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Dolby 361a vs dopamine vs audiothing
Old 29th December 2017
  #1
Gear Head
 
fenixdoido's Avatar
Dolby 361a vs dopamine vs audiothing

Hey guys, I did a quick Dolby 361A shootout: Hardware, Dopamine and Audiothing. My conclusion..one emulation sounds good the other one is very far... Although the original unit still sounds better.

My Dolby 361A has no mods. I recorded only the enconding path, as well in plugins (mix knob all the way up and dry knob out -> no parallel here)

There are 6 files: 3 female clean vocal and 3 metal vocal.
The female clean was recorded through U87 -> Rupert Neve -> Apollo
The male metal: SM7B -> Rupert Neve -> Apollo

I miscutted the first female audio, but thats allright.

Let the games begin.
Attached Files

m A.wav (4.92 MB, 3544 views)

m B.wav (5.05 MB, 3511 views)

m C.wav (4.92 MB, 3453 views)

f A.wav (5.05 MB, 3564 views)

f B.wav (9.09 MB, 3621 views)

f C.wav (9.09 MB, 3796 views)


Last edited by fenixdoido; 30th December 2017 at 03:34 PM..
Old 29th December 2017
  #2
How about SKnote DolA?
Old 29th December 2017
  #3
What happened to m B.wav? It's... crazy different compared to the rest.
Old 29th December 2017
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
candyflip's Avatar
Acustica Audio's D361A sounds great to my ears.
Old 30th December 2017
  #5
Lives for gear
 
audiothing's Avatar
 

Thanks for the test! I'm currently away from the studio with just a MacBook and some random earbuds, so not ideal to check.

f A.wav sounds darker than it should with this kind of effect, so it shouldn't be Type A nor the Hardware.
f B.wav and f C.wav sound very similar and more like Type A to me (or the hardware). If I have to choose I'd say B is Hardware, C is Type A.

m A.wav and m C.wav sound closer to what I would expect from Type A/Hardware. If I have to choose, I'd say A is Type A and C is Hardware.
m B.wav is indeed off, louder and very strange, so I really hope it's not Type A or there's some kind of error on the export.
Old 30th December 2017
  #6
Gear Head
 
fenixdoido's Avatar
No error while exporting. It sounds like that. Although I mathed the levels with waves WLN meter
Old 30th December 2017
  #7
Gear Head
 
fenixdoido's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Hjortnaes View Post
How about SKnote DolA?
That would be cool. Do you have it? I can send you the dry files.
Old 30th December 2017
  #8
m B.wav

Quote:
Originally Posted by fenixdoido View Post
No error while exporting. It sounds like that. Although I mathed the levels with waves WLN meter
It's not so much the level, with me. It's the compression on that sample. It sounds like it was hit by some sort of a levelling compressor full on. It makes a comparison a bit strange, because it's so different.

I do have Sknote DolA and I'm willing to mangle the raw samples with it, but a true comparison it will never be, because 1) DolA doesn't have obvious compression and fewer features, 2) the vocal needs to be dialed in in context, and 3) people might be put off by the sound of my DolA mix, but if they dialed it in themselves, they may actuall like DolA.

But feel free to PM me the raw samples and I'll run them through DolA.
Old 30th December 2017
  #9
Gear Head
 
fenixdoido's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Hjortnaes View Post
m B.wav



It's not so much the level, with me. It's the compression on that sample. It sounds like it was hit by some sort of a levelling compressor full on. It makes a comparison a bit strange, because it's so different.

I do have Sknote DolA and I'm willing to mangle the raw samples with it, but a true comparison it will never be, because 1) DolA doesn't have obvious compression and fewer features, 2) the vocal needs to be dialed in in context, and 3) people might be put off by the sound of my DolA mix, but if they dialed it in themselves, they may actuall like DolA.

But feel free to PM me the raw samples and I'll run them through DolA.

We can put them in context, no problem.
One of the processors indeed compresses the sound a lot...
Old 30th December 2017
  #10
The more I listen to the samples, the more weirdness comes to light

The f A sample... compare the lines:
  • Stars when you shine (bright)
  • You know how I feel (dark)

They sound massively different, especially when I compare the same lines on the f B and f C samples. The second line doesn't all of a sudden become dark on those. Maybe that is expected behaviour by some of these Dolby thingies?
Old 30th December 2017
  #11
Gear Head
 
fenixdoido's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Hjortnaes View Post
The more I listen to the samples, the more weirdness comes to light

The f A sample... compare the lines:
  • Stars when you shine (bright)
  • You know how I feel (dark)



They sound massively different, especially when I compare the same lines on the f B and f C samples. The second line doesn't all of a sudden become dark on those. Maybe that is expected behaviour by some of these Dolby thingies?

