu gear is not known for its pristine sound quality. Consider getting your 24i modded by Black Lion Audio. You won't get "warm", but you will get cleaner, more transparent highs, which sound better than dirty highs. Since you plan on using a second Motu unit for returning your mix into DP, consider using a channel pair from the modded 24i as the return channels for the mix, using a couple of channels of your unmodded 2408 for playing back tracks that aren't featured up front in the mix if you need all 24 channels for your project.

Another approach would be to split your mix going back into DP, with one stereo pair going directly in, and the other going through a piece of hardware known for "warmth." (Phoenix Audio "Nicerizer" has a good rep for that. It's magic, I tell you! I have one of their preamps.) That way, if you ruin the audio with your hardware, you've still got a pristine mix to fall back on.

Once you get your mix back into DP, you could try a "warmer" plugin to give it that mojo you think you're missing. I'm not very current on plugins, but the Nomad Blue Tubes bundle has some nice sounding tube emulations. I use one of their compressors on bright material when I want to knock down a bit of the high end.

Just to add, IMO, "warmth" is more about EQ than anything else. If you refrain from boosting highs while mixing, and if you're conservative about "scooping" individual elements of the mix, you should have all the warmth you can handle.
__________________
"You're either with a native DAW, or you're with the terrorists." G.W. Busch Lite
#16
29th February 2012
Old 29th February 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,142

legato is offline
Yep, good "sounding" converters in Tascam DAT recorders.
IME



Henk
geartragic
Thread Starter
#17
9th December 2012
Old 9th December 2012
  #17
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 174

Thread Starter
geartragic is offline
An Update: I ended up offloading the MOTU gear, and the Speck mixer. In it's place I bought a Universal Audio Apollo, Empirical Audio FATSO and a Kush Clariphonic. On the software side I also bought the Kush UBK-1 which I simply love.

While the hardware does it's thing well and has been a great addition, I simply love the UBK-1 so much, and what it does for the music is amazing, hard to describe, but amazing. I use it mainly on the drum track and it just makes the whole thing 'sit' well. So you were right Scott, fixing what was there pretty much did the trick.
#18
9th December 2012
Old 9th December 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
NYCruiser's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Yonkers, NY
Posts: 1,673

NYCruiser is offline
X2 on the Nomad stuff. Great ITB solution for THAT sound.
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
TimbaBeat / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
4
kellyr52 / High end
8

Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.