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If you only had 1 piece of outboard... Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 5th September 2011
  #1
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If you only had 1 piece of outboard...

Let's say your completely ITB and could only have 1 piece of outboard processing equipment, it would have to be a compressor right? Nothing affects the basic sound more right?
Old 5th September 2011
  #2
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StringBean View Post
Let's say your completely ITB and could only have 1 piece of outboard processing equipment, it would have to be a compressor right? Nothing affects the basic sound more right?
Bricasti M7.

And here's why- You have to look at the strengths of the hardware. ITB processing is getting pretty good and compressors are pretty well modelled (and not very processor intensive).

A truly lush and complex reverb/FX unit like the Bricasti M7 demands considerably more computing power than what our DAWs/computers currently offer, so a Piece of hardware with 100% dedicated power to that task seems like the best use of hardware.

-andrews
Old 5th September 2011
  #3
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teamsterjim's Avatar
I agree 100% with the Bricasti.
It emulates space better than any verb I ever used.
I still hold onto an ancient Lexicon PCM70 because the way it wraps around the source audio.
The Bricasti also does that but where the Lexicon just sounds excellent, the Bricasti actually emulates spaces perfectly and also has the sound that Native tailmakers just cannot emulate.
But I also use an SE-C2S Compressor as it actually makes my digital content get a bigger sound. It's a poor mans Urei 1176 with Sidechaining and natural overdrive.
Other than my hardware Analog synths and hardware DSP synths, that's the only outboard gear I use.
ITB is really great as so many people can get involved in their own productions and engineering, and just get better every session.
But an all hardware guy is just as limited as an all ITB guy IMHO.
Sounds like the OP has matured and realizes just adding more plug ins doesn't satisfy anymore.

Welcome to the next level.......
Old 5th September 2011
  #4
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BTByrd's Avatar
Not that the Bricasti isn't awesome, but the Eventide H8000FW gets my "only 1 piece of outboard" award (I used to have one, but now have an Orville).

Real spaces aren't exactly a top priority in the kind of music I make. I'm much more interested in alien sonicscapes. On the rare occasion I need to emulate real spaces, ITB convolution verbs (or some of the Lexicon native stuff) handle the job just fine.

Nothing offers the power, versatility, and sheer sonic goodness of the H8K and its dual DSPs. If you want to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, VSIG will show you. If you're not that kind of nerd, there are 8 billion presets on it, and they all sound fantastic. Plus, you get top knotch converters (that can compete with the likes of Crane Song) and 31 flavors of I/O, including Firewire. One of the best interfaces money can buy. My Orville is the last chain in my front end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teamsterjim View Post
Welcome to the next level.......
Sorry Bricasti. Eventide is definitely "the next step." It even says so when you power it on!
Old 5th September 2011
  #5
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Kindred's Avatar
 

Either a Manley Vari Mu or Eventide H8000FW - if I was forced at gunpoint, probably the Eventide. Both are gear that cannot be replicated by plugs yet...
Old 5th September 2011
  #6
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RedTuxedo's Avatar
Manley SLAM!
Old 5th September 2011
  #7
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sftd's Avatar
 

TC6000

(the mastererererer, not the reverb)
Old 5th September 2011
  #8
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id say a MAQ 2NV.
Old 5th September 2011
  #9
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OurDarkness's Avatar
 

Definitely the Eventide H8000-FW.
Old 5th September 2011
  #10
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Naugo's Avatar
 

Avalon VT747SP for turning my digital crisp into analog goo
Old 5th September 2011
  #11
I'd use a microphone...
Old 5th September 2011
  #12
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WhiteRhino's Avatar
 

SSL buss compressor.
Old 5th September 2011
  #13
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Persemone's Avatar
Versatility is key, for me. I'd pick some kind of Eventide if I needed all manner of studio effects/compressor/reverb. If I recorded real instruments, it'd be a good pre.
Old 5th September 2011
  #14
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Entrainer's Avatar
 

I think if there's only 1...
I'd just go with the ergonomics:

Tonelux 1628

as long as the modulars would be
considered instruments.
Old 5th September 2011
  #15
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bigbongo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teamsterjim View Post
Sounds like the OP has matured and realizes just adding more plug ins doesn't satisfy anymore.

Welcome to the next level.......
I think you've hit the nail on the head, wise words indeed.

Very often Plug-in lust doesn't last forever, sooner or later a few pieces of quality hardware and most of all 'learning' your craft will get you further than chasing the latest sexy GUI.
Old 5th September 2011
  #16
My current thinking is that I'm not interested at the moment in any digital effects gear at all. They have their place, for example I like the effects on the TI2 a lot. IMHO any type of digital hardware can be done ITB, I don't think processing power is a problem any more. Not that I do anything ITB, I just consider where the prices are going.

The Eventides I believe are due for a big upgrade of some sort in the next few years, I might consider an H8000FW once they go down in price. In general I think $5000 digital effects boxes days are numbered, ymmv.