Yes, thats a Dolby thing!
Old 30th December 2017
  #12
I dig Male B and Female C. Eager to find out what they are.

I own dopamine and Male B sounds like it...it's pretty sledge-hammer in its effect, and does pretty aggressive compression. As it happens, I tend to like "sledgehammer" when it comes to metal, so there ya have it

Female C is nice and smooth. I won't venture a guess as to which one it is, but it doesn't sound like dopamine to me. I've demo'd the audiothing plug and really dug it for its subtlety and flexibility, but it's been many years since i did the dolby trick with the actual hardware so I can't quite recall how it sounds/reacts.

Looking forward to the results. Thanks to the OP for taking the time to do the test.
Old 31st December 2017
  #13
Gear Head
 
fenixdoido's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henrik hjortnaes View Post
m b.wav



it's not so much the level, with me. It's the compression on that sample. It sounds like it was hit by some sort of a levelling compressor full on. It makes a comparison a bit strange, because it's so different.

I do have sknote dola and i'm willing to mangle the raw samples with it, but a true comparison it will never be, because 1) dola doesn't have obvious compression and fewer features, 2) the vocal needs to be dialed in in context, and 3) people might be put off by the sound of my dola mix, but if they dialed it in themselves, they may actuall like dola.

But feel free to pm me the raw samples and i'll run them through dola.
pm sent!
Old 31st December 2017
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by fenixdoido View Post
pm sent!
Alright!

fenixdoido sent me the raw unprocessed clips. I ran them through SKnote DolA and also through a couple of other "treble" plugins.

Clip naming:
f D1 = plugin 1, setting 1
f D2 = plugin 1, setting 2
f E = plugin 2
f F = plugin 3

The same syntax goes for the male clips (m). I used the same plugin settings for both female and male. Not optimal, but hey.

I have one very important observation which skews the whole test, unfortunately. The plugins used in my processed clips introduces no discernable compression or low frequency build-up / pumping. The processed clips provided by fenixdoido certainly do. There is a huge bass build-up on his processed clips. This makes for a difficult comparison, because the ear cannot unhear bass and compression and therefore cannot form an unbiased opinion on the upper frequency.

Is heavy compression an integral part of the modified hardware Dolby units?

Dialing-in these plugins on the vocals should be done in context with music, but I don't have that, so take it for what it is.


REVEAL: (Jan 5th 2018 - 21:17 CET)

Code:
f D1 = SKnote DolA (Mode1, Gain0, Mix50)
f D2 = SKnote DolA (Mode3, Gain15, Mix100)
f E  = BRA VPRE-73 (Gain55, Shelf +2 clicks)
f F  = Clariphonic (screenshot)

m D1 = SKnote DolA (Mode1, Gain0, Mix50)
m D2 = SKnote DolA (Mode3, Gain15, Mix100)
m E  = BRA VPRE-73 (Gain60, Shelf +2 clicks)
m F  = Clariphonic (screenshot)
Attached Files

f D1 -13LUFS.mp3 (1.72 MB, 3774 views)

f D2 -13LUFS.mp3 (1.72 MB, 3747 views)

f E -13LUFS.mp3 (1.72 MB, 3770 views)

f F -13LUFS.mp3 (1.72 MB, 3732 views)

m D1 -15LUFS.mp3 (838.2 KB, 3745 views)

m D2 -15LUFS.mp3 (838.2 KB, 3750 views)

m E -15LUFS.mp3 (838.2 KB, 3766 views)

m F -15LUFS.mp3 (838.2 KB, 3730 views)


Last edited by Henrik Hjortnaes; 5th January 2018 at 09:17 PM..
Old 5th January 2018
  #15
When's the big reveal? I'm eager to find out what was what.
Old 5th January 2018
  #16
Lives for gear
Same?
Old 5th January 2018
  #17
Old 5th January 2018
  #18
Lives for gear
Ok cool! What about original reveal of the samples
Old 5th January 2018
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
Ok cool! What about original reveal of the samples
That's fenixdoido's job.
Old 9th January 2018
  #20
Lives for gear
 
audiothing's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fenixdoido View Post
Let the games begin.
Don't leave us hanging!
Old 9th January 2018
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by fenixdoido View Post
We can put them in context, no problem.
One of the processors indeed compresses the sound a lot...
Let's have the reveal?
Old 12th January 2018
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by fenixdoido View Post
Hey guys, I did a quick Dolby 361A shootout: Hardware, Dopamine and Audiothing. My conclusion..one emulation sounds good the other one is very far... Although the original unit still sounds better.

My Dolby 361A has no mods. I recorded only the enconding path, as well in plugins (mix knob all the way up and dry knob out -> no parallel here)

There are 6 files: 3 female clean vocal and 3 metal vocal.
The female clean was recorded through U87 -> Rupert Neve -> Apollo
The male metal: SM7B -> Rupert Neve -> Apollo

I miscutted the first female audio, but thats allright.

