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TL Audio Fat Track
Old 4th January 2011
  #1
Gear Addict
 

TL Audio Fat Track

Ok I need help. I don't know why but I am obsessed with this product and I am planning on purchasing one in the next few months. Every review I have read seems more than positive about it's sonic quality however everyone on this website talk nothing but trash about TL Audio's products (well, most everyone). What are the alternatives to the Fat Track as far as features and price point?
It does seem to meet my needs perfectly though. Can anyone attest to how these sound (In a positive way)??
Old 4th January 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
the fxs's Avatar
 

there are a few threads about tl audio gear on this forum, and most of them don't have much love for their products.
but the fat track seems to be a piece of gear that slutz don't hate (that much).
the only bad thing i heard about was some quality issues where channels died out. but i think tl audio solved that problem.
...
i've used the thing a few times in somebody elses studio and kind of liked it. it didn't blow me out of my socks but it was ok.
...
as for equivalent gear . . . . 1000€ is lot of money. you could invest in a decent preamp or channel strip.
id depends on where you want to go.
do you need just tubes?
are you after the equalizer?
Old 4th January 2011
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Don't buy it. I was in the same situation as you, and fortunately I could borrow one from a local store. The sound was such a disappointment! Yes yes yes it's all just opinions and so on, but no no no the sound won't make u happy. Thin where it should sound fat, dull where it should sound clear. Most of the positive info I found on it seemed like ads in disguise.

If you want a cool little analog mixer then wait until you can afford the SSL X-Desk or some other decent piece of gear. All these "multi function all in one just for ur needs devices" are usually a waste of money and a nice way to fool unexperienced gear addicts. Don't rush things, don't go for sumtin like the Fat Track. In the analog zone you have to stick with the evergreen and one trick pony if you don't want to end up disappointed and ripped off.
Old 4th January 2011
  #4
Gear Addict
 

@ the fxs: yeah I want it for the tubes mainly but also because of the summing and pretty much everything else it does. It does seem to be most everything I need right now. For tubes are there better alternatives?

@ Field Marshal: and your response is pretty typical on this forum (no offense). It is just hard for me to imagine that every review I have read by reputable magazines is wrong and somehow they are marketing for TL Audio. Sound On Sound, MusicTek, Futuremusic, and Electronic Musician all gave it top marks and said that the sound quality was fat and all that! I have also seen videos of producers who actually use it on a day to day basis and they say they love it as well. Maybe you just borrowed a bad unit??
Old 5th January 2011
  #5
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Phaidon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Field Marshall View Post
Don't buy it. I was in the same situation as you, and fortunately I could borrow one from a local store. The sound was such a disappointment! Yes yes yes it's all just opinions and so on, but no no no the sound won't make u happy. Thin where it should sound fat, dull where it should sound clear. Most of the positive info I found on it seemed like ads in disguise.

If you want a cool little analog mixer then wait until you can afford the SSL X-Desk or some other decent piece of gear. All these "multi function all in one just for ur needs devices" are usually a waste of money and a nice way to fool unexperienced gear addicts. Don't rush things, don't go for sumtin like the Fat Track. In the analog zone you have to stick with the evergreen and one trick pony if you don't want to end up disappointed and ripped off.

It smells like B.S. in G.S. !
Old 5th January 2011
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Then if I am looking for tubes, what would be the better alternative? What are some nice tube pre-amps I could look into at or around the same price point (or cheaper??)? right now I would say the thing i want most is something that has tubes in it that I can run a stereo audio signal through. Something that I can really push hard and run into the red and still sound good while adding some nice harmonics. The summing part would be next. Can anyone recommend some nice analog summing mixers??
Old 5th January 2011
  #7
142977
Guest
I'm curious about this as well!
Old 6th January 2011
  #8
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the fxs's Avatar
 

have you ever used tube gear before?
maybe you're expecting something that this unit will not give you on the fatness side of things.
i'd really recommend to go to some gear shops and try a few units.
bring your electric bass, your demo song, stems or whatever with you and plug your own headphones in and see what it does to that.
you should even try the real hi end ones like tube tech and compare. even if then you'll want the 3000¢ pre or channel.
Old 8th January 2011
  #9
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cdog's Avatar
they are great for the money, if you can find one used or B stock go for it imo

the EQ is awesome
Old 8th January 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Don't know about the Fat Track but I had a Stereo Fatman and that was heavy weight I sold it some time ago regrettably; I would definetley buy on of those again at the price I sold it £150.. the drive you can get out of it goes from subtle lift to pretty extreme and its also a compressor.
Old 8th January 2011
  #11
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ctrlshft's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boddhisattva007 View Post
Then if I am looking for tubes, what would be the better alternative? What are some nice tube pre-amps I could look into at or around the same price point (or cheaper??)? right now I would say the thing i want most is something that has tubes in it that I can run a stereo audio signal through. Something that I can really push hard and run into the red and still sound good while adding some nice harmonics. The summing part would be next. Can anyone recommend some nice analog summing mixers??
THERMIONIC CULTURE ALL VALVE DESIGN PROFESSIONAL AUDIO EQUIPMENT

Not a summing amp, but it's incredible for tracking and mastering if you want pro tube sound.