Therefore the 1 outboard for me would be analogue, like the xtramix mixer, maybe something I don't already have like the API 5500 or 2500.
Old 5th September 2011
  #17
Gear Addict
 
DoctorG's Avatar
 

A high end channel strip that has mic pre, EQ & dynamics. If your working ITB then this will get you alot of sound if you've recorded all your channels with it. If I only had one bit of outboard it would be analog. There's plenty of good digital ITB. I guess it depends what sound you're going for.
Old 5th September 2011
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTByrd View Post
Not that the Bricasti isn't awesome, but the Eventide H8000FW gets my "only 1 piece of outboard" award (I used to have one, but now have an Orville).

Real spaces aren't exactly a top priority in the kind of music I make. I'm much more interested in alien sonicscapes. On the rare occasion I need to emulate real spaces, ITB convolution verbs (or some of the Lexicon native stuff) handle the job just fine.

Nothing offers the power, versatility, and sheer sonic goodness of the H8K and its dual DSPs. If you want to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, VSIG will show you. If you're not that kind of nerd, there are 8 billion presets on it, and they all sound fantastic. Plus, you get top knotch converters (that can compete with the likes of Crane Song) and 31 flavors of I/O, including Firewire. One of the best interfaces money can buy. My Orville is the last chain in my front end.



Sorry Bricasti. Eventide is definitely "the next step." It even says so when you power it on!
Often I find we are totally on the same page.

I'd have to give it to the eventide h8000, has everything. Sure individual units do compression, sampling, reverbs, distortion better, but this has all plus what it is known for, sonic scapes, delays, pitch shifting, and converters that are up there with the likes of some top names.
Old 5th September 2011
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Perhaps something like a Kurzweil K2500r
Old 5th September 2011
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Definitely an eventide or a fully expanded kurzweil rack with kdfx. There's no other choice if you're after versatility and superb sound.
Old 5th September 2011
  #21
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seen-da-sizer's Avatar
 

Mixer! If my entire setup would be ITB, I still want to have a mixing console, best analog. A physical board in front of you cannot be replicated with software, and a control surface is not quite the same.
Old 5th September 2011
  #22
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DevonB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
A truly lush and complex reverb/FX unit like the Bricasti M7 demands considerably more computing power than what our DAWs/computers currently offer, so a Piece of hardware with 100% dedicated power to that task seems like the best use of hardware.

-andrews
You think so? The M7 has 6 dual core Blackfin Analog Devices DSP processors. The Blackfin chips are now 10+ years old in design. I'm having serious reservations that a 10 year old DSP chip design outdoes a current Sandy Bridge chip in raw horsepower. Chip core freqeuncy tells us nothing in trying to compare chips unfortunately, but if you know something that possibly shows benchmarking between them, I'm open to take a look at it. In short, I just think your statement is a bit overstated, that's all.

The days of DSP chips augmenting CPU performance on a DAW are long gone with the horsepower of today's chips. I still have and love my Pulsar II, UAD-2 and TC PowerCore, so don't get me wrong. I just look at them as more of a dongle than a real CPU 'advantage' or having more power than my Intel/AMD CPU.

Devon
Old 5th September 2011
  #23
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Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevonB View Post
You think so? The M7 has 6 dual core Blackfin Analog Devices DSP processors. The Blackfin chips are now 10+ years old in design. I'm having serious reservations that a 10 year old DSP chip design outdoes a current Sandy Bridge chip in raw horsepower. Chip core freqeuncy tells us nothing in trying to compare chips unfortunately, but if you know something that possibly shows benchmarking between them, I'm open to take a look at it. In short, I just think your statement is a bit overstated, that's all.
Yea, sorry, but that guys post was completely innacurate. I don't care what is inside of those FX units, comparing the DSP power of something 10+ years old to something new is just plain silly
Old 5th September 2011
  #24
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Rusty_OHara's Avatar
 

Easy. I'd have a Eventide H8000FW
Old 5th September 2011
  #25
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Diametro's Avatar
 

I do lol ...

RE-201 Space Echo ...

I actually prefer to record most of my sounds dry anyway ...

(doh! ... I also have 2x KP3 ... But they are quite different to say the least ... )
Old 5th September 2011
  #26
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Space Station's Avatar
H8000 vote here cos it does more than the bricasti. Then Vac-rac TSL-3.
Old 6th September 2011
  #27
ValhallaDSP
 
seancostello's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevonB View Post
You think so? The M7 has 6 dual core Blackfin Analog Devices DSP processors. The Blackfin chips are now 10+ years old in design.
I first heard of the Blackfin in 2003, when working for Analog Devices. A reverb of mine got ported to the Blackfin around that time, but most of my Blackfin audio work was from 2004-2006. I'm not sure when the design first happened. I think it was originally a driver for a printer. Most of the executives at ADI didn't think it was well suited for audio at first but it turns out that it was plenty fast.