Let the games begin.
Are the results and ur thoughts going to be released?
Old 18th January 2018
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Dude 2 weeks?
Old 18th January 2018
  #24
OK, hopefully I won't be punished for this. I will reveal the answer for the OP.

I reverse engineered the files fenixdoido so kindly sent to me, to find out which is which. I don't think he intended for such a long wait. I just think he is busy elsewhere. He didn't cross reference the files he sent me with the names used in this thread, so I had to do some inverse phase to reveal it. I hope I am correct in the following:

m A.wav = metal vox audiothing
m B.wav = metal vox dopamine
m C.wav = metal vox dolby

f A.wav = female vocal dopamine
f B.wav = female vocal dolby
f C.wav = female vocal audiothing
Old 19th January 2018
  #25
Lives for gear
 
junior's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Hjortnaes View Post
OK, hopefully I won't be punished for this. I will reveal the answer for the OP.

I reverse engineered the files fenixdoido so kindly sent to me, to find out which is which. I don't think he intended for such a long wait. I just think he is busy elsewhere. He didn't cross reference the files he sent me with the names used in this thread, so I had to do some inverse phase to reveal it. I hope I am correct in the following:

m A.wav = metal vox audiothing
m B.wav = metal vox dopamine
m C.wav = metal vox dolby

f A.wav = female vocal dopamine
f B.wav = female vocal dolby
f C.wav = female vocal audiothing
If that's correct, looks like AudioThing nailed it
Old 19th January 2018
  #26
Lives for gear
Just bought audiothing. Really good. Prefer it considerably to Dopamine which I also own after 10min AB comparison. I also really like Waves vintage Aural exciter. Audiothing is quite different to that as obviously modelled on different gear. Super useful though. Waves has lots of high mid gritty thing where Audiothing has a very high end sheen. More expensive sounding.
Old 19th January 2018
  #27
Lives for gear
 
audiothing's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Hjortnaes View Post
OK, hopefully I won't be punished for this. I will reveal the answer for the OP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by junior View Post
If that's correct, looks like AudioThing nailed it
Thank Henrik! Yes, it looks like I scored 100%

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
Just bought audiothing. Really good. Prefer it considerably to Dopamine which I also own after 10min AB comparison. I also really like Waves vintage Aural exciter. Audiothing is quite different to that as obviously modelled on different gear. Super useful though. Waves has lots of high mid gritty thing where Audiothing has a very high end sheen. More expensive sounding.
Thank you! The Aural Exciter is based on the Aphex hardware which is a completely different effect compared to the Dolby. The Aural Exciter generates new harmonics using distortion, the Dolby instead doesn't generate (normally) new harmonic, it uses a multi-band compressor to achieve the "enhancement".
I'm also modeling a Type B Aural Exciter, but the Dolby was definitely much more interesting and fun to do. Anyway, I'll probably have "Type B" in a few months
Old 19th January 2018
  #28
I demoed Audiothing Type A and I own a license for SKnote DolA and since the latter does not get much mention here, I'd like to say I find them equally good and both very nice plug-ins. SKnote is very simple to use, while Type A is a little more "advanced", but both are great mixing tools.
Old 20th January 2018
  #29
Lives for gear
[QUOTE=a

Thank you! The Aural Exciter is based on the Aphex hardware which is a completely different effect compared to the Dolby. The Aural Exciter generates new harmonics using distortion, the Dolby instead doesn't generate (normally) new harmonic, it uses a multi-band compressor to achieve the "enhancement".
I'm also modeling a Type B Aural Exciter, but the Dolby was definitely much more interesting and fun to do. Anyway, I'll probably have "Type B" in a few months [/QUOTE]

Yeah great!! That's just what I was hearing. The Waves
Exciter seems to add a gritty high mid distortion which is great for brightening up a sound with that character. The audio thing adds a nice top end detail which reveals the original sound in a brighter way to me. I'd use the Aphex for boosting if required to really cut through the mix or if the original sound really lacked any decent top end to start with. I'd use the Audio thing for general sweetening and brightening that does not quite sound like EQ. It sounds more glossy or sheen like. Terrible description but hey. I'd say Audio thing adds more top end air while the Aphex adds very high mid grit.
Old 27th March 2018
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Taurean's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Hjortnaes View Post
I demoed Audiothing Type A and I own a license for SKnote DolA and since the latter does not get much mention here, I'd like to say I find them equally good and both very nice plug-ins. SKnote is very simple to use, while Type A is a little more "advanced", but both are great mixing tools.
Henrik how do their CPU usage compare?
Topic:
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