Summing-wise, I'd suggest checking out these guys: http://www.dangerousmusic.com/products.html
Old 10th January 2011
  #12
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Analogue Mastering's Avatar
Or the big daddy of them all the SPL 9530 Tube Vitalizer
Attached Thumbnails
TL Audio Fat Track-150795_800.jpg  
Old 11th January 2011
  #13
Bellari RP562 is a good unit for the application. Not ultra high-end, but sounds great with the simple and cheap mods.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...cs-sounds.html
Old 11th January 2011
  #14
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Llitsor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raphie View Post
Or the big daddy of them all the SPL 9530 Tube Vitalizer
I know some folk despise those things, but I love 'em! I have the MK II Tube. It can add some balls thumbsup
(Plugin version is ok, but not really the same to my ears..)
Old 11th January 2011
  #15
I have the Fat Track and it certainly doesn't sound thin to me, in fact the tube used is the same as one of the tubes in Thermionic Culture's Fat Bustard, which is nearly £4000, and you can always mod the tubes anyway...very good for the money...I just run stereo stems through it and the final mix....
Old 11th January 2011
  #16
The Sebatron VMP Tube Pre-Amps get high praise and you can get a 2 channel one on your budget...
Old 12th January 2011
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Analogue Mastering's Avatar
so, what is the best tube outhere to replace thse units with?
Old 12th January 2011
  #18
My only criticisms of the Fat Track would be functional, not aural: no talkback and you can't really setup a foldback mix on it. So if you intend to use it as hub/ monitor controller/ mixer for your studio and you need those functons you should keep that in mind.
Otherwise in terms of sound its really great. The slutty step up would be a very expensive and less versatile valve mixer by the likes of Thermionic Culture or Manley.
Don't listen to the bollocks about the Fat Track sounding thin, TLAudio being total crap etc, its just one of those curious forms of human behaviour that come up on GS on a regular basis.
Old 12th January 2011
  #19
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Analogue Mastering's Avatar
If you buy the TLA, buy it with ADC board, going PC i/O digital then u can also use it as a DAW frontend, directly from the mobo's spdif connector

only 1 card needed all conversion in the Fattrack and expanding through the fattrack
Old 12th January 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 

SUCKS

I have one, a friend of mine has one.
Both units started to crackle and make other uncomfortable noises within 3 months. He doesn't smoke, neither do I.

Channels go poof, then work again 2 days later. Speaker outs die and come back to life every so often.

The feaures on this unit SEEM very cool, but the build quality is UNFRIKKINBELIEVABLE. Yes I meant to shout.
We contacted TL, they would come back to us with a solution, that's been 6 weeks now.
LOUSY customerservice to boot!
Pffffffffff

TL you reading this? You suck and so does your brother DL!
Old 16th January 2011
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raphie View Post
If you buy the TLA, buy it with ADC board, going PC i/O digital then u can also use it as a DAW frontend, directly from the mobo's spdif connector

only 1 card needed all conversion in the Fattrack and expanding through the fattrack
Are you talking about the firewire DO-F card ? Is it working well ??
Does it send all tracks of your DAW to the fat track ? You can choose to which channel of the fat track it can be sent to ?

Thanks

Sergio
Old 21st February 2011
  #22
Here for the gear
 

As i bought one Fat Track with a DO-F Firewire card one month ago, i thought i could share my experience in this thread.

I'm so far more than pleased with the product. It is well built, the DO-F card was pre-installed and when when connected to my FW port on my MacBook Pro (2007), it works flawlessly within Logic 9.1.3. No bugs. Period.

My main goal is to perform analog summing with the Fat Track, so my opinion won't count for the ones who are looking for advanced routing configurations or anything else in that flavor.

From my perspective, the sound is just gorgeous, it adds what it says ie tube flavor, and the EQ is sounding great, even if it's not fully parametric. When you push the tubes in the "peak", the coloration and the saturation is exactly what you should expect when looking for such a piece fo gear.

My use is to send 5 stereo buses to the Fat Track from Logic, bounce back in the DAW, and resend the stereo master in the valve stages for final stéréo bouncing.

It works great in such configuration, opens the stéréo range, tighten the mids and sweeten the highs. When you are doing everything ITB and are looking for some analog flavor, this practical and convenient mixer is, IMO, a great choice.

Best,
Y*
Old 21st February 2011
  #23
Thanks Yanovski.


.
Old 22nd February 2011
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yanovski View Post
As i bought one Fat Track with a DO-F Firewire card one month ago, i thought i could share my experience in this thread.

I'm so far more than pleased with the product. It is well built, the DO-F card was pre-installed and when when connected to my FW port on my MacBook Pro (2007), it works flawlessly within Logic 9.1.3. No bugs. Period.