Quote:
I'm having serious reservations that a 10 year old DSP chip design outdoes a current Sandy Bridge chip in raw horsepower. Chip core freqeuncy tells us nothing in trying to compare chips unfortunately, but if you know something that possibly shows benchmarking between them, I'm open to take a look at it. In short, I just think your statement is a bit overstated, that's all.
I've programmed reverbs for both the Blackfin and the current Sandy Bridge, so here's my take on things: Assuming that the M7 uses optimized programming (and from what I have read of Casey's posts, he knows how to optimize things), the processing of the M7 MIGHT just BARELY fit into a full core of the current high-end Intel processors. And this is a big "MIGHT."

For plugins, this sort of processing load just won't work. Most DAWs create an instance of the plugin on the same core that the track/channel is being processed on. This is why it isn't a proper test of the CPU usage of a plugin to just create N series instances on one channel, as they will all be called on the same core, while most DAWs distribute their tracks over multiple cores. A plugin that uses 95% of a core won't run without stuttering in any sort of real-world situation.

It is possible that the M7 algorithm has different sections that can be run in parallel. For example, the Early reverb, Late reverb and Low Frequency reverb may not have any interaction with each other, or might just use a feedforward between Early and Late that would be easy to route. In that case, you could split the load between the cores.

However, at that point you will be using, say, 45-50% of your WHOLE computer, at least as far as your CPU meters are concerned. And I can tell you from experience that users will NOT be happy about this. People will always compare the CPU usage to the Lexicon PCM Native plugins, which use very little CPU, as they are fairly close to the algorithms that were running on a few 6 MHz cores in 1986.

And this is making some big assumptions about the idea that the M7 algorithm can be split into multiple sections, and that you are programming as close to the metal as possible (i.e. SSE2 assembly), and that you are using the cache to the best of its ability. And a much bigger assumption is being made: that Casey would ever port his algorithms to native plugins. It is pretty clear that he has no current plans to do so.

This isn't to say that good reverbs can't be programmed natively (I have my own ego at stake here heh), or that a sound similar to the M7 couldn't be created as a native plugin using a different signal processing approach. Just that the raw CPU power of the M7 is pretty high, and is close enough to exceeding what you can get out of a single core of the fastest Intel chips that a direct port of the M7 algorithm to native would be problematic.

Quote:
The days of DSP chips augmenting CPU performance on a DAW are long gone with the horsepower of today's chips. I still have and love my Pulsar II, UAD-2 and TC PowerCore, so don't get me wrong. I just look at them as more of a dongle than a real CPU 'advantage' or having more power than my Intel/AMD CPU.
I agree with you with regards to the DSP accelerator cards. From my SHARC and Blackfin experience, I think that the M7 has considerably more power than a Quad UAD2.
Old 6th September 2011
  #28
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevonB View Post
You think so? The M7 has 6 dual core Blackfin Analog Devices DSP processors. The Blackfin chips are now 10+ years old in design. I'm having serious reservations that a 10 year old DSP chip design outdoes a current Sandy Bridge chip in raw horsepower. Chip core freqeuncy tells us nothing in trying to compare chips unfortunately, but if you know something that possibly shows benchmarking between them, I'm open to take a look at it. In short, I just think your statement is a bit overstated, that's all.

The days of DSP chips augmenting CPU performance on a DAW are long gone with the horsepower of today's chips. I still have and love my Pulsar II, UAD-2 and TC PowerCore, so don't get me wrong. I just look at them as more of a dongle than a real CPU 'advantage' or having more power than my Intel/AMD CPU.

Devon
Here's a novel idea, I won't try and speak to things I don't know about (Gasp, Gearslutz blasphemy! heh)

What I WILL do is encourage you to speak with Casey over at Bricasti so he can explain the processing power of the M7 comapared to the fastest consumer computers today.

It's eye opening.

BUT, if you don't want to do that, then this is THE SIMPLEST explanation on the planet: Listen to a Bricasti M7 and tell me if ANY plug comes even remotely close to that quality. It's ridiculous how good it is and how extreme the differences are.

BTW- The "Sunset Sound Chamber" preset is actually one I developed with the guys, working with the real thing, so I have some inside appreciation for it's capabilities.

-andrews
Old 6th September 2011
  #29
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DevonB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
Here's a novel idea, I won't try and speak to things I don't know about (Gasp, Gearslutz blasphemy! heh)

What I WILL do is encourage you to speak with Casey over at Bricasti so he can explain the processing power of the M7 comapared to the fastest consumer computers today.

It's eye opening.
Thank you, that's a good suggestion, and exactly what I was asking for. I still have my doubts, but be more than glad to follow up on that front. Suggestions on where/how to get in contact with him, sir?

Devon
Old 6th September 2011
  #30
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Ben F's Avatar
I'd be happy with a decent monitor controller and DA conversion.

EQ or compressor- really hard to decide. Haven't heard a plug-in that can emulate the best of either one yet, there are some great emulations out there but none of my favorite gear!
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