My main goal is to perform analog summing with the Fat Track, so my opinion won't count for the ones who are looking for advanced routing configurations or anything else in that flavor.

From my perspective, the sound is just gorgeous, it adds what it says ie tube flavor, and the EQ is sounding great, even if it's not fully parametric. When you push the tubes in the "peak", the coloration and the saturation is exactly what you should expect when looking for such a piece fo gear.

My use is to send 5 stereo buses to the Fat Track from Logic, bounce back in the DAW, and resend the stereo master in the valve stages for final stéréo bouncing.

It works great in such configuration, opens the stéréo range, tighten the mids and sweeten the highs. When you are doing everything ITB and are looking for some analog flavor, this practical and convenient mixer is, IMO, a great choice.

Best,
Y*
you cannot with the DO-f card have direct access to your plugs you put on you logic master channel ? You have bounce the tracks to get there ?

Thanks for this help

Sergio

I have also a tube track and think about purchasing this do-F firewire card . Howerver I thought it has a total integtration with every tracks of your daw, even on the master 2 bus ?
Old 22nd February 2011
  #25
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Phaidon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbackdoor View Post
I have one, a friend of mine has one.
Both units started to crackle and make other uncomfortable noises within 3 months. He doesn't smoke, neither do I.

Channels go poof, then work again 2 days later. Speaker outs die and come back to life every so often.

The feaures on this unit SEEM very cool, but the build quality is UNFRIKKINBELIEVABLE. Yes I meant to shout.
We contacted TL, they would come back to us with a solution, that's been 6 weeks now.
LOUSY customerservice to boot!
Pffffffffff

TL you reading this? You suck and so does your brother DL!
Two friends with two "lemons" at the same time,huh? hmm weird....
did you buy them at the same time form the same place? U.K. or elsewhere?
I know they had a problematic first bunch.
You go on on your rant but you never mentioned how did the unit actually sound while it was working...see that's why I take your post with a grain of salt.
I'm completely wiv'ya on the lousy TLA support though,just horrible.
I'm thinking of buying the Fat Track fairly soon,but I'll tell you that the lack of response from TLA is not helping the sale,fo sho! I've emailed them 3-4 times,still no answer.

Cheers
P.

Last edited by Phaidon; 31st March 2011 at 09:28 PM..
Old 24th February 2011
  #26
Here for the gear
 

I too have had issue's with crackles and the stereo outs being some what hotter on the right - although this can be adjusted inside, however the unit quality is serious bang for buck - the pre's are nice and it certainly isn't thin despite the issues iv'e had i still use it. I am told that an updated version of the Fat track is in production and will be available in a month or so and would assume they have addressed the issue's people have reported with the earlier line so if your gonna buy one wait for the new unit.
Old 24th February 2011
  #27
PKP
Gear Maniac
 
PKP's Avatar
 

I have one! It really doesn´t sound "thin"
I had some problems with crackling channel, but it was fixed.
It is a good product for the money. Good EQ and Pres!
Old 27th March 2011
  #28
Mda
Gear Head
 
Mda's Avatar
 

i have Fat Track and been using it for quite sometime now i' very happy about the sound and have no problems about it so far, it lacks some advance features of a studio mixer though. i'm using it alongside my allen heath mixer.

if you dont want talkback and some other features( download the user manual , decide yourself) it is very nice

Definately sounds beatiful, defined and open , preamps are good ( just a little noisy, but it is the tube stage) eq is musical, but not fully parametric

i recommend it. if you can increase your budget, there are of course better units around

Cheers
Old 27th March 2011
  #29
ive used several TL products in the past, and there was a i time when i bought into their marketing (in the 90s TUBES were suddenly the magic word), as i didn't know better existed.

in short: their ivory, C1 and fat track series mic preamps are sub par. small and not very clear sound. its got no subtle/desirable tube colorisation. however, on DI input if you want dirty tube break, it works for some sounds like rhodes. compressors - too pumpy/slow never could set it up for what i wanted. the transparent tracking ... nope... the full out warm/desirable squash.. nope.

equilizers... for the money, i.e. in low- to mid- price range, this is one of the better semi-parametric tube EQs i've heard. it suited my rhodes and some bass lines perfectly. i woulnd't mind having a channel or two of this eq only. not mastering grade, but nice for imparting colour with broad strokes on some tracks.


an uber expensive tube circuit is as good as uber expensive solid state one, just different. and for different apps or sources. relatively cheap solid state done well, can still work and not phuk up your sound. its hard to make a cheap but great sounding tube circuit.
Old 31st March 2011
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoffmanwantsgear View Post
I have the Fat Track and it certainly doesn't sound thin to me, in fact the tube used is the same as one of the tubes in Thermionic Culture's Fat Bustard, which is nearly £4000, and you can always mod the tubes anyway...very good for the money...I just run stereo stems through it and the final mix....
hello Does the Fat track brings some improvment to your daw sounds ??

Could you describe it ?

I am looking some something to add fullness and weight to my sounds.
Would recomment it for that ?
or any other gear ?

Regards
Sergio
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